Saturday, June 06, 2009

A quiet moment

All of the kids are asleep. :)

Normally only Emily takes a nap in the afternoon. I've found the bigger kids don't sleep as well if they sleep during the day, so they do have a quiet time in the afternoon while she naps but I don't let them fall asleep.

However, today Mark has a base ball festival and I'm hoping we can go see Shakespeare in the Park tonight so I'm letting all of the kids sleep as long as possible. They'll all fall asleep at the play anyway, but it will still be later than their normal bedtime.

We've been having a small problem with Emily waking up in the middle of the night. Starting a week and a half ago, for about a week she woke up every 3-4 hours at night and would start crying. It wasn't night terrors as she was most definitely awake before she started crying. We tried several different things with her. The last one I tried was getting her up to go to the bathroom every time she woke up. Apparently she didn't like that tactic as she stopped waking up at night. ;) I have several theories (bathroom, congestion, uncomfortable in a new place, temperature) as to why she was waking up but I'm not sure I'll ever know which (if any) were correct. I'm just glad to be back to a full night's sleep again. :)

Danielle's English is taking off. I've been introducing numbers to her in school this week and we've gotten up to 4. Last night as I was doing her stretches she started counting..."1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9." The boys like to play school with the girls and do flashcards and number puzzles with them so I know where she's getting it.

Dima is doing really amazing with his reading. If he just reads and doesn't try to sound things out he does much better. He's not an auditory learner so he does better memorizing the words and just being able to read them. I can understand--I'm the exact same way. I'd like to try to get some video of him reading, both for you all to see and for posterity. ;)

We received the boys' report cards the other day, and I was brought to tears because included were Dima's results from the standardized test they took a month or so before school was out. My son, who has speech problems and has only been hearing and speaking English for a little over a year, actually scored about the 50th percentile in sentence reading! I was quite frankly amazed that he scored over the 10th percentile in anything, given his background, but he actually scored over the 10th percentile in half of the clusters. I am SO PROUD of him! He's had a lot to overcome and I hope with a lot of continued hard work he will be able to continue such great progress.

I know it doesn't sound like much--10th percentile?? But really, considering all that he has been through in the past year and a half, it's incredible! That means 10% of students scored lower than he did. And the fact that over 50% of students scored lower than he did in any area just blows me away. :) :)

Last weekend we went and picked strawberries and I got my first ever answer out of Emily. I think I've downplayed the communication difficulties with her a little bit, because there really isn't any communication at all. She's excellent at mimicking and loves to "talk" but doesn't actually respond to questions--she just parrots back whatever you say. Last Saturday she figured out (with a LOT of coaxing) that she could eat the strawberries. She put one in her mouth and I asked her "Dobre?" (good, in Ukrainian) and she turned to me with a big smile and nodded. This was seriously the first time since we had known her that she had actually responded to a question without some form of prompting. I was excited beyond belief. It's starting to become more common now, that she will respond to a question with a nod or shake of the head, but most of the time it's still mimicking (i.e., you ask " Are you all done?" and she says and signs "all done" with the same inflection as the original question). It will be a slow process but she's starting to figure out that this is the only way to communicate and that you may not get things if you don't ask! :)


Christy said...

Love the photos... everyone looked to be having a great time!

Julie said...

Monica Massie directed me to your site. It is wonderful! We are wanting to adopt from Ukraine (have 1 already from there) and have been checking out Kostya as a facilitator. We'd love to talk to you and get some advice!

The McGowans said...

Thanks for posting about Emily and the question/answer issue. We adopted a deaf 4-1/2 year old from Ukraine (home new years day this year) and it has taken us a really long time to get our son to understand the q/a model. At first, sort of cute, but quickly really frustrating, and discouraging to think that no one ever asked him a question and waited around long enough to expect an answer. Keep up the good work with her. In six months, we have seen our non-verbal, mostly non-communicative son become a "talking" (signing, actually) machine. It is so much more fun to put him to bed now that he has something to say about his day. Can't wait to see more progress out of both Emily and Max.