Monday, January 19, 2009

Always changing . . .

It seems like the boys change so rapidly that I have to record all the little things before they slip away and I forget.

Easton is changing like crazy. He took his first steps right after the new year and has been unstoppable ever since. Most babies wait until they can balance rather well to walk. Not Eastie! Once he started taking steps, he was off and is already trying to run. Each day his balance gets better, but it sure has been funny to watch him figure it all out. Easton also figured out how to get up and down the stairs. This kid is a problem solver and doesn't give up. He will try again and again until he gets it perfect and that's what he did with figuring out the stairs. Easton is signing "milk", "dog", and "ball" and is trying to figure out how to sign "eat" (right now he keeps patting his head). I think he is going to be really good at the "terrible two's" since he is already throwing himself on the floor when he doesn't get his way or what he wants. We always know when Eastie is causing mischief because he growls as he starts his capers. He is still full of laughs and smiles and is still our sunshine.

At the end of December, a mutual decision was made with Camden's preschool teacher to remove him from preschool for the time being. He was having as many bad days as good days and the stress was wearing on us all. After the advice of many friends, I've been reading Raising your Spirited Child and The Out of Sync Child. Both of these books have been a tremendous help to me. I see much of Camden in the descriptions found in these books. It's been reassuring to realize that my son is normal, just a bit more sensitive and spirited than the average child. In addition to helping me understand my son better, they have helped teach me strategies and activities to use with Cam. We're seeing a lot of improvement in him at home and in public situations. I'm learning what sets him off and what to do help him. I'm also learning strategies to help him help himself. Now instead of hitting, he will tell me he is angry and what he needs to do to calm down. I'm thrilled to be able to understand him better and be a better parent to him. It has been downright awesome to see my beautiful boy blossom, thrive, and mature before my eyes. His imagination, intelligence, and creativity astound me.

We had his preschool evaluation last Friday. I prayed that it would go well and that the evaluators would be able to know my concerns for him. I knew he would pass the academic parts with flying colors and wondered how they could evaluate my behavior and sensory concerns. It may seem small, but I know the Lord heard and answered my prayers because Camden went into what I call "classic Camden" when confronted with noise. The speech therapist wanted to test his hearing. I was filling out paperwork and not paying much attention, but the speech therapist wanted to put something in his ear and he freaked out! He ran screaming from the room and went into full Camden melt down. I took him outside and calmed him down. The therapist skipped the hearing test and instead sat and talked to me. She asked if this was a typical behavior and I told her yes. I explained my concerns to her and what had happened in his last preschool. Without me even bringing it up, she mentioned a sensory processing disorder, mentioned occupational therapy, and talked to me for a bit about that. It was such confirmation to me, that my concerns have been right on the money. I only wish I had of followed through on my instincts months ago. I don't know if he will qualify for the preschool, but if not, I have the number of another evaluation service to call. I am praying that he will qualify for services at the preschool and be able to learn coping strategies for his noise issues.

I am grateful to be a mom to these beautiful boys. I'm grateful for the opportunity to become a better mother. I know these children have been placed in my life specifically to teach me how to be a better parent - more patient, loving, and kind. I am very grateful for all the good friends who have listened to my concerns without judging, who have given me advice, and put me on the paths to understanding my son better. I'm grateful for all the prayers and best wishes on behalf of my child and myself. I truly feel them and they have helped when I have questioned my parenting and my own self worth as a mother.


Anonymous said...

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Unknown said...

Sounds like Easton is going to keep you busy!

I hope Camden qualifies for the services at the preschool, too.

Lynanne said...

What a relief to have answers! Don't fret that you should have had him evaluated earlier. I can guess what they would have told you: "He's young, let's wait and see. Come back in 6 (or 12 or even 24 months.)" We heard this more than once.

If he doesn't qualify for the special preschool, is there one that has a smaller class size (and thus less activity, movement, noise, etc)? Many special-needs preschools focus on skills for the low-functioning end of the spectrum and this environment can be very frustrating for a child who is on-track academically. A regular preschool (with smaller class sizes) would give him the opportunity to practice coping mechanisms in the environment where he will need them the most.

(BTW, I don't mean to sound like I'm slamming special needs preschools - we chose to send BOTH our sons to an absoutely wonderful one that integrated children of all abilities.)

Unknown said...

I love your comments. You will be so blessed for your diligence and patience with your children. We do learn so much from them. I love reading about your success and struggles. We all learn from each other. Love ya!!