Saturday, June 21, 2014

Falling Down An Escalator

This morning I took Judah to music therapy. At first he did well, talking and repeating. But it wasn't long before he was a bit more into playing & having us help him do the movements instead of doing them himself. He was infatuated with the full length mirror Angie had left near the session area completely unintentionally. He would stick out his tongue & inspect it. He lifted his bangs so he could study his forehead. He squinted his eyes. Later he crawled behind the mirror, almost as if he was looking for the little boy he had seen in the mirror?

When she read the "Peanut Butter Jelly" book to him, he was sort of interested. But once she put it down he showed much more genuine interest in it, picking it up & carefully looking through the pictures.

She put out the Hapi Drum and said, "Maybe you'll play it & maybe you won't." She follows his lead a lot - which is really good. She picked up her guitar & started playing. Judah immediately unzipped the drum case, got out the Hapi Drum and started playing it! Like the book, his interest was really there when it wasn't expected to be, when he wasn't being instructed to do it. She's never done that before - set something in front of him and then just moved away to play music.

He turned the Hapi Drum upside-down (as he always does), put the mantle he was holding in the big hole on the bottom of the drum & pretended to stir. Angie said pretty much every child she has with his diagnosis does the same thing. She said, "It doesn't even surprise me anymore."  When you play the actual drum itself, as you are "supposed to", it makes a beautiful, almost mystifying sound. You would think that the sound would be the most intriguing part about this instrument, but not to everyone.

Judah strummed Angie's guitar (as she held it) really well today! She always has him play that. He also played some pretty music on the piano with her. It was really neat!!

While I was paying her she pulled Judah into her lap & got our her emerald green ukulele. Man that thing was gorgeous. She held it in front of him as they sat directly in front of the mirror. He played it a bit (until I tried to sneak in a picture). Again, he was interested in the ukulele because it was not expected.. his session was over & now they were just hanging out.

After I saw him enjoying sitting in her lap and checking out the ukulele, it finally clicked in my brain that he hasn't been very responsive lately in his therapies (while progress is easily seen at home), because he doesn't want to do what is expected. He wants to be comfortable & do what he wants to do, which is obviously completely normal, especially for a 4 year old. But how do you create that experience when you are going to the same location, meeting with the same person, at the same time every week? Teaching a kid through what they enjoy is important - his therapists do that, but his therapy is also very scheduled & somewhat repetitive (which doesn't always work well for Judah). I immediately told Angie the epiphany that had just happened in my head. Her thought was that maybe she could direct/instruct him less & sort of ignore him.

So now we are driving to Portland, which takes 1 1/2 hours minimum roundtrip, once a week for a 30 minute session, paying someone to ignore our son. And we are completely on board with it. Try to comprehend that one.

When we left for therapy Judah told everyone, "Bye! Bye Daddy! Bye Baby!" Right before we left he had picked out the Sophia DVD as I was going through the DVDs with him. Willow had been begging to watch Sophia all morning. He found Sophia and brought it to the DVD player!

After I gave Judah his milk in the van he got out of his seat and said, "Thank you Mommy." (Willow does this too, I love it!!)

Judah is the only one who currently calls me Mommy. I think Willow is officially on Molly. Tonight I heard her tell Gramma, "I want my Molly!" ha.

The kids were with Gramma & Papa today. Sebastian & Willow picked strawberries with them this morning. They brought home twice what we typically buy in the store every week! Dave said there is a lot of picking to be done where they went. I'm thinking we need to go pick some blueberries & peaches! Apparently it's not too hard on the wallet either.

After music therapy I took Judah across a few Portland bridges & we had a nice drive through downtown (okay I was completely lost). We made it to the mall where I had planned on exchanging my boots. I will copy & paste what I wrote on my Facebook about this experience here:

Bucket list.. #8. Experiencing what it feels like to fall down an escalator in a Portland mall on a Saturday afternoon. CHECK.
My 4 yr old loves escalators! He was really upset when we had to walk by an escalator at the mall today instead of getting on it. (This meltdown was pretty short - he understood we were moving on to another one after I told him) We finally got to the escalator we needed, I saw him hesitate to get on but I wasn't worried about it because he LOVES escalators! I got on, holding his hand & a big open box with boots in it that I was there to exchange. "Mommy!!! Wait!!! Nooooo!!" I turned around to see him still at the very top of the escalator, he hadn't gotten on!! He fell & rolled towards me.. I was still holding his hand, so I fell.. and rolled down a few steps. He cut his arm & currently has a big black mark by his eye where he hit his head on the black rubber railing. I had on a silky, flowing skirt that came so close to getting caught in between the steps. OMG.
The guy riding behind us (who obviously didn't know how to talk to children) was telling Judah (as he fell) "You're okay man, you're okay. Man.. you're alright.".. sounding just like Cheech, from Cheech & Chong.
When we were leaving the shoe store, I asked the lady working there where the elevator was. She had no clue. She said, "I don't know, but there's an escalator right over there!" I said, "We just fell down that escalator... where are the stairs.." She looked so confused, lol.

Judah is very much aware, very much with us & verbalizing in a way that confirms that. Today I could say, "Judah.." and then tell him to look at something, etc. And he would! When he wanted to tell me something he would say, "Mommy.." and then say what he needed to (sometimes I understood and sometimes I didn't). When he was done with his bowl he handed it to me and said, "Here you go Mommy." When I unstrapped him from his car seat he said, "There ya go!" haha. He is saying "Good job!" when others do things correctly - I love that one! He is saying "You're welcome." when appropriate as well as "Sorry." His level of physical affection was still pretty high today - which I don't mind at all. ;)

I just found out my friend got her son enrolled in Victory (a private autism school here). Tuition is roughly 2 grand a month. I emailed her as soon as I found out.. how in the heck did she do that?? Our boys are just months apart in age, with many similarities in challenges. Perhaps we didn't seek out all of the venues we should have when we were looking at private schools for Judah?

Judah meds.
  • Probiotic 1 daily in morning
  • Bethanechol 25 mg 1/2 tablet 2/day
  • Vitamin D3 2000 IU one daily(morning)
  • DMG 125 mg w/Folinic Acid &Methyl b-12 3 capsules in morning
  • DOCU 150/15ML Liq Hi-Tech 2 MLS 2/day
  • Levocarnitin 10% 1 Tablespoon 15MLS every morningli>
  • Miralax 1-2 times day
  • Oxy-Mag Powder 1/2 teaspoon 1/day
  • Molasses 1 tsp in almon milk
  • his b-12/folinic shot
  • Beta TCP 1-4 daily
  • Bethanechol 25 mg 1/2 tablet 2/day
  • WP Minerals 1/day
Meds didn't take
  • Powder B-6 1/2 tsp (fridge mix) every 3-5 days
  • Iron up 1 tsp/day
  • Arctic Cod Liver Oil 1 teaspoon
  • Organic coconut butter 1-3 tsp/day
Meds we don't have (add this category)
  • Sleep factor


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