Brady P. receives three kinds of therapy during the school year.
Physical: Targets gross motor development. His main goals as of now are going up a flight of stairs alternating left and right feet with no railing, jumping forward 18-20" with two feet together and balancing on one foot for 5 seconds.
Speech: Targets the development of his mouth to say sounds correctly. His main goals now are formulating confident sounds correctly, speaking in sentence phrases and reading sight words.
Occupational: Targets fine motor skills. This one he just started, and his main goals are holding a pencil correctly, practicing writing his name and using his special scissors.
I've been concentrating on the first two for the first few years of his life. He makes progress at every visit with his wonderful therapists.
Here's what I'm guilty of.
I don't like to draw, so I never really made him color much. I didn't do a whole lot with his writing, and I never thought of tackling cutting with scissors.
Well, now he needs to do that stuff in kindergarten in the fall.
Nooooo! Not the pencil! Not scissors! Waaaahhhh!
But nobody cares when you whine.
So I've been getting out his workbook from the school and his special scissors nearly every day after breakfast.
"Okay, Brady P," I'll say all excited-like. "Are you ready to work in your workbook and cut with your scissors?"
"Yeah!" he'll shout like I just asked if he wanted to go get ice cream.
That enthusiasm has kept me going every day. But you want to know what else keeps me encouraged?
He is so darn good at it.
Let me back up.
Have you ever taught a child how to use scissors? There is so much hand-eye-brain coordination going on there, you'd think you were composing a symphony.
I'm not kidding.
We are building strength in the hand muscles, lining up the paper with the scissors, squeezing the scissors fully without pulling to rip it instead and holding the paper with the other hand.
That is just to snip little pieces of paper one time. And we keep going back to the beginning, so he has that base of strength to work with.
Wow, wow, wow.
Just when I think I can't be any more patient, I learn it in another way. And in an encouraging way, nonetheless because he can't see me get frustrated. If I do, then he will.
He needs high fives for completing a cutting session. He needs claps for finishing one strip. He needs praise words each time he squeezes the scissors all the way to the end.
Is this boring you?
Try teaching an almost five-year-old how to use scissors. I honestly never thought I would. It is tedious. It is slow. It seems like somebody else's job.
But it is mine. And his. And his progress and excitement makes it all worth it.
He is doing better and better at the writing, too. I'm not going to get into all the minute details involved in that, but it's its own song and dance.
However, if he goes to kindergarten, and his teachers are impressed at how he holds his pencil, makes marks and uses his scissors, it will be sooooo worth it.
Because he is worth it.