Monday, October 20, 2008

Day Two: Training and Initial Evaluation

So, today was a big day for us. We got our first training session and also our first evaluation session.

Training was detailed, detailed, detailed. I know why we need five days to learn everything. I needed several tries just to get my towel folded correctly. They are real specific about angles, and weight shifting, and I know that I'm going to be getting a real workout in the beginning. The interesting part was when they began doing the technique on me. It was sooooooooo relaxing. It's nice to know that this is an almost pleasurable experience for whoever is getting it. Almost everything else I do with Charlie is tough. It's nice that this won't be tough for him (might be tough for me, though).

Today we just practiced getting the towels ready and placing them correctly on one another. Tomorrow we bring the kids in and we will begin tailoring the techniques for our individual child.

Evaluation went as well as can be expected. They strip your kid down to his diaper and then video tape him in many different positions and doing different movements. Some kids really can't handle it, but I just kept humming and he handled it pretty well. He liked being on his back, but did really liked being placed in the sitting position. Big surprise!

Charlie is a classic cerebral palsy kid. He's got all the signs: His neck is too short, his rib cage has a diamond shape, his pelvis is very thin, and his legs splay outward from his body like a frog. His arms move from the scapula rather than the ball of the shoulder, and his legs are very weak at the pelvis. So, the bad news is that its a lot to work on and Leonid will only get into it further tomorrow. The good news is that since he's pretty classic, they've got a lot of ways to help him. Also, the evaluator called him inquisitive and intelligent. Gotta love that (although maybe they say that about all the kids).

For myself, I think I'm really beginning to see how Charlie's body is holding him back. When I talk about how he plays and all the things he can do, I realize that he is fighting with everything that he's got. Now, I've gotta get my hiney in gear so he has more to work with. For some reason, I see so clearly that he is disabled and that they are things he wants to do and he can't. I'm not sure I truly realized that until now.

We tried to go see the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, but apparently they're closed on Mondays. We'll try again tomorrow. We also ate at a restaurant that had heard of ketchup and iced tea, so it must have just been a weird place yesterday.

I'm enjoying myself, but I'm also dog tired. More of the blow-by-blow tomorrow.