Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Closing In On 6 Years Old

Life has gotten busy around here with jobs and teenage children and getting ready for college that blogging has been shifted to the bottom of the list. But to give an update to all who still look at this blog - John is doing well and continues to progress in his abilities.

He will be 6 years old at the end of July and as with any child, each stage of his life presents with a different challenge...just in different ways and not always age appropriate. Although, he is 6 years old, he is more on a 3 or 4 year old level for learning, communicating and ADL's (activities of daily living). 

He is going to preschool (non-special needs) and has been going to the same one for about 2 years now. He has made many friends there and he names them by name and gives them hugs and they give him hugs. They miss him when he is gone and really treat him like any other child there.He is expected to act and obey just as the others or else he gets put in time-out just like the others. And John has risen to the challenge and has learned that he doesn't like time-out and he knows that he needs to obey to avoid time-out. He can count to 5 and can recognize most of the ABC's, although you have to get his attention for this to happen...and this is a lot of the challenge. His attention span isn't very long, but it is getting better as we are working with him on staying on task.

His recent achievement is keeping his underwear dry all night. He has been wearing underwear during the day for about 9 months now but just recently asked to wear underwear at night, so we were willing to let him try it but told him he had to keep them dry. It has been about 2 weeks now without any accidents. And when he needs to go in the night, he will wake up and come tell us he needs to go potty. He won't go to sit on the toilet without asking us to help him, but that will come. I'm just glad and thankful that he is potty trained. 

Since he has not learned all of the ABC's or numbers, we have decided to hold him out of kindergarten and they will allow him to stay in preschool another year. We will be praying that he will be ready when he is 7, but if he's not, then we are not going to worry about it and do what is best for John. In the past 6 years, we have learned that John is on his own time schedule and his schedule or abilities cannot be sped up. This does not mean that we don't try and teach new things, but it does save us a lot of heartache from him not reaching the milestones at the age other children learn them. We have learned that he will reach that milestone eventually...and he has met every milestone thus far, just at a different speed. 

Thanks for reading this blog and John's story. We love to share his story and how the Lord has protected him and blessed this family by giving us John. It hasn't been easy and I don't think anyone with a special needs child will tell you that, but if you hang in there with them you will find that they are part of the blessing that our Heavenly Father wishes to bestow upon those of us that allow them to come into our lives. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pictures of John

John is now 5 and is a very active little boy who is acting more like my other children every day. He is now 90% potty trained and loves playing with his friends at preschool and his brothers and sisters.

He loves playing in the dirt and mud and also loves working puzzles and reading books. I am amazed more everyday at how he is more like my other children than he is different. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Life Is a Big Classroom

John is 4 now and continues to learn so much from his family and the preschool that he attends 3 days a week. He enjoys hanging out with his brothers and sister and trying to keep up with them but he also needs the structure of being in a classroom with other children his age and learn how to follow the rules of the classroom such as staying seated, sharing, treating others nicely, etc. Although John is delayed, he can learn and learn at his own pace and part of raising a child who is delayed is learning to adapt to their schedule. This has been one of the most difficult things for us to learn probably because we are so programmed to one schedule for everyone.
Some of the things that I have seen John learn these past 6 months is jumping, riding his foot-powered car, expand his appetite for new foods, obey, fall asleep in his own bed, clean up after himself.

John has been going around the house jumping so much that we decided that the boy needed a trampoline to help him. So we got him one of the small trampolines with a net enclosure that he can use all he wants. He loves going to jump. Right now, he can walk on the trampoline without falling which is a great way to help improve their balance while building up the muscles in their legs.
Learning to make his car go by doing the walking motion has really helped build muscle in his legs. He still prefer to make the car go backwards which is easier, but he has learned to make the car go forward and can keep it going for about 50 feet before stopping.

We have been consistently introducing new foods to him. Some he will try and some he will not. Sometimes we try to bury it in other foods that he likes. We are finding that often he likes it if he doesn't have a chance to see the food first.

Falling asleep in his own bed has been a difficult task and has not differed that much from our other children. This has been as hard for Dad and Mom as it has been for John. It is much easier and more fun to hold him while he falls asleep. The warmth of his little body and how he molds to your body just makes you want to hold him. But we are learning that he has got to learn to fall asleep in his own bed. So after occasionally letting him cry himself to sleep, he will now ask to go get in his bed if he is ready to go to sleep.

Just as I have said before, I am learning that these children have the capacity to learn just as our other children do. They just are on a slower schedule. Often times, how our children perceive themselves depends upon how we as parents accept and adapt to their schedule.
I hope that you and your family are able to see your little Ds child as a blessing and not a hindrance. Yes, they do slow you down at times but sometimes we need to stop and ask ourselves why are we in such a hurry? Slow down and enjoy your little one, they will get it and you will learn a valuable lesson in the mean time.

Here are some pictures of John and two of his favorite things: playing cars and his dog.