Sunday, January 22, 2012

One Step at a Time

This year has already been proven to positive. Dominic has "graduated" from special services!!!

It's official, Nic will no longer be receiving special services for speech, language and occupational therapy. I am so proud of him! He has really worked hard the past few years to meet and exceed all the goals set in front of him.

Starting back at the beginning as a baby, Dominic, dealt with a series of bad ear infections. Just under the amount to have the doctors intervene. Around 16-18 months he was not talking and seemed to have trouble hearing. We prepared for the worst starting Nic on baby signing and everything else that we could imagine. After speaking with several doctors and specialists, we made the decision to have tubes put in his ears.  Surgery went well, so it was on to the next step. Dominic attended a great preschool where the teacher recommended he get tested by First Steps. They are an early intervention system for infants and toddlers, birth to age 3, who have delayed development or diagnosed conditions that are associated with developmental disabilities.  Dominic was accepted immediately for development, speech, and language delays and therapy began quickly thereafter.

Once Dominic turned 3, he moved into special education services with our local school district. He attended special classes where he was able to work closely with teachers and therapists until he started Kindergarten. His teachers were wonderful and really took the time to work with Dominic making sure that he stayed on track with his goals. I truly believe that if it was not for the teachers he had during that time, Dominic would not be where he is at today.  He received double the exposure to learning in two different classes during the week. One half was in the regular (normal size) preschool class to learn, and the other half he spent in a special class (smaller size) learning even more.

Dominic was able to enter into Kindergarten fully prepared, and at times ahead of the other kiddos (my biast mom insert) only needing to still work on his speech/language goals with some occupational therapies.  It was mid kindergarten that Dominic was diagnosed with ADHD. Being familiar with the disorder, I knew his time was coming. We tried our hardest with therapy to not medicate him, but that eventually stopped working and he needed something to slow his body down so he could concentrate on school. Dominic really struggled the first semester in Kindergarten. The classroom was very busy and so was was very difficult for him to handle the "normal" day. Since Dominic had been under observation since he was two it was clearly evident to all parties, including doctors, what the underlying issue was and how to help alleviate some of his daily struggles.

Since being on medication for a full year now. Dominic is thriving in school and sports. He is able to be "normal" kid. He has truly worked extremely hard over the past years to catch up and surpass his school mates. His speech and language is up to par and his reading level is advanced for his age.

I am so proud of Dominic! It makes me feel good as a parent to know that I did make all the right decisions when it came to his health and learning obstacles. As for right now, we keep working hard and I anticipate that he will go far in his school!

Congratulations Nic Nac, mommy is so proud of you.

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