Mr B’s successes and struggles
I was getting ready to send this blog post about Mr B’s improvements and although his learning activities and physical strength have got better, concentrating only on his successes would be a bit misleading, because for two days his behaviour and his eating have been really challenging. He is communicating his wishes well, that’s for sure.
Anyway, let’s start with the successes…
Firstly, threading has been an activity that I have been trying to work on with him. It is a way of slowing his impulsiveness and as it is repetitive, he has been getting the idea and looking more carefully as I helped him get the end of the shoelace into the hole and helped him pull it out from the other end. Then he started the grabbing the end once it was through for himself. He was losing interest, so what works most of the time is not to bring that toy out for a while and then during a structured time to have threading as an option with something else. The times he has not had it as an option often spark new interests to play. Well this week he started to be willing to hold the lace and look to get the end in the hole of the big bead I am holding.
So to recap, he is now holding the shoelace himself and seeking to thread it through the hole of the bead I’m holding and then grabbing and pulling the end and finally letting the threaded bead drop down the string. This is a big deal! Granted it’s slow and often he is so very distracted, but he comes back to looking at it again on good days. We will start to build speed, God willing. There was even one more mark of progress: on one occasion after threading the shoelace through, he actually (while making sure the lace didn’t come back out) took the bead, so he was doing it all himself while the other hand pulled the shoelace through.
We will continue to work at this and I’m hopeful that in time I can just give him the threading toy and he can do all the steps.
The next success is in his crawling. We were using the doughnut ring and stand toy for this exercise. He would crawl ferrying the rings the full length of two mats and then put them on the stand/ ring tower. At times I would put obstacles in his path to make him solve the problem of how to get over the cushions or the weighted blanket or wedge. Recently, I’ve been trying to build up speed, as there were two days a little while back when he was feverish and sleepy and since then he has been yawning (some fake and some real) a lot and been slow in responding at times.
I have also extended his time crawling by adding another reason to crawl by using a toy with four wooden posts to place in tubes. Again, he has to come to get the post and crawl the length of the mats and put it in the tube and come back for the next. This is to extend how long he can focus on the task. Some days he is crawling faster, but we still have our slow moving days too.
Alas, as I already said, there are some other things that are not improving. He is not finishing his bottles before throwing them away and making a mess. He is becoming more obsessed with his shoes and comes out independantly from the ward to seek them and demand I put them on him, even if it’s not his time to come out. He even tries to get visitors and other ward children to help to put them on. He grabs at his walker all the time too. I know this is his way of communicating that he wants to go for a walk, but just as I was always told as a child… ‘I want never gets’. He does a good session and goes in to the ward, but comes out again due to creating so much noise inside the ward that the ward mums get him out to have some peace. But when he comes out he prevents me working with others in the ward and makes a mess with the equipment, clothes basket and toys. The most frustrating thing is that when you put on his shoes and get his walker, he uses it for three to five minutes and then goes to sit by a railing and plays with the fence post base covers. After all that effort from me to follow what he would like to do, he opts out in minutes.
Despite all this he is a sweet child whose progress is clear. Please pray for his compliance, speed of responsiveness, impulsive behaviour to reduce and his drinking and sleeping to be improved. I thank God for the successes we have had and pray for more of these and an awareness in him of his ability to learn new skills and improve. Also please pray for my patience and commitment to help him to continue to improve. My gut says his behaviour is affected because of the current situation where I have the two girls who need a lot of assistance. Miss A’s feeding needs all my focus and Miss K has a bad habit with her leg position that I need to correct. I don’t think he likes my focus being elsewhere.