Dale had a really good day on Friday. In Speech, he made his therapist very happy when he looked at her and said, "Hi, Erina." She broke out in a huge smile and said, "Hi, Dale!" His Speech class went very well after that; he seems to do his best when he gets Speech first thing in the morning (when he is freshest). He was writing things down as well---in cursive!---for the times we could not understand the word he was using. He was also upgraded to thin liquids!!! This is the last step toward a regular diet for him. Last week during the swallow study, Dale would allow thin liquids (water) to penetrate his airway without noticing it. Today, he took several small sips of water easily, only coughing on the last one. But he gave a good enough cough that the therapist felt that he was now noticing if something went down the wrong pipe and would continue to cough until the airway was cleared. YES!!!
In PT, the therapist and I were pleased by Dale's control and balance. He seemed to have an easier time releasing the bean bags during the session, something that has been plaguing him for a while. Today again his release mechanism seemed to be working better and he seemed to be able to stay on task a little longer without prompting.
During OT this afternoon, Dale was working at the "assembly line" task project, picking up a metal pin and fitting it with a black piece before capping it with a white piece. Then he needed to put the assembled project into one of a series of holes on a turntable. At first, the turntable was still, and Dale could somewhat easily put the completed set into the hole. Then, the therapist had Dale turn on the machine, causing the turntable to rotate. Dale was supposed to assemble the set in his hands, then fit the metal pin into the moving turntable holes. Instead, he actually managed to put a metal pin in a hole, fit a black spool over it, and cap it with the white piece before the turntable rotated out of reach! Although we all laughed over Dale's way of getting around the rules, the therapist made Dale do it correctly before he called the project a success!
For me, the biggest joy was actually getting to see my son smile and laugh!!! Chad came into the room yesterday afternoon while I had Dale doing a connect-the-dots worksheet. I had told Dale that, even though the puzzle was rather simple in nature, the concentration required to complete the worksheet would help him. He had to connect the dots from point A to point Z. When Chad asked if Dale was too tired, I replied that he needed to concentrate and finish the task. Chad responded, "Hey, Dale. You can even cuss if you want. You can FO-CUS." I just looked at my husband, but Dale got a huge grin on his face and LAUGHED! He sobered up for a few seconds and then grinned and laughed again. Was I ever delighted! I had just a few days ago said that I was so looking forward to when Dale could readily smile and laugh again, and then God blessed my heart with seeing him do just that. What a wonderful God we have Who cares about the small things as well as the big things. He truly is awesome.
I know we've said this before, but we are truly thankful to all of you who have been thinking of us, praying for us, sending such thoughtful cards and letters, providing us with meals and goodies, and making us feel God's love through you. You have helped make this event-filled time one of love and hope by your care.
II Corinthians 2:14-15 "Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish."