Day three gave us some more information about how he is working internally. When it comes to diet, Rookie was "weak" for Gluten/Wheat and Milk. We will be implementing some of these diet changes when we get home to see if that will help improve some of the challenges we are facing as well. She also did some handwriting testing which showed dyslexic tendencies. This will be corrected as she gets his eyes where they need to be. At the end of our three days, his eyes were not where she would like him to be, but there was a lot of improvement. We will need to return in 2 months to work on his eyes a bit more, but our prayer is that for the next few weeks his eyes will continue to improve on their own from the balancing she did.
Being able to see her working with him and on his eyes gave me more insight to what she was doing and what she was trying to accomplish with him. Basically, she would have him try to track a pen from left to right and right to left only moving his eyes. Seems pretty simple, but when she started with him, he would stare straight forward and couldn't track the pen at all! This seems crazy to me for a kid who is so visual and so detailed when it comes to sports. When the body begins to learn to track, the lips and head move back trying to "help" the eyes track. Eventually, just the eyes will move back and forth to track the pen. By the end of the third day, Rookie's eyes would track for one pass and then the mouth and head would start moving. As she would continue to work with him, his eyes would constantly close or blink hard. This adjustment is very exhausting. He did a lot better with eye convergence (tracking a pen from a distance as it is pulled in closer). The eyes are supposed to begin to cross while tracking the pen and also dilate. She said he was doing MUCH better with this by the end and his eyes were dilating much better. Understanding this about his eyes really gave us an insight as to why some things were frightening to him. For example, the carousel at the zoo. If you have difficulty tracking, this can be a very frightening thing to experience.
We have some marching activities to continue to do with him until we come back for his "checkup" and working with him repeating a set of digits backward, though this concept may be a bit advanced for him just yet. She also gave me an activity to help him retain spelling words when we were ready for that.
So, what do WE think about all of this? Well we have seen a few things so far, but we have to remember that this isn't like surgery. You DON'T necessarily see immediate results. There WILL be things that you will see, but more results will happen over some time. We also have to remember that trying to get a child to implement the activities and "work hard" to complete them is very difficult. An adult can just push through it, where as a child may act silly, or not want to do the activity. Yet, another element is that Rookie is only 5 years old, so he hasn't had a whole lot of time to learn things wrong or he hasn't hit higher development that wasn't "hooked up" correctly. So, by correcting at this base level, he will be able to develop other skills correctly.
So, what have we noticed so far? Well, Robby and I are trying NOT to see things that aren't there and be patient. BUT, we have noticed a few things. We won't know for sure until we are in our own environment again. We have noticed some improvement in his speech. He seems to be using more words and those words seem to be more intelligible. He also seems to have more control over his actions. Now, keep in mind we are STILL dealing with a 5-year old boy, BUT there were many times yesterday while playing putt putt and hanging with his brother and sister that I was anticipating an outburst or frustration and.....nothing. Dinner at Chipotle was drama-less. I was almost laughing at how calm our day was. One thing that will take some time is his response to some situations. Even at age 5, he is already used to reacting in certain ways and though he can have more control over making a better choice, he needs some help to make these better choices the habit and response he goes to.
One fear that Robby and I both had going into this would change what we love about him. That he wouldn't be the Rookie we know. What we have discovered is that Rookie is STILL a happy boy in the morning. He is STILL loving and he is STILL a giggler and he STILL loves sports.
We will be getting the paperwork for his time here, though much of it will be greek to us. I may have more to share once I get that. In the meantime, we are glad to be heading back home to begin his new INP quarter and see the improvements there followed by our check-up in 2 months and some final work with his eyes.
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