Wednesday, July 20, 2011

So Shines A Good Deed In A Weary World*

Several months ago, I entered a contest for Dylan to win a box of figets.  He won and we got a box full of cool stuff like stress balls, a wall walker (kinda like a sticky octopus that you toss on the wall and it crawls down), smiley face stick figure, this cool ball made of a hard rubber that Dylan loves to chew on and some other neat stuff.  We had been working on his writing and I figured this would be a good time to get him started on thank you notes.   Never in a million years would I have thought it would have such an effect on this lovely blogger. 

Then, being the proud Mama I am, I shared this with several people including those people who's efforts made it possible for Dylan to write the note.  His kindergarten teacher being one of them.  She wrote me back that she had a rough year.  She loves the kids but she was actually considering getting out of education but my email reminded her of why she does the work she does. 

Sometimes I forget that it's the little things that make the difference.  Now I have to get my ass in gear and sit down with him and write thank you notes for his birthday gifts.  Oy!

*Name that movie!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"What Did You Do To Him???"

Those were the words spoken to me on Dylan's second day of camp.  They were spoken by one of the camp counselors at after care.  She has been going on and on about how much his behavior has improved, how well he listens, doesn't run off, how verbal he's become (and understandable).  What did we do?!?!

By the way - our first conversation, she realized that by saying how wonderful he's doing and how much he's improved, that he was a bit of a challenge (to put it mildly) he was last year and tried a bit to back peddle.  It was okay, we've noticed lately too how much he's grown.  Not just physically but emotionally and behaviorally. 

Let's be honest - it's a year.  The year between 5 and 6 is HUGE.  Lots of room for growth and maturation in even a neurotypical child.  But let's also consider how hard Dylan has worked this past year....

He's received...

Speech at school 3x a week.  2 one-on-one and 1 small group half hour sessions plus the speech work the therapist does with the entire classroom.

Private speech - 30 minutes on Saturday.

OT at school 3x a week (sometimes more depending on need).  2 one-on-one and 1 small group half hour sessions plus additional work in the clasroom.  He needs so much OT that he'll even brush himself when he feels the need (self care has been a huge leap this year).

Behavioral therapy every other week not just for him but for us as a family.

Hippotherapy (a/k/a therapeutic riding) 1x a week for 30 minutes.  He loves this!  It's OT, PT and speech all rolled into one with some behavioral thrown in (when he is misbehaving a quick "what would Biscuit think!" usually snaps him back into reality).

Lego Learners 1x a week.  Social skills program which works on fine and gross motor.

Educational tutoring 2-3x a week. 

Now that I've written all that out, I realize that I would be more surprised if he hadn't blossemed over the past year.  He has worked his adorable little tush off.  We are so very proud of him. 

Now he's enjoying camp.  He spends his day with friends, swimming at least 2x a day, playing Gaga, soccer, hockey, basketball, doing arts & crafts, cooking, sledding (man made hill, they run water down it and the kids fly down on inner tubes), biking, nature, boating on the lake.  OMG I wanna go to camp in the worse way!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

6 years ago today

A brave woman in Guatemala labored to bring an amazing boy into the world.  6 pounds 10 ounces of smiles and love.  2 days later, that child was no longer with his mother but rather a foster mother who would love and care for him for the next five months.  Five months later, he was placed into our arms with the understanding and trust that we would love him and care for him with every fiber of our beings.  For the 6 past 6 years, Dylan's first mother has never been far from my thoughts but they always come to the forefront during certain times.  This is one of them.   I hope my son's Mother is at peace and has happiness in her life.  I pray that she feels this was the right decision for them both.

In August we go to Boston for a study on his genetic deletion.  We will probably attempt to reach out to Dylan's first Mom after to share information and hopefully start a relationship.  At the very least, I want her to know that her son is loved, honored and respected and so is she.

Dylan woke up this morning and announced "I am 6!"  He had chicken nuggets for breakfast and then off to camp he went with a bag full of TastyKake treats for his bunk mates and counselors.  Tonight we are off to a special birthday dinner. 

Happy Birthday my sweet boy!