Friday, December 26, 2008

Ending 2008 on a High Note

Livie has been stealing the spotlight time and time again over the last few weeks. First, it was the, out of the blue lightning bolt of starting to take herself to the bathroom by herself. We weren't prepping her for it, we had been working a schedule and neither was a school. She just made up her mind, got herself into the bathroom and did it; and she has kept on doing it. Maybe learning how to open door a couple of months ago helped with her confidence. I think I mentioned, we still have to worry about her stimming in the bathroom, in the form of flushing things down the toilet and playing in the shower. But from a 'going concern', she's in a steady state.

The other amazing thing with Livie lately is her communication. In September, she started with a new teacher who is big on signing. So she has started a dozen or more new signs. Along with this, her speech, or more correctly her meaningful sounds have increased as well. Her speech therapist would always be able to P,B,M,D,T out of her in a therapy situation, but we would rarely get them out in a natural situation. Over the last few weeks, a new form of potato stick got her talking. French's used to have her favorite, but they have since stopped making them. These new ones, called Lesser Evil Krinkle Sticks have gotten her to use the sound 'Pa' consistently with me to ask for them...God bless junk food (or not so junkie junk food!).

Now to the cherry on all this, we just recently started her with a new language therapy. First session today and Linda received the shock of her year. The group and Linda were pairing with Livie in the first session, which basically means they were doing everything possible to be her best friend. They were playing in the water in a sink and bringing in various toy animals. Linda showed her and said 'snake'; Livie repeated back SSSS. Same thing with a frog...FFFFFF. These sounds are not in her 'prompted' repertoire, so Linda was understandably bowled over. We're not sure if it's our doctor's methodology or if it's the use of transcranial Direct Current Stimulation along with the therapy. It is way too early to tell, but as we move along on this, I'll bring in more detail.

In any event, it definitely gave us a high through about half of the supposed-to-be 90 minute ride back. After we hit a traffic jam in Brooklyn, all the great feeling left us, we threw out the rule book and started giving her juice; 30 minutes into the jam, we could tell her other new found talent was being threatened. She was getting real upset and we knew why, but I was not pulling over in some graffiti strewn section of Brooklyn to find her a toilet. She didn't make it all the way home and we had a major cleanup somewhere in a residential section of Staten Island. I can't fault her, she really tried, but we can't expect her to make it to 2 hours with a full bladder.

We're still on the high, despite the traffic setback. She is a trooper, a super hard worker; everyone who works with her is impressed with her flexibility, her positive attitude and her ability to hold it together. I am so proud of her and I foresee great things for her in 2009...


Michael said...

Hey Bill great story from a proud papa have a Happy and great New Year

Laura said...

"cordelia525" here. Congratulations Bill. That's fantastic. Best wishes for the new year.