Thursday, December 24, 2015

2015 - The Year in Review

2015 has been an amazing year!

TheMan has been enjoying his job at FreightQuote where he continues to be an integral part of their organization.  He lost his beloved 12 year old Honda Accord at the end of December, when the axel broke on his way to work. He has moved into the future with a 2015 Mazda6. He's greatly enjoying his new ride.

Meanwhile, I've been working the stay at home scene and I am looking forward to adding back in contract programming. I'm looking forward to spending some time setting up a company website and refocusing on updating this blog regularly. We're having some new and interesting learning experiences as we explore C and R's personalities and challenges.

C was diagnosed with autism at the end of 2014 (What would have been Asperger's Syndrome under the DSM IV). We started ABA at the end of summer and it has been helping him grow and understand these crazy social rules. We honestly don't notice his quirks until we're around other more typical children. Our foster son T was an integral part in helping us decide to move forward with more targeted social assistance for C. Our family isn't really neurologically typical, so his quirks fit well within our world.

C has always been highly focused on reading, math and understanding the symbols in the world around him. When he started Kindergarten this year, I knew there would be challenges and he sure didn't disappoint. His teacher called almost every day for the first few weeks of school as we worked to figure out how to best help him thrive within the structure and activities of his Kindergarten class. His teacher said that academically, he's a challenge like none she's had previously.  C tested out of all the sight word pools for Kindergarten through Second grade in the first month of school. They gave us his end of year Kindergarten exam with a 100% score at our first parent teacher conference. The teacher assured us she's working hard to ensure his continued growth academically while focusing on the essential Kindergarten skills that he has absolutely no interest in (coloring, using scissors, etc). We are very pleased with C's education goals and are also supplementing his studies at his request at home. C's favorite activity continues to be math where he has moved on to Basic Algebra and Geometry as his current learning focuses.

Along with C's diagnosis of Autism, he also was diagnosed with Developmental Coordination Disorder.  He's been working with OT both at school and at a private practice to gain skills and strength to help him with his motor planning and coordination issues.  I'll talk more about this in future blog posts.

I've been in contact with T's adoptive mom and he's doing great.  She has a lot of great plans to get him into some hippotherapy programs, music lessons and dance classes.  She's a huge supporter of him and is an all around fantastic person.  I'm so glad he was able to find his forever home within his own family with someone so wonderful, caring and responsible.

R has grown so much over the last year.  She continues to amaze us with her gross and fine motor skills. When she was released from the NICU last year on 12/13/14 she was automatically enrolled in our county's early intervention program. Her Occupational Therapist has been amazed by her strength and tenacity as she masters skill after skill in the gross and fine motor categories. She defies the 25 weeker stereotype at every turn and amazes us all. Verbally and socially, however, are a bit of a different story. She's not shown as much interest in these areas, so we have added a speech therapist. We work a lot on eye contact and mimicking at this stage in development. Her independence is shining through, which makes those skills somewhat harder to attain. Because she is at high risk for an autism diagnosis due to her brother and other family members, she will be closely followed and given a lot of support as she develops. R amazes us every day as she continues to show the indomitable spirit that allowed her to sail through her time in the NICU.

Wishing you the very best for 2016!

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