Friday, May 11, 2007

They are fixing our house!!!

Nick has sure done a number on our house in the last year. His obsession with lights has burned out MANY bulbs. Seems as if we are replacing them every 2 weeks. Our kitchen light finally gave up the good fight last week and went kaput. I had today off,so I took the old bulbs to the base Self-help store and traded them for new ones. Mike called housing maintenance yesterday to fix our storm door(which also went out for good this week) as well as patch up the two dents Nick put in the wall with his head. They came out today and spackled the dents, and ordered us a new storm door!! Our house is finally getting back in shape!! As I said earlier, I had the day off today so I decided to take both the boys to school. I wanted to talk with Nick's teachers to see how he is doing. I met his main teacher,Liz in the hallway and another teacher was walking with her. The other teacher said "Hi Nick!" and he turned around and looked at her!! Neither of us could believe it. She had a huge smile on her face after that. I asked how he was doing with speech and Liz told me that he is echoing wonderfully. He is starting to say "Set...GO!" after she says "Ready.." Liz then informed me that Nick ATE the other day in class! I asked if it was a cracker; and she said "YES!". I thought it was his regular round Ritz cracker until she told me "it was one of those dinosaur shaped ones" I nearly fell to the floor! Nick had refused ANY cracker that was not a circle or a goldfish-and now he is eating DINOSAUR shaped ones???!!! She said he knows every song they sing,and is really good with "Nesting" and stacking items(No wonder he stacks our blocks rather than matching them during our sessions-yesterday he built a tower of about 6 blocks). I am glad to hear that he finally broke down and ate SOMETHING at school-as well as his good report.

So, the repair guys came and spackled the walls-well, what does Nick do when he gets home from school? He discovers the still damp spackle and puts his fingers all in it! Mike managed to smooth it out a bit, then he sent me to the store to buy a baby gate and some more door locks. I took Nicholas with me to Wal-mart and let him walk instead of riding in the cart. He is doing so well with this, that it is no hassle taking him anywhere. The floor at Wal-mart must be interestig, because I had to pick him up off it several times. He would get on all fours and crawl down the aisles-he was looking at the wheels of the cart as I pushed it. He layed on the floor as well-I think he liked the coolness of it. He went haywire when he saw a mirror-smiling and twisting his hands in front of himself. I think I even caught him saying "hi" to his reflection in passing. I did not care what people thought, Nick was happy and having a great time. He did his little funky run(with hands flapping in excitement) as we walked out of the store and to the car. We had a marvelous time. Nick really likes the lighting in Wal-mart!

He has also started something completely new. He now sings the notes he plays on his keyboard. We wonder if he has something they call "perfect pitch" because he can copy sounds very accurately with his voice. Only time will tell I suppose.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Well, the PECS are going so-so. I think it is mostly my fault though. I just get impatient with how slow things are going. This is not one of those things that happen overnight-my brain knows that...but my heart does not. I think the reality is starting to sink in a little more. His quirkiness is becoming more apparent-and it is sinking in that this will be a long haul. Our sessions with him are very brief-he cannot sit still for more than a minute, and after each task I have to let him run in circles, or into the livingroom for a bit. Today we got two items accomplished before he shut down. He wants to stay in his world, and we are trying to bring him makes for a unruly setting. I just have to remember to take it slow...Rome was not built in a day.

A little music

I put some more music on the site so you can listen to some tunes while you read. I did not choose ALL the songs, I just let the site pick them for me (hey, it would take me WAYYYY too long to select 45 songs!). Most of them I like though.

I finally got Nicks' PECS in the mail today. We started him off with the one for "cracker" since he seems to be eating them again. Today we got a real shocker! He led Mike by the hand and said "Come"! We could not believe our ears! Well, I think I am going to shower and then be off to bed. Good Night!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

another week...

We made it through another week! We had a small family party on Tuesday to celebrate Michael's birthday. Nothing spectacular, just a small cake and some presents. Nick thoroughly enjoyed smearing the cake and smushing it through his fingers. The only time he has actually EATEN cake was on his first birthday. We are happy to report that his interest in Ritz crackers and pop tarts has not dwindled--so that is at least some solid food that is getting into him. This weekend was a busy one. Yesterday I schlepped the boys all over town to get the cake, and other supplies like chips,sodas, and Michael spent his gift card from my dad. Nick handled it all with ease-not too many "Nick moments". I actually think he rather enjoyed the little party in his own way. He stayed in the room with all three boys, even if he was just on the sidelines; it was apparent he wanted to be near them. When it was time for cake, I sat Nick in his chair so that he could at least still be part of the action. The whole time the boys were eating Nick just sat and watched them. He was trying to figure this whole social scene out and he watched intently everything they did.

Today, we went out to the grocery store and Nick started something new. He shouted "Aya!!" along with a few other vocalizations rather loudly. He has never shouted before in public, so most of his vocal oddities went unnoticed. Not today. He was sharing with everyone his own "silly talk". He does follow us rather well and does not tend to run off; you would almost say he is extremely well behaved. You might think he was completely normal. Until he runs by you waving his hands in the air, or walks on his tip toes when the patterns on the sidewalk change. Autism colors every part of his development. In some ways it is devastating-in others it is a complete gift. Nick cannot stand the sound of the vacuum cleaner, but he will put his ear right next to the speaker on his keyboard and play the notes. He plays his keyboard every single day. He is a whiz at shapes. It is like he understands the geometric patterns and he is completely at ease. Music is another thing that is very predictable-each key plays a specific note. That does not change. The shapes have a beginning and an end-it is always the same. People change constantly-and this is what is upsetting. While he is a whiz at putting together geometric puzzles, daily tasks have to be taught. We are slowly working on getting him to dress himself. Through repetition, and lots of hand over hand help, he is learning to pull up his pants. Today, he was able to follow a command-"get me your pants". He turned, saw his pants on the bed, picked them up and gave them to me. I was ecstatic. We are hopeful. He IS learning, and he is showing us that he catches on to things very quickly.