"We are going to focus on LIFE for Katya. I believe, one day, she will amaze the world."

Dr. Ben Carson on Katya Dueck

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Of Art Therapy, Music, and Other Good Things

The last 24 hours have contained so many exciting things that I am not sure I shall have time to report them all. But I will make a valiant attempt!

Exhibit #1. I present for your perusal the following photograph of a drawing.

When Katya was at music class, there was a lady bug roaming around. She of course, was terribly distressed by it, and the teacher, hoping to distract her and calm her fears drew the top two sketches of the lady bugs. Later, Katya added the other two bugs and even added the legs and antanae, especially as noticed on the blue bug! The teacher reported that after drawing these bugs, Katya seemed much less agitated by the lady bug. YAY for informal art therapy! ;-) Plus, I'm just so proud of Katya that she was able to imitate those drawings/real life bug! When she first came home to us, she had no fine motor skills when it came to drawing or coloring, and would grasp a writing or coloring item in a whole-fist grasp much like a 6 month old and her scribble would fill the whole page just like that too. It was clear she had not been exposed to writing instruments. Can you imainge?? 6.5 years old and not used to coloring? Or drawing? Or for that matter, cutting or pasting either!! So many new skills she is learning!

#2. She continues to do well at her music class, and according to her teacher, yesterday: "She is taking more charge of putting the stickers on and is able to more readily recognize the groups of two. We held up our two 1st fingers to find the groups of 2. She found the 1st set by herself and began placing the red stickers on. She needed some help finding the other places. She did, though know without being told to draw a green "C" on the "C" note. I would like this to be her "Project" that she can set up the piano without my help. She enjoys playing the "Cs" hopping from one to the next, which is good.
The biggest improvement was her playing "Climbing up the Hill" ( a five tone scale starting on the C) up and down repeatedly without help. I also had her play that with Brenda while I added a bass accompaniment so we were playing a duet. We all cheered as she did so well and she snuggled into my side so happy with herself with a big smile, very content and very pleased with herself : ) "
#3. Last night Paul and I were getting ready to go out to a meeting at church, and so I explained to Katya that Charity would bathe her and get her to bed, and that we would see her in the morning. She signed, "OK" and walked off, then after a bit came back and signed, "Hug!" all on her own! I was so excited as this is only the second time she has initiated by sign getting a hug from me, and it felt so normal and completely typical for a child to want to get a little extra hugging from Mama before Mom went out for the evening! I can't tell you how loudly my Mommy heart sang for joy on that one!! Remember, this is the child that supposedly didn't "like to be touched or held" per orphanage staff. Yeah, I'm not sure I would like to be touched and held either if the people who were doing the touching and holding weren't doing it lovingly even some of the time.
Then later that evening when Charity was rocking and singing to Katya, Katya was making great vocalizations, and doing some of of them in "pitch" or "tune" with Charity's singing. It seemed as if she was possibly trying to help sing along.
#4. This morning Katya wanted me to rock her, and let me know that by signing to me. I was rocking her and playfully saying, "Rock! Rock! Mommy is going to rock Katya!" or something like that, and Katya shocked my socks almost off my feet  by saying, "Rrr aaa ccckkkk". It was  not smoothly done, but all the sounds were there as clear as could be  . . She looked quite pleased when I praised her for saying "Rock". ;-) Her voice is still very "growly" and hoarse sounding far too often when she tries to talk, but we are seeing more word attempts or simple words coming. Please keep praying for her brain and emotions to heal, as there is nothing that she consistently really says yet, although she does seem to be fairly consistently saying "Daa" as in "Daddy" when she wants Paul's attention.
Ahh, this little girl is blooming!


Milena said...

Wow, I'm happy that I stayed up late so that I got to read these happy news already today :-) I'm impressed by the progress Katya is making! So happy for you all!

Lynn B said...

Just ran across this now; what exciting updates! She's doing amazingly well :)