The letter A – first letter in the alphabet. How many words can we chose that would represent Corey? Amazing, awesome, awe-inspiring, astonishing! These were just a few of the words I would choose to express the last two days with Corey. Once again, this young woman has shown us that “she’s in there”!
I purchased a dry erase board and doodle pad at the local store for Corey. Last night we sat next to each other with the pad in my hand and the crayon in her hand. I asked her to write different letters. Although she drew them one on top of the other, if you watch her hand motion she was forming the letters!!! I asked her to spell MOM without verbally prompting the letters. She wrote the word without hesitation. I wanted witnesses! My sister Diane called and we decided to Skype.
I placed the computer on the kitchen table to our back so my sister and her family could watch Corey (over our shoulders). I held the pad upright. In addition to writing letters of the alphabet, I asked her to write Peter (her uncle’s name). She did w/o prompting of the individual letters. I asked Corey to write Diane and she remembered the D-I-A then paused and looked at me…I told her N-E and she completed the name!
This morning I gave Sherise an update on last night’s spelling bee. On my way home from work tonight, I called to check in. Sherise was ecstatic! She shared with me that “Corey is definitely ‘in there’ and she’s starting to come out”! “She can spell anything you ask her too”! She asked Corey to write the following words; Cheerleading, surprise, dog, cat, happy, sad, bubbles, yes, no etc. Sherise was amazed; she spelled every word without prompting of the individual letters.
Our district OT brought a calendar for Corey. Sherise was placing the numbers chronologically on the calendar and asked Corey what number came after 3. She held up 4 fingers. Sherise had the dry erase board on Corey’s lap. She asked Corey to write the numbers in order and Sherise would put the stickers on the calendar. Corey wrote the numbers from 5-20 and didn’t miss the sequence!
The following were just a few of the questions Corey answered with a written response;
What’s your mom’s name? Corey wrote my name
On Valentines Day, is it hot or cold? Corey wrote Cold
In the summer, is it hot or cold? She wrote Hot
What’s your sister’s name? She wrote Cait
What’s your brother’s name? She wrote JohnPaul
When’s your birthday? Without hesitation she wrote October 13…
THIS IS WHEN I SCREAMED FOR JOY IN THE CAR!
Corey there is a reason the letter A is the first letter in the alphabet…your daily “firsts” are truly Amazing! After I hung up with Sherise and continued my drive home, my thoughts were racing with all the accomplishments you’ve achieved in just 7 weeks. In my minds eye I was replaying images of you in the ICU and Rehab. I allowed the stream of conscience to advance to what we’ve seen at home. You have overcome too many obstacles for one person,and youcontinue showing us what you know, what you’re thinking and what you’re capable of. “Admirable” another wonderful word to describe you.
I was speaking with a parent of a TBI survivor tonight. He reminded me of advice he received; “Never, Ever Give Up and Don’t Stop Trying New Things.” I allowed myself to think of September. Hopefully you’ll be going back to school. What will you accomplish with daily stimulation? For a split second I was saddened by the thought that you wouldn’t be joining your friends preparing for college. At this point I had reached the exit for home and as I pulled to the top of the exit ramp there was a car in front of me with the sign I needed to see at that very moment…a college decal on the back window…JOHNSON WALES UNIVERSITY. I smiled and consoled my heart…’don’t be sad Mom, it’s going to happen’! People ask me how we do this everyday. Today I was reminded again ~ you are my strength. You continue to show me what is possible. Thank You! xoxo