Friday, September 30, 2011

taking a break

I am going to be taking a break from blogging for a month as I am going to be traveling in Italy and Tanzania.

See you guys later.
Copyright © 2010-2011 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Vision Therapy, Posture and Spacy-ness

Catching you guys up on some of the Vision Therapy I had done right before I left on vacation but didn't have the chance to blog.

Journeyed out to Amish country again for another round of Vision Therapy.

We worked on the HTS program with stereo images again.  I am trying to keep an image of some green creature fused together by either drawing my eyes together or relaxing them out.

We played a game where I had a guessing game with cards that had questions.  I was wearing flippers with lenses that I alternated ever 6 seconds.   The flippers are to exercise the accommodative system, i.e. the system in the brain that does the focusing.

I also held a mirror to my nose and projected an image onto another sheet of paper and tried to draw it.  I did OK while drawing with my right hand.  Not so good with drawing on my left hand.

I also looked at some stereo images through a view finder and tried to fuse the images. I can do practically all of them.

Took a break and talked to the doctor about integrating  occupational therapy with yoked lenses to improve posture and he said that this issue was really something taken care of in vision therapy, not occupational therapy.  As we work more with yoked lenses, we would see an improvement in posture.  I think my posture is a bit crappy and my body is working against itself from stem to stern.   My feet don't point out straight, my one hip is higher than the other, my shoulders roll forward, and my head leans forward in a "military neck" from osteoarthritis ( computer use is the culprit.  Ergonomics is really important, people!  Laptops are horrible. )   Also, I think I am tilting my head to compensate for my lousy vision.

Why is posture important for vision?  Well, think about it.  Your head is the platform for the eyes.  If the head isn't stable, the eyes aren't going to be stable either and the whole visual system will have to adjust.

Posture, Posture, Posture.  The old Catholic nuns had it right. Also, I think posture helps present yourself to the world.  Good posture gives an impression of strength.  Poor posture where you are shrinking into yourself gives an impression of weakness.  My husband is a big guy but with poor posture.   I told him if he needs to stand up for himself or to make a point at work to watch his posture.   He is a big guy and once he throws his head and shoulders back, he can look quite authoritative.   It works.  He notices people react to him differently.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nice Tutorial on Binocular Vision

Figure 1. Definition of binocular disparity (f...
Image via Wikipedia
Found a nice tutorial on binocular vision over at the University of Iowa.  It is a bit thick and geeky. So you are forewarned.

However, I am afraid that in order to get to the bottom of my problems with vision, I am going to have to strap on my hipwaders and stomp through a lot of thick material.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Round Two With the Organizer

Wanda helping organize papersWanda Helping to Organize Papers Image by cseeman via Flickr Audrey came for her second visit.  We are still working on our office and did 8 hours of organizing and we still aren't finished yet!  We did get the major task done, which is starting up the organizational system for our papers and filing most of the papers away. 

Still not done yet with the office.  It will probably take another 4-8 hours to finish it.  Then a major portion of our lives will be organized and hopefully in a way that is truly sustainable.  Hubby and I are optimistic.   Using an organizer is great, Hubby and I tend to overcomplicate things.  Audrey simplifies things nicely.

Organizing is draining.  After 8 hours of shoveling paper around the room, we all were exhausted, including Audrey.  Hubby and I went out to dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant and went to bed right after. 

We slept soundly that night and lumped about on Sunday-- thoroughly drained.

Copyright © 2010-2011 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

First Feldenkrais Session

Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement(R) classImage by divamover via FlickrJust had my first Feldenkrais session.  It was very interesting.  Very subtle.

Fortunately, this therapist is in Doylestown which is an easy 40 minute drive from my house.  Instead of pounding Rte 95 or the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I am driving at an easy 40 mph through cornfields, farms, and woods.   No big trucks bearing down on my bumper.  No jockeying with  frazzled commuters.   Just a nice pleasant drive. 

My therapist lives in a beautiful home on a hill with exquisite landscaping and retained walls.  Its a very peaceful spot to come to. 

After I came in, we talked for a few minutes about my various problems with sensory integration, motor planning and assorted neuropsych problems.  Then, I stood up and she gently turned my head in a variety of directions.  She had me sit up and she moved my body in different directions.  Then, I laid down and she moved my arms and legs and feet.  All of this was done quietly and nonverbally. It is truly Awareness through Movement.

Afterwards, I didn't feel any real big improvement per se; just a pleasant sense of being wired in to my body and being aware of it. 
Copyright © 2010-2011 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Update on Vision Therapy September 19

The two eyes converge on the object of attention.Image via WikipediaWent to Vision Therapy and we worked on more anti-suppression, eye tracking, binocular vision (3D vision), and hand-eye coordination.  

I put on my red and green glasses and copied numbers from one grid to another.

While walking to and from the tables, I put on prism glasses and matched cards of bugs and butterflies to those on a table.

I read lines of letters on four different red and green grids to the beat of a metronome.    After IM, I am really on the beat.   Ther therapist was impressed. 

Did the HTS vision program where I worked on base in and base out stereograms.  Base Out is phenomenally large.  Base In,  not so much.  I need to get my eyes pointing inwards in order to get binocular vision (3D vision).

Worked on some more stereograms  off the computer.

Worked on hand-eye coordination.  There was a board with letters aranged in a circle.  Each letter had a light on it.  My job was to hit the button when I saw the light.    I didn't do so well on this.  I was scanning the circle for the light so I was very slow.  I think I will try quickly  looking in one quadrant and letting my peripheral vision check that quadrant and then move on to the next quadrant.

My Amish buddy, Amanda was working on her Tanglyphs.  I know I will smoke them when it is my turn to do them.

Copyright © 2010-2011 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Assessment for Sensory Integration

snoezelruimte (room for controlled multisensor...Snozelriumte (room for controlled multisensory integration) Image via Wikipedia I just visited a new occupational therapist who specializes in sensory integration.  If you remember, my hand therapist thought that my problems coordinating my hands were more centered around motor planning than anything that traditional hand therapy could offer, so she gave me this referral.  

Well, we finally got together after a few misfires.  Between heavy rains and Hurricane Irene, she  had been flooded out a couple times both in the office and at home. 

We had a pleasant chat together.  She believes that maybe some of the differential scores in my neuropsych assessment could be due to physical problems, or I may have some aspects of Nonverbal Learning Disorder, or I may indeed have the full monty of the disorder.  As I had suspected, some of the PIQ portion of the assessment depends heavily on visual skills that I have been working in vision therapy.  On the other hand, I do have a lower score on facial recognition (although still within normal limits), so maybe there is something to the Nonverbal Learning Disorder. 

She will do a formal OT assessment next time we meet in November and that should shed some light on things.

She does think I do suffer from a certain amount of stress as my sensory integration problems have not been allowed for.  Working on sensory integration should be fun.

Who knows, maybe I will get my own Snozelriumte, room for multisensory integration!  

Copyright © 2010-2011 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

How to Ace an IQ Test

Raven's Progressive Matrices Example
Image via Wikipedia
I have been doing a lot of "perceptual learning" in vision therapy lately and one of things that comes up are those pesky matrix questions.  You know the questions that have a series of shapes and you are to deduce the next pattern.  I have always hated these silly questions on standardized tests.  And periodically, I am pestered with them in vision therapy.  So I decided to investigate them.

These questions are known as Raven's Matrices that were developed to assess intelligence in a culture neutral kind of way. 

They follow a series of rules:

Third Round of Interactive Metronome: Getting in Touch With My Body

A row consisting of three cowbells.Image via WikipediaFinished my third round of Interactive Metronome(IM)  and am feeling a bit "Anh" about it.  You know that feeling, when you've worked really hard at something and improved a bit  but not spectacularly--and you were hoping for spectacular.    My overall scores at my final evaluation did go up somewhat -- I am in the low 40s overall, which is a good range but I was hoping for a lot more.   My right foot goofed up during the balanced tapping exercise and gave me a lousy 114 as a score.  I have never scored so low on that foot since day one.  Ever.  Oh well.  On the other hand, I got a 14 with tapping my right hand against my body, which is phenomenally good.  Most of the other scores were in the 30 and a few 40s.

I do think significant improvement is still there but was blocked for a number of factors.   The cleanup from the flood from Hurricane Irene really tired me out.   We had some really rainy days after Irene which messed up travel on the turnpike so I was quite late to some of my sessions and feeling a bit of angst over the lateness. Also, during the first three days, I had someone in the room who was clapping loudly but off beat; so it was hard to focus on the cowbell.

Additionally, I feel that my body was reorganizing as I was beginning to feel my body resonate to the beat.  This time,  when I was spot on the beat, I could feel it in my shoulders, hips, and derriere.  So, I was focusing on getting back that feeling when I was getting off the beat... thinking where is that feeling.  Ok, I am relatively on time but I want to do more and in the process of trying to do more, I am negatively impacting my performance. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Life and Times of Stella: Yoked Prisms and Personality

The eye as a double system: the foveal system ...Image via WikipediaIn essence, yoked prism goggles help re-wire the brain, forcing it to re-map spatial relations. Every time she wears them, they help her gauge the world more accurately. The repercussions are stunning. This isn’t just addressing Stella’s vision. Changes are happening in her brain, in how she perceives the world and her place in it. And that dramatically affects how she feels and behaves.
When Stella leaves those vision therapy sessions (wherein she wears the prism goggle, of any strength, really), she is more outgoing. She is open. Allow me to explain why that fact is so incredibly huge. I don’t label Stella as shy. I don’t want to presume, at age two, that “shy” is who she is and I don’t want to convince her that it is. But I will say that she is often quite tentative. We do see flashes of wonderful social interaction and friendliness–she’s very attached to her best friend, Cooper–so I know her social self is in there. But most often, she shrinks back under even the friendliest gaze from a stranger, or is daunted by mere proximity to people.
On the playground, Stella’s crowd avoidance is overt. She rarely uses structures if anyone else is there already. If someone playful soul is on or near the slide, instead of waiting for a turn or walking up with the understanding that they’ll be down soon, she avoids it completely. If people step aside and watch her, with a smile and friendly encouragement or quiet patience, she refuses to go down. She’s protective of herself. At music class, when the basket of instruments is placed in the center of the room, every other child in the room just flat-out goes for it. They make a beeline for the basket, and grab what they want, carefree! Stella immediately takes a step or two forward, only to halt as everyone rushes by. She waits for a big opening instead of squeezing in willy-nilly like the rest. Part of me has long wanted to push her into the fray. To tell her that she’s just as entitled and doesn’t have to wait for everyone else to take first pick. I just chime in with lighthearted encouragement, and a hand on her back.
Qualities like patience and shyness seem almost beside the point when I think about her vision, and the effect of the yoked prism goggles. I’m now convinced that such reserved, cautious behavior is due, at least in part, to the effect of her visual field–not just her innate personality. Crowded places (especially new ones) and chaotic situations can be so, so anxiety-producing for Stella. Thankfully, at long last, I now believe I understand why. She has trouble gauging her place in relation to a crowd. Per Dr. T and our vision therapist, Stella’s peripheral vision is likely limited, creating a type of tunnel vision that makes life more stressful. She’s always on guard because she’s learned that objects in her proverbial mirror are closer than they appear. She can’t quite trust her visual system in those situations. How startling that would be! And how draining and frustrating to be startled so often. So she takes extra precautions. Her separation anxiety, viewed through this lens of understanding, makes much more sense to me now. I’m her anchor amid the unfamiliar and unstable.
The same visual issues that cause this sort of defensiveness also give rise to her toe-walking. It’s not so much a problem as a solution Stella has come up with to better orient herself in the world as she perceives it. I get it now–the details may be hazy, but I am starting to understand a bit better how Stella sees, and how it affects her way of being.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Music, Neuroscience and Healing Blogs

Activity of the brain when music is heard.Image via Wikipedia
Activity of the brain When music is Heard
 I found some interesting music and neuroscience and healing blogs.

Music is experienced through the simultaneous activation of a remarkable number of brain regions. Listening to music involves two major processes--perception and emotional response. Through perception we recognize music's physical characteristics--the rhythm, harmony and tone. Our emotional response evokes feelings--sadness, happiness, relaxation and more. The two processes, perceiving and feeling, activate multiple brain regions that are interconnected through complex and vast networks. They range from the front of the brain (frontal lobes) to the back (cerebellum), from top (motor cortex) to the bottom (amygdala), and from outer surface (auditory cortex) to the inner core (nucleus accumbens and hippocampus). Creating or dancing to music activates an even greater number of brain regions.

Importantly, perceiving and feeling music are two distinct processes. For example, there are people who are gifted at perceiving music, such as those with absolute pitch, but who are indifferent to its emotional effects. The reverse is true as well (and is more common)--there are many people who have little or no musical talent, including those who are tone-deaf, who are passionate about music. In other words, you don't need to be musical to be strongly affected by music and potentially to benefit from its therapeutic effects.

 Music and the Brain Blog
Healing Music
Copyright © 2010-2011 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex
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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pilates and Alexander

It is my belief that the [Alexander] Technique is by far the most powerful method currently available to improve our conscious direction of ourselves. If you want to learn how to use your mental abilities to make immediate and useful changes in how your body functions, the Alexander Technique is the way to go. The Technique has been around for over a century and has a long history of helping people learn how to stand, sit and move with greater ease and efficiency. Countless performers have used it to improve the quality of their performance, and it has a well-deserved reputation for teaching people strategies for alleviating stress-related conditions such as back pain, stiff necks, tight shoulders and the like. 
But the Technique does have limitations. First, it quite limited in its ability to alter the exceedingly complex and subtle physical restrictions that lie below the level of consciousness. In my experience, methods like cranio-sacral therapy are an ideal way to get at those kinds of restrictions. Second, and of relevance here, it can also be limited in changing deep-rooted structural imbalances. Because the Technique relies on mental direction rather than exercises, the pace of change tends to be gradual. On the one hand, this is a great strength of the Technique - it never pushes change too fast for the body to handle. But it also means that, in effect, it might take many lifetimes to eliminate large physical distortions. 

Although oversimplified, I believe a car and driver analogy is helpful here. A good driver can try to get the best performance possible out of a car with mis-aligned wheels and defective brakes. But unless the wheel alignment is corrected and new brakes are installed, there is nothing he can do to improve their functioning. 

Pilates addressed himself to just that kind of issue in humans with his highly targeted exercises designed to correct specific physical imbalances and weaknesses. In my case, my abs were weak when I started with Alexander lessons some 30 years ago, and while their tone may have improved a bit over that time, they were still very far from having a good overall tone when I started taking Pilates classes. They certainly have a way to go, but I doubt that the improvement in their tone which I experienced - and the corresponding improvement in my core strength and overall quality of functioning - would ever have occurred if I had not resorted to Pilates training, or something like it.
Perhaps because of Alexander's disdain for exercises, many Alexander Technique teachers still view them with some suspicion. There is sometimes a tendency to think that with enough lessons, the Technique will take care of everything. 

Pilates instructors can also have their blind spots of course. From what I've seen and heard, they often do not spend nearly enough time and attention to the way their clients are using their bodies during exercises. They are sometimes guilty of believing that just because they tell a client to do an exercise a particular way, perhaps demonstrating what they want a few times, the client will actually be capable of doing it that way. In general, Pilates instructors have little or no concept of "use" - Alexander's term for the way in which we coordinate our posture and movements. It's my belief that the Pilates Method and the Alexander Technique can be very complementary ways of learning to improve functioning - that even a little experience with one can make learning the other far more efficient and effective.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

The Nine Types of Intelligence

Raven's Progressive Matrices ExampleImage via Wikipedia A paradigm shifter.  Howard Gardner has questioned the idea that intelligence is a single entity, that it results from a single factor, and that it can be measured simply via IQ tests. He has also challenged the cognitive development work of Piaget.  Bringing forward evidence to show that at any one time a child may be at very different stages for example, in number development and spatial/visual maturation, Howard Gardner has successfully undermined the idea that knowledge at any one particular developmental stage hangs together in a structured whole.

Gardner has come up with the idea that there are many different types of intelligence. Students possess different kinds of minds and therefore learn, remember, perform, and understand in different way.  Many gifted students show different forms of intelligence.

Gardner's Nine Types of Intelligence:

1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”)

2. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”)

3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

4. Existential Intelligence

5. Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart”)

6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”)

7. Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

8. Intra-personal Intelligence (Self Smart”)

9. Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”)

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Are People with Dyslexia Better Entrepreneurs?

The new documentary film, Journey into Dyslexia examines the role of dyslexia in the lives of successful entrepreneurs and corporate leaders around the world. Directed by Alan and Susan Raymond, it presents several prominent dyslexic adults including Ben Foss, inventor of the Intel Reader;Steve Walker, New England Wood Pellet founder and CEO; and Carol Greider, Ph.D., a 2009 Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine. Dyslexia has a seemingly long and prominent role in inspiring entrepreneurial genius: Richard BransonCharles SchwabTed Turner, and Cisco CEO John Chambers are all dyslexic. Even Henry Ford had the disorder. Image representing Richard Branson as depicted...Image via CrunchBase

"The correlation betweeen dyslexia and entrepreneurship has long been a subject of scientific inquiry. In 2004, the Cass Business School in London found that 20 percent of English entrepreneurs polled said they were dyslexic, while managers 'reflected the UK national dyslexia incidence level of 4 percent.' In the U.S., however, the results were even more persuasive: the same researchers behind the U.K. study found that 35 percent of American entrepreneurs surveyed identified themselves as dyslexic." When Big Think asked Richard Branson about his dyslexia, he said that he found conventional schoolwork hopeless and decided he needed "to carve his own way" in life.
Copyright © 2010-2011 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Brooklyn Bridge Sings! As Does My Backyard!

 When pondering my hearing, I have been pondering sound healing and the acoustic ecology in which we live in.  I found some really interesting things going on as musicians and ecologists combine to think about the soundscapes in which we live.  It's very interesting to hear what is actually going around us. 

Some musicians have actually used bridges as inspiration. 

Sound artist Rutger Zuydervelt and designer Gerco Hiddink have teamed up to organize a new audio project called Bridges.

The project asked a group of eight well-known improvisational musicians to "react" to four Dutch bridges (or, more accurately, to field recordings made on, under, and near those bridges). The project is thus as much about musical improv as it is about infrastructural acoustics—a structural ecology of sound vibrantly humming in the spaces around us. 

Even more recently—and as those of you in New York City will get to hear next week at Studio-X NYCsound artist Kevin Allen has being exploring sounds hidden in material objects & systems (what Allen calls "the secret lives of material objects") with his ongoing project, "Sonic Geologic."

Next week at Studio-X NYC, Allen himself will be on hand to let us listen to the Brooklyn Bridge: "The suspension cables of the bridge make excellent conduits for sound," he writes, "picking up moving traffic, bicycles, pedestrians, wind and the general resonance of the bridge itself. Considering the surprising amount of movement of the cables, it was especially difficult to get these microphones to make contact. In the end, best results came from using a set of wood vises. For variation I also attached mics to the steel gate at the center of the bridge. This placement brought a more metallic, tonal quality to the sound recording."

I have been pondering my own little acoustic ecology here in Bucks County.  I live relatively close to the Bypass so when I stop and try to be very quiet, there is always a slight roar of the highway except maybe late at night or on very snowy days that are only broken up by the sound of the snow removal machines.  There is the blowing of air through my ionized air filter that keeps the dust bunnies from accumulating.  Maybe my husband rattling around downstairs with the TV tuned to the booming of the explosions from a sci-fi or action movie. 

Yet, we are still always surrounded by nature.  The neighbors and I have attracted a lot of birds into our back yards with our bird feeders so we are getting a small symphony of birds as they flock to our feeders.

The blue jays' jaay or jaay-jaay, at a moderate tone attracts other jays. When the Blue Jay wants to warn another Jay, he ups the intensity.

We also get Cardinal's sounds of purdy purdy purdy... whoit, whoit, whoit, whoit, or what-cheer, what-cheer ... wheet, wheet, wheet, wheet.

the chip-ee of baby goldfinches.  Goldfinches give the ascending su-weet call when agitated as another goldfinch  encroaches on their turf.  Males give high-pitched canary-like songs early in the spring and late in the summer during nesting. Early songs are rambling and continuous; during nesting they are short and precise, somewhat resembling the songs of Indigo Buntings.

Mourning doves come around with their Oo-wah-hooo, hoo-hoo.

And robins with their cheerily, cheeriup, cheerio, cheeriup.

Finallly, there is always the tap, tap, of my fingers on my computers keypad as I blog.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

The Organizer Cometh

 We just had our first day with the organizer, Audrey, and tackled the office.  It's mostly hubby's stuff that is wildly aflutter; although, truth be told, I have made my contribution, too.

We were very excited to have her in and we made great progress together.  It is nice to work with a professional as it makes the whole chore go by much faster. She can just look at things and know how to put them together in a workable way; whereas, left to our own devices, we spend way too much time pondering the whole nasty business.  Should this thing stay? Or should it leave?

Regardless, each time we have cleaned up a room, it has never stayed this way.  Hubby rejected the neat-nick teachings of his mother.  His mother was extremely orderly and set up the house in her way and hubby had to abide by his mother's wishes.  When he went out on his own, he rejected her teachings and became a gorilla in the mist of his own stuff.   Apparently, her system was not his system and he never thought to try to get his own system together.  

This time around, hubby will get a system:
  • For the Hubbie
  • With the Hubbie
  • and, By the Hubbie
that, hopefully will not perish from this earth!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Vision Therapy. Playing Picture Bingo with the Amish and Horses

Two Amish girls in traditional attire, Lancast...Image via Wikipedia Went to Vision Therapy again this week.  I went over hill and dale in Amish land through the rain to get to my appointment.  Boy, am I starting to know the Pennsylvania Turnpike pretty well between driving to the other side of Philadelphia and then jetting off to Leola.

This time we did more drills with projecting a stereoscopic image on a screen using HTS software.  I had to play with a game like controller to shift the image until I got my animal to appear double.  I do great on base out.  Not so hot on base in.

Then I read  alternating one line from letters on the wall and then one line from a card.  And I read letters to the beat of a metronome.

Then I played picture bingo with 3 cards against Amanda, a nice Amish girl who was doing vision therapy. We both used flippers at the same time we were playing.  Amanda won once and I won the other time.

While we were playing bingo, a mother came by to pick her children up.  She was homeschooling them and had a lot of flexibility with her time.  So she decided to take them to the Ironsprings Farm, a local  horse farm that is owned by one of the Campbell Soup heiresses.  She showed us some pictures ofthe horses.  They of  the horses at the farm. While we were playing bingo, a mother came by to pick her children up.  She was homeschooling them and had a lot of flexibility with her time.  So she decided to take them to the Ironsprings Farm, a local  horse farm that is owned by one of the Campbell Soup heiresses.  She showed us some pictures of the horses.  The farm owns champion bloodline warmblood and freisian horses.   Their horses have won While we were playing bingo, a mother came by to pick her children up.  She was homeschooling them and had a lot of flexibility with her time.  So she decided to take them to the Ironsprings Farm, a local  horse farm that is owned by one of the Campbell Soup heiresses, Mary Alice Malone.  She showed us some pictures of the horses.  The farm has champion bloodline warmblood and Friesian Horses.

Mary Alice Malone, a mere billionairess, pioneered the American sport horse breeding industry, importing some of the finest breeding stallions and mares from Germany, Poland, and Holland.

These horses have won a number of awards such as placing 4th place for NEDA 2008 open division year end awards Grand Prix, 2008 Maine Dressage Society Grand Prix Champion, and one horse even  won the US Reserve Championship.

My therapist told me to leave early since there is the risk of significant flooding.  I’m glad I did.  it was no fun driving in the pouring rain on the turnpike.
Copyright © 2010-2011 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex
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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Vision therapy and PIQ

Interesting conversation on the effects of vision therapy and Performance IQ.  Total IQ is the measure of Verbal IQ + Performance IQ.

Some of the folks seemed to think vision therapy would help PIQ:

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale subscores an...Image via Wikipedia

The doctor said that it doesn't always happen and that is what I have read elsewhere. He said that with my son it would. He said my son was obviously very bright but he has extremely poor ocular muscles and he could really see them impeding his performance IQ. This doctor seemed to do many of the same tests done on the performance side of the IQ.
My son's performance IQ was a 90 despite being extremely verbally bright. When that IQ test was done it was the end of first grade and he could not draw a square.

Others seem to do quite fine with PIQ despite vision problems:
Interesting. My daughter's Perf. IQ was very high, yet she has visual processing problems and she gets 30/min OT at school 1x/wkly and private OT 1x/wkly. High performance, Low verbal. Yet has motor planning, & visual processing problems. Interesting theory.

Other people brought up the thought that speed might play a role in better scores.  Maybe vision therapy helps to improve speed.

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Prism Treatment Handout

After I get my vision stabilized, I will be using prisms to correct my problems with 3D vision.   My therapist wants to be sure I am not suppressing my vision before I work with prism lenses.  For those of you who wish to know more about prism lenses, here is the standard of care from the American Optometric Association.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Organizing: Hubbie Becomes the Sorting Hat

Sorting Hat
In preparation for our visit with the Organizer, Hubby has become the Sorting Hat.   For those of you living under a rock and who have not seen Harry Potter, the Sorting Hat is a Hogwarts (the name of the school that Harry goes to)  artifact which magically determines to which of the four school Houses ( Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin)  each new student is to be assigned.

Hogwarts1Image via Wikipedia
Each then takes a seat on a stool and the hat is placed on her or his head.The hat is battered and old; it's patched, frayed, and extremely dirty. In order to speak and sing, a tear along the brim opens like a mouth. It speaks inside of the hat with a small, quiet voice to the wearer and it can read thoughts and respond to them. After a moment of consideration, the hat announces its choice aloud for all to hear, and the student joins the selected house. from the Description of the Sorting Hat

Well, hubby has been sorting his office which has never been cleaned in years.  Oh, I've gone in with a duster and vacuum cleaner and have done what I could so things aren't growing in the cave.   A lot of the cleaning involves sorting papers and small objects. 

 Hubby has tuned into his Sorting Hat and after a moment of consideration, his inner Sorting Hat speaks to him and announces its choice for a new home for each particular object and the object joins its new home.

This has inspired hubby to do other drawers in the house that contain his stuff while he is taking a break from the office.  I think Hubby will get a new found sense of control as he organizes his life.  For a lot of his life, somebody else like his wife or his mother organized him.  Now, he is getting to do it himself.  His own way with a little guidance from an organizer to help him come up with a system that he can live in.

After hubby finishes his turn with the Sorting Hat, I will put it on and finish my small portion of the office and then we will move on to the master bedroom.

Copyright © 2010-2011 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Collection of stories about life with a Nonverbal Learning Disorder

Interesting collection of stories about a nonverbal learning disorder  from a number of people.

My name is Robert. I’m 51, live in the Canadian province of Quebec, and was diagnosed as having a nonverbal learning disability when I was 42.

As a child and adolescent I was a loner because I didn’t have the strength, coordination and social skills to make many friends. I was picked on by other boys in primary school and at the beginning of high school. In high school I found a place for some of my skills in the Army Cadet Corps – I taught Morse code, was a member of the rifle team, and became an officer. It was an ordinary high school, not a military school.

I managed academically in high school, college, and graduate school as long as I was able to avoid math and physics. I could not totally avoid math in high school and I got my high school diploma despite failures in algebra and geometry. In college I failed statistics the first time I took it although I passed it the second time.

I hit my first real brick wall when I tried to work after finishing a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling. I had no way of knowing that a helping profession is much more difficult for someone with NVLD because of the difficulty we have with affective communication (reading other people’s social cues correctly and communicating the right cues ourselves). For about 20 years I went from one job failure to another. The little self-esteem that I had was destroyed because of the humiliation of repeated failures. My marriage ended because, among other things, my ex wife could no longer live with a man who was so depressed and frustrated...

Copyright © 2010-2011 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex
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Monday, September 5, 2011

Discussion with Dale Brown: Susan Boyle’s Autobiography Discusses her Experience with Learning Disabilities.

Here's an article that describes a bit more of Susan Boyle's learning disabilities.

Her video inspired me for the same reasons it inspired almost all of the 300 million people who watched it. But I also saw a fellow adult with a learning disability. I saw her social awkwardness, her uncoordinated movement, and her inability to “get” the non-verbal signals of the judging panels. After she sang, she walked off the stage, not realizing that she was supposed to stay to hear from the judges. They had to call her back.Cover of Cover via Amazon

In her autobiography Susan Boyle: The Woman I was Born to Be; My Story, Boyle explains “…one day, we had to make the journey to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children so I could have something called an assessment.” 

“My ability to learn seemed to follow a different pattern from the other children,” she says. She learned to read, but had difficulty writing her letters. “It was as if there was a lack of coordination between my brain and the hand doing the writing, and that made me the slowest in the class. It took a long time before I could write properly. 

She says she took medication for her hyperactivity. And she described her social skills problems. “At playtime, I didn’t understand the hierarchies that operated in the playground. I was naturally outgoing and I didn’t know why some of the other children didn’t want to be my friend….If I was excited, I laughed a bit too noisily; if I was sad or angry, I was straight into tears or tantrum.”

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

String theory, God and Consciousness

Eleven dimensions, parallel universes, a world made of vibrating filaments -- it’s not science fiction: It’s string theory. And it is scientific speculation that helps spotlight the dance in which science and religion are entwined.
 String theory?Image by trailfan via Flickr
If you remember your high school physics, the basic particles of the universe -- electrons, protons, neutrons, and for the younger generation, neutrinos, quarks, photons -- are the “letters” that make up all matter.  Remember your basic models of atoms that your teacher held up. 

String theory says otherwise.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Catching Up

Sorry I haven't posted all week but I have been utterly exhausted.  I thought we were going to just tuck ourselves in and ride out the hurricane but apparently there was more to it than we thought.  We weathered Hurricane Irene with no real damage to our house except a bit of water in the basement.  However, that entailed pushing around some of the junk in our basement and mopping.  Unfortunately, Hurricane Irene happened before the organizer came so we didn't have as neat a basement to work with.

Also, our county was on a tornado watch.  Since we were the next town over from the tornado watch, we thought it prudent to sleep in the living room.  The theory is that the lower to the earth that you are in a tornado, the safer you will be.  Since our basement was damp with water and is not a finished basement, we slept on the first floor.  So I didn't sleep properly on Saturday night. 

Sunday, we spent putting our house back in order.

Monday, I went off to my occupational therapists and began my 10 day course of Interactive Metronome.  I didn't do too well as I was still exhausted from the weekend and I was sharing my space with a child who was clapping very loudly and off the beat. It's really hard to keep to a beat of a cowbell when you have a bit of syncopation in the background.  I drove home and slept all day.

Tuesday, I went for another round of IM and was still off my kilter.  After IM, I drove to Amish country and went for a round of vision therapy.  I found out my diagnosis is now Intermittant Divergent Strabismus--- that is, my eyes point outwards occasionally.  It isn't cosmetic.  You can't see it but apparently they do point outwards.  I also have alternating suppression which means that my brain alternates between receiving visual input from first one eye, then both eyes, then the other eye.   The good doctor would also like to work on my convergence insufficiency as he thinks he can improve it.  We did a number of things together in real space.  I looked at a stereoscopic image projected on a screen about 10 feet away from me.  While I wore some strange glasses, I copied numbers that were behind these funny red and green strips.  Apparently, posture is very important.  I have had a habit of tilting my head to one side or another to compensate.  So, I have to work on keeping my posture straight, especially, my head.  I wore a series of prism glasses and did a block diagram while alternating my prisms very quickly.  I tapped with a stick at numbers on a wall to the beat of a metronome.  Thank God I've been doing all this clapping and tapping at Occupational Therapy with the Interactive Metronome as I would have not been able to keep to the beat.  I drove home and went straight to bed.  I was exhausted as I had driven 3 hours from place to place. 

Wednesday I had another round of IM that didn't go so well as I was still tired from the past two days.

Thursday, I took a break and slept in all morning.  I had a meeting with a church group that I am involved in.   Went shopping for some clothes for hubby and took a nap and met hubby later that day for tea. 

Friday, I had another round of IM and did much better as I wasn't so tired and I did not have a child in the room with me.  I  am beginning to notice something very interesting about IM.  As I am approaching getting and staying on the beat, I can feel a rhythmic sensation in my shoulders or pelvis depending on whether I am clapping with my hands or tapping with my toes.  It's a feeling of awareness in my body.   This is a very different feeling for me.  Usually during IM, I am trying to just concentrate on the cowbell.  But this time is different,  I am focused on the cowbell but aware of my body.   My scores are back where they were in my second round of IM with many scores in the 30s and 50s. 

Next week, I will have more to look forward to.   I will do more IM and vision therapy.  Friday, I will finish my phone assessment with an occupational therapist who specializes in sensory integration.  Saturday, the organizer will come.  She will start working with my husband on the office first and then move to looking at my stuff in the office and then hit other "hot spots" in the house.

Copyright © 2010-2011 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex
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