Saturday, February 07, 2009

Once Bitten......

Ok, I have been really trying to get a "warm fuzzy" about Nick's new school placement since it happened in November. I was thisclose to being there, and then I briefly chatted with one of his teachers today when I picked him up for his eval. at UW.
"Nick has not had a good couple of days" she informed me.
"Oh?" This was news to me; since we bought a small notebook for the teachers to write in everyday(at their request actually) and it has not been seen for weeks.
"He bit the other teacher, and head butted her the other day."
"He BIT her??!!" "What happened??!"
She then proceeded to tell me that each day they require all the kids to sit in a circle on the floor and do "calendar time". I have no idea of what "calendar time" consists of, but apparently Nick was wanting to play with a toy rather than do this. So, his teacher goes and takes the toy from him. Now, in November when he started here, we showed his teacher how to speak to Nick and he will reluctantly hand over what it is you are asking for-minimal protest, and a very controlled Nick. He gets rightfully upset when you just yank it from him. Nick likes order; he likes to feel like everything is under control. Don't we all? Anyway, Nick bit her and headbutted her, and he has been throwing tantrums when transitioning from one thing to the next. He does not do this at home. In fact, he barely does this when out in public. Nick is not a biter. He has never bitten anything other than his own lip before. He must have lost all control of himself in order to do this-which is not a normal thing for him. Now, I am afraid that the teachers will see him differently and act somewhat cold against him. This is not normal for him. He went to Evergreen for two years and he never bit anyone. His teachers all loved him and he thrived. Also, the number of kids in his class has grown from 5 to 9 since November. That is 9 kids-and today there was 4 adults who were also in the class. That is 13 people in a room-all afternoon. It could very well be too much for him. It just seems like they really don't know how to handle him. He is in a room with 12 other people bustling about,expecting things from him, and he goes in to overload. He has no escape. No quiet room he can go to for a few minutes of reprieve. We have an IEP meeting next week and I plan on discussing some of these things. Nick just needs an understanding teacher and he will be ok-I just feel like he will sink at this rate.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

On the verge of a breakthrough?

Could it be?? Could it be that Nick is starting to make some real progress in the area of cognitive development? What he did today was a huge was a slam dunk!

I came home today and Nick was playing in the front closet with the light on. When he heard me he came out. He was not saying anything, but he was hitting his head with his hand. I thought at first he was frustrated with something, because that is when he usually does this. But, instead of being mad at something, he grabbed my hand and made me hit his head. I can't say HOW, but for some reason I immediately thought of a headache.

I kneeled down to his level and asked "Nick, do you have a headache?" He said nothing, instead he began looking for a place to bang his head. I instantly distracted him by taking his hand and saying, "Ok, let's go get something to fix it."
"Fix it" he understands, and begins to follow me. I find some Children's Motrin and gave him the recommended doseage.

He is still quiet for the next few minutes. Ten minutes or so pass, and Nick is not so quiet anymore. He is screeching with happiness and playing beside me while I clean up the kitchen. Mike notices the drastic change and says "Wow, he must be feeling much better now!" Mike then proceeds to tell me another amazing event that happened today.

He told Nick to pick up all the pillows and put them on the couch. Which, he has normally needed a little help with staying on task and maybe some guidance. Not this day. Nick did it. With no prompts. Words cannot describe how proud I am of my baby boy! My Little Man...Doing the best he can! Today was a good day.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

I count this as Imitation....what about you?

This is what transpired as I saw Nick run past me in the kitchen with the dish sponge in hand. Well, he did see me do this ALL DAY with his crayon capers.

Mischievous Nicholas

Oh yes ladies and gents; Nicholas has been very full of himself lately. I have been on crayon patrol most of the day. We keep his crayons very high on the top shelf in the playroom; but that does not deter our little mister. What does he do? Why he pulls up a chair of course and stands on it. His grubby little hands latch on to the oversize crayons, and Nick marks his way down the hallway. Yesterday he managed to open the window in the livingroom and peek his head out. Today he managed to hang one of his bed sheets out the window; last week he had thrown a bucket full of toys into the bush below his bedroom window. Can't say I was all that surprised, given his love of watching things drop. I actually chuckled quite a bit at the image of a blonde haired little boy throwing toys out the window and laughing hysterically as they fell to the bush below. Must have been quite the sight.

How Much is Enough?

I still struggle with this thought. Are we doing enough? Should we fill in his weekend with more hours of therapy, or let him have that time *free*? How much biomed is enough? Should we spike everything he consumes with supplements, do we give him shots of B12 to possibly get some more improvement? What about Nick himself? What would he want? How much improvement do we need to see in him before we can truly say, We are happy? What does Nick think of all this? Does he think that he will never be enough for us? I certainly hope not. I am not trying to start a debate over different therapies-we certainly have seen big gains with doing some biomed, as well as traditional therapies. I know I want the best for Nick. I want him to be the highest functioning that he is capable of, and I am not about to stop any of his programs. But something in me also thinks that he needs to just BE sometimes. He needs time to be his own person-just like we all do. And if being his own person means that he likes to spin toys, and talk non-sense for a little while, why can't that be OK too? He has tons of moments throughout the day where he is looking at us, following directions, following points, imitating, and saying things appropriately. We have spent such a long time trying to make him a part of our world,that we sometimes miss the beauty of his world.One day last week, the tables were reversed.

We were in the boys' bedroom playing around on the floor. Nick came over and kneeled at my side. He then took both of his hands and put them on my cheeks. He proceeded to move my head side-to-side like he does. He was trying to show me something. He wanted me to be a part of his world-he let me in. He enjoyed every second of it-and looked directly at me with a smile from ear-to-ear. For a brief moment, I was in Nick's world.