Wednesday, September 19, 2007

More Sweet Moments

I am finding that a great way to practice episodic memory is right after narrating a book. Pamela and I tell each other when a story reminds us of something. Today, we read a story about a skunk, so I told it how it reminded me of our dog Pepper who used to come home stinking after a meeting with a skunk when we lived in Pennsylvania. That alone brought a smile to her face, but she lit up when I quoted a poem she is memorizing for recitation (At the Zoo by William Thackeray), "Mercy! How unpleasantly he smelled!"

Then, I hinted at another animal story that happened in Colorado. Intrigued, she guessed, "A bear?" (There was a bear story, but that was not the one I had in mind). She ventured a few more guesses before I told her about the time our other dog Loa came home with a quill beard after meeting a porcupine. Then, Pamela told me about the eagles with sharp claws in Alaska and the rabbits in Minnesota. We tried to think about an animal encounter in South Carolina, and she remembered the hummingbird that zoomed up to Pamela while she was eating an orange popsicle on the porch. She laughed and giggled at that very recent memory.

Another exciting development is that Pamela is finally able to put together a puzzle in one sitting with much less help. She is better able to match parts, which was a challenge for her six months ago. Okay, we have been doing the same three puzzles since March . . .

Finally, she is getting better at referencing her brother. David hides the locked box item and Pamela has to reference him to find it. On Monday, I had him hide two objects. He was able to communicate to her wordlessly to find another object (he snapped his fingers to catch her attention and turned his gaze to the spot where the other toy hid). Yesterday was a bust because he did not realize I had given him two objects. Today was great! He hid six small objects, and Pamela responded well to him, finding all six fairly quickly.

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