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.



Tuesday, February 19, 2013


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


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!'


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