Sunday, September 16, 2007

Dear Noah: TWO days in the green zone all day long!

YEAH! You did very well staying in the green zone both on Thursday and Friday at school! I am very proud of you!

Yesterday you played with the neighbor girls for 3 hours outside. You all had a very nice time and played very well together.

I met with your teacher on Friday and she remarked about how loving you were......and how she adores you and the fact that you are such a loving child. I have had many comment on this recently. They have all not discouraged it......which I am thankful for....because in the past in Colorado at the public schools there....you used to get into trouble for hugging or being loving. I can understand they have to teach you to respect personal space with the other kids.......which we will have to continue to work on even here in this school now......but the teachers also were standoffish. Here they are not. They welcome your embraces and hugs. I am very thankful for that because I worked very hard with you for a very long period of time to teach you to show your emotions and compassion and to let those parts of you out for the world to see.

They have also remarked about your wonderful "eye contact" and "expression of emotions, including facial expressions." This caused me to reflect back to a time when you had neither of those skills. At best they rarely occurred and you could not tell the difference between crying and laughing. You did not understand happy, sad, mad, crying, laughing....and anyone looking at you would cause you to shriek or head into a major major meltdown moment.



I bought EMOTIONAL CUE charts from school supply stores.......and lifesize kid pictures that had them expressing different facial expressions with the words describing those emotions beside their faces. I checked tons of books out from the library which we would read describing happiness, sadness, that had visual pictures of those emotions. I would physically act out little social stories with you...showing you the proper responses for specific situations.......and the WHYS of those specific responses. After a couple of years doing this.......over and over........very consistently......it all clicked in one day! After prompting you to express yourself......verbally.........how to physically show your emotional responses to specific things without a temper tantrum.......you GOT IT!

It is almost funny to me now.......when I sit talking with a teacher who goes on and on about your wonderful eye contact.....and facial expressions........or verbal expression......because I realize those parts of you that used to not do those things......are no longer visible or noticeable to anyone else around you....because you have moved past that point. SOME I am sure think you could not possibly have some of the issues you do.......because you have such wonderful eye contact now.....and are very lovable and emotionally expressive.

I do have some videoclips from years gone by.......and I have old reports and physician evaluations.........which all state what you used to not be able to do......or could not do. NOW that would be my only PROOF of what you used to not be able to do........because now you have moved so far past that point......that old part of you would no longer be recognizable.

That progress is HUGE. That should make you feel good. I am thankful you have moved to the next point......and can use words to tell someone how you feel........combined with expressiveness. WHAT tremendous progress you have made in just the last 2 years. It is incredible.

I guess my message to anyone else out there struggling with these same issues would be this. THERE IS HOPE that your child can do what any other child would do instinctively. The only difference is.......our kids have to be taught what some other kids just seem to instinctively know and understand. This is very time consuming...I will not lie about that. It is running constant repetitive drills over and over and over......constant promptings.......but....THEY CAN be taught and they CAN learn and they CAN succeed. They deserve the chance to learn. They deserve the chance to have those connections made inside their little brains.

I love you my little man! FOREVER I will.

Mommy
XOXOXOX

1 comment:

Mom said...

Dear Noah,
Good for you, congratulations. Way to go. Super job Noah and Mommy. Love you both,
Mom/Grandma