Cole was presented with his newest karate belt tonight. He is now the proud owner of a Red belt with a white stripe. We are all very proud of how hard he has worked over the past months to earn this belt.
I overheard a conversation Cole had with a friend today during his playdate which made me very proud.
Friend: Wouldn’t it be great if there was never any school again?
Cole: No! Because then we wouldn’t know anything, even as parents we wouldn’t know anything!
Such a wonderful change from grade 1 when he really didn’t want to go to school at all. Amazing what a difference getting the right glasses and Eye Tracking Therapy can do!
Today Cole wrote notes on little pieces of paper and sent them flying to me on his slingshot airplane. They said things like “Mama I want chocolate” and “Mama I want this show”.
Cole is finally finished his Eye Tracking Therapy. He started in January of this year, the program could have taken as little as 10 weeks but we went slower to make sure that Cole had a good handle on all of the exercises and was confident before we moved to the next challenge.We did take a break in August for camping and his birthday and then again in September because of our family crisis, but we made it through and I couldn’t be prouder of all the progress I can see in Cole now!!
The final assessment showed amazing progress. During the initial exam and assessment he struggled to complete the tracking exercises and had real problems with copying a paragraph and writing from dictation. He was able to finish all the tracking exercises in 1/2 of his initial time and with only 1 or 2 mistakes instead of many. His written work was amazingly better, he completed both the paragraph copy and the dictation which he hadn’t been able to do the first time, and he did it with only 1 or 2 mistakes. I am so pleased!
The eye/hand coordination assessment which went over all the exercises we had done with him for his therapy showed great improvement as well. He now knows how to center himself on a line or to line up with a mark on the floor so that a ball with hit that mark using left or right hand. He needed so much coaching to do that at the beginning. He can slow down and focus on what he is doing and now his brain is trained to know where the objects are in space so he can consistently hit the swinging ball with his hand/wrist/fist/head, he can balance with no troubles on the wobble board and bounce a ball with either hand and always hit the mark on the floor.
Not only has his reading and writing been improved by this therapy but so has his play. This whole process has made a huge difference in his self confidence and his enjoyment of school.
Cole wasn’t sure about going back to school this year, but with Mama and Oma Anneke both with him he went. He was warned that he would go into his Grade Two class again this week and I am hoping that this will be a good school year for him.
Oma and I spoke with the principle to let him know what happened to Cole’s father on August 30th. I wanted to be sure that if Cole started to talk about “Daddy breaking his back” that no one would think he was joking or get angry with him. He was very supportive and said that he would let the teachers know what was going on and would keep an eye on Cole to make sure that he is doing OK.
Cole had a great time playing with his friends after school on the playground.
We had an great weekend! The weather was finally warm and we could go out and play. Cole had fun touring the neighborhood on his bike. As long as he keeps his walkie talkie on and stays off the main roads he can have some freedom. He gets to tour as far as his school and friends houses on one side of our “square” all the way to another friends house one block over from ours. This allows us to do what our parents did, tell him to ‘go outside and play’ and then not worry too much about it.
Saturday Uncle Shea and Cousin Meighan came over to watch the Canucks win 3 – 2 against the Bruins with Cole and Daddy. Mom took off to watch a movie with Aunt Sharon. A good time was had by all.
Sunday was another sunny warm day so we had a picnic lunch with Aunt Sharon and Cousin Meighan while the men took Grandma out to lunch for her birthday. Mama and Cole were very active, they played soccer, catch, and even walked along the big broken concrete chunks beside the path. Some of them even wiggled when we stepped on them, much more fun then walking on the path! After the picnic Cole and Meighan jumped into the complex pool to cool off. I think they cooled off too much, I had to throw Cole into a hot bath to thaw him out, the wind wasn’t kind to wet skin!
We are looking forward to more warm weekends now that Spring seems to have finally arrived.
Cole did his belt test in class last week and we were so excited to find out today that he has moved on to his “Full Purple” belt in Karate! He worked really hard for that belt, he has been working hard for a long time to earn that belt.
Way to go Cole!
Cole had his first Eye Therapy Assessment today to see what our base line is for correcting his Tracking Issues. His eye exam on January 15th showed that he does indeed have a tracking problem which is contributing to his difficulties in reading and writing. Much thanks to Cole’s principle for remember that his hockey buddy does this kind of Eye Therapy and has had good success with other children.
Watching Denise go through the booklet of tracking and writing exercises was painful for me, I could see how hard Cole was struggling to finish. He really wanted to do well and he just couldn’t follow the numbers across the line when there was nothing to join them, especially if there was a jagged left line, he would often miss the starting numbers and begin in the middle of the line, or start a line over again instead of going on to the next line. When he had to copy a paragraph he would start a new line from the paragraph each time he ran out of space copying a line, thus missing the last 1/2 of each line. Writing the dictation was even more painful, he could barely retain what was said and it seemed that as he got more self conscious he had a harder time remembering his phonics and getting the information down.
He had a lot of fun trying the various hand/eye exercises with the hanging tennis ball, the badminton racket, the basket ball, and even a wobble board. I can already see that this will be a challenge. Denise says that this is a 10 week program, but that we may take longer if we want and can make sure that Cole is confident with each set of exercises before we move on.
Cole is having his school picture and our family portrait taken tomorrow so Daddy took him in for a trim. The rock star look is cool but we might go for a more tame look for the pictures.
We had a great weekend at Aunty Elizabeth’s house. Cole got to sleep in the basement playroom with Alex and Jamie on Friday and Saturday nights. Friday night it was a novelty and they were still up talking until after 10:30pm.
We kept them busy on Saturday, first with just general play, and then with Alex’s 9th Birthday Party. There were over 10 extra kids bringing the total to about 15 kids and a few parents. It’s a good thing the weather was good, we sent all the kids outside to play, they could jump on the trampoline or the bouncy castle, or just run around in the yard or climb the big/huge rock nearby. We sent them out after lunch and didn’t let them back in till almost dinner time! Alex had a friend stay over so the 4 boys had a great time hanging out after the other party guests went home. It’s always nice when there are 4 boys so that no one feels left out. We got everyone in jammies by 8:30pm and sent them down to ‘rest’ and hopefully to sleep. Funny enough we noticed at 9:30pm that we hadn’t heard any noise from downstairs for a while. They had crashed after such a full day.
Sunday morning came soooo early. Alex and Jamie had a swim meet that started at 8am so we all woke up at 6:30am so that coffee (for the adults) and breakfast could be consumed before the meet. It was very cool seeing how well these kids could swim. Some of the older groups were really amazing. Alex and Jamie both did really well for their individual times, competing just against themselves. Cole was pretty bored by the proceedings and was happy that we had brought along his Nintendo DS for him to play with. We got back home in time to relax for a bit before Ryan and his Mom came over for Trick or Treating. After a pizza dinner we got the boys dressed up and made up, Cole was a Vampire and Ryan was “Harry Potter”. They were very excited by the idea of all the candy they would get. They did a tour of the neighbourhood and brought in a good haul of candy and chips and their costumes were suitably admired. Ryan went home and we started the process of convincing Cole that he couldn’t eat all his candy at once and that it would really be best to go to bed because he had school in the morning. By 9pm he was finally at least resting with lights out. The Daddy and Mama collapsed on the couch relieved that the weekend was finally over.
Cole is happy to be in his friend Max’s class again. He was a bit nervous about all the other kids in the class that he didn’t know yet. It didn’t affect his performance though, his instructor said he had good focus and did well in class.
I’m sooo glad that his upper and lower central incisors came in before he started loosing the lateral incisors or the poor kid would really have had trouble biting!
Good thing we told the Tooth Fairy that we would be at Grandma’s for Thanksgiving!
Cole is not sure about school this year. He is expecting to have a bad time like last year. I am hoping that things will go better for him this year, now that he has his glasses to help him see the board and his writing.