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!"

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Updating about the AAAA's

I think I am long over-due for an update on each of the kids, so here goes!

Angela: I don't blog about Angela as much now that she is in  high school. There are parents and kids from her school who occasionally read the blog and Angela needs some privacy. Angela is a Jr. in high school this year and every day reminds me that in just a few months she'll be turning 18! Can you believe it??? Angela just finished her soccer season, and she lettered again! I'm so very proud of her. She's willing to try just about everything. Just before Christmas she started her floor hockey season and is anxious to find out which team she'll be playing on. Angela and Axel both did cheerleading for the fall but I think we are going to opt out for the second part of the season. She and Axel want to play basketball and we can only go so many directions at once! She loves to spend time in our sensory room dancing to music. Of course "One Direction" is a favorite. She's also liking Lorde and Katy Perry.

Axel: Axel is a 6th grader this year. He has grown up so much more than I could have ever imagined. He continues to make up for lost time. When we brought him home he was very much like a 4 year old, playing with toddler toys and going through all the developmental stages he'd missed out on. Now I would say he is very much like a 7-8 year old. He still loves Thomas the Train but his Thomas play is becoming more sophisticated. Axel really loves our sensory room, mostly hanging out in the ball pit, burying himself up to his eyeballs! He doesn't have a lot of time for the "little boys" unless it's to boss them around, but he can be very helpful with them too. Axel really likes to play Angry Birds and has figured out how to download every version he can find. Today I received a notification from one of our iPads that our email to customer services wasn't very clear and could I please call them to discuss my complaint. In other words...Axel emailed them. HA! I am frequently having to adjust the security settings on the iPads to limit where Axel can get to. He is very quick to figure out any piece of technology! Axel's speech is slowly coming along. We hear more words and phrases coming out now and then, but most of the time we get Axelese, which unfortunately none of us understand.

Abel: Man has this boy grown! He is going to be a really big guy! When he came home he was wearing size 4 pants, and he's now wearing 7 huskies. He is one solid kid! Abel is doing really well with speech therapy, where we focus mostly on communication. His speech therapist is doing a lot right now with auditory training, teaching him to tune into and recognize sounds he was missing before he got is hearing aids. He is doing well with Occupational therapy too, where they've been focusing on sensory integration and his fine motor skills. When he came home he could not do any types of fasteners, but now he can button his pants by himself and is learning to zip his jacket. Abel's behavior has improve significantly in the last month! He is starting to play more appropriately with toys. He loves to spend time in our sensory room, where is favorite activity is to be thrown into the ball pit or swing on his tummy.  After much negotiation with our school district we have recently come up with a new school plan for him. We'll be doing a mixture of homebound and school-based services as he learns to learn from people other than me, working up to full days in school. In the fall he will go to the ASL class where Axel currently attends. I can't wait for him to go because his communication is going to explode!!!

Asher: Asher is growing up! His communications is really taking off and he can tell us so much now, all in sign! He can tell me he wants me to pour some of my drink into his glass, or that he wants me to come sit by him. He is experimenting more with making sounds. He tries hard, but I don't really expect that Asher will be much of a talker. If he proves me wrong I'll consider it a bonus. We adore Asher just the way he is! Asher is really enjoying 1st grade. Its funny to see this tiny 9 year old boy who is in class with 6 and 7 year olds who tower over him! A few weeks ago he had a swimming day at school so I went along. Oh he had so much fun! I really like the program Asher is part of this year. He has a 1:1 assistant who is fluent in ASL which has been the key to increasing his vocabulary.

Our Christmas was grand this year. It was a true pleasure to have big brothers Noah and Tyler with us for the week.


Dianna said...

Thanks for the update Leah! I enjoy reading your blog and especially to keep updated on the AAAA's. Looks like Zurri is just plain tired out. Cute picture of him!

Stephanie said...

Really nice update on the A's! It sounds like everyone is doing well and your sensory room is being well used and well loved.

Does Asher spend some time in the typical classroom each day? I know we talked about his placement a little bit and the fact that Owen will probably be in the K-2 classroom with him next year. Just curious!