(Some of you may be wondering where the “Eight Months Home” post is… I’m wondering the same thing.  But in the spirit of looking forward and not behind, we’re moving on!)

Cognitive:

As Nasko gains understanding of the language, his ability to think and reason is easier to see.

He’s still not interested in letters of the alphabet, but he has recently shown more interest in numbers.  He can count to 10 (forwards and backwards!) completely independently.  He is even starting to use one to one correspondence as he counts.  For example, as the buses leave the elementary school every day to drive to the intermediate school, we typically stand and watch them.  Just this past week, Nasko has started counting them (one at a time) correctly!

The only reason he’s able to count backwards though, is because of the large portion of the last nine months that have been spent in time out!  When the timer gets to twenty, we count the time down (mostly to keep him in his seat just a bit longer!)  He can now count backwards with the best of them!

 

Language (Receptive):

Most days, my stinking Bulgarian boy understands waaaaay more than what he lets on!

A funny moment the other day, was as we were finishing our dinner.  I get my “morning sickness” at night with this pregnancy.  It comes around 6:30 p.m. and lasts through the night.  As I was sitting with Nasko at the table, I was talking with Chance who was at the kitchen sink.  I said, “Babe, will you rub my legs tonight before bed?  They are killing me today and I am feeling so sick.”  At that moment, Nasko put down his silverware, turned toward me, and started rubbing my knees.  He gave me the biggest grin and looked to me for approval.  I started laughing and called Chance over to the table.

Previously, the English language has been so overwhelming that Nasko only listened when being DIRECTLY spoken to.  Apparently, that phase is over!  He is now listening, even when the conversations don’t directly involve him; we better watch what we say!

 

Language (Expressive):

Nasko’s language has really been blooming lately.  We noticed that he gained a TON of new words and phrases over Thanksgiving break.  We’re not sure if it’s just because he was home more and we paid more attention, or because he wasn’t in school (he doesn’t talk much while at school).  Either way, there were tons of four- and five-word phrases popping out of our little man’s mouth!

Last month, Nasko came up with his longest (intelligible) phrase yet – “Buy more chocolate doughnuts?  Go Taty’s truck!”  Of course his longest phrase would be about food!

 

Gross Motor:

Nasko’s gross motor has suffered lately as he’s been slowed down by these recent “tics.”  Many times he looks as though he’s going to lose his balance and fall over because something in his hip or leg is bothering him.  We attempt to label these “tics” because his lack of balance seriously frustrates him.  Nasko has started calling them an “itch.”  He will be knocked off balance and say “Nasko itch!”  We can’t wait for his neurological appointment on December 18th.  We are still praying and we are hoping for some answers and possibly some treatment.

 

Fine Motor/Social Emotional:

Nasko is now receiving Occupational Therapy at school once a week.  We met his OT this week at an IEP update.  She is very good with him (and actually claims he is her favorite kiddo – she loves a challenge).  While at the school, we were able to observe a typical therapy session.  Miss Betsey has great ideas and techniques.  Chance and I did walk away frustrated though, as Nasko continues to show regressed behavior at school.  Watching him have a therapy session was like watching his behavior from four months ago.  Every toy went directly into his mouth (he rarely mouths objects at home).  As soon as he was uninterested in an activity, he began throwing the toy or using it inappropriately (he has become more patient at home).  We don’t blame the OT for this… we are just frustrated as we cannot be EVERYWHERE at ALL times for Nasko.  He needs to learn that other people have the same expectations that we do.

 

Self-Help:

We’ve begun focusing on having Nasko dress himself.  He’s going to need to be a bit more independent when the baby comes in June, so we’re taking small steps to achieve this!  Nasko knows what is required of him when we ask him to get dressed, but many times, he’d rather do something other than get dressed (sounds age-appropriate, yes?).  We are not above bribery here, so we’ve been offering him a doughnut for breakfast on the days he dresses himself!

 

Here’s to another month of development and bonding – even if it does include LOTS of doughnuts!

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