Saturday, July 20

Week 2 Wrap Up

 We had a great weekend last week, venturing out to the zoo, the lake Michigan beach in Holland and other local attractions. Everyone here is so friendly but the weather has been warmer than we hoped. From talking to family in Austin it sounds like we brought the hot with us and they got the weather we had hoped for here.

On Monday I was able to observe Bryce in the classroom during the morning. It seems the magic is in the consistency, routine and repetition. Which of course means there is no magic at all.

Bryce is one of the faster moving kids in the class so I was a little frustrated to see how much time he spends waiting. Waiting for everyone else to get to their spot or to finish a task. But since patience is not a virtue he was blessed with this I think this is actually a good thing for him. He's being forced to stop and wait and hopefully learning that it is possible to do. 

I'm sorry to report that the two of us have been butting heads quite a bit. I was happy to learn during my afternoon observation yesterday that his poor behavior - out right refusing to cooperate and repeatedly doing what he is told not to (like shoving Gage) - are not behaviors he demonstrates in the classroom. It seems that he saves this special behavior just for me. 

An example would be yesterday when they were eating lunch. Bryce had chicken nuggets and the conductor had helped him cut them so he could use his fork to eat them - something he is capable of doing with just a little focus. He correctly did so several times until the conductor felt comfortable letting me step in. Which is when he began refusing to use the fork and insisting on just picking up the pieces with his hand. No matter what I tried, I could not get him to cooperate. If I tried hand-over-hand he would use his other hand (use of his right hand = bright side) to pull his hand out of mine, push me away or actually pretend like he was going to do it but then grab the chicken with the fork hand when close enough. 

I don't think his conductor believed me when I said we'd been struggling at "home" (the hotel) with this until she saw it for herself. She said that sometimes she has to remind him of the right way but that he never outright refuses like that for them. Thank goodness!

On the other hand, at "home" and camp he's been doing great with his potty training.  I think it will still be awhile before we can expect him to be able to venture outside the house or school or go over a nap or the night without a diaper.  But we are already doing so much better than I truly hoped we would be even a year from now before coming here.  Yesterday he kept his diaper dry all day and went potty in the potty 7 total times!  We haven't moved to the underwear yet but I am hopeful we will before the end of camp.  As long as I keep up my end of the bargain.

At pick up everyday each kid walks out and the parent gets a short visit with one of the conductors.  Thursday Bryce walked out with the quad canes (a cane with four points at the bottom to provide more support than a standard cane).  I suspect we'll be moving to either a forward walker (Bryce currently cruises around pretty well with his posterior, or rear, walker) or possibly some sort of cane.  But both are very much different than his walker - a pushing motion as opposed to a pulling motion - so we'll have to see how it goes.  He is very unsteady with both right now and far from safe or independent, which he barely is with the walker we've had for the last couple of years.

During the Thursday chat with his conductor she warned me that we really need to work on completing tasks.  She is concerned that Bryce's inability to stick with something until completion will inhibit his ability to move forward at all with any of his skills.  I completely agree but this is something we've struggled with since he began therapy at six months old and will probably be something we always struggle with.  Her point was that if he can't stop to focus on something and put his mind to it until it is done he's going to have real trouble learning, making improvements and moving through milestones.

But at pick up yesterday his other conductor said that they have seen a steady increase in the time he can sit during class and pay attention to what is going on.  She said that on the first day of camp he couldn't sit still for more than a minute or two at the most but that yesterday he was doing so for 15-20 minute stretches.  He still needs a lot of improvement but this is great news because it means he's getting better and will be able to continue benefitting from the program.

I'm happy to report that Caleb is here now and we have a big day planned at the beach so I'm done blogging and off to enjoy this very special treat!  Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for checking on us!