Thursday, October 8, 2009

Improved signing, and The Future

Yesterday Nikko seemed to have a good day at school. He did OT stuff using the swing and scooter board. Mrs. I said she's trying to get him to stay with these activities longer. After lunch we headed to the McDonald's Playplace to meet up with Anna, Jovy and Max for some fun. Nikko seemed to have fun running around at first, but later he opted to look out the window and run a car along the window sill. When we left, I decided to take a risk and run to Costco for a chicken nugget refill, milk and other little stuff. Ronin had fallen asleep in the car and was completely knocked out in the cart for the first time ever. He usually wakes up when transported, but since he missed his 2pm nap I think he was really tired. I let Nikko walk next to the cart in the store and he did fairly well, but started pausing when he came upon a seam in the concrete floor, put his two feet together, and then stepped over the line quickly. The weather was blah so it didn't feel inviting to be out.

Today Nikko had a good 1:1 session with Ms. Winters.
...We went around building waving "hi" to office folks. He was doing a great job with high fives! He was doing pretty consistent choice pointing to pix for choice of 2 bus/bubble/cracker. I was also getting "mmm" for cracker. I was telling Three Bears story at group lang. with voices and huge drama and he spontaneously signed "cry" several times during story when baby bear was sad (I was not using the sign then but we did it a lot last week when theme was emotions!).

For the past few days I've been signing "sleep" for sleepy with him and he gets it. Yesterday I was signing happy, and during lunch today I was signing about being sad/cry and happy/smile, all before reading about his progress report. Nikko must be paying attention to how people are reacting/feeling. My next two Signing Time DVDs came via UPS today, My Day and Time to Eat. I'm excited to start using them, so I'll play it tomorrow after lunch to see if he's interested in them. They have more words that are relevant to our day-to-day, even though the DVDs are out of order in the series.

Denis and I have been talking further about how to handle the whole ABA situation. It helped that I listened to a message that Kathy Winters left on the machine yesterday, saying that there's a lady named Linda Heck who works for the school's autism group. She's going to observe Nikko on the 20th of October and then will talk to us about her findings. I'm very curious to hear what she thinks, if ABA would be a good option for him, and how we could possibly go about getting it. I wonder if we could do ABA through the school, or if we'd have to go to a private service, and then wonder how we'd pay for it. I've really got to take advantage of Nikko during these preschool years, especially while he's working with these two teachers who seem to know what they are doing, are sensitive to Nikko in this mixed class environment, and especially since Kathy is a speech therapist. Also, these teachers seem to really CARE about Nikko and his development, and seem to be working with him to reach his IEP goals. I have NO idea if any teacher in Nikko's future will work as hard for Nikko as Kathy and Margie are. I have no idea if Nikko will be able to go to Kindergarten after the preschool years. What if he has to go to a special school? Can he possibly be mainstreamed into Fairview? With an aide? So many unknowns here. Finally, I am seriously toying with the idea of doing home-based therapy with him, with me as his facilitator. I am hesitant because Ronin and Audrey are here in the mix, are so young and demanding of my attention more than Nikko is. I don't know if I will be able to do 1:1 therapy with Nikko without the babies. Maybe I should look into having Chinny come over again, perhaps in the spring or maybe even in the summer months when Nikko doesn't have school, to play with Ronin and Audrey while I do some intensive therapy sessions with Nikko. I am not a trained therapist, by any means. But I like to read, and I have had to read lots of things about autism and every other topic useful to run this household including eating right, child rearing, and all Ronin's allergies. One big thing I am so worried about, and the thing that keeps me from believing that I am qualified to take on this huge role, is that I am not patient enough. It sounds trite. But all the therapists have a deep well of patience with their clients, are able not to take rejections personally and are able to keep moving forward despite slow progress. Lately, Ronin seems to push my buttons all in the wrong direction and I am constantly harping on his whining. It's not healthy, and I don't feel good about it. If I can't keep my cool with Ronin, who is only 2, how can I possibly keep my cool with Nikko? This is my daily struggle, my daily cross to bear. Some days I'm in a great mood and there's no yelling to be had anywhere. But yesterday I was so annoyed at Ronin that everything he did was setting me off. Today I was so fed up with the fighting between the boys, the pushing and the whining and the unfair taking of each other's toys that I'm sure I screamed my anger more than once. Nikko even covered his ears a few times while I was walking around in a rant. I'm not proud of it. And even more so, how am I going to calm myself if I have to become a sit-down teacher with Nikko? Don't recommend yoga or pilates. I hardly have any time after the kids go to bed to be blogging, and I have to delete a show on the DVR because I just won't have time to sit for a whole hour to concentrate on a complicated storyline. I've actually looked up online how to have more patience, and have not found anything satisfying. Go to another room and close the door? Yeah, and when I open it all three kids will be screaming, pounding away at the door, tears and spit all over their faces because I separated from them for a minute of "peace". Scream into a pillow? Done that. Doesn't help to unleash my anger. Pound the wall? Sure, but not good for the furniture. Count to 10? Works sometimes, but not when the anxious bubble has beat me to the top. *SIGH* Well, I've got to stop blogging so I can get in five minutes of reading an autism book. I've even stopped my subscription to Real Simple, my favorite magazine, because I can't keep up with the issues that are coming. I will just read the articles I've ripped out of past issues, read up to the ones I got before discontinuing, and not subscribe to anything else. No time to read a magazine. :(

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