We are very excited to have added a new volunteer last week and he is doing such an awesome job already, following the program principles and connecting with Lucas. We will also be training yet another new volunteer this week!!! We could not have the success we have had in this program without our volunteers. They are the heart and soul of everything that goes on in that room and we are so thankful for their dedication, openness, loving-attitude and hard work!
The past two weeks, we have had some setbacks trying to get Lucas off his maintenance medication for his inflammatory bowel disease. It’s been rough on him : ( The unbelievable thing is that he still had so many breakthrough moments in his playroom!
This room seems to be a place that he goes to, on his own, to comfort himself . In the past, when we have had these health “downtrends,” we have always seen regression in his ability to connect, communicate and relate to other people. This has TRULY not been the case while running this program. Lucas gave his first kiss last week and said his first non-initiated I love you to the volunteer whose video I am sharing this week. He is continually making great eye contact. Also very exciting, he is beginning to point and physically lead us/our volunteers in congruence with his eye contact and verbal communication in order to better communicate with us.
Today in the playroom, Lucas continually hugged and held our volunteer’s hand. I am going to share a video of just one of these precious hugs (Side note to Jenny…don’t worry you are next my dear…Don’t think I’m forgetting about you…lol). A year ago, even 3 months ago, this did not happen. Lucas did not initiate contact or seek out physical touch as a source of comfort and affection. The only time he has done this in the past was to be tickled or squeezed, which serves a sensory need of his. He not only does this in the room, but he will take my hand and put it on his cheek and smile. He seeks out and is affectionate outside of the room with people he has barely noticed in the past. It is truly inspiring to see.