Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Day 2-Floortime and Vision Therapy
Jason did much of the floortime therapy with Jenna today as Jake guided us and gave us pointers, suggestions and tips. Throughout today's session, Jenna remained connected in both verbal and non-verbal communication much better and for longer exchanges. She is a quick learner so this with her determination lend for perfect recipe for success. When she saw Jake today, she greeted him with a smile and reached for his hand as if to say, "Let's get started, Buddy". We started in the motor room, which she was very happy about. Jason did a fantastic job facilitating this model and adjusting when needed as he carefully read her cues.
Floortime is actually, quite a dance that no two people ever dance the same way. That is not what floortime is. There is not ONE way or one set of specific steps. It is about following the basics but letting the natural flow of communication take its course. It is learning how to identify the intricate and slightest sharing of communication and building upon what is there. It is changing paths ever so slightly to present just the right amount of challenge in order to facilitate communication problem solving. You must be or get in-tune with Jenna's attempts, both large and small. Any attempt IS purposeful and IS her reaching out in communication.
Jenna is learning to problem solve when it comes to communicating. Communicating her thoughts, needs and wants. What comes "normally" for the typically-wired brain is something that we are building in Jenna's. Once her brain has built and learned those pathways involving the continuous give and take process of communication, language will come. Once those pathways of communication comes, her world drastically changes. Today, we participated in helping those pathways be built. From the reaction and message that Jenna was sending us, she is so very happy about this. After our Floortime session, we met with John, Jenna's vision therapist. I am so impressed by how well she took to John. He is amazing with her and just had a presence about him that was warm, familiar, just the right amount of challenge and showed interested in being her playmate (the goal is to have Jenna engage in fun play THEN incorporate challenge/work). She participated in many games and activities that allowed him to gather information on how she is using her vision. In just today's session, he observed that she may have challenge with effectively using her peripheral and distance vision. He is going to further explore her vision behaviors, specifically in regards to divergence and binocular vision as well as tracking at a distance for longer periods of time. These are areas that he noticed some possible differences today. All in all, today was very productive. Jenna did a fantastic job, as she only had a 20 minute break. By the end though, she was pretty darn tired. I made an appointment with a local pedi who was recommended to us for pedi gastro issues. She is said to take a more holistic look at her patients. I am hoping she may help us in regards to Jenna's digestive issues. I feel that this is a major component in this puzzle of challenges.
This evening, Jason and I took Jenna for a walk around the neighborhood. We are staying in a basement apartment in Bethesda. It is beautiful in this area. It feels as if we are nestled in an old forest of gorgeous trees. We enjoyed the scenery and the variety of birds. There are fireflies EVERYWHERE. Every house has its own unique character and the yards are simply amazing. Jenna had a great time at the park that we stopped at. She is quite the trooper, as she kept requesting to continue our walk around the neighborhood even after we had been out for a while and it was dark. It is nearly 10 here and she is still not asleep.....this has been a little trying for us in that she is staying in the same room with us so these late nights of her being up right up until we fall asleep is starting to take a toll. Case in point? She JUST walked into the room with TWO bottles of Nestle chocolate syrup. Girllllll.....step away from the chocolate mix and for the love of all sanity left in my tired brain.....go to sleep! sigh......... Love this girl........