Thursday, October 23, 2008

School Time

Thomas started school yesterday. This is the autism preschool that is 2 ½ hours 4 days a week and they have 6 kids, 1 main teacher and 2 aids (trained in autism), and a ST and OT that are in and out of the classroom. Everyone said he did really well. It was so hard putting him on that school bus. The aide and the bus driver were really nice. He seemed a little confused as to what was happening, but he didn’t cry. We was even a little excited this morning for the bus. Everytime I mentioned that the school bus was on its way, he would hug daddy really tight, but he had a huge smile on his face. So sweet. Of course, I have no pictures. Yesterday it was just me and Thomas waiting for the bus and it was raining. Then this morning I brought the camera, but the battery was dead. Hopefully I’ll get one tomorrow. And of course after he left and I was on my way to work, I couldn’t believe I forgot that my cell phone has a decent camera. Oh well.

He’ll also keep getting the school therapists going to the daycare. They are working through the Birth to 3 program, and the preschool is through the 3-5 program. Since he still qualifies for the birth to 3, he’ll continue to get that therapy every other week. It’s so nice that he’s getting so much service now. I went back and was regretting not putting him in the ABA program. I really think he would have done well there, and even thrived there. But I didn’t think it was the best thing for him. I kept second-guessing myself, but now that he’s in this program, I really think it is the best thing for him. And it won’t cost me $400/month. The money was not the most important thing, although it did enter my mind. After all the money problems we had and the bankruptsy and everything, we’ve gotten back on our feet and it is nice to say that we could afford that. But I just didn’t think it was the right thing for them. I can’t even say why, because it was an awesome program that I have already recommended to other people. I just know I’m doing what is best for Thomas and I have to stick with that. And I am very happy with how everything has turned out and what services he is now getting.

We’ve been hearing so many more words, mostly ones that he repeats, but will not use spontaneously. He was starting to say some colors and use them appropriately, but only if we would say them first. For example, we would point at something yellow, and then he would say yellow, and then he’d say yellow again talking about another thing that’s yellow, but after doing the other colors, we’d have to remind him how to say yellow again. I think that he now knows what a lot of these words mean, but he forgets how to physically say them. At least that is my impression of watching him. Anyway, he said several of the colors, and he’s started saying train spontaneously and he pointed at a flower on TV and said flower. That’s one that I know I didn’t teach him, so it was cool to hear.

I don’t think I ever mentioned this. It was about a month or so ago and I’d let Thomas watch TV while I cooked dinner (just about the only time he gets to watch TV), and I forgot to turn it off when we sat down to eat. It wasn’t very loud and I didn’t even notice it was on. We were just sitting there eating and suddenly Thomas gets this look on his face, like he was up to something, then he starts shaking his arms and saying “wiggle, wiggle, wiggle”. Then he’d stop and say “meeeee…..wiggle, wiggle, wiggle.” It was so cute watching him wiggle. By the time I figured out it was the TV, the song was over. But a couple nights later, I forgot the TV again, and he did it again. It was absolutely hilarious. Now I just try to get him to do it every now and then. It’s a song they do at daycare every now and then. It’s great. They do a lot of taped group songs, like the bear hunt. Everybody remember that one? We used to do it in elementary school. Thomas does most of the motions and everything too. He really enjoys those things. It’s so nice to see. I love seeing him participate in the activities with the other kids, and the music really is something he likes.

It’s so nice to see the progress that Thomas has made since February when he first started therapy. He has grown so much and has made tremendous progress. It’s amazing to see the difference. Getting ready to start the preschool program they did a new evaluation. The first since January. It was really hard to read that report. I know that he’s made so much progress and he’s doing so well, but to hear that my son is in the bottom 1% of his peers in his combined receptive and expressive language according to the standardized test…it hurts! I just need to stay positive and focus on the progress and the good things. That’s hard sometimes. But he is the most wonderful kid ever and he has a very bright future. I’ll make sure of it.


Kristin said...

I am so glad that you are his mommy. I fear that their are little children is my community who are going without these valuable early interventions. Way to go! Can't wait to see his school bus pics.

I'm Tara. said...

You are such a good mommy!! I'm glad he's getting such great support, and you know that the most important support he gets is at home, so you are doing a fabulous job! I thought of you Friday -- I was in an autism conference all day. Want some more notes? :) Now you just need some pictures up here, hint hint. Hope he continues to do great!

Leah said...

So glad to hear he has started his school and is doing well. I know he will get the best education geared toward his needs. You are a great mom!

Hoey Family said...

Oh my goodness, the school bus! The picture of him waiting for the school bus is precious!