Jarrett was born on September 14, 2001. Testing while he was in utero revealed that he will not develop Late Infantile NCL. While pregnant with Jarrett, Diane was able to have research completed on Jarrett that could not be done on Carling and Colton. Enzyme functionality testing was done for every family member as well as some work on mapping the genetic nomenclature of the Gill children. While the chromosomal change or defect from Diane’s side was known to scientists, this was the first time the nomenclature (change) which John’s chromosome contributed had ever been mapped.
Jarrett has had a very interesting childhood, growing up with Carling and Colton. He did not speak until he was age 3… (perhaps because both his siblings were non-verbal)... and so he developed many skills by watching and imitation.
When he was just under 2 years old, he decided he would help G-Tube feed his siblings… he had seen how it was done. Take an empty syringe, dip it into a cup of blended food, pull back the plunger then squeeze it out into the adapter, which is attached to the G-tube. He did remarkably well, figuring out the syringe, the food and the region to squirt the food. The only challenge was that he gave the food to his brother, rather than his sister, who at the time, was the only one with a G-tube!
Jarrett has attended Pathways pre-school from age 3-5. This amazing pre-school and JK/SK facility has helped him grow in ways we could not have imagined, particularly with his speech and his social skills (he’s very social!)
At home Jarrett loves to help. He is particularly fond of working in the kitchen, has moved from his talent at age 5 of preparing “snack” for anyone who visits, to at age 8, re-creating meals he has seen on the cooking network (seafood and chicken are his favourites). He also has developed an interest in mixology, and will create a specialty beverage for anyone who is remotely thirsty!
Jarrett helps in the home with Colton a lot. He assists with transfers, enjoys helping prepare supplements, pushes Colton’s wheelchair, as well as operates the electric lift on the wheelchair van.
Jarrett is working with Karen Patterson (www.changeofplay.webs.com), a terrific OT in Burlington who has discovered that his penmanship challenges are a result of a weaker muscle in his hand. With fun activities and focus, this is helping improve an area that affects a lot of his school work.
He is a big Star Wars fan, likes music, camping, watching TV and is quickly gaining computer expertise. He really enjoyed attending the Venture Science and Engineering camp at McMaster University this summer. His current plan is to become a chef when he grows up, and Jarrett likes learning about/visiting different places to experience their local food specialties....especially seafood!
Jarrett will enter grade 4 in September 2010, at school, where he enjoys spending time with his friends.