My mum, Max’s granny, thinks that Max is just terrific. Sometimes I get a bit exasperated with her when I’m trying to explain what he struggles with and she says ‘All children find xxx or yyy difficult’.
I’ve been telling her about the Waldon/Functional Learning work we are doing, about getting Max to extend the use of his arms and to shift his attention to different spaces around his body. I felt it was all going in one ear and out the other.
Since he started school last autumn, Max has been mad keen on drawing. (I thought I’d never see the day!) It’s become an escape for him – and what a nice appropriate, positive thing to do if you’re feeling overwhelmed: get some pens and paper. Recently Max’s drawings have been all about monsters in homage to The Day Louis Got Eaten.
Mum/Granny came to visit the other day. She asked Max to draw pictures of stuff he’d done that day. Real stuff. She noticed that his drawings of himself have very primitive or non existent arms. In one picture he just has a body with fingers sticking out the sides. So she showed him that we have long arms and hands and then fingers.
I’ve heard that self portraits are away to assess a child’s self and body awareness. I think my mum is going to try and teach Max some body awareness through drawing.
We are on such a mega therapy kick at the moment that I don’t know whether it’s the Not Just Talking or the Functional Learning or me seeing a psychotherapist and trying to be more relaxed, but Max seems to have made a big jump in the past couple of weeks. We’ve been telling him for a year or two that we’re not interested in his repetitive (often film-based) fantasy worlds. And he’s finally started talking about real stuff. The here and now.
Max might need reminding,but it’s there. He’s observing stuff and sharing it with us. Mostly it’s about inanimate objects, but occaisionally he’s making social observations too. Today he pointed out a couple hugging and said that they must be husband and wife. That’s the sort of thing that he’s learned from Not Just Talking and it’s really heartening to know that he’s taking an interest in other people and their relationships.
Later he drew a picture of monsters at a station with a post with tannoy loudspeakers on it. I had no idea he’d noticed such details.
We’ve also being doing pointing I Spy when we’re out and about. One of us points at something interesting and the other has to guess what it is. It gets us talking and thinking about the connections the other person is making. As well as re-inforcing Max’s nascent point following skills.
I need to bank this happy feeling and being aware of positive progress.