Rep. Gabrille Giffords, D-Ariz., continues to make good progress relearning how to speak. One technique has her mouthing the lyrics to simple songs, such as "Happy Birthday to You" and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."
On Sunday, Giffords spoke with her brother-in-law, Scott Kelly, commander aboard the International Space Station, telling him, "Hi, I'm good," her chief of staff, Pia Carusone, said. Kelly is the twin brother of Giffords' husband, astronaut Mark Kelly.
Carusone said the congresswoman's aides have been briefing her on current events, such as the situation in Egypt and the announcement by Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Az., that he won't seek re-election. Carusone said she definitely understands what's being said to her and is able to give brief, verbal responses.
"We tell her everything that's going on," Carusone said. "Don't get the idea she's speaking in paragraphs, but she definitely understands what we're saying and she's verbalizing," she said.
Her mother, Gloria Giffords, told friends in an e-mail update about a week ago that her daughter has been able to walk through the hospital corridors using a cart to steady her and is doing squats and other types of physical therapy to strengthen her muscles. Her mom said she's progressed from being a "kind of limp noodle" to someone who is "alert [and] sits up straight with good posture."
Giffords, who was shot in the head at point blank range in a shooting rampage on Jan. 8, was transferred from Arizona to Houston's TIRR Memorial Hermann hospital late last month where she is receiving intensive rehabilitation.
Six people were killed and 13 injured in the shooting spree outside a supermarket in Tucson, Ariz. The perpetrator, Jared Loughner, 22, is facing multiple charges, including two murder charges that may lead prosecutors to seek the death penalty.
AP contributed to this report.