The story continues

February 2006

Five months have passed since the last visit to Philadelphia and the time has come to tell you new stories and achievements. These past months have passed quickly. We had a lot of problems adapting in the beginning to the new program and finding and installing the necessary equipment. The Harness for the free gravity program had to be sent from Italy and experienced a true odyssey before finally landing on Chiapas soil. There were many small problems to resolve, but none made us backtrack.

My parents came from Germany , and stayed for two months, helping in everything and fixing up our little world in general. In a blink of the eye they detected all the problems and of course in two months couldn't resolve them all. For Rosa and Maria this visit was a great stimulus and after two years without leaving home, Maria went on vacation with her grandparents.

But there have also been sad events. Don Jose Maria, one of our volunteers in the patterning passed away after a grave illness. Rosa showed a lot of grandeur in this situation. Don Jose María loved Rosa a lot and we went to visit him everyday. Rosa always went directly to his bed to take his hand. Now he is no longer with us. But we know he is watching us from heaven and we wish much luck to his family.

In this way we have the sense that many of you are watching us and accompanying us from far away or from nearby, supporting us spiritually, materially, economically or physically. Many thanks to all of you.



OUR ACHIEVEMENTS

Maybe you are surprised at so many details about Rosa 's development, but many are taken from the reports we send every two months to the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. What we are presenting to you is only a summary.


PHYSICAL AREA

Five months ago Rosa walked an average of 600m in a half hour. Now she can walk from 1000 to 1200m without stopping in a half hour on flat ground. She walks 90 minutes daily and no sometimes intents to trot. Her balance still is not so good, but it is improving. Her program includes walking downhill, uphill and on normal ground.

Rosa 's manual ability improved a lot during this period. She has a lot of strength in her hands and a very strong grip. She hangs from the bars 20 times daily and has learned to sustain her own weight for 3 second by herself. As a consequence, she can now join her index finger and thumb, which they call cortical opposition in the Institutes.

Lately Rosa has been turning pages in her books very well and no longer tears them, which happened before due to frustration at not being able to turn pages. She can also hit a piñata, as we saw at the Christmas party at Manos Amigas. We are doing the free gravity program. These fun turns in the air occupy us for about an hour daily and are helping to improve Rosa 's balance.







 

PHYSIOLOGIGAL AREA

During the last appointment the respiratory patterning program was indicated to us. We started immediately and it was a revelation for two reasons. First: all of a sudden I had time for Rosa , two hours to do everything I couldn't do before with her.

We managed to have Dad and a volunteer doing the patterning while I was free to show her tons of photos, books, art masterpieces (she likes Diego Rivera and Salvador Dalí) and did her reading lectures and mathematics.

Now a respiratory machine does the patterning for us. Rosa sleeps with it every night.




 

She also continues doing 50 respiratory masks daily that help create a better flow of oxygen to the brain, as well as 6 cross patternings for better coordination.

And good news: Rosa has not gotten sick in a whole year.

INTELLECTUAL AREA

During this period we put a lot of interest in the intellectual program and managed to organize ourselves well.

Rosa started to communicate through a selection chart. I write between 2 and 10 response options to a question on a piece of paper and Rosa signals her answer.

¿Te gustó el libro?
(You like this book?)



¿Que quieres hacer?
(What you want to do?)



¿Quién fue la esposa de Diego Rivera?
(How was Diego Rivera`s wife?)


 

I always know Rosa was very intelligent but I never imagined she had such a large understanding. She knows everything I teach her in the lectures. She knows if the African elephant has large or small ears, that Vincent Van Gogh lived in Holland, that the whale is a mammal, etc. She can also answer questions that I never taught her directly. For example, where was dad born, how old am I, what countries do the volunteers who work with us come from. She also expresses her emotions very clearly (mad, sad, bored) or gives opinions (I, her mom am pretty but skinny). She knows her age, her sister's age, etc.

She gives me her opinion about the handmade books. Sometimes she doesn't like them because they have very little information or one time she told me about the book “The Children heroes” (Mexican History) that she didn't understand it, and I explained some things to her and now she likes it.



 

Her language has improved as well. When I show her books she has already seen, she “reads” out loud. There is a book in which the word agua (water) appears a lot, and she reads in this way: dadadadla la pa ba ..agua.

It is evident that she tries to pronounce words and sometimes she says something very close to the sound of the word.


 

She also uses specific signals (kiss, eat, wash hands, what pretty music) to communicate.

To this date, Rosa has seen a total of 3926 individual words ( 3442 in Spanish; 484 in German), 1683 phrases and sentences, 130 handmade books. We have been able to decrease the letter size to 1.2 cm in upper case and 0.8 in lower case.

Rosa looks for and signals words in a text of up to 25 words. She no longer likes to read the phrases. She wants to read independently although she still hasn't achieved it completely.

Rosa understands everything, even when we speak in a low voice or very quickly. She also understands many daily things in German. She is now 6 years old, but in understanding she is at the level of her 8 year old sister and is studying third grade text books. I present the information to her in the form of homemade books. To make these books I scan the pictures from commercial books and write a text in big, bold letters so that it is more legible for Rosa . Maria also learns more easily like this.

Rosa has a lot of interest in natural sciences, functioning of the human body, digestion, the heart, pregnancy, etc. I have made a lot of biographies of famous people and artists. Also, books about the Program, her history and that of the members of her family. And books about war, contamination of the environment, etc. The books have to be full of exciting details for them to capture Rosa 's interest.

She is doing well in geography because every time I mention a place in her books, I put a map on the next page. The good thing is that Rosa tells me if she understands or not. She also tells me if she can read a text by herself or not and what type of letter she likes best.

Every word that appears in the books is presented first as individual words. My dad designed a computer program that marks all the words in the text that Rosa has already seen. In this way it is easier to make sure that Rosa always sees the necessary words before seeing new Phrases and Books.

Rosa has a lot of interest in mathematics and recognizes quantities easily. She can resolve problems: 4+5=9 etc. She still has problems with big numbers (more or less 30 and higher).

She loves to look at illustrated books and watch movies. She prefers documentaries from the Discovery Channel.



But the pupils of both her eyes wander a lot and Rosa has to make an effort to direct her gaze. She also has problems seeing depth. She doesn't look at the floor while walking and orients herself through touch. Low branches or plants that appear in her path confuse her and make her eyelids flutter.

The more intelligent Rosa becomes, the more she suffers from her limitations to express this intelligence (for example not being able to speak).

She is also learning to adapt socially and follow certain guidelines for living with others. I am making a lot of books on this theme: “How to eat well”, “Communication”, etc. Sometimes Rosa stays very fixed in some activities and things and won't abandon them. For example, if she sees a broom, she just has to sweep and there is nothing I can do to stop her from sweeping. If she sees a piece of furniture that she can push in front of her, she has to do it and won't stop.


 

But we hope to overcome these problems and see Rosa playing some day with a group of children as naturally as her sister Maria does.

Maria is participating in everything and enjoys the intellectual program as much as her sister. She likes her bicycle and all type of sport. She has also improved a lot in school and at Christmas participated in two plays, as the role of Rudolph in one and an angel in the other. The costumes were especially designed by hand by her grandparents.



Dad also gained a gold metal this period. Darinel involved himself much more in the program and sometimes did it an entire day alone while mom designed the intellectual program or put in order things for Vientos Culturales. Everyday we enjoy being a special family and discover all the strength we have inside us.

Thank you and warmest regards
Elke, Darinel, Maria y ROSA

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