Lately, I’ve been thinking that Anne has made huge overall improvements – especially in the last month. In January of this year, I documented “Anne’s status quo” and listed everything she could do both physically and cognitively. Looking back at that post, Anne has made great strides…
I think the best way for me to describe Anne’s improvements is that my expectations of her have increased. I expect her to always speak in context, so when she makes the rare, random comment, I’m surprised. I expect her to know the difference between right and wrong, and be able to articulate exactly how she feels at any moment. For example, tonight she was being mean to Kate, so I asked her why she was being so mean, and Anne responded, “I’m jealous that Kate is sitting in your lap, Mommy.” That’s amazing… I know adults that don’t articulate their feelings as well as Anne :-)
Her oral fixation has decreased… it’s still there, but not as strong. Her impulsivity has also improved. Again, she is still impulsive, but she can inhibit herself from pulling, grabbing, pinching – whereas she couldn’t months ago. Her attention is vastly improved.
She is also better able to play with Canon and Kate. Physically, she’s able to take more jostling from her siblings and not feel so disoriented and out of control. She enjoys the physical play on the floor with Canon. She’s also able to enter into much more complex pretend games with both Canon and Kate. Today Canon said, “Anne! You are so much better now!”
Physically, her improvements are less obvious. She is no closer to walking than she was six months ago. Her left ankle has gotten worse. It still points in and down, and has gotten more stiff over the summer. A few months ago, she was supporting her weight well on her left foot, but now she has moments when she won’t put any weight on that foot. But there are other areas that have improved…
I feel like her body awareness has improved. She always knows when she needs to go potty. Also, she can do more specific movements that she couldn’t do before… For example, if she’s laying on her back, she can lift her bottom off the ground. She can also easily transition from prone to sitting, and she is more mobile on the floor – not crawling on all fours – but scooching on her tummy.
She also has more movement in her left arm. A few weeks ago, she actually rotated her left hand during hippotherapy to look at her palm. She’s never done that before!
She is so close to being able to write. She can trace all of her letters and numbers (except 8) on her iPad. And she can almost write the letter “A” by herself.
I think she’s doing really well and I have been so encouraged by her during this last month. I used to look at Anne, and mostly see her challenges, but I find myself noticing her strengths and having more hope for her. Now I can imagine her walking around the house one day – whereas before, I couldn’t. Only God knows for sure, but for now, it’s nice to see such progress in Anne!