Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A week off...

Hi~ yes, we're still here. This week we've been off of the Autism Day Treatment program, so things have been busy. It's been a nice treat to have both kids together all day again. This may sound terrible, but I was actually dreading it. The few weeks leading up to it, the kids had been feeding off each other so much with their whining and tantrums. I didn't know if I'd have the patience. They've pleasantly surprised me. They've both been behaving very well and have actually enjoyed each other. They've started chasing each other across the living room, back and forth. It's wonderful to see Lowell looking at Chloe and laughing and smiling with her. Running away, waiting for her to catch up and running again. LOVE the interaction:) The other *huge* thing that has happened lately is Lowell's "functional" language has really taken off. He is usually short phrases, (i.e. nap time, bath time, bed time) appropriately and abides by them. It's wonderful. MUCH less whining, tantrums, frustration. That makes us all happy!!! We've also been really enjoying this late summer Minnesota weather. There is a hint of fall in the air, with a bit cooler, more crisp air. It feels wonderful and makes for great fun at the park. This picture shows what Lowell does when you try to snap a pic of him. He smiles and squints his eyes shut really hard. Nice. Have a great rest of the week and holiday weekend!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Dear Lowell...

I made this layout and posted it on my other blog, but thought it was so appropriate for here that I would share it. I wrote this letter to Lowell about how far he's come this summer. It's been so much fun watching him. I took this picture on the first day of summer and here we are almost to Labor day, only a month away from his 3rd birthday, and he's made some great progress:)

It says...

Dear Bean,
You've had such an amazing summer. You've grown in so many ways. You started the Autism Day Treatment program at St. David's 8 weeks ago. You now walk in each morning and "greet" your teachers with a smile and giggle, while looking at them! Your vocabulary has exploded! You now repeat words after we say them and identify things on your own. Your eye contact and interaction has improved dramatically. You love reading books, esp. ABC books. We are so proud of how far you've come and can't wait to see what you do next!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Autism Day Treatment program week 8

Wow, hard to believe it's been 8 weeks already! This summer is really flying by. This week was a bit more balanced for Lowell. He did have a fever mid-week that we got checked out and ears, eyes and throat look fine. We also had a parent night at St. David's with the other parents of the kids in the Autism Day Treatment program. It was fun to connect and get to know each other a bit. The teachers had the kids show us some of the fun activities that they enjoy doing in class. This week Lowell seemed to get into coloring. He goes in spurts with this. It is quite amazing how much he stays within the lines!

He has had some increased sensory issues. Lots more irritation with noises and some increased light sensitivity. When he got the fever we thought maybe he had an ear infection and that was contributing to the increased sensitivity, however his ears checked out fine. Not sure what's going on with the sensory defensiveness.

One more week of the program before we have a week off. The weather has been absolutely stellar, so we've spent much of the weekend at various parks. I love early fall!!! Have a great week:)

P.S. Here's a scrapbook page I made from some of Lowell's creative pursuits, art and music!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Autism Day Treatment program wk 7

We got out the finger paints today. Fun!

Wow this week went by fast! Lowell's been pretty up and down at home, although he had a pretty good week at ADTP.

Lowell had a great day! He was very happy and verbal. Nice transitions with his visual schedule- increased independence. I am also seeing increased initiation of interaction with me as well as increased parallel play with other kids. Eye contact and joint attending continues to increase. He did a great job identifying animal photos in 1:1 work today, as well as imitating their names.

Lowell continues to make gains! Overall the time he spends engaged and interacting is greater than the time he spends self-directed. Not only does he respond to my interaction attemps but he initiates interaction with eye contact, touch, singing , words. His affect is bright: he seems to enjoy working so hard!

Now that he seems to be getting the hang of the picture schedules at school, we are going to start using them at home. For some reason we have resisted this and now that the groundwork is laid, we realize how much it could help. He will have a picture schedule for his morning routine, after nap, and bedtime.

We also are still really struggling with his sleep routine. We are now pushing his bedtime from 7:30 pm to 8 pm since he seems like he really has a lot of energy left in the evening. He is asleep by 9 pm. However, he continues to wake up at 5 am or before!!! We're in a catch 22, if we have him go back into his bedroom, he pounds on the door (it's locked) and tends to wake up his sister. If he gets up he can be really groggy and crabby, because it's too dang early for anyone to be up!!! Yikes.
Edit: Today (Sunday) Lowell got up at 5:30 am. We're making progress!!! It's so cute, he now comes into our room and comes over to me and grabs my hand. LOVE waking up that way:)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Let's play!

They're starting to play together now. Yay!! Things are mellowing out at home with Lowell. He's sleeping a bit later in the morning. He's more independent using his picture schedule and with the general routine at St. David's. He actually said "want" tonight (when prompted) when he wanted something. Yippie!!!

Thursday, August 03, 2006


We sure have had our ups and downs lately. Lowell continues to do very well at the Autism Day Treatment program and also continues to be very difficult at home. When I ask his teachers about the increase in intensity of his tantrums they say that it is part of his development and advances that he's making and is actually a positive thing. Of course we're all hoping that with the increased frustration about not being able to communicate he will eventually use some of his new vocabulary and realize the power of words to get what he wants. We can hope!

The best story of the week is that one day they had some potential donors come and watch his class. I guess Lowell was very social this week. He was paying a lot more attention to the people around him and apparently turned around from the table he was sitting at and gave the donors a huge smile. Everyone loved it:) One of his teachers said, " I think they went up and wrote a check right then and there." Too funny!

So our goal right now are to get through this turbulent time. Try to come up with some sort of morning routine and have a picture schedule to go with it. Also try to ease his waking up. He has been an absolute bear after waking in the morning and especially after naps lately. We have our first conference with his day treatment program teachers tomorrow, so that should be good:)