Home again, safe at last.
-Berenstein Bears and the Spooky Old Tree
This is the last line of the book my mom used to read to us. It was the first book Gabe read to me from cover to cover after learning to read. And out of habit, I used to always say this line out loud every time we came home from somewhere. It didn't even have to be a spooky somewhere. It was always just fitting as we walked through the door and were safe at home.
So it's fitting because we are, in deed, home again, safe at last.
We did an entire week in Phoenix for ABM therapy. We attended an intensive, which is twice a day for five days.
I'm not going to lie, the first three days were tough. Not the therapy, by any means. It's actually an extremely gentle therapy of touch and manipulation.
Christian was just miserable. I'm not sure what it was...maybe teething? But it was completely exhausting for us both. Christian was tensed up, his head was stuck to the left (remember when it used to be his right?), and he just wasn't ready to learn anything. Which is kind of counter productive for ABM.
But by day 4, there was a calming. His head came out of it's left sided hyperextension. He wasn't crying. He was finally calm. Then, I finally saw him tune in and learn. That night, he did cry a little when I laid him down (this is becoming a habit - crying unless he's held). I picked him up and started working with him in ways I had observed him with the ABM practitioner. I was also watching a seminar by Anat Baniel explaining the ABM therapy and how the brain and body tie together (it was fascinating stuff!).
And he started moving in ways I haven't seen before. He grabbed for his foot, kicked up his right foot, and let me manipulate his shoulder blades and arms (usually pretty sensitive for him).
We completed the last two lessons today and we got an extra something along with it. Our practitioner, Michelle, invited one of her friends who worked in early intervention and visual services for a long time, came to work with Christian and his vision while he was getting ABM. It went great! He was able to track a small, yellow toy lion that sat atop the lady's finger - mostly to the right, but he looked down, as well. He was also able to reach for that and some red beads in the afternoon session. He was so attentive and really tried to get what was held in front of him a few times.
I also did a lot of learning. If you had asked me in the beginning of the week whether this was something we'd continue, I wasn't too sure. Mostly, because of my exhaustion from Christian's constant state of discontent. But now, I have a different feeling about it. It makes so much sense and would take me forever to explain and I'm not sure I'd explain it correctly, but it's something I'd like to pursue for Christian.
I was also able to experience a little of it and that kind of ties things together - really feeling what Christian is feeling.
I can't say that the trip home went as smoothly as the last two days of lessons. It took three and a half hours! The amount of highway accidents in Phoenix during midday traffic is ridiculous. Let me just say that right now. After pulling over to change diapers, clean up vomit, nurse a baby, and get food, we were finally home.
Christian's Daddy was really happy to see him. He held him for a while and I was so surprised by Christian's reaction. Well, not surprised that he liked sitting with Daddy. He's always like that, even before the accident. But he was so aware of who he was sitting with (he's become quite particular about who holds him these days). He slung his arm over Manny's midsection and kept moving his arm back and forth over his chest. He was so content. It was like he missed his Daddy. We all missed Daddy.
We learned a lot. We learned a lot as in Christian and I. When you do this type of therapy you really have to learn what it's doing. You can't just simply observe or it looks like just a bunch of touching. Next weekend we're going to California to learn even more about the therapy. It's always a learning experience.
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