One phrase that I have grown accustomed to hearing at IEP meetings, teacher conferences, and even doctor appointments, is “emerging skills”. Often, I find myself looking for these “emerging skills” in all three of my boys’ lives.
Right now, Jake’s emerging skills have to do a lot with conversation. He is learning to listen, wait, and respond. He’s learning, and starting to make much headway with, speaking in turn and appropriately interrupting. (“Excuse me” is used..a lot.) I am gaining such an interesting insight into my oldest’s mind with this new skill. And I am really enjoying the boy he’s growing up to be.
Cole is recognizing his letters and numbers. He’s trying to write more letters. He’s building complex creations out of Lego blocks. He’s doing jigsaw puzzles. He’s also learning how to share. That is a TOUGH skill for him. But it is emerging. I still need to prompt a lot, but he’s getting better with each skill independently.
Tate is learning how to self-advocate right now. For a child who struggles with expressive language, self-advocacy can be difficult. He is building the experience, finding the right words, and is trying to apply them appropriately. Learning this skill is tough for him…but he’s really starting to emerge and come into his own.
For instance, we had Cole’s birthday party this Saturday. About 20 minutes before the party started, Tate started to squeak and squeal…his nervous sounds. He then started to walk up and down our stairs. I asked if he was ok. “Mmm-hmm.” I asked if he was nervous. “Yes, I am.” I asked if the stairs made him feel better. “Yes. Shh, Mom. I’m busy.” I let him be. He clearly needed that time on the stairs to organize himself and work out the anxiety. He also needed me to leave him alone, so I did.
During the party, Tate consumed the equivalent of his body weight in Cheetos. Well, I’m guessing. Unfortunately, Tate and Cheetos have a sordid past. He loves them. His digestive system does not. At 12:22 a.m. (yes, I do remember the time), I awoke to a wailing child. As I sorted out in my mind which child it was, I heard, “HELP ME!!”. I flew downstairs. (We had allowed Tate & Jake to “camp out” in the basement that night after the party.) He was covered in puke. Hubz came down shortly after. I had him sit with Tate. I went down and surveyed the damage. (I am not going into detail…but let’s just say it was reminiscent of the scene from The Exorcist.)
I scrubbed as Jake snored away, and Tate told Hubz he felt better and wanted to go to sleep. Hubz cleaned him up and put him in our room, where he scripted until I came back up, and then promptly dozed off, eventually shoving me out of the bed. The nerve!!!
Last night, Tate struggled to settle back down to sleep. We always have trouble on Sunday nights. The transition from weekend to weekday is a tough one for Tate. We haven’t figured out how to help him through this one yet…but I know eventually we will.
As Hubz sat in his room with him, Tate told him that he was tired of being tired..and just wanted to spend time with Hubz. Hubz sat in the room for an hour, spending time with Tate. Tate eventually went to bed once Hubz and I settled in for the night.
So, these emerging skills are being practiced more and more around our house..and I am enjoying all three of them as they explore and figure out what works best for them.