Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Progress Report- Fall 2008
Sorry I haven't been posting THAT much. After posting every day during the summer road trip, I was a little posted out. Plus, with Michael's progress- I keep losing track of all the new things he does and says. Isn't it great just to be at that point?
Anyway, Michael is still at Ridge Elementary School in a class with 15 students. He was in that class last year, but with only 12 kids. It's a full class this year.
Michael is now sharing his aide with another kid. Part of the reason is because he doesn't need her as much. The other reason is because the child could use the help. Longwood has been so helpful over the years, I didn't feel right being selfish and holding on to the aide like that. Plus, Michael was the one who didn't want her around so much. He would even say so at times. It's not that he didn't like her, because she does a great job and is very caring. I think it was more him trying to be independent.
Michael is now playing the violin. And I mean PLAYING. Honestly, I thought the instrument was never going to work. I played piano, flute and sax, but didn't know how to play a string instrument. So, I was worried that I couldn't help him. But, he is doing great. He plays everyday for at least 20 minutes. He's very good about it (just like his homework). He's reading music! Sometimes I pull the keyboard out and we play songs together. It's just so cool. I NEVER thought that would happen. I don't know what his band teacher thinks- but I think he's doing wonderfully! I CANNOT wait until his concert. THAT will be on YouTube for sure. LOL!
Michael has a new friend- the kid upstairs. They get along so well it's scary. "Jessie" is about 7 years old and moved here over the summer. They go to the after-school program (SCOPE) together. The cutest thing is when they see each other at home, each of them jumps up and down and yells the other's name. It's like they haven't seen each other in 20 years. LOL. Sometimes Jessie knocks on the door and asks if Michael can come upstairs. Jessie's Mom keeps saying to me "I wouldn't know Michael had autism if you didn't tell me". Well, he still has autism- but it's great to hear that. Last weekend we went to an Islanders Hockey Game. The boys had fun. I'm so happy for both of them- since they are only children. And I'm very grateful that Jessie's whole family is so accepting. Oh, and the boys went Trick or Treating this Halloween too (along with Paul).
The funniest thing happened the other day. I picked up Michael from SCOPE and he didn't want to leave until this one boy left. Michael was staring at this kid's Mother when she walked it. We had to follow them out. When we got to the door, the woman says to her son "get in the car Billy" (or whatever), but in a raspy voice. She sounded like Kathleen Turner after smoking 1000 cigarettes. Michael gets in our car and says "Billy's mother has kind of a weird voice". I was laughing so hard I couldn't drive.
I wasn't laughing at Billy's Mother. I just couldn't believe that Michael noticed it in the first place. And the way he said "kind of a weird voice". He didn't say that she sounded like a man. He used language that was more abstract. Which is awesome! Plus, I turned it into a whole exercise about why you shouldn't smoke. LOL.
I saw a report and Michael is on a 2nd grade level for Math and English. Which doesn't make a lot of sense to me, because he scored average or above average on his 3rd grade State Exams in both Math and English. I'll find out tonight- we have our yearly parent-teacher conference. I'm looking forward to it. I always have with these meetings. Maybe during pre-school I didn't, but I can't remember that far back. LOL. But, at Ridge they have always been so helpful with Michael, there is no fear there.
We're still going to Dr. Imam's for IV chelation. Everything is going well with that. Nothing new to report. We took 2 months off from chelation during the road trip. Michael was fine- but it's hard to say whether he was affected by NOT having chelation because we were on the road. But, overall- he was great. I don't want to stop the IV's until we know we have all the heavy metals out of him. We'll be doing a urine test this Saturday.
Summary: We are so lucky that Michael continues to do so well. Both his teachers and the SCOPE people say he's the most behaved kid in the class. He does his homework without having to remind him. He's playing violin now. He's continues to make friends. He's happy and social. He does continue to have some stims- like the weather and his "pretend kids"- but that's a lot better than touching the bushes (which he rarely does now). He's very independent- he brushes his own teeth, fixes his own meals, dresses himself, picks out his own clothes and always finds something to do (watching tv, reading, coloring, etc.) I notice a few times he stutters or need a second to form a sentence- but his use of words is amazing. I need to do another video update and post it.
Again, thanks for reading Michael's blog. I cannot say enough about the people at Ridge/Longwood School District and Dr. Imam's office. We are truly one of the lucky ones in the autism community.