I didn’t get much of a chance to write about The Little Empress and her school so now that I’ve got a moment, I figure I may as well talk about that. During her third month of school, I had a few meetings with her teachers and program coordinators to discuss her developmental goals. It seems that she will be in the program until she ages out at 3 years old which is fine by me since she is making so much progress. She also had a home visit that went horribly. TLE is notoriously bad with transitions and the arrival of her teachers (who belong IN SCHOOL in her toddler world) showing up on her doorstep, was too much for her to take. She melted down into a tantrum that lasted over an hour. The upside was that her therapist and teacher got to witness first hand the behavior issues I’d talked about during her evaluation. They took some notes and talked to her OT. Later, her OT and I had a meeting of our own and developed a sensory diet for TLE which, so far, has helped a lot. She still has melt downs but the severity has decreased as has the length of her tantrums. (THANK GOD!! One hour tantrums nearly every day are not for the faint of heart.)
She had a mini-language explosion around the end of June and beginning of July. She went from having only a few sounds to suddenly she began mimicking words on a frequent basis — it surprised us as well as her teachers! The mini-explosion has continued through till August. She seems to be adding new words to her vocabulary every day. I don’t think she has more than 100 yet but she’s getting there! She’s begun to show that she likes animals, a lot. She seems to especially love monkeys! She still can’t say the word “monkey” but she’ll make the sign for “monkey” and make monkey sounds.
Two absolutely huge things that she’s done lately: Within the last month, she actually said her name!!! She won’t say it all the time if you ask her, “What’s your name?” but she has been able to say it once or twice when asked. AWESOME!!! Within the last week, she’s been using the word “me” and “mine”, something she hasn’t done before. I”m so happy that her language is improving so much! The upside is that now that she has more of a vocabulary, she seems to be far less irritable and less easily frustrated since we can better understand her.
I think one of the craziest things about her speech issues is the fact that she seems like she’s trying to say sentences. I’ve heard her say four word sentences like “Where did it go?” but this is rare. It is almost like she wants to run before she can walk. Another funny thing is that she doesn’t have a word for “yes”. She has plenty of ways to say “no” but “yes” is not a word she says. Her nod is absolutely adorable, though. Instead of just nodding her head, she has this funny tendency to nod with her whole body. It is pretty adorable.
Socially, she’s a little butterfly. She is the class hugger as she seems to like to hug just about everyone. She still especially loves her friend Mauricio — and will occasionally ask about him at home saying, “Muh-muh-muh” with this adorable little half smile — and loves to hug her teachers, too. I was a bit worried when she first started school as she had seemed aloof and disinterested in other kids her age when I’d taken her to playgroups but it doesn’t seem like she’s this way with her classmates at all.
At home, she’s started to do a lot more pretend play with her dolls and toys in the last month or so. In the photo above, she’s playing with her baby doll. She happily rocked, nursed and cuddled her “baby” and even put her in her booster seat so she could feed her while she was eating her dinner! She never did this before so I was pretty amazed to see how loving she was to her little “baby”. She also seems to love Pixar movies. She loves all animated movies but Pixar’s Up and Monsters Inc. seem to be her favorites right now and she will constantly ask to watch these two movies over. and over. and over again. She likes pointing out the characters and telling me if they’re “happy” or “sad”. Sometimes, when she’s watching a TV show, she’ll turn to me and say, “Help, help!” if the character on screen seems like they need help or are sad. She gets very into her shows now!!
Of course, she’s on vacation for most of the month of August. Yikes! Nearly three weeks of her at home every day… I almost don’t know what to do! Luckily, the OT and the OT intern at school provided the families with lots of fun activity ideas. I hope I can keep up with her!