Tuesday, June 24, 2008

In KayTar news...

I've been wanting to write lately. Thoughts spring to mind, but they are almost instantly replaced by things to do and places to be. I've mostly wanted to write about KayTar, where we are, where she is, because really and truly that's what I created this space to document and she's been quite amazing lately. So because she seems to be totally zonked from her camp experience today (the Zoomobile! Build-A-Bear-esque animal making! art time! play time!) and because I was able to do my homework while she was in camp, I find myself with maybe just enough time to eek out a post of some sort. I'm not really sure where to begin anymore. It seems like it has been months and miles since I've updated on her development. Let's go with categories.

Fine motor: She's always had a knack for fine motor...one of the only non-worrisome areas we have! She is still functioning at age level and is doing cute things like giving her hair style a bit of a kick with a small section of bangs. A couple days before I gave my speech, KayTar brought me her kiddie scissors and said, "Cut hair?" and I said, "No, only paper." And then I ran an errand that evening, came home, and Josh said, "KayTar left you a present on your desk." It was her hair. She decided the scissors were in fact useful for hair cutting and wanted to prove it I suppose.

Gross Motor: She still can't run. She can climb up very narrow staircases (like at the playground) as long as she can hold on with both hands and help pull herself up. She doesn't alternate legs and she can't do it free-handed or one-handed. She can't jump and clear both feet and land again, but she can jump from the side of the pool into the water. She has no fear when it comes to the water. She'll even free fall backwards into the pool. Unlike most people, she doesn't get that startle instinct where you sort of twitch and try to catch yourself...she just falls right back. But she knows she has to say "Check me!" and wait before she is allowed to do the backward falls. Her gait is still wide-based and she is a bit unsteady.

Verbal: This is the big one. She's gone from almost entirely scripted speech to almost entirely spontaneous speech. She still does some scripting, especially when it comes to pretend play. For example, she sat for a very long time the other day repeating, "First you squeeze the lemons, then you add the sugar. Not too much, just enough. Very refreshing." over and over and over and over (it is from Max and Ruby). But I can't even find the words for the way her speech has transformed. It is really amazing. After camp, she tells me about her day. I can ask her questions and she answers them ("What color was the snake?" "Brown." or "Which animal did you like the most?" "The bird." or "What is your frog's name?" "Topo."). She still can't really grasp the question, "Why?" and struggles with "Who?" at times, too. She knows that if a why-question is answered, the answer should start with "Because..." but she doesn't understand what is supposed to come next. Her speech isn't without its quirks and her understanding isn't without its gaps, but the size of her vocabulary is huge now and the way her understanding level and amount of spontaneous and purposeful speech have increased is miraculous.

Social-Emotional: Oh. my. goodness. The kid is SUCH an extrovert. From her timid, sensory overloaded start in life, I never would have imagined she'd turn into this kid...this never met a stranger, game for anything other than eating, loves the stage and give me that microphone kind of kid. At both her camps, EVERYONE knows KayTar. And everyone seems to love KayTar. I have people stop me all the time and say things like, "I wish she was in my class!" or "KayTar is such a joy to have around!" or "She's so enthusiastic!". As apprehensive as I was about sending her off on her own and her upcoming transition to Pre-K, I am 100% certain there will be no issues whatsoever. She cries on Saturday and Sunday morning when she finds out she isn't going to camp. She has made friends in her camps and knows their names. She has a little boyfriend. Last Friday during the final song at the recital, her little boyfriend grabbed her by the hands and started dancing around with her. It was adorable. She's really enjoying herself.

Eating: Okay, so this isn't normally a developmental category...but we aren't normal, are we? Eating. The one thing that never seems to change around here. When I look at her food charts from TWO YEARS AGO they are not any different from food charts from the present. Except maybe, she ate better at back then, 6 jars on an average day then, 4 jars on an EXCELLENT day now. Every day for lunch, I send her a bag of Sunchips and two jars of food. Most days she eats the Sunchips (or opens the bag, because it doesn't come back home) and on really, really good days, she eats 1 jar of food, too. She hasn't eaten anything (other than a handful of Cheez-Its) for the past two days (and Pediasure, always Pediasure...the nutritional liquid gold that is squeezed from our wallets thrice weekly). She also hasn't had an episode in 63 days (this is probably me jinxing myself) so she might be gearing up for that and it has caused the eating to stop again. Who knows. In summary, Pediasure good. Eating, who needs it?

So there you have it. The latest on KayTar.

20 comments:

Reesie said...

Thanks for the updates! I'm so glad she's doing so well at camp.

As for the speech issues. You made me think about my 4 year old boy. His issues are visual in nature. Yet, when we ask him a why question (i.e. why did you do that?) he almost always says "because I did". It never occurred to me that he didn't understand what we were asking him.

What do the "pros" have to say on her speech processing?

It sounds like she's making great strides in many areas. Thank Heavans for Pediasure!

flutter said...

sounds like she is kicking butt & taking names, babe

Amy Y said...

It sounds like she's making lots of progress ~ this is so awesome! Yay for KayTar!

Becca said...

Sounds like she is doing well in many ways! Here's to another 62 episode-free days. Good luck with your class!

natalie said...

Yeah! I'm so impressed by KayTar's improvement in speech! I have to admit that I'm not surprised by your stage hound...she's captured our attention, for sure!

kittenpie said...

Sounds mostly good! And it's interesting, because mine is not great with fine motor, while usually pretty good with gross. And I think even totally neurotypical bright kids use scripting in imaginative play, too. It's part of their world, the patterns of speech in parents and books, and they imitate speech and actions in that sort of play. It helps them assimilate stuff, too. So it's great she's getting so comfortable in spontaneous speech, and I would guess that the remnants of scripting in that particular context would be nothing to worry about.

motherbumper said...

That fine motor paragraph sums up why we haven't allowed Gigi scissors yet - she has talked non-stop about cutting hair since she received a pair of playdough scissors at Christmas. I shudder at what (or who's) hair is going to trimmed.

Hetha said...

In spite of the eating issues, this is all such fantastic news! The speech progress is so wonderful to hear. It really gives you a window into her cognitive abilities and without that window it's so frustrating...as I know way to intimately. I am so happy for her to be making such strides and to be so happy with her new life at camp! Of course everyone loves her! You would have to be pretty lifeless not to fall hard for that little whipper snapper.

Great summary Kyla, glad you had a little time to put it down for yourself and for us.

Kristin said...

I'm so glad this is all here for me to read to check up on her? I'm know you're just bursting with pride at all the strides she's made.

And her verbal stuff sounds pretty "typical" to me...at least I think of my kid as typical and he totally does the scripting thing from time to time too--Max & Ruby is a favorite during his imaginative play too.

I'm sorry the eating is still such an issue. Blah.

AJsMom said...

AJ does the same thing Reesie was talking about. He also sounds like he is reading from a book when he is playing alone with his toys.

I think Kaytar is making FANTASTIC progress. I think of her often, and am always telling people about her.

InTheFastLane said...

It is going to continue to be a journey, isn't it. But, what a lot of progress she has had! Sometimes you do have to make a list of all the things that are improving, just to put it all in perspective.

Aliki2006 said...

I'm glad she's enjoying her camp! And it sounds like she's doing great, and really thriving. Thanks for the updates!

Mad said...

Yay, for the verbal! Yay, for the social!

BTW, I know that exact moment in Max and Ruby. I could probably recite every single episode from heart. Sigh.

katie said...

I'd say, five years from now, you are going to be blown away at the Kaytar that will stand before you. She's really making it!! I am so proud of her!

amanda said...

I am so impressed at how far she has come since I found your blog a year ago. She is developing at leaps and bounds and hopefully the eating will catch up. We are all pulling for her out her in bloggerland...

Anonymous said...

I saw pediasure at Sams today and thought of yall. Did you know they sell it there now???
I am glad things are going so well!

Love,
Cori, Kate and Luke

Christine said...

the eating has always been hard, huh? is she gaining weight though?

Family Adventure said...

Her development in speech is astounding, Kyla. It just goes to show that her potential is limitless. Thanks for posting these updates...I look for them at least once a week.

I can't wait to see how she does in pre-K.

Heidi

NotSoSage said...

Love these updates. I was actually reading a recent post and thought, "Hey, KayTar's moved on to spontaneous speech..." I think it was the one about her questioning your fashion sense. Glad to hear that it's a trend. And who couldn't love that kid?

Jen said...

Wonderful update - she is making great strides! My Feb 05 girl Lainey also does the scripted speech a lot - especially while playing. I always thought it was normal - a little quirky - but normal ?