Hi Everyone,

Today was a busy day filled with some interesting firsts!

We continue to fine tune Corey’s schedule as we try to find the best combination of sessions, arrival/start times as well as length and frequency of rest times strategically placed within the day.

The staff allows Corey to use a bed in a private treatment room for her rest time. We were cautioned that there may be times when the room will be unavailable due to patient sessions but the staff will do whatever they can to help accommodate Corey with an alternative rest area. Today was the day we were prepared for; unfortunately the Inn was full and there was no alternative area…or so they thought!

The weather was beautiful today, no humidity with a light breeze. Corey and I went out to the van for rest time. She doesn’t sleep in her chair so we decided to go camping. I laid down her blanket and pillow in the trough of the van where her wheelchair is usually parked. I locked the chair on the ramp and managed to help Corey out of her chair to a sitting position on the floor of the van, then spun her around to lie down; tah-dah, instant camping trailer. The side doors and tailgate remained open which allowed us to enjoy the steady breeze and remain cool. Within minutes of her head hitting the pillow, Corey was asleep.

Her rest time was critical as the afternoon was jammed with 3 consecutive sessions. Corey worked with Ted today. He hasn’t worked with her in several weeks. He was very impressed with her walking and upper body control. After observing her increased control, he wanted to try two new games; volleyball and soccer. But today’s games were played standing up! I stood behind Corey holding her hips. She stood facing Ted to reach and spike the beach ball. She did a wonderful job not lurching backward as she volleyed the ball.

Second game was soccer. I continued to support her hips as she placed all her weight on her left leg to lift and kick the ball with her right. This was significant as her left leg supported her weight and motion and didn’t buckle at the knee. She then had to shift her stance to the right in order to lift and kick with her left leg (this was the true test). Corey is just beginning to show motion and range with her left foot/leg. {Next time you stand, place your hands on your hips and slowly mimic the motion described concentrating on each step of this simple task. It is surprising how many individual movements are required for this fluid motion}. Corey demonstrated balance and controlled the swing/release of her left foot/leg to hit the ball. The 3 of us were cheering in the lobby after this game.

The most exciting first occurred during Speech. We mentioned before that Corey can spell anything but can’t read. When we show her the letters of the alphabet she does not recognize any of the letters yet she can write. In the last two weeks, we’ve been showing Corey the individual letter cards. If she traces the symbol, she can name the letter. When we place the letters to form a word, she can “read” it if she traces each letter. We began singing the alphabet song as she traces and places the cards in alphabetical order in two rows. To form a word, she chooses the letters using the alphabet song as an auditory queue when she reaches but can’t decide which card to pull to form her word.

This is going to sound a little strange but when I was away this weekend I dreamt of how to play a letter game with Corey. As Kate observed, I placed the cards A N in front of Corey. Above the two cards were B C D S. I asked Corey to pick a card to place in front of the letters to form a 3-letter word. Within seconds, without touching a card, she recited BAN, CAN and DAN. Surprised, I asked her to form a 4-letter word. She reached for the S, placed it to the right of AN and recited BANS, CANS, DANS. Thinking I could stump her I asked, “In High School, what’s the name of the group that plays music”? She reached for B and replaced S with D ~ BAND. Kate was so excited she asked Corey if we could play some more.

The letters were spread across the table top in a haphazard order. We asked Corey to change vowels and create a word that contained the letter “E”. She not only created a word that contained E, she reached in silence to spell a full sentence…check out the photo gallery!

Corey watching you unlock what is inside of you is the most exciting experience I’ve ever had the privilege to witness. We knew you didn’t need the developmental lessons needed to “teach” you to read, we just had to figure out how to create the bridge for you to forge new connections that could demonstrate your ability to read. You didn’t hesitate as you purposefully reached for each letter creating your humorous example. We sat silently, anxiously waiting to discover what you wanted to spell. My favorite moment was watching you form your last word. C R A; then you hesitated and looked at me as you began to giggle. I knew you were up to something…then you reached for Z Y! Corey you make me laugh out loud! What a fun day…xoxo