It ain't that hard (if you start before 12)!
I was in Jackson, Wyoming recently enjoying this crazy west coast winter. There was snow on the houses, snow on the roads and, most importantly, snow on those Grand Tetons. My daughter, six-years-old, loves skiing more than just about anything and it is pure pleasure trying to keep up with her. So there we were, anyhow, riding the chair up after another thrilling run, sharing the ride with one of Jackson Hole’s famous ski patrol. He asked where we were from, I told him Cardiff-by-the-Sea, and he told me that he had learned to surf ten years ago and it was the most difficult thing he’d ever done.
Oh it’s the classic adult learner story and you’ve heard it before too. Surfing is difficult to begin, impossible to master. Hours upon hours spent flopping around in the water etc.
I nodded and agreed with his assessment. “Yes it is very difficult. Impossible etc. and I was very fortunate to pick it up as a kid etc.”
Well, as it turns out, learning to surf as a child must be the entire key, even more important than we all imagined, for a British boy who was born without a brain just learned how and let’s learn his story together.
If doctors told you to terminate your pregnancy not once but five times, you might take them at their word.
But when Shelley and Rob Wall were advised to have an abortion after finding out that their baby had “no brain”, they stuck to their guns.
And six years on, their son Noah has defied the odds — by “growing” a brain.
The Sun reports that the plucky youngster appeared on Good Morning Britain with his parents to share his extraordinary story, which Richard Madley called “a miracle”.
Despite his parents being told that there was no chance of his survival, Noah has totally exceeded all expectations.
Before Noah was born, doctors doubted he’d survive.
Mr and Mrs Wall have dedicated their time to his brain development and have taken him to Australia to a radical brain training centre.
Here, he has learned how to sit up unaided and even managed to go surfing.
Noah now wants to learn to walk and wants to continue learning how to surf and even start skiing.
The treatment that Noah’s been having in Australia is called “neurophysics” — a mixture of physiotherapy and cognitive exercises.
Mr Wall explained that the experts don’t usually do give the therapy to kids because of the cognitive side of things but they were lucky enough to be able to persuade them to see and assess Noah and prepare them for when he’s old enough to have that cognitive treatment.
“It’s all to do with the brain’s ability to heal or correct the body’s nervous system”.
And there we have it. It is easier for a child born without a brain to learn our Pastime of Kings than it is for a VAL.