Monday, March 14, 2016

Parker Progress Update

We had a conference with Parker's teacher and school speech pathologist today, so I thought it would be a great time to update you on his progress.  Our meeting tonight was a regular conference along with an IEP review.  He currently has 10 objectives within four specific goals.  There is a lot of content below, but I really wanted to have it documented somewhere in my own words and I know some of you are excited to read about it.

Play skills: Increase play skills from independent, close-ended to open-ended functional play along side a peer 80% of the time.  He needs to imitate functional play schemes (with cars, animals, etc), play along side a peer with the same base but independent pieces, holding a writing utensil independently and imitating horizontal, vertical, and circular strokes.  He has met all of his objectives in this category except circular strokes.  Art is not a preferred activity, but he has made huge gains this year with it so we are very proud.

Routines: Increase independence in following classroom routines from needing verbal, gestural and physical prompts to just verbal and one gestural prompt.  He needs to be completing arrival and departure routines 2 out of 3 times and be able to independently check his schedule and go to correlating play space 80% of the time.  A sample of his picture schedule is below.  There are several pictures that indicate the order in which he visits stations throughout the day.  He has already met this goal for the year!  With verbal prompting he will go to his schedule and find the next play space on his own almost 100% of the time when Ms. Becky is asking.  He can also complete all arrival and departure routines 75% of the time.  This includes removing backpack, coat, and boots and putting in his locker and taking them back out at the end of the day.  He still needs a little help getting his coat on and getting his backpack on over his coat.  They are also working on generalizing skills.  He cooperates much better for Ms. Becky than any of the aides, so they are working on getting him to listen to adults in general.  This has been a common theme for him in school and private therapy, so it doesn't surprise us.
Communication, Receptive Language: Increase understanding of age appropriate vocabulary to 20 familiar objects/pictures 80% of the time.  He needs to identify 5 action verbs in pictures and identify 15 different objects/pictures when named.  He has consistent understanding of many words in the categories of animals, school words, food, and body parts.  He had not been able to identify any action verbs yet.

Communication, Expressive language: Increase expressive language from not using words to using words, approximations or gestures to meet five language functions: greet, request, label, protest, and answer 80% of the time.  With no more than one verbal prompt he needs to say "hi" and "bye" to at least two familiar adults when arriving to and departing from school, label 10 objects/activities 10 times during the day, and use "I want" in the context of three different activities.  He is very close to meeting this goal.  He will use "hi" and "bye" when given sufficient time, but is much more successful with "bye."  I am currently the only person he consistently greets with "hi."  I am secretly really happy about this.  There are so many things that he does for teachers and therapists that he doesn't do at home, so I am loving this!  He has met the other two objectives, but is more successful with nouns than verbs.  He is also able to use "I want" and answer other questions when prompted with a visual strip, but does not yet do it independently.

On the topic of expressive communication, I made the brief video below last week.  It was a bit of the cuff, so I was trying to think of things to ask him to say.  Keep in mind a lot of these are his approximations of the words.  I really should write down a list to try with him.  He will attempt to imitate most words these days, but these are the ones he uses regularly.
We also got a really long chart of specific objectives showing where he was at the beginning of the year, where he is now, and where we want him to be by June.  He is still behind in a lot of categories, but it is so encouraging to have a visual representation of the progress he has made.  We are so proud of all the things he has learned this year and can't wait to see how he finishes.  We so so much potential in him, as do his teachers.  We know there are so many gears turning in his little head and we just need to find the right way to get him to express all that stuff.  

We also had a brief discussion about Kindergarten and what that may look like for him.  It is still a ways off, but now is the time to be asking questions as we contemplate moving before then for more space and possibly to be in a different district.  I have been very impressed with all the staff we have encountered so far, but need to make sure this is the best system for him if we choose to stay.  It's a lot to think about, especially with another one on the way, but we are excited!

We celebrated his great report with his favorite Perkins pancakes and free pie for Pi Day!  Happy Monday!  

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