Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Nathan was diagnosed with Autism today. Yes that's right he has both RTS and Autism!!!! What are the chances of that???? I am both relieved and overcome with emotions upon this diagnosis. Relief because there's so much about Nathan's behaviour that didn't make sense to me. So much about him that I couldn't connect with or understand. I'm overcome because I have a whole new disorder to learn about.
Today is such a weird mix of emotions... I am absolutely exhausted as I type this. I have cried so much today and yet the diagnosis of Autism is a good thing because it will open up SO many more doors, so many more services and more funding to help Nathan. It's all in his best interest.
Nathan is still Nathan. That hasn't changed! He's still the same kid with the same challenges; the diagnosis has confirmed suspicions we have had for the past few months and will help us help Nathan the best we can. So now we pack our bags and move to Schmolland. I'm going to start researching this new world and once the initial shock settles I'm sure we'll adapt to living life in a new country.
I know many of you are familiar with the poem "Welcome to Holland" I am posting it again for those whom may not be familiar with it.
The second version "Welcome to Schmolland" is a version that hit close to home as it has been rewritten to reflect Autism.
Hope you enjoy them both. I will blog again soon but for tonight, I need to take in all of this... It's a big move and I hadn't planned on moving after Holland.
It's all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go.Several hours later, the plane lands. The flight attendant comes and says, "Welcome to Holland." "Holland?" you say. "What do you mean,Holland? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy." But there's been a change in the flight plans. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
Welcome to Schmolland
The hard part about living in our country is dealing with people from other countries. We try to assimilate ourselves and mimic their customs, but we aren t always successful. It s perfectly understandable that an 8-year-old boy from Schmolland would steal a train from a toddler at the Thomas the Tank Engine Train Table at Barnes and Noble. But this is clearly not understandable or acceptable in other countries, and so we must drag our 8 year old out of the store kicking and screaming while all the customers look on with stark, pitying stares. But we ignore these looks and focus on the exit sign because we are a proud people. Where we live, it is not surprising when an 8-year-old boy reaches for the fleshy part of a woman's upper torso and says, Do we touch boodoo? We simply say, "No we don't touch boodoo" and go on about our business. It's a bit more startling in other countries, however, and can cause all sorts of cross-cultural misunderstandings. And, though most foreigners can get a drop of water on their pants and still carry on, this is intolerable to certain citizens in Schmolland who insist that the pants must come off no matter where they are, and regardless of whether another pair of pants are present.
Other families who are affected by autism are familiar and comforting to us, yet are still separate entities. Together we make up a federation of countries, kind of like Scandinavia. Like a person from Denmark talking with a person from Norway, (or in our case someone from Schmenmark talking with someone from Schmorway), we share enough similarities in our language and customs to understand each other, but conversations inevitably highlight the diversity of our traditions. Oh your child is a runner? Mine won t go to the bathroom without asking permission. "My child eats paper. Yesterday he ate a whole video box." "My daughter only eats 4 foods, all of them white." "My son wants to blow on everyone." "My son can't stand to hear the word no. We can't use any negatives at all in our house." "We finally had to lock up the VCR because my son was obsessed with the rewind button."
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
March 17th, 2010- Nathan was introduced to Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS) at school and has responded quite well to it.
PECS is a great tool for helping non-verbal children communicate without words. PECS allows Nathan to make choices and communicate his needs by using pictures of desired objects (such as toys).
Here's how it works:
When Nathan wants an item, he gives the picture to his School Teacher or School Aid. The Teacher then hands Nathan the toy; this reinforces communication.
I'm so excited that this form of communication was introduced to Nathan and that he is picking it up as quickly as he is.
Here are some statements from his school over the past few weeks:
March 17th- Introduction to PECS, Nathan did great!
March 18th- Nathan worked on PECS again this morning, he was able to do it independently after 2 times.
March 19th - Nathan had another good day! We worked on PECS again today and he was a superstar!
March 25th - Nathan had a pretty good morning. He was a little fussy about doing PECS but we worked through it and got it done.
March 26th - Nathan had a good morning we worked on PECS and he was able to travel around 3 feet across the room to give me the card!!!
March 31 - Nathan had another good morning. We did some PECS work and it went really well.
April 12 - Nathan was looking at friend's PECS book (who had stolen a toy he was playing with). He found the card for the stolen toy and brought it to his friend. WOW!!!
April 15 - I am now going to be sitting with Nathan at lunch and doing PECS. We are doing PECS with one of his peers as you need two people for the first phase.
April 19- Nathan had a rough start to the morning, he was quite grumpy and was really into throwing things. He did snap out of it for a bit and we got some really good PECS work done
April 21- Nathan seemed a lot happier today! We have been working on PECS all week and we now have 4 highly preferred items that we are using. Nathan is very close to mastering Phase 1! We will most likely start Phase 2 next week. Phase 2 is called " DISTANCE and PERSISTENCE" which means Nathan will travel across the room to exchange the picture for what he wants. Oh! and Nathan is also exchanging pictures with his peers which is very cool!
I can't tell you how excited I am about this. Coming to terms with the very real possibility of having a non-verbal child was difficult. For the past two years I persisted and hoped that Nathan would grasp signing but to no avail.
In one month Nathan has progressed so much with PECS, it's absolutely unbelievable- I have to pinch myself. Obviously, this is Nathan's preferred method of communication. It's what works for him. I'm so thankful that Nathan is at this school. It's been great for him and the tools they are giving him are helping him in so many more ways than I ever thought possible.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Hint 1- Of course none of you could figure out the sex of the baby. The ultrasound pictures are of the torso and head- you silly, silly mommies!!!
Hint 2- Was no hint at all because....
If the baby was a boy than Nathan would have a brother and a sister
if the baby was a girl than Alyssa would have a brother and a sister
A basket full of sunshine,
A house full of joy.
What could be sweeter,
Than a new baby boy.
The ultrasound technician had a difficult time telling us the sex of the baby as the cord was in the way. It took several attempts, but in the end, our technician felt fairly certain we are having a boy. I was shocked!! I actually thought we were having a boy but my track record has not been good so I wasn't expecting them to say boy. I thought I was having a boy with Alyssa and a girl with Nathan soooo I finally get it right third time around...
Now for names............. I have some in mind...... but I'm not tellin.......
Got to keep something a surprise..............