Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Glimpse Inside Musikgarten Class & Another Eval

Today was a busy day for our family! I headed out early this morning to attend a meeting at work. After my meeting, I returned home to pick up all the boys because it was time for Musikgarten class. We are truly enjoying this experience and I highly recommend it for other families! Our teacher, Ms. Cindy, is so kind and understanding. She has encouraged everyone to let the kids experience the class in their own way. She says that as long as we keep participating, the kids will eventually join in and she insists that even if they kids do not appear to be listening... they are learning!

So, we sing and dance along with the rest of the parents! For the most part, the boys are highly engaged. They are starting to get the hang of the motions that go along with songs, they are holding hands when we move around in a circle and they are starting to stay on our laps when we are rocking our bouncing. Ms. Cindy is also kind enough to offer up her lap when we are doing lap activities since we are always one lap short.

I must confess that it is not always peaches and cream in music class. Wes is such a bundle of energy that just wants to move!!!! So when the rest of us are sitting down, Wes is standing. At times, he is literally running circles around the group sitting. Today he had a head on collision with another child running in the opposite direction. It knocked them both over but they were both able to 'shake it off' and keep running! When we were moving around in a circle while holding hands, Wes did it for a few seconds and then thought it would be more enjoyable to 'go boneless' and have Daddy and I drag him around in a circle. We eventually leg go and put him in the middle of the circle. He seemed to enjoy this greatly! I am not sure he was able to appreciate the irony of us circling him when he spends a large majority of the class circling the group. I should also mention that he likes to spend his time as DJ for the class. He usually just spins the volume knob on the stereo but today he watched Ms. Cindy push 'play' and then he was dangerous!! Ms. Cindy, is such a patient woman, because she just unplugged it in between songs without skipping a beat! Apparently, Wes is not her first rambunctious wild-child.

During class today, I finally had the courage to break out the camera for a few quick pictures. There is a mirrored wall one side of the room. As I was on the other side of the room, the flash was caught in the mirror. The flash made the pictures difficult to look at so I added a "sunshine" over the flash to ease the pain.

The pictures were taken while we were playing the bells. Here are the boys with Ms. Cindy picking out their instruments...
When the instruments or other props are brought out, the boys all enjoy making sure that all of the adults have one or two or three or more of the items to play along. This is Jared making sure Daddy had some bells...
During the part of the song, we were tapping the bells on the floor. Jared had to lay down on the floor to make sure he was banging his bells appropriately...
My little music man...
Andrew tapping his bells on the ground and Wes is listening intently to Ms. Cindy's singing...
After music class, we headed off to Wendy's for lunch. It was a quick lunch because Jared and I had another playdate with some more great women that were going to determine if we qualify for services. To make the appointment, Jared and I had to leave right after lunch. This required us to use Daddy's car to transport one of the boys. So, for the first time, Daddy's Thunderbird was used to transport one the boys. It is a much different experience trying to get one of the boys in the back of a two-door car as compared to our Expedition. However, we did it. Jared looked super cool in Daddy's sports car...
Jared's third evaluation was a good experience. This evaluation was to determine if we qualified for the government sponsored early intervention program called, Early Steps. If we qualified, they would take over payments for all of his services until he was turns 3. So, in this evaluation, I wanted him to 'perform' well but not well enough that we disqualified ourselves from this help (ha!).

This evaluation confirmed an expressive communication delay. This finding has been consistent across all three evaluations. The inconsistent finding between the 1st and 2nd evaluation was related to Autism Spectrum Disorder. The first evaluation found evidence of this and the second evaluation determine no concerns. I was very anxious to hear the opinion of the third (tie-breaker) evaluation. It was wonderful to hear that today's evaluators (there were 2 in the room) found no behaviors to support concerns for Autism Spectrum Disorder. The stated that he transitioned well from one activity to another, he enjoyed playing socially with the evaluators and he has extremely high cognitive and problem solving functioning. They were actually surprised at how high he scored in these two areas (almost 'off the chart'). This did not surprise me because I have always felt he is our little brilliant thinker.

Early Steps are going to pick up the costs for his therapy and has recommended moving from 'in office' to 'in home' therapy. We are interested to see how this will work with Drew and Wes in the mix but we are going to give it a try.

After returning to work for another meeting, I thought my day was coming to an end. I headed off to the nail salon to get my nails done. I walked up to the door and found a sign that said they were closed for remodeling... huh? Without my approval? Disappointed, I headed back to the truck only to discover it would not start. Mike suspected it was the alternator so he recommended skipping AAA and getting a ride home. I was able to get a ride home to tag out Mike.

Mike then headed back out in his car to replace the alternator. Once his mission was complete, he returned in the truck. By this time, the boys were all asleep. So, he called a taxi to take him back to his car. He finally got all the cars home safe and all functioning. Silver lining, Mike actually enjoyed getting out of the house and working on the truck.

On another positive note, I received an e-mail that my 'story' will be used as a Chapter intro in a book being written about triplets. I was interviewed by the author in September 2009 and the book is about to go to the publisher. She let me review the 'story' today and I am excited about this feature. I will write more about this when the book is close to release.

It was a long day but also a good day! It's never a dull moment in the lives of Team Darnell.

Take care,

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