The words never get easier. They sting across my face as I read them, transcending from my eyes to my lips.
“with severe impairment”
There they are written as though they mean nothing and everything. The words that bring supports and services and perhaps an explanation that may present an increased understanding from the outside world. We see these words in reports, on assessments, in textbooks and in applications. They are rarely spoken outright because they imply huge limitations.
Yet, give him an iPad and he can tell a funny joke, trace letters, count, make a playlist and text it to me, purchase an app, send a text and ask for a piece of granola or a foot rub please.
It’s kind of like a sunny day. You can tell someone it’s sunny but that doesn’t describe the entire day. They can’t feel the warm heat of the sun, taste the lemonade that quenches your thirst or hear the laughter of kids playing in the sprinkler nearby.
You can’t tell an entire story in just a word or a single chapter.
Severe impairment may imply limitations but it doesn’t do any justice to describing the little boy that I love and adore. Stalen is funny in the coolest way. While humor may come naturally to many of us through our words and actions imagine how difficult it is to be funny when your non-speaking and have major gross/fine motor delays that affect your ability to complete some body movements and tasks. Yet, he is undeniably funny. He is also charming, kind, loving, adventurous, and handsome with the best laugh and hugs.
Stalen rises every day beyond the limitations imposed by conditions and a diagnosis.
These words “severe impairment” are only limiting if we believe and allow them to be.
While limitations may exist in the mind and on paper…..
there are no severe limitations of the heart.
Every beat is an opportunity for love and a pulse for great potential. His rhythm is one of love, joy and purpose to spread good in this world.
So, let this be another chapter in the story of the little boy who rises above and is more than any report, assessment or textbook definition.
As always, don’t judge a book by its cover or someone’s story by the the chapter you walked in on …