Sunday, September 18, 2011

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

Picnik collage

It's true, change is scary. But it's also good. For me, there's been a lot of change lately. When Kendall's therapist decided to stay home with her kids, it rocked my world. The thought of getting a new therapist made my stomach turn. What if she underestimates Kendall? What if she doesn't like the choices we've made on equipment? What if Kendall doesn't like her? What if I don't like her?!?

With all these questions in our heads Friday, we headed out for our first therapy appointment. Our new therapist has a ton of experience. (she's also not really new to us, as she was our first therapist outside of ECI when K was 5 months old.) I talked it up with Kendall, and decided we were going to call the center her "gym." She was all smiles and giggles in the car, excited to be going someplace new.

The first 30 minutes of therapy went well. The therapist made a few adjustments to her chair, and gave some suggestions about her chest harness and pommel. She assured me Kendall's hip sockets are good and attributed it to all the standing time Kendall has at home. She also gave a lot of suggestions about a "movement plan" for school, to make sure Kendall is not in the same position all day. Our nurse and team at school are already doing that, so no worries there! We also had a nice discussion about the relationship between movement and language, and will be incorporating a few different commands throughout the day. Sort of things we already do, but requiring Kendall to be more of a participant. Basically, being more patient!

The exciting part about the first 30 minutes was that Kendall was sitting unassisted/with little assistance on the mat looking around and with amazing head control.

Then, when we attempted to have Kendall show off her rolling, she lost it. Pulling hair and screaming for about 15 minutes. I really had to bite my tongue. I wanted to just pick her up and change positions and activities for her. She would have stopped crying if we did, but I wanted to follow the therapist's lead. So I sat on my hands. Eventually Kendall stopped crying. And she ended up having a great session.

I feel like I'm making strides in letting go. I hardly worry about her at school anymore, and am getting better at trusting others. I also think the more Kendall's exposed to new and different environments, the more she's soaking in too! I believe that since she eats lunch with the other kids at school, she's now starting to self feed. She used to only eat play doh herself, but now, she's held and taken to her mouth, sandwiches, apples, strawberries, the smushy applesauce in a bag thing, and cookies. Every morning she sits in her chair for about an hour playing and eating breakfast. That's the independence I've longed for for her for about 2 and a half years! Kendall's doing things in her own time.

I'm also knee deep in my eye anatomy class. I'm so not a science person. Never wanted to it is a very big challenge. So far so good. I'm learning a ton. Yesterday I went to a Braille Literacy class at our Education Service Center. Spending time with other teachers (some who still have a passion for it, and some who do not) was also out of my comfort zone. I haven't been to a teacher training class in over 7 years. I was also reminded of how different everyone is! Of course, that's a good thing. All kids are different, so it's good to have different influences on them. But seriously, teachers have a very difficult time staying on topic. I need to work on my patience with that!

My state braille exam is Saturday, so I will also be studying for that all week. Thank goodness I'm able to loosen the reigns with Kendall a little. My brain couldn't take much more right now!

Things are good. We're anxious for this hot weather to go away and all that lies ahead for fall. (except losing daddy to football and hunting!!)


Jennifer said...

Awesome news! Great idea about playing/eating breakfast for so long. I'm REALLY bad about not letting Wade try to feed himself because it takes so long and it's a mess. But, if I feed him first, then let him finish up, this might work. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

LOVED this post, J.!

Her posture in the photos is remarkable - consistent with what you reported in the first part of her new PT appt.

So happy to read on both her growth and your own. Chuckling at how fall means losing dad to football and hunting.

Susan said...

so I've followed your blog for about a year and love getting to know Kendall. My little guy has delays. anyways, I wish I had something more profound to write since this is the first time I'm commenting but I just wanted to say I LOVE Kendall's outfit ! She looks awesome! that was it. take care.

Susan said...

oh thought of something else. so my little guy has global delays. and for about a year or so we've been working on eating with a spoon and I've thought many times, when is he ever going to figure out this scooping thing? so today I put his cereal in front of him and become busy trying to feed his little brother who's really hungry. A while later, I turn around and he's almost finished with his bowl! of course a good amount is on the floor/tray/his shirt. but most of it ended up in his mouth. so keep at it!! one day you'll turn around and Kendall will have finished it herself.

Cjengo said...

AWESOME news!!!