I have been wracking my brain for a creative way to make sure Trevy uses his weak side consistently. Because unless we (meaning everyone who plays any part in Trevy's developmental progress)
force encourage him to use it...new pathways cannot be formed. Eventually the plasticity clock will slow or stop altogether and we'll lose this time. This amazingly miraculous time of new pathways forming where they shouldn't.
But it's just so easy to miss. Left. Right. Left? Right?
I (along with Grams and others) have witnessed professionals missing it. They'll comment to me on how well he's using his right hand or foot. When I'm watching him only use his left.
Sometimes it absolutely blows my mind too. Especially with the hand, which is clearly hanging dead by his side. The thing is...I know he has the ability to use it. All it takes is a gentle restraint of the left arm in tandem with a gentle nudge on the right...and he'll engage.
|See Daddy squeezing Righty? Yeah, we're so committed to this we do it in our sleep! ;)|
I do this all the time at home. Because I'm mommy. Which means by definition alone that I'm fully committed to drawing out his fullest potential. Every decision I make regarding therapies and what-not carries with it the weight of his future. There is no one (outside of immediate family members like Daddy & Grams) more entirely pledged to his very best than me.
|Now see Trevy engaging Righty! Although he was being very cheeky during this photo shoot!|
Now...Trevy is surrounded by teachers and aides and therapists who deeply care for him. And I am so very thankful for those who are invested in him so much! But the reality is...at the end of the day they punch out. And go home to their lives without Trevy. I never get to punch out. He comes home to me. They don't have to spend hours upon hours wondering just how many nights he'll come home because he can't take care of himself. Or wondering if we had just pushed a little more...maybe he could have been more. That is mine to wear. And it shows in the ever deepening lines around my eyes. Which thanks to Picnik I can "soften" away in pictures. It is mine to advocate. And it shows in the perpetual exhaustion that I carry with me all the time. Wish Picnik could do something about that too because the four cups a joe a day aren't really doing the trick.
This post is getting WAY wordier than intended!
So I'll cut to the chase. Which by the way...isn't about bashing his therapists. It's about stimulating everyone in his life see him with more clarity. Because one of my greatest concerns is that many of his deficits (especially in both fine and gross motor areas) are so very subtle that they're missed altogether. Or eclipsed by his bright smiles and silly sense of humor. But we need to see the weaknesses. Because they are there. And missing them is only stealing from Trevy precious, amazingly miraculous time. And I deeply believe seeing...really seeing...his weaknesses will only help all of us push him just a little further. All.of.the.time.
Clearly I have spent lots of time mulling this. Chewing it. Spewing it. Fretting it. Trying to just think of something (outside of me being with him every single moment of every single day) that could help provide clarity.
When I look at Trevy I never ever mistake one arm for the other. One leg for the other. I rarely make such pointed blanket statements. Rarely. I don't like making such matter of fact statements because I don't like to give myself that much credit.
But in this...
I do. I never ever never mistake one arm for the other. I never ever never mistake one foot for the other. I notice the most minutest of details about his movement.
It's almost like when I look at Trevy his right leg and arm are pulsing bright red lights. Unmissable.
But I'm mommy. I'm Designed to notice such things.
And then I had the best idea! Mark his right arm and leg for them too! Make it unmissable. Unmistakable.
Have I ever mentioned that I like to complicate things? Oh gosh. The ideas that blew around in my head ranged from sewing bright red patches onto the right arm and leg of every single piece of apparel he owns to tying a bright red bandanna onto his right arm and leg during therapies. It was Grams who finally said...
what about these puppies...
Holy Smokes! Is that brilliant or what?!
Adorable brightly colored sweat bands with his favorite characters (which is all of them) already sown on them! I may have to purchase Mickey eventually. But I started with a pack of four bright yellow SpongeBob Squarepants that I found in the sports aisle at Target. For ,like, $3.99.
I sent them to school with him today. To put on during his therapies. Or all day if he wants. Because the beauty of it is...it'll help him too! Instead of saying "use Righty" - I can now say "use SpongeBob". And I think it'll be more effective for him too!
I don't know. We'll see. I may have to sew them on after all if he figures out how to take them off!
Because he is cheeky, after all!