Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Year ending IEP update at school

Prisha's birthday card for her Class teacher
      This morning we had a meeting at school with the IEP teacher who gives 50 minutes per day in class and also the head of the department. There were some great points and some points where we need to work with her.The 50 minutes were earlier alone in a room but now Mrs.K comes to the classroom and sits with her and explains her things where she needs help.She finds that Prisha is benefiting more this way.
       Some great feedback from them was about her personal attributes.She is very motivated, humorous,enthusiastic , great concentration, has good memory,eager to learn and takes correction very well.She is very spirited and takes correction very positively. It made us very happy to hear this.They were also happy that we worked with her and there was immense growth in her learning.

Her progress with IEP -
1.Able to sequence and retell story using pictures and gives an appropriate end too.
2.Uses singular and plural and understands the difference.
3.Has achieved goals in articulation of speech sounds.Words ending in blends still need to be worked on.

Needs improvement here -
1.Needs support with existing language goals relating to syntax and semantics with additional complexity of language.
2.Needs additional experiences to develop a wider "world knowledge".
3.Should benefit from activities and experiences that give her more points of reference with her peers.Needs to know what they celebrate,play watch on TV or talk about.That would help her interact socially.
      So we have loads of plan this summer.We are in India for just 3 weeks so that we are back here for 7 weeks and can attend the 2 times a week speech therapy classes.I don't want her to slide back in the vacations.We need to work harder on ourselves.Need to get some grammar books from India of grade 1 and 2 and let her practice it at home.Read loads to her and help her use new vocabulary. I am just keeping my fingers crossed and really hope and pray that when we start school in August, she has achieved more in her learning and understanding.The abstract has to be worked on and make her learning and understanding from 2 dimension to multi dimension.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Friends and play

Eating and singing together with Rosella

Teddy eats too !

Painted some flowers together

I love you !

Trying her hand at Cricket
     Yesterday we were at friends place in Bonn and Prisha came across new people and they were all ex-pats.I was keen to see how she interacts with them as they too have different accents .They have been living here last 5-6 yrs and since they were from India, they spoke in their language and also similar accents back home.She did well for herself I must say.
     She enjoyed the game of cricket,computer games and cellphone games and others stuff.I was happy to hear her copy their accent.It shows that she is getting comfortable and is getting used to the local atmosphere.Her confidence is growing in her ability to be able to converse with people from other countries.  She ran around and had so much fun. I wish we had more kids in our neighborhood so she could have fun and get more conversation appropriate for her and learn new sports with them.Our neighbors are mostly old. So this Friday, I did call her Korean friend home and they did have a lot of fun eating Indian snacks and painting.I asked her Friend from Korea, why she liked Prisha so much .And she said Prisha loved her a lot, they love to play together and that she was very kind.I am glad she has someone in school with who Prisha plays a lot and she is helping Prisha gain confidence in her ability to take more risks in the play area.Prisha is actually now more comfortable climbing up and down the monkey bars and takes her turns and learning to wait too.She is learning to coordinate in a group much better.Socially too,I am seeing a change in her.I am so happy to see this positive change and learning to respect others. She does get upset when some don't give the respect back and I am helping her deal with those situations too.
     Her speech therapist is looking forward to my getting her grammar books from India.I would be back and be here all summer,working on her speech,language,grammar and Math.She wants to see how much we do back in India in grammar,which is a lot.So right now just packing up for our trip to India,while Prisha still has her plans to move to US.....lol.

Friday, May 27, 2011

America





    Prisha just learnt that Americans ,unlike Indians and Germans, speak only English.Everybody speaks only one language. She was so excited and with the twinkle in the eye she said, "lets go to America .Everybody speaks only English there ." ! I really laughed at her expression. I guess she is having quite a tough time having Germans, Japanese,Koreans and Italians as her class mates.As of now she has decided that after her trip to India next month, she is moving to America .......lol.
    Love these impromptu one liners from kids.Makes life seem simple and so light. Keep waiting for more !

Sunday, May 22, 2011

International Fest




      Yesterday was the International fest at school here.Prisha enjoyed wearing her dress from India and showing off while she had her best friend from Korea wearing hers.Both came to show it off at our Indian booth and loved to get clicked.She learnt all new games,new foods,new cultures,names of new countries and had wonderful exposure to the world.She represented India in the parade and it was nice to see them proudly show off their country's flags.She bought her own stuff with coupons and she had a tough time what she would like to buy with them. In all a great day with perfect weather.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Reflection of the year at school

         Today was the "Portfolio day"  at school. This was the showcase of the entire year's work done at the school.It was very tough getting used to the new system (PYP) , accents,friendships,cultures from across the world,but yes, we finally managed to complete it all. I went with a lot of mixed feeling,waiting to see her work and what to expect.I was delighted to see what I saw.I could see the huge learning graph changing over the last school year which started in August.September end we had a meeting to discuss the huge gap which seemed impossible for us to cover.The reading, writing,speaking and above all comprehension,were the most difficult tasks.What seemed more tough was trying to remember all new the new vocabulary ,new concepts and new ideas all at the same time.We were at our lowest at that moment and did not know what to expect.But looking at her entire work, made me so proud of my little girl.She worked hard slowly,trying to make her footing stronger in the world which was moving so quickly.
       Her portfolio made me realize how she has started to follow the instructions so clearly at school.She learnt the new methods and was able to stand on her own.The broken words lead to sentences and that lead to paragraphs which in in turn lead to writing her own things and drawing her own understandings and reflections.Her math too was all in place.There were these words which she read as "pije" and "shilrin", was wondering what they were and she said "picture" and "children" and she added "mom I wrote it when I did not know how to read and write".It really made me smile and feel so proud of her.These moments make you so happy and make you realize how precious they are for parents like us who have worked for years trying to get them to normal life.I asked the teacher about her moving to grade 2 and she said there was no doubt about it as her graph of learning has been very steep and she did not have any more issues with her learning.The IEP teacher, of course, aids her learning and gives her the confidence.So right now, am happy the year is coming to an end.We are getting great results,the yearly International fest is on Saturday, where I head the booth from India with good Indian food and our colorful dresses and to top it we would soon be going to India for 3 weeks.I just need to make sure we do not let Prisha slide down like last year.We need to continuously keep reading, attend speech therapy and keep in touch with learning.Good lesson learnt !!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

More language inputs

    These days we are helping Prisha learn the nuances of language.Earlier on we had been heping on with as much of speech, though correction is always on.But she has been mixing around with 3rd person and mixes a lot of tenses.So now thanks to her speech therapist,we are now working on correcting the grammar. We have started with present tense, pronouns and past tense.She specially needs help with 3rd person.Fortunately she loves going to the therapy classes and she is picking up quickly.We are coordinating with the speech therapist and she agrees with our method back home.She asked for more prescriptions for Prisha (6 prescriptions of 10 classes are given then 3 months of break before next 6x10 classes) and I had a word with the doctor and she said there is no limit to the number of prescriptions we could get from them.Any break in therapy would not be good for her at this point..In her request form she has mentioned some good things for Prisha.She mentioned that Prisha is very motivated to learn, concentrates well and takes corrections very well.On the down side, she needs articulation correction and correction of grammar and does mix up a few consonants. But we all are working hard.Her class teacher is happy with her progress and does not feel the need to to really specify any problem areas.Life does seem a bit at calm but we do have rush rush of school, therapy 2 times a week after school and 2 after school activity 2 times a week.She does get tired,but the spirited girl that she is , gives us maximum support.Reading too is on.these days she is also writing stories.The therapist gives us some pictures which she needs to put in a sequence and then write the story it tells.Most of these stories are comic and she does need help on developing funny language and noticing the expressions in the pictures.Work hard!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A dedication to 2 special women



    Deepak is a friend who helped me open my blog and gave me the platform to write about my journey.Its been over 4 years now and I am so glad that we have documented all of it.he is much involved in theatre and has now moved to writing songs.He has penned down my feelings in this song, there is no music to it , maybe someday,yet the words are beautiful.I am sharing it on the blog and also sharing the link to his website.

http://dmprod.webs.com/thisisyoursong.htm

A dedication to 2 very special women in my lives, who have changed my life forever.Love you Alaka ma'am and dear Prisha!


World of silence, what they said
Hated the voices in my head
“Why she?” was what I was screaming
As the tears threatened their streaming

Then a voice,
So gentle
And with care
Told me there
“She is not doomed
“To silence”

Alka Hudlikar her name
Gentle woman, not for fame
She taught my daughter how
To speak out
Hear the sounds
And not freak out
And the words
My Prisha now could hear
Brought her near
Oh no, no more
No silence

Now my Prisha laughs and plays
And she fills up all my days
To hear her laugh and to converse
See the happiness
That now is hers
And to think,
No more,
No silence


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Explaining "jealousy"

Prisha's depiction of "Jealousy" in her heart
    Tonight I read a book about 2 friends who are best friends.In the book some where one gets jealous of the other and they both end up in a fight.So I thought I would discuss the feeling "jealousy".It is difficult to explain but the best way to do was to ask her a simple question which got sibling rivalry in good use.I asked her how she felt when her dad (they both adoooore their daddy.....me jealous) loved her brother.She said " am angry".
I asked her "how do you feel, explain, what do you feel in your heart." She pointed to her heart and made a pounding gesture and said her heart does that.And then she said "Every time dad takes Rishabh to see the car wash and not me.Inside my heart my eyes become big and my lips become curved and face is green".We found it so funny and had a good laugh.Now this word and feeling "jealous" is etched for ever in her mind.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Speech therapist finally

At the speech therapist
       Since our talk with the school and also our audiologist, we had been on a lookout for a speech therapist.I was doing it at home, but now we realized, she needed someone more than me.We moved here and our whole life has changed too.The whole field of language has changed as we needed to learn new concepts, new line of thinking, new words, new accents from across the world and all the concepts too have changed.Back in India we talked about temples, festivals of a different kind, food which was different,spoken English is very clear cut and without accents,clothes, seasons,rules of living......etc....everything is different.And so she needed so much more input and more exposure to language.Since the whole field has changed and so does need lots and lots of language input. We looked for the last 6 months for a speech therapist, but failed as most of the therapy is done in German.We had a very hard time as my input was just not enough.A speech therapist would be able to find out her gaps and we could all fill them up together.
     Then we did find one.After a lot of leads we did find Mrs.Essar who is German, does speech therapy in English and German and is also training to be a teacher.Before I registered, we had a long conversation with her about her techniques and methods and felt her English was better than most and we decided to come to her and see over the months how it goes.So started speech therapy sessions 2 times a week.
    Over few weeks that we have been with her, we can see more clearly the places where we need to work with her.As She has a different style of talking,prisha found it difficult to understand her, but she is getting used to it slowly and enjoys her sessions.She loves the worksheet given to her by her and does them regularly and happily.there are times i see my exhausted prisha , tired after 7 hrs at school, then to go for speech therapy.We have to go far, need 3 tram changes.So my husband has volunteered to pick us up so we save a lot of time changing trams each side.A car journey takes us 20 mins and trams 1 hour.So look forward to car rides as much as we can,keeping fingers crossed for husband to be in town on therapy days.
     Mrs.E finds us very motivated and hands on parents and wishes more people could take the sessions seriously.As it is covered by insurance, people take them lightly.many issues are there which we discuss regularly.I wish this kind of facilities were available in India so that more kids could get help.we pay for all the services by ourselves and so try and take as much as possible from what is available.Some parents cannot afford them and so go without it.Here the government gives so much aid for hearing aids,therapy sessions and also pay if the people do not turn up for the sessions.Wish they could appreciate it and take it more seriously.
     We are working on a lot of grammar, picture reading,putting them in order and writing a story.They are a great source of input fr us too.We are maintaining a journal so that we are able to see her growth over the months.Last week we worked on third person and this week we are working on pronouns.Lets see where we are heading.the only negative as of now, I have to sit outside the class as she does not allow parents to sit inside.So I have to either sit outside or go shopping!So do my weekly grocery shopping , big help and also extra clothes from the town centre close by!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Latest on Phonak update





  We have been to the audiologist this Thursday and we had the appointment with the technician from Phonak to help us the issues of Naida III and Naida IX.He explained that IX has many advanced functions which are not usable by child .All the features they interfere with each other which are too advanced and she will not be able to train to its uses but the issue of low amplification still remains with IX.And he felt III should be better for her too.But then he came up with another input.Naida .It has come with Naida S III.It processes more data.And has many more features and benefits over Naida III.Since we are still in the trial period of 3 months,the technician has suggested we try the Naida S III and V to see if it helps Prisha more.We are so excited of having hear much better with the the latest from Naida S III.The indent would soon be done and request to deliver is also to be sent.We would soon hear from them.I hope we are able to pin point the trouble we still face with her hearing.Though she is hearing better but we do face problems of immense background sounds despite the sound suppression being on.We do face it many times.We were away on a holiday to Switzerland and to tulip gardens in Amsterdam and Prisha could hardly hear anything in the car while we drove and also in open places where there was excessive background sounds.We are keeping our fingers crossed for early possessing of paper work and a call soon by Mrs.Wiesle.We really appreciate all that she is doing for us to make sure our little girl hears better.

http://www.phonak.com/de/b2c/de/products/hearing_instruments/naida-s/overview.html

http://www.phonak.com/content/dam/phonak/b2b/C_M_tools/Hearing_Instruments/Naida_S/Documents/02-gb/Flyer_BtC_Naida_S_III_GB_V1.00.pdf