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Review of the year

I watched from the dining room and my five year old disabled son Arun lolloped a little unsteadily into the kitchen. The bowl on the kitchen counter caught his eye. He stopped, looked at it and weighed up the situation and the opportunity.

Off he went into the conservatory. A few moments later he reappeared dragging one of the red wooden toddler-sized chairs behind him. He placed it just below the bowl. He looked up at the bowl again.

He grabbed hold of the kitchen counter with one hand and the chair with the other. A little unsteadily he set himself and raised one knee up and placed his boot on the chair. A big heave, a little wobble, and he was up.

He turned around to face the bowl on the counter, all the time holding fast to the work surface and steadying himself. He peered into the bowl. He didn’t need to, he had already figured out what was in there: chocolate icing for the cake his mother had been baking that morning. He reached into the bowl and grabbed the teaspoon that was in there. First one, then another spoonful of the gooey, sticky coco deliciousness went into his mouth.

However, he wasn’t happy. The teaspoon just wasn’t cutting it. He cast his eyes around for something else. His hand landed on a tablespoon. He grabbed it with a look of glee in his eye. In it went. One, two, three big dollops of icing were shovelled down his waiting mouth. Arun’s hand eye co-ordination isn’t great but he never seems to have much trouble with sweet, chocolate stuff.

It was only when I burst out laughed that he noticed me. His little face stared at me in horror – rumbled. His eyes were wide, big brown pupils staring back at me, pleading for mercy. His mouth was open in surprise and covered in the evidence of his mischievous exploits.

He needn’t have worried, I was far too pleased with him to be angry – quite the opposite. I was delighted.

Later that day, I discussed the events with Clare, my wife.

“That’s brilliant,” She said, “just brilliant. I’m so proud of him.”

Why were we proud of such an everyday act of naughtiness from a five year old? Well, Arun has cerebral palsy, autism and learning difficulties.

“Can you imagine him doing that a year ago?”

I simply shook my head. “You’re right. If you’d have told me at the start of 2013 that Arun would be capable of doing something like that I’d have bitten your hand off.”

Clare continued, “Last year he wouldn’t have noticed the bowl on the counter – his peripheral vision and observation skills weren’t good enough. He wouldn’t have had the strength to drag his chair from the conservatory. He wouldn’t have had the co-ordination to climb up. He could hold a spoon well enough to put it into his mouth with food on it.”

“Most importantly, “I added, “He just wasn’t interested in food enough to go to all the effort.”

“Makes you wonder what he’ll be doing this time next year,” Clare pondered.

“I have no idea but I can’t wait to find out.”


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the blogger and do not necessarily represent the views of


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