Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Axel's Update

Lots of people have been asking how Axel is doing with a new brother in the house, and even more have been asking how is neck is doing.

Axel needs to go back to see his surgeon at Shriners in Philadelphia, but I was waiting to get Asher's neck X-rays done first. Now that those are done and his (hooray!) clear of AAI, we get get scheduled for a little trip to Philly. I just need to come up with the money for Asher's plane ticket since he'll need to come along. Might be a little tight since I have to pay for a root canal first AND we need to get a van because HELLO! Three kids, one in a booster and one a full-sized car seat do NOT fit in the backseat of my car! LOL

Ok, so Axel's neck is still bothering him and sometimes he asks to wear his brace. We'll be in Philly soon.

Before I left for Serbia to get Asher, Axel was doing great in school. With some intensive behavioral interventions (read, "Mom going to school a lot!) he was having more good days than bad. Actually, he was having very few bad days, and was starting to spend more time with his mainstream peers. We even talked about moving him into the d/hoh (deaf/hard of hearing) regular ed K-2 grade classroom since he has so much more language now and is feeding off some a lot of some of the negative behavior of some kids in his DCD classroom. When he's with the regular ed. kids he behaves so much better.

And then I left. For three whole weeks! Axel was one very naughty boy the whole time I was gone, with his behavior regressing to where it was when I was in Serbia with him a year ago. He was also pretty naughty for Dean even though Dean stuck to his guns and made it clear he wasn't going to put up with the crap. Obviously there were many reasons for the change, all of which were expected, we just hoped we wouldn't see them. (one can hope, right?) It's going to take several weeks for him to get with the program again, but we have several plans that will be put to action when the kids go back to school next week.

There are times when it's very clear that Axel is jealous of the very baby-like Asher. It is all very normal, and we're going overboard to make sure Axel understands that we still love HIM, and that he has not lost his place in our family just because Asher is here. Again, it's all very normal reactions to change in the family structure, but some of his behaviors have been a bit tricky to address. We'll get there, eventually!

Axel DOES seem to enjoy Asher's presence at times, particularly if it means Asher is following him around like a puppy. He really does like being the big brother, and being helpful with Asher. He gets annoyed when Asher sits too close to him on the couch because it means Asher is gong to put his head on whatever Axel has on his lap. LOL I think Axel really does understand where Asher came from, and how he got here, and why. He has been very loving to Asher and concerned for him the few times Asher has cried, etc.  As we've sought to find our routine here, so has Axel slowly been figuring out that his place in our family has not changed.

As far as school goes, Axel is learning to read, he knows the months of the year and the days of the week. he knows the months of his classmates birthdays, and that he is 11 years old. When we got him his vocabulary was below 12 months, and he's now at a 4-6 year level. Thats as much as a 6 year gain in just 12 months. Incredible! He's very much at a kindergarten level of knowledge where school is concerned, and every single day he makes gains. It's been very fun to watch!!!

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