I have completely fallen away with the blogging here lately, which makes me sad. I've been missing it. So I thought I'd give a little update on what we've been up to lately. Brad finishes up his second grad school class next week. He's doing so well in school, and I'm very proud of him. He is enjoying it, and while he certainly has a lot on his plate, he is managing it well. He's also making very good grades. I think maturity and perspective goes a long way towards success in school, so if you have been thinking about going back to school, let that be your encouragement. When Brad's mom saw his grad school grades she yelled “You mean you could've been doing this all along?!?” I wasn't surprised; I always knew he had the ability. I'm just glad the motivating factor is there now and he's so determined to succeed. Not that he did poorly in school before, but let's just say I never thought I'd see him griping about getting a 95. Ha!
Korban still has his struggles, but compared to this time last
year, I can see we are making progress. I'm so thankful for that.
I'm often tempted to wish it were more, but when I took at just how
far he has come, it's mind-boggling. Aggression continues to be an
issue, but it isn't nearly as severe as it was this time last year.
I live for the day aggression isn't a factor at all, but for now I'm
thankful that it does seem to be getting better. He is also talking
a lot more and picking up new skills all the time.
School: Our situation is very unique and a lot of people have
been confused as to what's going on with that. Korban is still on a
very abbreviated school day. He just can't handle long school days at
this point, and we are working around that. I also stay with him
while he is at school, and his teacher works with him one on one.
This serves to mitigate the aggression and keep the other children
out of harm's way. He is still extremely clingy to me. If I leave,
he will lash out at those around him and I will get a double portion
when we are reunited. Of course, we are working on these issues, and
like I said, things are better in many ways, but it's a slow process.
We love Korban's teacher—she is so good with him and we are so
very thankful to have her. He's working on sight words, and he
cracks me up because he is so stubborn about learning them, yet he
wants to learn how to read. He “reads” to us out of books and
makes up all kinds of fantastic yarns, but resists doing his sight
words in the most creative ways. He is also learning to recognize
numbers. He can count very well, but the actual numbers didn't mean
so much to him if that makes sense. He is working on counting
objects and doing simple addition and subtraction.
He continues to get occupational therapy, physical therapy, and
speech at school. He also receives ABA therapy at home and at
school. One of his ABA ladies comes to the home and works with him
two afternoons per week, and his other ABA lady works with him at
school, usually on Friday mornings. She is doing a form of ABA
called Discrete Trial with him, and his teacher is also using this
method at school and I am at home whenever I can. We are seeing some
great things come from this and are so thankful and happy to be
receiving this much needed therapy on a regular and consistent basis.
In addition to this, we started both children in play therapy this
summer. It mainly focuses on Korban's sensory issues (they have a
sand table and a therapy swing that he loves, as well as a bunch of
other cool things) and also social skills. His therapist has been
role-playing how to be a friend and use gentle hands with him by
using puppets. I think that's the neatest idea, especially since he
Selah is also seeing the same play therapist, to help her work
through the issues of having a brother with special needs. Play
therapy is often used to help children who have been through
difficult or traumatic things, and we thought this would be
beneficial to her due to Korban's aggression towards her and us. Her
therapist continually reassures us that she is incredibly
well-adjusted and processing things in her own little way. I'm so
glad to hear that. We were just concerned and wanted to make sure
someone outside our family who was trained in these matters had their
eye on her in case we were missing something.
Their therapist also works with both of them on playing together
and interacting in a healthy way. They love going to play therapy
and Selah never wants to leave. She thinks it's great fun, and I'm
glad we went ahead and did this for both of them.
Selah turned four this week, and I'm still in shock. Ha! She is
growing up so fast on me. Four going on fourteen she thinks. Slow
down, baby girl! She started head start this year. I didn't plan on
putting her in school, but we needed somewhere consistent for her to
be while I was at school with her brother, and she was accepted at
the same head start I used to work at. I have a lot of peace knowing
she's in a good hands, with people that I consider family. She
enjoys it a lot. She doesn't stay the full day—I drop her off in
the mornings before I take Korban to school and then pick her up by
12:00. She's made a lot of little friends and gotten to do a bunch
of fun stuff, and for that I am grateful. Some people thought that I
put her in head start so that I could “get a break” but it wasn't
about that. I would prefer to have her with me, but I can't be in
two places at once, and I HAVE to be at school with Korban for now.
She has noticed that I go to school with him but not her, and asked
me about and cried a little. I did the best I could explaining it to
her, and I pray I make it up to her in other ways.
In other news, we are so excited the holiday season is here! We
started getting excited about fall and Halloween. Korban asks all
year long if it's time to go to the pumpkin patch yet. He loves him
some pumpkins! And Selah adores playing dress-up, so Halloween is
always a fun time at our house. And then there's Thanksgiving! We
have SO much to be thankful for, and it usually provides us a good
opportunity to get together with family we don't see very often.
Christmas is my very favorite holiday, and we are getting into the
Christmas spirit in a big way. We are trying to impress upon our
children that this is the time of year to celebrate Jesus' birth and
work on our relationship with God. We have made some little changes
in the way we do things, which probably will be it's own blog post at
some point, if I can find the time. Hope all of you guys are doing
great and enjoying this time of year as well!