Saturday, December 31, 2011

The End of 2011

I'm really behind on catching up on Christian. November and December are the busiest time of the year for him. As all of his annual follow-ups and evaluations come up and I decided to wait till he has been to them all to talk about it in one blog post. He still has one left, the geneticists, that he will see the third week in January of 2012. But I think today is a good day to catch you up on things for this year. 

First thing-
His school and I had his annual review and IEP meeting the first Friday of November. His Teacher, Speech Therapist and Occupational Therapist were very pleased with Christian's progress at school since he started one year ago. His preschool teacher commented that he is still acedemically behind children his age but has adapted well to school and is following routines. Less tantrums and outbursts. Speech Therapist says he is making more of an effort and being more consistant with his communicating (verbal and signing.) Occupational Therapist says he is tolerating a greater variety of sensory input. His attention span has improved for activities that his Therapist suggests; rather then doing just what he wants to do. 
*Overall, Christian is doing so well at preschool. He loves it and he loves everyone there! Ben and I are so blessed to have our little man attend such a great school system!

We took him back to his Neurologist the second week of November for his annual follow-up (mostly for developmental delay). She didn't focus on the fact that Christian is behind other children his age because she was so happy with the fact that he is making the progress that he should be. She wasn't surprised that his expressive language skills still isn't where it should (because of his hearing loss) but was happy that his receptive language had shown much more improvement since his appointment in 2010. This time last year he couldn't follow most of the directions you gave him. Today he can follow most directions you give him, not that he always will (typical male). Although he is still having some trouble answering yes/no questions. He almost always says "no," even when he means "yes." Doctor was satisfied with the services he is getting at school along with attending preschool on a regular basis. She doesn't want him to go back for another Neurology follow-up till November 2012 (unless needed for any concerns).

Christian celebrated his 4th birthday the first of December! I can't believe my baby boy is 4!!!!! I still see him as that sweet baby boy that was in the hospital, and I always will!

Communication skills continue to improve:

His new signs are - movie, bird, ice cream, hot, cold
New verbal words are- watch, weed (read), see it, the end, help, k, wow, hot
When you start counting and you say "one" he will then say "two" and attempt "three" but its not as plain as his two.
He is attempting to repeat words, signs or sounds the majority of the time. Not every attempt he makes sounds right but it is getting much better. He still continues to need less prompting with one-two words or signs,  ecspecially if he wants something bad enough.
My favorite is him yelling "help" when he wants the cabinet open! Or him yelling "help" then signing movie to change his DVD.

His four-year check up went as usual, Christian crying and throwing up most of the time. But I am use to it by now. Pediatrician still diagnosed him with developmental delay but was absolutely thrilled with ALL of his progress he continues to make. She was even more thrilled that he loved school so much and that he was doing so well there. She felt that was the BEST thing for him! 

His routine hearing test was December the 16th. This appointment was not completely smooth was the smoothest it has been since he was diagnosed with hearing loss at 5 months old. He completed the hearing evaluation in my lap and responded to every sound (high and low pitch). But he turned to the left side every time even when the sound came from the right. The audiologist said the left ear was still doing all the work (based on his responses that day and the ABR done two years ago that showed profound HL in the right) and his left ear is still in the normal range at four years old! YAY!!! We were able to get the measurements of both ear drums, even though he kicked and screamed. That was as much that we were able to do that day. Go back in July and as always I hope he does better so they can do more testing and can get more results.

Even though he is still 'developmentally delayed' I got a feeling before long you will never be able to tell what he went through or that he was ever "behind."  He is gradually acting more like a "typical" child everyday. He is finally engaging in some imaginative play. By getting in the floor and pushing his little cars around and jabbering and giggling as he plays. He is even playing with his sister now, in short 2-5 minute intervals a couple times during the day. Playing with his cars with her, demonstrating turn taking and playing hid and seek around the house. He is wanting to become more independent, as most kids do at this age. His class at school had a little program for Christmas where they sang a few songs for their parents. Even though Christian didn't sing any of the words to the songs. He did do EVERY move to the dances that went along to the song, just like all of his classmates. He yelled out "hey" during the appropriate times.  He even put his Santa hat on his self and wore it, which is huge for him!

I can tell a difference in him everyday. I fell that he is truly starting to 'grow up' on me. As much as it hurts, it is also a great feeling as well. It is what we have been working so hard for all these years. I believe we will see even bigger improvements in 2012...I just know it!!!

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