Cognitive: Nasko is continuing to grow his dramatic play skills as his life experiences increase. This week, he got to visit a real horse farm on a field trip with PreK. (Pictures are on my Facebook page, but have no fear, I despised the process of uploading them there; All other pictures will be here on the blog!)
Since his experience with riding, petting, and seeing the horses, Nasko has been very interested in his horse and donkey figurines. He even uses a little toy dog fence to contain the animals. He also is very interested in a farm board book that has real-life pictures of all the animals and equipment.
Nasko started making "buses" this week. He uses dining or folding chairs to make a straight line. He then sits in the first chair and directs other willing (or unwilling) passengers to sit behind him. He pretends to buckle his seat belt and open the door. Sometimes he will even take a turn as a passenger and let someone else drive. We've now made buses at church, at home, and at Nana Peg's.
We continued to work on our schedule this week. Nasko seems to (understandably) handle life better when he knows what's coming at him.
Nasko continues to add to his expressive vocabulary daily. He is starting to use directional phrases quite a bit (Mama sit, Mama eat, etc.) These phrases are useful when trying to tell Mama what to do in his elaborate dramatic play scenes.
Nasko began saying "Hi ______" spontaneously this week. When he enters our bedroom or sees Chance after work, he will squeal and say "Hi Mama!" or "Hi Taty!"
Nasko is also beginning to label things that he sees while in the car. He regularly shouts park [kahhk], cow, bus [bahh], and choo-choo. Nasko thinks that every house with playground equipment is actually a park, so we hear that one quite often!
Nasko received some very cool trucks and cars at his open house last week. The weather has been cooler (and wetter), so he has spent time running the vehicles from one end of the house to the other. Remarkably, he tries to stop short of Mama's walls!
Because of all the structured activities taking place at school and therapy sessions, we have cut back on the structured activities at home. We were able to observe Nasko tracing his name at school this week. He traced the N and then made circular strokes over the other letters. It was super cool that he traced the N and even labeled it correctly while doing so! He's doing well!
We had an episode this week where Nasko was very emotional. We were eating dinner but Chance had to leave for a meeting. Nasko and I were still at the table, until I decided to use the restroom. While I was out of the room, Allen began barking because he also needed to go to the bathroom (it always seems to happen that way!)
I don't know if Allen's barking scared Nasko, or if he was upset by being left at the table alone, but when I came to the dining room, there were big tears rolling down Nasko's cheeks. Nasko had spilled the cereal he was eating for dessert, and he was very, very upset. I immediately scooped him up, and he let me hold him and rock him for the next thirty minutes. This behavior is very unlike Nasko's typical behavior. I was never able to have him communicate what actually upset him to begin with.
What's interesting is that while I was holding Nasko, he signed that he wanted more cereal. I continued to hold him and ended up feeding him. A couple other times this week, he's asked me to hold him and feed him cereal. I've typically given in, with hopes that it will increase bonding and attachment.
Nasko is now able to use a rag to clean up the area where he has been eating. His speech therapist requires that he do this, so we've been working on it some at home as well.
For the past few weeks, Nasko has been squeezing the back of our over-stuffed couch as a way to release frustration or to regulate himself. We originally preferred this behavior over terrorizing the dog or running through the house, but it is beginning to wear on our couches. This week, we've attempted to tell Nasko to "turn around" and "sit right" while on the couches. We've also started saying, "Do you want a squeeze?" If he responds positively, we give him a great big bear hug to allow the pressure to help release his frustration. So far, this seems to be working well. And my couches are being saved!