Friday, September 17, 2010

Stretching attention

From Nikko's 9/15 school report:
OT - Lots of sensory activities - then worked at table - drawing O's, snipping with scissors & squeezing toys.
I forgot how important having OT was for Nikko last year. They would pull Nikko during the first few minutes of class and do scooter stuff in the hallway, the swing, fine motor threading and lacing and dot markers. I lamented the end of school because I didn't know if I could keep up with home OT. Now that Nikko is getting some kind of input, from school in general and especially with OT, I feel a bit more at ease.

That being said... Nikko is fully into a whiny mode that makes me want to stab my eyeballs and tear my hair out. It is very bad. He started out the morning this way, whining in a high-pitched squeal. I asked him repeatedly what he wanted and it took six or seven tries before he said, "Pop tart?" The whining dotted the morning landscape and ceased when Kathy came for therapy. He had a good session and she told me that he only started whining at the end when they were cleaning up the play doh. School came and went. When I went out to meet the bus, both Nikko and Ronin were awake in their seats for once, both grinning when they saw me wave at them. Inside, Nikko started his whining once again, for things that he shouldn't have: cheese puffs (I gave him some for snack), ice cream sandwiches, pizza (it wasn't cooked yet). I really wish I didn't have to start my day with Nikko's whining and end it as well with Nikko's whining. Encouraging him to Use His Words doesn't stop his whining. Shrieking back at him doesn't make him stop to wonder what the heck I'm doing. If it's a maturity thing, I really hope he grows out of it quickly. I think giving him more vocabulary will help, so I fully intend to bestow more flashcards on him. I bought a rather expensive set of word cards from Lakeshore Learning that is waiting to be opened, but I'm not looking forward to Audrey coming up and grabbing at the colorful cards, bending some in half, getting them greasy. I also feel like the small window of attention from Nikko closes so quickly. It's hard to grasp his focus if he is not holding the object or looking right at me, and even when he is, the moment is fleeting within seconds. Sustaining his attention and focus is a big concern of mine for him. I was just thinking that singing songs helps because he would have to remember words and the tune together, like the ABC's or 123's. I know he's capable of singing a long song because he was able to sing the Thomas the Tank Engine theme song, including the middle part where they name each train (Thomas, he's the cheeky one....).

Tomorrow we are going to a family retreat sponsored by MGB Services. I have lots of packing to do, and wonder how the kids will be able to sleep in a totally different environment. It will be an adventure, but we'll know from this how adaptable the kids will/will not be.

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