Can you believe it, I mean, can you really and truly believe that nobody, no Occupational Therapist, no Spech and Language Therapist, no Rehabilitation Doctor, none of the professional rehabilitation experts had ever tried to see whether Pádraig could read? I mean, it has been five years, more than five years actually, since Pádraig had the accident. He’s had endless tests, has worked with dozens of therapists, there were electrodes put on his head to measure his brain activity.and no-one ever had the idea or even the curiosity to find out whether he could read. Maybe what happened was that no-body could think of a way to find out whether he could.

Up until yesterday that is, when we ourselves came up with a surprisingly simple way. Actually too simple for Pádraig to ‘play ball’, it turned out  When we asked Pádraig to look and remember cards with simple words written on them, he read and remembered them – but only twice because, and that’s what he told us, this exercise was so insultantly simple that he decided that it  was too stupid a ‘game’ and so he stopped ‘playing’.

Today, we tried something a bit more interesting and a bit more challenging – but still too simple, I’m sure. Check out the screens below. We showed him the screen, asked him whether a, b, c, or d was the right answer, and to bleep after we said “a” then “b” then “c” and then “d”. We never read out the question and never read out the possible answers, just “a, b, c, d”.

We tried a few screen and in each case he got the right answer. Only that in this case what was most important was that he read and understood the question in *addition* to getting the answers right.

Simple. Right?

So simple that even us, bloody amateurs, could come up with it.

A first. Not necessarily for Pádraig. He probably has been reading something every day for some time. But for us. Now we know that he can read. And that we need to challenge him much, but much much more. Not just physically.