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Sunday, April 07, 2013


This afternoon the kids and myself went to the pool and they learned how to swim. It happened by accident; none of their friends were there so Nora and Stuey had lots of time to practice floating on their backs and doing the doggie paddle. They teased and splashed eachother. 

 Nora preferred the doggie paddle and crawl stroke and Stuey floated on his back and kicked. After 1 hour in the kiddie area, the kids wanted to venture to the deeper area, so off we went.

The kids did wonderfully. I couldn't believe how it just clicked for both of them. After 7 years of swimming with the kids, it was an "Ah-ha" mommy moment- watching them swim over to the deep end without their life jackets. Stuey required a bit more intermittent help. He would say, "Don't help me!", then he would swim along and a minute later he would scream wanting me to help him. It was quite funny; wanting so badly to not have me help, but he had to have my help occasionally. He philosophically disapproved of my help, but physically had to have it. 

After the  kids both swam a length across the width of the pool together, I relished in the moment. Gave them both big hugs. I think the days of life jackets in the pool are over. On the car ride home, I stopped and got them hot cocoa and ice cream cones--a bit lavish of a snack to celebrate their new accomplishment.  I'm thrilled with what they achieved without swimming lessons and to see the pieces all click in their attempts. 

Nora said, "Mom, so pretty soon-you'll be able to just take us swimming and go sit in the bleachers and do something". I smiled big to myself--that was a neat thought. The fun part about parenting is being part of these accomplishments and watching them venture out.

The first week of Nora's 20 week auditory processing program is done and it went incredibly smooth. I didn't know what to expect as far as Nora's reaction, effort and my confidence with it all. I was expecting tears, resistance, rebellion, but had none of that.

Nora has made progress with most of the exercises and its cool to see the changes in just 1 weeks time!

For instance, one of the exercises I do every session has her sitting on my  treatment stool, which rotates. She  closes her eyes and I slowly turn her on the stool. I stop the stool and she has to tell me when I stop it. When we first started this, she had a very hard time telling me when the stool stopped moving. Today, she got it right 100%. I was proud of her to see this progress. This is just one of many examples of things "clicking" with her vestibular (movement) system.

Another activity which has gotten easier is her ability to draw figure 8's on a wipe on board AND track my finger drawing a figure 8. I remember in Seattle when the teacher first demonstrated this first round of activities, it was very challenging for Nora to track with her eyes or draw a figure 8. I was surprised by how incredibly challenging this was for her and I think I just took for granted that this was something that, of course she could do! But it proved to be very difficult for her.

 Now she is able to easily draw a figure 8 and track with her eyes as I draw one in the air! This are such critical connections being made in her brain and I know it is going to help her in so many different realms of her life.

Having this much time with  Nora gives me an appreciation for how she  generally doesn't get frustrated if she doesn't get it right the first time. She works hard, and keeps trying. She is very persistent which I admire. These hours of time with her are really giving me more insight into who she is.  Some of the exercises have time where we are to make conversation, ask questions, etc- while holding a balance pose, for instance. This gives time for silly, fun talk and there is nothing more that I love than laughing with Nora. She has a great sense of humor.

I will be pulling Nora out from school an hour early, 2 days a week so I can compete her home program at my clinic when it is quiet-and without Stuey. I think we'll have a good routine going from now until the end of the school year.


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