Two weeks ago, Mark and I had a meeting with our Dutch SonRise team: Lila, Tamara and Hella (who doesn't play with Pelle but is our counselor). Pelle is doing great. He progressed on all of the 3 goals we set out for him, over half a year ago. Those goals were:
- learning to draw
- learning to play a game together
- learning to encage in pretend play.
We have seen little puppets arise, a plane, towers and numerous spirals. Pelle can play a simple board game now, and is able to take turns. He can also take on a role, pretending to be an animal or a figure from a favorite book. It’s not very elaborate, but the seeds we sowed are beginning to sprout.
And moreover, I admire him when I see the he is not only learning a lot at home but in the meantime also a lot of new skills in school. He’s starting to read rather well, I think. As for the math, I don’t exactly know it, because he doesn’t do this at home. His writing has also improved much, although it is still very large compared to his classmates. But it’s the progress he makes, that I enjoy, not the end result. And what’s also very apparent is that he’s a lot calmer. He’s able to concentrate, listen and focus far better that he ever has.
He is also moving more fluently. I saw a photo the other day where he’s painting in the garden, half a year ago. He’s holding his hands in a typical manner and I realized he’s not doing that anymore. He’s even starting to practice cartwheels everywhere he can.
We decided to introduce a new goal, learning to play alone (without a computer or electronic device). That means he has to postpone his need for attention from me or someone else. And what we see so far, by introducing 10 minutes of silent play while the other person is present but reading a book or doing something different, it is working out very fine. I think this is a goal we will achieve very soon. We go on with drawing, painting, introducing him to different materials and celebrating the love of being busy with it, not focusing on the fact that is has to resemble anything (as we suspect his inability to do so is holding him back). We go on with games and pretend play.
And with a bit of luck, we will be able to contract another player (our third!) as we probably will be getting a bit more money from youth aid to take care of him. Fingers crossed.