We’d like to reassure you that although we haven’t posted in two weeks, we are not taking a break to sit around and eat bonbons. In fact, Corey has been working hard and we’ve been working on a few surprises that will launch just in time for March which happens to be BRAIN INJURY AWARENESS month.
To catch you up, (but before we launch our big surprise), Corey has been working hard! She’s started working at the Brain Balance Center in Springfield, PA. There are several young woman her age and a little older she is working with. The ladies complete a series of complex visual and auditory lessons. They spin for vestibular therapy and this week started balancing exercises which include standing on a tilt board!
During Corey’s initial evaluation, she completed a 5 1/2 hour cognitive reading and math exam. The results were both informative and emotionally shocking. Her reading and math scores are on a 1st grade level because of her memory loss. Her reading comprehension is at Kindergarten level. Some of her vocabulary recognition and vocabulary decoding skills place her on a 5th, 6th and 7th grade level. As difficult as this is to accept, we now have a baseline and know where to begin and what we need to work on. We are incorporating ‘school work’ in her weekly schedule.
As you can imagine, watching Corey read aloud and struggling to process a word or a sentence, trying not to lose her place as she moves from one line to the next, breaks my heart. I sit watching and listening as she reads a 3 line paragraph from her first grade reader, remembering what she was capable of as I witness what is her current reality. When she’s finished, she looks up at me, takes a deep sigh, smiles and says, “that was really hard but I did it”! The look of pride and accomplishment in her eyes initiates a rush of emotions within me. I force to swallow the lump in my throat and return her smile as I resume my cheerleader role, “That was really, really good Corey”!
In addition to her vision, vestibular and cognitive therapies, Corey is also working in the Go Baby Go Cafe once a week. She enjoys the interaction with customers and her co-workers. Corey can be arguing with us all morning but the minute she gets into the harness and starts working in the kiosk, she’s finds herself. She’s in her element. It’s a joy to watch. It also renews and refreshes my sense of hope. She walks throughout the kiosk restocking supplies, taking an order, taking payment while working the computerized register and closes every sale with a big smile as she confidently states, “Thank you, have a nice day”!
This morning as she practiced her dressing skills, she noticed a sign hanging on her bedroom wall. Her Aunt Diane had it custom made for her when she moved up to her room. It’s her mantra, “NEVER GIVE UP and NEVER GIVE IN”. She read it aloud,
C – Never give up…where did that saying come from?
M – I don’t know when we started saying it, but that’s been our mantra for 5 years.
C – It’s a good saying you know why?
M – no, why?
C – because if I give up, I’ll never get better…