From K’s class camping trip with dads only, to M’s cool new skills and ability to speak clearly, everything seems on track. I began taking Matan to hydrotherapy sessions, and since K’s such a mermaid in water, I asked the therapist if I could bring her too. We had a wonderful first session where K showed off her swimming skills to honest praise from the therapist. K also made it easier for Matan to loosen up, and he even jumped into the water with the therapist catching him just as his head went under. He was surprised after the first time, but went ahead and asked to do it at least twice more. This is new for him. He never lets his head go below the water. Sometimes he’s ok with it with Dudu, but only very rarely. Never with me or anyone else, let alone a therapist whom he had only just met that day.

The benefit for K is that she gets to have fun, and doesn’t feel excluded. Now that we are ramping down her care with her therapist of the last 3 years, I’ve promised her a break with “fun” therapies like swimming and shiatsu. Our insurance won’t cover occupational therapy for her, but they will cover shiatsu, so an OT recommended we try it for her sensory integration issues, especially touch, which she’s super sensitive to.

She continues to do well in school, and keeps up with her almost daily homework assignments, albeit with help from us, mostly from DH. She doesn’t trust that I am able to read and understand the instructions in Hebrew well enough!

Matan gets less real estate due to the fact that he manages to charm people so well, that even the difficulties we have with him don’t seem to stay with us beyond the immediate reaction. Each day he seems to speak using new words, new combinations and he shows original thought. We gave him his first bike with training wheels, and he got on, pedalled, and learned to brake quickly. He was happily peddaling away within 20 minutes of getting on the bike. I had expected it to take him ages to learn to pedal, let alone to brake and ride safely. He’s easily frustrated, so I wasn’t even sure he’d want to continue trying after a few initial attempts.

Matan’s doing really well, mainly due to his amazing special education pre-school. He gets so much attention, and the teacher brings in so many different types of activities. Today they found snails in the yard, collected them and watched them for awhile. Matan LOVES snails. That and rain are his favorite parts of winter.

His program is so good, that I can see him on track to start first grade on time. The only question is whether we’ll send him to a standard kindergarten next year, or continue in special education until first grade. The only worry I have about continuing in special ed is that he won’t be used to being in large groups of children crowded into a small classroom. Then again, when we adopted him he was living in a tiny room full of children, and rarely left that space, so maybe he’ll feel right at home.