Thursday, June 01, 2006

Kids update part I - Callum

What can I say about my gorgeous, mischievous, happy, TV addicted, music loving, noodle eating little boy.

He's grown up so much in the last few months, it's hard to believe that he's been walking for less than a year, the days of him crawling at super high speeds seem like such a long time ago. He moved to the 3 year old class at school about a month ago and is doing great, he's back with all his friends. When he's the oldest in his class he doesn't have the role models that he needs so he was getting a little bored and when he's bored he gets that wicked glint in his eye that you just know means trouble is not far away. We had a big meeting with the day care director and all have decided that it's better for Callum that he be picked up earlier in the day from day care as he tends to go a little wild after nap and doesn't always want to cooperate with what the class is doing. We've decided that for the next 3 months I'll cut down my hours at work (hope HR agrees! I have a meeting with them tomorrow) so that I can pick him up by 3:30. I'm really looking forward to having a couple of hours of Callum time each day and am already making plans for swimming and maybe a music or gym class.

In September everything is going to change again because Callum will be starting proper school! Officially he was supposed to start as soon as he turned 3 but we just didn't like the class that he was offered, so we decided to wait until September when he'll have a place in a collaborative class with a mix of kids with special needs and typical peers. I'm not sure exactly which school yet as there are 2 that offer this kind of class but I'm feeling pretty positive about it.

I really hate the way they do the transition from the birth-3 program to the school district in this area. As soon as your child turns 3 all responsibility for therapies etc. is turned over to the school district. The school district by law needs to offer your child the least restrictive environment, however unless your kids birthday happens to be the beginning of September then you are likely to find that all the classes that involve inclusion are full and that the only spaces available are purely special education classes with little or no inclusion. Do not pass Go, Do not collect $200 go straight to the most restrictive environment because that's all we have available, grrrrrr. After several meetings and phone calls with various people from the school district we decided to keep Callum in his current private school until September and the school district are going to compensate us financially. I don't see why they can't just leave kids in the birth-3 program until the start of the next school year after they turn 3 - would that really be so difficult!

Rant over, back to Callum.

Health wise he's doing pretty good, he had a cough/chest infection that just wouldn't go away so just finished a course of antibiotics for that. Usually we have to pin him down to give him medicine and then he spits most of it back out again and everyone ends up frustrated and sticky, but he was great this time. The pharmacist gave us a new medicine spoon to try that Callum can actually do himself and it worked great. He'd grab the spoon (it's got a hollow handle where the medicine goes and then a shovel like spoon bit) go off to his little corner so we wouldn't interfere and then drained the spoon of every last drop and came back and asked for more! We also had a check up with a cardiologist as his regular doctor thought she heard a murmur, good news everything is normal so that really should be the end of any more cardio visits. We saw 2 doctors, the first was a resident I think and he was great - he shook Callum's hand which Callum thought was wonderful and he couldn't stop grinning. The "real" doctor did high-5's with Callum and said he was his best patient ever because he sat so still and didn't complain at all during the exam.

Callum is doing well overall, he'll walk up and down small kid sized stairs holding the rail. Adult sized stairs he'll walk down holding the rail with one hand and one of our hands with the other. He's getting stronger and stronger and hardly needs our hand support especially going up the stairs, but I think it'll be a while before he has the confidence to do it on his own. He actually climbed a ladder at a local playground which is something his PT has been trying to get him to do for months. We did help with his foot positioning but he pulled himself up and was getting the hang of the coordination. Speech is coming along slowly but surely, he'll attempt the vast majority of words but his articulation still needs a lot of work. We're really trying to encourage him to put words together and he will do "more please" with only a little prompting. He's really trying to have conversations and will go to great lengths to describe what he wants. Example he's recently decided that he likes the movie "Ice Age" - so this is how he asks - makes sound and sign for Elephant, makes sign for Squirrel, says baby, says lion and does a roooar and them mimes some of the movements that he remembers [The movie is about a mammoth, sabre tooth tiger & sloth who rescue a human baby and have adventures while returning it to it's father. There's a little squirrel like create that shows up at various points in the movie].

Wow, sorry for such a long post - reminder to myself post less, more often. Last but not least he's almost given up his pacifier (dummy) he's done without it at night time for over a week now and has never even asked for it. He is still using it for nap at day care because it's become a real part of his nap time routine. We're confident then when he moves from day care to school in September that the paci will be gone for good. I was dreading taking it away but it's been really really easy and another step towards being a big boy (next step potty training, eeek)


Michelle said...

What a great update on Callum! Sounds like he's just off learning so many new things!

Keeping fingers crossed for you that you're able to cut back on some hours at work.

We're lucky here in that when a child turns 3, if it isn't the start of the school year yet the ECI team will still see child until they actually start preschool. Sorry to hear about your frustratings with the transitioning process. Hope one of the 2 schools you have to chose from works out good for Callum!

Jenny (and Max) said...

Callum sure is growing up. Hope this next school year goes as you want it to. He is learning so many new things. I love hearing all about him.

Granny and Grandpa said...

You are back to your usual cheeerful self after such a trying time. What a lovely long blog! I love Ice Age too, and have it on the computer.

Love to you all,

zannetastic said...

Sounds like Callum is doing great...we are in the whole IEP process right now, but we are in Studio City area, so we actually found a school we like (hopefully, my son can get in!).

Kim Ayres said...

Phew! Lot's going on then!

Tara Marie said...

Lots going on for sure...and isn't it amazing how quickly time moves forward and you think they will be at a point forever and then in a blink of an eye, you look back and can't believe how long ago that milestone had happened.

Hoping your work schedule works out and I can't wait to hear about swimming!

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