Saturday, March 19, 2011

An Actual Update

I haven't blogged about what's been going on lately.  Actually, I don't think I've done that for several months - so here it goes...

Oscar got braces on December 30th.  He'll be getting an "appliance" soon that should help with his jaw alignment.  He's generally doing pretty well in school.  His reading is improving, but he still stuggles. He still has an obstinate streak, but the school is working with us to correct that when it comes up.  He is also continuing with karate and went to his second tourney at the end of January - came home with some more trophies.  He has now started learning his second kata and is training with a bo (a long stick with tapered ends) so he can enter the weapons category when he goes to other tournaments.  Vision therapy is going well with Oscar, he is getting better eye teaming and can see 3D even at a distance now (could only see it at close range before).  This is helping his reading skills too.  We are doing speech therapy twice a week and his speech is getting much more intelligible, but he still speaks with an accent (our vision therapy doctor tells him not to lose the accent because the girls love it - he doesn't really notice girls yet, so the doctor's comment doesn't phase him).  We start our second round of auditory processing therapy in May.

Diana started wearing her glasses full time in February.  She has check-ups every three months at vision therapy with the doctor.  The last one she had, we had a snow day that day - so she hadn't worn her glasses all day.  She tested horribly on her 3D vision.  The next week the doctor tested her again - she did a lot better, but she had been at school all day and therefore had been wearing her glasses most of the day.  After that, I decided she needs to wear her glasses all day.  We'll see how she does on her next testing coming up here in about a month.  They are really focusing on 3D vision excercises during therapy now.  She has started reading too with better fluency (she doesn't have to sound out every word anymore).  The past 3 weeks she has gotten 100% on her spelling tests (which tells me her memory is getting better).  The teacher has moved her up to 3rd grade reading.  However, she started having tantrums at school when the teacher asked her to do anything that was the least bit challenging for her, so we are working with the school to correct her behavior too.  She goes to speech therapy the same days Oscar does and will also return for a second round of AP therapy too.  Her speech has improved also, but she is still hard to understand most of the time.

Mayerly continues to struggle at school, but we are seeing improvement with her too.  Reading is still hard for her, but that (I believe) has a lot to do with the fact that she has eye teaming difficulties too.  As soon as one of the older two 'graduates' from vision therapy, we will start her.  I wish we could afford to start her now, but we can't.  For now, we got her some glasses which should help her.  She has had some minor behavior issues at school too.  She was camping out in the bathroom, when she didn't feel like being in class (she does this at home too when she doesn't want to do what she's supposed to be doing).  She wasn't bringing her homework home either (she just wasn't doing it and shoving it in her desk).  The gig was up after parent/teacher conferences though.  She only gets to go to to the bathroom with the class now and she gets busted big time if she doesn't bring her homework home every night.  And if she "forgets" to bring her Friday Folder home, I print off a big stack of worksheets for her to work on all weekend and she doesn't get to watch TV either.  Amazing how the folder comes home every weekend now - after only a couple of weekends of "forgetting" it.  Her speech is the clearest of all the kids', so we should escape speech and AP therapy with her.

Claudia is doing well in her class.  Lately, she has been taking a page from the 'Mayerly playbook' and acts like she doesn't understand things that I know she does (she's doing it with her teacher at school too who has the same opinion of the situation).  We have ways of dealing with her acting out too.  She got to do extra worksheets - in order to work on her "weak areas" - until she decided she really did know how to do that stuff.  She had to finish them before TV or playing.  Again, amazing turn around.  Her reading fluency is better than any of the rest of the kids'.  However, she also got reading glasses back in December.  She has an eye tracking problem that the doctor gave me some at-home excercises (Michigan Tracking) to do with her.  I'm thinking about getting an at-home computer program to work on auditory processing with her.  I think she has a milder problem with AP than her older brother and sister, so we'll try at-home therapy first with her.

On a somewhat related note, as we drive around town lately I hear the kids reading outloud the signs on the buildings.  Absolute music to my ears.  I was beginning to wonder if we would ever get there (voluntarily reading things on their own).  Oh me of little faith.

The girls are also beginning to express interest in taking up a hobby.  Mayerly says she wants to take dance lessons (we'll see if we can work it in).  Diana colors pictures or makes a card for me almost daily.  Claudia really likes the skates she got for Christmas and practices in the driveway whenever the weather allows.  I'm just glad they are finally showing an interest in something other than watching TV (which I don't let them do very much) and fighting with each other :).