Tuesday, September 20, 2005

We have had another good week here. Jonathan continues to improve every day. Last Wednesday, Jonathan was able to go to Awanas on his own and he passed two sections in his book. That means he said 4 verses and all of the books of the Bible! He almost started to cry when I was leaving, but one of our homeschool Moms, who is his listener, talked to him all the way to his room and helped take his mind off of crying. He did a great job and we were very proud of him. On Thursday, we went out to dinner and then took a walk around the mall. Jonathan is still being able to tell us when he is full and then he will stop eating. He does this mostly when we go out to eat because I don’t fix as much food at home, but he has also done it at home at least once. We are very thrilled each time he tells us he is full. That is such a wonderful answer to prayer! Jonathan was able to walk around the mall for over an hour without getting too fatigued. He was pretty confident that he could walk around the whole mall without getting tired, and he was very willing to try that night. We continue to do our own therapy at home. Jonathan is getting better and better with his balance, his jumping, and his walking. He is a real trooper and never complains about having to do his exercises. Our weekend was pretty slow and low key. On Saturday, while Dad was doing the yard and Mom was cleaning out the garage, Jonathan found his scooter and decided he would give it a try. He was able to ride it around the garage without any problem, and he only lost his balance once. That was pretty exciting for him. He use to ride his scooter a lot, as well as his bike, and even though he can’t ride his bike yet, he can ride his scooter now. A couple of days later, he was back out in the garage riding while Elizabeth watched him. This is a special accomplishment for Jonathan. On Sunday, Jonathan did all the things he usually does on his own. Jonathan has some wonderful kids in his Sunday School class. They are all very sweet to him and take every opportunity to help him with anything he needs. It has been such a blessing to watch the children respond to him in such a kind, gentle way. Sunday night marked the second full week of success with the bladder alarm! He has one more week to fully complete it and then he will try going without it. He is very proud and very much looking forward to not having to use that at night. Another wonderful answer to prayer! Jonathan is still doing very well in school. Some days can be tougher than others, and Monday was one of those days. We went to bed late on Sunday night, got up late, and that just threw off the entire day. One of the big things we are working through with Jonathan is his emotions. He has a tendency to cry very quickly if something is too difficult for him, or if he is away from any of us too long, especially Mom. We are trying to work on helping him respond differently, and trying to handle things on his own more. It is a very slow process. On Friday evening, after coming back from the mall with his Dad, he started to cry because he was having trouble getting his shoes and socks off. When his Daddy asked him why that upset him, Jonathan told him, “No one else has trouble with that.” I can only imagine how frustrating it is for him to try to understand why things that are so easy for others, and that he use to be able to do, are so hard for him now. But we will continue to work on this and pray that God will bring complete emotional healing in His time. Today was therapy, and Jonathan got to do some new things. He got to swing on a mushroom swing, which is just a ball that you sit on and cross your ankles to swing. You have to use quite a lot of leg muscles to keep your ankles crossed and keep yourself on top of this little ball you are sitting on. It was pretty tough, but he did a pretty good job. After that, he got to swing from a trapeze swing. He was almost able to hold himself on it for 10 seconds. In the room where they use these swings, the floor is covered with exercise mats. That is a completely different surface to walk on, so he got to practice walking on the mats. He did an excellent job walking across the mats. After that, he did some of his ball exercises and then he got to try walking with some moon boots. This is like walking on a trampoline. The shoes are huge which means he really had to pick his feet up just to get one foot in front of the other without tripping over the shoe. He did incredibly well with the moon boots! He didn’t trip once, and walked through the office twice with no trouble at all. He also had to step up and down on a small, medium and large step, alternating feet. He has more trouble stepping up and down with his right leg, and this exercise really challenged that right leg. The longer he worked at it, the better he got. By the end, he was able to really lift that right leg up on the tall step and push himself up on it very well. He practiced walking on a straight line on the floor (same as walking on the balance beam, only without the beam), jumping with two feet, and jumping on just one foot. Jumping on one foot is pretty tough for him, but he can jump with two feet without anyone holding on to him. He is still balancing with his feet in front of each other between 10-20 seconds with each foot. That is such a great improvement! Overall, he is doing a phenomenal job in his therapy.
Thanks so much for keeping up with Jonathan’s progress. God has been so very good to allow us to see specific improvements in Jonathan’s progress. It is so encouraging and we are so thankful for every one of them. Continue to pray for increased strength in his legs, hips, and ankles. The braces are working very well this time. Jonathan will even offer to wear them instead of always having to be told to wear them, which is great. Continue to pray that his feet will straighten and that he will be able to walk on them correctly. I’m not seeing as much correction in his feet as I would like, so please continue to pray for that. Pray for his emotional healing as well as his memory and ability to understand and do well in school. Pray for healing of his vision as well. Pray that we will be able to finish this last week of using the monitor and continue to maintain without it. Continue to pray for his eating, weight gain and normal blood sugars. Also, pray that he will remain in good health. Jonathan has had a cough and some congestion this last week, but I don’t know if it is a cold or maybe allergies. We are so thankful for your continued prayers and support. Jonathan has many things left to accomplish, and your prayers are a constant encouragement and help as he works toward those goals. Your prayers are a constant support to the rest of us too as we walk this road with Jonathan and help him with each step he takes. We love you all!

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