Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Gloria came for Speech today and told me that Ronin has an evaluation set up for next Wednesday at 3:30 with her and Jen [our former] DT. Fantastic. I wonder if Ronin will qualify as being 30% delayed. He really doesn't have many words that are discernable. Nikko, meanwhile, is still speechless, but jargons when he's happy, and tends to jargon in a sing-song voice as if he's having a conversation. Unfortunately when he's trying to communicate with me he is not trying to form words with his mouth. Instead it comes out as a shriek or a whine or a big messy blehhhhh. During speech today he was semi-cooperative and Noodleman came out a lot. However, Gloria seemed to think that he is following commands better. At first she thought he was just following commands in a routine way, but after asking him to do a few things she thinks he's understanding that he needs to be doing something requested of him. Nikko also kept looking at himself in the reflection of the dark TV screen and even waved at himself a few times. Gloria stated this was increased awareness of self. Later in the day I tried to give Nikko a choice between having Cocoa Krispies or having Saltines crackers. He had indicated to me that he wanted something on top of the fridge so I brought down both boxes. He ran to his chair and signed More Please, so I put both boxes in front of him and asked him to pick one. He repeated More Please, and wouldn't pick one. I formed his finger into a point and motioned to each box. Still, no choice. He sat there asking Please and whining and shaking his head, but I urged him to choose a box. He was getting frustrated that I wasn't giving him what he wanted, and honestly I didn't know which box he wanted because he would look long and hard equally at each box after a given time. Finally I put a little of each in separate bowls and put them before Nikko. He whined again, we were both getting frustrated but I tried to remain calm. He reached out and took the bowl of Krispies and I praised him for making a choice. I didn't feel great about how long it took for him to make a choice, but that's what we're working on, right? I tried to push things along a la Jen but I didn't want to make the choice for him.

I talked to Gloria after speech and asked her the two big questions on my mind. What can I do to help improve Nikko's comprehension? Gloria said she truly believes we are doing what we can for him right now, with therapy and me with every day, and it will just take time. Also, I said that since Nikko is so attached to me, should I be concerned about him going to preschool and should I be doing something to work on this? Gloria said I should start leaving Nikko with other people so he can get used to being without me all the time. She said that preschool is so structured that he will learn the routine, and it might take 2-3 weeks for him to not cry when I go. But he'll catch on. Later, I took Audrey with me to the chiro and left the boys with Chinny. I hoped that things would be ok when I got back, and even went to Target to run some quick errands. When I got back, Nikko ran to greet me at the door. I looked at the smears on the front of his white shirt and started to panic. As I dropped my stuff and held him at arm's length, the smell of poo wafted up to me and I hauled him directly to the bathroom for a bath. UGH. Nikko probably had a poo and got itchy after a while. That's why I still keep him in onesies, to make it harder for him to get into his diaper. Poor Ronin had to wait in his crib after waking from his nap, and Chinny had to deal with a stubborn Audrey, but Nikko had to get clean. Again, UGH.

As the night wound down and Ronin was getting a bath (which he resisted practically the entire time), Nikko was crashing in the living room while I held Audrey to sleep. He would run up to me, look directly into my eyes, smile and laugh and run away. He kept doing this, and would keep looking into my eyes until I would meet his gaze. If I wasn't looking at him he'd stand in front of me until I did. I do love how he looks at me; his eye contact with me is very good most of the time. It's just when I talk to him directly and give him a command he doesn't look at me. When I put a hand on his chin and turn his face to mine he purposely redirects his gaze and his eyeballs roll away from my look. I think one of the best times I can get him to look at me is if I tickle him. Tomorrow I might take him to Mom's house so she can look at the big bruise on his left shin. It's bigger, and there's still a bump.

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