Thursday, January 31, 2008

Getting Ready for Preschool

We've been gearing up for Cooper's entry into the public school system. He'll be eligible for school district services when he turns three, so that's coming really soon. Over this past week, he's had a speech/language (SLP) assessment, a physical therapy (PT) assessment, and an occupational therapy (OT) assessment. Basically, the PT looks at gross motor skills: walking, climbing stairs or ladders, jumping, kicking a ball, throwing a ball, riding a trike (okay, the kind you push with your feet...) and the OT looks at fine motor skills: drawing a vertical line, a horizontal line, a circle, putting cereal in a container, threading beads on a string, sorting shapes, stacking blocks. All of this so that he can officially "qualify" for special education services. (Which, of course, he does....) I spend so much time with him, cheering all of his successes and looking at how far he's come that I find that I'm often blind to his delays. Not that I don't know they're there, but that he seems to get around them so well, I forget to think of them as delays. Even before he was walking, I'd truly forget that his gross motor skills were around those of a one year old (hence the not walking bit..) Ah well. I guess I've been well trained by my job to always focus on a person's strengths.

I'm still really torn about the role of a "typical" (read: private) preschool and the role of special education in Cooper's next few years. It's been quite a process (thanks to all you listeners...) for me to really identify and articulate what it is that concerns me about entirely special education preschool. It's not that I don't want him around other kids with special needs, or that I don't think the preschool teachers will be fabulous. Instead it's this cultural message that is implicit to me in a separate preschool- that our kids with special needs should be pulled out of the mainstream. I want to believe that we live in a community that values all different sorts of children, and what I've seen from the parents and children in our playgroups, kindergym, library and music classes is that that's true. We just have to work on convincing the schools that it's worth the extra hassle to include a variety of kids in their programs.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

We got the funk...

Now that he's up, one of Cooper's favorite things to do is dance (he's particular to Chris's funk music CD). Today we had the added bonus of two dancers under the age of 3.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Signing songs

Cooper's nana has been singing these songs to him since he was a baby. He's got the hand movements down, and is often caught singing the songs to himself.

Friday, January 18, 2008

We have lift off....

Well, it's finally happened- Cooper's walking! Okay, not all the time, but more than half, and in longer and longer stints. Chris had a funny conversation with some parents in our music class. There was another new walker there- stumbling around, doing the drunken sailor walk. The parents were talking about how that phase goes so fast- one minute they're stumbling, and in the next, they're off and running. Chris's comment: "Well, not so much in our house- we'll probably be in that phase for months."

We were talking about it later, and realizing that as long as we can keep our patience in check, there's a gift to that- we get to really watch and appreciate all of those phases that so quickly disappear out of our lives. Here's a bit of video of the "toddler". (Who, of course, becomes a "preschooler" in a month and a half!)


We had SO much fun in Salt Lake City! Cooper loved staying with Uncle Nate, Aunt Jen, Connor and Dylan (along with all the animals!) Nana and Pop Pop stayed at a nearby hotel with a pool, which was great fun as well. All and all, a successful holiday. I think Chris ate more cookies than everyone else combined (except maybe Dylan.)