Sunday, March 23, 2014

Teacher Conferences, Birthday Parties and Croup, oh MY!

I should've updated on Friday, and now here I sit with too much to say to sum up the last few days, why do I DO that? I'll try to keep it short!

We had the boy's teacher conferences on Friday. We met with Brady's teachers first. He's doing well and coming along nicely with friends. They love that he tries to communicate with peers and adults and the kids do a great job of being as patient as 4-5 yr olds can be. We have noticed that words that he's mastered in therapy always end up lost when used in conversation, so that's a bit frustrating.

I received Brady's 'winter test results' and was a bit surprised by them. Brady was under grade level for 30 of the 50 categories last fall, wow. He came up to normal range for everything except 2 categories - 'Speaks Clearly' and 'Uses conventional grammar'. He's actually scored in the "NOT YET" area and not even on the chart.
I mean, yeah, OF COURSE that's where he'd score and if they said differently I'd be concerned, but still, there it is in black and white. The kid can't speak. I mean, not really with other people for any length of real conversation. I'm not sure what to do except what we are doing. We'll definitely be getting him private daily therapy over the entire summer. Once we have our new insurance in April, I'll be exploring our options, so hopefully that's all set up soon.
But, on the bright side, how amazing is it that he came up to normal in TWENTY EIGHT categories since last fall? I love it! He's bright and sweet, but will struggle with speaking and reading because of the Apraxia. That seems to be what will remain our main focus for this kiddo.

Onto Jax.
Jax is doing really great academically, and he's shown what a bright little elf he can be. It's kind of nice to take a sigh of relief from that category.
The area of improvement that we need to really focus on is Jax's inability to regulate his body and attend to a project in a timely manner. Basically his fine motor and sensory issues.
The Special Needs teacher said that she really thinks Jax's asthma meds are making him 'excited and impulsive' and she sees it in most of her asthma kids, especially when they go up in medication strength. HUH. I never even thought of that! She thinks it's hindering his fine motor even more, but we just need to work with it since the medication for his lung function is more important.

So.. we had a long discussion about this whole topic. Jax currently only gets 'observed' by an OT at school, and then I take him to private OT on Fridays since he doesn't have class on that day. The Special Needs teacher wants Jax to be in full OT with school services for kindergarten, so I'll be calling the current school OT to discuss her plans for the IEP kindergarten plan. Jax just seems to be unable to pull it together and regulate himself to focus on some things. They never mentioned ADHD this time, and seem to really be focusing on his fine motor delay, asthma meds (cracking him out for lack of a better term) and regulating himself to hone in on his capabilities.
I asked why he scored so high in the area of 'Writes to convey meaning' when the kid just can't really write, lol! The teacher said that Jax understands and KNOWS what it is, so that's what he was graded on. She said that if she sits with him and reminds him over and over to slow down, focus and to do the work, he can do it. He'll 'read back' his work from the day before and know what it says.
So I guess I understand that.

Then I took Jax to his private OT at the hospital afterward. When I picked him up, the OT said she had a hard time getting him regulate and attend to the activities. I almost CRIED! I told her what the teachers had just told me and she seemed to understand completely why this was his biggest challenge at school. She is going to start to having Jax wear a weighted vest and sit on some particular items in his chairs to see if it can help him focus more on the projects. She'll work specifically on these areas for the next few weeks.
Interestingly enough, Jax had to use a weighted blanket for 2 years as an infant which his first OT gave him. His sensory was so off from his prematurity that everything startled him when trying to sleep. The current OT said it's almost the same thing for Jax now, just a more matured version.
Jax also has started touching everything to his mouth to 'feel' it. The OT thinks that now that his mouth is becoming de-sensitized and he's eating now, it's how he explores things and it should subside on it's own.

The good news is that while Jax will require more OT for kindergarten, his specialized phy-ed teacher said that if he continues with his progress these last few months, he may graduate the therapy for kindergarten, woot! She said she'll see what she thinks for recommendations for his braces though, since he'll be ready for a re-fit by the end of the year.

So... we know what we need to work on and what to be proud of. They've come so far!

They had a fun weekend with a birthday party for the Bonin-twins on Saturday. They had a non-stop blast! Unfortunately, they're little runny noses from that morning really blew up that night. Brady has croup, and oy, Saturday night was a bust. Thankfully we have his liquid steroid on hand for nights like that, which keeps him from getting stridor, but the hacking kept him up all night. Hopefully tonight will be much better with a new humidifier and the second dose of meds! Jax hasn't been affected by coughing at (possibly because of his daily Advair that he takes) but he has been gagging with meals and having some vomiting, but nothing out of the ordinary with a simple cold for him. He's already improving.
They've been so healthy, so I'm definitely trying to not complain!

::I can't get my photos from my phone to download for some reason, so cute photos to follow soon!::

1 comment:

Courtney said...

Hi Annie~would love to chat more with you about our boys! I have an almost 5 year old with speech, fine motor and sensory issues. He's been in an extended speech therapy room for the past two years and has just started OT after the holidays. His issues sound so similar to Jax's. We, too have used weighted lap dogs (stuffed!), swivel chairs and seat cushions to help Leo with his 'wiggles'. He also started using an app with his OT called MeMoves to help him focus right before a task. Verdict is still out if that helps him. Feel free to contact me if you you'd like to connect! You're an amazing inspiring to see all that you have done for those boys :)