Sunday, February 22, 2009

Never Say Never

Katie is having a great week, she climbed the stairs alone today, all the way to the top...17 steps, and she signed "Thank-you" with her right hand.

This might not seem like much, but when Katie was diagnosed at 7 months old as having survived an in utero stroke we were told that she would likely never walk or talk and might never develop past where she was at as a 7 month old.

At not quite 2 years old, she not only walks, but runs and climbs stairs. Katie is a wonderful little girl, and a joy to be around.

~ Lucky mama to Katie, 23 months

Friday, February 20, 2009

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

My son, Tomas, suffered a newborn stroke and his prognosis was not that great. However, he has made many achievments in his three years which have astounded both us and his doctors.
The ones that made us smile the most included his own version of crawling - shuffling around on his bottom at 11 months; his very first steps at 16 1/2 months; and pushing a piece of puzzle with his left hand when he was 2 1/2 years old. He also started singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, including two-handed actions.

All these things have made us cheer and shed a few tears of delight. It really is the little things that make us so proud.

~ Tomas' mum

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Waiting for a Miracle

Nathan had a stroke at birth, developed intractable seizures and had a right functional hemispherectomy (brain surgery) at 14 months old. Soon, my baby will be 4 years old!

I have always known that Nathan understands every word I say (and I do mean "every"). But Nathan has struggled to work his way up to having about 10 words. Along the way, he's learned some American Sign Language signs, made up a ton of his own signs and gestures, and mastered a series of picture communication devices. And now we're waiting for delivery of his new VantageLite, a dynamic communication device with voice output. We do all of this because Nathan desperately wants to communicate his needs and wants, and loves to interact with other people! For me, it was going to be okay if Nathan never spoke, as long as I could get him a computerized device that could help him independently express his wants, dreams, jokes and fears! And I felt like we were on our way to achieving that goal.

Suddenly, within the last eight weeks, Nathan's ten-word vocabulary has exploded to hundreds of words! Maybe thousands! He talks about everything. He repeats words when asked! Yesterday, he focused and had fun at speech therapy! He asks 4- and 5-word questions -- mostly Why?! Strangers comment on how patient I am answering all those Why? questions. But, I just rejoice inside every time I hear one! This has just reminded me once again, that Nathan operates on Nathan's timeline...and God's timeline...not a doctor's, not a therapist's, not a book's, not mine...just on his own, and the rest of us just have to be patient and wait.

Thank you for letting me share.
Nathan's Mom

It's the little things

After ignoring her right hand for months and months, 18 month old Evelina was able to pick up 5 small toys independently, with her right hand, and move them across her mid-line! What a day!!!

Evelina is a stroke survivor and has paralysis on her right side. Her stroke occurred before she was born. This is called an in utero stroke or a perinatal stroke.