Sister’s Best Friend, Enthusiastic Traveller, Race Car Fanatic
Ethan’s great smile jumps out at you, even bigger than the motorised wheelchair he uses. Spend a few minutes in Ethan’s company, however, and you’ll realise the chair is an extension of his personality. His school backpack casually dangles from the handles and Ethan takes glee in zipping off ahead in it, taking turns like an experienced motorist.
Ethan is a mood-maker in social situations. He likes making new friends and even takes the initiative to meet them. Because Ethan has difficulty moving and speaking, people mistakenly believe he can’t communicate, or doesn’t have anything to say.
But Ethan has a lot to say.
He loves telling people about his life and the things he’s interested in. He can communicate verbally a little, but his faithful tablet is more effective—and fun. He uses a special app with picture symbols to express himself. He also uses his tablet to watch cartoons online, update his Facebook account, play around with sounds and save precious family photos. In fact, his album roll is full of pictures of a happy life, with overseas trips, celebrations and sport.
Like many of us, he likes trying out different cafes and taking pictures with his food. He’s especially close to one of his younger sisters, who takes pleasure in putting together little things for him such as model figures and friendship bands. They like to take walks in the park together. Ethan enjoys going for boccia training, a ball game, with his teammates.
He’s also a fast car fanatic. Going to the races to watch them up close makes him incredibly happy and he dreams of riding in one someday. He has a secret childhood crush, the thought of whom makes his eyes twinkle.
That’s who Ethan really is. And that’s who Ethan wants you to see, not just his cerebral palsy.