Saturday, April 11, 2009
Update (School, Therapy, Owen., etc.)
We took Nate to school yesterday for the 2nd time this spring. The video is of his first day. This is his kindergarten class. The teacher, Mrs. McCain, also comes to his house once a week, as well as a special ed teacher who comes another day. Mrs. McCain has been talking to her students about Nathan all year and also showed them his blog. To prepare Nate for coming to school, she made a video of the kids for Nathan. They are reading a couple of books to him and then one by one say "Hi Nathan" and tell him their name. A couple said "I hope you aren't scared when you come to school". So sweet - of course, I cried. It also shows the classroom and different things they do in class. This was the nicest thing that Teresa (Mrs. McCain) did for Nathan. She didn't have to do this. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE HER! She is so good with Nathan! I think the video and also a yearbook with all the kids pictures, helped Nate get ready for going to school.
The first day we took Nathan, we started by letting the kids ask questions about Nathan. TONS of questions! But, I like that! Then they did the seed project which is on the video. Nate was ready to leave after about 30 minutes. He got bored and also was very tired (from staying up three hours the night before!).
Yesterday went really well. We got there and the kids were on the mat and all going up to the front of the class one by one to talk about their "insect" they had researched. Nate sat behind the kids and listened, looked around and had some time to get comfortable. Then they sang and danced (which Nate really liked - he loves music!). Mrs. McCain read a book and then there was about 10 minutes before the lunch break, so she asked the kids if anyone would like to go up to Nathan and talk to him or say something. They all said "YES - I DO!". They took turns and said different things like "I'm so glad you came to school today", "I really like you a lot Nathan", "I hope you come back to school", "I think you're cool". Needless to say, I was trying so hard not to let the kids see me crying! So very touching. Nate loved every minute. He was smiling and making sounds - just beaming! It was a great day!
I wish we could go to school more than once a week, but his schedule is so busy right now. He has speech therapy four times a week; the teachers still come out twice a week; the occupational and physical therapists come every other week; trying to get him in the stander on a more regular basis; doing the slings once or twice a day for exercise; and then we still try to fit in some "play" time! And he also needs "down" time like watching Spongebob and Veggie Tales (something he will not go without!) The speech therapy is long overdue. He has been getting private therapy through insurance once a week for awhile, but needed much more than that. The school system finally got a therapist from Tulsa University to come out and work with him three hours a week and so far it has really helped! I really like Sandra (the new therapist). He's started practicing the eye gaze system and has done really well and he's only done it like four times. The school ordered him two new programs that are sentence building education programs. They are really great and just what he needs.
The power chair is on hold right now - waiting on the DME company (as always) to get a switch control ordered. We have decided the best way for him to operate his power chair is with a scanning switch that lights up and says "forward, backwards, right, left" and he hits his switch with his knee for the direction he wants to go. The old joystick he was using with his finger just didn't work. He could operate it a little bit, but didn't have much control and accuracy. Not the kind he really needs for driving it correctly. He was able to have fun moving the chair, but didn't have the movement to control it enough.
Owen is doing great! Growing like a weed and the funniest kid on the planet if you ask me. He makes me laugh every day. He's so sweet with Nathan and always wants to help. He's still not saying words, just babbles, points and grunts (like a cavebaby!) all the time. The doctor wanted us to look into some speech therapy so he has an evaluation next week. I met with the director and she seems to think he might not even qualify (it's a state based program) because he's "normal" in all other aspects. There's nothing wrong with his hearing and cognitively he's brilliant in my opinion! I think he's just not talking because he gets anything and everything he wants and needs. He has no reason to talk yet! Spoiled kid!
I think spring has FINALLY arrived. We are looking forward to warm weather and more time outside. So, that's the long update for today! Thanks for checking in!