Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Dalton- Update on his progress!

Dalton is making great strides in school and at therapy. It's so hard for all of us to believe that Dalton turned 9 on January 24th!! Life is moving right along for Dalton as he great team that all work together to make learning fun for him!! Dalton continues to amaze us and throw curve balls at us from time to time as all kids like to do their families! He loves his computer games, interactive books, and of course rough and tumble play! Mom and Dad surprised him with an Ipad for Christmas and Dalton had it turned on before Mom had even finished reading the directions!

Dalton has been using American Sign Language to communicate his wants and needs known and is doing extremely well with learning how to tell us all exactly what it is he wants! :-) We are all excited as this opens up our means of communication with him! He is a very active little boy, who knows exactly what he wants and how he wants it done and this is enabling all of us to more efficiently communicate with him! Family and friends have gotten a crash course in sign language and poor Dalton is having to be so patient with them as they scramble to try and remember what the sign is! If only, we could learn our signs, and remember them, like Dalton has. His therapists are said that as they read books to him, he is signing words he knows as they read which is great progress! He is continuing to learn color, animal, school, numbers, and fingerspelling his name! So much to learn!!

Dalton has started a new class at his school and has a WONDERFUL teacher that works hard to make sure that all the kids are working on activities that are relevant to them and their needs. She has really helped when it comes to making sure that Dalton is using his signs to make his wants/needs known and being engaged with his peers. He is working on matching numbers to quantities, writing his name in a confined space, extending patterns, cutting, and money identification. Dalton loves school! His teachers sure are working hard to help Dalton continue to learn new things every day!

Dalton's home therapy team continues to make great progress with him! Its hard to keep a kid excited and engaged after being at school all day, but this group of girls does a great job switching it up and making sure that "therapy" is fun and new for him!! They are working on turn taking with games, Dalton making requests using sign language, academic skills such as matching associated pictures, following directions, identifying body parts, and learning to brush his teeth by himself!! One of his therapist said that as she is reading with him and they are signing words they know, at times it is like he is trying to read along with them!! The therapists work on so much during a short period of time and Dalton looks forward to each of them coming out every day. Mom and Dad are so thankful for such a great team! :-)

Dalton participates in all the sports offered through All American Athletes!! He LOVED gymnastics over the summer and was really into the winter swimming sport! Dalton is already a great swimmer and loves to swim in his family's pool during summer, but there's something so nice about being able to get into a warm pool in the winter and swim and play that brings a smile to every kids face!! Obviously, gymnastics was a favorite since Dalton loves anything that involves rough and tumble play. In particular, he LOVED the trampoline and bars! He loved being able to take off running and no one telling him to "stop and walk"! :-) It was a great outlet for all of us bundled up energy!

Dalton continues to make great progress! We are anxious to see what this year has ahead of us for Dalton and what all he will learn! Another birthday and another year older but still the sweet precious Dalton that we all love so much and continues to inspire us to help other families affected by Autism.

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