Saturday, May 31, 2008

Progress Report

About a month ago, when put in the BOSS car at PT, Q first looked at me and then just took off. This had been a struggle for him because he has a hard time holding his head up, level, and doing so consistently. All part of variable tone. But this time he'd nailed that button with his head and didn't look back. He was holding it down for 20 or more feet at a time, then shorter bursts, then 50 feet at a stretch. I was sort of jumping up and down, on the inside. If I'd actually jumped up and down, he'd have had to stop driving and wonder: what's up with mom, anyway? This would slow him down.

The next week in OT, his therapist put small switches up on either side of his head. He had been using 2.5" buttons, but he's now using mostly the 1 3/8" buttons. His first attempts were with the 6" model, so this represents real progression, probably in his vision as well as proprioceptive function. At the following week's visit, the boy nailed those buttons every. single. time. with the now familiar computer games -- which made the OT clap, hop in her chair and nearly shout with approval. I, meanwhile, was far more contained, merely tearing up while smiling and choking and wanting to leap right out of my skin with pride. He took a little longer when starting new games that required him to wait and push the switch (button) when asked to. This, of course, is part of his motor planning issues. Still, it seems that he's gaining on it because the next week, even the barely familiar games were much easier (!) and he was getting the "wait... push" responses right better than 70% of the time. Even when he was getting tired, he was still making the effort at the appropriate times.

(More jumping up and down.)

We now have our own BOSS car loaner at home. No coincidence, I think, that it became available the week after he seemed to totally synthesize the whole thing -- pushing the button = going, and going means food for the inner adrenaline junkie, which he totally is. Which must just stink -- craving movement and being stuck in an uncooperative body.

The week after we got the car, his interim PT (our first and favorite therapist is out with back pain, preceding her maternity leave) put switches on either side of his head in the BOSS car and hooked them up so Q now turns the car when he presses with the corresponding side of his head. Yesterday, when he was driving the car at therapy, he was turned about 30 degrees away from me and was pausing for just a second when I called him: "Q, whatcha doin'?" He popped his head up and turned to face me and stopped when he was head on.

This little battery operated vehicle is not a precision operation, ladies and gents. It may well have been an accident or coincidence, sure. Then the PT called him: "Q, did you find mom?" And the boy turned another 30 degrees to face the PT.



He proceeded to maneuver himself around the room, playing with the turning/spinning actions of the buttons, going straight in small bursts before turning some more, all without much in the way of bumping into stuff. Sure, it's a big open space, and you bet he can run over toes with the best of 'em, or bang right into whomever is crazy enough to pause and stand in front of the car. But his learning curve, while still providing plenty of agony for a mama anxious to see transformations and gains, has changed shape a bit. Goodness knows mine has been pretty steep over the last few years, maybe he's trying to catch up. (grins)

Let's hope and pray that as the curve changes shape, he can continue on a similar trajectory. He's got lots to tackle, that's for sure. But when the interim PT introduced Q to his new (also interim) Speech therapy lady, the PT told how Q is a smiley guy, fun to work with, has a good sense of humor, good attitude and is a very hard worker, always going after the next thing.

May we all be so gifted.

Still more later.


BBA said...

BIG G little o Go!Go! Go Q!!!

Carolyn said...

Whoo hoo! Hey, even if he plateaus here for a while ... what a lovely jump up it is! Down in button size, moving the car around... praise God!

I love it when kiddos surprise us.

~ V ~ said...

I am so, so, so excited to read this. Mmwwwwaaa. Give that little guy a big kiss for me.

sleepy jeanne said...

Yay for Q! I'm jumping up and down, too. Big smiles :-)