Sunday, September 25, 2011

Another Nathan Update

A couple of weeks ago Nathan asked his teacher if he and another boy could do their work in the hall because the classroom was too noisy.  I was excited for several reasons: he recognized he couldn't concentrate with the noise, he talked with his teacher about it, he successfully articulated his concern, and he recognized that someone else was also having trouble and tried to help them.  It was a proud mom moment for me.  Of course this summer an audiologist emphatically suggested that we get Nathan some headphones to block background noise for this very reason but the principal and teacher had some concerns so we decided to wait and see what would happen.  Nathan was thrilled when I went to school the day after his teacher told me this story and scored him a set he keeps on his desk.  I did have to do a bit of talking to make that happen but let me tell you a child saying they can't concentrate on their work makes my job tons easier!  The first day with the headphones was good but he did say that he was annoyed with his partner during centers who kept talking to him and he was close enough that the headphones wouldn't block it out.  The second day he was thrilled when he was able to block out this boy's talking.  (I was excited about that too because maybe the headphones will help him be able to do that somewhat effectively without headphones someday.)  I've talked with another parent volunteer and she said that when it's work time Nathan puts those headphones on and gets his stuff done.  This is exciting, as he hasn't yet been able to successfully complete work at school.  It looks like auditory processing testing is a given and I can't wait to see someday what else we can learn specifically about Nathan and how to make things a bit easier for him!!

His clinician at the U of U this term is amazing!  Every student clinician up there has been excellent but up to this point we have been fortunate to work with 2 that really understood Nathan and developed a plan that suited his needs perfectly.  This term we get to work with a third talented clinician.  Her name is Amanda and I love her approach.  She rarely has to redirect Nathan--he has a good time but he doesn't get too wound up or off topic.  I pretty much think she's brilliant.  

Sometimes progress seems slow and expensive in time and resources.  During the car drama we were tempted to set an ending date for speech.  That week I also had an opportunity to volunteer with Nathan's class and had a moment with the other little boy Nathan took in the hall with him that day.  Let's call him Tom.       When Nathan and Tom were in Kindergarten they both had trouble but Nathan was much more severe--all around.  I don't know what happened between entering Kindergarten and now with Tom because I've been pretty busy working with Nathan. Nathan and Tom have similar histories.  Tom has had hearing loss associated with fluid in the ears, has trouble communicating verbally and nonverbally with other people (probably confidence related), has a submucous cleft palate (fixing Tom's palate wasn't an option due to severe allergies and asthma), ... The other week when I was at school I worked with Tom a little bit and I was surprised that I couldn't understand him.  Given my experience with Nathan and Ivy I can usually pick things out but I got nothing from Tom.  I was shocked.  I know Tom's parents have worked hard to get him help and to help him.  I believe the difference is that Tom gets private therapy twice a month for 30 minutes in Salt Lake and Nathan gets therapy twice a week for 60 minutes.  Last year I talked with Tom's mom about Nathan's therapy and suggested we could save money on gas by carpooling and they weren't really interested.  This time I've talked to Tom's dad and offered to just take Tom and his mom with us--we're going anyway.  He said to get him the paperwork and I'm praying it works out for them.  It broke my heart to see and hear Tom because I know how hard it is for him.  It also made me grateful that the Lord has directed us in Nathan's therapy and blessed us.  It was a bit of a tender mercy to see precisely where Nathan would most likely be if we had decided the sacrifice was too great.  And it was a poignant reminder of how hard Nathan has worked and how much progress we get to celebrate!  

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Last Thursday Eva turned 14!  Now she can go to dances--except our Bishopric ran out of dance cards :(

It's hard to believe that in a year she'll start driving!  Seriously I can't wait.  I'm looking forward to another chauffer :)

We are so proud of Eva--she's a remarkable girl!  I'm going to brag about her a bit :)  She works so hard to develop her talents, be a good friend, help her siblings, etc.  She is an accomplished musician--she gets to start playing Beethoven's Pathetique (a piece I learned in high school) and she's working on her Suzuki book 6 in violin.  She loves working with the yearbook committee and participating in young women's.  She's nearly finished with her first personal progress medallion.  She has a beautiful testimony of our Savior and His place in her life and finds joy in reading about Him in her scriptures.  We sure love having Eva in our family!!

For Eva's birthday she got an i-home, a new SD card for her camera and......her own room!  We spent the weekend moving Vince's stuff into the room that will one day be a bathroom, Eva's stuff into Vince's old space, Ivy's stuff upstairs to the boys' old room and the boys downstairs to the girls' old room (yes, the one with the pink carpet--and Ethan is NOT thrilled about pink carpet :))  I'm hoping all this moving explains the late birthday blog :)

It's amazing how clean everyone's bedroom is.  Everyone's!  The boys really did need tons more space.  Eva and Ivy each claimed that it was the other one making the mess in their room.  I guess they were both right?!  Maybe it's too early to tell.

In other news--a week before Eva's birthday Vince's truck broke on the way home from work.  His front passenger tire was sideways.  We felt super blessed that going 75 mph on a busy highway during the commute, when people drive to close, that no one bumped him and he was able to get off the road without rolling.  He left a long indentation in the highway and apparently there were many sparks.  After a tow, 2 new tires, 4 new ball joints, and some controller thing under the car that was damaged we have his truck back.  BUT while we were waiting for that work to be done the Expedition broke down--right before the weekend.  So we were a small one-car family for a weekend.  The Expedition sounded Really Bad and we were thinking it might be time to say good bye or replace the transmission but our wonderful new neighbor looked at it and said it needs a new CV joint which is really not a big deal :)  We were thinking Vince would fix it but after looking at his schedule and taking into account that he's not very comfortable with that plan we took the key to the mechanic and are now waiting for that vehicle to be towed.  Thank goodness we had our super old 1993 Subaru to tie us over!  The irony of that was not lost on me but when I pointed it out to Vince he muttered something about that one being sure to break down now.  It was a bit of a stressful weekend around here....