Friday, May 20, 2011

I have a story to tell!

Considering everything Noam has been through in the past few weeks he has really been amazing! One thing is for sure that I now know that i didn't really prepare him enough for this Journey. In preparing him i mean that I didn't really talk to him about what where we were going. I didn't explain to him why or how, and most importantly I didn't ask him how he felt about it!

As I have discussed in earlier posts the institute has taught me the importance of mediation. Mediation through play and interaction. Today Noam had a so so day! To be totally honest so did I. By the time it came to 6.30pm he was so worked up and angry that I couldn't calm him down to put him to bed. I managed after 15 minutes to get him to lie down. I lay down next to him and patted his head! I began to talk to him like I never have before. It went a little something like this.

ME - "Noam I feel like you are angry, are you angry with Mummy? 
NOAM -he looked me straight in the eye and said "NO".
ME 'Are you angry with Daddy?
NOAM - NO.. 
ME -Shuly? 
NOAM - 'NO" 
ME - Do you miss daddy? I do! 
NOAM - NO (but I think he does) 
ME -What about Shuly? 
ME - And Mika? 
NOAM- NO! - 'play' - 
ME -"Do you want to play with Mika?"

This may sound like a simple discussion especially for a 5 year old! For me and Noam I honestly believe this was the best discussion we have ever had!
He actually got his feelings out with the help of mediation.
Once I understood what he was feeling I was able to explain to him that Mika would also love to play with him and we will go home on a plane in two weeks and see everyone.
He went to sleep feeling calm and with a smile on his face! And so will I
I am going to sleep thanking EVERYONE for giving us this opportunity to learn. I am thanking EVERYONE for giving me my dream, although a simple one, I had a conversation with my son. THANK YOU!!!!
Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The end of the third week

As we reach the end of out third week at the institute the bad news is that I am an emotional mess! Missing Mika, Shuly and Naish and the rest of my amazing family and I am struggling at times to stay strong and motivated. The good news is A) that is totally normal and B) Noam and I are both learning more than i ever expected!
I guess the most important thing to remember is that I am not coming home with all my problems solved or with a kid that can speak fluently. What I am coming home with is with a kid who now see's the world through different eyes and a mother who has been given the tools to teach him to continue the vision.
I have so much more to learn and to gain from my time here and for the rest of my life. I guess in a way I am now a little scared to leave an environment that has given me so much support and knowledge. A big part of me wants to stay and learn and a bigger part of me can't wait to get home and continue.

The week saw Noam grow, making me  even prouder if that is at all possible! Not only is he cooperating but he is also learning, taking what he is learning and relating it to every day life skills and understanding. Today with Ayelet ( Noam's cognitive yoga teacher) we discussed briefly Feuerstein's theory of muscle strength and it's relation to the mind! Unfortunately we were unable to discuss this at length but we have taken a rain check for Sunday. I can't wait to fill you all in.

There was a lot of buzz around the institute over the past few days as Noam managed to do a little disappearing act... I wont elaborate on the details as my heart is still feeling the effects of the event. Let me just say it has given a few of the therapists (actually all the therapists even the ones that don't know Noam) a mission to teach Noam danger! they believe they can teach him to stay with mum, hold hands and not run away! All I can say is I HOPE THEY CAN!!  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Noam and Liat
Learning about sequencing. 
It's not the first time in the past five years that someone has said to me 'Limor, you have to stop being such a good mother'. It's also not the first time these words have brought tears to my eyes. Why?

For those of you who know me well and know my relationship with Noam you will know that we are very close. I will do anything in the world to protect all my kids, to give them the best life I can give them... sometimes the protection is something they just don't need, Noam in particular. For a few years now we have been working on language with Noam. I would have to agree and it is something that the institute and it's wonderful people have pointed out that Noam doesn't have a need to talk. I and we as a family talk for him.. without knowing it we are actually hindering his speech development as well as creating a field of behavioural issues which we play into ( especially me)! I am learning about the capability of a child who every day surprises me.
Today we had some big tantrums. I'll admit that I got to a point where i fell into the trap of yelling and getting frustrated. going head to head with Noam simply feeds into his seek of attention. Slowly I am discovering that the world of speech and explanation (mediation) actually eliminates frustration, lack of communication and most of all anger! I guess I am human and at times struggle as any parent does but the more I learn the more he succeeds!

Today Noam showed me is ability to develop new skills. His ability to learn listen and succeed!
I DID IT!!!!
May I also add that participating in the group sessions at the institute have once again wowed me!! Noam not only enjoyed every minute he thrived! using three word sentences interacting with kids who don't even speak his language! and wait for it, eating CAPSICUM and RICE WITH CHICKEN.

Oh and before I forget, the surprise i wasn't telling you about was a big flop so their is really no point writing about it! sorry, i know you were all getting very curious but really don't loose any sleep over it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Now I did video a session with Shoshana the phycologist today! What a woman!! the session was amazing and we learnt lots about Noam. She also managed to get about three or so FULL sentences out of him. I cant seem to upload it on here!! NOT HAPPY!

I also thought i would quickly add some pictures of the Yoga cards I was talking about the other day just incase anyone is interested!

Tomorrow we are doing something i am really looking forward to... shh it's a secret can't tell anyone yet!
Where to begin? I often write what I think. Most of the time I have no idea if it makes any sense to anyone else... somehow getting it down on paper works for me. Today is no different! We had a fantastic day at the institute today. We continued with the old and added some new. Noam worked with a new therapist today I was a little apprehensive when I looked at the weeks schedule and saw that he had some new therapists. My theory was that we had gotten through two really tough weeks, finally he was settling with the therapist he knows and now they go changing them on me! Well good thing they did. Not that I don't love the others because I do, but this lady was fantastic. She taught me a lot about following through. She worked on behaviour as well as cognitive abilities. We discussed Furensteins three stages of thinking.  There is the input and data gathering stage, the processing stage and  the output stage through intentional mediation Noam is able to restructure his thinking and in tern develop a greater skills in learning abilities.  She explained to me why Noam needs more input and how it will help his overall understanding as well as behaviour. She showed me the difference practically and once again it all just fell into place!

Today i discovered the importance of constantly doing things differently with Noam. Noam is a creature of habit if something is done one way once or twice then thats the way it will be forever! The therapist tried getting him to spell his name with letters.. She had his name on a pice of paper then had individual letters. He had to match them. He did because Noam knows his letters however placed them on top of his name rather than on the board. Noam is used to matching by placing on top! Today after three attempts he learnt a new skill!

Now for the best part of the day! Noam joined a group of five children at the institute. These sessions are run by OT's, Speech therapists, special Ed teachers and I am sure some others.. The idea was to leave him to give me a break! when i left he SCREAMED!! I cried like a baby!! When I came back i could hear Noam from out in the corridor. he was having fun! He came out of the room and was so excited to see me. One of the boys who also has DS a good few years older than Noam asked him if he would like to join them in the class room? the therapist translated for Noam and Noam said YES. Loud and clear YES YES.. he didn't even look back. He went with the boy to the class and sat with the five children.
He actively participated in the group session for 30 minutes. Dong everything all the kids did and interacting! The therapist to my amazement ran the class in english and hebrew!

I got some pictures of the group session but they are a little blurry because I had to hide!