Wednesday, April 01, 2009

progress reports

This week Jonathan got his second Grade One report card of the year. It is interesting to see all the different ways his teacher is assessing him and how he is doing in these areas. Some of Jonathan's accomplishments are:

- consistently recognizing the letter J

- successfully going to the bathroom

- matching, and usually identifying, numbers 1-5

- naming some of his classmates and all of his teachers

- taking turns in a game

- making a cut in a piece of paper with scissors

When compared with his Grade One peers, who are writing letters and learning about punctuation, Jonathan's achievements may seem small. But for him, they represent big strides in his learning. It is wonderful to see how comfortable and at-home he is at school and to observe many people (kids from other classes, older students, staff) greet him by name. School is really Jonathan's second home and we are very grateful for how happy he is to be there.

This week Jonathan also had a regular checkup with the pediatric neurologist, the first appointment since his seizure and flu in February. He is now on two anticonvulsant medications, and the doctor affirmed that while he may have some breakthrough seizures, the drugs probably lessen the severity of the episodes and help contain the seizure in his brain, rather than it affecting his limbs and the rest of his body (which would explain why, when he had the seizure at school, the teacher did not really observe spasms, just unresponsiveness, eye-rolling, etc.). The doctor also confirmed that the seizure was likely triggered by the illness he had the next day -- she said that on the first day of a virus it is often in the bloodstream and only later does it settle in one area such as the throat or ear or whatever. So it is not surprising that Jonathan's last two seizures (in December and February) each came the day before he came down with a bad illness.

Sometimes we have so many questions about why Jonathan has these seizures, why he's developmentally delayed, whether one caused the other or they are unrelated ... and even the neurologist does not really know the answers to these questions. It is really a challenge to live with the unknown and with the mystery of why things are the way they are, and to be content without definite answers. We can say for sure that Jonathan brings a lot of joy into the lives of the people around him.

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