I enjoyed Matthew Dotson’s column [“More than a Disability”] in the Oct. 9 Lariat and plan to send it to my son. His son, my grandchild Gavin, is six years old and also sustained a birth injury.
Gavin is in a wheelchair and doesn’t speak much because of his cerebral palsy. However, he is very smart and loving, which people realize when they take the time to know him. Currently Gavin is mainstreamed in a kindergarten classroom, where he is on grade level and learning to read. Like you did, he is going to physical, occupational and speech therapy several times each week. I hurt for him that he can’t run and play with his cousins and friends, but I am glad he loves iPad games, books, television, and movies. I worry most that he doesn’t enjoy full communication because he can’t answer — except with a nod or thumbs up — when people talk to him. (He is just beginning to use an iPad word board/letter board.) His parents and grandparents try to give him the best life they can; Gavin goes to Baylor games, the beach, the fair, movies, church, birthday parties. He swims with help.
Your words inspired me to think that one day he could be enrolled in college. We all want him to have the fullest life possible. Thank you for your message of hope and affirmation.
Louise Powell (“Grandma Weezie”), English instructor