You guys. Olivia is having such an amazing year at school. Like crazy amazing. I think it’s a combination of summer school, maturity and being with the same teachers again this year. We are so incredibly happy and proud.
In the fall, she helped out with the 7th grade volleyball team and that went so well. The coach is her special ed teacher so it was a perfect fit. Olivia loved it! We keep trying things to see if she likes it and we finally found something. She stayed after school two days a week for about 30 minutes. She warmed up with the girls (running, sit ups, etc.) and then she’d participate in some of the basic drills. If she got tired or overwhelmed, she’d play on the iPad. We tried having her go to a game but that was too much chaos. She made friends with all of the girls. She and the girls from the team say hi to each other in the halls and they come to “visit” her and her friends in the special ed classroom. Her teacher says it’s been such a wonderful experience for everyone. My thought? Of course it is! When you include kids with special needs, EVERYONE benefits! Olivia has made some new friends, worked on her independence and conversation skills and had fun. The girls on the team benefit by realizing that Olivia is just a girl and a potentially really great friend. Her teacher said the girls have even made it a point to befriend the rest of the kids in Olivia’s class and another special ed class. All of this awesomeness just from letting Olivia stay at practice for 30 minutes twice a week. Awesome, right?
Olivia’s also participating in choir this year. She had her first concert a few weeks ago and she did AMAZING! They had a paraprofessional up on stage with her just in case and they had a chair next to the risers just in case she needed to rest. She stood the entire time and sang her heart out. It was one of the best moments of my life! After each song, she’d clap and take a little bow. When it was all over, she took a big bow and said “Can we go now?” It was so cute and sweet. She looked so joyful on stage. We are so happy she finally found another thing to do that she really enjoys! There are two girls who come meet her at her special ed classroom each day and walk with her to choir. Isn’t that awesome, too?
She’s been doing so well at school. Her math teacher just sent me a text over the weekend to tell me that she finally “made” it into the actual STAR test at a Kindergarten level. This is a big deal for Olivia!! Math has always been her weakest subject and it’s so great to see some progress. She’s doing well in all of her subjects and really enjoying school this year. Her teacher also reports that she’s been making conversation with adults and peers. This is HUGE! She came in last Monday and asked everyone about their weekend. “Normal” conversation…and she’s been doing better with actually listening to their answers and keeping the conversation going.
At home we’re working on potty training in a major way. It’s been especially important to us since she started her period two months ago. (WWWWAAAAAHHHHH!!!!) She’s been handling it surprisingly well. Each time she goes to the bathroom she says “Oh! There’s my period!” We talk about how all women have it and she’ll start naming off women in her life and say “Does So and So have a period?”, etc. It’s very cute. We talk about cramps and what’s happening and so far she’s doing really well. I personally think that if your daughter is born with special needs, and she’s not going to have children, there should be a button to turn it off…but I digress. She’s doing well with potty training but she still doesn’t go on her own, only if we tell her to. But we’re still making progress!
Just the other day, Matt and I were talking about how grown up she seems lately. She looks older, she acts older, she speaks better. She seems to “get” more things lately and interact more. She even wanted to play a game with us at Thanksgiving this weekend! It’s really wonderful to watch her still make progress because all of the doctors in the beginning told us that would not be the case. HA WE SHOWED THEM!
Don’t worry, she’s still a pill. If you follow me on Instagram (elastmom417), you saw her destroyed room the other day. That’s a daily occurrence. She’d peed on the floor the other day even though she was on her way TO the bathroom. She changed my phone language to Chinese and disabled it for 10 minutes. And, when we were sharing what we were thankful for at Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, Olivia said “I’m thankful for words like idiot, moron and…ASSHOLE!” We all died laughing.
That’s our Olivia and we couldn’t be more proud. I just sit and look at her and think of how very lucky I am to be her Mom.