Thursday, 29 January 2015

Raise Your Glass

A while ago a friend sent me an article about the challenges of kvelling, Yiddish word that means bursting with pride or bragging.  The article speaks to being a parent of a child who isn't the "traditional" academic achiever, star athlete or beauty queen, but has faced hurdles that other kids don't have to.  This is something I have struggled with when sharing parental victories about Jack, because we celebrate different things for him, even compared to what we boast about Miss Molly.  I am so incredibly happy for my friends' children's achievements and want to celebrate alongside them, I find that sometimes when I share about Jack surrounding some of our challenges, progress and wins I get a look of pity when all I want is that same level of support.  I am damn proud of both of the minions and bursting with pride.

As many people who follow my blog or are an active part of Molly and Jack's lives know we have been spending a lot of time over the past year working with Jack on his language, emotional and social development.

Yesterday was his mid-point check-in meeting with the daycare staff and his special needs consultant who has been working with him twice a week for a number of months now.  I tend to go into these meetings with butterflies in my stomach about how my little boy is doing. I know with all children there are peaks and valleys in behaviour and development.  It's just that from my limited exposure to parenting it feels as though that the pendulum tends to swing farther in both extremes for Jack.

Jack and Chris at Brickworks


I am happy to report that I received the most positive progress report that we've had since we began this journey with Jack a year and a half ago following his first assessment.  Jack and everyone around him has worked so hard to help get him here and I am so incredibly grateful.  Jack's obsessive tendencies have been on the decline and he is now one of the kids that the other pre-schoolers seek out because he's so much fun playing games and using his imagination in the drama centre.  Jack's transgressions seem to be lasting for a day or two compared with the week or two we were seeing just a few months ago.

Jack has become very aware of his own and other people's emotions.  During our review I was told a story about Jack from last week, following a particularly challenging session with his support worker, where Jack got frustrated and yelled at her.  He told her that he wanted her to leave him alone, that he needed a break and that he was angry at her.  I can't believe I'm excited at this, but this is such an improvement from rolling around on the ground and freaking out.  He is using his words when he's pissed off, which is a huge leap for him.  After his session was over, he had lunch and then a nap.  When he woke up from his nap he told one of his ECE workers about how he had yelled at the development specialist and had been mean to her.  He said he wanted to apologize with absolutely no prompting from an adult and because she had gone home and he couldn't say sorry, he only felt better after the ECE worker told Jack that she would send an email letting the specialist know that Jack wanted to say sorry.

I know there is still some work to do, and I'm so happy that Jack has been such a willing participant, doing most of the heavy lifting with a huge support group.  I also know that there will be bad days, bad weeks and tough transitions.  Onward and upward to Jack finally mastering toilet training before we start the next major change in our lives when the minions go to kindergarten next fall.

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