This patient I care for 1:1 is beginning to use her vocabulary to communicate appropriately better and better all the time. She is also becoming more and more comfortable with personal interaction and there has been a significant decrease in violent/self injurious behaviors. I've previously posted a few topics in regards to some of her triumphs.
So, it was a cold, COLD day. It ended up snowing in fact, so you know... it was kind of dark outside. We spend a few hours a day in her playroom each day, during that time she faces the bedroom window. She kept gazing out her window today. Normally she doesn't care much to look outside, but today she did much more then usual. I watched her eyes fix on single snowflake and follow it's slow falling path, then once out of site onto the next ... this calm and content demeanor was captivating in itself, not her norm for sure...
Because of her mellow mood I decided to compliment it with some "soothing" AC/DC (one of her all time faves but definitely did not suit the ambiance at the moment!) ... not a good choice ... so I notice she is becoming agitated. I quickly begin changing out the CD for another and say, "Oops not that one, huh? Let's change it." She looks at me and says, "There ya go." (Another anomaly!) I was tickled, I laughed and said "Oh you know what you want don't ya smart girl?" She says, "Mhmmm"
At this point I'm ecstatic but trying to keep my cool somewhat, I went on to say "good job!" and give her a high five, to which she willingly raised her palm to recieve and smiled.
So back to the chill vibe she was looking for. She continues to gaze out the window and goes on to say softly ..."night?" I reply in a soft voice back "it's goodmorning time, look it's snow, you see? Pretty huh?" She returns with a ... *long soft gasp* and with a soft breathy tone says, "wow... look at that."
Then, just like that, her head turns away from me. Her strong arm tenses up to form a fist aimed to hit herself out of either excitement or frustration. Her arm/elbow restraint goes on. And there it went... our social interaction is over... for the rest of the day. Quickly, as gently as I can and efficiently as I can provide all of her g-tube care, incontinence care, position changes/transfers, etc.being careful to look for nonverbal ques that she is becoming unbearably uncomfortable with physical contact, in which I have her restraint on standby for her own safety.
She's come a long way though. Her parents and doctor confirm.
It was a such a sweet simple moment. However, this ability to exchange a few sentences back and forth with understanding, to interact on a personal level even if just for a few seconds, it was just a major feat for her.
Days like this, little bits of progress like this, are what I strive for.