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It was parents evening and time to hear all about Charlotte's progress since joining her new class in September. The first sentence the teacher said was "Charlotte is very assertive, isn't she?". I guess that is a good word to describe Charlotte. She certainly knows what she wants and knows how to get it
They are very pleased with Charlotte's progress. They said she is such a determined little girl and really wants to learn. This is a good sign. She wants to take part in every activity and learns very quickly when shown a new thing to do and she wants to do things many times until she gets it right
She has settled very well into her new class and her new teacher said she was a pleasure to teach. Always enthusiastic and always wanting to help in every way she can. However, Charlotte has began to "tell tales" on her new classmates. When they are doing something wrong, or shouldn't be doing something then Charlotte let's the teachers know straight away!!
Charlotte works well with visual prompts and is now learning new words at a good rate. Not all words are clear, but hopefully this will come with time, practice and as she builds up her confidence with talking.
Charlotte is able to recognise most colours and is counting from 1-10 (however missing out 7) and recognises different shapes. She recognises the difference between weights - heavy and light and recognises the differences between Big, medium and small.
Charlotte particularly enjoys the cooking she does at school and is very enthusiastic about eating what she has made. Her teachers mention that she has a very healthy appetite and will try all things and is a good "role" model to other children who may be a little big fussy with their eating. However, she is not very happy and shows her displeasure when she is not allowed to eat the food she has made.
As always, we are very proud of Charlotte and what she is achieving. Her teacher said "I think she will go a long way". I intepret that to mean she will do very well will certainly make her own way in life. We have no doubt about this, with her determination she will achieve anything she puts her mind to
Samantha took Charlotte to her Childminder in Basingstoke yesterday for the start of half term week. It has been 2 months since Charlotte went and as they arrived at the estate Charlotte bursts into tears and said "no, mama, home"! She is comfortable being in a routine but soon settled in, she ate all her lunch enjoying the mini wrap and fruit Mummy had prepared.
At the grand old age of 5 years, 3 months, 2 weeks and 1 day Mummy had her first real conversation with Charlotte today. It went like
I know it sounds basic, and it is, but it went exactly like that in normal conversation time.It felt really good. She may still sound like she is speaking Klingon much of the time and the pronounciation may not be great due to the hearing loss but we are starting to understand her and communicate with her. The language is starting to come now and we look forward to her really progressing during in 2013.
I don't know why but I have never read the daily report book that Charlotte's School teachers and Samantha fill in every day to keep each other updated on her progress. I read the current book tonight,which dates back to the 3rd of September,and will now do so from every day as it gives me such hope and makes me feel immensely proud to see the progress she has made since starting at the Henry Tyndale School in Farnborough.I was beginning to doubt I would ever see her walk unaided or have a conversation with her but it is exciting to see the progress she is now making however small, each small step she achieves is actually a giant leap forward in our hopes for her future progress.
she has started trying to communicate a lot more recently. "s" words are very difficult as it is one letter, even with hearing aids, that she will never hear. Other high frequency sounds she may never hear are "t", "f", "sh","th" and "ch" so Charlotte may not be the easiest name for her.
She does now substitute letters she can hear for those she cannot,ie she says "poon" for "spoon" , "pork" for "fork" and substitutes "K" for "t" which is okay as "cat" becomes "cak" but she now tries it for "sock" which is not so good.
She has recently really started to communciate with an ever increasing number of 2 and 3 word phrases like "dada car home" recognising the time when I am usually about to get home. It is great when Sam tells me she knows what time I am due home and gets excited.
She has also started counting all the time 3,4,5, 8,9,10 mainly as the others are more difficult. Her pronounciation may not be perfect as she cannot hear all of them properly but more importantly she recognises them. New words are coming all the time and the latest are "cooking" and "beans" she likes baked beans. She recognises both our cars and will point at them saying "dada Car" or "mama car".
And yesterday we had fabulous news from school that she can recognise her friends names from a chart. she also loves seeing her name written and becomes excited by it, although she is "karlotte".
We were sent a wheelchair last month but she undertands what it is and seeing so many children at school permanently in wheelchairs refuses to use it and has become even more determined to walk. She clearly wants it so much and tries so hard and is not put off every time she only manages a few steps and falls. Her left leg does still drag often and she gets tired quickly but she asks for her walker and will not give up. We are so proud of her. She will never run but she will walk unaided one day . If there were an olympic gold awarded for determination she would win it .
Charlotte went to see Dr Dempster at Frimley Park this morning for an assessment of her leg since the Botox injection.He was very pleased with her and does not want to give her her repeat course at the moment as she is doing so well.
There isn't a maximum number of times she can have it but he did say the body can build up antibodies against it and over time it does become less effective. He said if she starts walking on tip toe again then we should book an appointment to see him earlier. In the meantime he will review her again on the 4th February.
Today was Charlotte's first day back at school and she was not impressed by being woken up early and dragged out of bed. She still refuses to wear her hearing aids at home and says "no" if we indicate we would like her to wear them and will pull them off within seconds. Her Teacher put them on this morning and she wore them all day without taking them off once, so yes she is just playing us up.
Samantha took Charlotte to Frimley Park Hospital 13:00pm today where she was admitted to the Day Ward before her repeat course of Botox Injections in her left leg. Poor Charlotte suffered "empty belly syndrome" as she is not allowed to eat anything until after the injections. Unfortunately there were delays and it was a couple of hours before she was found a bed on the ward and then she was not wheeled into Theatre until just after 16:30.
As per her last visit on the 10th April 7 or 8 Dr's hovered round Charlotte in the Theatre but she bravely faced them off. They gave her two injections again but unlike last time she just took it in her stride. The Dr remarked that he did not know why they bothered giving Anesthetic when the child takes it as easily as Charlotte. But our brave little Lottie Lou Low has had more injections and seen more Hospitals than most people do in their lieftime. The only grumbling coming from Charlotte was emanating from her very empty belly.
We will wait around 48 hours as before and then really start concentrating on physio on her leg 3 times a day and keep fingers crossed that we see some permanent improvement. As before we have around a 3 month window before the Botox wears off.
It is hard to believe 5 years has passed since it all started on Friday 13th July 2007 when at approx 11 am Samantha was rushed to Frimley Hospital and it ended over 52 sleepless hours later at 13:31 pm on Sunday 15th July at St Mary's Hospital Portsmouth when Charlotte was delivered.
Charlotte is now 5 years old. Where have the last 5 years gone? We continue to be very proud of our little Lottie Lou and will never forget her fight for life at the beginning of her life. Charlotte has now just finished her first year at school and we are now starting to see some real changes in Charlotte. Her language and communication is coming on and although every word is not clear due to her hearing issues, she is making very good progress. I have stopped counting the number of words Charlotte has, partly because I know that the words are now coming and I feel confident that Charlotte will talk.
I would estimate she has between 150 - 200 words now. She is putting 2 and 3 words together, examples: "I got it", "Where's dada gone" "bedtime, mama come". "Mama come here", "Look a plane". It really is a joy to listen to her now communicating her needs and after waiting so long for her words, its a very exciting time for us all.
She is quite the little madam, and is becoming increasingly concerned about her image. On a recent shopping trip to buy some new shoes, she was very specific about what she wanted and after I presented shoe after shoe to her, only to be met with a very loud "NO", she was sitting in a shopping trolley and she shouted"that way" and then "this way" and pointed out some very pretty pink glittery shoes. I can see we are going to have trouble in the future with shoes !
Charlotte can now count most numbers 1 - 10 (waiting for 7) and can identify the numbers on flashcards too. She recognises all common colours and can name them. She knows the names of lots of animals and is starting to say the names of common household objects, door, phone. She understands a lot more now and will usually understand most common instructions but she is so cheeky that when I ask her to do something it is usually met with a very loud "NO".
Charlotte has managed 22 steps unaided, however, this was just a few weeks after her first set of botox injections into her left leg. Usually, about 8 or 9 steps is what she can manage. However, she is speedy gonzalez in her walker. I never, ever thought I would have to chase after her as she literally runs in her walker.
Charlotte is such a sweet little girl - when she's not having her tantrums. She has real empathy for other children in her school that are maybe a little less fortunate than Charlotte and whenever they are in tears she will try to make them feel better by stroking their arms.
Unfortunately mum was ill with food poisoning over the Birthday weekend and on explaining what was wrong to Charlotte, she actually understood and said "mama, belly hurt", she came over, rubbed my tummy and gave me a kiss. So sweet.
It will be interesting to see how much progress Charlotte makes in the next year after another year at her school Henry Tyndale in Farnborough. She has made amazing progress this year, and we are sure that after another year at her school we will see big changes again.
Happy 5th Birthday to our sweet, special little girl.
Samantha took Charlotte to an 11am appointment at the Fracture clinic at Frimley Park Hospital,for a review of her progress since the Botox injections. He leg has become stiffer again although she can stil lput her foot flatter than before. The Consultant decide another course in the left leg would be beneficial and then a course in her right leg a few months later. She has an appointment at the Day ward at Frimley Park 31st July