The Daughter Chronicles

Friday, October 31, 2008

Norah is scared of everything!

I'm not sure what happened to Norah. She used to be, if not fearless, at least willing to do stuff. In the past few months, however, she has learned to fear, and now she freaks out if any little thing disturbs her world. My theory is that she's learned that things can hurt her but not that things probably won't hurt her. I hope she grows out of this phase quickly and reaches a point where she has a fear of truly scary stuff but understand that most things in the world are not terrifying.

Of course, as it's Halloween, her new fear of everything puts kind of a damper on things. She was very excited about wearing her Tinkerbell costume (no pictures, as our camera is not working right now) and going trick-or-treating. We went to a Halloween party last week, and she had a grand time, but I figured she might not enjoy going out too much. Mia is typically exhausted at the end of the week, so I didn't think we'd go out for too long, but I hoped we could go for a while, at least.

So they got their costumes on (Mia was Supergirl) and we headed out. We visited one of Mia's old caretakers from pre-school, who lives a few blocks over, because it had been a while since we'd seen her. We made it to her door and talked to her for a while, and for a few minutes Norah was okay. But then more and more costumed kids came to her door, and Norah did not enjoy that at all. She was okay as long as the kids didn't have masks on, but when some of them did, she freaked out. We left and she said she was done trick-or-treating and she wanted to go home. As we walked back to our street, I kept asking her if she wanted to get more candy, but she kept saying she wanted to go home. So go home we did.

It's disappointing but not surprising. Just because she kept saying she wanted to go trick-or-treating doesn't mean she would do it. We kept telling her it was all pretend and that there was nothing to be afraid of, but when push came to shove, she couldn't do it. Oh well. It would be nice if she could grow out of it soon.

We're not sure why she's so scared of everything. We've tried to get her through it, but nothing is working so far. We're happy that she still sleeps through the night in her room. At least there's that.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mia gets graded!

Hi there. Yes, it's been quite a while. Sorry about that. I really shouldn't go away for that long, but things just got away from me. I stink.

But here we are, and I do have stuff about which to write! Today was Mia's first parent-teacher conference of the school year. A few times in the past few weeks, her teachers had mentioned that she was being obnoxious in her kindergarten class. Plus, she's been trying to pinch people a lot. This is an outgrowth of her clenching, which has abated quite a bit in recent months. She still does it occasionally, but it's rarer and now accompanied by her reaching out and pinching people. It's very hard to get her to stop, because no avenue of punishment deters her. It's rather annoying.

But that's really the only problem she's having at school. We went over her IEP, and she's doing well with all the goals. Her PT is making her walk and work hard, but her teacher says she doesn't mind. She's been working on matching the letters of the alphabet with their sounds, and she's making good progress with that. Her teacher said she is getting better at looking at words and figuring out the beginning sounds, like "eff" for "fish." They've also begun trying to teach her arithmetic. So that's fun.

Mia is also becoming more social in class. She knows a few of her classmates by name and says hello to them every morning (and probably a lot during the day, if I know Mia). She's also speaking in longer sentences and in a louder tone. She has always spoken either far too quietly or far too loudly, but recently she's been getting better at using a normal voice. I wrote a while back about the vest she's been wearing, which is supposed to increase the strength of her chest muscles. It has helped with her sitting up and walking, but it's also helped her verbalization. When people speak, they inhale and exhale as well as sit up, which takes a lot of muscles. Mia's chest muscles were never strong enough to handle that, but since she's been wearing the vest, she's getting better. Her PT said the other patient he tried it with also began speaking better, so he's not surprised. She's speaking better because her muscles are stronger and she doesn't need to devote so much time to sitting up. We think she knew how to speak before, but could only get out a word or two because she was trying so hard to sit up. Now she can sit up, so she's speaking more. I'm not positive that's the case, but it's a good theory!

We were very happy to hear about the progress she's been making. Naturally, everyone at school loves her, and she's doing well both in the special education class and in the regular kindergarten. They do a good job of integrating the kids into the regular flow of the school, and her teacher said they like to invite kids in sometimes to see what Mia's doing in the special ed. class. That's nice to hear, because it helps them see what Mia works on and, maybe, why she needs to be in the class. Mia is so friendly, and we hope that the other kids will continue to treat her as their friend.

We're very proud of her, and we're glad that she's doing well in school. She went on a field trip a few weeks ago and is going on another one next week, and she's getting better at the work (and they're sending home homework, so we're working with her on some things). We're going to keep making sure she's doing a good job!