Sophie and Gideon just brought home their first report cards a few weeks ago. It felt surreal to be on the other end of that piece of paper. Since my kiddos don't come home and tell me about school, it was also a glimpse into what's happened so far.
Both kids have made HUGE leaps with their vocabulary. Sophie started the year using single words and repeating simple sentences occasionally. Now she uses simple sentences on her own. Gideon began almost completely non-verbal. The first month of school he used a little recorder with a big button to communicate. His teacher would record the answer ahead of time, ask a question and then let Gideon hit the button to "answer". Now he's repeating single words and using words of his own without the recorder. Actually, he's used the recorder the last few days. Ben and I have talked about trying to see where Gideon's autism ends and his introverted nature begins. Sometimes he just doesn't talk because he's too shy or there's too many people around. That's not autism; that's the Dyer male. (With the exception of my father-in-law who, I believe, got the talkative nature for 6 generations of Dyer males.)
In addition to the report cards, I've gotten an update in a binder each day telling me what they learned, what centers they played and other tidbits. They both started the year playing alone or playing with the teacher's help. Now Sophie comes home with "played with friends" circled almost daily. She's even mentioned a few of her classmates names! Gideon has even had it circled a few times. I really hope they're making friends. I know how hard it is even without the autism. Every time I see that circle, my heart swells to think of my little man stepping out of his comfort zone to play with his classmates.
Sophie has been going to the regular Pre-K room for 20 minutes each day for 4 days a week. She participates in their Circle Time. After 2 weeks, I spoke to her teacher who said that Sophie was quiet and a little afraid of the Pre-K teacher. She stayed close to her aide and wouldn't look at the teacher or talk to her. This broke my heart because it sounded so familiar. I can remember being terrified of a teacher each year in school until high school. It was never my homeroom teacher but was always one I didn't see all of the time. I discussed this with Sophie's teacher who said that she would talk to the Pre-K teacher to see if there was anything they could do. After a week she said that Sophie would talk and smile at the teacher. Now she eagerly goes to her other classroom and will interact with the kids and the teacher. I'm so proud of her for conquering her fears.
In 8 weeks, I've seen massive changes. I can't wait to see what happens by the end of the year.