Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Autism Class Part 3

Oh boy sorry I was so delayed on writing this! Having time to sit down and write here can be a struggle with two kids. Anyway, last Wed was the final autism class at the hospital. I really enjoyed this one! There were a couple ladies there from parent advocacy groups that gave us a bunch of information on how to best advocate for your child. All the info out there can be overwhelming and honestly I had no idea that places like this existed to help you! They gave me a giant booklet of all sorts of resources and they also said that you can call at any time and get the info as well if you aren't sure where to look or what to do. One awesome thing the told me is that if I ever have troubles with the school system and his IEP, I can call and they will send an advocate with me to the IEP meeting. They said that almost always changes the tone of the meetings to being super helpful and on your side, lol!

The last part of the class they had a parent panel. This was just 3 moms telling their stories and a little about their struggles with autism. It was refreshing hearing stories that were similar to mine to let me know, "Hey you aren't crazy!!"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Golden Nugget

Last night was the 3rd and final Autism class at the hospital. I will write in detail about that later, but I wanted to start something that one of the mothers there suggested. Every day they write down a "golden nugget" that their child did. I think this should be applied to all areas in life, but sometimes especially when it comes to a special needs kiddo. You can get overwhelmed with the negative and it is nice to focus on something positive. So I'll start today.

Last night my when I went to pick up Michael after the class, he was playing with his tablet. He was playing a game where you pop balloons on the screen. He came up to me and said "Try pop balloon mama!" Inside I was like "WHAT?! You just shared an idea with me of something you found interesting and wanted me to experience it too!" I mean, WOW!! Serious golden nugget right there!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Two awesome things

So two awesome things happened this afternoon after we got back from his IEP.

I went to change his diaper so we could get ready to go out and find some food (daddy is out of town and we are partying!) and he was mid poop. I told him that we were going to go sit on the potty. At first he was a little nervous, but I sat him on his little potty seat and he calmed right down. I told him to go ahead and push it out. With a little push, he went in the toilet. When that happened, he jumped a little bit because he wasn't expecting the *plop* haha but then he quickly got excited and said "I DID IT!" He hopped up, closed the lid, and flushed the toilet. He was so proud of himself!

Then as we were in the car, he had a plush angry bird with him (he is recently obsessed with that game). As we were driving down the road, he faced the bird out the window and said "Angry Bird what do you see out the window? Do you see lots of houses?" He's never done that sort of pretend play/questioning before! I drove all the rest of the way to dinner with a huge smile on my face!

Michael's First IEP

Today was Michael's first IEP. It went great! I met the teacher, the ST, and the OT. They were all really wonderful ladies. There was also an aide there named Mrs. Wood (I thought that was cool, hehe). Michael came along to get acquainted with the school. He played blocks and cars with the aide while we went over the IEP. I think they have some really great goals they are going to work toward with him and I'm excited.

I'm going to just copy it down as they gave it to me, mostly so I'll have it somewhere I can't lose it but also if you want to read it. All goals are hoped to be at this level 1 year from today's date.

Functional Sensory Processing:
When given safe sensory motor experiences, sensory supports, and strategies Michael will tolerate classroom tactile materials, hands on assistance, and hand holding improving functional sensory processing from demonstrates defensive reactions (stiffening, resistance, and withdrawal) to without defensive reaction such as withdrawal or resistance on 4/5 observations as measured by bi-monthly observations and data collection by OT

Social Emotional/Behavioral:
When given opportunity to participate in classroom activities Michael will follow classroom rules and routines improving ability to participate in large and small group activities from not able to, to 80% of the time on 3/4 data days as measured by monthly teacher/classroom observational data and checklists.

Social Emotional/Behavioral:
When given a verbal prompt Michael will transition to next activity (clean-up/stop/move, etc) improving his ability to transition from one activity to another from not able to, to 80% of the time 3/4 times on data days as measured by monthly teacher/classroom data and classroom checklists.

Adaptive/Self Help:
When given the direction "time to go potty" Michael will go to the bathroom, pull down pants and sit on toilet and empty bowels/bladder improving toileting skills from emerging (sitting on toilet a few times) to independently going to bathroom and following procedure to use toilet 90% of time as measured by monthly teacher data and classroom checklist.

Adaptive/Self Help:
When given unfamiliar or undesired food (fruit/veggies) Michael will accept a small piece of food improving tolerance for undesired/non-familiar food from gagging/refusing to attempting a lick/smell/or a tiny "no thank-you bite" 90% of time on 3/4 data days as measured by monthly teacher data and classroom checklists.

Functional Fine Motor & Sensory Processing Skills:
When given scissors and cutting project with simple 1/8" bordered shapes Michael will position scissors correctly and cut out independently improving fine motor and sensory processing skills from uses two hands/lacks correct positioning & snips only to with 75% on line accuracy on 3/4 observations as measured by monthly observation and data collection by OT.

Functional Fine Motor & Sensory Processing Skills:
When given writing/drawing implement Michael will use a tripod grasp and dominant hand to hold and draw beginning pre-writing shapes (i.e. circle, cross, square) improving functional fine motor and sensory processing skills from uses pronated fisted grasp, lacks hand dominance, and beginning copy skills to on 4/5 times as measured by bi-monthly observation and data collection by OT.

When given an appropriate classroom setting Michael will produce novel (non-echoic) responses improving expressive language from 50% of responses to 80% of responses as measured by classroom data and language logs.

When given a classroom instruction or direction Michael will follow the direction or instructions improving receptive language from 10% accuracy (compliance) to 60% accuracy (compliance) as measured by classroom data.

When given an opportunity to interact with a same-aged peer Michael will engage in a reciprocal conversation improving social language from 0 turns per conversation to 2 turns per conversation as measured by classroom data.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It Did

As I was going through my videos today I came across this one I made of Michael's 32 week ultrasound video. Cue the crying. He has made my life so much more full. <3

Another Old Video

This was a couple weeks before Michael's 2nd birthday. I have no idea why he was so against the card with the hat on it. But I was impressed with his matching skills! :) He's always been awesome at that sort of thing. I still can't believe how much he has grown verbally since this video though! We are making awesome progress!

Autism Class Part 2

So last night I went to part 2 of 3 of the autism class. This time they had a ST and two OT's come to talk to us. One of the OT's was specifically addressing feeding issues. This week was really informative!

Starting with the ST they spoke about some ways to help your child communicate. One of the things I found interesting was they advised to speak in statements and not in questions. I actually have been doing this for some time now. I found that for Michael, direct questions would really upset him and I could see his anxiety rise when I did. So I started saying things to him in statements and he has greatly improved behavior wise. They also said this was the best way for kids who echo what you say. That way they are not repeating a question, but they are repeating a statement. Michael echos a LOT so I was glad to hear this was the way to go with this sort of thing.

They also stated that once he starts school, it might be best for him to quit private 1:1 therapy and just go with the social ST with the school. I've had a bit of anxiety about the thought I'll be dropping private therapy once he starts school so I was glad to hear that is normally what happens and really might be the best way to go.

Next up was the OT addressing feeding issues. She had a lot of really good ideas to help with trying foods. She did a fun little hands on experience for us to understand what it's like for our kiddos. She gave us a plate with a variety of different foods on it. A few of them were ethnic Asian foods which I was not familiar with. One of them I said looked like dried up worms! This really helped me put it into perspective what it is like for a kiddo seeing a new food for the first time.

Last up was another OT that addressed other general sensory issues. She talked about self help skills and teaching potty learning to ASD kids. That info was really helpful as well.

All in all, it was a really informative class. Next week will be some other ASD parents as well as some advocacy groups, some of which will educate me a little more on the laws of the school system. I can't wait to hear that!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Old Videos

Just going back through old videos today and thought I should post this. This is about where his speech was at when I contacted Birth-3. They told me everything was fine and this was normal. Right. He had about 5 other "words" that were similar sounds to this at the time. He was 18 1/2 months old here.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Michael reads CAT

This is actually the second word he has read. He read the word NO the other day. I got him reading that one on video today too but haven't uploaded it yet. I'm so proud of this kid!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Autism Class

On Wednesday night James and I went to a class at the children's hospital about Autism. It was a 3 hour class that was part 1 of 3. The next two Wednesdays we will be going back for 3 hour classes as well.

I think I must love to do research or something, because I could have taught the class! Seriously everything they went over in the class I knew already plus some. But I'm still glad I went and I'm looking forward to the next two sessions. This week they had a general overview from some guy (not sure who as we were late and missed intros) and a neuropsychologist. Next week they will have a ST and OT person there. I'm interested to hear what they have to say.

The most valuable part of going so far for me was the folder of resources they gave us. One of them being a huge handbook of all the autism resources in WA state.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Math Master

Seriously this kid blows me away! I got an ipad a couple weeks ago and have been downloading a bunch of apps for Michael to try out. This one I downloaded, you are supposed to match up the numbers. Sometimes it will match to the number and sometimes it matches to a dice version of the number. I watched in awe as he matched up the dice to the numbers by counting in his head! Watch the video and you will see what I mean.