Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Yes, Collin is about to turn 3. Three? How did that happen? Crazy to think that the year he was born changed our lives so much. We are still struggling to get back to where we were before his birth, 3 years later.

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Small, sweet, Collin has learned such an amazing amount of new things since his last birthday. One year ago, he only pointed and grunted to communicate with us. Six months ago he had a vocab of about 20-30 words. Now?
Just this moment, while sitting here type this I've heard, "No, Mommis (Thomas) it my turn." "I shoot you boss." "I running around." "Stop it." And he is still talking!

We just had Collin's speech eval a couple of weeks ago. He has been receiving speech therapy over the past eight months through our state's Birth to Three program, and it has helped tremendously. The evaluation was to determine if he would qualify for other services after his 3rd birthday. While we still have a long ways to go with his articulation, we are so pleased to say, he no longer needs help. This coming Friday will be Collin's very last speech session. Wow.

We have received the results, and my not quite three year old has the intelligence level of a 54 month old. What? A four and a half year old? My boy? Wow. He does have the articulation of an eighteen month old still though, which is what we need to work on. He cannot make a "k" sound in the beginning of a word and will substitute a "d" sound. He has a frontal lisp, and another "thing" I cannot remember the name of. But he is doing great. Over the next two months we have to work on phonics, letter sounds, pronounciation, all the fun stuff. We have two months to work on this. In two months time, if he has made an expected amount of improvement we will move on to get him ready to start preschool in the fall. Yea, preschool! I cannot believe he is almost old enough for preschool! If he has not made enough of an improvement he will receive speech services while he is at school.

Now, I just mentioned Collin has the intelligence level of a 4.5 year old. I wanted to share a few things Collin has been doing around here. Let me preface by saying, I have not done any drills with him to be able to do these things. Nothing. Like potty training, I've let him lead me, and when I've seen an interest or him beginning to do something, I jump in to help. No sitting at a table doing these things over and over again. Just him starting and me assisting.

A few months ago, Collin had started tracing. He was tracing his name, all 26 letters of the alphabet, numbers 0-9, coloring book pages, everything he could. Two weeks ago, while at the doctors office I wrote the alphabet on the paper that was on the exam table, for him to trace. Instead of tracing, Collin shocked me and wrote the letters underneath my alphabet. Talk about impressed. When we got home and were doing homework with his big brother, Thomas, I wrote his name on our dry erase board for him to look at, and spelled it out a few times, then went back to Thomas. When I looked back over to him, this is what I saw:

(Click to Enlarge to see what Collin was working on.)

Yes, my not-quite-three year old wrote this. Not perfect, one 'L' looks like an 'r', but amazing for his age, especially with his speech history. And H L L O, awfully close to "hello". Yea, I'm a very proud mommy. 

A few days ago, he did the whole alphabet for me, and we went over letter names. 

We got Collin a little workbook for him to do while Thomas does his homework. Just tonight, Collin spent over 30 minutes working on his "homework." The first few pages, where just tracing lines and scribbling. Then he worked on the letters A and B. Here is his "B" page:

I mentioned Collin will be going to preschool. We sent his application for Thomas' school out last week. We are fortunate to have sibling and neighborhood preference, and the pre-k-3 program is a lot easier to get in than pre-k-4 or kindergarten, so we are pretty sure he'll get the spot. It will be full day, 9:15-3:25, 5 days a week. They will instill the same beliefs they are instilling in Thomas, and Collin is already working on reciting the school motto. "Be kind. Be courteous. Always do your best. And always ask for help."

I still can't get over him turning three. I still regret not remembering so much of his 1st year, but I think with this last year, I've made it up to him. Collin and my relationship has changed so much this year. He clearly adores me. He hugs me and kisses me randomly through out the day. He has been known to run out of his room in the middle of the night to come find me to tell me he loves me. And to steal something from the pantry. His imagination is already right up there with his brother, who he loves to play with. And he has even become quite the big brother these past 12 months. He loves to play babies with his little sister, or to help her play with the boys. He is just an all around great kid. 

And boy do I love him. 

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