I had a meeting with the preschool today about Bright Eyes' progress.
In a nutshell, after the first two terms, everyone is very very happy.
Socially: He's enjoying people and relating to all the children and knows everyone's name. He's learning not to stand to close to people, and is asking other children for help if he needs it. Lots of the bigger girls take good care of him and play with him. (One little girl went home to tell her mother that she was so pleased that Campbell was doing well at something...)
Independence: He needs much less adult help in doing things like getting his lunch or his jacket. And in the last two days, he took himself to the toilet three times! Wow - toilet training might be possible!
Skills: He's definitely improving in his fine motor areas. At the beginning of preschool, he almost never used his hands at all except to hold objects (trains mostly) or match similar sized things up with each other. Now he's regularly painting and drawing (with encouragement), squishing playdough, and even beginnig to use scissors. Gross motor is good too. He follows along and does all the actions in the exercise times, whereas at the beginning he would do the first couple and then space out.
Group time: he loves stories and sits happily for the whole of group time. When he began, he needed to have a train or similar toy with him to keep him happy, but that's not necessary now.
Language: this is where he falls down. We agreed that he has delayed receptive language - in other words, he doesn't understand a lot of what we say to him. Correspondingly, his expressive language is stilted and still quite scripted. He mixes up his pronouns constantly, gives odd answers to questions and comes out with extraordinary things at strange times.
Our teacher knows that RDI does not focus on language skills per se. RDI follows the idea that if we do the work of reteaching the brain to relate correctly, the language should follow along. In any case, language is something that should be worked on secondary to the relationship skills.
She did ask, however, if we would consider going to a speech therapist at any point. I assured her that yes, probably we would end up at speech some time, but I'm not that worried about it just yet. Anyway, Bright Eyes name is down on the list for the public speechie at the local hospital, so it's a matter of waiting...
I asked them to be aware of their declarative language versus asking questions all the time, and to sometimes try to do without language altogether when relating to him. When I went to pick him up from the other room, I cleared my throat and Bright Eyes looked up immediately to see what was going on. The teacher saw me do it and understood what I was talking about.
Something that I have to start doing is to think about where he is going to go to school after next year (starting in January 2009 - the Australian school year is the calendar year for overseas readers.) That's a scary thought!