Admittedly there have been plenty who have openly questioned whether or not I ought to homeschool Bubby. I was hesitant myself initially but somehow when God speaks to your heart you know what is right and He gives you the courage and means to do it. It has been just over a year since we began this with Bubby. He went from being withdrawn into his own little world with no verbalizations to being happy, engaged and learning everything from his ABCs and his numbers through to 5. He glows in so many undescribable ways.
Bubby with our latest respite worker, Stephanie. Stephanie was actually his very first babysitter and she had to endure his cries and retreats into bed as soon as she came. He's a LONG, LONG way from what it was so many years ago. She was wonderful and caught on to tasks so quickly with him.
This was fairly recent. It took me some time to slow down and give him the time to make the sounds for all the letters. Previously he was moving his lips but that was all and one day he surprised us by doing nearly the whole alphabet. My favorite is when he tries for W. (bubble-oo) This is now something he insists on singing with us daily and he is so proud of himself. The delay in speaking lessens as we practice it and along with our Elmo ABC app I have confidence he will be writing a reading sooner than anyone thought possible a year ago.
Therapy was always intended to be the education of the caregiver while working with the individual with the vision of the care continuing in the home long after the therapist is gone. Our music therapist, Ms Caroline put it so well, "You are his primary teacher, no matter what others may come in his life. You are who we strive to support and when we do it right it carries to the individual's community."
Bubby's community and his security is his family. With the security he's returned with a willingness to engage. This isn't any 'structured' activity, it's what we do as we live. It's the exchanges first thing in the morning as we greet each other and wrestle and snuggle in our bed. Sometimes it's when we play, and yes, it's even when we fight! These two have such a love hate relationship. Pumpkin insists that he play with her. She is at his level in so many ways and the competition between them helps. She models so much for him and I would never have guessed so many years ago how much we needed her.
With our flexible schedule I can put in tons of sensory activities. Sometimes we swing,do the trampoline, an hour in the pool happens daily, spinning or dancing, jumping into bean bags - So much of this helps him out of his defense mode and puts him in a place to learn. He surprised me the other day at therapies when he correctly identified his shapes, something we haven't worked on in ages. He was taking in so much more than we realized. There are times we've realized he likes to pretend he doesn't understand and it gets him giggling as we jump through figurative hoops to do what we want. I think we need to award this kid with a psych degree!
Education is more than being on 'track' or meeting goals, it's really about understanding our world and finding a way to be a part of it. We're so glad we're on this journey together!