Friday, December 4, 2015

Big long update on Gabe

How is it December already? The business of life makes time fly by. Here are some updates on our family. Gabe: Gabe is rocking 1st grade. We had parent/teacher conference last month and it turns out, Gabe is the class clown. He likes to make everyone laugh. He is having a very successful year. We may even have an ARC meeting in Feb. to set new goals b/c he is on track to meet all of his IEP goals by that point. He is learning to read and can read very basic sentences, which is such a joy to hear. He does well with addition and we are starting to work on subtraction. We've learned that he focuses on homework best, right after he gets off the bus before he gets too tired. It also helps if we set a timer b/c then he knows there is an end point to the work. With speech therapy, he is working on sorting, adjectives, and the concept of "another". With occupational therapy, he is working on pulling objects out of therapuddy. He is writing letters and doing crafts. She alternates these fine motor activites with gross motor work. He crawls through the tunnel, pushing a weighted ball 8 times. He throws heavy balls back and forth and kicks. He gets excited and participates in all these activites which is great. Physical therapy has been more challenging. Gabe's leg tendons are very tight, so we have been doing calf stetches. He has been doing better going from seated to standing correctly. He loves playing tball outside and we catch him trying to jump at times. He is definitely more mobile and active. We are trying to get him to use the correct technique when going up and down stairs. He still wants to hold our hand for stability, which is not needed. He has lots of fear and behavior issues around going to PT. I literally have to drag him to the car. He asks me every morning when he wakes up if he has PT. It's a big anxiety for him and I don't know why, other than it's just a lot of effort. It's also an area of his life he's trying to maintain conrol of. For example, he can choose not to talk. He can choose not to write his letter perfectly. He cannot choose not to move though, because we will pick him up and make hime move, so maybe he's frustrated we can force him to do it. I'm trying to be more strict and demanding with it...more than I already am even. It works some, but I want him to comply b/c he wants to, not out of fear. As he gets older, he needs to make the choice to be active. We get lots of suggestions on the behavior and compliance front, and right now, the behavior therapists suggestions with start and finishing times, positive rewards, clear demands is working. It's such a hard balance to find the right approach. I'm being more strict though b/c he is 6 and needs to do it...there's just a balance to it I need to find. Parenting can be so hard. Feeding is going really well. He's responding really well to a counting chart with self feeding. We've able to extend the time at this point before a reward is needed and sometimes can phase out the reward till the end of the meal. It's great to be making progress in this area for once. Gabe's had lots of doctor's appointments lately. He had a sleep study this fall which shows he still has some central apnea. He is on oxygen at night and this corrects it well. He'll get another study in the spring and hopefully it will be resolved. We also went to cardiology. Gabe still has leaking around his tricuspid and mitral valve. The leakage is equal on both sides and does not cause any extra pressure around his heart, so we are good for another year there. Gabe has been much more compliant in wearing his glasses. He doesn't do it all the time, but I think he realizes the benefit. He has another loose tooth. He'll need teeth pulled d/t crowding eventually, but everything was fine at the dentist. Alyssa is doing great. She turned 4 last month. She's growing up so quickly. Last month she officially passed Gabe in height. Soccer ended and she started ballet. she's had 3 lessons so far and she absolutely loves it. I'm so happy she has a "thing" since Gabe has so many activities and appointments. She has also cut out her nap about 5 days a week. This makes bedtime soooo much easier. She has the funniest quotes. My most recent favorite is, "Dad, you shouldn't run to the office real quick. It's kinda far away. you should drive there." Justin is doing well. His business changed offices last month which was a busy time, but hopefully he'll have a quiet holiday. My work has been very busy lately, but should calm down some soon. I've been trying to have nights out with friends to give myself a break. The holidays are going to be so much fun this year since the kids are really excited and get it more.