Special Needs Parenting: I’ve Lost My 6 Year Old to a Games Console

Sarah Brisdion by Sarah Brisdion Additional Needs

Sarah Brisdion

Sarah Brisdion

I am Sarah. Mum to nine-year-old twins, Erica and Hadley. They were born at 27 weeks gestation and as a result, Hadley has Cerebral Palsy - Spastic...

But here’s why I’m so glad we did.

Never ever have I seen him so happy.

Never ever have I been able to persuade him to stand in his standing frame (critical for his development) for an hour at a time!

Never ever has he had an activity that he can enjoy truly independently, in his own room.

He has always had to rely on us and we’ve had to enable almost everything.

He is beaming from ear to ear! He is a truly happy little boy.

That’s something that I worry about a lot - his happiness.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we bought a second hand Xbox as we had no idea really if he would be able to use it.

It’s pretty grown up. And his fine motor skills are very much behind his peers.

But to our amazement, in just a couple of days, he was doing things we hadn’t dreamed possible with his thumbs and steering with a wheel arms extended with almost no difficultly.

And he was even beating my husband in races and football matches!

His concentration levels have drastically improved and I’ve barely seen an involuntary muscle spasm during his playing of the games!

It’s almost a Christmas miracle.

It has its downsides. I have missed him a lot this Christmas.

He has not needed me, nor wanted me to play (I’m a girl and I’m rubbish at games, only Daddy is allowed to play with him!)

But I have to admit I am also very grateful of a little respite.

Of being able to get some everyday tasks done without worrying if he needs help or wants to do or play something else.

Some of the guilt of either not getting work or house work done or not spending enough time enabling him when I am doing those things, has been removed.

YAY! That’s a nice feeling.

And I have sat and watched him play and just soaked up his enjoyment.

It is truly wonderful to watch. Hearing him cheer each goal or try he scores, as if it’s the best thing in the world is just brilliant. I wish I could get that excited about things!

We will, of course, have to be sensible in the amount of time he plays on it.

Of course being the Christmas holidays we literally just let him do what he wanted really which was play on it for most of the day.

But now he is back at school, he will be limited to an hour after school (in the standing frame) on a school night. He is a little bit disgruntled about that!

For him to just be able to go into his room and play independently is such a revelation for us.

It’s something that his beautiful twin sister has always loved and been able to do.

She’s a very social little thing, but like all of us, she does like to go and play by herself.

She likes to read books to her baby dolls and do some writing and colouring in her room.

She likes to just pop off for a bit and have a bit of me time. And so she should.

But Hadley has always missed out on that. He has always hated being by himself because it has been so restricting and ultimately boring for him.

So, although I am sure there will be plenty of times in the future when I will wish for my son to re-enter the world of conversation and real people and hang out with me, I can’t begrudge him this new-found pleasure at the moment.

It’s so good for him.



Hadley is using a stander in the photo which was supplied by the Newlife Newlifeable Scheme - check out this post for more information.


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