Thursday, February 2, 2017

Team Monkey

When B man was little, he was in to everything.  He was, and still is, in constant motion.  He also covered in bumps and bruises.  He fell a lot! He had a near constant bump on his forehead.  Once he got a bump on top of the bump that was already there!

We now know that all that we a part of his sensory seeking.  He can not get enough input from the world around him.  So he seeks more but jumping, touching, putting things in his mouth.  He loves deep pressure. He wants more.  We also know that he doesn't have a good understanding of where his body is in space. There's a fancy word for this but it escapes me right now at 5:35 am.  Because he didn't always know where he was in space, he didn't know when to brace for a fall until his head hit first.

During the worst of these times, before we started occupational therapy, B also didn't have a lot of words.  This is so hard to believe now.  Now he has such a tremendous vocabulary.  It's hard to remember the time I told a doctor he had 2 words - daddy and dada - and she looked at me like I'd lost my mind "That's just one word.  It's the same word."

All of these things, including the decision to decorate his nursey with jungle animals, led to B's nickname - Monkey.

Several years ago, I had notepads made for B's teachers and helpers at school that said Team Monkey.  It was becoming clear that we would all have to work together and work overtime to figure him out and help him be successful at school.  I wanted everyone to know that we were in this together!

I haven't given out any notepads lately, I probably should get on that they were super cute, but Team Monkey is still in full effect.  It was evident in his ARD.  It's evident in the way he talks about school.

Let me pause here to say what a profound blessing it is to hear him talk about school.  Many of you get every little detail of your child's day.  We get almost nothing.  I say all the time that just because B talks a lot doesn't mean that he communicates a lot.  He repeats things, almost always in the correct context, or he talks about his special intersts (Pokemon anyone one?).  But the details of his day are not important to him and so we miss out.

B adores his teachers this year.  And they adore him!  He had math homework the other day and he drew this "hydroglyfic" on his paper for his math teacher.

He was so thrilled when she drew one back to him!

His teachers this year are so fabulous! I could go on and on.  They have the right mix of holding him accountable and going with the flow.  They are such a blessing to us!

B's other favorite person is his behavior specialist.  My favorite time of day is when I lay down with B at bedtime.  The other night as I asked him "Who is your best friend?"  Without a second of hesitation he replied "Mr. Smith is my best friend. He just got Pokemon Go on his phone and I'm going to help him." Did everyone catch that?  A grown man loaded Pokemon Go on his phone so he could connect with B!

I could go on and on but I'll sufice it to say that teachers can make or break a kid.  If a teacher doesn't understand, or want to understand, a kid everyone's miserable.  I've been that teacher.  I was miserable, the kid was miserable and I'm sure the parents were miserable.  I've also been on the other side.  I've been, seemingly, the only teacher trying to understand a kid.  I've formed bonds with kids other teachers couldn't.  I've experienced the relief in a parent's voice and their appreciation for that bond.

I hope Team Monkey understand how much we love and appreciate them!  My boy spends a great deal of time with them and it's easier to send him knowing he is loved and understood.

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