Sunday, November 6, 2011

Miscellaneous Recap

I'm more than a little behind, but here's a recap.

Parent-Teacher Conference at school
I love E's teacher. He really tries to promote a sense of community in the classroom, and at the same time, allowing the children to be autonomous--at least, part of the time. This is difficult for Elena sometimes. Besides talking about what a great kid E is, e talked about how E relies on her aide, when both of us think she could do certain things herself. E's aide is FANTASTIC--but we wondered how far behind, if any, E would be if the aide just happened to be unavailable. This is an important test, since Elena will most likely not have an aide next year. I also learned (just recently) that we'll be redistricted to a different school next year. Ugh. Anyway, back to the meeting--E is very bright. At present, I have no worries about her academics. We have had some problems with teasing, and I brought it up. The teacher happens to be frustrated, with one child in particular, regarding teasing (not just directed to Elena, but she is an easy target). Not shortly after our meeting, there was a meeting with the principal, E, and the bullying student. That was a bit of a surprise to me--I didn't think they needed an official intervention. BUT, I applaud everyone for taking my concerns seriously. I didn't want to single Elena out. But, if it stops the teasing, or sets an example to show that behavior won't be tolerated, that's fine by me.

A Matter of Time
This sort of ties in to E and the school aide/independence thing. In essence, we don't carry Elena any more. We try to get her to do things herself. She can fully dress and undress herself (occasionally she gets caught up on socks, and we put her braces and shoes on) but it takes a LONG TIME. So, we dress her on school mornings. On four occasions, I have carried her from her bedroom, down the steps, on the way to the breakfast table. On EVERY one of those occasions, we've been 10 minutes early for the bus. That means it takes Elena 10 minutes to get out of her bed, and slide on her rear down the steps. 10 minutes--and that's for ONE of the many things we expect her to do herself before school. As you can imagine, our school mornings are regimented--as to when E needs to get up, be downstairs, finish her breakfast, etc. or else we will not be ready when the bus arrives. Early summer, I timed Elena doing various activities, and decided it took Elena on average 6 times longer to do any gross motor activity (and some other activities--she's a slow eater, for example). 10 minutes is longer than that (to get down the steps)--but that's b/c she's just waking up and her motivation is zero to get out of bed. STILL. Until this improves (and I believe it will, at least some) it's a struggle to help E get more independent, and have time to enjoy things. Everyone says "it's a balance", or something like that. I KNOW. I get tired of hearing/thinking that.

E plays with the Tee Ball set Viv got for her birthday (pretty awesome! We should have bought this months ago!)



Some PT videos









Dancing to Don Quixote

5 comments:

Cary said...

Love all the videos! Thanks for sharing!

Amy said...

WOW! ELENA IS AMAZING! I know you knew that already, but... I am completely in awe of all those videos. I want to applaud you for allowing Elena so many opportunities to be independent because it does take more time. She will get there. She is still so young. I think all kids are pretty sluggish when it comes to getting ready for school in the morning. You guys are wonderful, and I know that helps Elena continue to be bright and self-confident.

Oh, and I am impressed that the school took the teasing seriously. I know it bites that Elena had to be the selected target for the meeting. But, the primary years are where bullying needs to be tackled, and your school gets points for that in my book.

twinmama said...

Hey Amy. I'm struck by your comments about helping Elena versus not helping her and the amount of added time that takes. I often help Hannah in the morning and then feel horrible about it, but we might not ever get out the door if I let her do her entire routine by herself. At school, the aide faces similar struggles in giving Hannah independence but not wanting her to miss out on learning and social opportunities. It's so hard to know what to push, and how much. I do take some comfort in the fact that Hannah is still young and even Isabelle, her twin, needs a lot of prodding and help sometimes, as do MANY of the other kids in their kinder. class. But fast-forward a few years, when they're all faster and more independent, and where will Hannah be at that time? And what about when she's a teenager and the last thing she wants is mom's help? Or when she is away at college-who will help her then?! Ugh...

So I guess we can just give them as many realistic opportunities as we can to practice these skills and feel a sense of competence, while recognizing that for now, sometimes a helping hand is needed.

Ellen Stumbo said...

I have visited here before when I was researching the SDR surgery. Anyhow, would love to have you join
http://elliestumbo.blogspot.com/2011/11/cerebral-palsy-connection.html

Danielle said...

The time vs, independence thing is difficult for me even as an adult. I want to do everything I'm capable pf doing, but at the end of the day, putting on my own clothes is not what will bring me fullfillment in life. I often to choose help when I don't absolutely need it because I want to spend my time getting my degree, working, being with friends etc.

I think at a young age it's important to work on developing skills because there will never be more time than there is in elementary school. Independence is ALWAYS good.

I say that a very big BUT. I hope that parents don't stress over the things there kids struggle with. I can atest to the fact that putting your own socks on is not a prerequisite for moving away to college. If help is needed it can be found.