The boys have started preschool and they LOVE it! In fact, they love it so much that on weekend mornings, I am often faced with two tearful boys, standing at the front door in their pajamas, with their backpacks on, demanding that I take them to school! I am so grateful that they have adjusted so well to the new routine, and feel so confident and comfortable at school.
Of course, on the first day, I had to take lots of pictures!!
Riley took some time to wander around and check out the whole room.
(I actually took more pictures of them in the classroom, but I need to be careful about which ones I post because some of the other kids in the class appear in them. I don't feel that I have the right to post pictures of anyone else's child online without their permission.)
The preschool that the boys are attending is a LEAP preschool, which means that it is a special classroom designed for children with autism spectrum disorders and typical children to learn together. Most LEAP classrooms have 4 children on the autism and spectrum and 8 typical children. The classroom operates just like a regular preschool, except that the kids on the autism spectrum receive the additional support they need to be successful. This is the perfect setting for the Twincredible Twosome, because Ross and Riley can both attend together!
So, here is a quick summary of what they have been up to so far in school:
They are both learning so much already! They both come home and tell me new things about their day all the time. One of the most exciting things is that almost every day, Ross comes home singing a new song! After just one day, he is almost always able to sing the entire song and sings it over and over all evening. I can usually understand some of the words, but not always. We all know that music is the way his little brain learns best, and he is just soaking it all up. In fact, he is now singing in his sleep! Several times over the past couple of weeks, I have been awakened around 3am to hear him singing, loudly, and gone into his bedroom to find him sound asleep, with his pacifier in his mouth, singing at the top of his lungs!
They both made the most beautiful "All About Me" books! (Ok, so I might be a little biased....). It was so much fun to read through the books with the boys and let them tell me all about a project they made at school! On the last page, there were photos of all of the kids in their class, and Riley was able to name all of them, and Ross was able to name a few. They also love it when then bring home artwork and get to pick out a spot to hang it up! I love seeing how proud they are and especially enjoy if they are able to tell me a little bit about what they made.
Today, Ross actually blew me away by telling me how to spell his name! He was drawing a picture and when I went to write his name on it, he very specifically told me "R-O-S-S." I had no idea that he knew that! Then, just to make sure he really knew what he was doing, I asked him what it spelled and he said "Ross!" I am so proud of him!
The boys are starting to interact with the other kids at school, although Riley is clinging to Ross pretty tightly. The teacher and staff are so amazing and have already come up with great strategies to help them separate from each other. As one of therapists said, "They are like peanut butter and jelly, they just stick to each other!" So, at meals and circle time, they don't sit next to each other now and have to sit with a new friend. Ross is still not choosing to play with the other kids on his own yet, but Riley is starting to play with some of them. In fact, this weekend, Riley has been talking a lot about one of the boys in his class.
Riley has napped twice, but usually he just lays down to rest for a little bit. Ross, though, lays down at 1pm each day and falls into an immediate sleep for a full hour! He is the only kid in the entire class who naps! Some of you may remember that Ross is the child who has had MAJOR issues falling asleep at home. I spent $150.00 on a weighted blanket for him, to help him calm down at night, he still needs his pacifier to sleep in his own bed, and I had to remove all distractions from his bedroom!!! At school, though, he lays down in the middle of a busy, noisy classroom, without his pacifier and instantly falls asleep. Unbelievable!
Riley is trying lots of new foods and eating the school lunches many days. Ross has tasted a couple of new foods, but pretty much just eats what I pack for him. Not a whole lot of progress yet with him and new food textures.
All in all, they are just doing amazingly well! They are happy, enjoying school, and that makes for a happy and grateful mommy!
Since it has been so long since I have posted, I thought I would throw in a few more pictures of the boys just being silly together!