Recently Daniel's Speech therapist called Cathy with some exciting news. Daniel was answering questions with one or two words. This was very validating to Cathy and to all who have spent some good times as of late with Daniel. We are very excited that Daniel is now able to purposefully answer questions and that he is accessing memory files and putting words together. Articulating speech is a very complex process that we all take for granted...we do it automatically.
Family and friends have shared many examples of Daniel responding to stories, jokes and questions. Daniel is communicating. Recently, he translated a word into Spanish for me that I could not remember. The word was "swallow." I was reminding to practice swallowing on his own and to work on it even without being prompted. I began to admonish him in Spanish but I had forgotten how say "tragar" the Spanish word for swallow. I told Daniel that I could not believe that I couldn't remember the word for swallow when he suddenly said it for me. It was quiet and soft, spoken more with a breath than with his voice...but it was audible and unmistakable. He had translated a word from English to Spanish. This word may be there and readily available to him as I am sure my mom and others help him practice his swallowing...but he is definitely accessing the files he has for words...he has memories and memory of words...and he is accessing these files more and more.
My neighbor, who is a software engineer and computer genius (or as he might say "geek"), recently recovered some picture files for me from a disk that I had erased. Since I had downloaded (or is it uploaded?) the pictures onto my computer, I went ahead and deleted them from my camera's memory card so that I could take more pictures. I had already deemed the pictures lost forever. When I told him about it he was not impressed by fatalism. He took my disk, found some recovery software online and was able to recover the pictures from the traces that had been left on the disk.
So, Daniel has these files and he needs our help to excercise his brain power and get access to them. He is recovering all the time! Thank you to all who have gone to visit Daniel. I continue to be inspired by the folks that take time to hang out with my bro. Onward to a new stage in our journey with Daniel.