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Friday, December 6, 2013

Update

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 loves puppets.

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!

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