Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kindergarten and On-Going Life With Sam

Whew, Sam has been in Kindergarten for a few weeks now. We are pulling him out a little early each day to make sure he gets what he needs. He loves school, but is stressed out and it shows in many ways. He can pick out letters and is showing great improvement in focusing on his work. Getting him to rely less and focus less on adults is tricky. He starves himself as a protest for being singled out from his class. The first two and a half weeks, he started waking every few hours all night long. He doesn't like to eat or go to the bathroom at school. Yesterday, he was disturbed and scared of the pencil sharpener. Hopefully, this will pass quickly. I am also having a tough time adjusting.

After all the struggle about getting Sam into a charter school, I am now very happy he is in the neighborhood school. They are doing an amazing job with him, now that they see he is smart and working at grade level with his letters and numbers. I am excited to see more of that.
It seems that the current batch of teachers, speech therapists, etc., are starting from the correct idea that Sam is smart and should be treated accordingly. We are keeping him with shorter days to compensate for his not eating enough...and for how tired he gets. For a kid with spastic quadriplegia, just holding a pencil or eating takes as much effort as it would take for a regular kid to run the length of a football field. Everything takes so much longer and he has to fight his own muscles to do it.

I am looking into getting Sam a helper dog...boy are the requirements stringent. It sure makes me mad, seeing what the animals and the handlers go through to produce a canine companion/assistant dog, when folks lie about their own "assistant dogs" simply for their own convenience.