Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Teaching Daddy to Sign (and school meetings)

Yesterday was Judah's IFSP meeting and Sebastian's parent/conference. Judah's annual date is always around the same time the parent/conference meetings are held at Sebastian's school. Last year they were back-to-back as well.

Sebastian's was first. We sat with his teacher for about an hour and talked. His progress report card is showing his proficiency as being limited in most areas, with the exception of counting in sequence and loco motor skills (no kidding). We do have to keep in mind that he is being taught in Spanish his entire day (with the exception of PE & music). The reading proficiency level they believe he is at has nothing to do with how well he reads & comprehends in English. It's his proficiency in reading & comprehending in SPANISH that is being reflected on the progress report. He works hard with Mommy, Daddy & Gramma to keep up with English and is doing well with that. Math is a struggle. It is also taught in Spanish (everything is). We work on that as well. Experience with dual language schools is zero percent for Scott & I. It's beyond challenging to sit down with your kid's teacher (especially your first kid in school) and try to figure out what the odds are of his Spanish taking off (which happens with some kids) and how to comprehend where he is really at because there are so many new scoring systems and confusing levels & his teacher is telling you that he's above some kids & below others.. and her facial expressions don't tell you anything.. there are so many mountains to climb, in every direction you look. Sebastian has no family that is fluent in Spanish. I took Spanish in high school & college and I'm pretty sure Sebastian has already passed me as far as my proficiency goes. I've sat in his class.. there's no way of knowing how he is doing (beyond socializing with his friends).. I can't understand anything she's saying. Today he came home and drew a preying mantis on the window with window markers. He labeled parts of the face & wrote a short paragraph about it. This was all in Spanish. This was not the kid his teacher was describing. That was great to see, but confusing as well.

Judah's meeting began on a super positive note, full of smiles & amazing stories about Judah's progress. When we first began talking about how much he had changed & progressed from last year, his school OT said, "I believe the term 'night & day' applies here." His goals were pretty much all accomplished and we were writing an IFSP for a new kid. It was amazing. Judah's main aide was there as well to chime in. She has connected with his school speech therapist quite a bit. At the meeting, the autism specialist asked her if she would like to meet to talk at some point in the future. His aide was eager to do so.

I just wanted to jot down some of that info in here - the meetings. I was getting a headache during J's meeting and ended up with a bad migraine not long after we got home. Sebastian wasn't feeling well - he actually missed karate. He's pretty awesome at karate. Some of his classes are pretty big & he is definitely one of the best in there. His reading has really progressed as well. Willow's talking is surreal. That pretty much happened over night. She speaks in sentences, coming up with new things to say all day long! I seriously have no idea where she has heard most of the things I hear her say. Sometimes she will ask me, "Does that make sense?" after she says something new, haha. And Judah is a new boy. This entire past week I've been able to ask him things & get a yes or no answer. He enjoys signing & uses his signs throughout the day (for fun & to communicate). He is watching what's going on and learning quickly. He knows his numbers 1-10 and can recognize no matter what the order. He is learning his letters & colors. He loves practicing these things & his sign language. Yesterday he began signing to Scott as Scott was giving him his nightly Qigong massage. Scott didn't understand what the signs were. So Judah grabbed Scott's hands and showed him how to sign what he was signing. He was teaching Daddy!

Sebastian had some outbursts of chaos tonight. He also had some interesting & thought-out apologies. Apologies in general are often surprising to hear from him after these things, so these apologies were really great. He sang some "I'm Sorry" songs for Scott & I, playing the 2 string guitar, which was laying across his lap. He strummed with a green guitar pick that he had just gotten from the music store downtown (his first guitar pick). He had his ball cap on and his head down low as he played. He wrote some apology notes & drawings that he explained were apologies. Those came at a couple different points during the day (they were apologies for smaller events of chaos) & some came in the evening as well. After his biggest outburst (right before bed), he made a chart for me & one for himself - he had drawn rows & rows of empty boxes on each one and put an "S" at the top of his and an "M" at the top of mine. He said those were all of the days we were going to have Mommy/Sebastian time & that we would write in each box what we had done that day. :)

I came up with something I want to make into a bumper sticker someday.. "Save the World, Discover Pinterest" (because you can't throw anything away after you find Pinterest!!!).

Judah has a rash on his face again. I noticed that today. Impetigo may be back but he isn't acting sick.. just seems to have a cold (all of the kids do). Sebastian has an awful sounding cough right now.

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