Wednesday, January 26, 2011

One Year Celebration

We had three kinds of pizza along with bread sticks.

Jeff was trying to get Kaleb to finish his math so he could play Wii. Wii is kind of our reward for the twins. It gets them up and moving.

Jasmine put off reading her three books this month, and now she's hustling to be done by Friday.

Adam doing Spanish homework.

Done with math, ready to play.

Licking the beaters from brownies.

Done with Spanish.

Tyler doesn't get home until 7:20 on Tuesdays.

The bigger kids play more sit down Wii games.

Come on guys, get up and get moving!

The twins have been home a year now. They've made a lot of progress. They know most of their letters and the sounds they make. They are learning numbers to 25 plus addition and subtraction. They are learning to blend words.

When they first came home, the twins only had one volume and that was loud.

Now they can regulate loudness according to the activity.

They would also do something they knew was wrong and run away laughing.

For the most part they follow the rules now. They know they will stand at the wall if they don't. Kayla has started taking treats and shows no remorse which is a little worrisome, but hopefully having to use her money to replace the treats will soon grow old. It might not bother her until we go to Universal next month though. The kids are saving souvenir and treat money for that, and she will not have as much.

When they came home, the twins did not interact appropriately all the time with other kids. They were used to every man for himself. Now they mostly share, take turns and interact well. They will occasionally hit, and unfortunately Kaleb will occasionally hit a teacher and not think anything of it.

Kaleb is quite immature in his social behaviors. Kayla a little but not as much as Kaleb. I can really see this during basketball practice. The kids will line up to do a skill. They will take their shot or whatever, then go to the back of the line. Kaleb will dance around, spin in circles and have his hands all over other people instead of standing in line. Kayla will too but not as much.
(I know boys can be more immature but in comparison to the other boys on the team he is wayyy immature).

At first the twins thought nothing of creating a scene in public. Several time we took them to long events (school or church concerts) but only had them stay a half hour because that was their attention span. Rick would try to have them walk out quietly while the rest of us stayed, but they would kick and scream, unbuckle in the car, kick his seat and scream all the way home. They have learned that those behaviors don't get good results, so that rarely happens anymore. (If they did that, they would have to go immediately to bed with no snacks or books).

Both twins realize that we are their family. They are pretty good about not interacting with strangers, but the problem is that even though we tell kids not to talk to adults they don't know, adults who don't know the kids will come up and try to engage them. ALL. THE. TIME. Yes, sometimes I am rude because I try to steer the kids away, but the adult persists. If the twins engage with them I will say, "Do you know this man/woman?" loudly. And walk them away.

I know the people think I am rude. This is a really big problem at places like Universal or Islands of Adventure. I have made it a rule never to talk to child, only to the parent. If the parent and I have talked for a while like while we are standing in a long line, then I might say something to the child. But mostly not since we try so hard to teach them not to talk to strangers and I'm still a stranger even after standing in line together for a half hour. If a child talks to me, I steer the child back to his parents and remind him that he doesn't know me. This may sound overboard, but this is a case when it's better safe than sorry.

The twins tie their shoes, ride bikes without training wheels, make their beds and pick up their stuff. All the normal kid stuff. So all in all they are doing really well. They just don't have the experience in always knowing what is expected of them in certain situations, because they haven't encountered them before.

I am happy with the twins' progress and I know this coming year will be one of more growth and new experiences.


Tisha said...

Kathy... they are doing so well! You are a great mom! I think it is great advice when dealing with children. I have one that still gravitates toward strangers and I guess I am going to have to start being rude. Her attachment is more important than someone feelings! :)

kayder1996 said...

It's so helpful to look back a bit and think of where you've come from. I have one who cannot keep their hands off of things that do not belong to them. It is often food items on the counter and drives me batty. Right now, we're in the ANY time you touch something that is not yours/you don't have permission to touch, you give yourself a spanking on the hand. I don't know if it is helping or not but the first day, there were probably ten spankings. I think having to do it to yourself makes it worse. At least I'm hoping...

Zaz said...

It's only been a year and they are doing so well. My daughter has been home for three years and we have some of the same issues. She is developmentally behind in her social skills, so I know where you're coming from with Kaleb. It will be interesting to see where they are at a year or two from now. Although my daughter's behaviors drive me nuts sometimes, I see that she's come an LOOOOONG way from where we started. It really does help to look back. Congratulations on your one year anniversary! You're doing great!

One Crowded House said...

They really are doing great considering all of the behaviors they had to "unlearn".

I think your consistency helps bunches with that- they know what to expect.

kb said...

You've come a long way, Kayla and Kaleb! :)

Karen said...

The twins are really progress well. It must be hard, a whole new culture and family and way of life. You and your family are doing great with them.

Felicia said...

What a year you have had! The twins have come such a long way in that year. I remember some of your concerns at the beginning of the school year and can see how much things have improved.