Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Joy-full Progress Report

so that the works of God might be made visible through him

 Last fall was rough.  When this school year started, the horizon was bleak.   Jude had evaluations for physical, occupational, and speech therapies, and while we knew it was bad, we didn't realize just how bad. The reality of seeing where he was - on paper,  in black and white - was still a sucker punch.  We started on a path that included four therapy sessions each week - two PT, one OT, and one speech.  By February, he was able to wean down to one PT each week, so we picked up a second speech session in its place.  As I write this, he has one more speech session next week - he's already been temporarily discharged from PT and OT.

What is amazing is the discharges are because of how far he has progressed!!  He's not ready to be discharged forever by a long shot - we are slated to re-evaluate him after his birthday in August and start back up again.  But he has come so far this year, both in therapy and in school, that we have to celebrate and rejoice.

First - the therapy update.  When Jude had his PT evaluation, the therapist had to use the "wrong" test in order to accurately gauge his skills.   He was so far behind that a test for 6 year olds was too advanced.  By the end, he had made enough gains that he could bomb the age-appropriate test!  I know, that sounds crazy to be excited over, but we are thrilled.  We're working this summer on solidifying the skills he has so that when he goes back in the fall we can hopefully continue moving forward.

But the most amazing thing is his speech gains.

The computer printed scores are from Jude's speech eval back in November and the handwritten ones are the unofficial scores from last week's re-do. 6 months of an insane schedule with speech therapy and look at the gain he made! The "raw score" is how many mistakes he made each time, and the percentile score is how he ranks against his peers (other almost 7-year olds). Sure, he still has major room to go, but if you compare him to himself, he has made light-year-sized gains -- a 300 percent improvement is nothing short of amazing!

I can't begin to tell how proud I am of him.  He's worked so hard -- even when the work was hard and he wanted to give up.  We've done sensory therapy, speech practice, pool group, playgrounds - you name it, if we could tweak it into his therapy programs, we tried it.  I don't think I ever considered how hard it was to walk, or talk, or even not be terrorized by the noise the vacuum makes.   God is so good and has answered so many prayers.

 Enough motor control and strength to help bring back the empty can on Trash Day.

 Conquering first grade math and moving on to second! 

Finding Super Heroes as inspiration - for books to read, for learning how to behave, and for learning wise words to live by..."With great power comes great responsibility."

 Checking himself into the hospital for therapy.  After typing it "all by myself" so many times, he now can spell his whole first name - Jude William - and start his last name. He also knows his date of birth.

 His other "hospital job" is to validate our token, pay for parking, and retrieve our receipt.  He takes these very seriously.  The other day, he showed another person how to work the machine.

 Ok, so we're still working on using utensils, but he can sit and eat an entire meal.  What you don't see is his "mattress" -- the cushion he's sitting on to give him sensory input and help keep him from squirming off the chair.

 I love this selfie!  He was painting and got some on his face. Curiosity, but no panic!

 Not just tolerating the existence of the cats, but sitting with them and being affectionate.  It broke my heart when he realized that death is "forever," when Toby died but since then he has really come to appreciate the girls. 

But even with all the work we've done, he still is a little boy.  He hasn't forgotten how to have fun!

It's been a rough winter, and we've got several more ahead of us.  But looking over the past six months, it's clear that miracles happen every day.  Some may be practically microscopic, like remembering to slow down his speech without being told, "Tap it out...I can't understand when you talk so fast."  Gaining the ability to hop 30 feet -- that's a big one.  God is clearly at work through those who have helped Jude and through Jude himself.  

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1 comment:

  1. Amazing gains! God is so good! What a joy-filled report. Thank you for sharing the joys and the sorrows as you all walk through your life. It is a blessing to read all that you share.


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