Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Switch Pushin' Machine

Aviana's teacher Ian sent me this video about three weeks ago. I played it right away. I thought, "who's that girl? She looks like my girl, but, that's certainly not my girl!" I honestly thought my eyes were deceiving me, so I played it again. And then again, and again, and again. I have played it so many times, and cannot believe the girl in the video...is ours. I have literally dissected every single second of the 52 total. 

I guess the reason I can't believe this is our girl is twofold. First, we barely see any real movement, of any sort, from Aviana. And honestly, we almost never see any purposeful movement

The things we have seen in the past, have been with us, or the school, holding her hand below. And even with those that we do at home, she has given up long ago. I take them out every so often just to check and see if maybe, just maybe, she might be interested in 'talking' and sure enough, she has no interest anymore. Facilitated Communication or Choice Board ~ zero, zip, zilch : ( 

Second, Aviana never uses her arms on her own,  for anything purposeful. So the combination of these two things, makes for a pretty exciting video : ) 

Not only is she making some of the most purposeful movement she has ever made (the other being when she was trying to feed herself with a spoon a few years ago) but she is also keeping full attention on her teacher. 

If you aren't familiar with the switches these special needs kiddos use, please let me explain what's going on in the video below. The switch Avi is using has various recorded messages, and helps people who struggle with motor control to communicate. 

It's a little hard to hear at first, but each time Avi pushes the switch, she's communicating. Her teacher is then responding to whatever the switch is saying. Avi then pushes the switch to again communicate, and so forth. I am in love with how many times she attempts to hit the switch! 

She has only been in school for a very short period of time, and this video proves that putting her in was one of the very best decisions we have ever made for her. This 52 seconds is among the Top 3 bits of progress we've seen on our entire journey since the accident happened.

Isn't her teacher amazing? Her teacher is just amazing. I love him. 

Avi and I always lay on the floor and watch YouTube videos. We were doin' our thing a few days after Ian sent me this video. Wouldn't you know it, all of a sudden a little Miki finger reached up out of nowhere and repeatedly touched the screen!! I immediately downloaded her an app. of her very own. Sure enough, she made things happen a few times for me, and even for Dave a couple times when he got home! But not for Papa! Poor Papa!

I think our girl is movin' on up, 
to the east side,
to a deluxe apartment in the sky.

Our girl is movin' on up,
to the east side.
she's finally got a piece of the pie!

Sorry! It happens...I get carried away, but how can you not when you get something like The Jeffersons caught rattling around the head?!?

Anyway, I asked her teacher to be on the lookout for whichever switches, software, puzzles, potions, programs, apps, astronaut ships, whatever he thinks will work best for her, so I can buy them all upspecial needs parent = sucker and we can work with her here at home too : ) 

And this is only the beginning of the school year...so I'm hoping this is just the start of greater things to come, but I know better than to get my hopes up.

I'll just take it day by day, and enjoy anything good that happens to float our way.

But for now,

Miki, you make this Mama proud.



  1. Unbelievable!!!!! I can't imagine your face when you saw this for the first time. You should have taken a video of that!!!!!! How is dear, sweet Avi? We haven't seen her all ready for school yet! What did she wear her first day back? What kind of backpack does she have this year?

    I love you, dear sweet Jen.

  2. Just sitting here with tears in my eyes!


  3. Oh Wow! What a HUGE accomplishment! She must really be having fun at school. Just knowing that she can do that and that she is definitely enjoying something means the entire world. Go Avi! Sending AWESOME JOB hugs!

  4. My iPad Wont play the clip but so happy for you guys! :)

  5. Aww it won't play it says video error?

    So proud of you guys well done Avi :)

  6. Smiling from ear to ear. Go Avi go!

  7. That is definitely an exciting video - Avi is amazing! So proud of Miki :^) Love you guys ♥

  8. OK..why can't I see it :-( I want to see our girl!

    Julie - Texas

    1. Never mind I got to see it I signed into google instead of anonymous..Tears of joy..she is amazing -

  9. I am so happy for yall. I just knew that all the extra types of stimuli that she would be exposed to at school would cause huge gains. Keep us posted. Grammy from Memphis


    I am just full of all kinds of love for aviana (and of course you) what an awesome amazing thing she is doing ..... school is good.....the sky is the limit

  11. I'm so happy for you! Go Avi, go! That's awesome that she's working so hard to use that switch.

  12. I'm so happy for you! Go Avi, go! That's awesome that she's working so hard to use that switch.

  13. :clapping my hands:

    Yay, so wonderful! Her teacher sounds like a really cool guy.

  14. I LOVED this video because I am a special education teacher and because I have been following your blog for a while. Ian seems amazing and Aviana is going to have a great school year!

  15. I can't see it but I felt every word you wrote! I'm so ecstatically happy for you guys! You just never know what floats their boat! And when it seems all hope is lost, that's when they stick it to ya! Go Avi! Go Avi!

  16. Now that is one of the most beautiful things ever!!! I love your switch pushin machine!

  17. This is awesome! Look at her moving her arm with purpose...I'm so thrilled to see this! So happy for your happiness :)

  18. WOW!!! Oh my gosh!! SO precious and beautiful!!!
    Aviana "The Machine" Hodder! I LOVE IT!
    Sending huge hugs and kisses to you all. XOXOXOX
    Fi's mama

  19. ALSO, if Ian is anything like me, I only think of grabbing the camera when Fi is doing something really cool consistently... So she probably had hit that switch a bunch more times before he decided to film her! Just speculating, just pointing out... :)
    Fi's mama

  20. I couldn't see the video.

    Hard to put words to what my heart feels
    I pray for her God Bless