Jacob Day 1
It is cool in San Francisco today. I am met at the door by an attractive, vibrant, nicely dressed woman. We visit politely for a few minutes and then I meet Jacob again.
He shyly peeks around the corner, looking at me hesitantly through his round glasses. He looks like he wants to run away, yet there is a radiance about him, an aura of peace, knowledge, and stillness.
We sit down at a large dining room table and get down to business. I start with brain retraining exercises that will help him access both hemispheres of his brain so that he can learn better. One of the steps includes an affirmation. “My eyes work well together.”
“Why do you want me to say that?” he asks politely.
Hmmm….no one has ever asked me that before.
“To tell your brain what we are working on today,” I answer, hoping that he will understand.
I have Jacob perform cross crawls and I notice that he is awkward and unbalanced. He is so thin and just seems lost. I make a mental note to bring the balance board next week. It seems to take a long time for him to process information. It’s as if his brain is in a fog.
As we work, Jacob warms up to me. He likes to visit one on one and his vocabulary is impressive. He has an impish smile and giggles about jokes he makes.
I notice right away that Jacob talks with his whole body. He stops his activity, looks me in the eye, and uses his hands to gesture. He’s not just telling me information, he’s showing me. He tells me about a dog he had who died of old age. Of course, it makes him sad to talk about it. He takes both of his hands, leans over his chair and holds them above the ground.
“Sometimes I can still see his spirit right here,” he quietly confides, holding his hands in a cupped position. His dark brown eyes dance at me behind his glasses.
I am blown away by this kid. To think on such a high level and yet have such a difficult time in school and just simply reading seems incomprehensible.
Jacob works for me like a trooper. It takes a long time to complete the activities I have chosen for him. The eye tracking exercise is especially hard for him to do, and I have to keep reminding him that he can work and talk to me at the same time. When I get out the game Blink to play, he gets really excited. When I explain the rules that we each go as fast as we can and don’t take turns, he becomes ecstatic. The thought of playing a game where you don’t have to take turns really appeals to him. However, it is slow going for him as far as this game goes. I wait patiently for him to catch up each time so that he won’t lose. My goal is to get him to do several things at one time, an important skill for reading, writing, spelling, and math.
Our session ends easily enough. He is such a pleasant little guy. Michelle, his mother, comes bounding downstairs and we walk to a corner café for lunch. Michelle and I chit chat like old friends while Jacob sits politely, staring around the restaurant as if he is looking for something. There is no whining or complaining, and I am amazed by this. I hand him a napkin and a pen, and he dives into his task of napkin drawing. He is quiet and undemanding.
As I prepare to drive to my next destination, I stop to think about this little eight- year old boy. I feel honored to be able to spend time with him.
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