Monday, October 31, 2011

Trunk or treat!

I zipped home from work early today and we carved a couple of pumpkins. Quinn drew on the faces, I did the carving. He tried to convince me to trade jobs, but I didn't fall for that one...

We all went trick-or-treating as the royal family. Tom made us crowns (Quinn chose one from his massive collection, and Nana found one that fit her, too) but Quinn also wore a cape. He is always very serious when he puts on a cape...

Here we go!

Our little dog Baxter is having some severe fainting spells due to a leaky heart value, so we're not supposed to get him too excited. A constantly ringing doorbell seemed like a bad idea, so we handed out candy from the back of one of our cars. It turned out to be a really fun thing to do and we got to talk to the neighbors a lot more than we do just opening the door and tossing out some candy while the dogs go nutty. This (and Quinn, of course) made for a really fun Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Preschool dropout

After a three-week trial, the preschool for kids with speech delays decided not to enroll Quinn. They said that redirecting him ("Quinn, sit down. Quinn, are you listening?") was taking too much of the teacher's time. I can't say I blame them, because I know that is a challenge for him.

Surprisingly, I actually feel some sense of relief because I had been working my tail off trying to hide his challenges since this school doesn't take kids with issues other than speech. We were getting up early to run him around the 'hood and burn some energy, watching his diet very closely, not letting him watch any TV in the morning, etc., etc., etc. All good things, of course, but we were making ourselves a little nutty worrying about them all.

So we're back in the hunt for a school that's a good fit for Quinn. Today we visited a church-affiliated school that employs a PT who specializes in sensory processing disorder. They allow about two kids with SPD in each class. But all the kids get "therapy" -- they bring in an OT every Monday and do lots of sensory play every day. In many ways, this place is the opposite of the last school. While that one was very academically focused, this one doesn't really do academics at all. Its philosophy is that kids (at this private school, in this high-end neighborhood) are getting that sort of stimulation at home; what they need at school is social interaction and play. Since Quinn is doing great academically but is in desperate need of social skills, that sounds good to me. The catch: They might not have a slot for him. The school's SN liason was planning to put him in the 3-year-old class (their ages are developmental, not chronological) but changed her mind after meeting him and seeing his impressive brain at work on a puzzle and a game.

And so we wait. We play. And we enjoy our extra time with this fabulous little guy we're blessed to call our son.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Plan C, D - and working on E

I haven't been  blogging of late because I've been driving. And driving. And driving. Like a long-haul trucker.

As of my last post, I had pretty much decided to skip the speech preschool with the principal who pretty clearly didn't want Quinn. Instead, we decided to give his special-ed preschool another shot, with new goals written into his IEP.


This year's class has a couple of very challenged kids. And Quinn tends to raise or lower himself to the level of whatever is happening around him. So we were looking at a very bad scene, with increasing behavior issues.


I decided to keep my appointment to visit the speech preschool, and I had the same reaction as the first time I visited. I wanted to hate the place. But I loved it. The teacher is amazing, the assistant is fantastic, the kids are engaged. So I pretty much begged and got Quinn in on a trial basis. We'll find out soon whether he'll be able to stay, and at this point it's anybody's guess.

As the principal feared, he is a challenge to the teachers. He stands up during circle time, walks around during center time, doesn't want to sit and look at a book on his own. But... in three weeks, he has gone from speaking sentences only to himself to having actual conversations with us. He has gone from never, ever participating in his special-ed class group activities to taking part. And he has gone from never, ever singing with us at home to happily singing songs with multiple verses. So I'm working closely with the teacher (who is beyond wonderful), we're practicing school activities at home, we're volunteering at the school and we're praying, praying, praying.

In the meantime, I drive Quinn to "Miss Jocabed's school" for 2 1/2 hours in the morning, then pick him up and drive him across town for 2 hours of "Miss Schreiber's school" in the afternoon. Except on Wednesday afternoons, when we alternate between OT for sensory processing disorder and a therapeutic playgroup for speech and sensory issues. Then it's home to practice "centers."

How much do we practice? In the bath last night, Quinn said, "Mama! This is bath center!"