Thursday, February 28, 2013

Time flies

Today we have J's annual EI review. I can't believe that it has already been a year since I first called EI with concerns that J wasn't talking yet. Autism wasn't on our radar yet, I was simply calling about a possible speech delay. I made the initial call towards the end of last Feb., a little bit after his 15 month well visit. His pedi had said we would discuss calling EI if he still wasn't talking by his 18 month well check. I didn't want to wait that long and called the next week. I am glad I got the ball rolling when I did. By his 18 month visit we were discussing his red flags, and at 19 months he received his initial diagnosis.
So today all 4 of his therapists (SEIT, ST, OT and floortime family trainer), his psych consult (who oversees his ABA program), our service coordinator, and a county rep for EI will all be coming to our house. That is quite the team for one little 2 year old!
I always have mixed feelings about these meetings. On one hand I love hearing others gush over my sweet boy. On the other, I always dread the part where we have to highlight and discuss all of his delays and the milestones he's not reaching. I know that last part is necessary to continue all of his services, but that doesn't make it any easier to hear. However I know we will also celebrate all of the progress J had made over the last year. That is the part I will focus on. And I really want to write a nice long post to let everyone know about all he has accomplished. I will definitely do that later. Right now I need to do some cleaning to get this place ready for all of out visitors! ;)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

School pictures

J's first "school" picture

So J is almost 2.5 years old, and can you believe that this is his first "professional" picture?? I feel kind of guilty about that. However, it's not like I don't have a literally thousands of pics that I have taken of him stored on the computer, displayed around the house, posted to FB, and compiled into photo books. J has been my favorite subject to photograph. Pretty much since day one he has been a little ham. Always quick with a smile, looking right at the camera, and known for chasing after me once I have the camera out. Still, I was a bit nervous about this picture. For one it was going to be taken in his classroom at school, with big flashing lights, the furniture in disarray, and their daily routine thrown. They used his classroom for pictures for another group a couple of months ago and it stressed him out a bit. Secondly, getting those awesome pics of J hasn't been as easy lately. As I said before, in the past he has always been one to look at the camera and give a big smile. Lately that hasn't been happening so much. He is now more likely to look away or to just ignore the fact that I am trying to take his picture. I know that this could very well a typical 2 year old behavior, and possibly a passing phase. I hope so. I treasure all of the beautiful pictures I have of J, and look forward to capturing many many more smiles.
The day of this picture I brought him to school with the little order form filled out and told his teacher to just do their best. She asked if I wanted to stay and that they could do his picture first. Sure! So I took off my coat, put him up on the little step and backed up to make a fool out of myself jumping around and trying to get his attention. I was impressed with how well he did. I half expected him to cry or to try and get off of the step. Instead he sat there like a little model and looked around. He did knock over that red crayon a couple of times, but can you blame him - it was pretty tempting ;) And that little tan blob on the step near his feet is the toy potato he insisted on holding when I brought him up there. Everyone ooh's and ahh'd over how cute he was and we were all amazed at how long he sat there. In the meantime I was pretty much jumping up and down, singing his favorite songs, and trying to coax a little smile out of him. I am very pleased with the end result. I actually wish we were able to pick more than one pose. There was a cute one of him blowing a kiss back at me and one of him clapping his hands when I was singing "If you're happy and you know it".
This day was just another example of how J continues to surprise me. And yet another reminder that I need to relax. I get myself all nervous or worked up about a situation, and J sails through it with flying colors. And leaves me with a pretty cute picture to boot :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Radio Silence

     Well, after a false start in December, I think I am finally ready to start blogging again. For real this time (I hope LOL). I wrote in December about suffering from a bit of burnout. I had immersed myself into the world of autism and of trying learn all I could to help my son. And while I didn't slow down in my quest to do what is best for Jake, I did take a step back from the blogging world. I thought I was ready to return, but I guess I needed a bit more time. I think there were a couple of reasons for my silence. I will touch a bit on them, and then move on with my blog.
     When I first started this blog I had visions of writing a tremendous success story. I had read many blogs written by parents who watched their children suddenly thrive once they had therapies in place. Their children went from being nonverbal to gaining language and communication skills. Improvements were made in all areas, and everyone was amazed with their sudden progress. I also read several blogs written by parents whose children didn't reach this level of improvement, but I chose to focus on the "success" stories. (Not that ALL of the children didn't have successes of their own, but you know what I mean here). I was convinced that once we had all of J's therapies in place that we would suddenly see these marked improvements in his overall functioning. After sifting through the therapies available I came up with a plan of action, got his therapists in place, enrolled him in a pre-school 2 days a week, switched ST's, and waited. I waited to hear his voice. I waited for the day I could write my first "success" story blog post - the day J said his first word.  I continued to write blog posts and continued to follow along with my favorite mommy bloggers. As I waited I found myself wondering why. Why wasn't J seeing the improvements that these other children were seeing? When were his "words" going to come? Surely it would be any day now. So I waited a bit longer. And I am still waiting. And I eventually stopped writing because I think it was a bit hard for me not to be writing our "success" stories.
     But I realize that I need to stop waiting and relish in the here and now. Because J HAS had great successes. He has made many great improvements, and my pride in him grows every day. (And I owe him a nice big blog post about all of these amazing milestones he has reached) He is such a hard worker and such a little trooper for putting up with everything that we throw at him each day. I don't want to minimize the strides he has made and continues to make each day. And yes, I do realize that language isn't everything. And I understand that even if he does start talking it doesn't mean that all is suddenly right in the world. And J is an individual and it is not fair to compare him to other children. Logically I know all of these things. But sometimes I let myself lose sight of it all and get a bit wrapped up in my own head. I am going to make a conscience effort focus on the positives and on all of the strides my little man is making. Because, really, look at this face :)