Adam Guest Case Study Picture 4

Running the extra mile for I CAN – Adam’s Blog #2

As part of his ‘Big Running Challenge’ I CAN supporter Adam Guest will be keeping you up to date with his fitness, his daughter Elsie’s progress in school and why he’s going the extra mile for I CAN. See his second blog below.

It’s been a while since my last blog as things have been getting very busy. Elsie is now 7 weeks into pre-school and she absolutely loves it, so much so that after Christmas we had planned to move from 2 days per week up to 3 days. We’ve now decided to jump right up to 4 days. Every morning she asks to go to school, which is great after all our fears about her not wanting to go.

The pre-school has also identified she needs additional support and she gets plenty of one-on-one time as a result. That’s been really encouraging.

She’s made a marked improvement in her confidence in talking to the teaching assistants she interacts with. Naturally, she still takes a while to warm up but will now chat away to them, even if she’s difficult to understand.

She is still showing little effort in wanting to communicate with the other children but we are happy that she is showing improvement. We’ve also started to notice her get more frustrated when we can’t understand what she’s saying. Contrary to what you might think, this frustration is actually a positive for us, as it shows she’s wanting to be understood.

She also practices speaking to herself all the time outside, in the garden or on her scooter!

Last week she had her first proper speech and language therapy session. She was very excited that she had a new friend coming round to play with! She was shy at first in engaging with her therapist but  she opened up as it went on. We hope with regular sessions she will improve even more.

In the meantime the therapist has recommended some additional resources from the Talking Point website which we have purchased and will be using with her regularly. Hopefully with these sessions and the extra work her nursery are doing, she will continue improving.

This was a big learning experience for my wife and I as much as for Elsie. We learnt to tailor our own communication with her to help her construction of sentences. Because her understanding is great and  her vocabulary has a wide-range now, we speak to her in full sentences. However, this isn’t helping her learn how to put words together into a sentence. We have almost skipped the part where she takes her understanding of individual words and jumped straight to long, complicated sentences. We have learnt to speak more clearly and simply with her so that she can learn to string smaller sentences together herself.

Speaking of marathons now, my training has taken a bit of a hit due to illness, a niggly injury and work commitments.

I have managed a couple of longer training runs (20 and 18 miles) and am feeling physically good, so I’m looking forward to my first race, which is in just 10 days! That’s right – next week I am flying to New York City for the marathon.

I have been given a nice symmetrical running number (32323) and now know where and when I am starting. It’s beginning to feel real. I will miss Elsie and her mum and sister very much – but we will be using face-time at least once a day, which might be a great opportunity for Elsie to practice her verbal communication.

I am grateful that Gareth, a good friend of mine and experienced runner himself, is supporting me during my challenge. He won’t be coming to New York but will be running the London Marathon and the 24-hour ‘Ultra’ with me next year, as well as providing me with great company during the many long training runs and warm up events.

I will probably do my next update from New York itself after the marathon. Wish me luck!

If you’d like to sponsor Adam’s ‘Big Running Challenge’ you can do so here.