I'm awake in the middle of the night, so I figured I'd take advantage of my time and do a post, rather than my usual word game frenzy.
How was the summer? Well, better than others. Mostly I credit that to "Summertime School". It was a huge, huge help to have a block in the middle of the day where Janey was cared for and active, and I could relax, catch up on work and have time with the boys. The school wasn't perfect--the facilities, as I have written, were not good at all, and I don't think there was enough support in terms of things like the kids having places to play outside or equipment for the classroom. But Janey was happy and safe. The teacher and aides cared for her, and the fellow students were a good mix. Three of them were kids from Janey's regular class, which provides nice continuity. It was air-conditioned, and Janey has happy to go each day. The experience is an illustration of how HUGELY helpful respite and support are. Although it worked out to only about 4 hours a day, it made all the difference in terms of how the days went.
In terms of progress, it's mixed. Lately we are seeing some good talking bits---nothing huge, nothing that we'd probably even notice if it were not Janey. But little things. The other day, I was making idle conversation with Janey as I do all the time, and said "Are you looking at Polly (the cat)?" and she said, just as easy as pie, "Yes". That was huge. She doesn't answer like that. It was great to hear. And that same day, she said "Freddy! I need a blanket!" I've never heard her call for someone's attention like that before she spoke to them. She's also added a few words onto her standard phrases. Instead of just saying "I want salsa" or anything else, she says "I want salsa NOW!" I guess she got tired of us slowpokes. However, behavior-wise, it's been tough at times. The whole getting into things problem is much worse. Janey is taller, and more determined. We have had to bungee cord closed almost everything in the house, and still, she finds ways to get into things. The other day, it was tea bags---she ripped them open and threw the tea around. She loves to pour a glass of liquid all the over the floor. When she is in a mood, she will take whatever food is offered her and toss it on the ground and step on it. And we have had several, well, pull-up content disasters lately. Nothing seems to work to stop this kind of behavior. I have no idea how to stop it. I try filling the house with sensory things she can play with instead, we try time out, we try reasoning, we try ignoring, we have resorted to yelling at times----nothing has the slightest impact. And she is so fast. We never, ever leave her alone in a room, but she dashes into the next room and does her best pretty much instantly. I think she plans it out.
Her birthday, turning 7, was hard for me, harder this year than I remember. Every year she gets older is hard, because it's another year she's behind. But I have to celebrate her birthdays, too. She is so beautiful, so perfect in so many ways. She has her own personality, she is her own special place in the family. As long as I don't compare, as long as she is just Janey, not someone to be held up against other 7 year olds, I can take it. I can be proud of her. I love her without reservations, without limits. I just hope we can find a place for her in the world outside.