Rachel Nyberg's Website

Rachel's sick 
Sorry about the lack of updates. The PCA's leave before I get home and everyone is so busy with school. Rachel's really liking school but a couple of days ago she came down with a stomach bug. Keep her in your prayers, thanks!

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Merry Christmas Everyone! 
Rachel was so cute in her Christmas program this year. At the beginning of her songs we could see her start to sing along. We asked her if she was going to become a famous singer and earn a million dollars. She blinked "yes", Luke asked if she was going to give it to daddy, she blinked "no". He asked if she was going to keep it all and she said, "no" then he asked if she was going to share it with mommy and she blinked "yes". ;)

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Eye gaze computer 
Last Tuesday Rachel had a great speech therapy session trying out the eye gaze computer that Dynavox has come up with. She did great! She kept telling her therapists and PCA's "Look, look" and "I want it, it's mine" when referring to the computer. Then she kept asking for Luke to give her kisses (and every once in awhile a hug). Pretty soon we should be borrowing one for a 30 day trial.

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Busy month! 
Sorry for the lack of updates! I meant to update with pictures from Halloween but now I didn't want that to continue to hold up posting just to wait for when I have time to upload the pictures.
Rachel is still having a great time at school and it now attending Kindergarten for a full day on Thursday. Before she only went for a half day. She really likes the music time.
Halloween at school was fun, Rachel was a princess and when they went 'trick or treating' from room to room instead of candy, they had little things that Rachel could actually use/enjoy like bubbles, sidewalk chalk, little beanie babies, and things like that. It was so thoughtful!

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New sneaky trick 
The last two days at school Rachel's been having fun messing with Wendy. When Wendy leaves her side or is looking somewhere else Rachel lifts her head carefully out of her headrest and sets it on her shoulder (so she doesn't block her trach). She did it on the ride home 4 times! Finally Wendy told her if she did it again she wasn't going to put her head back in the headrest for her, so Rachel stopped.

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School fun 
Because there were so many kids in each of the classes they're making a smaller kindergarten class. For the last three weeks Rachel's been having a lot of seizures in her regular kindergarten class. She's either tired, the room is too bright, there are so many kids, or a combination of the three. We had to come up with something because the last two Thursdays Rachel came home early because the seizures were so constant. So this will be perfect, she'll be in a smaller class and it will be on a different side of the building where it's not as bright. They tried it out today for twenty minutes and she did just fine.
She also had gym class by herself. She thought bowling was okay and she didn't like T-ball at all. Her gym teacher set a mat on top of three scooters and then laid Rachel on the mat. He asked her if she wanted to go around in circles and she said 'no' but she wanted to run! So the gym teacher ran around the gym with Rachel and each time he stopped to ask if she wanted to be pulled around some more she said yes. Finally he stopped and laid down and said he couldn't run anymore, he was too tired. Then Rachel started yelling until he started pulling her around the gym again and then she was all smiles again.

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Early riser 
This morning Rachel got up at 12:30 am and wouldn't go back to sleep. At about 10 am Wendy texted from school and said that now Rachel's tired and cranky and having a lot of seizures (because she's tired). Not sure why she woke up so early but now they'll head home and she'll hopefully take a good nap. Must be something in the air at our house because Kaleigh wouldn't go to sleep last night. She just was wide awake and wanted to play.

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Pic from school 
Dina sent a picture from school. The other students love playing with Rachel, they like to put stuff in Rachel's hands for her to hold when they play in the kitchen. Rachel's been having a great time too.

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First full day of school 
Today Rachel had her first full day of her class. Her teacher wrote home a note that Rachel had a great time and she was able to participate more during circle time with all of her switches. Rachel was able to bring the Dynavox computer but it didn't have the eye gaze system with it yet. She had to push the switch when it got to the word she wanted it to say. It worked ok, but it's hard for her to keep up and it's not functional for school without the eye gaze part. We're just having a trial and still working on proving that Rachel needs an eye gaze system. She also has switches with phrases that have been prerecorded by her teacher just before class starts.
She loved singing with the kids, being on the playground with them and participating during occupational therapy. She got tired and a little fussy at two but then bounced back.

Thanks Dina for sending the note home!

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I found the cable and here is Rachel in the van ready to go to her first day of kindergarten!

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Camera USB cable 
Is missing so I won't be uploading pictures anytime soon. Sorry!
The other day Rachel was in her stander and watching 'Super Reader' on PBS the character on the TV was asking the kids to say 'D' and Rachel kept saying it over again. It's the one letter she can verbally say really well, she'll say "Da da" on purpose all the time. But this time she shortened it to just the letter D.

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First day of Kindergarten! 
Rachel had a great first day of school. I was waiting to update until I had time to upload the pictures but as life is a little crazy at home (we're finishing the basement) I figured I better just post something and can add pictures and extra details later.
Rachel loved school, she was so excited and talking that Wendy had to take off her speaking valve so that the teacher could finish speaking. They had circle time where the kids could ask questions about Rachel and I had already let her teacher know what I usually tell kids and that she's free to answer anything they ask. They helped her to participate in gym class as much as they could and during song time Rachel was very loud again. :) I'll hopefully get a chance to get more details from Wendy soon.

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Open House 
Today we went to Rachel's open house and met her kindergarten teacher. Rachel will be with her usual class two shortened days per week and one day of regular kindergarten for one shortened day per week. She'll have therapy one day per week so Monday-Thursday she'll be a very busy girl. Rachel was very twitchy when we got there and Wendy and her speech therapist are starting to think that she gets twitchy when she's excited about something. She only does it for games that she likes or if we go someplace fun.

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Jam packed day 
Lots of activity on Wednesday. Rachel had therapy and the rep from Dynavox (speech generating devices) was there to try out different switches and buttons. We actually needed Rachel to do poorly in order to prove that she needs a device that uses the new eye gaze technology. Dynavox is releasing their own eye gaze system that is the same as the myTobii in September and Rachel will be on the waiting list for a rental right away! Dynavox is a company that has been around for much longer and we have a much better chance of the device being covered. Plus they'll have a lot more software that's already designed for kids so I'm very excited about that. The images that we use on her communication boards (pictures velcroed to plexiglass) are taken from the Dynavox system so they'll be images she's already familiar with.
Rachel also had her Baclofen pump refilled today and Kaleigh was facinated and quite the little helper.

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Still routine 
Rachel's still have a great but very routine summer. We visited the neurologist and he upped a couple of her meds. She seems to be doing great and liking the extra attention from having PCA's in the afternoon now. At first I think she found it kind of frustrating but now she's used to it and getting a lot of her activities in.

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