First of all, the obvious: I haven't posted anything in almost six months. We've been super busy... not with anything in particular, I guess, other than the business and busy-ness of life. My job has really ramped up in the 2011-2012 school year as I've led our school's new AVID program. It's been really rewarding, but it's definitely made for a hectic year! Needless to say, I'm loving the slower pace of summer, even though it is busy, too. It's just the Roberts way, I suppose!
Last week, Luke started summer school. He qualified for ESY (extended school year) PPCD (pre-school program for children with disabilities). It's funny - you initially get a SpEd (special education)* diagnosis, and you would think you'd be horrified to qualify for any services. Let me tell you, folks - we have learned that qualifying for and receiving services is a great thing, because it means more opportunities to learn and grow! Our sweet boy is back to his hard working ways. Four days a week, this is his schedule:
8:00-11:00 a.m.: "Big School" (aka, school district PPCD ESY)
11:00-12:55 ish: Head home, eat, attempt to use the potty**, and head to...
1:00-3:00 p.m.: "Little School" (aka, Brent Woodall)
Makes you tired just thinking about it, huh? Here's Luke after day 1 of his "double-header":
*Apparently, a diagnosis also inserts you into the wonderful world of acronyms. It's like my superpower. Give me a SpEd acronym, and I can tell you what it means. It's weird that there isn't a character like me in The Avengers.
**Potty Training... yeah, that's not going all that well so far. Get ready, FWSC (that's friends with small children - I'm making up my own acronyms now!): I'm sure I'll be emailing or calling you soon asking for potty training wisdom.
So yeah - he is just the hardest worker ever, certainly in his age group. He makes us so proud all the time. Here are some great things he's doing:
- He answers the following questions: "What's your name?" (Muke); "How old are you?" (fwee); "Where do you live?" (You-wiss)
- He is consistently requesting items and snacks vocally and without his PECS (picture exchange communication system). This is a REALLY big deal in the autism world. His favorites: mook (milk), goldfish, cookies, cwackers, juice, touch (which could mean his iPad, his iTouch, or one of our iPhones. And shut up - yes, he's rotten. Get over it), and...
- He consistently uses a SENTENCE request for his current favorite DVD: "I watch Ernie." (Sesame Street's 1-2-3 Count with Me, starring Ernie). BIGGEST. DEAL. EVER!!!
- Also - he loves to play "Open the Case" - a.k.a. "Deal or No Deal" on the Wii. He ALWAYS chooses case 1. We have finally gotten him to randomize his case picks instead of going from 2-26. But by golly, he will always choose "No Dee-uw," and, when it comes to it, "No Swap," so he WILL take home whatever amount is in Case 1. This makes his uber-competitive mother crazy. I know - I have a problem. Here's his little avatar. Cute, huh?
- He is counting his face off. I'm not having a lot of success uploading it, but he counted/read the tape measurer last week. We're not TOTALLY accurate - once we got to 30+, he was doing fwee-one, fwee-two, etc., but there's no question - and really, there has never been a question, that Luke is SMART. So much going on in his noggin' - it's just a matter of getting it out!
- He still loves letters. If there are letter toys, he will use them to build words. This is his favorite pastime at my parents' house. I posted some of those pictures on Facebook, so you may have already seen them, and I re-posted them below.
- His favorite on "Honey's touch" is YouTube, which he has configured so that all of his favorites are at his fingertips. Right now he LOVES Bingo and Ten in the Bed.
- His physical imitation skills have improved vastly. "If you're happy and you know it" has becoming a big player in our house. Clap your hands, stomp your feet, shout hoo-way (hooray), hug your mommy (or daddy), kiss your mommy (or daddy), tickle Luke, fly so high... we are having some fun with song!
- He has had a great first week at summer "Big School," and his case worker at BWF and his therapists have all commented lately about how much his rate of learning has increased, meaning he is gaining skills quite quickly. We know that there can be plateaus in this gig, so for now, we are elated with how well he is doing!
And I know I'm biased - but He broke the mold with how beautiful Luke is! He's so precious. :)
Okay, I had hoped to add pictures where they belonged with each bullet, but Blogger is annoying, and I've already been at this post for almost an hour. (Gee... I wonder if that's why I go so long between posts!) Here you go...
Speller extraordinaire (he did his best with elephant... just one e, y'all.)
And - his precious little voice (and my annoying one - whatevs).
I hope everyone is having a WONDERFUL summer! Coming soon (ideally) will be some back-dated posts filling you in on the January-May portion of our lives in 2012. Better late than never, right? :)