Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Socially Conscious Snowman

I went to school to help with Robert's class Valentine's Day party, which went just fine.  I stopped by Edith's class to say hi, as I'd promised her I would.  On the bulletin board outside her class were arranged one of those displays of early elementary school art: snowmen collages, all with the same blue construction paper background, and the same snowman circles cut out of white paper using some kind of guide.  Beyond that, the kids had decorated their snowmen.  Many of them were very glittery and elaborate with costumes and other such decoration.  Feather boas, smiling faces with elaborate features.

I scanned the group for Edith's snowman.  I was so proud of her.  Hers was very plain and not particularly artistic.  She had a couple of trees down in the background, a carrot nose, a couple of stick arms.  But her snowman had on a T-shirt that said, "Animal Protest Protection," and it carried a rally sign that said, "Save the Green Planet."  Hers was the only socially responsible and socially conscious snowman.  Hers was the only political snowman.  That's my girl.  She's going to run for office some day.

In terms of Robert and the biotin progress.  He continues to do well on it.  Although as we go up on the biotin, which the doctors have given us the green light on, I'm worried that we're not going down on the sertraline fast enough.  His tone has been elevated the past day or two, although, oddly enough, it doesn't necessarily impact his physical abilities that much.  We made (Edith, Robert, and I) 50 valentines on Tuesday, and Robert sat in my lap and drew on all of his.  It was mostly practicing making lines, reversing direction, seeing how he could make a mark, pick up his hand, put it down again and make another mark and so on.  It is difficult to explain to people what a big deal this is.  That the ability to make those sorts of lines that change directions, to make dashed lines, in effect, involves more complex motor function than stepping, for example.  

So, we continue to wait and watch.  In the period directly after he became ill and then recovered for about a year, he had slightly increased tone periodically as he recovered motor skills and improved.  In between, his tone would even out.  His body looks different--his trunk looks like it has muscle tone to some degree--as though instead of the muscles just all settling into one another, sinking into one another, the muscles are supporting each other and defined in some way.

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