Our friends West, Courtney, Jax, and Maxine gave us a large ziploc bag filled with small individually wrapped gifts before we went to China, so TongJie would have something to keep him busy on the long flight home. What a thoughtful idea! Anyway, some of the toys were beyond TongJie's developmental level at the time so we've been saving them to introduce to him later. One of the items that we had sort of forgotten about was a little container of play dough, which we got out yesterday. I had to take a video because TongJie's reaction to it was so funny!
We've enrolled TongJie in a Birth to Three early intervention program, and he was evaluated yesterday to see if he would qualify for speech therapy services. He was evaluated last week for his development to see whether or not he would qualify for occupational therapy, and he did not qualify, which was great news. A child must have at least a 25% delay in order to qualify for services, so it was nice to find out that TongJie's motor skills, although a bit delayed, are catching up to where they should be. At his speech evaluation, however, it was clear that he will certainly need services for speech. That's what we were expecting, and we're really glad that we'll be able to start on speech therapy with him soon. His speech therapist has a lot of good resources for sign language, and she said that we can expect him to probably have a vocabulary of 100 to 150 signs by this time next year, with the way he's been picking up signs so fast. She said it's really common for kids with a cleft palate (especially if it's repaired when they're a little older like TongJie is) to have their speech delayed until three years old or so. So we're really glad that he's learning sign language so quickly because it helps us to be able to communicate with each other much easier.
This evening we went to the playground at Pioneer Park for the first time and TongJie had a great time. It was nice and shady and not crowded at all, and most of the time we had the whole playground to ourselves. I forgot to bring the camera though, so there are no pictures.