What a week we had while in Massachusetts! Luke spent 8+ hours per day in the playroom without coming out. The results were amazing. The child facilitators who worked with Luke had only known him for the week we were there, but the work they put in instantly built trust with Luke and you can see the results in the videos above. In the first video, Michelle built a lot of trust by explaining to Luke that she was there for him while still giving him control. The second video speaks for itself!!
We thought it was important to show both videos, because many times we post the successes or unbelievable connections or progress that come out of the many hours in the playroom but forget to include the joining and creativity on the part of the volunteer/facilitator that really goes into fostering those moments. Our volunteers put in so many hours just being with Lucas, accepting, loving and respecting him. These moments of connection are our cherry on top of some wonderful joining moments! So please enjoy!
Some other successes to note this week:
* Lucas spent close to an hour coloring and reading books with one of our volunteers. To sit in one spot attending to this type of activity for this amount of time is not something that readily happens for Lucas. He tends to need a lot of sensory input while in the room and moves around a lot. It was truly amazing to see him enjoying this activity and particularly enjoying this activity with his volunteer!
* He enjoyed listening to one of our volunteers play him music on her guitar this afternoon. The smile on his face when she brought it into the room spoke volumes. It was truly priceless! The lengths this team will go to put on smile on his face is amazing!
* The clarity of his speech and intonation of his voice have really increased over the past weeks since we returned from intensive. We were somewhere around a clarity of 40% of the time to close to 60% now, which is incredible progress in just 3 weeks!
* We are noticing that Lucas’ duration of interactions have much more quality to them and tend to be much longer. We started out just trying to get his attention for up to 2 minutes and we are now averaging 7 minutes (Some single interactions have been as long as 50 minutes!).
* He has also been very affectionate overall not only physically, but verbally.
* Lastly, he is maintaining his eye contact! This was the first goal we worked on as a team in September and although we have shifted our focus, he hasn’t lost his progress in this area. He is constantly looking at us in and out of the room!
I have a plethora of videos to go through from my volunteers, highlighting many of the moments above, and would really like to share some videos of our new volunteers so you have a chance to meet them : ) All in good time!