At 1st, I wasn’t sure what brought this on, but I think I can now attribute it to a few things, & 1 thing is the many prayers that resulted from a recent post of my Mormon Messages video! Horse therapy, chair yoga, & my bike (that also do arm circles) have strengthened it, & not “ignored” it…
Here’s a post about more progress, that I started to write when our foreign exchange student, Giuli, was nearing the end of her stay, & her family came to visit:
I have always felt like my anxiety has somehow blocked my speech, & in the last month, I have been doing activities to calm my anxiety (chair yoga & guided meditation). I don’t know for sure if this is related, or merely a coincidence, but my speech has improved DRAMATICALLY in the last month.
Giuli’s family is here, & they are really nice! I love that even I can talk to them (sometimes I need to act out what I say, but used to be that if no one was there who knew me, I sat in awkward silence with “new” people, until they returned — but not now!) J This “taking thing” is getting exciting! I am no longer afraid to open my front door, to talk to strangers, I am more open to the idea of attending social functions, & I am able to participate more in small group activities, like brainstorming.
& to further that progress, here’s a post I started to write after I taught a scrapbook class in my home (Jan. 18, 2018):
I taught a scrapbook class here Thursday, & it was amazing! When I teach, I usually have someone teach with me & translate my ASL. I thought my Sister-in-law would do that, but she was sick, so her friend, Julie–who does not sign–was asked to help me. While Julie can’t sign, when she helped me months ago, she did REALLY well understanding my speech (& my speech has definitely improved since then), so I did not ask my husband or one of the girls to help me. I figured that this class was a good place to try teaching “alone”, since Julie understood me so well, since it was a smaller group, since I had no tight time constraints, & since I’d teach moms, & it seems like moms can usually understand me (I assume because of experience that comes from talking to toddlers! Ha!Ha!)
Still, I was a bit nervous. Seeing my other sister-in-law there gave me a “pacifier” for my anxiety (since she knows my ASL & speech), but once my brain started working, I relaxed & I could speak, & I remembered that if anyone can’t figure out something I say, I can just open a word document & type my response. So, as I taught, while Julie sometimes clarified my speech, she sat with everyone else (& sometimes no clarification was needed)! So, for the 1st time in 14 years, I taught “alone” (I spoke, I played videos, I demonstrated stuff, & occasionally I typed on my large screen TV when I could tell they didn’t understand me!)
When I emailed Julie the next day, Julie said: “I was actually surprised at how easy it was to understand you. It reminds me a bit like speaking and understanding a foreign language…it takes a minute for the brain and ears to adjust, but with a little extra focus, the communication begins to flow with more ease”