Formerly "Neil Stone Updates"

Monday, March 2, 2009

New Therapy and a Big Thumbs Up

Neil's been having physical therapy, occupational therapy, cognitive therapy, speech therapy, and some occasional pet therapy. Today he had some music therapy. They took him into a small darkened room with a cool-looking lava lamp type thing and colors projected on the ceiling. Then they played some of his favorite music from our borrowed iPod. I think they had him throwing balls at the colors, and a few other low-stress activities. The best thing to come out of the session was his use of thumbs up and down.

A bit of background: although Neil is understanding quite a surprising number of things, he has been having trouble communicating yes or no. He hasn't been able to comprehend the meaning of, "if you want this, then give me a high five," or "if you don't want any more, then shake your head." He will give you a high five if he sees your hand up, no matter what you ask for. If you hold out two objects to choose from, he will undoubtedly choose the one on the right side. We have been trying "thumbs up for yes" since he was just opening his eyes in the ICU, but the concept seemed to elude him. We recently started to have a few inconsistent thumbs up responses, but I was surprised when the therapists said he was giving both thumbs up and thumbs down at appropriate times. I left for home this afternoon, shortly after his music therapy, but Scott confirmed that he showed adamant preferences for food at dinner tonight by using the afore mentioned digit. This is big folks--a huge breakthrough in communication!


Alison + Brandon said...

Cool--I saw a picture of that color thing on the wall at the rehab place when I was there, and I was wondering what it was. Sounds like good times!

Meredith said...

It is amazing when what seems like games is actually therapy. They sure do know what they are doing, don't they? It all has a purpose. Thumbs up and a big high five, Neil!!!

Anonymous said...

Good Job Neil! Still thinking about him and checking the blog regularly. im really glad to hear that he's improving with every day and yu are all still in my thoughts and my prayers!

Lisa from school

Polly said...

Sounds like they are keeping Neil very busy! WE are so excited about his progress. I think Kendall would have liked the music - light therapy today!! Sounds very cool.
Love, the Roberg's

Anonymous said...

My son Andrew knows Neil and says he's a very genuine person with the type of character that very few young teens possess today. He's a great friend & human being. He wishes more friends could be like him. A great role model. May the Lord, send forth a guardian angel to watch over him during recovery. Bless the family & medical staff that are helping him.