Friday, November 9, 2012

Belated Halloween post

Well it's a week late, but as they say, better late then never :)  Last week was Halloween and I decided to take J out to do a little trick-or-treating. It was a cold night with rain on the way, so the plan was just to hit our immediate neighbors. Mostly so they could see how cute he looked in his costume :)
I wasn't sure what to expect. I know that at 2 most kiddos don't really "get" the concept of Halloween so I went into it with an open mind. He was ecstatic to be set free and ran up each walkway. The first house greeted us with an already open door. J took that as an invitation and thought they were welcoming him in. They put a candy bar in his bucket (which I was holding for him) and he promptly took it out and held it for the rest of our adventure. At the next house I knocked at the door and he copied me. When our neighbor held out the bowl of candy he grabbed one and put it in his bucket.  At the next house he tried giving THEM a piece of candy ;)  He quickly caught on with knocking on the doors and eagerly ran up each walkway. He could have cared less about the candy, but he enjoyed the process.
At one point we ran into one of our neighbors and their children. They have a little girl who is just 2 days younger than J. That was the toughest part of the night for me. She was carrying her little bucket full of candy and chatting away. It has only been about 2 months since we last saw her, and her language has exploded. She was also  running up the steps to the porches, a skill that J has not yet mastered. It was a big wake up call as far as just how "behind" he is to his peers. But instead of dwelling on their differences we continued on and had a great time. Everyone thought he was just adorable (how could they not LOL) and we even brought home a few chocolate bars for me, oops, I mean J.
Here's a few pics
Getting a feel for his costume
What is on my hands??
ok, let's get these off
chilling with the iPad

holding his prized Twix bar

getting into mischief

And looking pretty darn cute!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Pics

I am WAY behind in publishing my posts. Not that there's anyone waiting with bated breath to read them, but I want to try to stay somewhat up to date.
A couple of weeks a go we went to a local pumpkin farm to get, you guessed it, a pumpkin :)  This goes back to what I wrote about in my Changing Expectations post last month. I am making a conscience effort not to go into our various outings/occasions/experiences with a predetermined set of expectations, or with a picture of what the "perfect" version of the event will be. Of course with it being Fall my Facebook feed had been full of pictures of my friends' children enjoying the various pumpkin farms - pointing at and riding the animals, picking out their perfect pumpkin, doing various art activities and painting said pumpkins, etc. I wasn't going to let these visions cloud my experience with J. Our visit to the farm might look a little different than those of others, but that doesn't make it any less of an enjoyable experience. I chose one of the smaller, less crowded farms that doesn't have a ton of predetermined activities. My goal was to visit the farm, let J enjoy running around and taking in the sights, and to bring home a nice pumpkin. And, of course, get some awesome pics along the way. I think we succeeded...

As soon as we got there he was off..
He checked out the sheep
...and apparently he had something funny to say

I think that pumpkin is a bit too big
much better :)


checking out the hay maze

All in all we had a FUN time :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Evaluation results

Yesterday I finally had the meeting at the local Autism clinic to go over the evaluation J had back in the beginning of September.  As I stated before I didn't bring J in for  the evaluation because I thought he would get a different diagnosis. I was simply trying to get a more thorough evaluation than he had the first time, and was hoping that the doctors would point me in the direction of some good resources, along with some recommendations for therapies etc. As I wrote about here I wasn't too impressed by the evaluation. I was at least hopeful that they would provide some useful information. Unfortunately that wasn't the case.
I didn't tell them about the diagnosis he already has, nor had I gone into specifics about the therapy he has been receiving. I wanted to get an unbiased opinion and see what they would recommend.
Well yesterday I received a diagnosis but not much else. They pretty much told me he has autism, handed me a printout from the Autism Speaks website, and referred me to a parent support group (which I am already a part of). I asked if they would recommend a specific type of therapy but they just said I should 

pick the one I feel would be the best fit. I asked if they could recommend an area pediatrician that is familiar with autism and they said that no one had ever asked them that before and they didn't have an answer for me. The write up they gave me on J was pretty generic and uninformative. If I hadn't already done a ton of research I would have been pretty lost at the end.
 I was very disappointed. I guess I was expecting more since this is a clinic that specializes in autism spectrum disorders. As far as they knew I hadn't done any research yet and the diagnosis was completely new to me. I anticipated/hoped that they would provide me with more information as well as a bit of a plan of action. In feel that they are doing parents a bit of a disservice and missing out on an opportunity to educate a whole population of parents. To think I first called to make an appointment back in April. If we hadn't lucked out and had our service coordinator find us the place to get a J's initial diagnosis we would have missed out on 7 months of therapy. And had we just gotten the diagnosis we would just be getting on the wait list for ABA. After of course I did my research, chose a therapy, and found the agency.
They DID however say that they feel J is on the milder end of the spectrum and that he should respond well to therapy. He lacks so many of the behavioral issues that often accompany autism, so in that we are fortunate. it is also great that we are catching this so early.
It is definitely not easy to sit in a room and have someone tell you your child has significant developmental delays and to have him receive a "label". But it doesn't change the awesomeness that is Jake. Having the paper in hand will help to keep the therapies coming. I will continue to advocate for him and to learn all I can to be best mom I can be to him. He is already making great strides and I have nothing but high hopes and expectations for him.

Friday, November 2, 2012

iPad mini giveaways!!

I have been slacking a bit this week with my posts. I have a few started that need to be finished up and published. I will be sure to get to them this weekend!
In the meantime, check out this super iPad mini giveaway on SmartAppsForKids. It is an awesome website that features and reviews iPad apps for children. They alert you to free apps and host some great giveaways. Right now they are giving away 10 iPad Mini'!!. IPads can be excellent resources for children with ASD. I would LOVE to win one for Jake. It would be the perfect size for his little hands!

And now, the wonderful ladies at The IMums are also giving some away. They are going to have TWELVE giveaways!! If you haven'nt checked out their site yet, hurry up and head over!! Here are the links to the giveaways!
#1 is here
Here's # 3 and Here is #3