Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Reading, therapy and stuff.

Okay, Sensei asked my belt size tonight. If he's ordering belts, testing is in the offing.

It's been a busy week or so. I'm reading a ton of stuff on bilingual education, specific language impairment (SLI), and related stuff onto tape for A, who's a Ph.D. student. She has a minor reading disability. Her eye tracking is funky, so she has trouble following the words line to line, which makes her reading very slow, particularly when the text is small and/or complicated. It's never really bothered her before, since it doesn't affect her comprehension and she's fanatical about staying ahead of her assignments. But now that she's in the final push for her dissertation, she's supposed to be reading about 200 pages a day of really complicated stuff, and it just wasn't happening.

So now she mails her articles to me to read onto tape. It's working really well for her (and I may even get paid!), but boy howdy does reading that much material aloud each day suck up the time. Plus swim lessons just started, Aaron starts a couple of months of physical therapy this week, and Robbie is now taking guitar. So I've been running from place to place non-stop, except when I'm holed up with an article and the tape recorder.

The physical therapy should be interesting. Aaron's pediatrician was concerned that his balance and self-care skills are still behind the curve, even though his writing and the rest of the stuff the school is working on are improving drastically. So she sent us off for an evaluation. The verdict is that Aaron has a motor planning problem. I.e. when he's learning a new skill (or putting two older skills together), his body can't figure out which muscles to use - so it tends to use all of them, or at least lots.

For example - put him on a half-ball to test his balance and he's fine. Have him toss bean bags at a square and he's fine. Put him on the half-ball and have him throw the bean bags and suddenly they're going in completely random directions.

It explains his first class in karate beautifully. Sensei showed him a front kick, and he plainly understood the motion just fine. But when it came time to actually kick, both legs were thrusting, so he was jumping off the floor every time he kicked - and when Sensei told him to concentrate on stopping that, Aaron fell on his butt every time he actually managed to not jump. He just couldn't isolate the motion to the kicking leg.

I'm a little at a loss as to what exercises a therapist could do to help with this, but she seems confident that she can, and fairly quickly too (she says about 2 months). So I'm very curious.

1 comment:

Becky said...

Sounds like you are very busy these days. I hope Aaron's therapy works out ok. Keep us updated.