At the beginning of summer, before ESY and summer sessions at CARD, I decided to give Aden and Alex a 3-week break from therapy. That doesn’t mean early intervention stopped. Every morning, I worked with them on various tasks and continued to apply things I learned in parent training and by observing at CARD. Mainly, I focused on sensory-integration (play-doh, play foam, building forts) and fine motor skills, such as beading, stacking blocks, and drawing or coloring. Mornings worked great since Aden and Alex are more alert and seem to be more focused. Alex surprised me one morning when he drew a smiley face on my 4th of July party grocery list. I had no idea he could do that. Then a week later, he was writing his name. At first, he wanted to add more lines to the “E” but eventually he caught on. One night in the tub, using washable crayons, he wrote his name as clear as can be. I didn’t want to wash it off.
Although Aden isn’t yet writing his name, he still likes to scribble and blend colors together. He’s quite the artist! For three weeks we went on daily outings, attended and hosted play dates, and visited grandparents- pretty much what I consider a normal summer vacation. We went to different playgrounds; I watched their gross motor skills develop even further. Both started to hang from monkey bars and slide down poles. At play dates, I watched their play skills improve and Alex’s social skills go through the roof. Aden is still having trouble in this area. He would rather play by himself with his toys. However, he and Alex play nicely at home…sometimes. Both love my grandparent’s house. They happen to live on a dead end street near the woods; they love playing in the woods, climbing trees, chasing each other, playing hide and seek- all the things my cousins and I did growing up. On Monday mornings, we attended Jillian’s group, the same group Aden and Alex attended from age 2-3. It was wonderful coming back and seeing how much they have improved. Watching Alex participate in the “Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, please shine down on me!” song and dance routine was truly remarkable. Aden also remembered his beloved monkeys who hang from the tree, except now he was able to give them back when it was time for the story without a meltdown. Hallelujah! At home, we continued to work on pretend play, hosting carpet picnics for stuffed animals. I’m always thrilled when they can initiate play sequences without my help. Progress! In the backyard, we played in their baby pools which they’ve already outgrown. One day I captured this great video of them playing with Jon. Hearing their laughs and squeals of delight makes my day! And I wonder why Aden is always trying to splash his brother or friends when we host play dates. Thanks Daddy! http://youtu.be/PGiiu7t8p2c
Last year for Christmas, my Mom and I bought the boys a bunch of different dress-up costumes (construction worker, doctor, dragon, etc…) Of course neither showed an interest until this summer. One evening Jon and I were playing with them downstairs. We dressed Aden up as the doctor and watched his pretend play skills expand before our eyes! http://youtu.be/bdO8yAHl9fQ
In this video, Jon says, “my tummy hurts” and Aden actually kisses it to “make it better” which is exactly what we say to him when he is hurt. Moments like this restore my faith that just because he isn’t saying much doesn’t mean he isn’t taking it in and understanding. http://youtu.be/ZLHjKBJrTfM
At CARD, both had a unit on camping. Since then they have become interested in camping or maybe obsessed is a better word. They use their flashlights, build tents and roast mini-marshmallows using their pillow pets as “fire”. I love watching them use their imagination.After ESY and summer sessions at CARD ended, we had another two weeks before school started. The last two weeks were nothing like the first three. It was difficult. Since two years-old, we have been on-the-go, bouncing back and forth between therapies. Both have become used to going places- constantly. What does this mean? It means there is no such thing as downtime. For example, if I take them to a playground or Storyville in the morning, when we get home, I would like them to play with their toys or watch a movie aka “downtime!” Nope! Instead they say, “Mommy, what we do today?” as if we never left the house. By the end of week 2, it was clear; both were ready for a routine. I know I was.
My favorite part of summer was watching Aden and Alex grow closer. They really started to form that brotherly bond. Sometimes they play nicely together, sharing toys and taking turns, other times they antagonize each other and scream for me to rescue them. When in trouble, they also rescue each other. My most memorable moment was one morning Alex said the most amazing thing without prompt. Warning this video will make you say, awwwww!: http://youtu.be/bQ0oYj7LR4s