Of the amazing number of things that Ronan is able to sense, the most uncanny for me, is a doctor or other health professional. From as early as 6 months, he started screaming when we entered the door of the hospital. Now at 18 months, even going to the Vision clinic, held in a school and for which he is only required to play at his leisure while I speak to the doctors, makes him nervous. All he wanted to do was rock and breast feed (two of his favourite activities). When prompted to play some of our normal games, like “find mummy” or “flamenco clapping” he kept his feet rooted to the spot and his head down.
This most recent experience reminded me of our attempt to take part in a research study following the development of visually impaired children over several years done by Great Ormond Street Hospital. We had a very kind researcher, who gently introduced herself and tried to engage Ronan in play. Not long into the “play session,” Ronan started refusing to take toys. Finally, he put his hands behind his back and refused to engage at all. While the session was not really about play, as it was the researcher who decided what to play with and for how long, a rather crucial part of play, Ronan clearly did not want to take part.
With the exception of our QTVI, he is greatly suspicious off all health and social care professionals. Perhaps he realises that it is one of the few places in which he is not the boss, or even a partner. Nobody seems to think about shared decision-making when it comes to babies, but Ronan clearly thinks this would be a good idea.