Friday, May 16, 2014

Expressing ourselves

I don't think there has ever been a week when I have done more thinking. Thinking is exhausting! I am mentally and emotionally drained. I have been thinking while I sleep, drive, shower, work, exercise and "relax." Certain things about Elijah keep making more sense, and I've also had a few hiccups.

I have tested him a lot in the past few days because I just KNOW that he does retain visual images on some level. We haven't been to the dropzone since August or September of last year. So this morning I asked him, "What color is the couch in our dropzone trailer?" He looked up at the ceiling as though he was picturing it and confidently said, "GREEN!" Correct. "What color is the airplane at the dropzone?" "Blue and white!" Correct. "Tell me what you picture when you think of the dropzone." "Daddy's locker. It's blue and it's number 34. And the bowling balls in the hangar. And my little red car. And the fun toys in our trailer, like the silly bowl that talks and has broccoli in it." Ok, unless he literally has spoken all of that to himself repeatedly, he just HAS to have some visual recollection, right? Did we somehow teach him to do that? Or is it just a gift from God that he is able to do this?

This week I have also been thinking about myself and how I remember/envision things. I have never given conscious thought to this topic before! I am also very word driven. Written words are my strength. If I want to pull a thought out of my head, I write. Without writing, I can't always make sense of what is in my head (hence having two blogs that I write on often!). If I try to speak a complicated thought without rehearsing it first? Forget it. It's clumsy and it never comes out accurately. I also express myself by creating. Photography, painting and design are all ways of communicating for me. But written words are my strong suit. We all have different ways of communicating effectively, and I think it is important that we know what works best for ourselves. As children, our parents learn these things about us, advocate and explain it to educators and caregivers. As adults, we learn to advocate for ourselves and accommodate as needed.

Dan and I will continue to advocate for Elijah. For Sammy, too, when necessary, but for now Elijah needs it. I feel a storm brewing as we anticipate changes in educators, labels and understanding of diagnoses, etc. Dan and I are educating ourselves as much as possible in order to help Elijah (and Sammy) receive the best educational and worldly experiences possible!

A few thoughts and then I'm going to "relax" before bed ("relax" = think some more). :)

- Given the scope of Elijah's challenges that we learned about this week, I am AMAZED that he ever has even a single "great" day at school. This week has totally changed my perspective about his behavior. "Okay" is the new "great," as far as I'm concerned.

- A friend sent me a link to a very enlightening blog post, written by an adult with NLD. It is sooo interesting. Take a peek if you have a moment!

Thanks for checking in! Have a great weekend!

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