My favorite part of the holidays is not only having the kids at home but having my adopted kids come home too! The house is alive with laughter, conversation and music! Between last night and tonight, Corey’s had several of her adopted older siblings come to visit.
It was wonderful to see her interact with everyone. It was especially endearing to watch JohnPaul and Caitlin’s friends interact with her. She is truly loved as a little sister to each of them, treating her as a “real little sister” tormenting her just as they did a year ago.
Corey wasn’t feeling well as the night progressed. I believe it was the culmination of a long stimulating weekend. She was very uncomfortable as we were trying to get her to bed. JohnPaul was a music composition major in college and all of my adopted sons are musically talented as well. They took turns playing the guitar and singing to her. Music truly calms the soul. As they serenaded her, I would stroke her hair. Slowly she settled in and was ready for sleep.
I recently read a case study written by a neurologist specializing in sensory stimulation. He discussed early learning in children and what steps parents could take to help their children become more intelligent.
His most emphatic suggestion was: sensory stimulation. He even recommended exposing children to movement and music while they are still in the womb. This is not a new concept however the fundamental study is now being used in TBI rehabilitation studies. Stimulation of the senses creates electrical activity in the brain, and this accelerates the formation of pathways between the brain cells. These pathways, called dendrites, are the basis for intelligence; the more, the better. We’re born with a fixed number of brain cells, but there’s no limit to the number of connecting pathways that can be created. What is most exciting is the study of sensory stimulation RE-connecting pathways after acquired or traumatic injury.
I find this fascinating, and it has an unmistakable ring of truth. Receiving a variety of sensory stimulation is important, no matter what age. I know that I always feel more energized after listening to good music, going for a long walk at the local state park, exercising, travelling to a new place, the smell of fresh herbs, the taste of a home cooked meal, feeling the warm sun on my face or the cold of the first winter’s day on my cheeks. These things all have a high sensory content.
Our senses deliver complex, dynamic information that challenges us to interpret it. And our minds respond to the challenge with growth. Stimulation builds our sensory vocabulary and adds to our range of experience.
Corey you are making new connections everyday. Your therapies are critical not only for the physical benefits to your recovery but the sensory stimulation will enable you to reconnect and reformat your pathways. It’s our job to make it a point to stimulate your senses every day; and not just with repetitive physical tasks. You need to see new sights, taste new food, listen to new sounds as well as move in different ways. We will continue to seek out sensations that are new and challenging. The recovery you’ve shown in the last six months is evidence that this direction works as you continue to grow with each experience. I’m so proud of you honey. Happy dreams, xoxo