We are working on Corey’s Behavior Plan and so far, so good. She still has momentary outbursts but they seem to be less intense and shorter in length. The nurses and the therapists are all following our new plan to maintain a consistent set of answers, responses and examples for Corey. If we use creativity with redirecting her, she will participate in each activity and the transition is less upsetting for her.
Today’s example; this morning she had back-to-back PT sessions. Corey over heard the tech telling our roommate her therapy schedule. Corey reacted with anger and said, “I don’t want any therapy today”. “I’m not going anywhere”! I acknowledged her statement and assured her that her roommates schedule was unrelated to her day so not to worry. When Natalie came in to take Corey to the gym, I greeted Natalie with the following; “I know that Corey doesn’t have any therapy today (wink) but I was wondering if you could take a look at her ankles for me if you have some free time”. Natalie caught on instantly and suggested we use the back matte where no one was having therapy. After some stretching and leg exercises, Dr. Long walked in for rounds. I got very excited and whispered, “Corey, Dr. Long hasn’t seen you walk yet. Let’s surprise him by walking up to him to say Hi”! She agreed. The three of us walked up to him, said hello, then walked out of the gym down the hall…she completed her full session. (PS – Dr. Long was almost speechless when Corey approached him. He was smiling ear to ear. His comment, “Look at you…this is so cool”!)
Round two was a little trickier. We went to the first floor Out Patient gym. Natalie wanted to try something new. The gym has a wooden staircase structure. It is designed with 6 steps on two sides that lead to a platform. One side has risers at 3.5” high, the other side at the standard 7” high. Natalie pushed Corey to face the staircase. She set the expectation for the experiment stating, “Isn’t your room upstairs at home”? Corey caught on before Natalie said another word. “I don’t want to walk up these stairs”! Natalie calmed Corey down and explained that she just wanted to see how she’d do if she tried. Corey emphatically told Natalie that she didn’t need to practice going up stairs. “Going up stairs is easy”. I ran up the staircase to the platform and interjected using a firm tone of voice, “Ok, Come on, show me”…”Come up here to get me”. Corey instantly agreed, stood up and with the assistance of Natalie and her tech, climbed the staircase to prove her point! When she reached the top she looked at me and said, “Ta-Dah”. We all laughed out loud! We were surprised she didn’t say “told you so”! Natalie was stunned at how well she did. Coming down, she used the side step method which still needs some practice but we celebrated another successful first!
Corey you have always had a strength and confidence that was often labeled stubborn and obstinate. Since you were three years old you’ve wanted to prove “I can do it by myself”. The confidence you have in your ability to do whatever task is asked of you is contagious; your example inspires us to face our daily challenges too. Never give up and never give in…you can achieve any goal you set for yourself.
We are so proud of you. Thank you for pushing us too! xoxo