Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Productive Day

As usual, there was lots to get done yesterday and in addition to what we normally need to get done. I had a conference with Ethan's teacher and then I had to run from that and take the DD to their last swim class of the season. Our pool is not heated so we may have another 3-4 weeks of swimming left before it is too chilly. I want to solidify what they have learned this last four months so that we can build on it and be off and running next May.

Right before their lesson, Ethan was playing too close to the pool and he fell in. The teacher hopes that this happens at least once during the lessons so that she can see if they can get to the side and pull themselves out. Ethan tests fate at the side of the pool continuously so it was only a matter of time.

Well, our Mischief Man did awesome. He fell in, went all the way to the bottom, swam up and over to the side and then pulled himself out of the pool all while we watched (holding our breath) He then ran over to me crying. I know that I say that he cries a lot but usually not for pain or fear. He cries to get his way. This was crying from fear and embarrassment and as he ran to me for comfort I celebrated that victory in my heart.

When the lessons were done and we hugged Miss Faith goodbye for another season, Ethan took a nasty fall on the driveway and bloodied himself all up. Again he cried...oh my goodness...twice in one day! He is fine now thankfully.

Before that, Ethan's teacher and I had an awesome conference and I so enjoyed getting a glimpse of our little guy through a professional teacher's eyes. I started the conversation after we sat down by telling her that I wanted to fill her in a bit more about Ethan's tough start in life. She was very open to hearing everything and was actually quite shocked by how far he has come in such a short time.

I will give you a bulleted version of what she said:

  • Ethan is chronologically 38 months old (as far as we know) but he is at about the 32-35 month range for most of his development with two exceptions (speech and attention span) In those areas he is much younger, all though she did not specify where he is. I would estimate about 2 years old maybe a couple of months older than that. Don't forget that he is a boy, which puts him at a disadvantage in addition to being the youngest in this class.

  • Ethan is amazingly independent. He would much rather do things himself than to let the teacher assist him. He is also not necessarily as affectionate as the other children. She felt, as do I, that these are behaviors brought about by being institutionalized with little nurture for over two years. He is very affectionate with us so I do not see the other as a problem, nor did she. As far as being independent, I totally think this will serve him well in life. She said that he is the kind of kid that is a leader and she can put him in a group of three and four to work and he will make sure everyone stays on track by leading them in the task.

  • The first week he was very much to himself but that has changed and now he is much more social. I am guessing he was trying to get his bearings and size the situation up before he decided if he liked it. Well, he absolutely loves it. He has made friends and all of what goes with that including tattling which she says is an awesome sign of positive development. If that is the case then Katie was three when she was still two as she has been tattling for well over a year...LOL

  • She says that he has good imaginative play. I owe this to the pairing of the DD. They do that a great deal together.

  • They are still working on crying for reasons of not getting his way just as we are. We spoke about the strategies that they use in school so we can have consistency in that. As his verbal skills improve so should the crying to a certain extent....fingers crossed.

  • Both the teacher and we see progress in language. He talks ALOT. We do not necessarily understand it all now but he is using sentences and I know we will understand alot more soon.

  • He has very good self help skills. He has always been very good in that department. One funny note is that he came to us partially potty trained and using the cue words of niao niao (in China (sounds like now now) We were told to use that by his caregivers and our guide and he always responded. Now that he speaks English we have tried to transition to pee pee but he really prefers niao niao. Well, now so do the other eight children in the class. The teacher laughingly told me that they will only use that term for using the potty. They actually say it three times like this....Niao Niao NOW!! At least he is a leader in the bathroom ;0)

    Overall, she feels that he is doing great in class. She says he is such a good boy and a pleasure to have there. I asked her if he should completely catch up by Kindergarten and even though she does not like to make projections almost 2 years away she felt confident enough to say that he has a really good shot at going to Kindergarten and losing the developmentally delayed label by 6 years old.

    The last point that I want to touch on is that she feels like we feel; that Ethan is a tremendous survivor. She seem the qualities that will help him to succeed in life as we do. In fact, she commented that she has been reading a book about the personality traits that survivors of catastrophes share and she told me that he possesses those qualities. Through the whole book her mind kept drifting to Ethan. This son of ours is nothing if not a survivor. I have great faith that he will be just fine.


Candy said...

Fantastic news about Ethan and school. I can't believe how well both Katie & Ethan are doing in swimming. This is awesome!!!

Vivian M said...

Lori, this is wonderful news and Ethan is well on his way to catching up. I love that you held your breath and did not jump into the pool to save him, that is the hardest struggle for me as a Mom!

Jane said...

Ethan is a superstar, hilariously funny and so charming and sweet. I can't wait until next Friday so I can see all of my delicious nephews and my amazing neice. Of course, i am looking forward to seeing my Missy Big Sissy, Sweet Injured Mom and Big Daddy too...and I can't forget Marc and Judy. Love and kisses to all, Aunt Jane

Gail said...

I love when you write about your children Lori, Ethan is definitely on his way and I'm positive will continue to progress. If you read back on my blog a ways, you can read about the challenges we had with Grace for her first couple of years and how she was identified for OT for sensory issues and Speech, which she still continues. I plan on getting William screened soon and hope he'll be receiving Early Childhood Ed services. My gut feeling is he'll need them for Speech and social issues. Eventually I'll write about Will's social issues with other children on my blog and even ask for suggestions.

BTW you are an amazing Mom, your children are very fortunate to have you loving them, being an advocate, and always on their side.

Beverly said...

def save this for Ethan for when he is older!! great summary of a great little boy!

Heather said...

Hooray for Ethan!

Tammie said...

I can't believe how happy I was to read that Ethan was crying when he came out of the pool. However, I know that this has been of such concern to you & Marc.

Ethan's progress in school is no surprise. He is a very determined little person. OTOH, I know how you've waited for this good news. Congratulations!