Wednesday, April 2, 2014

In Which Connor Hits The Road

Today was one of those days that I really needed a clone of myself; Eden and Connor both had appointments at the very same time in different parts of Puyallup.  Here's where one of the major advantages to adopting an older kid comes into play, though: Eden was able to just walk to the library after her dental appointment and wait there for me and Connor to finish up at physical therapy.

Both appointments went really well; Eden didn't have any cavities and, though she got a bit lost on the way to the library, kept a cool head and in the end was able to make it there without too much trouble.  She's really maturing, and I'm very proud of how she handled the situation.

Connor had his third session with the adaptive car he's learning to use right now, and this time I was able to get some video!  He wasn't quite as enthusiastic about it as he was last week, perhaps because he had a couple of short seizures earlier in the day, but he still did some excellent driving.

Right now he's using a head switch because his sensory issues keep him from pressing and holding down a button long enough to get more than a foot or so, and he's also only working on going forward at the moment. We're going to muck around with things in the future, though, and see what else we can do to expand his horizons!  So without further ado, here's Connor going for a spin:

He's doing so incredibly well with the car that we'll be adding in some occupational therapy specifically to see how far we can take this.  This is the first time Connor has been able to consistently move himself independently ever, and it's a huge step for him developmentally.  I can't tell you how incredible it is to see him make his own decision about where and when he wants to move.

Mostly, as it turns out, he channels Ariel from The Little Mermaid.  He wants to go where the people are.  And once he gets to the people, he quits moving and is perfectly content to sit there and look at his hands.  If there's too much noise or activity, he also shuts down.  I suspect that will improve with time; right now even though the car isn't hard work physically, it's got to be pretty mentally exhausting.  As he gets used to the idea that he can get himself around and doesn't have to concentrate quite so hard, I suspect he'll be less sensitive to what's going on around him.

Even though it's difficult, he's obviously having a fantastic time with it, though.  He'll stop at intersections and carefully peer down the hallway to see what's going on before moving on down the corridor.  He waves to everyone once he gets close to them so they can all tell him what a great job he's doing.  And when we go to take him out of the car, he signs "more" and then frantically tries to push the button to run away from us!  It's pretty cute.

So hooray for Connor!  The eventual goal is for him to be able to move himself around independently with a similar vehicle at home.  I can't wait to see what the cats are going to think of this thing!


1 comment:

Kristina said...

So great to see him in action! Emma started with a car (Cooper car?) like Connor's but used hand buttons to move about at PT. She now has a power wheelchair that she drives with her head. It wasn't a big leap from cooper car to wheelchair, but we kept trying to get her to drive with her hands before we decided driving with her head was the way to go. It's working out really well and she is even now starting to drive herself a bit even when people are around - she typically stops to just sit and watch people doing their thing. Good luck!

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