Hi Everyone,

Corey had a better day today. Diane, our speech therapist has been working with Corey five days a week. When Corey speaks, she is actually using her breath to perpetuate the sound. This is normal for “beginners” but ultimately, we want Corey to not only use her diaphragm but her vocal chords as well. At the moment she is forcing the sound from the back of the throat not the diaphragm and she’s not utilizing her vocal chords. It will take time to relearn but her sounds and word formations are definitely improving. Diane believes she was able to hear Corey’s voice today, not just a breath. That was exciting.

Corey is not ready for a swallow test just yet; despite our randomly taste testing ice cream, popsicles and water based fruit like applesauce, pears and peaches. Part of the worry in her taste testing before the study is “silent Aspiration”. Corey could swallow something, including liquid, and it may go straight to her lungs instead of her stomach. Silent aspiration is not reacting to the misdirection of the liquid by coughing or choking. Until she swallows more consistently, we can not have the swallow study ordered because she will not be able to participate. In the meantime, Corey has decided she no longer wants to swallow…that’s a problem! However, she does write that she wants to eat but refuses to swallow water let alone the fruit. We asked her if she wanted to try Popsicle’s instead of the frozen clear water pops we’ve been using. Diane thinks that flavor might excite Corey and she will begin to swallow again. “Corey, you know the frozen section at the Giant. There are hundreds of choices to pick from. What type of Popsicle would you want to try”? Corey’s answer; ‘VARIETY’.
That was definitely NOT the answer I was expecting! Here I thought she was going to give me a flavor choice, but not Corey…why limit the choices?!

In Physical Therapy, Gillian physically felt Corey moving her left leg using her hip muscles. That’s a first! Once we lift the left leg to a certain point, Corey will finish the motion to bend her leg using her thigh muscles. We are also beginning to notice Corey kicking her left foot! It’s a matter of time…this is exactly how the right side began to move.

OT switched it up today. OT focuses on “life skills for independent living”. Can Corey brush her teeth, comb her hair, dress her self, care for her personal hygiene, etc; all the skills that focus on the body from the waste up. Brittany and Corey practiced washing her hands at the sink. Once they were all washed they baked pumpkin sugar cookies. Corey cut the batter and placed the dough on the cookie sheets following all of Brittany’s verbal directions. PS – they taste great!

Corey I’m so happy you had a better day today. I know how difficult the last week has been and I’m very proud of you for pushing through it. It’s amazing to see how your smile and laughter lifted everyone’s spirit. It was comforting to watch you enjoy your sessions…you even made them look “easy and effortless” especially when I know how hard it is for you to work at this pace and concentrate on each incremental movement. You’re doin’ great kiddo! Happy dreams, xoxo