Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fabulous Five

Little A had a birthday ten days ago. Now he's five, in his last year of preschool, and animal-obsessed. He's always loved everything farm-related, but zoos and ocean animals come next on the list of nature favourites. The first words he read, and spelled, were "duck", "chicks", "cow" and "horse". Now he types out phrases - "let go (for let's go) farm", "let go zoo" and "let go school".

Since the summer, twice a week he has been going to his grandparents' house for speech therapy with a teacher who comes from further south. We meet in the middle, and he clearly loves these lessons because when they were cancelled last week due to the therapist's bout with flu, Little A was distraught. When I took him home from school instead of to his grandparents' house, he made an almighty fuss, crying and throwing a regular angry tantrum.

This week classes resumed, and he was so happy to see his teacher yesterday that he couldn't stop hugging her throughout the session. In the car en route to grandparents' house, he spelled out "go go spch" - the first time he'd asked to go anywhere apart from the zoo, farm or school. Since about the third week since their sessions started, every time he sits down with his therapist the first phrase he spells is the same - "it happy it clap," his way of saying "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands." I dread what will happen when she goes on maternity leave later this year.

Five also marks our last year of early intervention. While he seems academically on track, Little A still does not speak full words or phrases and needs to improve further in terms of frustration tolerance, waiting and task completion. So, we keep on - his team is positive, and good at what they do. Let's hope everything keeps coming together, piece by piece by piece. I look at it more like a mosaic than a puzzle. It will take a long time to complete, but when it does, it will be beautiful. And along the way, the partial product has its own significance too.

Monday, July 16, 2012

School Days Again

Where did the rest of June go? A month since my last post, shame on me! But really, the month has flown by.

Mid-June marked a return to school for Little A. I was worried he'd take some time to get re-accustomed to his new timetable, as this was the first summer in three years he didn't attend the school's holiday session. To my delight, he was thrilled to be back and ran straight into his classroom without a backward glance. The hard work put in with his ABA therapists over the summer seems to be paying off too, as he has many more good days than bad ones.

Of course, life would be too dull without trips to the hospital once in a while, and about two weeks into the schoolyear I got another dreaded call - Little A had hit his head and it was bleeding. I rushed over, but for some reason, call it mother's intuition, I wasn't as bothered this time as I was when I was told about the previous head injury.

I rang Big A on my mobile en route to let him know what had happened, but he too warned me that head wounds tend to bleed a lot, and that if the bleeding stopped quickly, we should be in the clear. Little A was more angry than fearful when I arrived, because he was bothered by all the ice on his head. The wound had stopped bleeding but we were advised to seek a doctor's opinion on whether or not it needed a suture. Off we went to Accident and Emergency.

After about half an hour of waiting, and plenty of screaming when anyone wanted to look at his head, we were sent home with instructions to apply antiseptic daily until the wound dried. It was shallow, thankfully, and wouldn't require stitches or another head CT.

Apart from that incident, school has been going well on the whole, far as I can tell. This Friday is my first parent-teacher conference, and Little A's team of therapists will be in attendance, so next week I should have a clearer picture of where he, and we, are going next.