Hands up

Joshua uses his left hand a lot to communicate what he is feeling. He has started to wave properly instead of pointing as he used to do. I had a lovely cheery wave, rather like the queen , from his taxi as he pulled away yesterday morning. He still points when he wants some attention from someone, he tends to indicate who he wants help from or he will point at the television or the iPad too as s request.Of course Joshua has always enjoyed his trademark stinging high 5. He used to do it to his classmates at mainstream primary school and as he was so much bigger and stronger than them, I taught him to replace it with a gentler ‘Zoob’ using just his index finger, which worked for a while. Now he enjoys the reaction after making his victims hand sting afterwards .

Joshua never mastered sign language but he told me, me very clearly the other day, to get up by lifting his hand up as he must have seen others use and of course I obeyed. He uses his hand to wipe his brow or sweep his hair out of his eyes, like a pop star pose in the mirror .

While he has not fully mastered using cutlery to feed himself consistently, he is happy to eat finger food to put chips, crisps, nuts, sandwiches,satsuma segments and pieces of banana into his own mouth . He often requires some help or encouragement , but when it is a favourite happy meal from Donalds for instance.

Of course Joshua uses his hand and whole arm to embrace you in his special bear hug too. This is an undeniable show of affection and he has always given great hugs.

Joshua’s stroke left him with no fine motor skills in his right hand and his brain surgery in 2014 has left his right hand fixed and immobile. He used to be able to hold a guitar or book with it, but not any more. So Joshua is one handed but he is very expressive and super- strong with that left hand.? It is as though it has doubled in strength to compensate for his useless right hand.

He is ingenious though and will find a way to do what he wants, even if it involves getting others to lend him their hand.

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