It's the school holidays again. This one would be an equivalent to what I once knew as half-term. Little A gets nearly two weeks off school and a week off therapy, so we hied off to the mountains for a few days.
The culminating activity for this half-term was a United Nations Day programme, with children from the five classes in Little A's preschool dressed in various costumes, shaking maracas, jumping up and down and moving to different bits of music.
This was Little A's third time onstage since last Christmas, when he simply cried and tried to get off at every opportunity. This time he'd been practicing assiduously with his classmates for weeks after getting accustomed to the new piece of music, but always with his Shadow Teacher nearby to give constant encouragement.
Come D-Day, she was off sick. Little A stood onstage, crying slightly because of the crowds and the noise, but calmed down when he heard the familiar music. He didn't do all the actions, but watched his classmates and did the ones he knew best and liked most.
Big A stood right in front with the video camera and tears in his eyes. My sister, her daughters and my mum were next to him and I was a few feet back. We were all very proud.
A huge thing that will get Little A going in the speech and behaviour management direction is imitation. He does things voluntarily but rarely upon command. So the main focus of our work the past year has been to this end. It's gratifying to see some results, and we pray he continues to improve.