I just wanted to take a second and thank all my blog readers for your amazing support and excitement over our decision to adopt and welcome another amazing child into our home and as a part of our family. We are so excited and eagerly await finding him or her. For now, we simply trust God -- easier said than done, but we really are sitting back and enjoying the ride and trusting in His perfect timing.
Things are going so amazing with Angela right now. After deciding to steer away from Angela's IEP and create our own plan for her I have felt this huge weight lifted off my shoulders. It was just not right and the way we feel now as a family confirms that we were not ready to start the educational services just yet. Angela will begin outpatient therapy at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on a weekly basis, which frees up so much of her/our time for doing things like we did today and continuing to make amazing progress.
Today Angela had her first preschool class at the YMCA. The class was called Alphabet Soup and is basically a short hour long preschool setting. The class was not a special needs type class, which we were really excited about. We began with coloring, moved on to the welcome, story time, a little group activity and then we finished up with a craft. Obviously I needed to stay with Angela but I provided her with little support and she really held her own socially.
I was really so impressed. Because Angela has had limited exposure to social situations in her first two years and also due to her visual impairments she has really struggled in group settings. Due to her vision impairment, when there is lots of noise that she can't visually understand, she begins to withdraw and reverts to some old inappropriate self soothing behaviours. Today I didn't see any of these behaviors but rather she was very vocal. At one point in the class they were passing around a bag that each child could pull an item out that began with the letter of the day, which was "D". After the first child got a turn Angela began to vocalize, signally she wanted a turn! I reminded her she needed to wait and was very happy when it was her turn to pull something out of the bag.
I already have plans for next class to better adapt things so Angela can participate even more. It is very difficult for her to hold crayons, so I plan on getting those cool Tadoodels so she is better able to hold them and create her very own works of art. Also, tapping down the paper is essential -- otherwise she just grabs the paper and starts waving it in the air! The Childrite seat worked out beautifully during circle time and allowed her to participate without having to need mommies help.
Physically Angela continues to make progress, but it is her social progress that blows me away. This weekend we attended my cousins wedding and despite the loud crazy reception setting she thrived! She loved the music and lights and instead of getting overstimulated she danced her heart out on the dance floor. She is continuing to nod her head yes and no and is really letting her wants and needs known -- very well.
Can't wait to see what these next weeks bring as we go back to class and try to add more social activities into her world!