Thursday, August 18, 2011

An interesting discovery

Recently, we (Jeramie, me, Ethan's therapists) have discovered something particularly fascinating about our Wonder Boy.  Ever since Ethan was little, we've joked that he likes to keep everyone on their toes.  Whether it's medical drama, or peeing in a dresser drawer, there's always something! Not only that, but he never ceases to amaze those he comes in contact with.

This situation is no exception, and I think it's going to blow your mind.

Are you ready for this?

We are pretty convinced that Ethan is a lefty.  My child - who has an entire bone missing in his left arm, only four fingers (none of which can bend) on his left hand, and no thumb - is a freakin' southpaw.

Of course, we'll never know for sure.  The anatomy of Ethan's left hand will force him to become right-hand dominant, but all signs point to a strong tendency to use the left side of his body...
1 - He is left-footed, which is something I noticed a while back but didn't think it meant anything.  Jeramie instantly knew it was a sign that Ethan could be left-handed, and I confirmed it with his OT yesterday morning.  She watched him kick a ball for about 5-10 minutes and it is so obvious that he prefers his left foot.  In fact, only once during that entire time did he even try to kick with his right foot, and it was completely awkward. 

2 - For a while now, Ethan has struggled with age-appropriate grasps with his right hand.  We're always having to correct the way he holds markers, crayons, etc, and he has yet to master the pincher grasp.  (As with crawling, he has a modified technique that gets the job done, but it's not technically correct.)  A light bulb went off in his OT's head once we made this realization and now we know he'll need a little extra help to make that feel natural.

3 - I vividly remember the day I took the brace off of Ethan's left arm, after months of it being casted, operated on, and splinted.  He was sitting in his high chair and I was distracting him with veggie chips while I removed the brace and the protective cloth.  The second I freed his hand, he picked up a chip between two of his fingers and brought his hand to his mouth to feed himself.  I cried real big proud tears, posted something on Facebook about it (I'm sure), and silently thanked his OT at the time for all the work she had done to encourage such behavior.  Little did I know his mind was screaming, "it's about time!"
I feel like we just unlocked a treasure box in regards to Ethan's development.  Knowledge is power and wealth when you're dealing with a child with special needs and, with this discovery, you can just call us Bill Gates, et al.  Just as I would have to work harder to use my left hand if I were to lose function of my right one, Ethan will need lots of encouragement to become right-handed.  Is it impossible? Not at all.  And, not even for a second, do I dismiss the thought of Ethan figuring out a way use his left just as easily and freely as his right.

Kid, you're going to move mountains.
What a blessing that, as God was knitting all of Ethan's special characteristics together in my womb, He wired his mind to prefer the hand that so many people had doubts he would ever use.  God's just oh so good like that.

And funny, too.


Shannon Smith said...

That's pretty crazy.

Mandy said...

that is awesome Joye!

Jenny Benny said...

If anyone were to pull off being left handed given the obstacles, it would definitely be Ethan. =)

Stefenie said...

That's great. Now maybe they can work with him in therapy more to help him too!

Kelly said...

That is amazing! I hope you guys are enjoying your last weeks of summer. Great picture too!

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