Saturday, December 31, 2011

Under the wire

Here we are, on the verge of the new year, and I wanted to squeak one blog post to make up for the lag.

Nikko has been doing ok in school. He has a great aide. He doesn't NOT like going. There were a few sick days, but overall I think Nikko enjoys getting on the bus and being in a different environment during the day. I didn't know if he'd last a full day at school, but aside from some instances of slight afternoon crankiness I think he is able to handle it. I worried about lunchtime but his special ed class eats in the special ed room instead of the big lunchroom. I wondered if I should balk at that idea but really it's fine with me that he eats among peers.

Nikko can write his name. THAT is amazing. It's an IEP goal that the OT has been working hard on helping him achieve. It's not perfect, especially the K's, but on command he is able to write those letters and it warms my heart. In fact, Nikko is able to write other letters as well, just not all at once. Every day after Nikko walks into the house and has snack, I sit him down and we do his homework. This involves writing a letter or a number five times. There are other commands such as putting the appropriate letter in the beginning or the end of the word, and I'm pretty sure Nikko doesn't understand that concept, but we do the best we can. He is able to count by rote, and at home he can go as high as 30. Nikko does discrete trials twice a day at school and I get to read his progress on the sheets sent home daily. The aide does a great job of documenting. I have to get my butt into gear and file away the past month's sheets, that's for sure. Alas, paper is not a stranger in this house.

Nikko still goes to private OT and ST on Friday mornings. Today the OT said that he has improved in terms of tolerance. Every time they do an activity he is learning to try something instead of just blow up. He's also been saying NO and YES more frequently at home when I ask him to go to the bathroom or if he has to choose between two things. THAT is amazing. I don't get an answer all the time, but many times he is able to vocalize a NO. I had the opportunity to sit in on a speech session and watching him make choices, say letters and put them in the appropriate slots, and sustain attention during tasks was very rewarding to me. I almost wish I wasn't observing because I didn't want to waste his session with my presence, as was evidenced in the beginning of that session where he refused to sit in an exercise saucer. The ST spent a considerable amount of time negotiating his tolerance, and she eventually got him to at least touch the center of the saucer instead of sit in it.

I think it's highly important for Nikko to be in these private sessions, especially because his ST BELIEVES in him. She never gives up on Nikko. She sees a ton of potential in him and works hard to coax it out of him. I find her work more encouraging than the feedback I got during his parent-teacher conference, unfortunately. While he has some very committed folks on his school team, I am not entirely confident that some of them believe in Nikko's abilities. One example is that of the school speech therapist. She warned me that Nikko's speech goals in his IEP are extremely high, and she didn't want me to be disappointed come IEP review time if his goals weren't met. When I asked her what she was doing to help him meet his goals, she gave me a non-answer of "Well, we're doing the best we can and we'll keep trying." Not a lot of confidence there.

Despite my reservations, I am giving the school a chance to help Nikko. I am really grateful that Mrs. I was reassigned to be Nikko's school OT again, because she worked with him last year and is able to gently push Nikko forward. The fact that he can write his name is proof of her hard work, in my opinion. Nikko's IEP meeting is at the end of January. I will be spending the weeks beforehand pouring over his discrete trials and matching them up to his current goals.

Elsewhere, Nikko still has night wakings. He is put to bed between 8:30-8:45pm with melatonin. If he's tired, it works like a charm. If he's not quite tired, it may take a little bit longer for him to hit slumber in a darkened room. I am perched at the side of his bed singing him to sleep, by the way. Once he falls asleep, I get at least 3-4 hours of quiet time until I am on my guard for a night waking. Sometimes it happens before I hit the hay; sometimes it happens after. He's been on winter break for two weeks and his potty training has gone somewhat south. I hope that once school starts again, he'll be back on schedule with wanting to pee in the toilet instead of in his pull-up. Grrrr.

Well, gotta get some sleep. Happy New Year! I want to be more consistent with blogging in 2012, so let me get on it!