Tuesday, 12 February 2013
What else does she know?
In July 2012, we started Jessica on high dose fish oil, as it has been shown to make a difference in girls with Rett Syndrome (I will post more about this another time). Since then, she has come on in leaps and bounds – coincidence? We will never know, but I am not sure it matters.
I am unclear if her understanding of the world around her has improved, or if she is just better at communicating her level of understanding to us. We are more and more convinced that Jessica understands what is being said around her. The trouble with Rett is that the girls obviously struggle to communicate, and some of the responses they may be able to use (such as pointing, or reaching out) can be very inconsistent. So one day all the connections seem to work, but the next day it just doesn’t seem to come together. Also her responses can be quite subtle, and you have to know Jessica well, and be alert to spot them, as they can be easily missed.
Sometimes, her responses are not so subtle, such as the other night when I asked her to go to the bathroom for her bath, and she immediately crawled off to the bathroom! Other days, it will be a look or a giggle at the appropriate time. But now we are aware that she has a level of understanding of events and language, we are looking for it. Although I have to confess the most amazing discoveries have been made by accident.
Jessica’s favourite book at the moment is about different animals who go clothes shopping, and on each page is a different animal with the item of clothing that they bought. The last page is all the animals together in their finery at a party. One night, I was pointing out all the animals to Jessica, and asked her where a specific animal was on the page, not expecting an answer. But to my amazement, Jessica reached out and touched the correct animal. I then experimented and it turned out she knew all the animals and could point to them when asked!
Then in December, I was opening Jessica’s advent calendar with her, and asked her where the number 4 was, again not expecting an answer. But she reached out and touched the correct number. She is less consistent with her numbers, but we have been using flash cards for numbers and colours, and she now seems to know her numbers 1 to 10 and her colours!
It makes me wonder what else does she know that we don’t know she knows? Things it hasn’t occurred to us to ask, or at least ask in a way that she can respond to appropriately.
While I was talking to a friend the other day about this (I had Jessica with me), I said that if there is ever a cure we will all have to watch out, as Jessica must know everybody’s secrets. Jessica immediately gave me a mischievous grin and started giggling……