Thursday, April 21, 2011

Matt - what's he up to?

It has been a while since I posted about Matt, so here is an update. (When I first wrote this sentence I had written quick update, but now that I have finished the post I had to return to the top and delete the word quick - but trust you will find it interesting)

Matt has fallen in love with letters - we are not sure how this happened, but we think it goes back to Lloyd and Matt playing with foam letters during bath times. Matt has discovered that letters have sounds that goes with them and he loves pointing them out. He is particularly found of the letter B - and will start yelling Ba Ba Ba in the supermarket as we pass the Butchery or the Bakery. He also confidently recognises A C D E F H M O S and T. We have found a cool online alphabet game that he just LOVES, so we watch in amazement as Matt is learning the basics of reading.

Matt is determined to get words out and is definitely putting more pressure on himself to do so than anyone else. Though we remind him of the correct pronounciation, we try hard NOT to force him to say it right, and we still strongly encourage his singing, but HE wants to say it, and HE wants to say it correctly. He sometimes gets really frustrated when he can't get sound out when he knows he has done it before. And there is nothing to describe the joy on his face when the word slides out with ease and grace. Matt is conquering the S sound, and can now say SUN, SEE, SOCK, SING, SEEP (sleep) and SUPPER...and the F sound FISH, FAN, FOUR, FIVE and the C sound CAR, COW, CAT. The M sounds is his newest aquisition so it takes a bit of concentration but  he can now proudly say MATT. He is still working on applying the letter B, but he has firmly claimed the word BUS. Which is repeated at least 40 times a day as his request for me to sing Wheels on the Bus.

In the midst of these strides forward we are facing another development - frustration and jealousy with his younger brother Nic. Matt definitely loves Nic and will show concern and care towards him. But like most of us, he has mixed feelings and now that Nic is mobile and very engaging with others Matt has started hitting and kicking. So Lloyd and I are learning more about setting boundaries, whilst still being very focussed on showing love to Matt. An interesting balance - we have a lot to learn.

A FUN development which completely melted my heart is that after Matt's speech therapy session yesterday he told me what he had done. Lloyd had taken Matt to the session so I wasn't there to see what had happened. When Matt came home I asked Matt what he had done with Julia. And Matt said "OOK" (he signed BOOK) and said "OW" (he signed COW). Lloyd confirmed that Matt had indeed been working through a book with a cow, where you could press a button to make it moo. Obviously this made an impression on Matt. I was thrilled he shared this. After school or therapy sessions, or when Lloyd comes home from work, we always ask him about what he did - and this has been the first time that he answered. I love this growing communication.

This update would not be complete without a progress report on the potty training. I am happy to report that as long as we remind Matt every hour or so to make a wee then he is able to stay dry. He can wee standing on a step in front on the toilet, in the potty or outdoors in the garden (the latter being his favourite spot). He has recently gone outside on his own to make a wee. He hasn't yet asked to go.
The poo story is a bit of a one-step-forward-and-one-step-back journey. Lots of accidents and lots of small successes. But the latest news is that two days in a row Matt has gone to sit on the potty by himself, without any prompting from us, and made a poo. We wait to see if this will continue. I have asked the RTS Conference organisers to arrange to have a potty in our room in Holland so that there won't be a break in Matt's toilet training journey.

I could share more as Matt's life is brimming with discoveries and exploration, but I will leave it there for now. I think the main highlights have been covered. I'll try not let so much time lapse before I next update about Matt.


Cindy said...

How cool! It's so wonderful how much progress he's making...and that he WANTS to make progress. I know you will have a fabulous trip to Holland and can't wait to hear all about it!

Nicole said...

That's awesome Jax. Communication with our kids is so life enhancing, for all concerned. And we feel so thrilled and proud when they take the next step in developing their communication. Safe travels - and may you ALL learn lots of new things while you're away.