May. 4th, 2017

azriona: (Default)
 Apparently I am incapable of teaching children how to talk, and therefore Charlie had his first speech therapy appointment this morning. It was Take Number Three, because the previous two attempts at an appointment this week were cancelled as the therapist was sick. The first morning, Monday, we were already on our way to the appointment when we got the call (via Bill) that it was cancelled. The make-up appointment was Wednesday, and we got all the way into the office only to learn it was cancelled. (They had my phone number wrong, which is why I didn't get a call on Monday. I admit, I had been thinking that they didn't call the moms at all - because oh why bother we have to get permission to do anything here anyway - but nope, happily I was wrong. Whew, and bad on me for thinking it.)

Anyway, the driver picked me up this morning and jokingly asked if the appointment had been cancelled yet. "Not yet," I replied ominously, "but if I come out of the office five minutes after you drop me off, I may be too livid to speak. In which case, drive me anywhere in the city you want to go."

(The driver laughed. I happen to like this driver; he has an excellent sense of humor and we get on like a house on fire.)

Luckily, the appointment was on. The place I'm taking Charlie is a much larger operation than the place where Andrew went in Virginia. It's been in operation for 25 years and is well-enough established that everyone who knows we're going there has heard of it, or knows someone who went there. I like the people we've met so far, and they seem to know what they're doing - they evaluated Charlie with the same materials used to evaluate Andrew, and their English is accentless and probably better than mine. I sat in on today's session, because it was the first, but eventually (assuming Charlie's good with it) I won't, and there's a closed-circuit television so I can watch and hear what's going on, which is pretty cool.

So, two 45-minute sessions a week until the end of the month, at which point it's Ramadan and everything stops anyway. And two weeks after that, we're back in the States, where maybe we can find a therapist for the nearly two months we're in Yuma who can continue Charlie's therapy. 

I have it in my head that he won't need as much of it as Andrew has. Andrew had expressive and receptive delays, but Charlie only has expressive delay. He's got about six words, none of which are said correctly, and his main form of communication is pointing and yelling. (At his age, he should be doing two-word sentences, or at least one-word sentences.) The biggest problem right now is that he won't even try to copy what we're saying, and he's surrounded by soft-sack adults who are too willing to just give him what he wants. (I.E., me.) 

So, therapy. I am oh-for-two, people.


In related news, those fidget-spinner things have hit the LoL, and a few of Andrew's classmates brought them to class this week and ended up getting them banned for the entire first grade. Which of course brought them to everyone else's attention, including Andrew, so when school let out on Tuesday, the entire lot of them came racing out of the building, and every single one went straight up to their parents and begged for one. 

Here's the thing: they're toys, yes. But supposedly they're pretty good at helping kids with autism or ADHD focus - I admit I have no idea how - and that's part of the problem in their being banned from a lot of schools: it's not fair to ban something that some kids actually use to learn. I'm not sure comparing it to banning reading glasses is appropriate, but it's the closest analogy I can think of at the moment.

Anyway, Andrew's not autistic, and he doesn't have an official diagnosis of ADHD (though I wouldn't be surprised if he has some form of it), but I figured I'd ask his teacher anyway if she thought the spinners would help.

Answer: Not only "yes probably", but that she'd willingly lift the ban for him if it does.

(Which has also sparked a whole discussion about whether or not we should actually have Andrew tested for ADHD, but we're waiting on the Learning Support folks to chime in first.)

So Andrew and I got to have a discussion over dinner about how maybe he'd be allowed to have a spinner in class, but only if it helps him focus, and he's not allowed to show off to his classmates that he's allowed one when they aren't, because that is Rude. And if Mrs. A says, "Okay, Andrew, this spinner is distracting you more than it's helping you, it's time to put it away and it's going to be an after-school thing only now," he's not allowed to complain or ask for another chance, the spinner goes in his backpack and comes straight home. (Which he seemed to get pretty quickly. Whether or not he does it without complaining or asking for another chance is another thing entirely.) 

So between Charlie's aborted speech therapies and an upcoming trip to the mall to get Andrew this fabulous flicky spinner thingie, I've been off the compound more in the last two weeks than I have since January. (Trips to London notwithstanding.) It feels very strange. Plus I feel guilty for requesting drivers all the time... which is not exactly a good thing, since I sort of need drivers for the next two years. (Argh. Driving. Also one of the reasons I like today's driver, he's the only one who laughs when I crack jokes about my inability to drive here.)

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