Austyn has been making some more amazing progress in his Physical Therapy sessions recently.
Zoey had the wonderful idea of trying Austyn on a treadmill...he loves it! He'll happily walk (slowly) on it for extended periods, which is great for building strength in his legs.
In many ways, Austyn's steady, and in many ways dramatic, progress in Physical Therapy makes him one of the easiest children for us to write posts about. A more difficult area to see progress in though, is in his interactions with other people. Austyn lived in his own little world for so long (6 years) before he came here to New Day, for him to learn to trust and communicate with others is a huge step, bigger even than him learning to walk.
This is why we are so excited to share what a recent volunteer, Susan (a Special Ed teacher from the US) has written about her work with Austyn;
I thought, since I was coming to New Day Foster Home for such a short time, that I would just be able to observe and make suggestions and not really get involved with any particular child. I was wrong. Once I met Austyn, I felt a real heart-felt connection with him almost
instantly. From all the stories I had been told, he had come so far already physically and I wanted to help him take the next step, to really begin to connect with people.
Today was that day! During outside play this morning, Austyn and I played bubbles until Alex came along. Austyn reached out for Alex and they started to play a very physical game of walking a few steps, then a big swing up. Austyn absolutely loved it and communicated repeatedly to Alex that he wanted to swing. Then he collapsed into Alex's arms for a rest before beginning the game again.
This afternoon, Austyn did it again! Another volunteer, Bethany had tied a bright red ribbon on his arm and he laughed and showed it to me when I approached him! We tied ribbons on all his limbs and he took quite a while but untied them all! Then he laughed as we showered him with the ribbons over and over, looking up at us again when he wanted more. Bethany and I really felt he was letting us know what he wanted and he wanted to play with us!
For some children, this seems like an everyday occurrence, no big deal. But for someone with Austyn's past, it is yet another barrier broken down, yet another accomplishment, yet another big milestone that is leading him into his unlimited potential. And I feel incredibly honored to be a very small part of it.
Dune Racer and Dominion!
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