Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tidbits III

*Cough* We've had a terrible time with sickness lately in our house, which is why I've been slacking with my blogging. Justin had a virus, I have strep throat, and Lydia has pink eye and strep throat. It's been a constant stream of doctor appointments and trips to the pharmacy to get prescriptions filled recently. Ian is the only one who has not been sick at all, and I'm hoping it stays that way because next week is his spring break and I'd hate for him to spend it sick!

Here are a few things that have been going on while we've been under the weather:

The other week, there was an assembly at Ian's school that featured a wheelchair basketball team. I was so excited for Ian to go, and his teachers told me he had a great time! He always gets excited when he sees another wheelchair - he points to it and then points to his own. He got to go out on the court during the presentation and show off his wheelchair along with the wheelchair players. I think it's so cool that the school (the physical education department specifically) chose to have an assembly that featured a non-mainstream sport team. Not only did it show Ian that playing on a basketball team is possible in a wheelchair, but it shows the rest of the kids in the school that it's possible, and awesome!

Ian with some of the wheelchair basketball players and the coach.

Ian's EC teacher Ms. Niki, who has been with him the last two school years, is leaving after this week to have a baby. She will be on maternity leave the rest of the school year. I've tried explaining this to Ian to prepare him for her absence, but I'm worried that he will take her not being there very hard. He likes her a lot - so much that he even asks for her in the middle of the night when he wakes up. She is great with him and has taught him so much over the last two years. I'm expecting that he might have a rough week or two after he returns from spring break to find her gone.

Ian and Ms. Niki on Twin Day in the SpongeBob shirts they made.

One more school thing: Ian got a sheet sent home this week detailing the academic progress he's made in 4K so far this year. Justin and I were very pleased to see how well he is doing on his numbers, letters, and shapes!

Ok, now an awesome product that I discovered a few weeks ago. It's called a Reflo cup, and it helped us finally transition Ian off of a sippy cup at home. 

Reflo cup with valve inserted.
Ian's low strength and dexterity in his fingers and hands has made it hard for him to lift an open cup and tip it so only a little liquid comes out. The Reflo cup has a plastic valve that gets pushed down into the cup and only lets a small amount of liquid out at a time. Ian can concentrate on lifting the cup and bringing it to his mouth, and doesn't have to worry about the liquid sloshing out all over his face. He was hesitant to try the cup at first, but now he seems to like it.

Ian drinking from his Reflo cup.
Ian still using sippy cups has been something that has been bothering me for a while now. Ian is on the cusp of being five, and that is just too old to be drinking from a sippy cup. I'm so glad I found the Reflo cup - I will definitely be ordering more for both kids to use!

Hopefully our illnesses end quickly because we have a very busy spring break week coming up! Happy Easter, everyone! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

School iPad

Ian got another reason to love school this week. The school board approved an Assisted Technology Request for Ian to have his own personal iPad at school, and it was delivered this week.

He also got a flexible arm that holds the iPad for him and clamps to his wheelchair. It's really great, and he's very proud of it. Now, instead of sharing the teacher's iPad with the rest of the class, Ian has his own just for him that can be programmed for his specific needs. Ian's teachers and therapists are spending a lot of time setting his iPad up for him - downloading all the necessary apps, setting up controls for him, and programming his Proloquo2go speech app so it has everything he needs to be able to say in it. They even put the names and pictures of all of his classmates in it so he can say all of their names!

This iPad will follow Ian from grade to grade as he goes through school. He will be able to use it in school to make writing activities easier, and some day for homework assignments as well. It's a great tool for Ian and I'm so grateful that Ian's teachers suggested this for him, and that the school board approved the funding.