Friday, October 31, 2008

Fantastic Fall...

Hello! We have had such a great fall. The weather has been fabulous, the colors on the trees were magnificient and we've been outside more than I can ever remember with the kids. We've been playing in the leaving, romping through the woods, picking apples and pumpkins and generally having a great time!Lowell has adjusted to his "inclusion" class very, very well. He is coming up with some incredible words, and spelling and reading to our amazement. He is still extremely stubborn and doesn't like to take no for an answer, but at least he can now verbalize that!Tonight we took the kids trick-or-treating and Lowell did so much better than last year. He really understood the process and seemed to enjoy it! He even came home and did a little trick-or-treating scenario with his stuffed animals. We had an IEP meeting with his team and he is on track to be in a typical kindergarten class next fall, with some additional support. We are thrilled with the direction he is headed.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Lowell!!

On Sept. 14th we celebrated Lowell's 5th birthday with a party and a Max and Ruby "worm cake". It was so fun to see Lowell really get that it was his special day and enjoy it with friends and family.

We have had a busy fall. Lowell does not have school on Friday morning's so we've made a really fun routine of getting together with my parents and enjoying the glorious fall-time weather here in the twin cities. We've enjoyed trips to the farmer's market, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, several apple orchards, the Minnesota Zoo. The kids have fared well and really enjoy our field trips.On Saturday, September 20th we particpated for the second year in the Autism Speaks Walk Now for Autism fundraiser. Our family raised over $1600. A sincere thank you to those that donated.
The walk took place on the horse track at Canterbury Downs.
Lowell is doing very, very well with his new schedule. After graduating from his Autism Day Treatment program, he is now in an inclusion room three mornings a week at St. David's. He seems to be fitting into the class very well and continues to make great strides. He also attends an integrated preschool room in the afternoons. Great reports all around so far. We are thrilled!

Hope you've having a great fall!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The graduate!!!

Well, after a bit over 2 years, yesterday was the day that Lowell graduated from his Autism Day Treatment program. Wow, we are so very, very proud! He has come so far with the help of so many wonderful people. This week was one of celebration and extreme emotions saying good-bye to this program that has been such a big part of all of our lives over the last several years. He is now moving on to a typical classroom with a respite teacher for added support and his integrated pre-school through the school district that he was in last year and made remarkable progress. The future is looking bright for little Lowell:)

Here are some other summer highlights.

Bobo with his buddy Lowell at the wildflower garden.

Lowell drawing pictures in the sand at the cabin.

Being goofy on the dock.

4th of July parade in Cannon Falls.

Graduation day! Lowell reading his diploma.

Some of Lowell's best friends:)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Early summer...

We went to the Farmer's Market today downtown Minneapolis. Lowell did pretty well in the busy market. Lots of people and things to look at.I think he enjoyed looking at the bees the most. Pretty cool.
Lowell is talking up a storm and we're thoroughly enjoying having more meaninful conversations with him. His latest obsessions are keys and garage door openers. Looking forward to a fun filled summer with more time at home with Lowell. He still has his Autism Day treatment program in the morning, but now has his afternoons "off". He loves to be outside and loves to "help" daddy build a new shed.
Sometimes it's nice to have a few mellow moments just strumming the guitar. Lowell is starting one-on-one music lessons with the music therapist he has in his treatment program. I think he'll really enjoy it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

It's warming up...

and that means lawn mowing time! Lowell has been mimicking Joe's every move and enjoys doing work outside. There's plenty to do this time of year!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Waterslide fun!

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures to post from this past weekend, but I wanted to share what a fabulous time Lowell had at the Great Wolf Lodge and Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells. I had never been to the Dells, but we have family in Milwaukee and wanted to meet somewhere half way. Boy did Lowell have a blast!!! There were some neat slides for kids that he went on over and over and over again. He had a ball in the wave pool too! He even went on an inner tube waterslide with daddy. Such fun and sooooo wonderful to see the joy on his face:)
Almost as exciting as the fun we had is that is he seemed to do very well in the hotel room. We had a large condo area so there was a living room, kitchen and several bedrooms. He did not obsess on the outlets at all. Yay!! He played with doors a bit and wanted to take walks around the halls quite a lot, but he was very mellow, not overstimulated and really engaged with everyone there. It felt so normal...and so fun!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Spring has sprung!

Spring has finally arrived here in Minnesota! Lowell has been outside non-stop playing in the sandbox, riding his tractor, just generally running around having fun. We love to see that!!Last week I started some seeds in a tray with the kids. They enjoyed planting and watering the seeds. They will eventually go into a small kids garden we plan to have this year.We are doing the Autism Speaks WALK NOW FOR AUTISM again this year. It's on my birthday, September 20th! Our family web page for the event is here.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter!

Lowell really got into Easter this year, which was so fun to see! As you can see here, he was a man on a mission.

It was so cute how he would open up each egg as he found it and see what's inside then either play with the toy or dump the candy into his basket.
He even ate some of his chocolate bunny. Normally he doesn't eat much chocolate, but he knew a good thing when he saw it!
So fun to see his progress and ability to now enjoy some of my favorite traditions:)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

First update of 2008!

Our family is doing just great! I painted these little wooden people to resemble each of us and the kids just adore them. It's so fun to see them carrying their little person around and identifying them. As you can see, we even took them on a field trip out to the woods!

We are going through some big changes as 2008 picks up steam. The official word is that Lowell is going to "graduate" from his Autism Day Treatment program at the end of the summer. Of course this is wonderful news. It means that he has come a looonnng way in these last two years and is ready for the next step. But are WE? I've been making lots of phone calls and having meetings regarding what his school schedule will look like come fall. He will stay in his current integrated preshool through the school district in the afternoon and so I'm trying to fit the pieces together for him to get what he needs in the morning. It has been difficult for me to think that he's going to go away from theraputic, controlled setting of his treatement program cold turky. I am so very, very proud of him and how far he's come, but of course deep down inside I'm the mama bear wanting to make sure he's getting what he needs. It seems like we've come up with a good plan. He will have Mon., Wed. and Fri. mornings home with Chloe and I. That will be a wonderful treat to have him around more for this last year before kindergarten. Yes, I said kindergarten...ahhh!!:) On Tue. and Thur. he will be a regular pre-school room at the same school he's been at, but will have the added support of a respite teacher. That should be a wonderful transition to get ready for school. He will be with kids his own age, at a place that is very familiar to him, with the support that he needs. We will also obtain private speech a few times a week. So we are excited that the future is looking bright and keep reminding ourselves that this is what we have been working towards. This is what early intervention is all about. Change is good:)