Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pinch Me, I'm Dreaming!!

Judah was chattering up a storm this evening. Judah & Willow arrived home from Gramma & Papa's  energized & full of stories. Sebastian wasn't feeling too well - temp of 101. He took Tylenol tonight & crashed out.

Judah was belting out the opening song from Wall-e on the car ride home from Beaverton this afternoon. This evening he was singing, "Let it go!!!", loud & free through the house. He really likes the Frozen soundtrack.

Last night Sebastian was fighting sleep. He kept getting up to tell us something or ask to stay up late, all of the usual stuff. The last time he got up, he urged Scott to allow him to ask me a question. He always wants to ask just one more question before he goes to sleep, and if we have to go back in his room  for some reason, he will again have just one more question to ask. Sebastian said to Scott, "I've been wanting to ask Molly this question for a long time! But I always forget!" Scott finally just gave in. I went to the hallway, Sebastian stood back against the wall as Scott & I looked at him, waiting for his question. Sebastian was smiling ear to ear, almost as if his smile wasn't allowing him to speak. I've seen this look before. Years ago, he asked us all to sit around the dinner table one afternoon. He had the same smile & the same long pause before he spoke. Then he finally said, "So, who's going away to school today!" He laughed hard, we all did!

Sebastian finally got out his question, which was, "Molly, what's a photo bomb?" Ha! Scott & I broke out in laughter. Sebastian did too of course. I asked him where he had heard that. He said, "I've always wanted to ask you that but I always forget!! I heard it on a commercial. Every time I see that commercial I forget to ask you what it means!" So I explained what a "photo bomb" was. Sebastian, of course, had his own very literal definition that he had put together himself. He explained that he thought it meant someone's head was cut out of a picture and someone else's head was put in it's place. ha. Well, he was close in a way. I don't know why he assumed I was the one who would have the photo bomb answer. ? haha

The other day I told Sebastian that something was going to "drive Daddy crazy". Sebastian said, "He'll be driving crazy all over the place!!" putting his hands out as if he was steering a car out of control. What else are you going to think when you hear things like this that you've never heard before? You too would probably have a sudden vision of Scott driving like a mad man down the streets of Salem. I love hearing Sebastian's thoughts on these things. I think we often forget how ridiculous our common sayings are! Kids are great reminders of this, and so many other things in life.

Sebastian saw Planes 2 in 3-d with Gramma this afternoon. Northern Lights now has 3-d movies! It's an older theater that plays movies after they have run at the major theaters. They have much more affordable prices & even serve food, good food! It's awesome.

Willow & Judah were attempting to share & play together this evening. Willow sees Judah as a very important sibling, just as she does Sebastian. But Judah seems to be much more the play friend to her, as opposed to Sebastian, who is the role model. She also likes to follow Judah around, imitating his sounds & actions. Judah actually doesn't seem to mind this, usually he enjoys it. I think she often does this when she isn't sure how to play with him. Sebastian however, can't stand it when Willow repeats him (which she does a LOT, mainly out of spite, haha). She has huge admiration for Sebastian though. He can tease her to the point of tears & then ask for a  piece of her cookie. She will give him a piece every single time, saying very sweetly, "Here Bastian".

We took Judah to Spectra Gymnastics this afternoon. It's an hour away. It's a good size gym with all kinds of amazing equipment. There were 3 boys having a session while we were there. They were around Sebastian's age, maybe a year or 2 older. They were pretty good at gymnastics! Both kids that are on the spectrum as well as kids who are "typical" take gymnastics at this gym. Many of the typical kids are siblings to the spectrum kids - which is SUCH a good idea! One of the 2 ladies who works there (both own the gym) took Judah through the gym, instructing him, asking him to repeat some of her simple sentences, etc. She reminded me very, very much of a good speech therapist. I knew she had to have some kind of background in therapy & autism. Scott & I watched intently as Judah did simple gymnastics with her. We were both nervous that we might end up being told our son wasn't going to be a good fit for their gym. Sounds ridiculous, right? For parents that have been told on more than one occasion that their child is not high functioning enough to join in on something that he could likely hugely benefit from, it is a very real concern. We don't know if he was now high-functioning enough (with his recent leap in progress) or if they were going to take him as a student no matter what, but they wanted him to join & the lady working with him was able to recommend a class that she thought might be a good fit for him.

Scott & I were amazed at how well Judah followed instruction, answered her questions & repeated what she asked him to. A few weeks ago that situation would have very likely presented a Judah running wild through the gym & having a melt-down when he had to stop playing. He was focused for at least 20 of the 30 minutes he worked with her. The class going on was a big distraction for him - focusing for that long was really incredible! Judah is a kid who immediately runs to join other kids as soon as he spots them, as if he is magnetized to children. The class teacher allowed him to participate in the class a few times when he ran to join them. She assisted him in doing the same gymnastics they were. He also sat with them for a few minutes. He laughed & clapped when one of the kids did his flip over the high bar.

The lady Judah was working with showed him how to do the crab walk & I swear he tried his hardest. He was close! He walked the beam as if he was speed walking through the mall. She wanted him to step over the cones (A use for child safety cones!!). He didn't step over the cones, he jumped. She asked him, "Would you like to walk or jump?" He said with much enthusiasm, "Jump!!" She rewarded him with stickers during the latter part of the session. He left with tiny round stickers speckled all over his green t-shirt.

So obviously he loved gymnastics, as we knew he would. We are looking at the class she suggested (3 kids with one spot left, all 3 and 4 year olds). This would give him more socialization. The one-on-one lesson would help him build gymnastics skill, which we aren't really concerned about. We want him to have the sensory part - getting his energy out through movement. That's important for his progress. Not all kids on the spectrum have this sensory need - but Judah does, no question about it. One-on-one would help with language a lot too, which is a huge challenge for him, truly his biggest. It's a tough call.

But hang on, it gets better. The highest we would need to pay for him to go there is $125/month (one-on-one price). That's four sessions. Is that price typical for kid gymnastics? I don't know. But how about two ABA therapists teaching these kids gymnastics? Dead serious, these ladies are ABA therapists! That's why she was so good with him - especially behavior & language wise. That makes sense. ABA therapists are not easy to come by. ABA for a kid on the spectrum is basically 30-40 hours a week of what they call "applied behavioral analysis" therapy. These therapists come to your home & work with your child. The cost... around 40-50k a year. YEAH. The only way to afford this - insurance. Oregon just passed a law that will require insurance companies to cover ABA therapy. This starts January. I don't know all the details on how much they will cover or anything else, but we are very curious to learn.

Anyway, that may give you a clearer picture of what an unbelievably amazing opportunity this could be for Judah! She also gave us information on ABA therapy as well as contacts. We've spent years trying to figure out ABA therapy. Trying to find an ABA therapist is a really difficult task. Once/if you do, the odds aren't great that you will receive CLEAR information on ABA therapy. We've seen this as pretty much an impossible task. Somehow today it just landed in our lap!

Two hours of driving (to & from) once a week, WORTH IT. The first class we are trying is the 9:15 Sunday morning class. There's no charge for this. She is helping us find a class that will be the best fit for him. If the Sunday class doesn't work we try another class. Getting up at 7am every Sunday morning to drive for an hour.. WORTH IT. I'm so excited we found this! One of the two local ASD groups that I know of on FB posted info on this gym recently. This info led us to our beautiful experience today. Finding a place that specializes in gymnastics for spectrum children is so exciting. We've been wanting to get Judah into gymnastics for a long time! When we learned this gym was run by ABA therapists, combined with witnessing Judah easily & calmly follow directions while standing in the playground of his dreams, I was pretty much convinced that everything happening at that moment was pure fantasy. It was much too good to ever be true.

Judah had one large bm.

Judah missed - coconut butter, fish oil, skin rash med not needed, eye drop (ugh!!!!), iron-up & beta.

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