We did try this at home. – Watch the video. It’s brilliant. Really brilliant. It’s only a short clip from a longer video that recorded a wide range of games Pádraig played all involving the switch, including memory games and spelling games.
During today’s yes/no switch-tapping exercise Pádraig remembered who visited him yesterday (and who was not there) out of a list of about four different people. Not only did this show that he was able to answer yes/no questions correctly. It also showed that his short-time memory is working absolutely perfectly.
He also brilliantly spelled the name of one of his sisters.
And then we started with the ‘press-the-switch-when-you-hear-the-letter’ exercise.
These are the letters of the alphabet, not from A-Z but in order of frequency. And we and Pádraig are about to learn them that way. So we started with the first line and asked Pádraig to hit the switch when he heard a particular letter in that line.
What I couldn’t believe is that not only did he recognised the letters when they came up, but he recognised them with lightening speed. When we started with this type of exercise in the NRH, we gave Pádraig up to 5 seconds between letters, today he managed to immediately recognise letters without any time delay. Watch this: my hand, Pat’s voice, Pádraig’s left foot – and be amazed. (It’s just a short clip from a longer video.)
We knew for some time that Pádraig’s brain is working much better than it seems from the outside. That his main problem is to get his body to do what he wants it to do. But today, he has shown us that he cannot only understand the questions, but that he can react appropriately to them, take decisions, remember what happened yesterday, spell words, and get his left foot to engage the switch within less than a second when he wants that to happen.
Now. What’s next, I ask you?