Friday, 17 October 2014

The difference a year makes

It's just over a year since Peter moved in with us which feels like a huge milestone. I remember when we were talking about the referral before we'd even met Peter we said "Give us a year, he'll be a completely different child," and it became a phrase repeated frequently by our friends and family and even other professionals.

Well, it was certainly true, there's just no comparison!

October 2013 aged 4

  • Full time nappies with no awareness of wet or dirty
  • Very skinny, in age 2-3 clothing with no strength in his limbs or hands
  • Wouldn't brush his teeth, couldn't go to the hairdresser or dentist
  • Self-harming behaviours (head banging, slapping his face so hard he'd burst his lip)
  • Dummy and comfort blanket full time except at school
  • 10 single words, numbers to 10 and the alphabet
  • Any change, transition or ending an activity would trigger a mega meltdown
  • Total refusal to walk outside
  • Unsafe near water
  • Tried to escape from any building or park we went to
  • Communicated in screams or taking our hands to show us what he wanted
  • No response to his name
  • No crunchy foods - would only eat puree, tinned veg stew or tinned spaghetti
  • Couldn't use fork or spoon, ate by scooping with his whole hand
  • Drank from a lidded no-spill beaker, and would only drink chocolate milkshake
  • No pincer grasp to pick up small items - whole hand grip only
  • Took medication to sleep
  • Addicted to the iPad
  • Very little eye contact and showed no affection
  • No self-care skills - couldn't get dressed, wipe his face, put shoes on

October 2014 aged 5
  • Dry and clean in the day, nappies at night
  • Tall and strong, in age 6-7 clothing
  • Brushes his teeth every day, happy at the hairdresser and dentist
  • No self-harming behaviours
  • No dummy, comfort blanket only for bedtime
  • Hundreds of words, talks in short sentences and learned phrases, counts past 100 and can spell some words
  • Very rare mild meltdowns now - change and transition are no longer an issue for him
  • Walks outside happily holding an adult's hand
  • Stays near us or keeps us in sight in parks - no longer tries to escape
  • Safe near water, he can be trusted to wait for permission to paddle if it's safe
  • Communicates verbally and using a few signs
  • Responds to his name, and can read and spell it!
  • Varied and healthy diet including a range of textures
  • Uses a fork or spoon appropriately
  • Drinks water, milk or diluted fruit juice from an open cup
  • Pincer grasp is developing
  • No longer medicated to sleep
  • Enjoys using the iPad when he's allowed to but will happily move on when it's time.
  • Excellent eye contact, loves cuddles and kisses
  • Gets himself dressed, wipes his own hands and face, puts on his own shoes

It hasn't been easy for any of us at times, but we are beyond proud of Peter for how well he's done getting used to a new home, new boundaries, new school, and now having another little person around and being a big foster-brother. We absolutely adore him and are so glad that he's part of our family. We love nurturing, teaching and encouraging him - we can't wait to see how much he grows and progresses over the next year!

1 comment:

  1. We are so proud of you all too. It makes me quite weepy to see how far Peter has come, and how happy he is.