I have been writing about Joshua’s senses and how they were affected by his stroke and there is one sense that does not seem to have been impacted, and that is really important to him, that is his sense of hearing. Joshua has always loved music, right from being a baby, when he was crying, we would dance to loud music in the lounge and it would settle him. When he could not sleep, I would sing Carpenters songs to him to settle and soothe him and more recently, we sang the same song together as a duet! When he was a small boy and we took him to cafes, he would seek out their speakers and want to stand beneath them, gazing up at them in awe. Somehow he seemed to feel the vibration of the music as well as enjoying the melodies and you could see him wriggle with pleasure in response to the vibrations and it was always hard to tempt him away.
Joshua has attended many live gigs – Bruce Springsteen several times, as well as ELO, Lucid and Status Quo. He has always enjoyed seeking out buskers, trying to get as close to their instruments as he can. His beloved animated film of Lion King is brimming with good music and of course, there are the endless viewings of the Live 8 show DVD , which he has played everyday since the show in 2005 – he has actually worn DVDs out! So you can tell how valuable music, so his sense of hearing, is to him and it always has been. he enjoys strumming a guitar or playing on the piano or keyboard, to create his own unique sounds.
I believe, though cannot prove, that some of the satisfaction that he gets from kicking and slamming doors, is in the impressive sound that it makes and it certainly gets him attention. He has begun to smack himself on the head, until his helmet stops his fun, and partly this could be a great sound that draws attention too.
His hearing brings him so much pleasure, that I am sure Joshua’s life would be less rich if that sense had been impacted too, but thankfully his hearing was spared. Of course he does have the selective hearing that most teenagers have, that blocks out when he is being asked to do something that he does not want to do, but I consider that to be perfectly normal.