Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Transitional Meeting

Monday was Wes' transitional meeting into the preschool. We were supposed to do his IEP (Individualized Educational Plan), but he needed to have an adaptive behavioral scale done. This is required by both state and federal government for him to qualify for the special ed preschool.
We needed to take the boys with us because we couldn't find anyone to sit for us. Late morning, everyone is working. The school is just 2 blocks from our house. The ride was too short for Wes who became upset when we were in the car for less then 2 minutes. We met Jodi (his OT and coordinator) and all went inside. When we walked into the preschool area, Wes calmed down and went right in to play. The teachers and paraprofessionals were eating lunch and kept an eye on the boys for us. Wes had no problems being redirected from multiple people and enjoyed all the new sights.
We met with the preschool OT, the preschool coordinator, and the speech pathologist. The school psychologist came later. We discussed Wes' gains in the last year, his likes and dislikes, and the preschool program. I decided that Wes would start immediately on 5 days a week. The class room is 3 days a week with 2 days of intensive behavioral study. At first, I wanted him to start taking the bus right away, but now I'm having second thoughts. I'm worried that all this change will be too much for him and he could melt down the first week or so. I'm considering having him start the preschool first, and add the bus later. The downside to that might be he becomes accustomed to me bringing him to school and fears the bus later. This is such a hard decision! He could prove me wrong on both accounts or I could be right on the money. Who knows with him!
After the meeting, I met with the school psychologist to do the ABS. It was a questionaire about his daily life. How he cares for himself, large and small motor skills, and communication. This should be complete in 2 weeks and the IEP process can begin. We are set to meet on October 11th for that. At that time, Wes will come with again and get to experience the classroom with all the students in there. He won't be expected to participate unless he wants to. That should be really exciting for him!
I'm still very nervous about the IEP. I don't want to set the goals too high, but I don't want to set them too low either. I just want him to do his very best and make some gains especially in his social skills. I'll be sure to follow this up in a couple of weeks!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Jenny McCarthy comes forward

Jenny McCarthy has always been known as the loud mouth playboy playmate. Well now she is known as Evan's mom and a mom of a child with Autism. She isn't the only one coming forward. Holly Robinson Peete (known from her role in 21 Jump Street) has also come forward announcing her youngest has autism as well. It's nice to see this getting some attention because it's the people in Hollywood that the public most listen to.

Jenny McCarthy has said that putting her son on the gluten/casein free diet has changed him dramatically. His eye contact and his communication have come back since she started him on the diet. His journey started with febrile seizures even though he had no fever at that time. Gluten/casein free aren't for everybody as I've said before. It can be not only time consuming, but financial consuming as well. Your child might not accept this new food or they may devour more of it. It's not known who it will work for and who it won't. The best place to start is to ask your child's doctor to check for 'leaky gut'. Wes has no symptoms of this, therefore, we are not going that route.

Here is a link to Jenny's story on the Oprah.com website Jenny

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sensory Intergration Therapy

Wes has started Sensory Intergration Therapy at a clinic here. The clinic was started by his OT who works with him now through Early Intervention. There is only one local clinic here at Easter Seals and the wait list is more then a mile long. She decided to open her own due to the amount of children needing this therapy. Wes is one of them.

Her clinic is really nice. She has multiple rooms set up. Some small rooms to work on small motor items and two large rooms to work on large motor items. One of the rooms has connectors for board swings, playing with large balls etc. The other large room has a ball pit (Wes' favorite), a zip line, a little place to go and hide if need be with some bean bag chairs and also a rock climbing wall.

Jodi (his OT) was able to get him on the board swings which amazed me. Wes loved the swings last year, but lost some of his body awareness over the winter months and became afraid of the swings. We've been trying all year to get him on them but he refused. The slide was now his object of choice. Jodi went on the large board swing with him to get him comfortable. A short time later, he was on the smaller board swing alone, with a toy to sort of distract him. He stayed on it for nearly 10 minutes. Once losing his balance, he remained steadfast and didn't quit. I was so proud of him. Yesterday, during a trip to the playground, there is a handicap swing. It's a large bucket swing with grips to swing back and forth for those who can't use their legs. Wes climbed on it and asked me to push him. He stayed on that swing for 10 minutes, flapping and laughing away! I hope he doesn't lose it again over the winter. I'm hoping that he can keep it up with Sensory therapy.

He will be going once a week on top of all his other therapies. To him, it's a big indoor playground and not so much therapy. Jodi works really well with him and he adores her. She knows just how to push him and when to back off. I see he appreciates that with her. I'm glad that he can remain connected with her long after he graduates Early Intervention.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

2007 Autism Speaks - Walk Now for Autism

The walk has come and gone. It's amazing how fast something approaches when you're anxious for it. It was our first walk for Autism since Wes was diagnosed. I think it was pretty successful, minus the weather.

It was a very muggy, very overcast day. I think everyone was praying that the rain would hold off until after the walk, but it didn't. It rained about a half hour before the actual walk started. And boy did it rain! The only person who didn't mind it one bit, was Wes. You would think he was just released from prison for good behavior. From the time we arrived (10ish in the morning) until we left (around 1 pm) he ran. I have never seen this child so full of nonstop energy. That's mostly my fault because I'm always too afraid to just let him run. What if he runs and doesn't stop? What if he runs into the road and I can't catch him? What if...? The list goes on. He was a bit surprised by the rain but that didn't stop him. He flapped and laughed through the whole walk. He was given lots of compliments on how cute he was although Casey was trying to steal the show.

All in all, it was a good day. Our team raised $3,608.00. We didn't quite reach our goal of $5,000.00, but there's always next year.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

We have pee pee!!

Well it was 1/8 of a teaspoon, but it still counts! Wes went pee on the potty!!!

He's still been telling us to "change bum" and sure enough he's been wet every time. So I thought, what the heck, let's start putting him on the potty at scheduled times and see what happens. We made it real light and casual. When he gets up in the morning, before and after nap and before bed as well as whenever he said "change bum". I consulted with both his behaviorist and his OT to get some input. They said he seems to be showing great signs so go for it.

I'm stunned that it happened so fast. We've only been doing it for a few days. I know it was probably unintentional but again, maybe it wasn't. Tim and I made a huge deal out of it and actually made him upset. I think my voice was a bit too high pitched. I brought it down a few octaves, rubbed his back and gave him a sticker. He wasn't interested in the sticker. I guess I'll need to come up with another reward that's yummy.

I honestly thought this wouldn't happen for at least another year or two. Ahhh, my boy is growing up..