Remember back when I worried that Malachi would be mentally retarded?
Although I appreciate much more fully now that people with intellectual disabilities deserve just as much celebration for their achievements on their timeline, and that their lives and experiences are just as valid and rich as my own, and that nothing I did or merits I possess prevented Malachi, or JJ for that matter, from having those sorts of issues...
...having said all that, well, you can still go right ahead and imagine me doing my happy dance right now complete with "IN YOUR FACE, BRAIN DAMAGE" palm thrusts:
This video was taken a few weeks ago. The other day I went to pick him up from his nap and found him counting out loud to himself. Today, my husband used the same call-and-response you hear on this video to discover that he can count to 20. Malachi even corrects me now when I stop a countdown at one by shouting "ERO!" (zero).
This kid loves numbers. And letters. And colors. In fact, lately his vocabulary is expanding exponentially. He is so overjoyed when he learns a new word that invariably he will shout it over and over again, giggling at me as I respond in kind. In many ways it feels like his world is finally opening up. No, he still can't propel himself around a room — at least not without his scooter — but his mind is definitely going places.
And not to poke fun at JJ, but simply to illustrate how two nearly identical brains process and prioritize information differently under different circumstances, here is his attempt at counting, taken that same week:
(You may have to turn up your sound for this one.)
Since that video was taken, JJ has now progressed from counting "two, two, two" to counting "one, two.... one!"
We all learn at our own pace, eh?