By: Carole Norman Scott
3/11/13–Ben is now 50 years old. This is written from journals that I kept of his life. I was amazed at how much he talked at age 6…even though it seemed at the time that he talked very little. As an adult, he has experienced grand-mal seizures and so doesn’t attempt to say as much…as he has a stutter. Recently, he was trying to say spaghetti, and he said, “Spa, spa, spa”…then, he grinned and looked at me like, “This is ridiculous!” He still knows what you are saying to him though, and can answer in one-word, or finish a sentence. He is always paying attention, and is very “with it!” I found these journal “tid-bits” to be very interesting, and I hope that they are helpful to you in some way.
1968–Ben is six years old–waiting to start school at Child World Pre-School in Kansas City, MO. (after we moved there in December). He was home several months with me and baby John. Maureen had already started school.
1. While Ben was home with me, he seemed to keep fairly well occupied. He spent a lot of time looking at books and comics, and has been real interested in “how many” of everything there are in the pictures. He seems aware of numbers, and counts “1,2,3,…5″ (every time). However, when he wants his Daddy to play the game where he swings him up in the air, he says “Play 1,2,3,4,5.”
2. He woke up several mornings at 5:00 and 5:30 A.M. He wouldn’t go back to sleep even if we laid down with him. He wakes up giggling.
3. He notices the letters of the alphabet in his soup. Said, “There’s a “4.”
4. He pays attention to his baby brother. He comes into his room everytime I go in there to change his diapers, and watches intently. I asked him to go get me Johnny’s slipper in the family room and he did.
5. He asks to get the toy train down, and to “take a bath.” He loves to play in the water, but not to be washed. He cant’ stand to have his toes washed. He acts like it REALLY hurts him.
6. He held his Captain Kangaroo doll in his arms and patted its back like he REALLY loved it.
7. He is still making noises some, and runs to his bedroom going “whooooosh” when things don’t go his way. He got out of the car when I told him not to yesterday, and the cars around were dangerous. I told him to get back in, and he didn’t, so I gave his bottom a smack. He got in, and screamed and cried the loudest I’ve ever heard him. He hit Maureen and she hit him back. After he calmed down, he was very reponsive and in a good mood all evening.
8. Still does same “naughty” (I don’t think that is the right word/description) things over and over. He doesn’t seem to do them on purpose, but still, it is VERY frustrating!
9. He loves to ride his toy tractor.
10. When we said our blessing at dinnertime, Ben mumbled, “Dear Heavenly Father.” He says, “God is great, God is good”…but leaves some of it out.
11. He still has trouble with his bowel movement now and then. He makes smudges in his pants. The week he was home from school though, he went all by himself three different times.
12. He played with a beanbag with Maureen and put it on his head and walked beside her when she asked him to. He also watched her do the “wheelbarrow”, and moved his hands like she did when I held up his legs. He was real proud of himself. I got a lesson in patience from Maureen (8). She said, “Mother, Ben put the beanbag on his head and walked with me. It just goes to show you, don’t give up too soon, or you’ll never know how smart your little brother is!”
13. He seems real interested in people’s faces. He is always looking at his stuffed toys, or Johnny, or his “Charlie Brown” doll and points and says, “Eyes, ears, nose, mouth,” etc. He looks at plastic jack-o-lanterns and says, “Happy eyes, happy nose, happy teeth.”
14. He likes to play with the sweeper.
15. He set the table for me and put the silverware where I told him…one at a time. For instance, “Give daddy a knife”–”Give Maureen a spoon,” etc.
16. When I told him on Friday night that grandma and grandpa were coming Saturday, he went and opened the front door and said, “They’ll be here in a second.”
17. He cried when he couldn’t go to school.
18. He looks us in the eye and seems aware of our facial expressions (this is after he had no eye contact at 3 1/2 through five years of age).
19. He sleeps in the same room with Maureen since Johnny was born. If he goes to bed first, he looks at me with big eyes and shakes his head “yes,” and says, “Maureenie will be here in a minute.” (He’s heard me say that). It seems to have helped him to be in the room with her.
20. He always hangs his coat on the peg and puts his shoes in the box when he comes in the house.
21. I asked Ben his name and he said, “Name?…Name is Ben Sott” (can’t put the C in it). Later, I asked his age and he said, “I’m five” (he was six). The other day he was looking at a book and he counted the animals, pointing as he did. He counted to thirteen, and only skipped the number twelve.
April 18, 1968
Ben seems to be progressing little by little. He still will not answer a direct question, but repeats what is said to him. He was quite a bit more responsive when we went to Kansas City on Palm Sunday. He seemed to remember relatives, and to know who they were. He seemed happy, and minded well. He made no “whoooooshing” noises! He hasn’t for several weeks now (and that went on for several years).
He still occupies himself by throwing his stuffed toys up in the air, and holds his ears as they come down. He can throw high and far. He threw a plastic jack-o-lantern clear over the house! He seems like he understands what I say to him more…or to be more exact…he DOES what I tell him better. He still has to be watched closely for his own safety.
He sings a lot. For the first time in his life, he is giving us some hint of what goes on at school by singing some of the songs they have learned there. He sings, “Ring aroung the rosey,” and “We march around in a circle.”
He pats my face and watches my expression. He asks my permission to do things. For instance, he says, “You can put on your jeans on!” (That is when he wants to go outside). “You” means himself! He also says, “You can put your “jams on” (when he wants to change his clothes after school…into his pajamas).
I tried to teach him the days of the week. I told him to say Monday and Tuesday…he did…, and before I could say anything else he said, “Threesday, Foursday, Fivesday!”
He puts his stuffed toys in bed with him and lines them up “just so, ” and puts the cover over them just up to their necks…like I cover him.