Thursday, December 18, 2008

You can't trust anyone

Today is the last day of Tom's first Steiner term... he's had a great few months and has become much more outgoing, sociable and independent. He will draw without being press ganged and having crayons sellotaped to his hands too - now there's some step!

Very Steiner moments

Tom's first nativity was on Tuesday morning - a 15 minute burst of circle time with singing and led movement. Tom was a shepherd along with a couple of his wee friends (how Scottish are we becoming). I watched his lips mouth a good few lines of the songs and he was right up with the 'shepherds sleeping', 'shepherds dancing round in circles' and 'shepherds wave their hats in the air like crazy Afghans' moments. 'Precious' doesn't begin to describe it. There were a couple of manful stares at the ceiling to abate the tears, that's for sure.

Not so Steiner

The TV has not quite left Tom's life - greatly reduced and restricted but still popular. His imaginary play is a complex mix of movie plots, friends, Ruddington and Edinburgh and travel in between. To illustrate the pervading nature of TV's influence and how we must be marked at school as 'not quite there with the program yet' -

We were having a chat last night and I told Tom that yes, after he had his tea, we would play with his new city.
'Trust me..' I said
'You can't trust anyone' he replied, as quick as a flash.

After a little investigating we discovered that this is one of Kaa's lines from the Jungle Book - amazing us that he'd taken so much in and reminding us that we really must put a cap on that...

7 sleeps - the tension is building.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

That's my boy...

Tom received some visitors this morning - a pair of Speech and language therapists no less. In a splendid example of collaborative working, the therapist from Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock (the solitary Scottish paediatric implant centre) visits at the same time as her colleague from the Edinburgh team.

Why there are two and what they are each focused on is something of a mystery - this is the second time they have visited in the four-or-so months we've been here. They are very keen on assessing Tom and he quite likes the whole assessment process so it all seems mutually agreeable at the moment. They show him these books with four pictures, say some slightly strange statement and he points to a picture. Then all these adults smile at him and pay him even more attention.

Occasionally the adults stop and talk amongst themselves. Tom doesn't approve of this and quickly makes sure all the adults get back on task and get on with this picture game. The picture game is considered A Good Thing.

The pictures are some variant of a test for auditory comprehension - something like TACL I think - and Tom wouldn't let them stop until they'd got to the end. By that stage the questions were asking him to identify where 'neither the elephant nor the boy are standing on one leg' (or something to that effect) and other similarly tortuous, elaborate sentences.

There were a number of occasions towards the end of the test where Tom's finger firmly jabbed at the wrong picture. Before we knew how these tests worked, such failures left us concerned; noting down vocabulary and phrases to try to incorporate into everyday speech.

Then you get to realise that these are tests designed to work across a significant age range and you're supposed to keep going until you fail - that's how you work out the age equivalency.

So how did the wee man do today? Well, he left 'age-appropriate' in the dust and came in equivalent to a typical hearing seven year old.

Not bad for four and deaf really is it?

And this might be partly why the therapists like to stop by. Not much therapisin' needed and lots of just being proud of a smart little boy who knows how to listen.