Howdy--Alison here. (I'm Neil's sister, for those of you who don't know me.) I'm visiting from Utah for a few days to spend some quality time with the Superbrain.
The title of this post is a bit of a tease; Neil's not quite eating, walking, talking OR smiling yet. But he did make some progress today toward each of those goals.
Eating: Neil's speech therapist came this morning to give him his first real shot at eating. She brought a full breakfast tray like the other patients get. Neil wasn't a huge fan of the oatmeal, but he loved the pancakes! After the therapist fed him a a few bites, she held out the fork to see if he would take it. Sure enough, he grabbed the fork and got the food in his mouth on the first try! He'll still need plenty of help eating, and he's not quite ready to switch entirely to real food yet, but it was a great start.
Walking: With the help of two therapists, Neil was able to walk around the room during physical therapy. He moved his right leg on his own, and although the therapists had to support him and move his left leg for him, they were impressed by how strong that leg is.
Talking: This one is still a ways away, but Neil made definite sounds several times today. No words yet, and we're guessing he doesn't have much control over when/how he vocalizes, but we're hoping that this is the start of some attempts at verbal communication.
Smiling: This might be the most exciting one for those of us familiar with Neil's personality. This morning, Neil was sitting in his chair and Mom was reading to him. He still had a little stuffed dog sitting on his lap from a game we were playing earlier. At one point, when Mom was engrossed in the reading, Neil picked up the dog and threw it at her--hard. She was startled, and I started cracking up. Suddenly, Neil got this huge smile on his face (well, huge for him, compared to the total lack of emotion he shows most of the time). It was fleeting, but Mom and I both saw it. We are sure that was a little glimmer of that sense of humor we love so much.