You’ll remember the P-A-T spelling exercise Pádraig did some days ago.

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I thought it would be logical to try R-E-I-N-H-A-R-D today, but during his therapy session it became clear I had no friends here who’d support me. They recommended to wait until next week with my name and try “Pádraig” instead today.

When I asked about the fada (the Irish acute accent) on the first “a”, the therapist had to think for a while and then said she’d put it at the end of the alphabet.

The idea was, again, to go through the alphabet (a,b,c,d,…) with Pádraig pressing the switch each time he heard the next letter of his name.

a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m,n,o,p – and he pressed the switch. Brilliant!

a – again, he pressed the switch. Really fast. I couldn’t believe it! So we had P-A

a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k, – no switch, he had missed the “D”. Oh no, I thought. He had missed the “D”. The therapist continued nonetheless – l,m,n,o,p,q,r,,t,u,v,w,x,y,z,fada – and off went the switch!!!

I had concentrated so much on the next letter “d” that I had completely forgotten not only about the fada, but also about the agreement we had made at the beginning that the fada would go at the end of the alphabet!

The whole session was really amazing. Really.

It was an amazing day, actually – earlier in the morning, therapists tried an EasyStand (a gadget that helps people without the necessary body control to stand up). Yes, you are right – the stand was too small for Pádraig. Everything is too small for Pádraig. But the good news is that they will ask a supplier to source a bigger stand.

But the highlight of the day were the visits in the evening. To see Pádraig smiling and interacting with such a delight is just incredibly. An Saol.

Here is a P.S.: you might have heard that ex-German chancellor Helmut Schmidt died recently. This is the title, in his honour, of the current Der Spiegel magazine.

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The quote says: “One needs a will. And cigarettes.”