So, I didn't mean to take a month off. The devil (ok, the DOE, but they share many attributes, no?) made me do it. Maya started kindergarten on September 9th, so tomorrow will be the end of her fourth week of school. We still don't have busing. Her school is a bit of a hike from here, and when you add in time for bathroom and diaper changes and snacks and talking to teachers, Will and I are commuting for around 4 hours a day.
This leaves me with enough "free time" to keep our home a 1/4th clean, to cook dinner 2 or 3 times a week, to barely keep up with the class that I'm taking this semester, and to keep arguing with the DOE and office of transportation about busing. I didn't even manage to bill a single hour for my job in the month of September. Much like my over-used car, I am running on fumes.
But it's worth it, because Maya's school is good. We're still settling in, but they understand communication devices and jumped right in with the talker. They are firm and consistent with the I'm-going-to-test-every-single-situation-and-person-here Maya that emerges in new settings. They see her strengths.
Speaking of strengths . . .at back-to-school night I listened to curriculum discussions and then wondered where Maya's literacy level (letter recognition, etc) is. I picked up a book and asked her about a few words, and she surprised me. Yesterday I wrote a few sentences, and she actually was able to read them with the talker. I tried again at breakfast this morning (because nothing counts until it's video documented, right?), check it out:
Literacy is so, so, so important for Maya, and other AAC users. Once you can spell, you can say anything---even if you don't have a button for a particular word. Just a few weeks ago she was using the starting letter sound to try to tip me off as to the new button she wanted me to add to her talker . . . once she can read and approximate spelling, she can learn how to do the programming herself! (Oh boy. I can only imagine what will end up in there.)
This is where I would typically sum things up, but I'm too tired to even come up with an ending. Today was kind of a lousy day, and this video was my silver lining. There you go.