Jul 16, 2009

Cognitive Gains

Over the past month or so Ainsley has made great cognitive gains. I promised I'd write about them so here we go. It's been very exciting! Her newest accomplishments:

SAYS NO! - I'd been reading her the Patricelli book No No Yes Yes every night at bed for several months and would physically nod her head back and forth and up and down with each page. Eventually it paid off and she learned to nod her head no. Even more impressive is that most of the time she can now answer a yes no question appropriately. Such as, "Ainsley, do you want to eat this?", holding out a spoonful of pureed food will immediately get an emphatic head shake. NO! or "Ainsley, do you want me to take out your trach?", again will get an emphatic head shake. NO!!!! Just like a typical going-on three year old she is also good at ignoring me when she doesn't want to hear the question. When the answer is yes we still get a big beautiful smile from her, like when I ask "Ainnnslllllley, did you poop?!" when I can pretty much smell it and don't really need to ask. She won't nod but just smiles, meaning "Yep. Sure did." She hasn't mastered the yes nod, but I'm sure it will come eventually since it's developmentally typically to learn no before yes.

PICTURE IDENTIFICATION- She has also learned a number of words. How do you know when a non-verbal child knows a word?.... You quiz them with flash-cards. A few weeks ago I noticed she was gesturing toward the correct image when asked to find an object in a book. Now she is able to get pick the correct card when you hold up two cards and ask "Which one is the _____?" for virtually all the cards in the A-Z flashcard set. Including the friggin' X-ray card (although maybe she should know that one she's had so many)! Seriously I know it's hard to believe and that is why I have her perform like a trained seal in front of anyone unfortunate enough to be in our presence in the proximity of the cards. Seriously, it is FANTASTIC! I am so proud of her and she is so proud of herself. Normally kids pretend they don't know what you're talking about the second you try to get them to "perform" their new accomplishments in front of other people. But she's so proud she grins from ear to ear and is happy to show what she knows.

BODY PART IDENTIFICATION- She can now point to many body parts including the harder ones like tongue, teeth, hair and toes. Sometimes she gets confused but she gets it right 85% or more of the time.

FOLLOWS INSTRUCTIONS - For a long time she's followed simple instructions like "Come here. " or "Give me that." But last week I asked her to sit crisscross apple sauce (her PT doesn't want her to stretch out the ligaments in her knees) and was completely shocked when she adjusted her position and got off her knees and CROSSED HER LEGS! For those of you who are not hip to today's PC terminology crisscross is what used to be called sitting Indian Style.

PRETEND PLAY - In the past few weeks she has developed an interest in dolls and is even feeding the babies with a bottle or spoon.

It is such a great feeling to see her start to put stuff together. I am so excited for her and it gives us such hope. I really truly have no idea what she is capable of anymore. She amazes me almost every day.

The look on Evie's face says it all. I guess she didn't know Ainsley could do this.

The cards Evie are holding are all the ones she got RIGHT.


  1. How cool is it to see her feeding her baby with a spoon?? Austin pretends to eat the plastic play food. (Hmmm) It sounds like she is doing so well.

    Austin mastered NO long before Yes and still answers No to most everything, my strange little kid.

  2. Awesome news Susan. I'm telling you, once they take off, they take off. The only thing I have to remotely compare it to is when Hilary decided to start talking - it took three years after she got her cochlear implant before she talked, but once she started talking, there was not stopping her. I'm happy for you and I'm happy for Ainsley. The sky is the limit.

  3. ok go ainsley go! your a rock star!! Izzy doesn't know her letters yet! She could not pick which on the x is and your sister has a whole handful of cards! We are so proud of you!!!!!! I know your mommy has to be glowing right now!!!! your all working so hard and your just soaring princess!

  4. I am stunned ! What amazing progress ! I am so excited and proud for all of you ! I can't wait to see what that sweet girl does next !

  5. i love these pics :-) she looks so interested which is one of the best things to see in kids.