Daniel

Queensland, August 1992

Daniel was born weighing 8lbs 13oz, his head circumference was 34.5cm and he was 55cm long. He definitely had the cat cry as well as undescended testes, skin tags on his left cheek, epicanthic folds (slight) and poor muscle tone. Daniels d.o.b. is 30/8/92. I think…..from memory… he has a terminal deletion at 15.1.

By the age of 3 months old he was rolling from side to side, he sat at 8 months with the support of his arms to stabilize, independently sitting at 11months. He started walking around holding onto the furniture before he started to crawl, this was at 11months old and crawling came 1 month later on his first birthday. He was walking independently at 16 1/2 months.

His first word came along at 6 months of age and yes it was MUM. We introduced Makaton to him at around 12 months. He used a few of the signs such as drink and eat but fairly quickly developed a reasonable vocabulary. He was using 3 – 4 word phrases around about the age of 2 1/2 and 4 – 5 word sentences at 3 years old. He was feeding himself with a spoon or fork at 3 years of age and was completely toilet trained also by the age of 3.

During the first five years of Daniels life he spent a good 6 months of every 12 being sick. Nothing terribly serious, just your average flu, cold or more often than not an ear infection. Most kids deal with illness fairly well, not so for Daniel. Every time he fell sick he would go down like a ton of bricks. The average flu would see him in bed for a week looking like death warmed up. He seemed to have a fairly low immune system, however as he has grown so has his resistance. I would often cry myself to sleep worrying about him. One night I wrote this poem for him.

Poem for Daniel

Secret tears I shed
In the darkness of the night
For one who is so innocent
So beautiful and bright
He’s a champion of champions
For that, there is no doubt
He’s a special little boy
One I’d never be without
He fills my life with wonder
As I quietly watch him play
He constantly astounds me
With every passing day
As time goes by and he grows up
He may not seem the same
But he is my son, whom I dearly love
And Daniel is his name
So now its time to wipe those tears
And replace them with a smile
No more tears of sadness
Only ones of love and pride.

Debbie Ann Higgins

Update April 2001

Daniel has been really healthy this year. It seems the older he gets the better resistance he has to illnesses. He’s in year 2 and going great guns. He has come along in leaps and bounds. He now understands the concepts of addition and subtraction. He loves to read and quite often astounds his teacher aide and myself, by recognising words such as poisonous and dangerous etc.

Daniel had an IQ test a couple of weeks ago and scored a 52, 27 points less than his last IQ test. Personally, I think they’re a load of hogwash. Definitely not a true indication of Daniel’s capabilities.

Update on Daniel May 2007

Daniel is almost 15 (august 30th)…can you believe it? I know I can’t…and he comes fully equipped with all the teenage attitude. He’s doing wonderfully well. He is attending the equivalent of year 9 at Aspley Special School…I ummed and ahhhed about sending him to Albany Creek High School along with his brother Joel. but in the end decided that Aspley was better suited to his needs.

It’s been a bit of an adjustment for him , as he is so used to integration, but he seems to enjoy it fine enough. The school is more vocationally based opposed to your typical curriculum, but that’s a positive. Daniel is learning some much needed life skills. He also works at the recycle plant that they have at the school. Apparently they recycle 10-15 ton per year. They have many great programs running at this little school (approx 47 students) all aimed at helping Daniel achieve independent living. Not that I’m quite ready for that yet!

He’s still learning and achieving at a rate that I always expected he would. As a matter of fact he only said to me the other day that as much as he enjoys his new school…he wished that they would make it a little more challenging for him. He said that he found the work very easy and sometimes found himself to be a little bored, and wished that they would ( in his own words) ”Challenge him a little more”.

I have all the confidence in the world that this young man of mine will reach for the stars and pluck them one by one.

Deb (Daniel’s mother)