Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer Mystery Revealed

The other day I posted a picture of our improved garage to see if you clever people could guess what my plans were for our summer.

The kids (and I) will spend time most days creeping and crawling, like puppies or alligators.  We do this in the name of neurological growth.  Rosie's really needing help with her neurological development to support her vision, hearing, emotional development and movement coordination.  Theo, as any of us, can always use a little brush up on his organization.

Years ago this was how we spent our days, working with Theo to resolve some rather large neurological issues.  Working shortly with the Institutes for the Advancement of Human Potential (yes, how posy is the name, but really pretty true to their mission) and then with the delightful team at the Family Hope Center, my goal was to set Theo up to thrive in his life rather than just teach him to cope with the challenges he might face.  Every 6-9 months we flew to Philadelphia, had Theo re-evaluated and came home to execute our newly tweaked programs.

By the time Theo was 7, I felt really good about where he was at.  With a huge sense of relief and freedom, we stopped doing programs and moved into really focusing on homeschooling and connecting with our new homeschool community.

Rosie trailed along with all we had done over the years. She spent her first week visiting FHC at 9 months and at 18 months announced in the bathrooms there, "No more diaper, Mommy, no more diaper" that marked the decisive moment of her potty training. Over the years, she tottled around the offices getting out toys and chatting up people as if she owned the place.  Starting from the first moments we held her, Bill and I sincerely and carefully applied all we had learned at IAHP's Better Baby classes to help create an environment of optimum neurological growth for her.  She spent time on the floor with Theo and I each day as we ticked off miles of creeping and crawling.  So I have always assumed she'd be neurologically clean.  But she is her own person with her own needs and challenges. While I did have Rosie evaluated when she was 4 by my friend Donna Bateman (now Parents With Purpose), who trained with FHC, I only put a half hearted effort into working on the few niggly things that showed up on the evaluation.

Now, at 7, I'm seeing that her neurologial organization is holding her back.  I had Donna look at her again in February, and it was clear to both of us that Rosie needed extra help. Honestly, though, I've been super reluctant.  Working with Theo was 5 years of serious focus, maybe harder than anything else I've ever done.  I want to have washed my hands of that phase of our lives.  But, my girl needs me and what I know and can do for her. A few weeks ago I finally faced the truth that full-on programs is what she needs, and it is time to get serious.

And you know it is serious when we clear out the garage and lay down the mats.

There is a silver lining in the clouds of miles of floor time (besides a healthy, thriving child as if that's not enough). Working with Theo over the years developed a deep bond of commitment, caring, fun and companionship that will forever inform who he is, how he is the world and who we are to each other.  I look forward to sharing that with them both, especially getting to put that level of focus on Rosie over the next few years.

The mats are down.  Feel free to come join us for some creeping and crawling, we'll be there.

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