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Monday, May 13, 2013

Chase, PACE and "Fetch"

Chase and "Fetch"
This weekend was the official start of archaeology season with the arrival of our first field archaeologist, Chase. He arrived yesterday from New Hampshire and this is his second time on a dig with Patrick. He was last here 5 years ago and its been great to have him back. Stuey has taken quite a liking to him, asking him to play lincoln logs, etc.

This morning something quite comical happened. Stuey woke up, Chase was still sleeping.
When Stuey woke up, he was looking around for Chase. I could tell he was trying really, super hard to remember Chases name.

He finally asked "Mommy, is Fetch up?"

I told Chase about Stueys' name confusion and we got a good laugh out of it! Especially since Chase absolutely loves dog and runs/maintains sled dog teams for a living. Another dog action-verb name...

Elke, Patrick, Chase and Stuey at Mothers Day Dinner last night. Patrick made Deer roast, Yorkshire pudding, green beans and dinner salad. So yummy!


Today was my first day doing PACE (Processing and Cognitive Enhancement) with Nora. I've been prepping for a few weeks and was excited to finally give the program a go. Nora was enthusiastic with it and it is actually very fun-a combination of a variety of mental exercises and games. Becka in Seattle gives me the 6 exercises I am to every day and we go through them one by one. It was exciting to see her progress within the exercises even today!
More to come on that with video of some sort later.


Over the years I've had many supportive family and friends to help console me as I've worked to find the right combination of treatment and approaches for Nora. On a walk this past weekend with one of these handful of friends, she said, "Zoya, I remember a year ago when I walked into your house. Nora was upside down on the recliner chair biting her nails. You looked at me and were at wits end. You didn't know what to do to help make Nora happy." I got a good laugh out of this, thinking about how far we had come.

On the flip side, I've also had well intentioned friends/family/aqcuaintenances/nannies/therapists  who have said or inferred that I wasn't being firm enough or strict enough with Nora. They said that if I was firmer, then she would listen better or behave better.

Some people would try to model what they thought were "good discipline" approaches to use with Nora which were ultimately unsuccessful. Techniques which worked great for their kids (or for Stuey) did not work well for Nora.  I always knew inside that I WAS firm enough and now I really, really appreciate the handful of  friends who really encouraged me and helped me seek other avenues of treatment for her difficulties.  I wouldn't give up in finding something that would help address the base underlying problems.

Going through this makes me more sensitive to the challenges we face as moms and parents with our kids. What works for one parent/child relationship, won't work for another. All the good discipline/parenting books in the world was not going to solve the internal struggles Nora was having. Her struggles were a direct result of auditory and vestibular systems of her brain not connecting and working with each other.

The most important thing we can do as moms/parents/therapists is to be compassionate, caring, supportive of each other and to help bring each other up during down times.

Nora is essentially a changed, more relaxed confident girl as a result of this program. Our family is happier, and have a more peaceful relaxed rhythm. It is not as a result of me being heavy handed, or firmer. It is a result of finding the right combination of treatments to help "reset" her auditory system and help her be more settled inside herself.


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