(I'm changing the title of this post because this post is getting spammed between 20 and 30 times a day. All because I linked up to a website. Sheesh! So instead of deleting the entire thing, I'm going to try and change the title and hope it doesn't get spammed anymore. Or else I'll have to painstakingly move the entire post over to a new post...which I will only do as a last resort. Yes, I know I haven't posted since May. The second half of 2012 wasn't too kind to me. My crafting business is hurting horribly and issues with my son have taken priority. Hopefully in 2013 I'll be able to come back and actually SHOW stuff on here.)
This post will be quite a bit different from anything I've ever posted before. As this blog is typically used for crafty purposes, its a big departure to focus on toddler/preschool learning!
Quick update on our situation. C is 39 months old. He has a genetic condition called Velocardiofacial Syndrome, meaning a section of the 22nd chromosome is missing. 90% of these cases (1 out of every 2000 births) are just chance. The other 10% are genetically passed down from a parent. C now has a 50% chance of passing this syndrome on to his children.
VCFS has over 180 characteristics associated with it. C doesn't have a lot of the extremely horrible ones (heart defects, kidney issues, cleft palate), but he does have low muscle tone. If you consider how many things can be effected by muscle tone, you'd realize why he's delayed. He didn't crawl until 14 months, walk until 26 months, and just within the past 2-3 months he's finally talking. The tongue is a muscle, and he's had a lot of trouble figuring out how to properly work it.
After two years of physical therapy, he's catching up quite nicely in gross motor development. Speech therapy was almost a waste of time because of a less-than-stellar therapist who seemed quite nonchalant about C's development. After adding two different therapists in 2011, he definitely improved. Now he attends a developmental delay preschool for 2.5 hours each day, and the improvement has been phenomenal!
Because of seeing his improvement, it became disgustingly clear to my husband and I that we should be giving C so many more learning opportunities at home. Thanks to the best invention in the world, Pinterest, I've found countless blogs and learning sites that have the most amazing ideas for play learning. The first one we tried over the past two weeks has been water beads.
This is what water beads actually look like to start. I found them in the fake floral aisle at WalMart, they are pretty cheap. I started with the clear ones because I wasn't sure how much they would stain...and now I realize WHY all of the blogs I peruse never show clear ones. Those suckers are hard to find! And they bounce pretty easily...so if your child misses the container, they will just roam around freely. So I don't think I'll do clear ones again. :)
You just can't experience something unless you stick your hands and arms all the way in. And C's a multi-tasker: the television was on with Sesame Street at this point. We don't miss Elmo.
To add another amazing quality, I made my own lightbox with two strands of Christmas lights and an empty sterilite container. I didn't take any photos of C actually playing at this point. I realized very quickly that the containers being the same size would be a problem: i.e., tipping over and crashing to the floor (probably taking the toddler with it). So I changed it up for the next session, and put a very large under-the-bed container as the base with the lights in it.
(Okay, this pic is soooo not mine, but how cool is this sensory table?? This was C's last day at preschool before Christmas break. I was so amazed by this, it might be something I do next year!)
Here we are playing again. Taking out of one container, and dumping into another. The water beads were such a hit, I think we played with them every day for a week! (Just a note...they will mold after time. C was devastated to see that I disposed of them today.)
One of the rather interesting characteristics C has is that he doesn't like to have sticky fingers. His teachers comment on his distaste for paint and glue. So I decided to bring out some finger paint and see what he did. He immediately went for the paint brushes, as I assumed he would.
When in doubt, two hands and two brushes are better.
Uh oh, its on his hands! What ever will he do?!?!
He began to experiment, by dipping just one finger into the paint and smooshing it onto the paper.
Now he has multiple brushes in one hand, but is feeling paint between the fingers of his left hand. :)
Success! Full-on finger/hand painting. I may have had a "hand" (har har) in this, as I
We also began (although I don't have any pictures) the Tot School printables found on 1+1+1=1. Beginning with the letter A, I put all of the printables into clear covers in a binder and gave C some dry erase markers. He thought it was the coolest thing EVER!! It was such a big hit. C has never really been into learning things like colors and numbers...sometimes I wonder if he's hearing me, ignoring me, or just not caring about it. But these printables are really allowing me to reiterate things like colors and a general theme (the A printables all revolve around apples). Plus he likes having the control over flipping pages. My clear covers aren't the best for constant erasing, so I've purchased some heavy duty ones.
This week we will move on to the letter B. I've also began looking at the preschool packs on the 1+1+1=1 website, and have downloaded a cool one that I think C will enjoy. I'm going to try it and see if he's ready for it or not, and I might start doubling up on the toddler and preschool packs that the website has.
We've seen such amazing improvement in C over the past month. My husband and I joke that C always performs in December (crawling, walking, talking...that's the past three Decembers!!) because he wants to make a good impression on Santa. :) I really look forward to learning and growing with C throughout 2012 and helping him to catch up developmentally. Its going to be a great year!