The Princess Calls

Friday’s speech group really motivated me to find every way possible to provide language opportunities for Abbie. This means that I will now program her switch so that she can check herself in to every appointment and therapy session, for example. It also means that we keep the switch in her hand all day. As I was putting her to bed tonight, I thought, “Why stop there? Why not let her have her switch at night?” I couldn’t think of too many things that would be more motivating than to be able to call me to her bed if she wanted or needed me.

So, I programmed in two messages: “Mommy, I need you!” and “Mommy, could you come here, please?” I tucked her in, put the switch in her hand and told her that if she needed me, she could call me. I didn’t even get a chance to step away from the bed before she took me up on the offer. I laughed and was happy she’d caught on so quickly. That happiness continued over the next 30 minutes as she called me about 15 times. Sometimes she needed to cough and wanted to be sure I was there to help or clean it up. Other times she just wanted to chat. Putting myself in her shoes, it is a basic necessity to be able to call someone when you can’t get out of bed…I don’t know why it took me so long to think of this.

We saw another new skill today. I was putting her on her tummy, and she was doing a good job holding herself up on her elbows, which isn’t new. She held her head off the floor, which also isn’t new. What was surprised us was watching her lift her head until she was looking straight forward. I haven’t really seen her be able to hold that position since just a couple months after her injury when she was using her high tone instead of her own strength. Another glimpse into the wonderful things happening in Abbie’s body and brain right now.