Turns out, Kai is mister social. Yes, our kiddo on the autism spectrum....the one who we were told may never be verbal....is hamming it up with his classmates. He is right in the mix. Not stimming in the corner and occasionally watching the other children, but playing with them. Having fun with them. The kids may not always understand him due to his speech issues, but it seems he has related through the language of play, which is awesome.
....and get this. Look at the picture below (These are the "finalist" drawings of the Willow Springs students to be voted on for the school T-shirt.)
I had the opportunity to volunteer in his classroom on Thursday, and was able to see the Kai-ster in action. His teacher was not lying at that conference. He was actually the little social-bug she said he was. It was great to see him laughing and having fun.
Here's the kicker: They're looking to exit him from special ed next year, but keep intensive speech services. Three cheers for early intervention hey?!
Then there's little Miss Jade. Miss Jade who is naturally pretty smart. Well, turns out that she is little miss nosey-pants and can have a hard time focusing on herself. Jade is also a social-bug, but does struggle to concentrate on her own learning without being distracted by what other kids are doing. Doesn't surprise me I guess.
I was glad to hear that Jade has started talking with the kids in her class about China and adoption. Apparently Jade's teacher was sharing a book about China one day, and Jade took this opportunity to explain China's "one child policy" to the group. She also wrote the her name in Chinese characters on the white-board and told the class its meaning. Now Jade is needing to field lots of questions and is coming home talking about how to answer them. [Explaining the difference between "stepmom" and "birthmom" was interesting, as other kids in the class talk about step-parents, which Jade thought was the same concept as birth-parents.] Sigh....we're treading very close to the actual "where do babies really come from?" question, and my attempts to answer in an age-appropriate way are becoming challenged! She's only SIX for cryin out loud!
As we venture toward the season of giving thanks, I am looking back on the past and reflecting on where we are today. [ I am also thinking about yesterday, during a time of sharing at my parent's place of worhip. I mentioned that I frequently wish I was back in the workforce, feeling as if I was making a difference again and enjoying the respect of colleagues and other professionals. As the folks in the group watched my children play, I was reminded of how being a mom to these kiddos IS making a difference. Sometimes it is hard to see the forest through the trees!] As I continue to walk this journey one day at a time, today I am feeling gratitude.
Reminder to self: One. day. at. a. time. Breathe.....