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GDAD_R~1.JPG (72738 bytes)   Ryan on his first Christmas Day with his Grampa 

Ryan did not develop as quickly as other babies.   He did not put on weight like other babies but he smiled a lot and was happy.   We all knew that he would take a long time to "catch up" from being born so early but we wondered if that was the only reason for his slow development.   We also wondered about his hearing.   

In November on bonfire night we wrapped him up nice and warm and took him to see the town firework display.   He liked the pretty colours going up in the air but showed no reaction at all to the loud bangs, not even blinking.   I had to tap him and then point to the fireworks.   He would follow my finger with his eyes then as he saw the pretty lights he would beam a big smile.   I whispered to my husband "He's stone deaf".

Christmas came.   Ryan had no idea what was going on at Christmas and showed no interest in it at all.   He was eight months old and still could not sit unaided.   

We knew of course that he was not a normal eight month old, after all he should not have been born until August so he was bound to be behind in his development. But there had been a lot of progress, he could hold his head up for himself and look around.   He seemed to recognize us.  

ryan0499-1.jpg (175701 bytes)             Ryan's first birthday April 1999            ryan0499-2.jpg (176742 bytes)

We celebrated his first birthday as being a big milestone.   Ryan of course was unaware that it was his birthday.   He sat on his mum's lap as she opened his birthday cards and presents.  He could now sit up and wanted to move around.   But he was making no effort to speak.  Just made a lot of very loud noises.

He visited lots of clinics and had lots of specialists and consultants dealing with his various problems but until he could communicate no one could actually tell how much brain damage there was, they said there was no precedent so no way they could know what to expect.   That was hard.  We had no way of knowing if he was just slow learning to do anything or would never be capable of doing it because that part of his brain was damaged.

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