The Daughter Chronicles

Friday, November 28, 2008

A deliberate, purposeful life

One of the things that is most frustrating about Mia's situation is that she often seems to have no interest in doing the things that she needs to do to get better. She does the work, but she doesn't want to do it, so she whines about it a lot. Her therapists often tell us that if she could ever figure out that she wants to do a lot of stuff, it would be a lot easier to teach her to do it. Even if she works well, she never gets to the point where she wants to do it, so it's a bit pointless, although we keep trying (of course).

Recently, however, it seems like she's been more deliberate with what she does. She still whines a lot when her PT and I help her walk, but her steps are better and she's more sure of herself. She still doesn't walk very well in her gait trainer, but when she's being helped, she seems to understand that this will help her get around and therefore she can get in more trouble. And isn't that what motivates kids?

In her speech, she's definitely more interested. I have a feeling it's because of school, where she likes to interact with the kids, and because of Norah, who speaks more and more every day. She is using longer sentences and more appropriate language, which is nice. She's also more interested in using utensils and writing implements, especially when she signs her name. She loves signing her name, and while she used to hold a pen or pencil rather limply, she now grips it very well and forcefully writes the letters, even though she's still not very good at writing them. She is very engaged in her therapy and in school, which is what we always wanted. Even though she isn't very good at a lot of stuff, that's relatively unimportant, because we have time. What we've been looking for is the effort, the desire to better herself, and recently, it seems like that's been there.

As I've always said, we take the long view with regard to Mia and her progress. That's easier to do when you can see her making the effort, rather than just being propelled along by her PT or prompted endlessly by her speech therapist. If she realizes how much her life would improve if she were motivated, then it will come easier for her and spur her to more improvement. So we're hoping that this isn't a temporary burst of excitement about her therapy but rather a permanent change, because it would make life easier for her (and us, of course, but that's not all that important). It's amazing how much an attitude change helps!


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