This week Cooper is going to have an assessment done ( it's in 2 parts at the RCH over 3 hours) on how his traumatic brain injury impacts on his learning and development cognitively. Over the last seven years you can clearly see how his injury impacts his physical development, and moreso his verbal speech development but it's the things you can't see that we are taking a closer look at.
Brains are naturally amazing things. Coopers brain and soul have enabled him to become more than anyone really ever thought possible. He was not meant to even live, so anything beyond that is a miracle.
Since Cooper started school I am beginning to see the gaps in his learning in relation to his brain injury and as an effect of his very different developing motor skills.
Cooper really struggles with retaining written visual information. For example Cooper knows a zillion facts that he was heard and learnt and discussed but struggles with remembering and recognising the written word or number.
He can tell you all about the Wars, History, Politics, weapons, cooking terminology but finds it really hard to tell you what the printed word " happy" says. He can sound out the words, knows the names and phonics of letters but has the inability to decode words as such. ( coincidently this is an area that Pepper accels in so we have the complete opposite in front of us to highlight the gaps)
Honestly there have been many moments where I could have handled this much better. It took me a while to remember that Coopers brain has been damaged and perhaps it is a lot more than not being interested , being lazy, or mucking around.......I was under the illusion that maybe something might come easy for Coop and selfishly in turn for me as his parent......
This assessment is one I cannot wait for. I am so keen to learn how Coopers brain learns and hopefully discover perhaps a different way of tackling literacy in regards to Cooper and his brain.
This is the same week we have witnessed a typical developing brain teach a little guy to climb, kneel, pull to stand, let go and clap hands......all in a week......with no-one even showing him. His brain was just ready and taught his body without him even thinking about it. I am amazed just watching him, I delight in watching him, I try not to make too bigger deal about it. I have not experienced the pang in my hear that I thought I would. His number one fan though and who does make it a big deal is his big brother. He is so proud, so happy and thrilled Woody is an adventurer like him. Of course Cooper has moments of wishing he too could walk and move with ease but for the most part Cooper just adores watching Woody develop and " I will always be here to protect you" he whispers each morning in his little ear.