Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Giant leaps for Deqlan

Deqlan creating his very first painting!
Deqlan and Keaton where thrilled at this new activity and we cant wait to get them tp create many more master pieces in the future! Deqlan sitting at the table - this is a great achievement for him and we are so proud that with only 1 week of training on the programme, he is a lot more comfortable sitting at the table and for longer periods of time
Mark and keaton
The flag is mine!
Deqlan and Keaton reading a book together, they really were, even if it was for a few seconds..
Conrad showing Deqlan how to braai!
Caden! Cant believe how has grown and cruising around everywhere!

Dada has been very fortunate to attend two out of the three British Lions versus Springbok games and we just love seeing the photos and hearing all the stories about the interesting people who follow the Lions around the world .

Of course Dada wears his Springbok jersey, proudly to all the games, and we discovered that Deqlan loves the jersey - he loves the springbok emblem and he loves the South African flag on the sleeve of the jersey- he actually took Dada's jersey out the wash and dragged it around with him a few days just touching and enjoying the flag - now is that a loyal supporter or what?
Deqlan and I went off to Meggie and Conrad and Keatons place this last Saturday and Mark met us there after the rugby WITH A LIFE SIZE SOUTH AFRICAN FLAG in his hands - i wish you couldve seen the smile on Deqlans face! I was in absolute awe and wonder that the tiny little flag on his Dada's jersey had come to life and he was know able to hold the flag in his VERY OWN hands!

Not only did Deqlan love the flag, but Mr Keaton thought it was a pretty cool new toy to - so the boys literally had a tug of war on who would be holding the flag - next time , we know, we have to buy two of the same thing hey! we learning....
We have started implementing some of the things we learnt from Liezl last week - it of course was much easier to watch Liezl do it - of course she has many many years of experience and is so prepared! We are still finding our feet, realising what equipment we still need and how to get Deqlan to do what we need him to do. The hardest part, but the most necessary part of the progamme is teaching Deqlan to sit in a chair at a table.

For someone who is used to running and eating at the same time, and for coming and going and moving around as he wants, this is a huge task. Actually, kids on the spectrum have to be taught how to sit at the table - there is to much to do, places to go and people to see , so why on earth should they sit still when there is so many other things waiting to be discovered? Well, we got to teach Deqlan this skill, as this is how is going to be at school, he will have to sit at a table and chair cause thats how he will need to work! Its a definite skill we need to work on and luckily we have 6 months before Deqlan will start at Little Leaps to help him with it.
So, we start with 4 little bites of his breakfast for example, french toast, and he has to sit at the table and finish that before he can get up. We are allowed to do certain activities at the table to keep him entertained and wanting to finish those four bites, and when he does he can get up and move around, and then back to the table, or at least sitting eating his food - at times, Deqlan is able to do this , with a little bit of moaning, but at other times , its really hard and frustrating for him, and hard for us to watch him upset, but we know what the goal is , so we have to get through this initial phase and then, we are sure , Deqlan will be alot more comfortable at the table. He has started to put all four pieces of food in his mouth at one go, cause he knows he has to finish his food before getting up - and of course, this makes him gag , and of course the tears start streaming down his face. We try and keep him calm and tell him there is no need to rush through his food, but he just wants to get up and go! Last night i put a relaxing Mozart sleepy time dvd on, and he sat eating not moaning once, for 25 minutes!!! I was so proud of him! Of course , all these things that help Deqlan stay sitting will have to be faded, because he certainly wont have them at school, but baby steps, or little leaps , to get there !

Nanna has taken on the "job " of doing table work with Deqlan - Liezl has given us specific activities with speficic reasons in mind - so we have packed away all the toys that are not functional or Deqlan is not ready for yet , and all the toys and activities that are in his sight now, can all be used with learning in mind. So the idea is for Nanna to choose certain activities for the morning and do table work with Deqlan from 9 -12 - if he finishes the activity/or two , depends on how he is in the day, he can get to run outside and then come back in to complete the next one - activities include,putting puzzle pieces in, matching colours, finger painting, posting cars and alphabet letters, playing in rice and beans, blowing bubbles etc - Deqlan is prepared for each activity, for example Deqlan has a lot of sensory issues , where he either craves and seeks it or doesnt want it - he dislikes paint on his hands immensely , but its one of the activities he will need to do at school, so to prepare his hands, we massage them with cream and then get to try the paint, and he managed it great last week with Liezl, by drawing one little line with his finger. Some people would expect their kids to be able to do this, without even thinking about it, but for children with sensory issues , it really is overwhelming .
The amazing thing with all these activities is that you can use them in so many ways - for example Deqlan has a puzzle with shirts and pants , which he knows how to do really well - so instead of focusing on the action of putting the pieces in, we know can focus on langauge and say, "shirts" or "pants" or even use it to count with or even say colours with - its really amazing what Liezl has taught us , in such a short space of time
In the afternoons, after snack and lunch time and nap time, we focus on gross motor skills, climbing and swinging and riding bike, swinging in the hamock, playing in the zen garden etc - which is definitely the most enjoyable part of the day, and also so very necessary - and all done in a fun way!
Liezl is coming again this morning to check in on us and to fine tune some 'issues' we are not 100% with as yet
And guess what else is new ? Deqlan hasnt had a dummy for over 1 week!!!! Can you believe it? Something who was so attached to - we decided to go cold turkey and just not give it to him at bed time last Friday and he went to sleep without it , so we have continued for 1 whole week, no tears , nor moans, the occasionaly search for the dummy does happen, perhaps its under my pillow or covers , Deqlan thinks and searches, but soon we are able to distract him with Mickey Mouse or the frogs he loves so much at the moment. Three little frogs come everywhere, to work, to sleep, to bath, Deqlan adores these little guys and even counts them as he lines them in order - we are so chuffed at this development to..
Deqlans new words for the week;
jordan ( for baby jordan from 3rd and bird)
ha for hay
bye bye for butterfly
dada - Deqlan saying it a lot more often now!
In 1 weeks time we are off on a bit of a holiday to the sea!!! We cant wait and will definitely be taking Deqlan to Ushaka marine world again and be having lots of walks and runs on the beach- Natal winter is thanfully not as harsh as Gauteng and i believe the temps are up to 25 at the moment! Cant wait!
Have a great weekend everyone thanks for checking in on us. Please continue the prayers for Deqlan to continue coming through the window and off the spectrum and dor him to remain NED forever and always - please pray for all our friends around the world and for the cure of all cancers.
God Bless, lots of love
Mark Samm Deqlan Logan


Vickie said...

I love all of these detailed descriptions of the new learning processes. I learned so much reading them. Deqlan is my favorite you South African. Keep posting so his fans can keep learning.


Anonymous said...

Aaawww, so happy to hear that Deqlan is doing so well. Love you guys lots

Sam xxx

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