In my spare time (what spare time?), I write. A little. 10 years ago, I wrote a book (took me more than a year) and got some very nice rejection slips, but never was published; the rework it needed (too many characters, plot a bit too complex for the romance market -- that's what the rejection slips agreed on) was just too much and then life got in the way.
Anyway, a learning experience.
Anyhow, now I am getting the urge to write ANOTHER book and will soon be doing an outline to work from (right now it is coalescing from the fog).
My characters always come to me first. They seem more real to me every day at this point (plot is still a bit vague, but it's coming).
The one I need help with is a wheelchair bound 9- to 10-year-old boy with an assistance dog.
What I need is a diagnosis, then I can start reading up on it for the book. The little guy in my head doesn't have much voluntary facial expression, he's smaller than average for age, has a bit of arm muscle control, and he's able to manipulate an electric wheelchair. Uses a mouthstick and keyboard with electronic voice to communicate. He also has average to bright intelligence.
If you've worked with a similar child, how do family and neighbors interact with each other and the child?
If anyone's seen an assistance dog in action, I'd like to hear about your impressions of that. What was it like? How did the family integrate with the dog? How did the dog interact with the helpee as opposed to other family members? (I realize I can get this from the assistance dog sites, but I KNOW you all, and I don't know any of them yet
So...if anyone has any ideas? (I suspect it'll be 5-6 years before I get this done, but you never know...and if I do get it done, you guys can read it first).
Feb 9, '03
MD was my initial thought. Or CP.
Does it have to be something congenital? Maybe he was in some kind of accident and sustained a neurological injury? Then you could deal with more complex issues such as loss of function, independence, etc.
Or how about osteogenesis imperfecta? Born with multiple fractures, dwarfism, bones too brittle to support his weight so he is wheelchair bound?
Oh there's that other disease.... what the heck is it called.... where bones break a lot but they regrow thicker but weaker.... and the thickness is in weird places, leading to progressive deformity and inability to ambulate.
(I'm sort of stuck on bone diseases, I see)
I think the OI would work well for you. Just my opinion.
I write in my spare time, too.
Edited to add: there's also progressive infantile (or juvenile, depending on the age of onset you wish) spinal muscular atrophy.
Last edit by delirium on Feb 9, '03