"We are going to focus on LIFE for Katya. I believe, one day, she will amaze the world."

Dr. Ben Carson on Katya Dueck

Thursday, December 13, 2012

School Report

This week, on Tuesday, Katya's SLP introduced the "Hip Talker" to her. Katya accepted wearing it around her waist for the duration of the session, and quickly took to using it to communicate "yes". She had to be repeatedly cued to use it for "no" but we have long noticed that "yes" seems to come easier to Katya than "No" does, even when signing in ASL so I'm not surprised somehow.

Today the SLP came to her classroom and spent some time working there with her on it. She then left with Katya wearing it. Katya only kept it on about 10 minutes after the SLP left and then wanted it off, but at least it is a start.

After Katya was home this afternoon we asked her if Mrs. W. had helped her with the "Hip Talker that goes around your tummy, and could you tell her 'yes' and 'no' with it? Did it talk for you?!" Katya grinned from ear to ear and jumped up and down with excitement, so I take it that she was thoroughly pleased!

We are feeling hopeful . . . . very hopeful.

Brainstorming is going on about the aggression. The school made several "Social Stories" type videos illustrating how much biting, kicking etc. hurt and then illustrating good ways to get people's attention. They used several of the little girls from Katya's room that she seems to really like to act in these videos, and then showed the videos to Katya today. She eagerly watched the videoes and seemed to like watching them. The sschool has asked us if we could show them to her each morning before coming to school for awhile. Yes, gladly! We are all for doing whatever we can to try to reach through the communication barrier and help her.

I understand that the school is attempting a "Behavior Modification" plan. We have not been appraised as to what that envolves or contains. Yes, I suspect that may be a bit irregular. I haven't tried to pretend that every thing that goes on at Katya's school is by the book. The good news is that they are being more proactive--and yes, I do plan to try to get my hands on a copy of the plans and since an IEP meeting is scheduled for before Feb 10th, 2013, it will more than likely be brought up for discussion at the IEP meeting.

I'm very happy to report that even though poor Katya has been bombarded now with about 10 days worth of antibiotics, she has NOT shed weight. Please note that this is the first time since bringing her home that she was ill and on antibiotics and didn't shuck weight like crazy. She is positively getting finally a tiny little TUMMY and more clothing is getting small on her. We are grateful that she has not lost the weight we fought so hard to get on to her slender little body! Her appetite has remained good overall except for when she was the sickest--and even then, she ate adequate amounts--just less than her normal.

I don't know for sure enough to say what this indicates, but I would suspect it's a good sign in terms of her body healing from the starvation that she has been able to maintain her weight even during this illness.

As to the rest of us, many of us are down ill with some type of virus that brings (depending on who you are) headaches, eye aches, wickedly sore throats, coughs, ear aches etc. Kristina thankfully has been well through all of this and helps a lot with Katya when the rest of us are barely dragging around with our tails clear on the floor (figuratively speaking of course!)

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