Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Parent & Child Session with Conductive Learning

Gabe and I made it through a 2 week session of Parent & Child  therapy at the Conductive Learning Center.  It was a great learning and stretching experience for both of us. 

 I entered the program very hesitantly.  There were many concerns about how we would carry out our typical family routines with this added commitment, as well as my concerns about how this type of therapy would interact with the work we have been doing with the Anat Baniel Method. 

I  loved watching Gabe listen and participate during table time: snack speech activities, and fine motor practice.  He especially enjoyed painting and chose the green paint every day! 

 One of the main goals I set for Gabe, during my conversation with the conductors at the beginning of the session, was for him to continue to loosen his upper body and reach for things above his head.  We found that with the proper motivation {and a bit of whining} he was able to do it.  

He also spent more time experimenting with upright movement cruising along the tables, pushing small carts, and walking with our hands.  

A large portion of the session was also focued on "potty skills."  That is my lay mom's term for the CLC's proven method for beginning tolieting awareness.   Gabe actually enjoyed his time on the potty and has adopted it as part of his routine at home.  As for me, during the 2 weeks I learned the art of singing in rhymes, singing in my sleep, singing for snacks, singing for poop...basically singing everything I might ever want to say:)  

Overall, we were very pleased with the program.  It was run professionally and purposefully.  Every minute of the day was choreographed to encourage Gabe to experiment with movement, to play, and to learn.  It was fun to see the way the way he interacted with his friend, as well as with other adults and their instructions.  We really feel like his attention and vocabulary both grew during the two weeks.  It was a great reminder of all that our children are capable of doing when we have high expectations for them.

Monday, February 6, 2012


It's more fun to talk to someone who doesn't use long difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" 
Winnie the Pooh

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Something to Talk About

I was gently reminded yesterday that it has been almost a month since I've updated here and quite a bit changes for a toddler in a month.  It's true.  We certainly have plenty to talk about, yet we're feeling a bit speechless.

Gabe has picked up several new words in his growing vocabulary.  Although we may be the only ones that recognize a majority of his phrases he is beginning to use more phrases and is having fun exploring animal sounds.  As anyone who has spent time with him in January will tell you, "Woof!" is his best friend and his best word.

{sweet talking}

In the last few weeks we have been experimenting quite a bit with Gabe's diet in hopes of finding the right combinations for his digestive issues.  Just when we think we are on to the right balance of natural supplements we are tipped off to new research that suggests that maybe the right balance isn't right after all.  Thankfully Gabe has no complaints about eating. anything. ever.  and he cooperatively gobbles whatever is offered.

Last week we visited our ABM therapist a few times.  It is incredibly exciting to see the progress he is able to make in such a short amount of time when he is working with her specifically starting with the movements that he is already confident with.  I have embraced the idea of only working on movements he is already using independently.  I have defended the controversial, and somewhat experimental, stance on not using AFOs with our therapist and orthotists. We have had several conversations with our in home therapist where we do not see eye to eye on what Gabe should be practicing. I had quite a light bulb moment last week about Gabe's amazing progress and capability. When explaining my frustration to Rene about Gabe's IEP goal of standing for 25 minutes she asked me what our therapist would do about that goal if Gabe was walking by the next time she saw him.  It was just the reminder I needed {again} that despite Gabe's diagnosis I need to dream beyond the limits.

Oh... about that MRI!  Our last neuro appointment was in August and the MRI was in October.  There seems to be inadequate conversation between our doctor here and the doctor in Boston, and neither of them is willing to speak out independently other than to say "It looks ok."
Okay, no syrnx? Okay, how is the Chiari?  Okay, are the vents growing?  Okay, what is the next step?  We obviously still have a lot of questions.  Last week I decided to call for my own copies of the MRI films and radiology reports and Dr. and Dr. Gabe's Mommy & Daddy took our own peek at "OK."  From our untrained eyes we felt there were some good surprises and some expected bummers.  But, overall it will be okay:) We did call for a follow up with our neuro in GR and they were able to get us in for February to discuss our questions after seeing the films.

This week Gabe started a Parent and Child group session at the Conductive Learning Center.  It is a group program with one of his best buds.  We entered the two week session with the hopes of learning how to implement their proven techniques for bladder and bowel training for children with spinal injuries.  Although I  am glad to be learning the strategy, we are already seeing other benefits of participating in the class.  In the first three days I have really appreciated the chance to see Gabe: interact with another child his age, see empathize with each other as one or the other of them cries, mimic his peer, become increasingly more comfortable with his instructor, follow directions, stick up for the things he doesn't want to do, participate in small group fine motor activities, paint, play, experiment, serve his own snack, drink out of a big boy cup, copy movements with his mouth and belly, chase his "woof", shoot hoops, and be downright determined!  I have to admit I have never had as many reservations about trying something with Gabe as I did about this session, but I already feel  the effort to be there with him daily is worth it!  Speaking of needing constant reminders, this class is reminding me{again} on the many pieces of Gabe beyond the gross motor skills we spend so much time focusing on.

However, tonight we bought him a sturdy walk behind toy.

{sweet walking}

No words. Just tears, smiles, and thanks to Him who is able to do more than we ask for or dream of - infinitely.  To Him be the glory in Gabe's life forever.