Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Catching up.

Again, it seems that I haven’t updated in a few weeks. We’ve been busy, it happens.

We had a short visit with my parents early last week, and Dominic did really well behaviorally while they were here.

I met with Dominic’s D11 SPED teacher to talk about what she’d like for Alpine to focus on this summer while Dominic is there full days. The biggie she mentioned was socialization. And that one is difficult for Alpine to work on given the environment there (majority of kids having major issues with social stuff), so I’m using that as (another) excuse to try to get to the gym several times a week. Dominic has a really good time hanging out in the daycare at the gym and that’s excellent unstructured peer play time for him.

Dominic’s last day of kindergarten was 5-23. Its odd to us both that they ended on a Monday, and that they kept the middle and high schoolers until 5-26. He ended the year on a high note with excellent feedback from all parties involved.

June 1 Dominic will be full day at Alpine. We had our monthly parent teacher meeting today and they will be adding some new programming this summer – Numbers, Actions, Attributes (adjectives). We’re as always very thrilled with the level of individual focus that they give him. We talked about fine motor targets that he’s having such a hard time hitting – cutting, writing, etc. They are playing with some options to help with the wriring, one of his biggest problems is he’s not pushing down very hard so the pencil isn’t leaving enough of a mark for him to realize what he’s accomplished. They may add a weight to the pencil, or use a marker, or a pen and we’ll just see what ends up being easiest. We’ve asked them to do whatever they need to and if we need to switch him to a writing implement other than a pencil in the fall, we’ll change the IEP.

One of the big things we’ve been bouncing around has been getting an iPad for Dominic. So that was a topic of discussion both with the SPED at D11 and with Alpine this month. The D11 folks do not have any exposure to using iPads as tools, but Alpine does. What we’d want it for would be to use the various app’s as more creative ways (read: to motivate him) to teach him words, numbers, work on articulation, etc. We may be putting together a fundraiser to raise the money to buy one in the next few weeks, we’ll see. I am guessing that the ipad, case, and apps will likely be around $1000. The interesting thing we learned from Alpine today is that while there are other communicative devices out there geared towards ASD kiddos’, they are rapidly being made obsolete by the iPad. Even tho this was not the original goal of the iPad, its apparently an amazing therapeutic tool. We would probably start out using it solely at Alpine for a few months to get him (and us) used to it, and then phase it into D11. So watch this space for a possible fundraiser link.

Some fun random things Dominic's been doing spontaneously lately:
- Bathing himself (with verbal cues, which we're going to start fading out)
- Randomly identifying the magnetic letters we have on the fridge (and one on the bulletin board at school the other day)
-The dog went nuts when the mail was delivered yesterday... next thing I knew, Dominic was herding him into the bathroom shushing him. It was very cute.
-Very engaged with his movie plots, which is interesting. For Example, he gets Very Upset in the Fox and the Hound where the bear falls off the mountain.
- Making his bed. Well, trying to. but its an attempt. its cute.

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