It’s hard to know, with a non-verbal child. Sometimes I think I see a flicker of surprise or acknowledgement in his eye (he only uses one), but just sometimes. Being with him full time is a strange existence, it’s almost like I’m alone. I don’t know if he knows I’m his Mom. I don’t know what he’s thinking or even at what level he understands. I like to think he’s at the level of a 9 month old. Why? Because living like this would drive a normal intellect insane. I still change his diapers, for goodness sake. I hand feed him. He drinks a bottle. He’s 17. He has many seizures. He’s so big now, it’s turned very physical and I have fibromyalgia And I’m in my 50’s, an old lady by young people standards.
His biological father is a drug addict and in prison at the moment, my husband has been his father. But as Chance gets older and needs to be shaved and has acne and grows more distant, my husband grows further away. Chance even has a moustache! He looks so much like his bio dad, who my husband saw once in court. It’s strange for everyone.
He usually seems pretty happy. He smiles every once in a while, but he’s a teenager and not always a happy camper. He hardly, if ever, crys anymore. During his first year, that’s all he did, so maybe he wore it all out. So he’s changed, because as a boy, he smiled all the time. I called him handsome Chansome.
He goes to school, which he seems to like, also he likes riding the school bus. This is all speculation on my part. He seems the same. I worry, am I assigning him my own personality and voice as we do with pets? He’s a human being. A doctor said that to my Mom once, because she thought he was too much for me and isn’t close to him. She likes the girls best.
He rides a horse every week, a therapy called hippotherapy. He sits on the horse with a person on either side and a person leading the horse and an occupational therapist behind or working with him. He seems to like it or I like it for him, I don’t know. Believe it or not, insurance doesn’t pay for this, so I have to ask a charity for money, which lasts a few months. There is a LOT of paperwork involved with having a handicapped child. Doctors forms, social security, documents for court and child support, money to do a therapy that isn’t “approved” by the insurance industry. It’s a travesty. It’s called HippoTHERAPY and he works with an occupational therapist, who would be payed if we were inside!
But then I think about the terrible and wonderful day that he was thrown from a horse! Yes, terrible: I usually follow them around, but they were out in a field, I wasn’t allowed there. In the office, the walkie talkie crackled and said “rider down, rider down in the field” and people started running. I knew it was Chance, he was the only one out there. I ran, it seemed so far. And he was just laying there. I ran toward his head to stabilize his neck. I looked at him, upside down, he opened his eyes and looked into my eyes and started crying! He waited for me, to cry! I am special to him! We got an ambulance and he was checked out at the hospital and he was fine! A miracle. He has osteoporotic bones and has already had a fractured hip that required surgery and a full body cast for eight weeks. It was a nightmare, especially for Chance. He was thrown from a huge horse and had no injuries. Did he float down? No. Did someone catch him? No. The wonderful.
And he cried.