We had a fantastic summer vacation at Myrtle Beach with Kevin’s Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins. All 14 of us stayed in a condo on the beach…just like we did four years ago. One of the best parts of this vacation was appreciating how far Kevin has come in those four years.
Four years ago (Kevin was four years old) we took a break from Kevin’s program for the summer. We had been working hard and were dedicated to our program every day for three years and he had achieved many victories along the way…Kevin was seizure free, crawling, creeping, and the long awaited and coveted walking victory. After Kevin achieved the ability to walk…our focus quickly shifted to other important goals such as speech and the sometimes difficult to measure, behavior and social aspect of his development.
Kevin is now eight years old and there are some days that I get discouraged when I think about how much more we want to accomplish with Kevin. But then an opportunity arises when my whole family has a chance to look back and reflect on what that beach vacation was like with Kevin four years ago and clearly see the positive progress that Kevin has made that makes our life better. The biggest change we all noticed was how on our last vacation, Kevin had been so difficult to transition from the condo to the beach without a fit because he had to walk by the car in the garage and the pool before reaching the beach. This year, he couldn’t wait to get down to the beach and walk into the ocean to have the waves crash into him or just chill out on a beach chair with his Dad, he even liked playing in the sand. But mostly the overall feeling (especially for me) was that it was just easier…Kevin was more flexible, he was not entirely focused on his obsessions, he interacted more with the family, and he was happy to be there with everyone. In fact, after we returned home, Kevin wanted to look through the family photo albums and he purposefully chose the album from our beach vacation four years ago. I’m not sure if he is comparing the progress he has made (like we were) or he just wanted to see his cousins again and go back to the beach, but I do know that we both feel renewed and positive as we begin our program again. We are excited to see what changes we will see at the end of this summer. I can truly say that this was in fact a vacation…I just hope we don’t have to wait four more years before we go back to the beach!