Noé, at age 17, has finally mastered the art of blowing. This sounds ridiculous unless you understand that he has severe apraxia, which makes him unable to coordinate and initiate movements of his mouth and jaw on command. This is also the primary reason why he is nonverbal. For years, he ignored his birthday candles. We would "practice" blowing them out ahead of his birthday, but he just could never do it. Then, more recently, he "sniffed" out his candles. But this year, he shocked us all and blew out his candles on the cake he shared with his brother earlier this month at their family birthday party. Today, on his actual birthday, he was blowing out candles left and right, including the ones I put on his favorite meal: lasagna.
It's amazing how good these seemingly small victories feel when they come - especially when you've worked on these skills for years and you begin to wonder if they'll ever show up. You take your kid where they're at, love them, and hope for the best.