What a great day we had yesterday at Easter Seals! I can't wait to tell you all about it!
When Ethan & I first got there, we were approached about completing Ethan's end of the program evaluation. It was a yes/no type quiz that I answered at the beginning about 7 weeks ago, and they were administering the same quiz to see where Ethan has improved. Before the administrator of the quiz got to me, the director of the preschool program spoke with me. And guess what....
Ethan will be able to continue in this program throughout the upcoming school year! YEAH!!!
I figured that this would just be a great program to do during the summer months while Ethan's Early Intervention program was on break for the summer & help keep his "skills" sharp. However, they told me that they still have some openings for the MORNING session, and then Ethan will still participate in our school's early intervention program in the afternoon! YEE-HAW!!!!!! I was so excited that I almost started crying right then & there!!!
Why am I so excited? Well, recently someone from the Easter Seals Walk With Me event asked me to jot down a few of the improvements we have seen from Ethan since starting there this summer. Well, you know me, I had to go on & on about Ethan! Here are the amazing changes we have seen from Ethan in the last 2 months alone!
1. He is more independent. He seems to have somehow gained the foresight to make decisions on his own (like physically getting out of bed in the morning by himself instead of us giving the "ok") as well as having a desire to WANT to more independent (such as putting on his own bookbag/shoes, buckling his seatbelt, etc.)
2. He has become a CHATTER BOX! We love it & it is hilariously different from what we have been used to out of him. Although it doesn't always mean he is conversing with us, he is still talking all day long....it is awesome! He is even picking up on slang words. Instead of a scripted, "thank you," he is now saying, "thanks." Instead of a very scripted, "Yes," he is now saying, "Yeah." We love it....although his speech therapist may not. :0)
3. He is playing with toys OTHER than cars. For years, that is all Ethan has wanted to play with for the most part. But now, cars are just one of the toys. In fact, instead of them being the first toy he gets out to play with in the morning, he is now playing with the Little People or the pretend food.....cars still come out to play, but not as the one & only toy. It is great!
4. He has initiated conversations several times....and not just with us, but with aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and so on. He length of back & forth conversation is getting longer too. It now is going beyond the scripted, "Hi. How are you? I'm good." In fact, he had a pretty lengthy conversation via the phone with my mom yesterday....and we were both impressed because he has NEVER talked on the phone other than to say HI into it.
What really blew me away happened this same day at Easter Seals. We were waiting for the classroom door to open, so Ethan was playing in the toy waiting room. One of the other little kids from this same program came over to the area where Ethan was playing & watched Ethan. Ethan NOTICED HER, and said, "Hi Name of Girl! Will you play with me?" A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! This is HUGE!!!!!!!
I have also met some wonderful parents & some new friends. It has been nice to talk with people who understand so much of what your daily life is like because they are experiencing it as well. I have really connected with this same little girl's mom & grandma who drive about an hour to come be a part of this program. This summer program has been such a blessing to our family in so many ways, and I am OVER THE MOON that Ethan will continue during the school year!!!!! We are so blessed!!!!