“Will, look here is a tea set, shall we have a cup of tea”? Replacing the coloured bricks was now a full play tea set including cups, saucers, milk and teapot. I have never played with toys, they are of no interest to me, neither is pretend play. Instead I decide that it is more acceptable to see how many teacups and saucers I can stack on top of each other. They fall without my permission. Mum knew the consequences the moment they started to topple. The same meltdown and piercing screams that had filled the room only moments earlier.
“Oh, who loves a bunny”? A remote-control bunny comes to sit next to me. I am given the remote control with two levers, forward and back. My gross and fine motor controls are so delayed there is no possibility I can control the bunny, nor do I have any interest to. Watching the bunny walk towards me causes a regulatory flapping while my Central Nervous System copes with the excitement arousal levels. My interaction with the whole meeting ceases and I need to rest.
My frustration and tiredness are communicated by a piercing sustained scream. Within 45 minutes of talking to Mum and the subsequent three activities the decision has been reached. My life is to be defined by less than one hour spent with me.
“It is quite apparent Mrs Hare, that Will has significant needs, we would diagnose this formally as Very Severe Cognitive Impairment.”
What then followed ran so deep through Mum that she was unable to talk.
A chart was drawn showing actual age v mental age. “When Will is 13 years old he will have the mental age of a 2-year-old. This will not increase beyond this point. He will not get better. We will ensure from today that we make contact with support mechanisms to help you through this period and beyond. He will always need care.”
And just like that, my life is terminated before it has really begun. Within an hour, total strangers that have never seen me before label me with a condition that means I will remain trapped in my own body for the rest of my life.