Part of the purpose of this blog has always been to keep people up to speed on JR’s progress or regressions. This past year has been gains. We just got JR’s 4th quarter progress notes (report card) and we were very impressed and in one case surprised by what our son is capable of and is doing. The school JR attends has a “mock” apartment. The concept of course is life-skills (what Vista calls: “Daily Functional Performance”) and to get each child to the level of functionality that living independently is the WHOLE goal of this part of the program.
These are the notes for JR’s abilities in the apartment: “Rodney has started NEW programming this quarter and has shown a lot of initial progress. He is spending one 20 minute period per day in The Vista School’s practice apartment. Currently baseline data is being taken on, “apartment” chores that include folding laundry, making the bed, changing sheets, stocking shelves, putting laundry away, hanging clothing on hangers, setting the table and sorting laundry. He is currently able to participate in each of these routines and following 5 days of baseline data on each routine target ones will be chosen with the MDT input.” The thing that most impressed me about this is he is showing progress to the level that he’s already capable to some degree at performing these tasks already. He is showing that here at home as well. My last blog post mentioned this.
Computer skills were noted as: “Rodney continues with mastery of the computer mouse. Due to his interest in the computer and the ability to use the mouse a typing program has been initiated this quarter. Rodney is currently sitting in front of the computer and a model of a letter is being shown to him. While the model is in front of him he is asked to type that letter. Initially we started with the home row letters and he is using bilateral index fingers for typing. He is starting to know the location of letters and has independently typed the correct letter on the home row 66% of opportunities. A recent program modification was just discussed with Rodney’s mother and the typing program will begin to focus on the home row keys and also letters he has mastered in his academic letter identification program. This will give the letters more meaning and another way to generalize the letter ID program from the teacher.”
Here at home today I noticed JR doing something that suggested he understands the concepts of caution, of being able to change course, and the concept of injury. I was doing the dishes this morning after JR got up. I typically do dishes after he goes to bed at night or before he rises in the morning. JR was playing with his water as usual. However, when he came into the sink to get water for his cups he hesitated and put his index finger under the water to check its temperature. Now I may be making more of this then is actually there but I don’t think I am. Of all the people JR encounters through out his day I am more in tune to him then anyone else. As it should be in my opinion. One of the parents has to have that connection with the children. Mom, Dad, Grandma or Grandpa; someone should have that ability.
All of these examples and the rest on his progress report is showing examples of upper level thinking. He is making many, many gains.