Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday and sunday

We wake up late.... all of us.
What was I thinking letting the TV drone on and on until eleven with all the boys up... we all cringed over the hollywood version of Thor the thundergod.
Those are our stories.
Jöri yelling this is so stupid every five minutes and Sóla backing him up vehemently.
They were right.... as much as I like action and fantasy and fiction this was utterly stupid.
Still the change was nice and we laughed... cuddling up with our blankets and Sturla half asleep in my arms throwing his soft arms around my neck never finding the right position. Exclaiming that the action scenes look like computer games... the highest praise he can give.

I just could not work much with him yesterday. I had phonecalls to make and complains to deliver and other fun stuff.
I called an independant organisation that advices parents and offers help in meetings and such and I called because we are having a situation yet again with the playschool.
Now he has only one therapist ( they seem to have a tendency to get pregnant) and he gets about two hours a day... which means I rush from work as soon as I can and try to be energetic and focused for at least five or four hours working on his programs every day. I keep him in play school for about four hours. We pay for eight so as to get six to five hours therapy time a day. The play school never delivers more than 15 a week.
I also pick up my other children and to what needs to be done until my dear hubby comes home then we switch roles he makes Sturla read and play the piano... it is a relief as he is taking over certain programs. We cook... there are intstruments to be practised and homework to be done. The day is long for everyone.
The play school has not once discussed the fact Sturla is not getting what he needs and the only remaining therapist divides her time between three children. as well as having the responsibility of informing parents about the situation which is indeed grave. She does her best... but this is to much for anyone.
Sure they are hiring... but it has already been two weeks.

The lady I called asked how I manage.... I could not answer suddenly there was just a lump in my throat and I felt drained. So drained I could not do more that day...
there was just pizza and candy and a film...
no one complained.

She will attend a meeting with us with the playschool... I am relieved. A third party.. a neutral zone someone to take the heat
...someone experienced... to get and keep the conversation on topic... that is the needs of this child.
We will talk about where responsibilities lie. Who should take care of what.
Because I do not like the idea of dicussing organisational problems with his therapist.
I want to concentrate on him and only him
We have other things to think about...
I am sick of complaining and arguing and checking and double checking only to find out that all is not as it should be...

We worked a lot today though... making up time
staying at home the whole day not going out except to shop. I needed to get certain things we are working on somehow under control and... structure, besides we are inviting family over tomorrow to celebrate his birthday and then there will be a lot of action and unstructured time.

We lack six hours this week...

It is easy to measure time...
what it says about the program is another story...

Tomorrow I intend to give the house a look alike cleaning bake some cakes and...
give a birthday party...
somewhere in between I hope to cram in those left over hours
I am a robot.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

language and gadgets

Ipads computers and smart phones are the all time obsession around here...
I really do let myself get lazy thinking of reinforcers these things are just so handy.
Though not exactly fulfilling the social part.
I have been waiting for other obsessions to emerge but nope this is it....
Angry birds and that alltime horrible niam niam cat.
Have you seen it .... repetition par excellence.
I am striving to increase other interests and though he exceeds all expectations in playing computer games I am already thinking... how will he be independant and make a living...
I refuse to look the other option in the eye...
I am also presuming we will overcome at least this great obstacle ...language
and hopefully make some social gains as well.
Music is a possibility... computers... perhaps if he will learn other things than playing games.

But I always come back to language.... and abstract thinking .... and understanding abstract concepts.
What sometimes lifts my otherwise too often gloomy mood is that I have noticed how my students...grown up people with ordinary and normal language skills struggle to understand those concepts as well when there is no middle language to explain it in (like english).
It can take a few days or up to weeks to get the meaning of some concepts even though they already have a name for it in their own language.

A student who can tell me he likes coffe and chocholate cake in the classroom... is not always able to do so at the coffee house.
Generalisation is hard for grown ups too.

Sturla learns language very much like a foreigner would do... except he does not already have a idea for those abstract concepts I am teaching him... and we have no middle language to refer to... we are stuck with this one...
He has to create an abstract idea in his mind and label it.... this is a true feat for a child whose innate language system is broken.

This goes so slowly....
and for time concepts that I am trying to teach, it seem to drag out forever and ever.
I realised the other day that he has a very limited understanding of the verb ...know...
He can answear I do not know in certain situation but still he does nor understand it fully.
Do you know what is in the box? He answears randomly yes or no.
Showing him closets and drawers of which he actually knows the content and i still get random yes and no... sigh
So make a list of verbs with rather abstract meaning and teach it one by one... I guess....
Patience
one teaspoon at a time

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Happy birthday.

The sixth year has begun and nothing changed...
Six years since that amazing homebirth in the bath tub.
Six years since you were born still wearing your whitish womb gown.
Six years since you came to this world so softly you seemed to be born asleep.
Still you scored ten on your apgars.

There is no Eureka
... or disaster looming.
No bell tolling
no new beginning
it is just a day
an ordinary rainy autumn day

We are just still here.... and there working and working....
The only thing that has changed is that I have stopped fighting my mind.... I am resigned to do this if necessary for the rest of my life.
It takes a lifetime to raise a child anyway...

I am not always easy on you.
I make constant demands.
This is just the way it is going to be....
I am sometimes sorry ...but I will not apologize.
I am determined to make you independant.
Self suficcient
I want you to choose your life.

We are making progress.. I know that.... but more is needed.... oh so very much more indeed.

But this is a day to celebrate progress.
Your reading goes fast... an easy thing to teach.
Drawing skills are amazing you have spatial skills and think in maps... as you draw complex pictures that look like an aerial view. You are a computer wizard mastering any game and toy.
You a have a silly sense of humor and laugh easily. You read my face and are aware when I am sad, mad or happy. You draw facial expressions.
So many strenghts to celebrate.

We went to the store yesterday and you picked out your favorite cereal... the most disgusting sugary stuff you could find..
That is how your birthday began with sugary snowflakes.
You dressed quikcly and without prompts or assistence and you were out of the door before I knew it. Ready to start your day at playschool.
Quick so you could get your reward.

Can I have the ipad in the car.
Sure...

The ipad works for many things.
A teaching tool a reinforcer and a prised object to use in hide and seek interesting enough to bother too look for.
I intend to milk every drop out of it.
Every single one.

I picked you up and we went to buy cake,
you picked it out at the bakery, you were quite sure it was this one and no other...
and then we went to buy a dvd
you asked for it as birthday present.
Rio the peacock picture.
Quite decidedly.

your thoughts your mind your decisions

last year it took over a week to change the answer to how old are you ... now it was only about ten trials before you answered correctly and consistently.

We are not working much today. I am letting you watch that dvd in peace. Enjoying the peace myself.

There is piano on thursdays...
How is it going? I ask the teacher.
And she gives me what I want...
He is amazing he is already mastering what most kids (typical) or at least some of them master in december and ..... she adds, he started a month later.
I am so happy with the compliment she gives him... I can almost taste it.
I sun myself in the praise...
I beam and I glow with pride.
I am vain...

And I want to cry as well for the hope she gives me.
I constantly think of the future... ten and twenty years ahead.
What will be....
Hopeful.
Promises.
Shifty future...

And when you come home you walk to our old piano and play the piece. You use both hands...
Such very small hands.

What will it hold for you.
green eyed boy

And then I make you work for an hour...
just an hour today...

It is a special day... this rainy autumn day.
Happy birthday.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Time time and time again

Time is the essence.
I do not have it
I regret every minute I am not focused... I regret the time spent sleeping... eating.
It is madness I know it and accept.
I cannot look him in the eyes and do otherwise.
Wasted time.
I do my work ... teach and come home... and prepare to teach my child.
The dreaded year... six years old..
dreaded because I see his peers walking to school with their schoolbags.
I see them through my kitchen window and look away.
We are still here battling time and lost milestones.
Sorrow is time consuming.
Our battles are long and every victory is hard won.
I will not leave you behind.... I promise you and myself every day.
Regrets are not on my to do list.
Language is.
Eye contact is
Communication is.

Crazy one track mind set... I am like those wind up toys... If I stop hesitate or think I will not get up again.. so on we go ahead ...
every day
one by one
teaspoon by teaspoon
because that is the way to build a mountain and swallow the sea.

We have started using video modeling to teach play skills as well as social skills.
We are still in our infancy with this teching method and making all the material ourselves as there is nothing to buy ready made in Iceland.

He started suzuki school, playing the piano and finally... finally something that comes easy. the boy has rythm he has a sense and an ear for music and he will outperform me in a very short while.
I am a beginner myself, but i do not have the ear the rythm and the sense for it.
I love it. I adore it and I cling to it. The joy of seeing him master something easily
Here he will keep up and most likely outperform his peers.
Someone else will have the catching up to do. Not you.
This time it will not be you.