Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pleasantly Surprised

First, Halloween.  It started out in the morning with Eli & I in tears as I was trying to get his costume on him to wear for kindergarten.  I got my hopes up--him being excited to go trick-or-treating & telling me he wanted to be a "green monster!"  So I couldn't help getting my hopes up.  To only get them dashed when he wouldn't wear it, trust me I tried any persuasion & threats, nobody was going to get him to wear his costume.

And in my anger I texted Eli's therapists: "I will be forever grateful if you guys come up with a way for him to wear his costume for trick or treating tonight!! I'm trying everything & he won't wear it for school but if tonight he wears it I will be in heaven :) thanks & good luck!!"

I called Chad on the way to school disappointed but soon after dropping him off for school, I started to relax & realize it's not a big deal if Eli doesn't wear his costume.  And started to prepare myself mentally that I'll be OK if he doesn't.

But his therapists came up with a plan!  Eli practiced trick-or-treating at our house! Eli put on his costume & him and the therapist went outside & would take a short walk come knock on the door & grab a treat!  So Eli would connect the trick-or-treating to wearing his costume. :) And it worked!  Eli put on the costume for the trunk-or-treat without any crying!  And he wore it while we ate chili, then went to about 15 cars to grab some candy.  He was satisfied with his bucket of candy, came to the car the rest of the time with me--tore off his costume and opened all his candy.  (Only ate the starbursts & nerds..)  But he wore it while he went trick-or-treating & I couldn't of been more pleased with the progress he made so quickly from our morning dilemma together to the 5:30 trunk-or-treat.  His therapists are amazing, once again I LOVE ABA therapy.


Mike Wazowski
Second, school program.  I told my friend that I am not expecting Eli to participate in the school program.  And she said, "but you will be pleasantly surprised if he does." And I was.  I was "pleasantly surprised."  He graduated in May this year from preschool & he stood with the rest of the kids up at the front of everyone but didn't help sing any of the songs.  He just stood there & looked cute.  It's now November, 6 months later & I didn't expect anything to change.  Mostly from experience getting your hopes up only makes you crash hard when it doesn't happen.  But he participated in the songs.  It was so darling & I was crying tears.  I was so proud of him.  He was shy about the last two songs but I was so pleased with him participating.  (I will post a video eventually..)

Now I want to clarify some things before you comment.  I am getting better, slowly but surely, at not expecting Eli to want or do what the typical kid his age does.  But it's hard to not want those things so badly for him. (I can't explain how badly in words, but I know any mother who has a child that is noticeably different understands me.)  And when you think it's just a Halloween costume, it wasn't for me.  When he understood what trick-or-treating was the week before & wanted to go so badly I thought that meant the costume part as well.  And I let myself get my hopes up.  When your kid is different you just want some common ground between him and the kid next door.  Because he can't talk as good, ride a bike as well, catch/throw a ball very well, share with others, understand as much, or share his thoughts as well as a typical 5 year old--and the list goes on--I let myself expect him to wear his costume & that's why I was in tears when he wouldn't.  Not because of the costume but because it hit me hard how different he is from kids his age.

These moments actually happen rarely these days.  For the most part I am SO HAPPY with the progress he is making.  I am not going to lose hope, but I will not expect him to be at certain points in his life & be disappointed when he doesn't reach certain criteria.  It's too heartbreaking and it isn't fair for Eli.  He puts his best effort into his therapy & tries so hard--that he needs my encouragement, support, positive attitude & love instead of disappointment.  If only I didn't cry Halloween, but I did & want you to know I am getting better.  Such as my theme for this blog, "live & learn."  I apply it and am only growing from my life experiences.

Our book club is reading a book this month called, Wonder.  I haven't started it yet but when I was reading about the book--this line stuck out to me:

.."you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out."

Maybe Eli isn't meant to blend in.  


Hope you enjoyed reading & if you have any thoughts on my words above please leave me a message!  I love to hear from my readers.

Love,
Katie


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Updates in progress & a reminder for Eli someday.


Eli is doing so well at school--I wanted to finally document some of the progress he has made before it's old news!
Eli is TRACING!! This is EPIC :) & can now recognize most numbers 1-10.  He wasn't tracing this summer & numbers was beyond him until recently.  I am one happy mama.

Eli has never loved coloring but now he is at least trying to stay in the lines!  Where before he never even tried to just stay in the lines.  I am AMAZED at his effort.  He is trying hard & I love him so much for it!


YouTube Video of Eli :) Counting from 1 to 25!!  For the longest--longest time he was only counting to 10.  Now he can count to 25.  Enjoy!!  

Eli is doing so good & working hard at it.  Love his progress SO MUCH!! LOVE him even more!!

This is the first year Eli is excited for Halloween and I can tell that he knows what he is talking about!!  We have mentioned trick-or-treating & that night all we heard from him was, "I want to go trick-or-treating!!"  Then I asked him what he wants to be for Halloween & he has told me, "green monster!"  So I am DIY a Mike Wawoski (totally slaughtered his last name..), but I have showed him the costume & he says he is dressing up.  So cross your fingers all my time and effort isn't worth nothing or else Charlotte gets to be a green monster next year!  So I will keep you updated on how Halloween goes this year.  Hope you enjoy your Halloween!!

With love, Katie

This next part is a message for Eli!  When I have printed this blog into a book :) & it's his!  Thanks for cheering my boy on & me.  I appreciate it.

Eli, I was reading an article about autism & it gave great advice that I had to keep note of for you to read someday. It's called, What's Right With The Autistic Mind, By Temple Grandin & Richard Panek.
It is true that as a society we focus on the deficits of autism & I as your mother let these deficits worry me & tend to focus on them more than I should. I am going to do better & hope that when your old you will know I have loved you for who you are, for your strengths & weaknesses, & have done what I can to help your weaknesses become strengths.
And now I want to quote from this article, a message for you:
"I'm certainly not saying we shouldn't work on deficits. But the focus on deficits is so intense and so automatic that people lose sight of the strengths...... For me, autism is secondary. My primary identity is as an expert on livestock. Autism is part of who I am, but I won't allow it to define me. Some peoples difficulties are simply too severe for them to ever have the same opportunities I have. But for so many people on the spectrum, identifying their strengths can change their lives.  Instead of only accommodating their deficits, they can cultivate their dreams."

So Eli, let's focus on your strengths. Life can be tough--but don't focus on the negative. See the positive, see the potential in your strengths & go for your dream!  I love you buddy & will always be here cheering you on.

Love your mother.  XOXO.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I know

I read something just barely--that I needed to hear, that I will share in just a minute.  Lately, I've been thinking there is no way Eli will be ready for kindergarten next year.  Don't get me wrong, he is making a TON of improvements but he is starting from pretty much ground zero I feel like.  Every time we do his homework I just think, there is no way he will be doing this in a year because he doesn't understand most of it.  So I've been a little bummed when I would think about it.

Anyhow, before I continue..  Regarding my post about, "A Friend" the girl is still saving him a spot before class, during circle time & asking him to play during recess.  The other day we walked in & she gave him a big hug!  Her mom says she wants to do a play date & Eli is one of the reasons her daughter is excited about school!!  (Why do I worry?!)  FYI, Chad didn't agree with that last post.  Eli & friends is something Chad doesn't worry about with him.  And that last post was me just being a worrier, which most moms are good at--so I am sorry!

And another progress update: Eli is no good at sharing, anyone who has had their kid play with Eli knows this to be a FACT.  But today the therapist told me Eli did great playing with a few kids & a dollhouse.  A kid would ask for something Eli had & he would share it.  AMAZING.  I almost cried tears, my little boy is getting it.  Slowly but surely.

K back to what I read & needed to hear & wanted to share.

"..hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes."
                                                                                                        -Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

I don't know what Eli's future is going to bring.  Maybe he will be ready for kindergarten next year, maybe not.  I think it's OK for me to hope that he will be ready & do all I can do to help make that happen.  But because I don't know, I need to remember the things I do know.

Random photo: 4th of July--Eli enjoying the fireworks.
And this is what I know:

1. Eli is a child of God.
2. Heavenly Father loves Eli more than I do.
3. Heavenly Father knows Eli better than I do.
4. Heavenly Father gave Eli this struggle for a purpose.  (And me this struggle for a purpose.)
5. I was given Eli to love, nurture, teach, & help him reach his potential--& am capable of this.
And last but not least.
6. Heavenly Father hears my prayers & answers them.  (Not always how I expect them to be answered---BUT because He loves me & Eli & has a plan for us, I know He knows best.)

I LOVE what I know.  It makes me not stress so much about the future, about things I can't do anything about right now.  We are getting Eli the help he needs & doing what we can for him.  Everything is going to be OK.  I LOVE IT.  Heavenly Father has our backs, if we just let Him.

Remind me of this post--if I get a little down. ;)

Goodnight.
Love,
Katie



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Friend

It warmed my heart to hear just last week that Eli has a friend.  Something that right now he doesn't have a lot of--in the sense of your typical 5 year old friend(s).  The therapist mentioned this to me as we were leaving school.  He said, "Eli has a friend.  She asked him to sit by her today."  He told me her name as well & that she's very nice to him.  And just this morning when I dropped Eli off at school, the teacher said to him, "You like to sit by _____, come sit here."  The same girl the therapist told me about.
It made me SO happy!  A little scared--I have no idea how long he can keep a friend & hope he doesn't ruin it.  (As bad as that sounds, it's true.)  But this girl must be a sweetheart and can see that he needs someone.  Who knows though... I am just happy he has a friend, even if it's for a short period.

In another sense--Eli has a lot of friends!!  He turned 5 August 23rd & although it causes me so much stress to throw a party, I did.  And Eli had a blast, making all the effort put into it worth it.
Everyone came & I was so worried no one would.  So we had a house full of  handsome little boys with a beautiful girl cousin to celebrate Eli's birthday!  I was going to post a pic of all the kids & their fun, but I didn't get permission from parents & didn't want to worry about that.  So you will have to believe me..

We stayed up late the night after his party--playing with all his new, fun toys!

One of Eli's cake--luckily it tasted better than it looked!


Always, gotta have a grandparent party :)
One happy birthday boy!

Although, friends may not be the easiest for him to make right now, with the progress he is making I believe it will get better in the future.  The hardest part for me, is knowing he wants to make friends.  Seeing the joy it brings him to have friends to run around with & getting excited to see his cousins--I know he wants those relationships.
When both therapists went to school with Eli the other day, when they came home to do therapy with Eli they told me about something they witnessed.  Two girls were just chatting away while Eli was sitting across from them during snack time & he would look from one girl to the other as they were talking & would smile like he knew what they were talking about.  Which I believe he did know what they were talking about, just for right now he is unable to join in.  And it hurts at times but I am slowly getting tougher.
I believe I will always worry for my little boy, but it's OK.  He will be made strong early on in life, with the hand he has been dealt.
Love him & even though he may have some setbacks he is still a blessed boy.

Love,
Katie  




Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fire Truck

Summer is over & now he is off to school!  He started at Bravo Arts Academy August 15th & it is going well.  I once mentioned how Eli during preschool, when I would ask him, "what did you do at school today?"He would ALWAYS reply, "bus!"  Well, Monday after picking him up from school, I asked, "What did you do at school today?" And he said, "Firetruck!"  I just held my breath & crossed my fingers that in his backpack was proof of something of a firetruck.  Opened his backpack to find this:


Eli is showing improvement, quicker than I can post!  I was so happy that he could tell me what happened at school, if he chooses to do so.  At least for the most part.  Someday, hopefully I will get to hear about friends/girls & teachers!
But I am thrilled to see progress!

This is a short post, but I had to at least post so you knew we were alive and well!!
Thanks for reading.

Love,
Katie

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Eli & his ABC's

It's been over a month since my last post.  But no one has complained--I think it's because it's summer. (Well, & I probably don't have a ton of readers--which is fine.  This blog is more for me to look back on & Eli someday.) I hope everyone is enjoying their summer as much as I am.  This is the quickest summer of my life & I can't believe it's mid-July.  I had to stop and take time to post, because even though the summer is going by quick--Eli is making progress that I wanted to take note of.

I tried to share a video once & I don't think anyone was able to watch it.  So I finally got a youtube account and posted my video online--hoping you will be able to view his progress! (I don't know any other way to share a video..)

Eli's therapist has been working like crazy with Eli & his ABC's.  When Eli left preschool he could identify only a couple of his alphabet.  So that was end of May when he graduated.  Eli right now is going to summer school, besides his therapy sessions.  And just this week when I picked Eli up from his preschool, his teacher said, "Eli is doing so well with his alphabet.  Even in random order, and he knows the hard ones like, W."  I was so pleased to hear this!!  Sometimes I wonder if he does things only for his therapist, so it is nice to hear him use the knowledge he is learning somewhere else!!

Here is a video of Eli practicing his ABC's:

Eli's YouTube Video


Hopefully, you can click the above line & it will take you to Eli's movie!  Let me know if it doesn't work..

Eli is talking SO much more.  He is putting sentences together & he is copying things he hears Chad & I say.  He is also learning to be more independent.  He is finally dressing himself.  And just two days ago he went potty without having to tell Chad & I that he was going!  Which is nice, so that he doesn't have an accident if he can't reach us.

You can tell Eli is so happy with his own progress--being able to communicate better & proud when he says or does new things.  It's crazy to think he has a therapist come 5 days a week, from 1:15-3:45 each day.  Poor guy--& some days it isn't easy on him.  But because of this ABA therapy, he is making this progress & one day he will be grateful for us pushing him so hard.

I am so happy Eli is able to continue learning, each day I am learning to be ok that it's at a different speed than most kids.  I am just so grateful that he is able to learn & keep progressing.  I love this boy SO much!  He is teaching me A LOT & helping me to be a better person, (although it's a very slow process & hope he can forgive me for my mistakes & impatience a long the way.)

Here's some pics from our latest vacation in Lava.  LOVED this trip & so did this boy!



He calls swimming, "swims!" 

Eli had SO much fun with his cousins!  We have a great family.

I have more I want to post--but should get started on my Monday.  Enjoy your week!

Love,
Katie

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bravo Arts Academy

I said I would let you know my new plan for Eli--& I would do it pretty soon.  First off, I shouldn't tell people what I am going to do, because usually the opposite happens unfortunately.  I was hoping to post before our vacation--but it never happened & I am gonna quickly let you know what we decided for Eli next year, right now. :)

First we were going to meet the teacher at Freedom Elementary for his life skills class, if we felt like it was a good fit--we would then sign the papers & that is where Eli would be going to school.  So we met the teacher--seemed like an awesome lady & I was feeling excited for Eli.  Well shortly after meeting the teacher, the lady in charge took us to the meeting room--me thinking we would be signing the papers--but instead she tells us that Eli would no longer be going to Freedom Elementary & instead Roy Elementary.  Which was the first bummer--although I am sure Roy would of been fine.  The BIGGEST DECISION CHANGER was that they weren't going to let Eli's ABA therapist go to school with him.

As soon as she said this, my mind was made up.  Because I already had the impression to give Eli another year to try and catch up--and Chad & I had a back up plan.

He will be 5, August 23.  So I am guessing the deadline for school is Sept 1st (correct me if I'm wrong), so Eli misses the deadline by a week!  My first hope was that they would let Eli do another year of preschool--but that wasn't even an option.  And in the IEP meeting (a meeting you can have each year if your kid has special needs) when I talked about letting Eli do another year of kindergarten--they first let me know it would be hard to make that happen BUT they think parents should make that decision with an emphasis on it being HARD to do.  :)

Oh my goodness--I hope I am not writing too late and this all makes sense when I am through!

So IF Eli would of went to Freedom Elementary this year--he would go to school ALL DAY Monday through Friday in life skills--then have his 15 hours a week of one on one therapy with his ABA instructor.  And I just thought of this little boy, barely 5 who still falls asleep in the car when I drive anywhere at 4PM--going to school all day & therapy on top of that each night.  His little brain being exhausted, tired, & never having time as a family or to himself.  So when the school wouldn't allow the therapist & I knew it'd be hard to hold him back if I ever wanted to--it felt SO RIGHT to take him out of the system this coming year.

We decided on Bravo Arts Academy in Washington Terrace.  He will be going to kindergarten there.  It's nice because in his preschool he had a lot of peers as examples & at Bravo it will be the same.  I like that.  It will be a small class & his therapist gets to join him!  Which I like cause I can ask the therapist how Eli is doing with the kids!  And his therapist will know what the teacher expects & can work on those things with Eli.  And I am sure his therapist can help determine how to help Eli with social skills.

Anyhow, I feel at peace with my decision.  Eli is coming a far way--he just graduated preschool & is going to summer school.  His therapist is working on Eli's alphabet & it's so nice to see him start to recognize letters & learn the alphabet song.  Just yesterday his therapist asked him out of ten letters, "what is this letter?"  And Eli said, "Y."  Then the therapist said, "point to the letter R."  And Eli pointed to the right letter.  I am THRILLED.

So that's the plan: Bravo Arts Academy--kindergarten.  Then I am sure they will test him again next year in the public system & my goal for him is Alternative K.  It's a step up from life skills.  Then I hope for him to be able to start going to 1st grade 2015.  It's nice to have goals.  I am going to shoot for the stars & hopefully be emotionally prepared if life deals me differently.  No I will be ready.

That was a short post, right?  Ha ha.  Night.  If you have any questions let me know!  Also, they are opening the program for 35 more kids with autism.  The ABA program that I seriously LOVE!!  If you know anyone that has a kid with autism--(I think they have to be 5 & under unfortunately, but I can check)--that would LOVE to have a chance for these services please let me know!

(Also, I am not mad at the school system.  I understand that the people really do want what's best for the individual child--but there's rules that need to be followed which is just part of life.)

Night
Katie

Monday, May 27, 2013

"Love you"

I have wanted to post about this for about a month now--but just haven't. I love documenting Eli's progress & know that looking back on this will be enjoyable in the long run.

I don't remember if I've posted about how BADLY I have wanted Eli to tell me, "I love you."  In case I haven't--this is something that I wanted very badly!  For my boy to tell me he loves me--with words. Don't worry I already knew he did--with his super big, long, cuddly hugs---thank goodness. But I knew I'd be super excited when he said it with words!!

In the past, right before leaving his bedroom for bedtime I'd say, "Eli say I."  Then he'd say, "I." I'd say, "love." And you get the point--I'd force my boy to say, "I love you" one word at a time with me encouraging each word! Ha ha--I am ridiculous. I just hoped one day it'd catch on. And trust me I've been doing this for WELL over a year.

So about a month ago, the first time he said it--I wasn't quite sure I heard him right. It was to his sister as he was leaving her room for her to go to bed. I may have said, "say I love you." And Eli said, "love you!" As he was walking out of her room. Because I wasn't sure I didn't make a big deal about it. Then the next morning as chad was walking out the door to leave to work, Eli says, "love you."  I was so excited--crying tears of joy!! Didn't matter that his first two times were directed to everyone else in the family but me--ha ha! But now he says it every night. I no longer have to ask him to say it. As I'm walking out and say, "I love you."  He replies, "love you."  Sweetest thing ever. And means the world to me. The other night as Chad finished putting him to bed--chad comes over and says, "you know it's not easy for Eli to say that."  As in Eli has to put a lot of thought into it & concentrate. And it's so true--with everything he is learning he has to put forward SO much effort & nothing in the learning category comes easy for him.  


I love that little boy & am so grateful for him putting those two words together for me. I hope he keeps trying to progress & puts forth the effort to learn new things and grow in ways that are hard for him.

I love you Eli!

We can all do hard things.  I need to try harder to do harder things :) Hope you all enjoyed your Memorial weekend.

With love,
Katie

P.S. I want to be posting soon about what we decided to do for Eli next year--its not Freedom Elementary any more!  I will post soon about our decision without putting it on FB.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Eli & his sentences!

Eli is now putting three words together for sentences!! I LOVE it!!  I know that it's because of his ABA training, the one on one help he gets for three hours a day.  Because they were working on, "I want...", he now says it ALL the time for things he wants.  Chad & I couldn't be happier.  Plus he started saying other sentences!  When he grabs a hold of Chads leg, he says, "I got leg!" And the other day he went to grab himself a fork, & as he was coming back to the table he said, "I got fork!"

Then just yesterday--we have the sweetest neighbors & Dale came over & brought Eli a package of Goldfish.  It was so cute, Eli couldn't be happier!  After giving Dale a hug & saying thanks he brought the package to me.  He first said, "I want fish!" Then he said, "I need help!"  To open the package.  I was stoked!  Usually when he asks for help, he will only say, "help!"  But I think he is starting to understand how to use more words for the things he needs.  I am in love.  Seriously.

He is making a lot of progress.  His teacher sent home a note saying that Eli sang the words to the song, "Pete the cod" & "I love my red shoes."  She said it was so cute & she wishes she could of recorded it! With his ABA training he is also learning, "If you're happy & you know it" & "Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes."  I don't know how many times I have tried to get him to do "Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes" with me but to no avail.  And now he sings all the words--he isn't fast yet but he knows what to do!

I am so excited for Eli's future.  I feel bad when I share moments of discouragement, I am sorry.  Especially to those moms who have special needs kids, who aren't going to get better in different aspects of life such as physical or cognitive.  My heart goes out to moms of special needs kids.  It's crazy how everyone has a different trial & I hope whichever yours is, it only makes you stronger, resilient, & grateful for the life you have.  And if you don't have a trial right now, count your many blessings!

We just went on a trip to St. George & the kids had a blast!  It was funny because Chad & I came home exhausted--it made me remember the camping trips my parents took us on & it was really for us kids--not my mom & dad.  It's crazy what parents do for their little ones, to help them explore life, give them fond memories & hope with all their heart they grow up well.  Any--who-- here are some photos from the trip!


Swimming everyday--Eli did so well with his floaty's & would say, "swims!" for swimming.  I didn't have a fun picture of him but you get the point.  I think he is ready for swimming lessons this year...  Last time was awful.

Sand Hollow, rode the four wheeler.  It was hot, but at least he will wear his helmet!

Eli was a determined hiker.  So focused.  We were proud.  I think we need to teach him how to rock climb this summer.

There he was at the top!

Eli did so well crossing this path at the park--but after doing it once he didn't stop.  He kept going up the stairs to get to this path, then went down the slide--then back up the stairs.  I think it might be an autism thing--but this boy LOVES sticking to routine & what he is familiar with!


And I wanted to let people know--although Occupational Therapy wasn't for Eli at this time, I still believe it to be great for kids with autism.  But with his therapist leaving & them not having one for us until they hired someone else, plus ABA therapy giving him 15 hours a week, I just didn't feel it worth our time right now.

Hope you enjoy your Wednesday!

Love,
Katie


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Freedom Elementary

I woke up 6 AM this morning, unable to go back to sleep with tears in my eyes.  Feeling bad for oneself is the worse, it's non productive & gets you nowhere.  And even when you try to think about other people who have or had a lot worse trials in their life--it doesn't help.  You still feel bad for yourself in that moment.  So this morning I am writing, it always helps me feel better, clear my head & look on the bright side of things.  Which I have A LOT to be grateful for.  Especially when it comes to  Eli.

I have good news that I am SO SO happy about & grateful for.  They just passed a new amendment for the autism waiver Eli is on & he gets the ABA services until he turns 7!!  He is gonna need all the help he can get & I believe this therapy is gonna be life changing for Eli.  Eli turns 5 in August--so that's 2 years and a few months of one on one therapy for 15 hours a week.  WOW.  This gives me the utmost hope for Eli's future & him being able to learn important skills he can use throughout his life.

Friday we met for our transfer meeting for Eli--which was to decide where he will be going next year to school?!  There were three options, Eli goes to regular kindergarten & gets pulled out for a little bit of resources, OR Eli goes to this one year kindergarten where the kids are a little bit behind & the teachers work hard to have the kids ready for 1st grade next year, OR he goes to Life Skills which is a class for all kids between kindergarten & 6th grade ranging from all different kinds of physical & mental disabilities/delays.  They believe Eli will do best in Life Skills.  There is a teacher and a few aids for the kids.  He will be going to kindergarten all day.  In two weeks I am going to meet the teacher and see the class.  They believe this option is best because of his communication delay & I agree.

I can't believe I agree, but I do.  I can't see him ready to start writing yet and him understanding everything a typical kindergarten kid can & I think he would just be left behind because it wouldn't be fair for a teacher to focus on just Eli's needs.  But it's crazy that I agree--because if I was told this a year ago--I would of gone bizerk.  But time has gotten me ready for this, so that I can be somewhat strong.  For example, in January Eli brought home in his backpack a paper that I could use for my taxes--like a tax cut for having a kid with delays.  I cried when I got that piece of paper.  I didn't want it.  Or the fact that Eli still is having a hard time recognizing the alphabet, can't sing the alphabet song, and still doesn't count to ten perfectly.  These are all things that are a reality.

But I still have hope burning inside. I may get discouraged at times because of news like this & it seems impossible that he will ever catch up--but I believe with the therapy he will be receiving for 2 years & help from school he could be on his way.

I believe it does A LOT of good to write down goals & see them often.  So here is my goal for Eli:

For Eli to be able to go to typical 1st grade when he is 7 years old.  Year 2014.

"I have come to know that faith is a real power, not just an expression of belief. There are few things more powerful than the faithful prayers of a righteous mother."   -President Boyd K. Packer   
I read his recent general conference talk this morning & wanted to share this quote--that helps me relax about Eli's future & put my trust in our Heavenly Father.    

I will write more about this goal later.  I just needed to write until I felt stable and not sad anymore!!  But I am always late to church so I need as much time as possible to get ready ;)

Side note Eli's progress with ABA:  they are working on him saying, "I want ...." & "I see ...." Because he has a lot of vocabulary but doesn't know how to put two words together they are working on sentences!!! Which is flipping exciting--Eli saying sentences!!!  So at home on his own, last Sunday he woke up in the morning & said, "I want bacon!"  Instead he would usually just say, "bacon!"  Then we were going out to eat & he said, "I want lemonade!"  You have no idea how happy we were!  He definitely got a lemonade.  Then Friday he put two words together saying, "red box!"  He of course got a red box.  For him to be forming sentences & putting two words together is HUGE progress & headed towards the right direction.

Eli with his Aunt Jodi!


K I really gotta stop writing.  Right now.  Enjoy your Sunday!!

WAIT-- if anyone at all knows anything or has any thoughts about the Special Ed program at Freedom Elementary, the teacher----PLEASE SHARE!!  It's not a for sure thing & I would love your input.

Love,
Katie

Sunday, March 24, 2013

ABA

It has been a month since I posted--and all my fault.  I really don't have any self control when it comes to good food & books.  So a long time ago after reading the Twilight Series, I told myself no more fiction books.  Well that was kind of dumb, because in reality I just need to learn some self control.  But about a month ago I started 2 different series & got lost in my books & did nothing else.  It didn't take me a month to read these books thank goodness--ACTUALLY maybe it should of took me a month to finish, so then I would of practiced self control.  BUT anyhow, after finishing these series it then took me a week to get my life back in order.  And a resolve to still read good books BUT not get totally lost in them that I am staying up way too late & getting behind on every single mundane thing a mother does.
Now that I am done talking about books--since the reason you read this blog is to learn more about Eli, I shall get to the point.

To sum it up real quick, for those who don't want to keep reading--I LOVE ABA & WILL PROBABLY STOP OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY.  

I have nothing against my occupational therapist & she is actually leaving at the end of April, so I will finish my last two appointments with her & will have no choice but to be done until they hire someone to replace her.  But this ABA program has been going on since last Friday & with what I have seen so far, I don't feel the Occupational Therapy once every 2 weeks will be that effective.  Maybe I will change my mind, but so far I am thinking of replacing it with speech therapy instead 

This ABA program is a miracle & I wish every kid with autism could have the opportunity to be helped with it.  But it is so nice to have them come to my home because it gives Chad & I the opportunity to learn their ways & over time be able to copycat their methods.

Eli has 2 therapists & they come for a total of 15 hours a week.  INSANELY LUCKY I KNOW.  I actually asked for 10 hours a week, but she gave me 15 knowing how badly Eli needed that extra help. When I found that out, it's one of those moments, (that I have a lot of lately,) where I realize how behind Eli really is.  And it can be sad, but I only let it be sad for a moment. :) I am grateful she knew Eli needed 15 hours a week of one on one therapy & got him approved for that.

Eli's first therapist is also over his goals & making the plan that fits Eli best.  She is A-MAZING.  She knows the ins & outs and doesn't have to think twice about how to help Eli.  It just comes second nature to her.  She has her masters degree (in what?!, I don't know what the title is)--but it's specifically to help kids like Eli & she ROCKS it.  She comes 2 hours a week & at first it will be to show the second therapist how she wants him to train Eli.  But eventually it will be to watch & make sure he is doing what he can to help Eli.  Eli is in good hands :)

The second therapist is a guy & I actually think he's a real good pick for Eli.  Eli gets so excited when we say he is coming over, which is good because that will be every week day.  He will come for 13 hours a week, making the total time of both therapists 15 hours.  He is a college student getting trained in the ABA methods, but this is something he wants to do career wise & so far we are loving him working with Eli & he does a real good job.  

A little bit about ABA is not giving in & getting what you want accomplished by Eli.  I don't want to use their names, but since one's a boy & one's a girl you will know the difference.  But she said it well & it clicked with Chad & I.  She said something along these lines, Eli is comfortable at home, Chad & I understand all his basic needs & wants--but when he is outside the home people don't understand Eli.  And this is SO true, I am sure his preschool teacher has learned the basic things Eli needs & wants, because she is with him 4 days a week.  But anyone else is clueless to what Eli is saying, if it's a word he can't say clearly.  Which there are a LOT of words he can't say clearly.  But if we don't start making him use his language more often & teach him to speak understandably then he will stay comfortable & keep to his ways.  Therefore, limiting his chances for opportunities outside of our home.  The ABA program will test Eli, make him mad at times, & push him to his limits.  But isn't this life?!  But after all the pushing to the limits each day, Eli is being given the chance to reach his potential & hopefully have a life outside of our home someday.  

So this last week was the first 15 hour week for Eli & he has grown to love both his therapists.  After they worked their 15 hour week though, the girl therapist after hearing us complain about Eli's eating habits & not trying anything new--willingly volunteered to come Friday night to show us how to get him to try new things.  WOW.  I invited her husband to come eat as well & the other therapist ended up coming too!  But also, WOW on how she works her mad skills.  Eli has not tried anything new in the pass year or so & when I make dinner, if it's not spaghetti or pizza he pushes it away & I always end up making him something else.  The good news is I will not be making him something else anymore.  The bad news is for awhile he might be choosing to go to bed slightly hungry every now and then.  But at least I give him an option, right? ;)  So after she was at our house for 2 1/2 hours, she got Eli to touch the piece of corn to his tongue in exchange for a Bugle!!!  I know this doesn't sound huge to YOU---but trust me it was a MILESTONE!!  After he gets use to touching new things with his tongue, it will be on to putting it into his mouth & so forth.  So we caught it on video, so I thought I'd share.  And I want you to know that this whole time she was sweet to Eli, never rude, & just in control.  She said that when Chad & I do it, we need to take turns & switch when one starts to be weak.  And to not look him in the eyes, Eli caught me watching him at one point during this whole fiasco & while he was crying alligator tears--my eyes started to tear up & he knew I was weak, so he came over to me hoping I would give in & let him eat something he wanted!  He is one smart kid, he may not be able to fully communicate--but he's bright & sly & just the cutest thing ever!

Here's the video:

video


I love having a blog--maybe someday he will enjoy reading about his childhood from his mom's perspective.  The preschool teacher asked for permission for Eli to have another IQ test, when she told me about it--I couldn't help but look sad.  It's scary for me & I am nervous for the results.  I love Eli so much & I wish he could have the care free childhood I did.  And for the most part I believe he feels his childhood is carefree--but there's times when he really wants you to understand what he is saying & Chad & I just have to look at him & say sorry we don't know what you are saying.  And he isn't telling us something he can point at, like he used to when he was 3.  It's something else, something that an average 4 year old would be able to explain by using words.  And I just have to look at him with tears in my eyes, saying sorry buddy I don't know what you are saying.  And he has tears in his eyes as well--with frustration that he can't get his words out how he wants them to come out.  

When we were making goals with his ABA therapist, she was listing them & said, "for Eli to have a 5 minute conversation with you about something he likes."  I had to stop her & say, "do you really think that's possible?"  And she said, "yes."  This is what I am looking forward to, is my 5 minute conversation with Eli about something he likes.  Looking forward to is an understatement. ;) 

I can get down sometimes & feel bad for myself or for Eli--as I see other 4 year olds talking away or even 2 & 3 year olds.  But Chad during sacrament meeting today wrote something down & shared it with me.  "We need to have a perfect brightness of hope that Eli will reach his full potential."  So true.  Hope is what keeps me going & positive that things will be better for him.  I love how faith, hope & charity all intertwine--to make life just that much better.  Hope you are enjoying your life.  Goodnight.

Love,
Katie

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Potty Trained?

I sure hope so!  So I was waiting until February 21st, when I could say it has been 2 months since Eli has had an accident & feel that he was OFFICIALLY potty trained.  But of course last saturday the 16th, Eli had an accident.  But it was ALL my fault.  Chad & I were unloading a swing set we just purchased while the kids were playing inside.  And they were both in Eli's room and his door on the inside has a kid proof lock & they had closed the door--so while we were outside for a good amount of time, Eli had an accident because he was locked inside his room & I couldn't hear him!!  (I know I am horrible--and this stuff probably never happens to anyone else!!)

I felt so bad getting him from his room, because he knows now that he shouldn't pee his pants-so he was embarrassed.  But I told him it was all mom's fault & you did your best trying to yell for me!  And no worries, it won't happen again & gave him a HUGE hug.

Just so you know, we started potty training him May of last year.  He was 3 1/2 years old & most boys are ready by 3 or earlier AND don't almost take a year once training starts.  Personally I felt that he still wasn't ready, but didn't want him to start another year of preschool with other kids potty trained & him wearing a diaper at the age of 4--I was afraid of what other kids would say.  And luckily him peeing was pretty simple, he obviously still had accidents as we got started but by the time school started in August--the only accidents he was having was going number 2.  Can I call it number 2?  I like that better than saying the other word. ;)  But after a LONG road of ups and downs & his last number 2 accident at a Christmas party--(which was my fault because I should of took him potty before leaving him at the party)--anyhow, he now tells me when he needs to go potty & it is SO SO SO nice.  I remember Chad saying sometime last year, "you know if someone told me, Eli will be potty trained by May--I would be very happy."  I thought, you got to be kidding me, a year for him to be potty trained!!  Well it's almost May--but even better it's a little earlier than May.

One thing about Eli, with lack of communication it is hard to know what he understands.  Which made this process hard--and he had to learn to communicate with me about his need to go potty.  But now he says, "potty!" & likes the door closed behind him with no one to bother him.  He is getting bigger each day & I would say he is behind about 2 1/2 years in some cognitive development areas--I just hope I can keep him learning & developing so that gap doesn't widen even more.

Well he is potty trained by February!!  3 months earlier than hoped--well that's what I think.  What are your thoughts?  Can I count him as potty trained?!  Because his last accident was my fault?!  Be honest.

This boy just might cry if you vote NO to him being potty trained!
Or I may ;).


Enjoy your night!  Feel free to share your opinion or any thoughts you may have--all comments have been helpful or a much needed boost.

Love,
Kate


 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

ABA

No I do not mean-ABC. ;)  It stands for Applied Behavioral Analysis.  This is our little miracle & one more thing in my life that lets me know God is aware & loves us all as an individual.
So I am going to try and not make this a long story, but we will see what happens...  The Sunday before I had Parent Teacher Conference (which I talked about in my first post) in October, Eli had his primary program.  (Primary program--where kids get up in front of an audience averaging 300 people & sing & usually have a part to say.)  He had a one liner that we worked on at home, not that he had any idea what it was for but he could say every word!  Sunday came and I was planning on sitting by him on the bench and helping him with his part.  The Sunbeams didn't even sit on the stand, they were just on the front row in the chapel.  So I try to take Eli up by carrying him--I do this twice with no luck--he is making a BIG deal of it and I oblige and bring him back to where Chad & Charlotte are sitting.  For any first time mother or maybe the excitement doesn't wear off..--it's exciting to see your little one get up there & say his/her part.  You wonder if they will have the part memorized, will they be timid or confident, or even better will it be memorable & will they do something funny?!  This is what I wanted, I didn't care that Eli could only repeat one word at a time from his part--I just wanted him to go up there & TRY & show off his handsome smile.  But he wouldn't have it.  Obviously, there are kids who won't say their parts and are shy--but this isn't Eli's case.  He has autism & it's much more than being shy.  So while kids were getting up saying their lines and singing, I was crying.  Then the sunbeams get up to do their part--and that's when I lost it.  I got up with Charlotte & took her to the nursing room and cried my eyes out.  And it wasn't just the primary program, it was everything that was different about my little boy & I felt bad for myself.  I was jealous that my little boy wasn't saying his part.  And I was jealous that my boy had something wrong with him & has to struggle SO early on in his childhood.  When his life should have no cares or worries right now.  --Note: Feeling bad for oneself is the worse thing ever & I don't recommend it.--- ---Also Note: I was fortunate enough to have a girl in the ward that I was still getting to know come in and offer words of comfort and help me get my mind off my own worries, who now I would consider a best friend, she stayed with me through Relief Society class and although my mascara was off for teaching Sunday School, I could at least talk without tearing up.


Then I had Parent Teacher Conference--where I felt a confirmation that my boy is autistic and I need to face the truth.  I went home and decided then and there I am going to take action & stop sitting on the sidelines hoping for some miracle that his tongue would be loosed.
My visiting teacher knew someone that her boy was autistic & she did a TON for him when he was little and is now going to school with typical children--she got me her number and I called.  This lady then sent me an email of everything she did & it was heaven sent.  One thing that her boy was able to do was preschool where they practiced ABA.  When I saw this my heart sunk.  After Eli's first year of preschool from the age 3 to 4 he was offered the opportunity to go to preschool where they practiced ABA with the children.  I went to the school & didn't feel good about it.  Although I think it's an AWESOME program and now KNOW it is.  At the time I was still thinking--Eli will start talking soon & no he is not autistic.  The ABA preschool was like this--about 6 kids.  Each kid was sitting down with a tutor, one on one and most were working on flashcards at their own closed off booth.  At this school the kids switch tutors so they don't get used to one adult, and as they are working they get rewards when they respond correctly.  But they had little play time together as kids.  And this scared me, I didn't like the idea of Eli being a "robot" & getting little play time with peers.  ABA is GREAT  for autistic kids, but at the time I thought he'd do better with a preschool where he could learn from his peers & interact.  So I didn't choose ABA.
So I called Eli's preschool teacher crying.  Wondering if I did the right thing--and she said at first she wondered herself if I did but she thinks it's good for him to be around his peers and learn from them.  Then she told me about this ABA program, didn't explain much but that I should call the number.  After getting off the phone with her, I called and left a voicemail.  I got a call back that day and how fortunate I was.  Because he told me a little bit about the program and said, "the last day to register is today!"  So I pulled out my computer and signed Eli up.
This program is called the Autism Waiver.  And just because I signed up didn't mean Eli was going to get the services.  It was a lottery of 250 people getting chosen for the ABA services & the guy let me know that there were PLENTY of people signed up already.  It is ABA services at home.  Fortunately, at the end of November I received a call with good news that Eli was one of the 250 kids chosen!!!  I was SO SO HAPPY & wanted to start right then and there.  But we are about a month out from starting, there's been a lot of paperwork and someone has come to our home twice to ask TONS  of questions and make a plan specific for Eli.  Someone will be coming to our home & working one on one with Eli for 10 hours a week.  So you can't imagine the joy and relief I felt when Eli was chosen.  Not only does he get to go to school & interact with peers BUT he now will be receiving ABA services at home until he is 6 years old.
I have a favorite quote: "Your future is as bright as your faith." -President Thomas S. Monson  And since faith requires action, I know that because I finally got off the 'sidelines' and called people, signed up, and did those things that felt right--my future just got a little brighter not to mention Eli's future as well.
Who Me?  Yes you.
Side note if anyone is interested in working with these autistic kids, doing the ABA let me know.  Having 250 children all at once needing these services opens jobs for people.  And Eli's therapist that is in charge of him let me know that finding people for this area has been hard.  The requirements that she told me about are: graduated with a degree similar to kids/psychology/behavioral OR going to school to get a degree similar to this sort of thing AND be willing to take all the classes that teach you about doing the ABA program. Plus I am sure you need to pass a background check & interview well.  Knowing me will NOT help at all, I am just throwing this out there--pass the word along though if you know someone that is great with kids and doesn't give in to cute kids when they know it will help them in the long run--and is looking for a job.  This area needs some more therapists!
P.S. It ended up being a long story--sorry if you didn't make it through, for those who did--thanks!!







I hope the day is great for you & you find your life blessed.

With love,Kate

x

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Occupational Therapy

Finally.  Finally we went to his first Occupational Therapy appointment.  After the evaluation we chose three goals we want to work on first.

Goal One:
For Eli to stop throwing tantrums in the bathtub.

The Problem:
So I don't know when this started--but it has at least been 2 years that it's been going on--every. single. bath. time.  Let's just say it's a PAIN to give him a bath & if I could I'd bathe him once a week.  This is what happens without fail--Eli is excited to get into the bath & wants sister to get in as well.  They play with their toys and he is just fine, then it is time to soap him up.  And the WHOLE time while soaping his hair & body & then rinsing him off, he is screaming like it hurts.  Again, every. single. time.  So when she told me that she can help with this--(I hope after reading what he does) that you can imagine my pure joy if what she does REALLY will cure him of his tantrums!!  She said it can be somewhat of a sensory overload & he can't deal with it, so this is his reaction.  So hopefully we can get those sensory problems in order. :)

Goal Two:
Help Eli try new things at the dinner table.

The Problem:
He WON'T try anything new.  It doesn't matter if it's chocolate chip cookies.  He won't try them if he hasn't had them before and know he likes them.  It doesn't matter if it's a Snickers bar--trust me he will NOT try it if it's not one of his "regulars."  So not only is my son an extremely picky eater--since birth, but he is also on the small size.  So I'd LOVE for him to eat more at breakfast, lunch, & dinner with dessert in between each meal. ;)

Goal Three:
Help Eli socialize better & get used to big group scenarios.

The Problem:
I think crowded areas, crowded family parties Eli has a hard time adjusting and playing with a big group.  I actually think he does pretty well at a park, with a few cousins, or a play date.  And actually with starting the gluten free diet--this is something that I have seen improvement on with the big group get togethers.  But of course there is still room for improvement.

Some of the fun things Eli got to do at Occupational Therapy!




The tire swing was his favorite!  I REALLY want one at home--too bad we don't have a big enough tree...  His therapist's name is Erin at the Ogden Primary Children's Rehab Center.  This first time, he really wanted to open the closet and get all the toy's out--it didn't help that he remembered the evaluation where I talked to Erin while he did whatever he wanted.  So asking him to do things was pretty tough at times--but once he listened he loved the activity.  We will go about once a week for a month to get him in a routine, then every other week after that.  I had a lot of fun because I got to play with him as well & I am hoping to see progress in the goals we made.  

She gave me homework--which I LOVE.  Cuz I LOVE being told what to do, for the most part that is.. 
But this blog is meant to keep me on my toes--so I am going to write down what I am going to do this week & you make sure I do them. :)

She gave me a huge sheet with information and activities & told me to choose an activity in each 'sensation', to do with him once a day.  I haven't read through the paper yet to know which each certain sensation means but this is what I have chosen to do:

PROPRIOCEPTIVE SENSATION: play on pull-up bars.  Haven't got these out for awhile, but Eli use to always play on these & once had a bad experience--hopefully by now he has forgotten and we can put them up in the doorway to play on tomorrow!

PRESSURE-TOUCH SENSATION: Play "steam-roller"--roll over each other while lying on the ground.  Pressure-touch is something Eli--CRAVES & NEEDS.  It's just obvious in the bear hugs he asks for multiply times during the day.  And his love of wrestling.  Often at times after giving him a big bear hug, he says, "thanks."

TACTILE SENSATION: Provide and receive foot, head, back, hand, and body massage.  He LOVES his whole body being scratched--but I will massage!  With the activity ideas for this sensation--I will have to prepare something next week to switch it up.

VESTIBULAR SENSATION: Do somersaults.  He used to be able to do these, but hasn't for a very long time.  I will work on these with him & hopefully make it fun with him and his little sis!

K so this is my homework each day to do with him!  I like it.  It is written down & I will schedule it in. One thing I was reading about Occupational Therapy is that for success you must go home and do your 'homework!'

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!
Night,
Katie

P.S. I made an "about us" page--check it out if you wish!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Parent Teacher Conference

I was really scared for Parent Teacher Conference--scared of bad news, no hope for his future, and him not improving.  But boy was I wrong!  Even though his improvements weren't huge--I am just so so grateful he is making progress.  He was able to recognize more alphabet letters & at least trace his name among some of his new skills learned at preschool.
He has a hard time sharing and playing with the other boys--but I hope over time that only gets better.  I need to try harder doing play dates for my kids...
It was SO nice talking to his speech therapist, as she told me her girl is on the spectrum and is in her 20's & has a job and a life.  It gives me hope, she said her daughter needs more support compared to the rest of her kids--but I am SO okay with that.  I am OK with things taking longer.  I know I need to learn patience & be happy with the little progress he makes & be grateful he makes progress.  Because some kids don't & his trial could be a lot worse.  I am so glad he can run, jump, and climb!
And me being worried about sending him to school--because he can't tell me what happens about his day is not a problem with his preschool.  He is in good hands.  I felt the love his teacher has for him & that made my day.  Thanks to those who work with our little ones & love them for who they are.


I wanted to share a little bit about our Christmas.  Every year since he was 2--I would think, "this is the year he will know who Santa is & what Santa brings & what Christmas Eve means." (As in Christmas Eve means gifts will come the next morning!)  But no he didn't.  He has improved on that he know's wrapped gifts means there is something special underneath and he is excited to open it.  I don't even have to say, "This gift is from Santa, or mark gifts a certain way, and this year I didn't even do stockings (I know that's the BEST part) but I didn't because it wasn't needed. 
So lets all cross our fingers that Eli will understand Christmas a little better this next time around.  Be a little excited Christmas Eve & can't sleep because he knows he gets gifts in the morning!! It'd be nice for him to tell me what he wants for Christmas & what his thoughts are on Santa..  But I wanted to share this- to help you understand where his understanding is & hope that as years go on he keeps progressing.  I will be letting you know :) 

I hope you are enjoying your Wednesday.  Parent Teacher Conference made my day & I wanted to share his little successes & the fact that improvement is better than no improvement. 

Kate

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Little Things

Today I had to share something that made me so proud.  Eli has brought tons of artwork home from school & what usually happens is I get the artwork out of his book bag & will say, "wow, this looks awesome bud" & then ask him something about the picture.  But he will have no comment, he may smile and acknowledge his work but for the most part no reaction.  Actually the only thing I get out of him about school is, "bus."  Everyday I ask him how was school and he says, "bus."  I can ask about the boys at school or the teacher but the only thing I know about his day at school is he rode the bus.  Which is kind of scary & sad to put your trust into this system & hope that he is treated fairly because I will never know if he isn't, unless he comes home with bumps & bruises.  Anyhow, that is not even my point right now.  Wow--off subject.

So today he brings home this picture from church:


And I say something like- "awesome job Eli, can you tell me about your picture?"  And I know for a fact I didn't say anything about the plan of happiness or anything about happy-- and he says, "Happy!!" With a huge smile on his face.  It brought tears to my eyes, I was so happy!!  And yes this is something a 2 year old could reply to--which a mother could understand why I was so thrilled that finally my 4 year old replied to a question about one of his pictures.  And it's small things like this that give me hope.  Because in all honesty, sometimes in the very back of my heart I wonder if my boy is mentally handicap--not to say that he isn't or won't ever be diagnosed this.  But if we keep making progress, then I can hope for a better tomorrow.

So I have been hesitant on sharing my experience on craniosacral therapy--just because it is not a "doctor" prescribed activity.  And I still haven't done a lot of research on it.  But a relative of mine told me that she see's someone who does craniosacral  therapy on her & this therapist works with kids who have autism.  So I looked it up a little and thought what the heck!  Her therapist is in Logan & it took awhile to get in once I called because she was booked, which I consider a good sign.  So while my Grandma watched Charlotte, Eli & I drove up to Logan.  This was the day of the 3pm huge winter storm we just had & our appointment was at 2.  (I won't be driving during a storm again.)  The main reason I didn't do a lot of research, is because I wanted to experience it--trust my gut instincts & just go by what I felt.  And I have to admit, I loved it.  I was in the room with Eli & it's a soft touch massage (if I can even call it a massage) & she explained that kids with autism have more pressure than the typical kid in their brain and she worked on other areas as well.  But what she was doing, supposedly released the pressure.  All I know is that Eli let this lady touch him for an hour.  And I believe he felt his body doing something different & new it was a good thing to keep letting her touch him.  Let me stress--touch him for an hour.  But the best part, even though I already was feeling like this was a good thing for him during the appointment, was when she finished, he said, "thanks."  It was amazing.  I have no idea how he knew she was done but still just the fact that he said, "thanks," gives me enough reason to keep going for awhile longer.  And I asked him at least twice on the way home, "did you like what she did? or did it feel good?" and he said, "yes."  For a kid that you don't get a lot of answers from and a random thanks--I liked craniosacral therapy & am looking forward to our next appointment.  Will he remember?  Will he be excited?  Or will he still be a little hesitant?  I will let you know how it goes.

I wanted to show proof that he jumps!


And his little sister loves to jump as well!


Need a better camera-someday!!  

Hope you guys have a great week!! And I fixed it so anybody can comment, you don't have to be a subscriber.  I really am blog-handicap, so if there's anything else I need to do to make something better--please share.
Thanks for reading.
Night,
Kate

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Today I took Eli to his Occupational Therapy Evaluation.  I admit I don't completely understand what occupational therapy does, although today I learned more.  But going through the questions and talking with the therapist I felt this will be a great start to the new year & helping him on his way.

The first paper I filled out--I just wanted to cry with all the questions I answered no to, but was wishing I could say yes.  I wanted to let you know a little more about how Eli is developmentally behind by what I said answered no to.

By three years old did your child:
-speak clearly so that others understand him
-follow two-step directions
-engage in imaginative play
-achieve toilet training

By four years old did your child:
-tell a story, mixing real and unreal.
-use language for fantasy, jokes, & teasing.
-engage in role play pretending to be others (spiderman)
-dress self  ****he almost can now****
-button clothing
-hop on one foot

These were all the ones I answered no to, I was able to answer yes to some of the "By three years old...", but answered no to all the "four years old."  Eli turned four in late August.  And oh how I long to hear my boy make up a story, tell a joke, or tease his mother.  And I sure hope someday he will.

 I shouldn't say he doesn't tease me--because he sure does by running around the house with something I need or throwing clean clothes behind the bed.  But I can't wait for him to use language while teasing!

We are keeping up with the diet & it's ok.  The biggest notice is him not waking up in the middle of the night, saying "stomach" while holding it in pain crying.  So our sleep is getting SO much better & if that's the only major difference in the diet--then that's good enough for me.  I love my sleep--just like any ordinary mother does & Eli isn't in pain (thank goodness).

Enjoy the New Year!! I hope the holidays were fun for everyone.  Eli got accepted into a program that I will find out more information about soon & am SO excited about it.  I will give more details as I find them out though.

Kate