Thomas turned four in October, and the pace of his days has stepped up considerably with the addition of a private preschool schedule to his public one. He receives intensive communication therapy through The Elizabeth Academy‘s amazing Montessori readiness program, then heads to the local elementary school’s inclusive classroom for more fun with his peeps. Thankfully, he still has lots of time at home to pursue his favorite activities: pushing buttons (toys, telephones, doorbells), slamming doors (cabinet, dryer, bedroom), and banging lids (toilet and pot). His talent for spinning saucepan lids mesmerizes audiences and, we believe, guarantees him an illustrious future career. Recently diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Delay-Not Otherwise Specified (PPD-NOS), an autism spectrum disorder, in addition to his Trisomy 21 and auditory processing disorder), Thomas registers zero concern for his multiple disabilities and focuses instead on creating funky rhythms on the electronic keyboard. He creates his own Twilight Zone by consistently displaying clear knowledge of the alphabet, numbers, phonics, and basic shapes while adamantly refusing to speak a single word.
Once a chubby little baby with a big yell, Thomas is now a smooth-bellied, highly opinionated preschooler. His prime mode of transportation has transformed from wriggling to crawling to walking, and his shoes are his favorite possessions. He still loves rocking out to music, and ignores TV to tune in to his favorite CDs. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to watching him disappear down the street on the big yellow school bus, but he seems to enjoy the change in scenery a few hours per week. Thomas remains the highlight of the family, and while his determined ways can be exasperating, his humor, tenderness, and charm endear him to us all.
Read more about Thomas in my blog entries.