I’ve been thinking that I want to capture all the things that Anne can do now, so that I can look back next year and (hopefully) be encouraged by how far she’s come. I’ll probably add to this post over the next few days as more comes to mind…
So let’s get started:-)
PHYSICALLY Sit independently
Sit up from laying down by herself
Roll over and sit up
Scooch forward on her tummy using her right arm and knees Throw hard with her right hand
Stand up by herself for 1-5 seconds
Stand up holding on with right hand for balance for 1-2 minutes
Walk with moderate assistance stepping with the right leg better than the left, but the left is almost as strong as the right.
Using her body and shoulder, she can bend her left elbow to move her left hand up to her nose.
She can squeeze her left hand very weakly.
Her left arm is regaining movement from the shoulder down.
Balance is still Anne’s biggest obstacle to walking.
COGNITIVELY Her use of words is excellent, and this provides a unique insight into all of Anne’s thoughts. She says whatever she thinks. She is at so many different developmental levels- it’s all quite complicated.
We have seen an improvement in her oral fixation, but she still mouths objects like an infant. Emotionally, she acts like her former 2-3 year old self. She loves to break the rules; she gets angry easily; she can be mean to Kate and me, but she has nothing but adoration for Eric and Canon. Her attention and impulsivity have improved in subtle ways, but these are still huge obstacles for anne. She grabs my glasses, pulls my hair, throws food, drops her cup and fork on the floor. She uses bathroom talk inappropriately. But her conversation seems to be more in context – probably only making random, strange comments 30% of the time instead of ALL the time in the hospital. She is starting to play with toys more appropriately, like her dolls and educational ‘button-pushing’ toys.
Another way we’ve seen anne’s attention improve is her use of her iPad. Eric decided to buy Anne an iPad because the computer captured her attention, but she could not control the mouse. The iPad’s touch screen allows Anne to play preschool educational games independently. At first, she couldn’t control her hand to play the simplest game. But after only a month, she can turn the ipad on, unlock it, find and open the game she wants to play and play the game well. We are very encouraged by her ability to learn.
Anne knows all of her colors, letters & sounds, and numbers. Her impaired attention affects her ability to count objects and read simple words. She does recognize her name and the names of her siblings.
She can’t write letters yet. She has some pre-writing skills such as drawing straight lines and circles. Tracing is hard for Anne. She does play a writing game on the iPad. She can trace C and O by herself, and trace letters like T E F L if I help steady her hand.
If you’ve read this far, then you might be willing to pray for Anne tonight. I’m writing this post while sitting in Anne’s darkened room – waiting for her stomach virus to wake her up. Eric and I are taking turns on sick duty. Anne caught this virus from Kate, so I know it only lasts eight hours or so. Hopefully, by 3 or 4 am, Eric, Anne and I will have survived and be peacefully sleeping :-) Good night for now… Kathryn
Edit: Anne slept from 3am – 7am – and seems to be perfectly fine now!