Reading Homework

Today Hannah and I went to visit with Louise. She had recently had company from her brother in law Ralph and his daughter Marie. She talked a lot about their visit, and seemed to have enjoyed lunching with them.
When we arrived, she was doing her homework for her reading therapist with Ray. They do a review of some of the activities a few minutes each day trying to reconnect her to her ability to read. Today I got a chance to work with her some. They have sheets with phrases on them. Each phrase has a blank that she has to fill in. For example: Money does not grow on ______. I read the phrase with the blank and she is supposed to give the word trees. She works on ten phrases a day. We did them and she got some of them right away. On others, she struggled to find the right word but got close. Such as: He fell for it hook, line, and ______. She said stinger, then stinker. Very close, but not quite it. Or like father, like _____. She said, brother, daughter? She knew it should be a family member but not which one.
On many of the ones she tried she got the vowel sound correct, but missed the beginning consonant blends. The squeaky wheel gets the ________. She said glease. The next time through she said “geese, pleese…something like that.” It is amazing to me to watch how her brain is trying so hard to get the word. It’s like it knows the correct vowel even, just not the word directly. She substitutes and sometimes makes up a word that has the correct vowel sound, but the rest of the word is off. Then there are those where she has no idea like, he gets angry at the drop of a ________. Couldn’t even guess on that one.
The next exercise was matching words to pictures. She looks at the word and tries to say it. She can use the pictures as clues. One word was dog. She counts on her fingers kind of, except she uses letters. “A, B… is that a B?” No. “C, D…that’s a D.” Yes. “That must be either deer or dog. That’s dog.” As you can see, it is a long process she goes through to get the simplest words. However, she is getting them. She got all five words right we were working on today. She still gets frustrated with it, but she seems to want to try. After we did these once, she asked to try again. Some of the words she got better the second or third time we tried, while at the same time she forgot some of the ones she knew just minutes before.
Our next appointment is Wednesday at Emory. The time was moved up to 9:00 a.m. because of a change in the doctor’s schedule. Other appointments with other doctors are all scheduled for the few days after this one, so we should know the treatment protocol soon. I will update as we find out new information.
For those who have been bringing food, we want to say thank you. It has been a big help this past week for her not to have to try to cook. Ray and Louise have asked not to have any more meals brought after June 10th…they are currently scheduled through that day. I will notify you if we find other needs with which you can help. Louise is so amazed that so many people care for her. The number of cards, and now food, is showing your love clearly as you are the hands and feet of the Lord to our family. I know that you all want to bless her in practical ways, probably because that is the way she has always blessed you. For now, prayer is the most powerful way you can share our burden. As her treatments progress I will add any other ways you can help. Thank you again and have a wonderful Memorial Day tomorrow!

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