Probably the 2 most challenging things for Taylor these days are her fine motor skills and her sight. Her fine motor skills are still developing but not yet back to the point where she can type or text. She has the new iPhone, which has accessibilities (voice-over) for sight impaired people and Siri to tell it commands, so that she can start to check her messages and make phone calls on her own. Her biggest frustration is dressing herself. She still requires moderate assistance to get dressed, and it is frustrating for her that she cannot do this herself. Of course, her imperfect sight contributes to her not being able to learn this faster. She cannot see exactly where the arm hole is in the t-shirt where her arms need to go or where the leg-hole is in her shorts where her leg needs to go, for example. With her sight, she can now read short sentences on flash cards. However, she cannot see the whole sentence at once, like you or I can. She has to read one word, remember it as she scans for the next word, and then eventually put the whole sentence together.
As I said, her motor skills are improving. Recently, she has been practicing her writing at CNS. I saw her write her name for the first time since her accident, and I was over joyed!
On another note, the paper that Taylor co-authored (May 21 post) has been published in hard copy. The paper made the cover of that journal’s issue. Taylor’s former graduate student mentor (James, now a PhD – congratulations James!) sent her a framed, author signed copy of the cover, which now hangs in her room.
There are days when the frustration leads to tears, but as a friend said to me, we should be worried if Taylor is not frustrated. That she is frustrated means she wants to improve; and that’s a good thing.