I happened to glance at my Dyspraxia Updates page and noticed that it hasn’t been updated in a very long time! It’s been a long time since I have written about D1 at all, I figure it’s worth a full post.
D1 is 9 now. “Nine and a HALF”, as he would correct me. He had his annual OT Evaluation last Monday, and we got good news! His OT has discharged him from individual OT again, for a while. He has met all of his goals. His score increases were HUGE, as have been his gains in everyday things. He can sit and attend, he can write although copying more than a sentence is still a big struggle. He can tell when his “engine is slow”—when he needs to do something to help him increase his attention—or when it’s “fast”—when he needs to do something that will bring him back into focus. That isn’t foolproof, but the Alert Program has really helped him pay attention to his body. This was his second time through the program though, so that helps too. It also helps that he is 3 years older this time. He still seeks sensory input, usually through movement, but not nearly as much as he used to.
He also attends Speech/OT group with two other boys and this will continue for quite a while yet. D1 loves his group activities. They meet once a week for an hour. They work on conversation, keeping eye contact, turn taking with dialogue, body language, and other things that D1 struggles to understand, like innuendo and idioms. Jokes play a big part in the therapy. So many jokes use word play and all three boys are working on similar language goals. Jokes really get them thinking AND they get to have fun too. D1 acts pretty much like any other kid, although his social skills are still immature. It’s weird to think that he’s going to be 10 in August, and in another year he very well could be taller than me. He comes up to my nose right now!! He wears the same size shoes as my 18yo daughter. Granted, she has small feet (a 6.5-7), but theirs are the same size and he’s NINE!
One thing we have discovered that D1 LOVES to do is sing. This boy, who at the age of 5 was struggling to use consonant sounds in words (he could make them in isolation but not in words), SINGS. His favorite band is Skillet, although he likes many others, and is always singing along with Air1 in the car, no matter what song is on. But Skillet…. I love Skillet! And I think I’ve said before how much I love concerts. I told D1 that I will probably take him to see Skillet next time they are in town. He still has a terrible problem with loud sounds, so he told me he will bring his “ear puffs”—his ear protectors that he uses in Daddy’s wood shop when the saw is running. They look like the kind runway traffic guys wear at airports. I’m hoping we can get by with earplugs though. As long as he has some noise reduction he will LOVE the concert! (So will Momma! heehee!)
He tends to do better in social situations where he is younger, rather than the same age. That may come from growing up around the youth group students almost as much as from his delays. He loves the big kids, and will play pool or ping pong with anyone who is willing to spend the time to play him. He is also quick to jump in and pray for someone, even a student years older than him. Kids his age tend to shy away from him, because they can tell he’s different. It makes me sad, but thankfully we don’t rely on age mates because he isn’t in school, and he is fully able to converse with any person, of any age. That’s where homeschooling just shines, and I love it.
Every child is different, with different needs, attitudes, gifts, and deficits. I am so thankful that I am able to teach him (and the others) at home. He has grown by leaps and bounds since I brought him back home from the public school. Praise God for homeschooling!