Friday, February 27, 2009

Something to think about...

I'm preparing a talk for Stake Conference and I ran across this scripture ... isn't it great?

"And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
"And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
"Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him."

John 9:1-3

A Good Day

Like all of us, Ryan has good days and ... well, not so good days. On his not so good days, he can barely hold his head up, his arms and legs go from being really floppy to really stiff, his arms seem to move randomly, and he throws up everything he eats. On his good days, he can lift his head and only has a little bobbling, his legs push against things, he babbles and sings with us, and he just generally seems interested in his environment.

Thursday was a good day. His vision intervention (VI) therapist came over. He was asleep when she got here, but we woke him up and he did some good work for us. (This is especially significant because recently he has been "sleeping" to avoid therapy. Did you know a baby can truly play possum? Ryan is great at it. Last week his Developmental and Occupational Therapists came over. He went to "sleep" and woke up while I was standing at the door saying good bye. Smart boy.)

Anyway ... I have now set up my closet as our black box. The downstairs half bath just gets a little too warm with 2 or 3 adults and a baby and all the equipment. Thankfully it is a large walk in closet ... or think really small bedroom.

We turn off the lights so that it is completely dark except for the spotlight. We put a spotlight on a single bright object. Babies with CVI, like Ryan, tend to show a preference for a specific color. We thought Ryan's was neon pink, but not anymore. The preference of the day was neon green.

We first showed him this green ball with the light shining up through it. He really liked it! He grabbed it with his left hand and held on to it while we moved it to the right. He doesn't track objects smoothly like most of us do, but he did very akwardly "follow" the object.

We then tried the neon pink slinky, but he would have none of that. So, we moved onto the neon green slinky with the light shiny down through it. He didn't respond until it started moving. He seemed to watch it a lot, but wasn't as responsive with his hands to the slinky today.

After adequate time with the slinky, we tried a spinwheel. (Remember those?) The first one we used was orange and silver. He didn't respond at all to it. Not even when it was moving. So, then we used the silver and red. He eventually responded to it, but not as well as to other objects. He would look at it and then bat at it with his hands.

I was surprised at how long he was willing to work today. It is a lot of work to learn new skills. We take so many things for granted in early childhood development. But children's "play" is really a lot of work. No wonder they need so much more sleep.

I'm thankful for the good days!

Thursday, February 26, 2009