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One-on-one Session November 28, 2011 (Monica)

Nathan and I had a 45-minute session from about 4:30pm. We looked at the pop up number book first, until he got distracted and started flipping briskly through the pages. Then we looked at flash cards until he started licking them. Subsequently, we played with the piano. Nathan likes to lick the DJ wheel of the piano. He also likes to randomly press the upper sound effect buttons.

Our session was cut short when he had to go to the bathroom.

Later on, we sang songs and danced. He really liked the Contours’ song, Do You Love Me, especially the refrain and the lyric about doing the mashed potato. During singing and dancing, he kept strong eye contact. He also gave me a hug, unprompted.

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One-on-one Session November 24, 2011 (Hannah)

Today, I went to visit Nathan at around 4:15. This was my second session with him, and I was excited. I stayed for about 15 minutes, shorter than I wished to. During the time I was there, he was interested in me. He said hi to me by simply looking at me, and I could see that although he may not have say “Hi,” he was somewhat mouthing it. During the time, he was interested in me. I turned my back once to find a toy, and he instantly grabbed me to get my attention! And when I tapped my fingers, he began to tap his fingers as well. When I tapped in a different location, he followed to do the same thing. He was also interested in my hair, touching it but not pulling it, and he liked my necklace as well.

I had his attention most of the time, and almost time when I handed him a handkerchief, he wiped his mouth when he drooled. He was able to ask me where the swing was! It was there last session, and not this time. However, when I didn’t have his attention, he played the toy piano.

After 15 minutes, he started calling for the nanny, and his mom. At first, I was worried I had scared him somehow, but I realized he was tired, and needed a nap, and called for the nanny. She calmed him down, and I left. As I was leaving, he sang several songs, Totoro theme song and Rock-a-Bye Baby. He waved good-bye.

I thought I had his attention most of the time, and that he did really well. I hope this attention will keep up in the future, and hopefully I can eventually get his full attention.

 

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“Son-rising” my way through my Marathon

I joined a quarter marathon yesterday. About 10 minutes into the race. I decided to make an experiment. Instead to focusing on how to run and pace my race, I ran along the side of the road where a lot of people were cheering. As they cheered I smiled back. When they offered their hands, I gave them a High-5!

I don’t believe the whole 10km had strings of people watching. So for the whole hour or so, I was running with a smile on my face.

I thought it would actually slow me down. When I saw a special child waving on the side, I took the extra effort to wave and smile until I was far ahead. I waved to an old lady in a wheel chair…she looked at me as if saying, “do I know her?” LOL. There was like a 500meter stretch of grade school students in uniform who all seemed to enjoy getting high-5’s from the runners. I spent some time there.
To my amazement, I finished the race at the same pace as my regular trainings. But I wasn’t as tired. Well, my right foot was hurting, but I only realized it after the race.

I realized that when they cheer for me, I get more energy. And also, as I smile back, they also get more energy to keep on cheering for the up coming runners. And boy, their job was just as hard as mine. They had to stand and cheer for hours and hours for all the runners. It was such a big event (Kobe Marathon, in Japan) 17,000 participants. That’s a lot of cheering.

They say the way you do your sport is the way you live your life. I used to always look ahead of my long-distance race and worry when the finish line would get here. A tiring way to go. Now, I’ve found a new way of running and I’m enjoying it! Live the moment and smile at every little blessing you get.

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HbOT

We started Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy last week. Same type they do for sports injuries.

We’ve only gotten 4 dives. One dive is an hour of pressurized oxygen (50%) per day. Already I know Nathan is more energized at walking. He tugs less on my hand when walking so I know he’s also balancing himself better.

I know they (HbOT doctors and patents who have tried) say you need 40 dives to see improvements (for autism and CP) but I’m sure I’m already seeing physical improvements.

Nathan’s PT has even changed strategies based on improvements. Before, he said, because Nathan’s walking form was not good, it was not advisable to let him walk alone. It was better to hold him a certain way to correct his walking. Now, therapist thinks his form has improved so walking on his own, for as long as he can/wants, will be good for muscle strengthening.

PS. He has been wearing ankle-foot braces (AFOs) for some months now. That may have helped improve his walking form. But energy-wise, there has been a dramatic improvement since HbOT.

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Good Session with Tita Liza

Nathan had a good session today. During the first 10 minutes Nathan gave Tita Liza his full attention identifying numbers, animals and reading sight words.

For now, 10 minutes seem to be limit in terms of attention. It took more and more effort to catch his attention and the session ended after 25 minutes.

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A First!

As Nathan sat on his school bus today, he blew me a kiss! A first! I have been waiting for this moment for a very long time.

At the beginning of the school year, Nathan used to give me an ok-what’s-happening look as we separated at the bus station. I was always anticipating a warm good-bye but all I got were blank stares. Yesterday I got a rare smile. Today was the best, a flying kiss!

Before the bus came, we were simply being silly and just laughing. I almost missed the bus. I was happy because Nathan wad happy…I didn’t know why he was 🙂 that’s fine. It was a good morning for both of us.