When babies reach for themselves in the mirror or bat at toys, you don't even think about the thought process and control of movement that goes into it- you take it for granted as just another stage in their development. But when your child struggles, you start to see the miracle that these simple achievements are.
I remember about a year or 18 months or so ago watching a video of a friend's son playing with a toy drum. He's a similar age to Hugh and developmentally delayed as well. I was delighted and amazed at how he'd reached and used his hands intentionally to hit the drum, smiling then at the loud noise that resulted from his actions. I couldn't imagine Hugh ever doing that- it seemed too big a step for him. He had (has) limited control over his movements and his vision is so poor that seeing and then reaching for objects seemed nigh on impossible. It also takes a level of cognition I wasn't sure was achievable- a simple understanding of cause and effect; the ability to formulate an idea in the brain and then work out how to do it before finally telling and making your limbs cooperate.
Then one day, Hugh found his hands. He loves his hands. He eats his hands. He holds his hands for hours on end.
Then he started to reach for things- familiar toys; first with one hand, then with two. Two hands working together.
And he started activating switch toys, first by accident when his hand knocked the switch. And then with concentration and purpose.
Little by little.
Step by step.
Until this week, he did this:
I'm linking this up to the linky on Ethan's Escapades which celebrates 'Small Steps; Amazing Achievements', because it is, it really is!