Taking the Scenic Route

Thursday August 31, 2006

31st August 2006

Thursday August 31, 2006

You know what I find really annoying?  I get these babycenter bulletins every week talking about the milestones your child should be hitting and other articles.  (no idea how this spam started, but it is interesting, so I kept it).  This weeks articles were all about weaning.  For 8 months olds.  It just pisses me off that people think this is normal.  What is even worse is they have lots of “how to start supplementing with formula” type things.  Um, if you still *need* to supplement with formula, then why on EARTH would you stop breastfeeding.  If you have been blessed to make it to 8 months breastfeeding, why can’t you just hang on until at LEAST a year old, when you don’t have to supplement.  (I actually don’t think you should wean then either, but that is for another post). 

I know there is a place for formula and I was lucky to have the support and knowledge to get through some tough breastfeeding issues, but if you are at 8 months, one can assume that, except for an infinitely small minority who have the persistence to still be pumping exclusively (and bless those mamas…I don’t know if I could do it), you have this breastfeeding thing down by now.  Why invest money and time into changing things to give your baby less than the best when you already have the normal way of feeding figured out?  It is just 4 more months until you hit the 1 year mark…just hang with it a bit longer.  I do not get weaning from the breast at this point at all.

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31st August 2006

Thursday August 31, 2006

Zora had another check-up today since the doctor was concerned about her lack of weight gain.  Everything is just fine.  There was a substitute nurse there last time and, judging from her expression, mine is not the first kid that had concerning measurments (falling off their curve) that are just fine on a recheck.  (with the usual nurse). 

Zane started therapy at WSU today.  It is a different dynamic than his current therapists.  I like the people a lot, but I am already getting a sense that they have different philosophies than the SLP and OT I currently use.  The supervisor in charge of the student that is working with Zane worked at Heartsprings for 14 years, and then at the neighboring school district that has a good repuation with autistic kids.  She seems very knowledgeable and was already pointing out some of the things she is going to work with her student so that she can avoid some pitfalls of kids who will also pick up unintended things.  (for instance, kids that only verbalize sitting down because that is the only way the speech therapist works).  I think I am going to like them a lot, but in a totally different way.  The people that work with him at Heartsprings are young and energetic, where here they are more mature and calm.  Totally different personalities, but I love it because it will help him to generalize things better and I will see more easily if one style is significantly better for him or just different.

I can cross off the big Christian pre-school next to us…the only vacancy that fits with his therapy is to be the 16th kid in a 16-kid max room.  I am not sure if that is a good situation for him, even with two teachers.  It doesn’t really matter though because they won’t work with me until he is totally potty trained and only has accidents every once in a while. 

I did notice that the private school that has a mixture of Montessori classrooms and Traditional classrooms has several teachers on staff that might be good…on paper, the best one is a teacher who has degrees in Speech Pathology (and experience in it) and Psychology.  There is also a teacher that has worked in Rainbows United Inclusion room and another that has a Masters in Education specializing in Special Needs – Gifted kids.  I have a call in there…Zach did well in a Montessori environment, the docter discouraged Montessori because he needs “more direction”, and I like their teaching philosphy and planned on doing Montessori if we didn’t homeschool.  I think the right *person* teaching is far more important than the right *philosphy* though, but they look like they have enough teachers and experience to be able to make a good match.

BTW, when I was in high school, a million years ago, this school is one that we used to play (which means it was a 1A or 2A school, or “really small school” for those not familiar with Kansas rating system).  We use to cream the heck out of them in sporting events…like our “B” teams used to run most of the game and we still would have embarrasingly large wins.  However, they consistently beat us in academic/music/forensics/debate team contests and I remember thinking I wish I could go there.  I swore I would never send my kids to a school/school district where sports were more important than academics & fine arts, and this would fit that long-ago wish.

 

from around the web:

Ian’s Shoelace Site – Bringing you the fun, fashion & science of shoelaces

 

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30th August 2006

Wednesday August 30, 2006

A few days ago she started using consonants when she was babbling.  It was a milestone I was starting to get concerned about, so we were really happy when she started doing it.

Also, the last two days she has been working on trying to get crawling coordinated.  Two days ago she spent about fifteen minutes working to move about her body length, yesterday she started finally getting her knees to start working together, and this morning when we put her on the floor, she could organize her movements a little better and crawled a few feet towards daddy’s shoes.  She still gets really frustrated that she can’t get there very well, but when she works at it a bit, she is able to accomplish moving forward.  I have a feeling that by the end of today she will really be taking off.

Not quite a milestone yet, but when we held her up yesterday, she let go and stood there for a second before tipping over.  She really wants to be on her own steam.

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29th August 2006

Tuesday August 29, 2006

It went pretty well today.  I like the doctor, which is a good thing considering she is the ONLY Developmental Pediatrician in the entire state.  (found out today there was another one, but she went back to Oklahoma after 6 months). 

She didn’t want to give a final diagnosis today.  He had zero eye contact with her and, although he was more responsive than he often is with strangers, he wasn’t terribly responsive.  She wants to talk to his speech therapist (who she knows pretty well since she works in the same building as one of her offices and is the ST for a number of her patients, especially the boarding school area of the facility).  She also wants us to video tape him a lot in the coming weeks to see what his behavior & eye contact is like in more familiar surroundings.  She also wants us to take him to parks and such and videotape the peer interactions there.  We will go back in 4-6 weeks if we can get the Healthwave (kid’s medicaid) extended, but if we can’t, we will go back after the first of November when our real health insurance kicks in.

She said he is  on the spectrum, and it is more severe than just semantic-pragmatic disorder, but I think she wants to know better how is typical interactions are before labeling it.  I think if he would have been labeled on his performance today only it would have been more towards classic autism, but she isn’t sure if he is that severe from the reports from his ST and us.

She also would like to see him in a highly structured preschool that uses visual supports in addition to the 4 days a week of ST and one day a week of OT.  She also recommends making sure that there are verbal kids in the school if it is an autism class, but said he would improve the best in a more typical classroom with supports. 

There was also a lot of discussion of is OCD behaviors, but I don’t know if she is thinking of giving a diagnosis with that too, or if they are mild enough to just be an aspect of the ASD.  He doesn’t seem to be too disabled by the OCD stuff (able to be redirected without too much commotion when he starts getting ’stuck’ in a behavior)

So, we are going camera shopping & school shopping. 

Our current video camera is old, really bulky, and expensive to find tapes for.  (plus, we would probably have to convert all the tapes to something more easily viewable, which would be another expense).  So, we are looking for a digital dvd camera that is more compact.  Another unexpected expense related to autism.  lol.  Oh well.  It is just as well.  Zora is getting cheated out of video of her babyhood at this point, so it will be good for being able to do that, and with a reason to buy it can go from “want” to “need” and we can justify to ourselves shuffling money around.

The school shopping is much more intimidating.  I am actually considering going to a Christian preschool that is very near by us, even though they are too conservative for my Progressive politics, but use gentle discipline, structured environment and trained teaching staff.  I actually am fine with a very black & white view of Christianity for a young child, since young kids don’t think in shades of gray anyway.  I will pull him in a heartbeat if I start hearing things like “gay people are bad” and other offensive and negative views, but I doubt a preschool is going to address sexuality anyway.  The biggest barrier, that I can see, is trying to get them (or anybody) to accept a non-potty-trained child.  That is why I am going to try for a very close by school that can call me if there is an issue.  This one also has a nurse on staff, which makes me think there is more chance they might be able to deal with his issues.

Please pray for us as we search for the right school for him.  I am totally intimidated by the process of finding him a good preschool.

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28th August 2006

Monday August 28, 2006

 

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Finally enough hair to be disheaveled.

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How fast can we go from really peaceful to really pee-st?  Let’s see…..

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26th August 2006

Saturday August 26, 2006

First some photos, then an update

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Zane’s Therapy –

As it stands now, Zane’s schedule is going to be very full this fall.  He will have speech therapy Mon, Tues, Wed, and Thurs from two separate places, one where he has been going, and the other at the college.  The student that will be working with him at the college (hour and 15 minute sessions twice a week) came to observe him at his current speech therapy and is working closely with the professional speech therapists.  Her supervisor also has a special interest in ASD kids and is extremely excited to have a verbal ASD kid to work with, so will be following the sessions especially closely.  The student also stayed to observe the OT.

Also, the Occupational Therapist worked with the YMCA that is near us to form a private gymnastics class for Special Needs Kids.  I have a feeling I am the catalyst for deciding to actually form the class because it was something I specifically asked about…she then said that there were several other kids in the same range as Zane with motor planning and that it would definitely be a great idea.  A few weeks later, she had a flier for me listing the times the class meets and that it won’t be listed in the main catalog of classes.  I signed him up for the one that is the most convenient for us, and if the other class doesn’t fill, I might sign him up for that one too.

The only thing left is a possibility of doing hippotherapy.  I believe there is a waiting list, but our OT works at a great therapy riding place not too far away from here.  She said that the kids were all paired with Speech and Occupational Therapist and they do a lot more than just learning to ride horses…lots of therapy packed in to the sessions.  I am going to see about doing that too.  I think that will be a squeeze though.  I will have to see if it even works into the schedule at this point.

 

Zora -

Somehow my little girl turned 8 months old without me noticing.  wow.  It is going too fast already!  She is now on all fours rocking back and forth and trying to figure out crawling.  (she actually does it on purpose now, not just when she is so mad that she pushes herself up).  She has one tooth totally poking through and the other one has a corner peeking.  She is really frustrated that she can’t walk around.  She used to be satisfied with us just propping her up against something so she could stand, now she wants us to hold her hands so she can try and walk.  She wants to MOVE.  Any sitting still ticks her off.  She will be so much happier when she can move herself.  I suspect she is going to be one of those kids who never wants to sleep because she is scared she will miss something.

Solids are causing drama in our life, but it seems to be working itself out.  At first we thought she had normal tongue thrush, even though she is a bit old for that.  After we talked to Zane’s speech therapist, who also does feeding therapy, about what was exactly happening and she said it sounded like the middle muscles of her tongue were overdeveloped and that is likely what was causing the issues.  We kept using the big syringe that was originally used for syringe feeding when she was a newborn so that we could get the food in her, but kept feeding her with a spoon also, working to push down on the middle of her tongue with both things.  She is starting to be able to eat with a spoon now and keep most of it in her mouth. 

The solid food also caused constipation.  I suspect it was the crackers we gave her in a restaurant this week that caused the main problem.  I have never dealt with constipation in a kid before, so I felt like a first-time mom when trying to figure out how to deal with it.  lol.  Poor baby.  She has now gotten past that and has more normal poos, but it is just amazing how pooping is once more a major topic of conversation around here.  lol.

 

Cool Zane thing –

Earlier this week we went out to eat.  We were showing Zane the kid’s menu to help him pick something to eat (life is so much easier since he started responding to choices).  They had little cartoon drawings of most of the menu items and we were pointing to those and asking “chicken strips…” ect.  Halfway through the list, he points to the WORD (not the picture, in fact there wasn’t a picture of it) “hamburger” and says “hamburger”.  It didn’t register immediately what he just did, so I just ask if he wants cheese on his burger.  (yes, btw).  After a bit though, it dawns on me that he pointed to the word, and to top it off, the PECs card we have for his choice board doesn’t have the word “hamburger” on it, it has “burger with cheese”.  Another confirmation that he is, in fact, reading.

He also spells, without prompts, “cat” and “dog”.  He surprised his OT by demonstrating that this week.  Another interesting point, he used the lower case “a” and produced it correctly.  The writing is not spectacular, but readable.  Considering I concentrate heavily on all upper case letters (easier to write), it was a surprise that he spontaneously used lower case letters.

We have suspected for well over a year now that he could read and spell and it is really exciting to finally see him demonstrate it.  If that is what he is willing to show us, I suspect he knows much, MUCH more.  There is a long lag between when he understands a skill to when he willingly demonstrates it.  He has to feel like he has mastered it before he will demonstrate it.

 

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20th August 2006

Sunday August 20, 2006

on crocs….
 
Despite the fact the hippy shoes are more comfortable, Crocs are much more practical for my life right now because of the easy cleaning and water friendly factor. Even my super b.irks have a cork insole that gets nasty when wet, so I am starting to think they will sit in my closet for a few years until I get past the young kids phase.

With crocs I can retrieve kids from puddles, carry kids over overflowing gutters, step into the bathtub without taking off my shoes (and taking a chance at losing my balance) for those emergency hose-downs, and can breeze through vomit, pee, and poop landing on my shoes. I can wear them into the shower and let them clean themselves when they get dirty. I can deal with toilets overflowing from toys being flushed and dishwashers overflowing from crappy plumbing. All manner of grossness can be handled without worrying about ruining expensive shoes. Plus, my back doesn’t hurt and I don’t slide on slick surfaces.

So, even though I started by getting them because they were cheaper than fixing my much loved b.irks, I have grown to really love how much of a workhorse they are.

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20th August 2006

Sunday August 20, 2006

Feeding question, 8mo

I seem to be posting a lot lately, hope I am not pissing people off.

My dd isn’t gaining much (13lbs 6oz if I recall correctly) and my Dr. is sort of being a pain about it. She still has some pudge, but I can tell it is sort of melting away and I am a little concerned too, but not totally freaking quite yet.

The main problem is that she seems to have a lot of tongue thrust still. If she were gaining, I wouldn’t care and just hold off on foods for a bit, but I am supposed to bring her in for weigh ins like I did when she was a newborn. Having been on SN boards, I am aware of how serious this could get if she doesn’t eat well.

Tonight, after working with her for quite a while, he grabbed a straw and sucked up some of the baby food into the straw and let it dribble onto her tongue, farther back. She seemed happy and eager to get the food. When that was successful, I went and pulled out the big 1oz syringes from when we had to syringe feed her as an infant and sucked up the rest of the babyfood. She finished an entire jar worth of babyfood for the first time.

Although this seems like a good idea in the sense of being successful at getting food into her for the short term, I wanted to find out if this was going to create bigger problems down the road.

She actually doesn’t seem to have as much of a problem with crackers, but she only has teeth buds (just broke through), so she can’t really chew at all yet.

Is there something that helps with tongue thrust? Any other thoughts? I know we aren’t in serious trouble yet, but I want to run it by the knowledge here because my doctor actually tends to overreact to a lot of things (fresh out of med school) and it can mean a lot of testing that is likely not really warrented.

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20th August 2006

Sunday August 20, 2006

The field trip that Zach has dreamed of since I was pregnant with Zane. Chuck E Cheese.  (when not crowded for parental sanity)

Watching the show.

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We were surprised at how interested Zora was.

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Zane enjoyed it once he was “safe” in Momma’s arms. lol 

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Daddy and son bonding time. 

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20th August 2006

Sunday August 20, 2006

Zane therapies.

 Speech therapist

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Occupational therapist helps him figure out his new bigger tricycle. (there was no way he was going to go anywhere on a regular bike)

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Back in the therapy gym.

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  • Zane's age

  • Zane is 15 years, 7 months, and 24 days old
  • Zora's age

  • Zora is 11 years, 7 months, and 28 days old
  • Random Quote

  • If by a “liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “liberal,” then I’m proud to say I’m a “liberal.” — President John F. Kennedy

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