This is the longest gap between posts so far. Three weeks since the last one. So what’s been happening?
It’s been one month since Amanda began taking the Voluntastrol botanical supplement and also a month since I signed her up to the Constant Therapy app.
In that time she has completed nearly 800 tasks on the app, increasing her mental concentration out to over 2 hours in some sessions and scoring an overall average of 80%. Meanwhile the app has slowly adapted, increasing the difficulty of some tasks and adding new ones.
One major development appears to be the return of her working memory capability. Six months ago she was unable to complete a simple test set by a neuropsychologist along the lines of:
If John has 20 apples and 5 grandchildren how many apples does each child get?
Trying to visualise the various elements of the puzzle and then bringing them together to complete the answer was just beyond her. I’ve just randomly tested her, completely out of the blue with the question above and she got it right.
Constant Therapy now includes simple arithmetical sums in her personalised program, and I’ve had to re-teach Amanda how to add the units, carry the ten and then add it to existing digits. The app includes an onscreen pad to write down the numbers in order to remember them.
But Amanda is no longer using the physical scratch pad. She is remembering the first column of numbers in her head; something we all do without a second thought…until we can’t. Her mental scratch pad is back.
The return of working memory is also helping with spelling as she is able to recall how to form letters with increasingly greater ease. It’s still slow and not always perfect, but she is now self –motivated enough to be able to plan when during her day she is going to spend time on her app.
As for the word board I mentioned a few posts back? Today her support worker has noted;
“Amanda made a sentence with words – big difference finding words – no hesitation”
The appointment with the lymphatic massage therapist resulted not in a massage, but instead the suggestion of a special compression sock. Amanda has been wearing it during the day for a week and yesterday wore a pair of shoes she hasn’t managed to get on her feet for over a year.
Gym sessions are currently twice weekly and Amanda is enjoying using the recumbent exercise bike and is up to 15 minutes already. Once again this has sparked more motivation and she is increasingly pushing herself to stand regularly to stretch her legs.
Even remembering to do this is yet another leap forward.
On Saturday Amanda had a haircut. The hairdresser was meant to text a reminder the day before but didn’t – at least not to my phone. I mentioned this to Amanda.
“They did.” She said.
I checked her phone which I thought she only used to answer my lunchtime Facetime call. Sure enough the text was there and she had responded with a ‘yes’ reply. This is the first time she has texted in 16 months.