Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wow, it's working!

Well, we started using the tickets today. I was really expecting a lot of pushback when we limited Michael's computer time. But, he really surprised me by asking me what he could do to earn extra tickets! It was great.

One thing that we did was try to teach him how to vacuum. I never realized how much motor planning there is in such a 'simple' job. I think he's going to get it, but it's painful to watch. I know he learns his own way, so I don't want to step in too much. But wow.. it's hard. On the plus side, he was great at carrying the chairs in and out of the kitchen. His OT likes him doing heavy work, and this definitely counted!

My favorite moment of the night was right before bedtime. He had two ticket left, and he wanted to use both of them before bed. He was most of the way through the first half hour on the computer when he turned around and asked if he could change his mind and save the other ticket for tomorrow. It was so sweet! Of course we let him, and now he has a ticket to look forward to in the morning.

I think I'm going to like this program!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

More Accountable Kid....

I'm really impressed with this program so far. Michael is really taking ownership of his board, and moving his tasks from one peg to the next. Today he actually asked me to help him with his music task.

I am thinking that maybe his routines weren't as obvious to him as they were to us. For me, it's just expected that you get up, get dressed, brush your teeth, etc., and then you get to play. For him, I am guessing that the list of things to do seemed arbitrary. Now, he knows exactly what we expect from him and he can do it mostly independently. Win for everyone!

And, tomorrow is the last day of summer school! Then we get to enjoy August and relax a bit. Between a family trip and day camp, it's going to be an exciting month!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Accountable Kids, Day One!

So, we started the Accountable Kids program with Michael this morning. He had seen the task board with his name on it over the weekend and was very curious about what it was and how it worked. Last night I walked him through all his reminder cards and showed him how he could flip over each card as he finished a task. I explained that this was a way for him to know exactly what he needed to do before he could play. He seemed curious and excited about it, so I had high hopes for this morning.

Michael had trouble sleeping last night, so he had a hard time waking up this morning. But, he came downstairs, looked at his board, saw which cards he could flip over right away, and gave me a big smile. Before I knew what was going on, he had rushed off to brush his teeth so he could flip that card, too. I didn't have to say a word! It still took him a little time to get through breakfast, but he ate it all and then asked if we could wait for the bus outside. This has to have been the smoothest morning we've had in ages!

I know it's only the first day of the program, and I'm not doing everything we're supposed to - I am at a complete loss for how to use the tickets with Michael. He sees all the pegs on the board and wants to know what they are all for. He did seem interested in finding out more about the date cards and the tickets, so I'll have to come up with something.

So, for day one, we're off to a great start. I can't wait to see what happens next!

Monday, July 11, 2011

How did it get to be summer?

We are getting ready to try a bunch of new things with Michael this summer, and I realized I haven't posted in a while. Life has been incredibly busy, but I really need to be able to get my thoughts out, so here goes operation blog reboot!

Michael is in summer school for the month of July. On one hand, I feel bad that he doesn't get to do all the typical kid summer things, but on the other, the consistency is so good for him. And, I'm hoping that I can use this month and next to try to introduce a little more structure in home life. I'm evaluating a couple different approaches, and will let you know what we decide!

For now, the biggest new thing is that we've signed Michael up for swimming lessons. He loves the water, but it scares me so much that he can't swim. I hear stories so often of kids on the spectrum wandering and drowning. We still participate with Project Lifesaver, but drowning can happen so fast.

So, there was a groupon for 4 classes, and the teacher has some experience with kids on the spectrum. I just hope it goes well! At the end of the four weeks, we'll have to decide if we want to continue or not, so I have my fingers crossed.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Big Wows and Book Bucks

It's hard to believe the changes we've been seeing in Michael lately. On Friday, he was able to go on a school field trip and fully participate, even though he didn't know everyone. He actually raised his hand and answered questions. Before, I would have been terrified that he would get overwhelmed by all the stimulation and get into trouble or run away. I never expect to get glowing reports on field trip days. I could get used to this!

Michael has been willing to read to me for a while now, but he has never expressed any interest in doing the 'book bucks' journal for school. Basically, he has to keep a log of what he reads, and write a one sentence summary for each entry. Today, we read the first chapter of 'The Mystery of the Stolen Sword'. When I gently broached the subject of filling out the journal entry, he was all excited and happy.

Admitedly, his sentence was not the most compelling summary of what he read, but it did indicate that he understood what he read, and who the characters are. He even told me that we'd fill in another line when we read the next chapter. What happened next is what floored me. He went to the table of contents to see that there were ten chapters. Then he told me we would need to read two books to fill out the whole form. I was shocked not at the math, but that he was looking ahead and tacitly agreeing to fill in the whole journal.

We've been seeing so many high days, the low ones still catch me off guard. But, thankfully, they are fewer and far between. Yes, I am grinning from ear to ear.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

LDN and mB12

We started Michael on LDN right around the first of the year. Then, mid-March, we started mb12 shots. The changes we've seen in him since combining the two are amazing. His communication skills have really improved; in the complexity of language, but also in his understanding of conversation.

Even better than the language gains are the changes in behavior. He's so much more flexible than he ever has been. He understands that plans change, sometimes without anything we can do about it. He participated in one song at his school's spring concert (before he couldn't be in the room at all). He is enjoying playing with peers and talking on the phone. Some days I look at this sweet, flexible kid and wonder where he came from.

It's one thing for me to see the changes. I'm his Mom and will always pick out the best. But, we've gotten unsolicated comments from school about how he's more interactive and sociabile. He has had ONE 'incident' at school since he started the mB12. Prior to that, we were hearing from an administrator or behaviorist several times a week. It's almost like they've lost our number!

Even though there are a lot of 'big' changes, the ones that mean the most to me are small, day-to-day things. I was actually able to walk to the grocery store with Michael, buy what we needed, and walk back home. All without any fussing. Before, there would have been mandatory time staring at the doors open and close. We would have had to walk up and down all the aisles. There would be a melt-down where we had to abandon the cart and leave. I can't describe how liberating it was to do something so simple.

Not every day is perfect, but every day is slightly better than the one before. And, I can't ask for anything more than that!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

I have a good feeling about 2011. I'm sure I've said it before, but this year just feels right. Maybe it has something to do with Kim mentioning that 11 is the Angel's number, or just a general optimism. No matter the reason, I'm going to run with it.

I'm sad to see winter break come to an end, but so excited at all the new beginnings. Michael has made such tremendous progress lately - he is expressing himself better, playing more, and just seems happier. All the things that I would wish for him.

So, I am going to be open to blessings from anywhere, and pray for a wonderful year!