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Another year!

January has been a mixed month for us as a family.   My husband - Ryan's Grandpa - has been in hospital for a while so the children's (and everyone else's) routine has been upset but hopefully everything will get back to normal again now.

   Yes he really does have a very odd hat on.

The potty training is coming on in leaps and bounds, Ryan wants to be dry and not wear a nappy most of the time.  Like all children there is not much warning and when he says "wee"  he means NOW and the potty has to be in place very quickly, but he is very pleased with himself.    His Cerebral Palsy also affects the warning sensations telling him that he needs to go.

This is the identity pic from his "disabled badge" for the car.   At least the badge means that we can park in the disabled places and not have to carry him what seems like miles sometimes for clinics and things.    Have you noticed how few places have areas for push chairs and buggies!

The main problem at the moment is discipline.   When Rebecca goes to do something that's naughty you can say "No" to her, she stops (well most of the time) and you can try to explain to her that she must not do that, you can tell her about things being "hot" or that the knife will "hurt".   Rebecca can understand abstract concepts, Ryan seems unable to understand.   He does not understand the difference between giving his sister a hug and squeezing her and making her cry.   At one point both Debbie and Rebecca were covered in scratch marks - Ryan was trying to tickle them and just did not see what he was doing wrong.   

He started to pull the wallpaper off of the wall in my passage, he did not hide what he was doing, in fact he wanted me to join in because it was fun.   How do you explain to a child like that, that what he is doing is wrong, that his behaviour is not acceptable.   Ryan does not want to hurt anyone or upset us but he has to be taught how to behave while he is still young and small enough to be restrained physically.   When I did manage to teach him that he must not pull the wall paper off of the walls in my passage I was quite pleased with myself.   Then Ryan showed me that I still had to teach him that this "rule" applied to other walls as well !!!

For Christmas, among the many gifts they had, were wooden puzzles.   You know the kind, where the child has to fit the piece into the relevant shaped hole.   Rebecca had puzzles with various irregular shaped pieces, cars, ships, trains etc Ryan had a puzzle with four shapes, a Square, triangle, circle and star.    He can do this puzzle and enjoys it.   They also have books which feature these same four shapes. Each page of the book has the words of a song and a shape printed on it.   On a panel down the edge of the book the same shapes appear and when a shape is pressed the music for the song on that particular page is played.   Ryan loves the books and will turn to the page he wants then press the relevant shape for you to sing along to the music.   Rebecca gets fed up after a short while and just wants to press all the shapes (or with the wooden puzzles she'll pretend to try to fit pieces into the wrong places) Ryan gets very upset at that and wants to take the book away from her until she will press the right shape for the page.    He does not exhibit obsessive behaviour much but there are some things that have to be done in certain set ways, otherwise he gets very upset.

Here they are playing with more Christmas gifts - a tent and play tunnel.


The dog wanted to play in the tent and tunnel with them but was just too big so he was upset and needed a cuddle!



Well we've just had Ryan's 4th birthday.   I say WE'v had because he did not realize that it was his birthday.   A teacher at the unit he goes to said that with children like Ryan we celebrate 4 years of having him because that is worth celebrating.   She is right. 


Photos at birthday parties are never very good (well not when I take them anyway).  Children will not stay still!   Here is Ryan with a neighbour's little girl.



Ryan tries very hard to talk now.   He will (try to) repeat words you say to him.   His speech is very hard for anyone else to understand, unless you are used to hearing it all the time it sounds like total rubbish.   We have to act as translators sometimes for him (Rebecca is still the best person at that).   Of course his vocabulary is  limited and we are not sure how much he really  understands.   On 24th May the school that houses the unit Ryan attends held a kind of presentation afternoon.   Children in various classes in the school received prizes and certificates for achievements.

   Ryan was presented with the school Kindness Medal and a Citation.   It was the first time a child from the special unit had received anything like this and the school made a big fuss of it.   This is a picture of Ryan on his mum's lap, he is holding his medal. He did not actually understand what the medal was for but he knew he was being made a big fuss of and that everyone was pleased with him.

Ryan is being "statemented" this just means that a statement of his special educational needs is made .   Hopefully this will mean that he will have a classroom teaching assistant assigned to him.   He will not be able to travel up through the normal classes in school but we are lucky in that Bodmin (where we live) has "special needs" educational facilities all the way through the school system.   The main thing of course is to be positive and when people say things like "well he'll never be able to read and write will he"  we just reply "and what makes you so certain of that?".   Debbie (Ryan's mum) says he will get a School Certificate of some type, we don't know in what yet but there must be something he can do.   If you could get a certificate for hugs and kisses he'd win it now.

July photos 

     Ryan in his pushchair,   Rebecca walks, Ryan still needs the pushchair

         Ryan and Rebecca with their mum and their aunty Beth


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