his first story
With delayed speech,
Comes so many more repercussions,
Than simply the inability to make the sound of words.
Without the words,
You also limit the ability to think in those missing words,
And therefore stunt the developmental process of imagining,
And out of context conversation.
And this became really apparent for Isaac,
When trying to engage him in make-believe storytelling,
Or even reciting a story about his day.
And I can assure you,
It took some convincing,
For Isaac to comprehend,
The concept of making stuff up,
Of talking about things in the past,
Or pending in the future.
Because as so much of his physicality had proven to be,
This too was completely foreign to him.
But with the guidance of his speech pathologists,
Who identified it as a missing developmental phase,
We begin to unlock the concept within him,
Through many avenues like a create-your-own story app Puppet Pals,
By playing games we had different names,
Recapping events from his day,
Or prompting a wish from him to do something in the days ahead,
We start to see a slight shift in his understanding,
An ever so subtle grasping of the possibilities,
Of thinking beyond the tangible.
And hopefully in time,
The realisation of limitless freedom to create,
The beauty of the imagination.
Had we not identified it,
Because in typical development it occurs so organically,
We would have been restricting so much of his potential,
And stripping him of a chance to dream.
And with the development of the imagination,
Comes the improvement in knowledge of words,
Of breaking the barriers that have been built by his brain injury,
To continue stoking the fire of the phenomenon of learning.
And while the realisation of the enormity of being responsible,
For someone else’s capacity to story-tell,
Was initially almost too much to bare,
As an added realm to the life already tipping in dependence,
The hardest bit was done after turning the key for the first time,
By seeing that door needed to be opened,
Gently pushing him through it,
Prompting as we go,
Making it fun,
With no right or wring answer,
And only taking baby steps as we went.
And while it will take a lot more time,
For his deference to adult approval,
Or dictation to dissolve,
For his imagination and his spoken words to align,
To fully expose the depths of his creative mind,
Or reaching his age-appropriate ability,
The results so far speak for themselves,
In displaying we’re definitely helping him join the dots.
And giving him more choices in thinking.
And so it was,
At age four and four months,
Via his new app,
And his limited yet broadening vocabulary,
He told his first story.
“Bob, Chatura and Santa got in the bus to go to the park.
At the park Bob and Chatura rode a horse to the house with the music.
Santa got back on the bus,
Then rode the bus to Playschool”.
It was a masterpiece as far as I was concerned.
Because it was all his own.