I guess it was about 2 weeks ago now, that I went in to Zeke's school for a meeting with his teacher, his SP (speech pathologist), and the school's OT (occupational trainer) for Zeke's yearly IEP (individualized education plan) review. Normally, it's just his teacher and SP, but a few weeks before two weeks ago (so maybe a month ago?) Zeke's teacher sent home an "invitation" to meet with the school's OT because they think Zeke needs some more help with some of the physical components of his life. I met with the OT, she explained her concerns, told her to go ahead and test him to see if he'd qualify for OT, and then met with the 3 ladies to discuss how Zeke is doing.
So, how is Zeke doing? Great in some ways, still behind in others. He does qualify for OT, which is what the meeting started with. Basically, Zeke has a "hard" time with things like buttons, as well as how he holds his pencil and how he cuts with scissors and the like. It boiled down to the fact that he does, in fact, have all the skills to do these things, but he has a weak grasp, so he's not doing them as well as he should be for his age. Since we've been focusing so much on Zeke's speech the past year, it's not altogether surprising to me that some of his physical skills would be a little behind. At the same time I'm also feeling like, really? There's something else? You know. But the OT said he's not that far off and it's just a matter of strengthening his hands and that he should really only need 3 semesters of work to catch him up - so by December.
Zeke also has a hard time transferring skills. For example, in the fall, he learned how to zip up his jacket. When it started getting colder, and I got out his winter coat, he had NO idea how to zip it. It was a different coat, so it required, in his head, a whole new set of directions and a new process that he had to learn. He can put his snow pants on just fine when he has jeans on, but when I had him put his snow pants on one day when he had brown pants on, he didn't know what to do because his pants were brown. It's really kind of interesting. So there's that.
After the OT, the SP took her turn. She said Zeke is doing great and has made so much progress. She said he's 95-100% intelligible, but still needs help with his grammar. His sentence structure and syntax make him hard to understand still. You can figure out all the words, but the order he puts them in makes them make no sense, mostly when he tries to make longer sentences. For example, instead of saying "I look just like Dad in this" he says something like "I am look Dad this". He also tends to put his adjectives after the words he's describing, like he's European or something. Instead of saying, "I want the purple hat" he says "I want hat purple". So, grammar is our main concern now.
As for how Zeke does in the regular classroom, he's great. His teacher did say he likes to rush through his work to get to whatever's next, but that's him. He is always looking to what's next, and planning things out 4 or 5 events in his head. They say kids thrive in consistency (or something like that) and it's so true of Zeke. He will get up in the morning and plan out his day step by step. It's really kind of fun. But otherwise, his teacher (as well as the OT and SP) say that Zeke is SUCH a joy to have in school. He's kind and helpful and sweet. Which, of course, every mother likes to hear about her boy.
So, to recap, Zeke is doing great at school, improving in leaps and bounds. He needs to work on his grammar skills, taking his time, and strengthening his hands. They love having him there, and we're all going to be sad when the school year is over and he doesn't get to go to school there anymore (which would be the case even if we weren't moving to NJ since he's not technically zoned for the elementary school he's currently going to). Zeke is a bright boy, a funny fellow, and just a great kid, and I can't wait to see what he comes up with as he gets and understands more and more.