Cognitive: Nasko started PreK this week at the local public school. On Monday, I had a meeting with the staff and special ed coordinators to implement some goals and objectives. Most of these goals are academic, as the teacher believes that the social skills will come naturally. In the classroom, they will be working on counting 1-10, naming basic shapes and colors, and identifying his written name. We will, of course, be working on these at home too!
Nasko's ability to understand English is AMAZING. When I think about how long it would take me to learn a new language, I am in awe of how quickly he has learned.
Nasko is beginning to understand routine and schedule. We have started using the picture schedule that I printed before he came home. It proved especially helpful this week, as Nasko woke up asking to ride the bus and go to school! I repeatedly said, "No, back-doctor, then Arina (OT), then Diana (SLP), then lunch, bus, and school."
Nasko has learned the "This Little Piggy..." poem this week. We are working to have him say the final word of each sentence. (Ex. this little piggy went to ______) His absolute favorite is when he gets to say "Wee, wee, wee home!"
Nasko is also able to recite his entire mealtime prayer spontaneously. (And sometimes when he wants food badly enough, he will! He still thinks that praying is what makes food appear.) He says most of the words, but not quite all of the sounds. He says, "Thank you God for food, and Mama, and Taty. Amen!" Because he's doing so well, we recently added "and Jesus" to the list of things we are thankful for!
Nasko has started seeing our chiropractor friend (more on him in another post) twice weekly. We were worried that Nasko would be afraid of having his neck and back popped, but he seems to like it, so it must be providing relief. His range of motion should improve some as he gets loosened up!
The OT said that Nasko is jumping from his ankles, and not really from his knees. She laid four flat discs on the floor so he could attempt to jump from one to the next. He really struggled with this activity on Tuesday (and the concept of waiting until she counted to three in order to move!) We came home and used masking tape on our tile floor to represent Miss Arina's discs, and Nasko seems to be catching on to the concept. He jumps very, very well on the trampoline, from his ankles, but you HAVE to bend your knees in order to jump on stationary ground.
Also, I don't know about Nasko's muscles, but this Mama has recently realized how much muscle I have gained! It must be from all the lifting, swinging, chasing, stooping, and jumping! Anyone wanted to get toned for swimming suit season might want to start the "Nasko Workout Plan" now!
I did the unthinkable this week - I let Nasko attempt to cut using scissors. I practice the cutting skill with two-year-olds for work all the time, but it just seemed a little more risky to try it with Nasko! Whenever I allow children to cut, they have to follow Miss Ginger's Scissor Rules. They have to sit in my lap and allow me to direct how they hold the scissors. Nasko was so excited to be able to cut without getting in trouble, he didn't mind following any and every rule I made. He shredded an entire piece of paper before losing interest.
A huge and exciting development this week was the fact that Nasko was able to show empathy. Chance skinned his finger while zipping Nasko's jeans one day, and he showed Nasko where he was bleeding. He told Nasko, "Ouch. Taty got hurt." You'd have thought that Taty had lost his finger by the way Nasko reacted. He kissed Chance's hand all throughout breakfast that morning. He'd look into Chance's eyes and say, "Ouch?" and then point to where we keep the bandaids (Yes, Nasko, the typical five-year-old, has discovered bandaids. And he loves them...) Taty refused a bandaid, which upset Nasko more. He'd stroke Taty's arm and make little whimpering noises. Chance and I were very happy to see Nasko show compassion and demonstrate empathy, so we may have milked this very minor injury. :–)
Since his first day home, we have required Nasko to help with some basic chores (because we are mean parents.) After every meal, Nasko has to "help Mama" by carrying his plate to the kitchen counter. He also has to put his shoes, coat, and bookbag in their proper locations when we get home from school or therapy appointments.
Nasko has really taken to setting the table lately too. We realized he was capable of this task one day when he was becoming very impatient. Mama was taking so long to cook dinner, and he was very much ready to eat. He went to our silverware drawer and pulled out the correct number of forks and spoons for the three of us. Ever since then, setting the table is typically Nasko's job. Nasko uses a salad fork while Chance and I use regular forks. He even knows to put the smaller fork on his placemat. Now, the silverware isn't on the proper sides of the plates or anything, but when we sit down to eat, everyone has one fork, one spoon, and one very crumpled napkin. And if you can believe it, NO ONE complains!