our journey of hope and healing through autism

December update


This afternoon, I met with Hannah’s grade 1 teacher to get an update on how things are going.  The teacher hasn’t voiced any complaints, but I wanted to make sure I had the full scoop and could make the most of Christmas break, since Hannah’s happy to practice school skills during her down time.

Good news!  Hannah’s biggest learning challenge is math. (Considering all that she has worked to overcome, I’ll happily take math as being her problem area!  Seriously- my girl who had severe expressive and receptive language delays, severe motor planning issues, and severe fine motor delays at 4 years old, her biggest challenge now is math.  God is good.)  We’ll be working on math concepts more over break to help- working on identifying and repeating patterns, estimating numbers, and counting by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s ( using these printables http://www.123homeschool4me.com/2014/10/skip-counting-mazes-2s-10s.html )  Her printing needs work, but it’s not horrible, and we’ve already started a printing program called Handwriting Without Tears to help with that.

I asked the teacher if she feels like Hannah’s attention or activity levels are affecting the classroom environment, or Hannah’s learning.  I was curious, because Hannah’s pediatrician had brought up how busy Hannah was at our visit last summer, and warned me that an ADHD diagnosis might be something down the line for Hannah.  Also, the pediatrician knew what I know- some children who no longer meet the criteria for an autism diagnosis end up being diagnosed with ADHD.  (Interestingly, some experts feel that ADHD is at the mildest end of the autism spectrum.) More good news from the teacher:  Hannah gets her work done, and isn’t out of her seat more than many of the other kids.  Sometimes Hannah doesn’t follow through all the steps of multi-step instructions, so we’ll renew our efforts in that area.  🙂 Considering the HUGE difficulty Hannah had with that skill just a year or two ago, it’s no surprise, and I’m happy it’s not more of an issue.

From casual observation, I knew that things were going well enough socially during class.  You can imagine how delighted I was when I dropped Hannah off at her classroom a few days ago, and the three girls who were in the room at the time excitedly yelled “Hannah!”, and one ran up and gave her a hug.  🙂  When I dug for areas that need improvement socially, Hannah’s teacher  agreed that Hannah could use a bit of polishing  in the pragmatics of conversation starting.  Sometimes she greets a person, then dives right into a conversation (instead of asking “How are you? and waiting for an answer).  I’m thinking maybe some role playing with dolls, or comic strip conversations might help with this.  The teacher emphasized that Hannah fits in with the other kids, has friends- “she’s just Hannah”.  I’m so glad that her challenges have become mild enough that they don’t define her!

Hannah occasionally loses her temper (like once a month), usually after a bad night sleep, so I’m going to work on that, but overall, I’m not overly concerned about that.

My mind is flooded with thoughts of all the lovely therapists, therapy assistants, and teachers who have played a key role in Hannah reaching the point she’s at now.  I’m so grateful for each of them, and the joy they’ve brought our family through contributing to Hannah’s success.

I’m relieved & happy to know that things are going REALLY well.   I feel like I’m finally unwrapping the  Christmas gift I wished for two years ago.  🙂




2 comments on “December update

  1. suzyqbills
    December 18, 2014

    Where’s the LOVE button? Wonderful update!

  2. holdingtomorrow
    December 18, 2014

    That put a huge smile on my face! Can you call me soon? I’m homesick these days and miss you!

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