A new note from Christian’s teacher today-

We have been hearing some exciting things from Christian. It seems that he has made a friend with one of our [fifth grade] buddies. Several times now he has asked about Nick. He has asked, “Where is Nick?” “I be with Nick.” “Nick here.” and today “Bye, Nick, see you tomorrow.”
Reading sweep [reg. ed 2nd grade program] is going good, too. Our group is working on rhyming. He has to do some good listening to tell which of 3 words doesn’t rhyme. We have played games like memory and go fish. No behavior issues at all and some really nice listening.

I’m totally thrilled with these continued great news from school! Praying that it continues to go well even as the weather shifts from fall into winter.

Christian’s annual IEP meeting was held yesterday afternoon.  It went well.  Christian has met (and surpassed) all but one of his goals.  That was exciting to hear!  He is doing great with math and reading, so he will be able to move into a first grade setting in both of those areas (as well as music, art, and phy. ed.).  And he is in first grade reading this year, but he will be revisiting it again next year because of comprehension difficulties.  (I’m not sure if he’s not comprehending what he is reading or just unable to show what he is comprehending.  Either way, it warrants some more time there.  Christian will be getting second grade sight words, though, since he can read SO well.)  I also found out that he is needing very little sensory help at school (he must be saving ALL of that until he gets home 😉 ).  He still has scheduled breaks in his day, which I’m sure are needed, where he visits a smaller classroom (off of the large main classroom) and, of course, spells with letters from alphabet puzzles or writes words out on a Manga-doodle.  That sounds like him.  Unfortunately, when given the option on playing with his classmates or being alone (spelling), he will ALWAYS choose spelling.  I’m not surprised, but it was sad 😦 to hear that he doesn’t really seek out friends.  Does he want/need friends?  Does he feel lonely?  I wish I knew.  Anyway, overall, Christian’s doing REALLY well.  I’m excited for him! 🙂  (And now I’m eagerly waiting to get an actual copy of the IEP to read it over.)

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On a not so happy note, our basement has (apparently) turned into a toilet.  We are scrubbing the carpet down there at LEAST once a day.  (Lately, it’s been at least three times/day.)  We are running out of paper towel, carpet cleaner, wipes, plastic bags, and patience quickly.  Sigh.  We are attempting to remain calm, but also teach C that if the poo or pee happens in the basement, he will be responsible for helping to clean it up.  Sigh.  I pray that this problem goes away quickly.  I’m tired of it.  (And our basement is starting to smell like a urinal.)  😦

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I have also been emailing a world renown savant syndrome expert who lives in the area about Christian’s extraordinary reading/spelling ability.  He questioned Christian’s hyperlexia.  Hyperlexia?  I never even thought about hyperlexia, as no one had ever mentioned that about Christian before.  So does Christian have just hyperlexia or hyperlexia with autism or autism where his hyperlexia is a savant splinter-skill???  I have NO clue.  The only way to really find out is to get him tested by specialists.  Sigh.  The savant expert pointed me to a clinic in Illinois.  Sigh.  I don’t know that we are ready to venture down there to find out because I don’t know that it will change anything.  Really.  We would still need the same therapies and helps, so maybe we will just wait a few more years and see where Christian is at that time…

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And now I’m back to considering a service dog for Christian.  (Revisiting this idea with Brian, too.  He’s concerned with all of the work that it would take to fund-raise for the dog and that he doesn’t really have time to help out with it.)  I have found a GREAT program in our state that has great support and excellent dogs.  If we do pursue a service dog, this is the organization that I would like to work with.  I also found out that the dog would NOT be allowed to attend school with Christian, so something else that we need to consider, but I think a dog would be a WONDERFUL thing for Christian.  I can envision him blossoming. 🙂  Hmm…so much to think about…

…and now I’m exhausted…  😉

Last Thursday was the first parent/teacher conference of the year.  Miss JB pulled out Christian’s IEP and we were all pleasantly surprised with the progress Christian is already making this years.  He had met the majority of his IEP goals within the 1st quarter!  Yay, Christian!!!  🙂  They will continue to push him and try to help him through the things he continues to struggle with by utilizing his strengths.  Yay, teachers!  🙂  I am thrilled that things are going so well!  (And Christian is REALLY enjoying his first grade reading group.)  🙂

Christian was tested on first-grade-level sight words today.  He was able to read 17 out of 20 of them.  The three that he got “wrong” are tricky words where the spelling doesn’t match the phonetics of the word.  I am SO proud of him!  He will start first grade reading next week. 

Now the hard part will be getting him to show his comprehension skills.  When asked a question and given three choices, he can produce the answers from the story, but to come up with the words on his own is a skill that is just not quite there yet.  Nevertheless, I am still so stoked for him!  🙂

I am doing cartwheels! 

I am breaking out the dorkiest dance moves that you can imagine.

Why?  You may asking.

Christian had a GREAT week of school!  Hurray!  I’m just SO THRILLED!!!  🙂

And here’s the kicker… the first grade classes are starting reading groups (according to ability) next week and they plan on incorporating that into Christian’s schedule (3 days a week) because he is breezing through what his current room is reading!  (And comprehending it.)  WOW!  Yay, Christian!!!  🙂