I spoke to the nursery supervisor last Thursday to update her on the upcoming paediatric referral and the health visitor’s recommendation that we arrange more nursery time for Jamie. As I’d thought, there are no sessions currently available apart from the one that happens to clash with his Tumbletots session, but she will have a word with the registration secretary and find out whether any places are coming up next term. If not, I will try to get him some sessions somewhere else local, and she says that if that happens they will be happy to liaise with the other nursery.
She mentioned something to the effect that there would most likely at some point be some kind of official meeting with all concerned in order to discuss how best to proceed with intervention, which surprised me a little as I was still thinking in terms of all this being a potential problem which might need something doing at some point in the future rather than an actual problem that required meetings to be taking place at this stage. Still, I suppose that the different setting at nursery means that things that aren’t a problem in the home setting may become problems, and then of course it would be nice to pre-empt any potential problems at school. I asked her how she thought he was doing generally, and she said that he clearly had a lot of strengths but he did have problems focusing on what people were saying and thus, if one of the nursery staff was telling the group to do something, it was often necessary for someone to come over to Jamie to make sure that he’d taken it in – he does seem to need more one-on-one help with that sort of thing.
She also said that the other week, when the children were asked to get their coats on and Jamie didn’t seem to be taking it in, she’d tried him with a picture communication card that they used with one of the other children and that seemed to flick the lightswitch in his mind – aha, coat! This makes her think that he takes things in visually better than he does auditorily (I’ve also noticed that he seems to have a strong visual memory.) They’re going to be trying some Makaton sign language with the children and think that might be really helpful for getting instructions through to him. That would be excellent, as I’ve been planning on trying signing with Katie – I was going to try BSL, but if Jamie’s going to learn some Makaton then I could teach Katie the same signs and maybe they can use them to each other once Katie’s a bit older. She said she’ll see whether she can arrange a parent class for signing. If not, then I remember Fiona saying she’s used it in teaching – I’ll have to get her to show me some signs.
Jamie had his latest orthoptist appointment on Tuesday. His vision in the squinting eye is apparently still not quite optimal. This came as no great surprise – having a new baby around does tend to distract one somewhat from details such as remembering the older child’s eyepatch. There is also the practical problem that having a new baby divides life abruptly into things that can be done one-handed and things that can’t, and, although replacing glasses on a reluctant child who has just removed them is a wee bit borderline, it does on the whole tend towards the second category (depending heavily on the reluctance of said child). Then, on top of all that, the left lens of his glasses somehow got scratched a few weeks back and this bothered him a lot when he had the patch on the other eye, thus meaning that he became more and more reluctant to wear it until he reached the point where he completely refused. At this point I finally did what I should have done before and took the glasses to the opticians to order a new lens, but that all took a few days longer and meant yet more time without the patch. So, all in all, I’m just pleased his eye wasn’t any worse than it is. Anyway, same old same old – we continue with the two-hours-a-day patching regime (or as close an approximation as we feel we can get) and see Pat again in three months.
I have been similarly remiss in remembering to do the things I was supposed to be doing to encourage Katie’s foot to turn, but fortunately this does not seem to be a problem – as the final after-effects of being squished against my inner uterine wall wear off, her foot is returning quite nicely to the appropriate position. I still sometimes notice it turning inwards, but not nearly as often.
Yesterday, we made the trip to Mothercare and bought Katie a bouncy chair so that she can watch the world go by from more optimum positions than formerly. Bouncy chair technology seems to have moved on somewhat since I spent my geeky childhood perusing Mothercare catalogues – they used to be simple bits of canvas on wire frames, and now most of them seem to be all-singing all-dancing productions with bells and whistles on, probably literally. We eschewed all the complicated ones that do things like vibrate the baby into submission or dazzle them with multicoloured whatsits and went, instead, for a simple and attractive design in pale green with a few soft objects dangling from the detachable bar over the top. Katie seems to love it. Now she can actually watch us while we’re having dinner, instead of being relegated to a cushion on the floor.