Monday, October 20, 2008

ABR: First Training Day

We had our first training session at the ABR Center today. We got there nearly 45 minutes early (so you know I wasn't in charge) so we hung out for awhile and got to chat with Jessica and Paxson and Melanie, Daniel and Lonnie.

Jennifer, Paxson, Melanie, Daniel, Erin, Fletcher

Our first three-hour session started off with a lesson on how to fold towels. I am not kidding. Apparently it is very important for the technique to fold the towels just so. According to the trainers, towels are used as “air cushions” to ensure that there is no compression of the superficial tissues (skin and superficial muscles) and allow the energy to go through the barrier of skeletal muscles to reach the deepest layers (smooth muscles). Trevor and I had to practice building up the towels just so and practicing on each other, so we could give each other feedback (something obviously Fletcher cannot do) and help each other learn the technique. I must admit, Trevor is much better than I am at this.

Fletcher Wondering Why Mom is Laying Under a Pile of Laundry

I am still not sure how this all is supposed to work, but I can tell you one thing. The trainers claimed that this therapy is very relaxing to the recipient, and I can attest to that. Quite a departure from traditional therapy, that is for sure!

After our session, a few of us from our training class, including Marcela, Owen, and Nathan and Jennifer, Todd and Tyse (who you can "meet" at their carepage (care page name: Tyse)) headed over to the Botanical Gardens. It was a little chilly, but I had a nice time checking out the exhibits and chatting.

Entrance of the Botanical Gardens
Jennifer, Tyse, Erin, Fletcher, Owen, Nathan

Family Picture at the Chinese Garden's Magic of Lanterns Exhibit

Magic of Lanterns Exhibit
Todd, Tyse, Owen, Nathan, Trevor, Fletcher

It was so nice to really be on the same page as other moms. At one point, Marcela said, "Ooh, Fletcher has nice tongue lateralization" which turned into a whole discussion about feeding and augmentative communication. I can not tell you how thrilling that was for me. Those of you with no kids, or "typical" kids, probably think I am crazy, but all you special moms out there totally know what I am talking about.

Fletcher has his first evaluation tomorrow morning and our second training session in the afternoon, where we will start practicing the technique on Fletcher instead of each other. Sometimes the baby can get fussy during eval or training, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that Fletcher takes this in stride like he does most everything else!


Kimberly said...

After reading all you write and getting to know you and Trevor more and more I really respect all you do for Fletcher and each other! I love seeing the pictures of your amazing family in Canada...smiling and having fun in an unusual situation. I will miss you tomorrow morning!

Bird said...

I love the quote under the picture of you with all the towels. SO true! I have to admit that I like the fact that we use a lot less towels on the kids.