Monday, March 15, 2010

Report Card

I don't have much time to write because I have a painting I need to finish by the end of the week....! It was ordered a couple of weeks before Christmas, and then I found out I was pregnant and have been sick and out of commission since then! So now that I'm feeling better I really need to get on the ball....the poor woman who ordered it has been very patient, but it's been 3 months now since she ordered it! SO I will try to be really quick tonight.
Last week I had a meeting with Avery's teacher to discuss her progress. Her goals and progress reports are divided up into the following categories:
  • Adaptive/Self Help
  • Fine/Visual motor skills
  • Cognitive
  • Gross Motor
At the end of the last school year we got together with her teachers and therapists, etc, to talk about her goals, and she had some very specific goals for each category. They give her grades of S for sufficient or M for mastered, and her latest progress report was covered with M's, which was really nice to see! Her teacher says that the main areas where they are really having to push her, and she pushes back, are in the Self Help category. Stuff like her refusing to do things for herself and waiting for someone to come help her instead. Like taking off her coat - she can undo the zip, but she has a really hard time pulling the sleeves off, so she just won't try. And in the bathroom she's started to refuse to even try pulling down her own pants, even though she has been able to do it herself for a while, albeit very slowly.
Also, obviously, she is still struggling with a lot of the gross motor skills, although she has done a very good job of meeting most of her goals! She still uses her walker when they play outside on the playground, and she apparently can pretty much navigate the whole thing by herself now, including going up and down the steps a lot of the time. Gabe and I have been talking about bringing the walker home again, because although I would ideally like for her to be using her cane as much as possible, when we're out in public she still needs to hold my hand probably about 90% of the time, which makes things difficult sometimes. And it also means that she's not enjoying quite so much independence as she used to when we primarily used her walker, because she can't just go running off by herself. In familiar places like school, home and the hospital (therapy) she can use her cane with no help, but other places she really needs help a lot of the time. But anyway, her teacher says that she hardly ever crawls at school anymore, which is exciting! She says that even in the classroom sometimes she will stand up and use her cane without any prompting, which is great. She's still having a hard time carrying anything around when she's using her cane, and isn't quite keeping pace with her classmates, but she is doing a great job.
Other than that, one of her exciting developments is an increased interest in interacting with her friends! Her teacher was telling me that Avery will now initiate play with her classmates, rather than just responding, and this is something that we have been noticing too! Whenever I pick her up from school these days it takes us a few minutes to get out of the door because she wants to say goodbye to all her little friends :) Also, at the pool last week a little boy who was probably a year or two older than Avery came over and said hello to me, and Avery looked at him and said, "I want to play a game with you!" That would never have happened before! Not only agreeing to play with a child she doesn't know, but being the one to initiate it! And they played "sharks", and at one point he pounced on her just a little too hard and she got a little water in her mouth and nose, but she didn't freak out, and she even still played with him after she had finished coughing! It was very exciting for me to see :) Speaking of the pool, she is getting so confident walking around independently in the water! She will just walk all over the pool now with no help! She just decides where she wants to go, and just goes!
Anyway, that was pretty much it for the school report. Oh, except that we've also been concerned about how easily fatigued she has been for the last several weeks, and they've been noticing that at school too. Harmony (her teacher) thinks she's not as happy at school as she has been, and she thinks that maybe she's struggling a little bit with being way ahead of the rest of the class cognitively and verbally. A lot of the other children are in the class for speech delays and things like that. There are days as well where she says she is just too tired to do anything really. I'm a little nervous about the fatigue, because she was so tired before she was hospitalised for her shunt problems last year....although she hasn't been complaining of headaches or dizziness, so it could just be another growth spurt. It's just been going on for a few weeks now.
Anyway, I must go get my children ready for bed now! Goodnight!


Hannon! said...

Wow! Proud Momma moment at the pool, huh? It sounds like she is doing really well at school! :)

I hope the fatigue is nothing to worry about and she gets her energy back soon.

Katy said...

Sounds like a great report to me!

Anonymous said...

Report does sound good!~ ♥

Valerie B said...

This is so wonderful for me to read and very thought provoking. I am thrilled that Avery is coming out of her protective little shell and particularly pleased that the little boy who accidentally 'dunked' her wasn't shunned forever more - the likely reaction a year ago. I agree that the walker may be of real use whilst you're pregnant and, of course, once you've had the baby, expectant Mothers are not blessed with extra hands along with their burgeoning bumps. I have long been concerned that boredom might be a problem for Avery amongst children who are facing intellectual challenges but am so excited to hear that she is socialising more, she has always had that slightly remote view of other children, possibly because they seem so rambunctious to her less mobile state. It's so satisfying to hear that she is choosing to walk rather than crawl sometimes, I was telling Grandma just the other day that it is so peculiar to be able to sit and have wonderful conversations with this bright little girl and then see her crawling, it is amazing how quickly you can forget she has any problems at all until she starts to move about.
Tell Avery that I love her and miss her and long to see her again. Also, Brogan will be thrilled to know that Sebastian went up into the far, dark end of the attic yesterday and found all the lego and, more importantly for a nearly two year old, hundreds of cars, we've divided them between us so there will be plenty for Brogan to play with when he gets here.
Best of luck with the painting.

Josephine said...

Avery will be pleased with the cars too! One of the very few things my two children have in common is a love of cars :) And baby dolls :)

Valerie B said...

I'll see what I can do about the baby dolls.

Paul B said...

It's lovely to see that Avery, despite her other limitations, seems to be forging ahead with her cognitive and verbal skills. How does one encourage these while, as you say, she is in danger of getting bored?

I'd love to see this painting, by the way.

Sarah L said...

Congratulations to your pregnancy!! I haven't read you blog in a while and it was a very nice surprise to hear about! :)

Tony F said...

Progress is progress and good news.