No funny stories today, just a heartfelt update.
The other day, we completed our first ever, successful project together. Meaning both boys actively enjoyed the project, working together, without tantrums. When I got pregnant, I had visions of my babies and I coloring together, playing ball and other kid stuff…together. But because of the boys different needs, we’ve been doing one on one preschool projects; Judah and I working in the mornings and then while he did therapy, Jacob and I would work together. Even so, I’ve really wanted the boys to work together on at least some of their activities and it’s slowly happening.
I wish I could explain to you the progress Judah is making since being home. I’ve never been able to do an activity with him where he sits still, makes choices between which color crayon to use or even looks at his paper, let alone allows me to help him color with hand over hand assistance. (Although he was certainly headed that direction just before we moved from Kansas City)
Generally though, it would be rapid fire, get one mark on the paper just to say we did it, before he’d start raising heck. When collecting his papers from school here, we’d bring home many pages that were either blank or clearly colored by an adult for him, and we totally understood why. (Which isn’t to say we were pleased, but we understood the breakdown that happened) Recently we went to the visitor’s center here in town. It’s a little building by the bay with aquariums and some hands on things like puzzles and boating equipment, each exhibit giving explanations of the town’s history and local animals and vegetation. The boys were really smitten with the hermit crabs so we carried the lesson over at home by coloring our own paper crabs and creating a habitat for them. We even taste tested food that hermit crabs eat…although we kept it to people food, which seemed like a good way to sneak in snack time without breaking up the activity too much. Plus, I didn’t have any dead seaweed on hand, so.
This week we’ve been doing daily sit down activities together, whether it be tracing letters, coloring or reading books. I realize that everyone learns differently, and I’ve never wanted to force Judah into doing something just to say we did it or because Jacob enjoys it (or visa versa). Not that we haven’t tried and stuck with certain things, because we have. But I feel like since starting the ABA in home program, we’re all on the same page and Judah is realizing there is merit to most of the demands we place on him and we’re learning better what makes him tick, so that activities like this are reinforced in ways that reward and build him up. But the fact that Judah sat through the reading of five books, looking at the pages and even showing preference over which book we read next, when previously he’d start tantrumming after the first two sentences, shows the incredible progress.
I can tell Jacob (that kid is gold) is really enjoying working alongside Judah, and I’m seeing it translate into things like how they play at the park and how they share toys at home. I know things ebb and flow and some days are better than others, so I’m marking this one down in case I need a reminder. :)
See? Boring ol’ post. Funny stories to continue soon. Like, the one about the police officer knocking on our door at 11:30pm. Me, home alone, disheveled hair, deer in headlights look on my face and enough nervous stuttering to make a nun seem guilty of something. No harm no foul, just an illegally parked car or something…but I’m sure I was a suspect after our encounter. :)