Sunday, March 31, 2013

We Are the Champions

When you have a child, you pick godparents who you would trust to raise your child in the event that you and your partner are unable to.

Some people judge godparents by other measures, or choose them with other priorities in mind. For us, though, that was the main thing.

Naturally, the child's godparents tend to be the parents' most trusted friends and siblings. They win such places of honour by having qualities the parents value highly.

I am happy to say that Little A has a winning crop of godmothers.

At his Christening, I gave each a toy wand and a notebook with the words "Godmothers make wishes come true" on the front. (His godfathers got miniature terracotta warrior replicas.)

In the last few years, these women have, truly, lived up to their positions.

Godmother 1, my younger sister, has constantly been on the lookout for Little A, particularly since he was diagnosed with ASD. She has interviewed all of her friends for information on the best schools and courses of treatment for her nephew, besides showering him with much love and affection and constantly inviting him to play with her daugters.

Godmother 2, my best friend from childhood, quietly makes recommendations based on discreet questions to her sons' teachers for inclusion programs and adapted regular programs and annually brings back from the United States whatever therapy materials Little A needs that aren't available locally.

Godmother 3, my soul sister who lives in Helsinki, (we share a name and a birthday) regularly emails links to news stories and articles from medical journals on the latest techniques in Europe.

Godmother 4 was the dark horse, as she has no children and until recently lived in Edinburgh. She always asked after Little A, gave great presents, and spent as much time with him as she could when she was in town. This week though, she and her doctor partner gave me the best birthday gift - a meeting with her partner's cousin, a Speech Pathologist and behaviour specialist based in New Jersey who was in town for a whopping two days for the Easter holidays.

This specialist took two hours of her precious holiday time to read Little A's reports and provide a detailed outline for a Communication and Speech Programme that should benefit him enormously if implemented properly.

Apparently, the techniques used in this country for Speech Pathology are over 20 years old, with many of them long since proven less effective than newer techniques. This being the Third World, however, and with brain drain as our country's biggest export, it is to be expected that we are behind the times in what really matters. (You can be sure that despite our massive national debt, everyone who can buy or steal one is equipped with the latest iPhone or whatever gadgets are hot off the press.)

This brings us to Godmother 5, Big A's sister, who lives in Singapore, where many of our best therapists are trained, or go for work. It isn't an impossibility that Little A will go there for more updated therapy techniques, or I will for training.

I have called a conference with Little A's team, and sent off an email outlining the new goals. I hope we can implement the programme and achieve the desired results. With such champions as these godmothers in his corner, how can he not? 

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