Friday, 1 June 2012

Reflections on Pre-K

Jack completed Pre-K today.  I let daddy pick him up from his last day of school, he had taken some time off and I was swamped at work, so it made practical sense.  It did, however, involve me literally sitting on my hands.  Feeling sentimental I guess.  It's probably good that I didn't go, might have embarrassed myself by sobbing or hugging his teachers a little too tightly.  The team at Oak Hill has been excellent to Jack, it has been such a relief to work with them after our experience with Jack's 3 year old preschool class.  Jack's preschool teacher was clearly very stressed out by him, and after the school year ended, the school system OT (she provided services in Jack's private preschool setting) disclosed to me that she had repeatedly asked that he be pulled from the classroom.  Which was very different from the story she was feeding me.  I think this is part of why I was so nervous for much of this year.  No need, these teachers, including the special educator and OT are class acts.  Patient as can be.  And very supportive.

I got something I wasn't expecting in Jack's school bag today....a final update to his IEP.  I am going to post the comments below.  Jack is very good at assimilating into many situations, and so I think that people who don't spend a lot of time doing focused activities with him may have difficulty even recognizing that there are any issues.  That makes me will serve him well in life.

Here is what they had to say:
"Jack requires an average of 10 prompts to complete the assignment/task/activity presented to him.  When called on, Jack was able to offer on topic information during instruction 40% of the time.  Jack was able to independently follow classroom routines 50% of the time.  Jack requires an average of 10 prompts to maintain focus on the task at hand.  In large group instruction, Jack was able to attend to the speaker by independently positioning himself facing the speaker 39% of the time.  Jack has varied interests in specific topics and knows a wealth of information about those topics.  Jack is a VERY nice little boy "(damn straight!!)
OK, so just to be clear, this shows HUGE improvement.  At the beginning of the school year he screamed when music was turned on in the classroom, required a special seat to "remind" him to sit during circle time, and brought home blank worksheets much of the time.

"Jack is showing nice strength increase in his hands (hooray!).  When Jack is focused on task, he is demonstrating the ability to use classroom materials with minimal assist.  He is opening classroom tools such as glue stick, scissors and markers (this is huge for him).  He continues to work on pressure when using the tools.  He is working on sitting tall in his chair when working and using his non-dominant hand as a helper." the beginning of the school year, Jack had still not declared a dominant hand.  As a matter of fact, it was the subject of much discussion this past winter, when his school OT was calling him a righty and his private OT was calling him a lefty.  And the private OT wins!  To be fair, she sees him twice a week and the school OT saw Jack twice a month.  Now that we have a hand to focus on, the progress has been much more steady.  We will need to do a lot of work this summer just maintain the progress.  We are blessed that our current nanny used to be a preschool director and literally brings daily worksheets that she prints out for him.  Everyday when Nate is at school, she takes the time to have Jack write, color and cut.  He fights it, but I have noticed that the more confident he becomes the less he fights.

Nate gets 2 weeks off, and then his school resumes for most of the summer.  The infants and toddlers program has recognized that the little ones cannot be away from their routines for very long or they will lose all of their progress.  Thankful for that.  We are on day 3 of curcumin right now.  The pharmacy where we get Nate's B-12, which is in Ohio, has their own special formulation of curcumin that is supposed to be more "bioavailable".  So we went with that.....I am waiting for Nate to realize that he has "spices" in his juice but for the moment, he is drinking it.  We are waiting with baited breath for side effects.  "Die Off" is not uncommon with this supplement.  Explanation of those symptoms is below.

It will take 3 weeks to get him up to the full dose, then we will add the two other supplements, one at a time.  Today Nate said "bird" for the sitter and something approximating "goodnight" to indicate to me that he wanted to read "Goodnight Moon" at bedtime.  : -)))))

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