Today, the Monster turns five.
Like many “normal” children, this will be marked with cupcakes and an activity in the classroom at school, and a party in short order. (We’re holding off a few weeks on the party so that it doesn’t conflict, as usual, with Mother’s Day or with local events that would complicate family coming in from out of town.)
When you’re close up with people on a regular basis, you don’t notice the changes over time… and I’ve been reading back lately in the blog to where I’d started it last year, when the Monster had just turned four to get a better idea of how he’s changed.
In the last year, the Monster’s gotten to the point that he’s semi-toilet trained. We can usually rely on him to tell us during the day if he needs to go to the bathroom, though it’s still hit or miss with #2. (On that note, he did tell us last night, in time, about #2 to get him on the toilet, so…) We’re not yet up to the point of his waking in the middle of the night for using the bathroom, but that’ll be after we can rely on him fully during the day and don’t have major missteps.
His social skills are improving with the continued education and integration into the smaller reverse-inclusion classroom. Despite our doubts and concerns about the placement, he’s showing more engagement and more awareness of what is ‘socially’ acceptable behavior, such as saying hello or goodbye. He even ran up and gave his grandmother a hug last night without too much cajoling when she came over to babysit. We’re still having trouble with consistency, but that’s always a work in progress with children, no?
In the last year, he’s started to learn to write on his own – he can scribble his name, though how well he writes it really is dependent on the surface and writing medium, since he tends not to apply enough pressure. We’re still not sure – nor is his OT – which handed he is. At least in the last week, though, he’s started to learn his last name, so if he gets found by a police man, we can at least have a 50% hope that he’ll answer the question with enough information for them to find us.
There are still a lot of challenges. His volume needs to be worked on – he seems to be still in a mode where shrieking is the major form of expression, especially bellowed declarations that are unintelligible, or he dips down to a whisper and drops words. His grip needs to be improved, and his verbal constructs need diversification… but he’s come a long way, looking back on the last year.