Today was the most informative of the week so far. We really got into the nuts and bolts of the program. Most importantly we learned how much work it is going to take to carry out this program. This is going to be intense. Today was solely focused on the physical aspect of the institutes therapy methods. As part of the presentation they had several kids from the program come in to our auditorium and demonstrate a few of the techniques. It was pretty impressive. The highlight for us was when they brought out a 6 year old boy from Calif. and his parents. This boy has been in the program for about 4 years now and when he started he had a very similar neurological diagnosis to Charlie. He was immobile, no head control, partially blind and deaf, no speech, etc... This boy was demonstrating a crawling technique and then when he was finished his father called to him, and to all of our amazement this kid let go of the stand he was holding on to and RAN to his father to give him a hug. We were all pretty blown away. This was the first living proof of the stuff that happens as a result of the therapy here at the institutes. One thing that Ang and I think is a little shady is that they are, here at the institutes, very willing to talk about all of their successes but there is rarely a mention of the failures. Hmmmm.
After seeing the amazing things these kids with hurt noggins could do and all their neat tricks the staff announced that it was now time for a practicum of our own. This was hilarious, and the picture below isn't a good one but it was the best I could do whilst being very sneaky considering we weren't supposed to have cell phones in the auditorium. We were told to put on these crazy coveralls so that we didn't ruin our clothes and then we, grown people from all over the globe who had paid significantly to be here, took turns crawling and creeping around on the floor. It was hysterical. We were supposed to be relating to the process that our hurt kids are going to go through but I just felt like I was supposed to be changing someone's oil. Some of the parents really got into it and took off their shoes and socks to that they could have as much tactile stimulation as possible. Angel and I just got in trouble for trying to race each other and we most hastily had our behavior appropriately amended by one of the staff. The unfortunate part of the practicum was that the prescribed uniform (coveralls) was anything but practical. By that I mean that they couldn't be anymore ill fitting. Especially for the larger gentlemen in the group or those w/ "athletic" builds. They were tight in all the wrong places and the first time I bent down to initiate my crawl I was nearly cut in two by this wretched garment. Throughout the exercise there were more than a few giggles from the participants as we stood, with knuckles on parade, waiting for our turns to crawl. Rest assured I set the fashion bar high as I modified my "adult jumpsuit" as best I could. Popped collar, zipper halfway down (like Magnum P.I.), and pant legs fully stove-piped into the cowboy boots. I was one oily red shop rag hanging out of my back pocket away from flushing your radiator.
As mentioned all of this frivolity was in effort to give us an understanding of our hurt child's new home... the floor. I'll have to get into that thought in more detail when I'm not on this damn eastern time schedule. It sucks. You eat dinner, watch the news that starts at 11 pm and go to bed.