This is our goal for Jii Nou.  The Siriwan School for the Disabled.  It is a very large school that offers academic, vocational, para-olympic, university-prep (Khon Kaen University), physical and occupational therapy, and lots of new friends.   Barbara has been working hard with Jii Nou for him to be able to meet the qualifications for entrance to the school.  It is going to be challenging for a child with his disabilities but with Barbara nothing is impossible.

Check out a video of him learning to put his shirt on here.     Another really cute one of him learning to zip and do the clasp on his shorts. Teaching Jii Nou how to put on his shirt is not easy but he’s coming along.  Jii Nou has dystonic cerebral palsy.  He has no control of his limbs and they move or do not move when he wants them to.  Accomplishing this task is no small feat for him.  We have practiced this exercise over and over daily.  He was able to put his own shirt on with no help from me at all.  He wanted to watch “Finding Nemo” so I made him a deal.  If he puts on his shirt on his own, he gets to watch Nemo.  Success!

We woke up this morning to no electricity in the house and it was very hot.  When we have no electricity, nothing works in the house, not even the toilet.  I decided to move our routine out to the front porch to stay cool and to focus on JiiNou’s fine motor coordination.  So far, I had him pushing wooden balls into a can.  Now I had him pushing large flat glass marbles into the small holes.  It was not easy, but he managed to do it.  The big difference today was that he understood what was expected of him and he completed the task with no complaints.  Next, I had him string large beads on a shoe string.  I totally expected him to fail and got ready for him to have a tantrum.  No tantrum.  Instead, he used his ” magic fingers ” to maneuver the beads into the string.  He struggled but he finished in a reasonable time.
It was very hot and humid so we decided to bathe him outside and go to Lao Itecc Mall to cool off.

Bathing, or Maybe Better Put, Playing with the Hose, here.

There is a playground next to the supermarket and he loved it.  We used the apparatuses to get him to work his muscles while having fun. We were surprised to see how well he balanced on the rocking horse.  Next we put him in this huge steel swinging boat.  He totally rocked it, not falling at all.  Next, he was so excited to go down the slide, he actually climbed the stairs with assistance from me correctly. One foot in front of the other.  Btw…he is using his right arm in tandem with his left arm now.  This is a big step forward.  It shows that he is becoming more in time with his body.  

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Yesterday, while he was strapped to the standing table, he had a dystonia episode where he just lost control of his lower limbs.  He found himself bent over and twisted.  Normally I would have to go and untwist him manually.  This time, I just told him to use his right hand to grip the table on the right side and use his left hand to grip the left side.  He actually did it and then I told him to pull himself up and HE DID IT!!!. I was so proud of his accomplishment!  He also went on to do it 3 more times.  He cannot control the dystonia, but he has now learned how to recover from it, reducing his incidence of injury in the future.  This is a milestone not expected but so happy he achieved it.  He also eats independently now and tells us when he needs to go to the toilet.  He crawls to the bathroom by himself, touches the toilet and let’s me know he did it so I can put him on it or help him undress to pee.  He talks with us about everything and asks questions.  We always try to give him answers so he can understand.  We encourage him to try everything in order to succeed at a task and finally today, I think he GETS IT.

We have just one more week to get Jii Nou ready for the testing at the school.   So far, it looks like Shimoda Boot Camp has him moving forward closer to being accepted into the Siriwan Disability School.  Tomorrow, we will practice more on putting the shirt on and off and climbing stairs.

Our electricity came back on just as we were packed and ready to go to a hotel at about 7:00pm.  Funny how life is.  When you don’t need it anymore, it comes back to you.  After dinner, I did extreme leg stretches with Jii Nou.  He did not like it one bit.  He cried and howled but later was doing them on his own.  


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