Monday, March 31, 2008

Two Things

First - an update on the Monkey himself. Tripp is doing well. Along with this amazing cognitive gorwth spurt (remember, he started reading some things!) has come some frustration. He seems to have discovered that he can refuse to do things. It's like he just turned 2. This is mostly frustrating because the Bug is about to turn 2 and has figured out the same thing. Most particularly Tripp like to refuse to wear shoes. He kicks and wiggles and screams "no shoes." It's nice. He's been kinda crazy the last week. Vivie has been sick so I'm wondering if he's not fighting of one of the 3 viruses she's had. Lots of toe walking and huffing through the nose. In the great news department.....I saw him try to initiated a conversation with a new (as in met her an hour earlier) friend on Saturday. "Hi Jaycee. How you?" is what he said to this sweet little girl after he'd been ignoring her and her brother Jayden for over an hour. It was pretty cool. He's doing well with the chalkboard schedule. He likes to "mark it off" and it's reduced tantruming by nearly 2/3 in our house.

Second........a word about vaccines. So here's my two cents on this highly controversial topic. Do I think vaccines cause autism? No. Do I think they contribute to the onset and devleopment of an ASD in some kids? Absolutely. Do I think they had anything to do with Tripp's ASD? Nope. That being said, I'm still a nervous mom and with Vivie's 2-year well check coming up I was getting a little anxious about how I should handle this with her. Since we were at the pedi on Friday for one of her viruses (serisously - go read Sarah Station to see how sick she's been!) I brought the subject up. Easy and I had pretty much decided that we were gonig to request that she not be given the big combo, but instead receive her vacinations individually and spread out a bit. And if she so much as had a sniffle we would wait. I reminded Dr. Marquardt that Tripp is on the spectrum and that even though I know the research shows no causation I have some concerns. His response was great "Well, let's look and see what she's due for." Turns out all she's due for is HepA. She's already had the big combo shots! She had them at her 15 month welll-check - before I even really knew I was concerned about it! And let me just say that she is SO FINE!!!! I had no idea that was a weight on my shoulders until Dr. Marquardt lifted it with a simple sentence.....all she needs is HepA.

I hope you are all having a good week. We are waiting to hear from the school district about In Home/Parent training stuff. Once that eval is done we will ARD again to discuss the results of the eval, consider ESY services, and to add to his plan that he will attend the PPCD class all five days the last two weeks of school (Sonshines School will be over on the 15th). Until later.........

Friday, March 21, 2008

Monkey See, Monkey Read

So Tripp has been showing some big time "pre-reading" skills the last month. This isn't all the surprising as we were told by our first speeh therapist (Ginger) last May that he could be reading fluently in the next 6-12 months. My thought was "yea right." I guess the joke is on me.

This past week he read the word "bed" and the word "free" off his "word schedule" chalk board without any prompting from me. So today I pulled out our box of site word flashcards just to see what he could do. Below is a list of words and phrases he read to me with the simple prompt " What's this say?"

good (he was trying to soud this one out "go-oh-d")
know (sounded out as k-new)
it is
can run
can play
he is
would like

Um, he's only 3 1/2. I may have trouble keeping up.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Monkey BOUNCE!

So last night my Monkey and I had a ton of fun together. Well, as together as it gets for us anyway. There's a group here in town that is I guess a support group for parents with kids on the spectrum. My sweet friend Kathy got me to a meeting a few months ago. I didn't really dig it, but this month Kathy was organizing the event and MAN did she choose a fab place for it!

Instead of a meeting where we sit and listen and then socialize some while our kids (if we brought them) are entertained in another room we all met at The Bounce. If you're not from around here you probably don't know what The Boune is. Here's a quote from their brochure:

"THE BOUNCE! is a 12,500 square foot party facility featuring your favorite inflatable castles, obstacle courses, huge slide, rock walls, and more, all in a safe, climate controlled environment."

My sweet Monkey bounced and slid himself silly. It was such a treat to get to see that joy on his face for such a long period of time. The owners (Mike and Betty Pinney - you rock!!!) kept the place open late for our group. We were there from 6:30-8:30 and from 7:00 on it was just our kids. I lost track of all the smiles. All the parents were relaxed and visiting. I ran into a guy I used to work with a lifetime ago who has two kids on the spectrum. Small world I guess. It was fabulous. Monkey would periodically look around for me and with a wave from Mom was off again. I'm seriously thinking this is THE place to have his b-day party.

I thought he would zonk out on the way home, but I guess he was a little overstimulated. I had to carry him to the car because he couldn't stop the tippy toe arm flap dance long enough to walk. So, we hit the grocery store together before we headed home. I had a hard time convincing him that I needed to pay for the turkey pepperoni before we could open it. I finally convinced him and then he forgot about it. He had a few minutes of time with his Daddy when we got home and then it was off to bed. He asked for "snuggle Mommy" and I of course obliged. It didn't last long though. One he got still his little body called it quits and with a softly spoken "OK. Bye bye now." he drifted off to sleep.

What a fabulous way to spend an evening. Just me and my Monkey experienceing joy together. So, maybe we weren't interacting so much, but he had joy from all the slides and bouncing and I had joy watching his face light up and that smile that stretches out a mile wide. I'll take a little parallel joy any day! Thanks you Kathy and thank you THE BOUNCE!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Cruisin' Along

Well things in Tripp's world are cruisin' right along. He is loving school and doing very well. He went on a field trip today to Hungry Howie's Pizza. I reminder his teachers that he couldn't actually eat the pizza due to the gluten in the crust. They had already discussed it and assured me that would watch close and make sure he only nibbled on the toppings and not the crust. When he got home from school he had a goodie bag with all the different toppings in little containers so he could eat them - no crust in sight! God has been so good to us by giving us supportive understand teachers for Tripp. We are so blessed.

I had a session with Dr. Montgomery (SW Autism Team) on Monday. I didn't take Tripp because she needed to do a formal parent interview for some added documentation. We talked very honestly about the challenge of doing daily working sessions in the afternoon and decided that it would be best to reframe the whole thing. Instead of working on new skills in the early afternoon, we will be working on frustration tolerance in the evenings. Not much will be different except that he will be tired and cranky and we will only work on very basic activities - sequencing, some facial expressions, and my turn/your turn. Of course we will still require eye contact every step of the way so I'm sure he will get plenty frustrated! This change of approach will allow me to be MUCH more consistent and will also open the possibility that Easy can do the sessions with him sometimes. I think that's important.

I also talked to the Dr. about spring break. Since this is the only real chance the school district will have to observe any regression when the structure is removed she gave me the "OK" to not be structured at home over that week so that we have a better chance of them seeing a need for ESY (extended school year). I don't know how that will turn out, but I feel very strongly that he will need some formal school/structure during the summer and if he doesn't qualify for it at the district I haven't a clue how we would pay for it!

I better run. It'salmost time to pick up the Goose from school. Just wanted to take a minute to let you all know that things are going well!