~ May 2011 ~
It was about this time last year that we had begun what would turn out to be a nightmarish process of developing Finn’s first IEP. We submitted him to various assessments (though we declined most that we were urged to submit him to). Although I don’t think the school district obtained an entirely clear or accurate picture of Finn, the process did force us to sort of zero in on where he was developmentally. In a nutshell:
~ He was still almost entirely on pureed foods. He seemed to have sensory issues with solids (i.e., a very active gag reflex), as well as trouble coordinating the actions of chewing and swallowing.
~ He had self-weaned from breastfeeding, but was not drinking from a sippy or any other type of cup. The only fluids he got were what I managed to mix in with his food, and it was a constant source of worry for me that he wasn’t getting enough fluids.
~ His spoken vocabulary at the time consisted of:
I love you
Row row [as in, your boat]
A year later, he’s completely on solids; it actually seemed to click with him last June when Michael and I went to San Francisco for a weekend, leaving the kids in the care of our most awesome babysitter, Alycia (who also took all those great pregnancy photos for me a couple weeks ago – the girl is multi-talented). So it’s been a while, but when I think about it, I kind of marvel at the fact that it’s really been less than a year that he’s been eating the same table foods as the rest of the family.
He mastered a sippy cup ages ago, as well, so his fluid intake stopped being a concern many moons ago, thank goodness. He can drink from an open cup with help, and he hasn’t yet mastered straw-drinking (but I haven’t pushed it very hard).
In addition to the word list above, he’s added:
Scout [and he did say Twinkle when we still had her]
Tubby [what we call a bath]
Thanks, ______ [insert name]
Come on, _______ [insert name]
There might be a few more, but these are the ones that come to mind. And it’s true that most of these are approximations; it would probably be difficult for anyone who doesn’t spend a great deal of time with him to make out what he’s saying.
As far as receptive language, he seems to understand a lot more than he’s able to communicate. I see this mostly in his ability to follow multi-step instructions; for instance, if I say “Finn, pick up your toys and put them away,” he will. If I say, “Let’s go to the bathroom to brush your teeth,” he goes into the bathroom and opens the cabinet where his toothbrush is. And so forth.
No, it’s not as if we’re carrying on conversations, but there is definitely meaningful communication going on, and there is definite forward progress, and that’s enough for me.
~ April 2012 ~