I just can't believe how big this kid is getting! He practically looks like a 10 year old in this shot and he's still a few months away from 5.
We had the pleasure today of going to the "glasses store" to pick out a new pair of frames for the big boy. He has steadily been outgrowing this pair even though he's only had them since July. It doesn't matter; they're lost somewhere outside anyway in what my mom has called the "glasses cemetery". Experience has taught me that they won't likely be found, so why put off the inevitable? If we find them, he'll have a nice back-up pair for emergencies.
Ethan has been enjoying a social communication group therapy at our children's hospital. It's a group of 5 children who are all about the same age and all have a need for social communication intervention. Some of the kids are apraxic, some are autistic, and one or two seem not to carry a diagnosis but fit in without that distinction. The group meets every Friday morning for 1.5 hours and is run by 2 therapists who have created a highly structured environment that challenges the kids to learn to interact by way of sharing, waiting their turn, taking turns, etc. He did really poorly the first week, but the weekly report just keeps getting better and better. Last week he approached a child and said and signed "my turn play phone". We were all totally floored. Today he approached a little girl and said "share". She ignored him so he then went on to say and sign "I want book please". When she continued to ignore him he decided to bang his head on a table, then he was fine.
I don't get to watch this therapy, which is good and bad. It's kind of cool to sit in the waiting room with a book and get some much needed down time. On the other hand, he's kicking butt and taking names in there and I'm missing it!
We have met with the public school and will have one more meeting to firm up the IEP details. They're terrific. They're brainstorming ways to get some sign language into the room for him since we all agreed that an interpreter is inappropriate. For starters, he simply doesn't have the attention that an interpreter would require, and it's also incredibly abstract for a little guy his age to understand that an interpreter is talking for someone else. This is especially true for him since he can hear! And the autism piece makes it even more complex.
Regardless of how we address the need for sign language in his classroom, I'm really convinced that this move is going to be terrific for him.