Sunday, September 30, 2007
When hubby and I were first married we were very monetarily challenged. We had bought our first house, a tiny little one bedroom house that looked like it could have been made of gingerbread.
I had taken a job babysitting for a friend's son during the day so I could be at home with our daughter who was only a few months old. The boy was about 4 at the time and we would play all kinds of games and entertain each other throughout the day. He even on occasion helped out with the house work.
One day when he was helping with the vacuuming, I remembered what my Mother in law had told me about cleaning the coils under the fridge. She had told me if I vacuumed the coils it would reduce the energy bill. I figured it didn't hurt to try as we could use every penny pinched. I pulled the hose off the upright, bent over and started cleaning. The little boy, being the good little helper that he was, pushed the upright a little closer so I would have enough hose to reach.
The phone rings, I reach around and switch off the vacuum and as I go to stand up the vacuum falls over, the roller brush stuck in the back of my hair. Turns out that when he moved it closer to me the brush of the vacuum was still rolling, and my hair that was quite long got sucked right in. I am quite upset as I am now a Siamese twin to a vacuum cleaner with no means of separation. I finally answer the phone in tears.
My husband was on the line demanding to know what was wrong with me and in between my sobbing and trying to tell him what happened, he decides he had better come home. The little guy had grown quite concerned and I laugh for him when he asks "Are you stucked?"
A short while later, still not able to get the evil thing out of my hair, I hear a knock at the door. It's the little old lady that lived two doors down. She knows I am home but I am not keen to open the door in my state. I go to the door, the vacuum hanging from my head and open the door a tiny tinny sliver to see what she wants.
"Honey, are you OK?" she asks.
"Yes I fine. Did you need something?"
"Well...uh..your husband. A lady came over and hit his truck head on."
"Is he OK?" I forget about my little problem for second and start looking up and down the road my stomach in knots.
"Oh yes, he is fine. The EMS are checking him out. The wreck was right before our house. He keeps telling the police that he has to get to his wife that somethings wrong. I told him I would come check on you."
I fully open the door in a new state of tears and show her the vacuum hanging from my hair. She in turn goes to get her husband to see if he has any tools to get me loose. They were a great old couple and I'm sure they had one hell of a laugh when they got home, but for the time it took to get me loose they never cracked a smile. They were even so kind to watch over the two children while I ran down the road to see for myself that my hubby was OK. He was fine, though I was feeling incredibly guilty.
Friday, September 28, 2007
There is a five car pile up on the road going the other direction across from Connor's favorite elephant that is safe in the confines of the putt-putt. As we near the high school I grew even more nervous as I know there are teens with very little experience in driving on the very wet streets. I drop the oldest teen off at the front doors of the school safely and relatively dry.
The youngest teen and I find an alternative route to the middle school as the traffic has thickened considerably from the 5 car pile up. We do eventually run into a bit of traffic but thanks to the detour she arrives at school with time to spare.
I get back to the quiet and dry house, hubby and Connor still asleep in their cozy beds. I try to take a bit of time to sit quietly with a cup of coffee and read email. I barely get signed in and my in box opened when I hear knocking at the side door. I am startled at first but the urgent rapping on the door tells me it's my mother.
Swearing under my breath at the inconvenience I go to the door. As I get closer I see her outline silhouetted on the drapes, but something seems strange about it. On the left of her head there appears to be a horn. I dare a peek out of the window and realize the problem straight away. The poor thing is standing at my door step with a round brush sticking straight up in the air, relentless stuck in the hair by her left temple.
As I open the door she pleads for help. I try to restrain myself from laughing and instead ask her if she drove all the way over like that. When she looks at me I realize what a stupid question I had asked. She sits at the table and drinks some coffee as I go gather supplies that may help in freeing her head without leaving a bald spot. About this time the two layabouts have gotten up from bed to see what the noise is about. Hubby asks me to turn her head so he can run through in dice and flame decorated boxers to get to the basement laundry room. I am glad her head is turned when he comes by, she is too emotionally fragile for the look on his face when seeing her plight.
As I start to work on the problem Connor wanders over to see what is going on. He doesn't understand why she has a brush fixed so close to her head. Being one who does not like a brush to be anywhere near his head, he is terrified. Aversion to people with brushes stuck in their hair, who would have guessed.
After Connor is calmed and attention directed elsewhere I continue to work. Hubby comes back upstairs to asks the same stupid question I did. "You drove all the way over like that?"
"Well it's no different than those kids wearing picks in their afros!" she defends, arms flapping.
"Yeah it is. They can get those out when they need them. How did that happen anyway?"
"I sneezed. I was curling my hair and I sneezed." she explains.
Thankfully he doesn't go on about it any longer so I don't have her here in a blubbering mess while trying to get this brush out. She is so tender headed that every touch is meet with "eeks" and "ohhs" and hands flying in the air as if I was ripping the hair out of her skull by the handful.
"Can you just cut it out?" She is reaching her limit.
"No I can't have you going around looking weird. You just went through all the trouble of having your hair done and we are going to keep it in tack!" I wouldn't like to see her back in frizzy ponytails.
That gave me an idea and I run to the bathroom and grab a pair of nail clippers. I clip off the bristles of the brush and have her free in a matter of moments with a majority of the hair still attached to her head.
Later that night as I am recounting the story to my sister over the phone she starts to laugh. Not just a giggle but a tears in your eyes and face hurting kind of laugh. I thought it was a funny situation but hadn't thought it that hilarious. "What's got you in stitches over there?" I ask
"Well it was on her left side so she couldn't hide it from other drivers could she?"
"No I guess not." Still not clued in.
"Well imagine you are going down the road and you happen to look over and see a rusty old white 72' Chevy pickup with pink and purple pin striping, and then you see an old woman driving it with a brush sticking up out of her head! Just goes to show you can't go on a first impression can you?"
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
He has short sentences, most scripted but we all have to start somewhere. His conversations have few exchanges but we are seeing more and more back and forth.
He shows his teasing sense of humor at the dinner table while we eat. Putting his knees in his chair he puts the weight of his upper body on his elbows, leans sideways, looks at his Dad and says "I gonna fall!" in the cutest sing-song southern drawl.
"You're not gonna fall if you straighten up in your seat." Dad responds.
"I gonna fall!"
"No you're not, sit down right and eat."
"I gonna fall Daddy!" He screams and laughs. Daddy just can't help but smile because it is too darn cute and he said "Daddy."
I had swore that if he ever said "Mommy" I would probably faint from shock. I used to spend so much time teaching him that word, just to have him stare blankly back at me or say something totally different. He started talking never saying it and then when he did, he was only making noises. He wasn't talking about or to me at all. I was sick of all the evaluators and his OT calling me "Poor thing." when they found out.
One night at dinner we were playing a game of "who is that?". We would point to another person at the table and ask "Connor, who is that?" Finally one night I was blessed and he said "Mommy" and was talking about me! I didn't faint or fall out of my chair but sat there and cried a little, hoping that it wouldn't discourage him from saying it again.
It hadn't discouraged him and we are hearing it more and more. One night last week when it was Daddy's night to tuck him in, he sat up real fast looked around his room and asked "Where Mommy?" I was in the bathroom and heard him. Between you and me, that felt really really good.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
He could walk, jump, and ride bikes with the best of us. He couldn't run very well, although his fist were balled up in front of him and pumping, his lower half didn't fully cooperate so he barely got up to a jog.
We played together often but as we got older I found less and less time for him. Truth was, as time went on I didn't like him much. I was getting more mature and engrossed in who liked who, and who said what about who while Bobby was still catching creepy crawlies. He was gross too, eating jelly and ketchup on eggs, rarely having his mouth closed. He would get off of the short yellow bus in the afternoons and if I was outside, he would declare to everyone that I was his girlfriend. At his house he would often come out of the bathroom without his pants. Though not something I cared to witness his was the first I ever saw of the male anatomy.
My Mom told me that Bobby was mentally retarded. When I asked what caused that to happen to him, she said these things happened sometimes when the Mother was malnourished during pregnancy. So I imagined my poor neighbor not being able to feed herself while pregnant and now having to pay the consequence.
This is what Connor has taught me;
1. That goofy run Bobby would do was the cutest, though I didn't think so at the time, I do now.
2. Bobby's Mother was not starved during pregnancy. She was/is a hardworking, brave, and caring woman that loves her son very much.
3. Either my Mom didn't like to admit she didn't know something or she was misinformed.
4. Autism and Mental Retardation are different animals when it comes to eye contact, communication, socialization. Bobby had no problems in these areas.
5. They are the same in that they both have special needs.
6. Don't judge a parent by the actions of a child.
7. I had been a very judgemental person.
8. Don't Judge!
9. I could have been a better friend to Bobby.
10. Sometimes it is the youngest and smallest that teach the best life lessons.
Monday, September 24, 2007
With the same techniques as last week, using the stroller and superman vest, I added a few picture books and wax candy. We were good to wait for awhile yet with no tantrums. She arrived a few minutes later and when Connor sees her he starts to unbuckle himself and I take off his vest. He follows her through the halls bouncing and humming.
I have no idea what she was planning to do with us today, but I told her I would like for her to model joint compressions for me again. Connor had been adversive to it the last week when I get to his hands. I also let her know we were interested in trying the listening program. She had told me that they didn't move forward to the listening program until a good sensory diet is in place.
So when she runs off to get the CD player and headphones, it occurs to my that she must be under the mistaken idea that I have a clue of what I am doing. For those who wonder what listening therapy is, well I have a hard time explaining it but the link is here.
He was hesitant to wear the earphones at first but soon he was zooming around wearing them with no problems. She told me to watch him to see if there were any positive or negative effects. Apparently sometimes good things happen immediately and sometimes it takes a few tries.
When we get home he ate a peanut butter sandwich. He didn't tear it apart and play in it as usual, he ate it. When we went to my niece's volleyball game tonight he stayed in his stroller watching contently for the most part. The loud noises and lights did eventually get to him, but it was much better than usual.
No he didn't walk up to me and say "I need to go potty." or get himself dressed, or sit with me on the bleachers at the game like other children his age. Nor am I sure that it was the listening therapy that caused the good eating and temporary calmness. He could have been starving. He could have been just tired or very interested in the game.
At the end of the day however, progress is progress, and I will take whatever progress that comes our way as a huge blessing.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
For example, tonight while I was tucking him in and we had read our bedtime story, I hung around to snuggle and rub noses. We were getting giggly and I was pretending I had to sneeze.
"AH, AH, AH, CHOO!" and I blew a raspberry on his belly. He thinks this is hilarious and after the first time he starts to imitate me.
"AH, AH, AH, CHOO!" Clunk! We bang heads. He puts his little hand on my forehand and asks "OK?"
"I'm OK. Are you OK?" I rub his forehead and when he smiles at me I tell him "OK I think we need to try that again."
He puts a hand on either side of my head and before I realize what he is doing his head comes toward mine. Clunk!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
When he gets up in the morning he knows I will take him to the bathroom. I will help him get dressed and groomed. After he knows breakfast will be on the table. I have come to expect that depending on the bread and sugar content, it may or may not be eaten.
He knows when we will play and when therapies are coming. A pitiful little timer helps us transition through. Sometimes there are discrepancies when Connor thinks the timer is wrong, sending it flying across the room when it sounds time is up.
His favorite part of the daily routine is getting in the car and picking up his sisters from school and seeing the elephant statue at the local putt-putt. So as always, I put him in his car seat, I walk around, get in and fasten my seat belt. The car would not start. It sounded like it was trying but just couldn't fire up. I call Hubby and tell him the problem and he offers to go get the girls.
No sense sitting in the car any longer so I get out and go around to get Connor. I unbuckle, he rebuckles. This happens a few more times and then he decides to climb over the backseat into the hatchback. I keep myself calm and chase him through the car all the while explaining that we can't go, the car wont start.
I finally get a hold on him and take him back into the house. Once inside he is furious and goes into a fit of turning toy tubs over and throwing and screaming. I could just imagine what he was thinking...You didn't do it right Mommy! Where's Gracie? Where's Melody? I've already said Bye-bye to the duck! I wanna see the elephant!
I try to console when I can and stay out of the way when I can't. I let him have his fit, because honestly it ticked me off a little too. Dumb thing said it had over a half tank of gas when in fact it was empty. I more than empathised with him.
After awhile things became more normal and Connor was returned to his calmer state. I pick this moment to have him help clean up the destruction of his fit. He wasn't happy about it at all, but it was expected.
Hopefully his Mommy will get things right tomorrow and realize the logical thing to do after getting into the car, is to leave the driveway.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
First mistake was taking a boy with five stitches in the bottom of his foot to the waterside. DUH! What on earth did I think he was going to do? When I told him not to get in the water he didn't, but his little foot was still in a puddle of mud in between the pebbles. Had I taken the time to think it through I could have moved him over, fixed a spot to put his foot, gave him a certain amount of time before we had to go. Alas, I didn't do any of these well thought out things. I made a second mistake and told him we were going back to the pavilion and my poor little guy that does not transition well flipped out.
The duty of carrying pressure and weighted vest and having the intuition about when to use which one, figuring out what is sensory and what is bad behavior, these are things I do happily (although not always well) because they are what my kiddo needs, but I would be lying if I said it was anything less than daunting at times. I have come to the realization that the daunting times turn out to be when I am working against myself, like today.
I am tired and having driven 200+ miles round trip to spend an hour and a half with family I have not seen for awhile makes me feel like I could curl up in my computer chair and sleep till morning.
I leave you with a song Hubby likes, it makes him think of Connor and alot of other special kids.
The lyrics "Baby Mine"
By Alison Krauss
Baby mine, don't you cry
Baby mine, Dry your eyes
Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part, baby of mine
Little one, when you play
Don't you mind what they say
Let those eyes sparkle and shine
Never a tear, baby of mine
If they knew sweet little you
They'd end up loving you too
All those same people who scold you
What they'd give just for the
Right to hold you
From your head down to your toes
You're not much, goodness knows
But you're so precious to me
Sweet as can be, baby of mine
Friday, September 14, 2007
He said the cutest things. Seeing the cookie dough he had gotten on a DVD he ask "What did you do?" It was so cute I couldn't help but laugh. At one point during the day I even heard a happy little bird chirping outside my window.
Time came to get the girls from school and we got in the car waving "Bye-bye Duck" to the lawn ornament in the neighbors yard. The weather was nice and breezy and the sun wasn't shinning too brightly. When we got home I decided it would be nice to get the heavy work out of the way outside. It's Friday so that means Hubby brings dinner home, no preparing meals today!
I gave Connor a spade to dig in dirt and sand. After an hour or so we were both covered in the dirt and sand, so under the pretense of getting something to drink, I lured him back inside. Once inside he is self sufficient in getting his own drink of water. I start to draw his bath and he jumps in almost before I can get his clothes off.
After he is clean and hair washed I set the timer. When it goes off the younger teen takes Connor to finish getting dress while I have my chance to get clean and changed. I had managed to get my shirt off and hear a crash followed by "WAH!!!"
I rush out of the bathroom still only in pants and a bra to see he has managed to slice his foot open while playing chase with his sister. The magnetic board to help organize appointments had a very thin sheet of aluminum that peels right off and is very dangerous to little feet.
He doesn't want to be touched and blood is everywhere. I pick him up and put a pull-up on him getting blood smeared all the way up his leg. It was on my hands, the floor, my chest, and all over him. The youngest girl gets me a tshirt and the oldest gets another pull-up and we put in on his foot. Absorbent and stops blood from getting on anything else. The oldest gets him in the car while the youngest helps me get my keys and cell phone. At this moment I seemed to have trouble remembering anything.
On the way to the immediate car center he is fine saying "Ewww!" when he sees the blood on his toes. In triage his is OK, when the nurse takes off the pull-up to look at his foot he covers his mouth and says "Oh no!"
Once we are called back in the room waiting on a doctor he gets scared. Hubby and I try to calm him but he tries desperately to get under the gurney which has a shelve for oxygen it's covered with dust and just dangerous. After an hour of wrestling with a distraught toddler the doctor finally comes in. He is very nice and ready for a work out. The procedure was over quickly, the pricks to numb and the cleaning being the only things that hurt, and Connor though he was struggling and screaming in the beginning is now asleep.
Connor got 5 stitches and once home was talking and running 90 mph like nothing ever happened. The stitches are to be in for 2 weeks because the cut is across the bottom of his heel, and he is to take an antibiotic because there is noway to keep him off his feet.
Watching him since we got home I don't know how those stitches are going to hold out.
I had no questions for her I just wanted to hear what she had to say. Most of her answers were plain common sense. The sort of answers that make "normal people" stop and say "Well duh! Why didn't I think of that?"
She describes the way she thinks as putting a topic in Google images search engine. She thinks in pictures. She says there are three types of thinking;
"1. Visual thinking - Thinking in Pictures, like mine 2. Music and Math thinking
3. Verbal logic thinking."
Dr. Grandin warns parents to not stomp out the things their children obsess over. Instead she says to use these things to teach. Find books about it to teach them to read. Find clubs for it to help social interactions and use it to teach turn taking. Turn taking she says is key.
On treatments, Dr.Grandin is conservative, she must have at least three families that claim it was successful and they must answer her defense attorney-like questions. So far chelation and Hbot do not meet her standards. Medications, she says must have the "Wow factor" but she says just a tad too much and the person will feel like they drank 10 cups of coffee or worse.
She says to teach kids career skills and start on it at around 10 yrs of age. She describes Google and Microsoft as "Full of Apsies and Auties that were the lucky ones. The ones who had mentors to give them direction. The ones who didn't have their obsession stomped out of them."
Whether she meant to or not, she had us cracking up. The self proclaimed "geek". I loved the twinkle in her eyes when she described friends of hers (most with Aspergers) that were in Silicon Valley.
Dr. Grandin also told us that studies show that some great composers had aspergers, and Dr. Einstein was most likely autistic.
She told a story about being on an airplane in coach and a couple that made out the whole flight. She confesses she does not "get" or understand all that. She likens it to the reaction her autistic friend has to the conversation of server farms. She tilts her head back, eyes closed, and exclaims "Ahhhhh!"
She says she has the emotional status of a 10 year old boy. As example she tells the story of her being on a construction sight where someone kept stealing the lunches. She can barely stop laughing as she tells about the guys putting dog crap on sandwiches and letting the lunch thief steal it.
When asked by families if there child will ever have meaningful relations (I take it she meant marital relations), she has one answer, "I don't know. Maybe if they find someone with the same intense interests. You have to remember your kid is a geek."
So much insightful information I can't possibly remember to get it all down. She talked about sensitivities, colored glasses and paper for visual processing problems, antidepressants, diets, ABA, speech and OT, manners, and potty training.
During the entirety of the session she spoke of her Mother often. The treatments her Mother used and the people she used as a team. I think it's fair to say that her Mother did one hell of a job.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
"So how did the boy do in speech today?" He asks.
"He did great, he followed along with the picture schedule and did the picture and sound pictures all the way to O."
"What are the picture and sound pictures?"
"I'm not sure what they are really called, but they go from A to Z and they have two pictures of one thing one them and then the beginning sound of the picture. It would go Apple, Apple, Ah ah ah. Baby, baby, ba, ba, ba." I explain hoping he isn't totally lost now.
"Did he get tired of it or what happened?"
"He didn't know what the picture was."
"What was the picture?"
"Octopus. Guess we've never had a chance to cover that one."
"Everything else go alright?"
"Yea, he zoomed through most of his schedule so he got to go to the gym. He was checking out the assistant, I think he remembered she had open toed shoes last time, then at the gym he saw she had red toenails. He followed her everywhere."
"Oh great! What did she think about that?"
"Well I told her about it last time we went, but she tried to hide them by standing in a ball pit."
"What did he do? Dive to the bottom after them?"
"Well, he tried to yes."
"You know I think maybe we should try the brush. Has to be better than him going after strangers feet." He offers
"Seriously? Are you sure? You know, just because we start brushing doesn't necessarily mean he wont still want toes."
"Well lets try it anyway. We have to try something. The really bothers me when he does that. It's the one thing he does that really make me feel he has anything wrong with him."
I know and understand what he means. He isn't denying that Connor has autism and he isn't ashamed of it. The site of your little one throwing them self on strangers nasty (God only knows where they have been) feet and pressing them to his face makes your heart sink. It's not only the dirt that may be there, but that he does it with no fear, no shame, and no apologies. For him at those moments there is no one attached.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
As you could imagine SC, in order to get all the above accomplished, was a tad overbearing. She has a teen aged son that had some form of developmental delay and had been in this field for a long time. The result being if you had been to the moon, she had been there twice. If you knew of a treatment, well she may have helped event it, and how nice that the information of said treatment had got around to the lay folk who were not as educated.
My husband loathed her with his very core. I didn't mind her, she had helped tremendously and she was no worse than hubby's first stepmother, AKA Mother-in-law from hell. Unfortunately this was the person to first bring up Wilbarder's brushing protocol.
For those who do not know about the brushing protocol the information about it and the creator can be found here.
When she introduced the idea to us I knew immediately she was not giving it a glowing endorsement as far as hubby was concerned. She describe it as being a very bothersome thing that had to be done every 2 hours and something that her son still liked. I could see the pictures popping up in his head of a grown boy rubbing himself raw all day, every day and having no interest in anything else.
That is in fact what he is afraid will happen. He believes the males in his family have addictive personalities and he may very well be right as one brother is an alcoholic, another addicted to pain medication, and he himself spends way too much time on computer games.
However I am told by the "experts" that the amount of brushing is decreased until it is no longer used at all and the gains are maintained. I am wrestling with either building up a good defense to go back and plead my case with hubby, or else waiting awhile before trying to introduce it again.
I don't care for the idea of chucking the treatment all together. I don't know that it would be paramount to Connor's development, but as I saw a positive effect and it can't cause him harm, I am inclined to believe it should be tried. To say the least I have conflicting thoughts. I wont do it and hide from hubby, I haven't hid anything from him in our 15+ years.
I guess the question I have to answer is; do you ask someone who has only asked not to try one thing, because of personal believes, to change their minds, when the results are not proven?
Monday, September 10, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Last night of course it was horses. He pushes the horse into every room with him all the while yelling "Wahoo! Yeehaw! Gitty up!"
So of course Hubby searched for the Lone Ranger. He didn't find much but the opening of the show but this video got a chuckle from Hubby and me.
The night before it was Charlie and Lola. Connor says their names with a perfect English accent, his favorite to say is Charlie. His favorite video however is Lola and her friend Lota singing about a chicken that is the Bestest in the Barn.
Last week we also found out that techno songs were actually lullabies.
I know, I know he is only supposed to be getting his daily allowance of Sesame Street, but Hubby only has a small amount of time between getting home from work, eating diner, and Connor's bedtime. Sometimes allowance have to be made, or at least that's what I tell myself.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
The day had started out fine, Saturday ritual of fill up the gas tank, take the car through the car wash, and grocery shop for the upcoming week. Somehow things started to go downhill in the dairy section of the store. My cell phone rings, it shows someone is calling from the house. All kids are with me, maybe Hubby came home early from work.
"Hello, Dortha this is Rose." It's is my Mom's neighbor in my house.
"Er...Hi Rose, whats going on?"
"Your Mother wants to know where you are."
"She wants to know where you are grocery shopping."
"How long will you be?"
"Until I finish."
"About an hour?"
"We're going yard saleing for a bit and we'll be back." My Mom yells in the background.
I am wandering through the aisles now not sure of what I have put in the cart and what I've passed that I meant to pick up. Why the heck were they in my house with no one there? How did they get in my house? Who does that?
When the girls come to me with shirts they just have to have, I throw them in the cart and decide we need to go. I can't think properly enough to shop just now. When we pull in the drive I see the bleeping thing I told her no about. Maybe he wont notice it, maybe we can swing it around back and get rid of it later, but no he squeaks "HORSE!"
The teens start to carry in the shopping while I try to restrain Connor. He is so happy to see this huge hobby horse. I am less than pleased, it is nasty, dirty beyond belief. I am happy to see the springs have protective covering but I am unsure whether the green stuff on it would be classified as mold, mildew, fungus or algae. The front and back of the frame has things that look like paint roller covers, I guess to stop from scraping the floor when pushed here and there. I think they used to be grey maybe white, now they are camouflage.
He starts to tug and pull on it trying to get it closer and closer to the door. I give in. I lower one half of my back seat and throw the nasty hobby horse in and put Connor in his car seat. We are off for a second visit to the car wash.
He sits in the back of the hatchback while I presoak, wash, and scrub. As I start to rinse and check it over for any missed spots of nastiness he climbs out of the back and drives his new toy motorcycle and helicopter (more toys that were left inside from Grandma) through the bubbles on the concrete. Surprisingly it cleans up well and Connor is eager to get back in the car with his horse.
Once back home he helps pull it out of the car and pulls and pushes it all the way to the front step. I help him get it up the step but the rest is all him.
Horse clean and safe? Check (I think)
Heavy Work? Check
Thursday, September 6, 2007
It first started when he would not sleep for any length of time unless he was in his carrier. So I would buckle him in, sit in on the floor in front of the sofa, and would only be awaken for feedings. When he got too big for the carrier he was scared to be in the crib. We finally got him used to falling asleep in it but not before watching him fall asleep standing up with his head resting on the rail.
The time in the crib was very short lived as he soon started to climb out. This in itself was not too scary it was the fact that a number of times if I had not been in the room with him he would have landed on his head. So we transitioned him into a twin bed and put a gate up at his door so he would not wander through the house at night.
Soon the really strange and unusual would start. Instead of sleeping in his bed he started sleeping under it or in his closet. We had an occupational therapist by this time and she suggested a tent to give him a space to be enclosed by himself. That gave him a third place to sleep, under bed, in closet, or tent. You would think as long as he was sleeping I would let this be, but he was not sleeping well at all. He would not let me lay anything on the floor so after he feel asleep the pools of drool soaked half of his head and he would be awake again crying.
As well as sleeping in weird enclosed spaces he began to scream whenever we would turn his overhead light off, but would also make sure that no light was falling on him what so ever. Nightlights were rejected. I was beginning to think I would never sleep again and as I read stories about other parents in similar situations I was even more afraid.
Sleep deprivation must spur creativity and necessity must truly be the Mother of invention because one morning I just knew what I had to do. I pulled the old bunk bed the girls use to share out of storage and put it up in his room. I placed it in the corner of the room and used shower curtain hangers to hold old red and gold table clothes to close in the remaining exposed side and end of the bed. I removed the ladder and the top bunk serves only as a roof.
I slept well that night, till I heard Thump. He had rolled out of bed and was climbing back in. He has since placed his air mattress sleeping bag on top of his regular mattress and I wedge a pillow under one side to make sure there are no more tumbles. He zips himself in making sure the zipper is up as much as it will go and tells me "Night, night". I even on occasion get voluntary kisses.
I wonder how much longer till we have to make new inventive changes.
Monday, September 3, 2007
Wanting as many activities as possible available for heavy work, I went out and bought 2 medicine balls. He has often picked up my brother in law's bowling balls, so I figured he would play with these and they would be much easier on the foot or toes they landed on.
Well that was my mistake. He found out the straps do not come off, he has deemed them defective.
On the same trip out I bought him a little bicycle and helmet. I realize this exercise would not be the heavy work he needed as his upper body would not be involved, but it prompts him to say three syllable words. "Bicycle!" If I say "Bike" he corrects me "Bicycle!" and I figured he still needs other forms of exercise too.
When I call spouse to tell him about my purchases he informs me that Connor will not be able to ride it immediately because it requires abstract thought. We'll just show him how' I think to myself. I am convinced that I will put him on this bicycle, show him how to put his feet on the peddles and he will just get it, right?
I put him on the it and his feet in place. He sits expectantly and then thrust his body forward waiting for the ride to start. I get on my knees and place my hands over his feet and from behind I peddle his feet for him (I may need to borrow his knee pads). After a bit I get up look at him and say "Now you try."
He moves his feet off the peddles and slants his body just enough to put his big toe on the floor and pushes. OK, this will take more time to learn than I thought.
With his heavy work has come some temper flaring, throwing/swinging of toys, and the need for more deep pressure. I can only assume this is because his endurance is being pushed. The temper and throwing or swinging toys are always when the toy does not "behave properly".
My younger teen sitting in the living room and minding her own business caught a toy telephone in the nose, when he could not get it to do what he wanted. What did he want it to do? I have no idea.
Spouse brought home a John Deere tracker with farm animals, that make animal noises and sings "Old McDonald". Straight out of the box he tried to disconnect the carts carrying the animals. He brought it to me to see if I could get them off. They are just not made to come apart. He throws the animals and the farmer across the room and the tractor soon flies at my head. I collect the tractor and animals to be put away until he can behave. He seeks more ammo, and soon I have two trucks that I narrowly dodge to add to confiscated items.
The needs for deep pressure have changed a bit as he needs more and more lately and I do the best I can with the vest, messages, and joint compressions, but there are just some things a Mom cannot do. Even in his sleep I will see him lie on his tummy, flat as a board,ball his fist up underneath his lower body and all the muscles in his legs and buttocks tighten. When he does this in his awake hours I distract his attention elsewhere.
The OT office is of course closed today for the holiday, so I will have to wait for her to show up late for her appointment next Monday. She has some explaining to do, and the next time she tells a parent to do heavy work with their kids she needs to let them know that it is indeed, hard work.