Friday, December 21, 2007

Wishing you all a very safe, happy holiday!

Big Brother Bike Riding

K.C. snoozing away..

The Boys and I want to wish everyone a very safe, happy holiday.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Chuck E. Cheeses and Hiking With Daddy.

We had a busy weekend with the boys. Their Daddy is in town and we we took the boys a few places to have fun. We first went to Chuck E. Cheeses, I printed some coupons off the Internet for pizza and tokens before we went. We got 100 tokens and a large pizza and 4 drinks. K.C. loves to walk with us to the drink area and I watch him visually scanning which drink he wants. He almost always picks Sprite these days. He smiles and looks very happy when he gets to hold his cup under the Sprite label and watches it fill his cup. We have to be careful though because he overflows his cup with soda.

Big Brother played lots of games, when he did finally come back to our table, I asked him if he wanted to walk with K.C. to look at the games with him. He said, "yes" so we watched as Big Brother took K.C.'s hand and walked around. We could see them the entire time, we picked a good booth to sit at. Both boys sat down at a Jurassic Park game, Big Brother put the coins in and K.C. watched, he loved watching the dinosaurs! They sat at the game for about 20 minutes, K.C. loved watching him play. Then, two boys walked up to where K.C. and Big Brother were playing. I heard one of the boys say, "can we play now?" Big Brother said, "we are still playing." The other boy looked at K.C. and said, "move it!" I started to get up and hurry over to where the boys were but their Daddy said, "no, let's see how Big Brother handles this." The boy said, "move it" again to K.C. and of course it looked as though K.C. never heard a word he said, so maybe the boy thought K.C. was ignoring him? Then I watched as this kid pushed K.C., I could not believe it! What is with kids these days? As fast as he pushed K.C., Big Brother shouted very loud, "you asshole, stop hurting my brother, he's Autistic!" People stared, the kids knew they were in trouble and left mighty fast. The whole time K.C. didn't cry or seem to realize that someone was being mean to him. He just wanted to watch the game. I have always told Big Brother that if someone was trying to grab him or hurt him to scream as loud as he could. He remembered :) After that the boys did had alot of fun together, the rest of our visit to Chuck E. Cheeses went very well.

Today we went hiking, the weather was nice and cool today, perfect for hiking. We walked up a "medium sized mountain" as Big Brother described it. K.C. walked with his Daddy and Big Brother walked with me. It was so nice to see K.C. take his Daddy's hand on our hike. K.C. almost always sticks with me, today was different. The best part about it is his Daddy looked so proud and really moved that K.C. took interest im him and walked with (even held his hand!) Big Brother and I talked alot as K.C. and Daddy were pretty far ahead of us. I let Big Brother know I had hidden a bag of corn nuts (Ranch Flavored) in my backpack. He was quite happy as he's a total corn nut addict. We talked and ate those along the walk, it was really nice.

When we were finished hiking, we needed to go to the supermarket for a few things. I am not sure what happened but as we were driving to the supermarket, K.C. began to kick a little in his seat. He howled a little too. When we pulled into the parking lot he looked very distressed. Before we got out of the car I told his Dad that I didn't think it was a good idea that we go shopping when K.C. is clearly not happy. (K.C.'s Daddy is in town only a couple times a month) He said, "he'll be o.k. once we get inside." I knew he wouldn't. But....tried anyways. K.C. did try to keep it together as we walked, (the whole time it looked like an explosion was imminent) then as we walked down as aisle he bolted from me and shoved 7 spaghetti sauce jars onto the floor. I knew I could not make a big deal out of what just happened or he would probably remember how I reacted and do it again the next time we went to the store. I just walked up to him and took his hand and led him away from the mess. By this time Big Brother and Daddy got as far away from us as possible, can you believe this? I tired to walk K.C out of the store in a hurry before headbanging or falling to the floor and not getting up could happen. As we walked I looked back and saw their Dad point towards the door (duh, we did he think we were going?) then I heard Big Brother say, "wait Mom." He caught up to us, he looked worried, he said,
"hurry Mom he's biting his fingers." We made it out of the store, poor K.C. Something set him off when we were in the car, I am not sure what it was. One thing for sure, I will listen to myself when it comes to K.C. next time. I did tell their Dad later that he isn't with K.C. enough to know when he's had enough and a meltdown is about to happen. He agreed and apologized.

When we got home I realized it was about 1:00 and think I figured it out. K.C. was probably hungry and wanted to go to McDonald's for lunch. I put a soy pizza in the oven when we got home and he ate 3 pieces and Big Brother had 2.

K.C. still can not answer yes or no questions. He can not nod his head yes or no so if something is out of reach and we ask, "do you want pizza?" He can't nod no or yes. He has to be able to touch the pizza twice to indicate "yes." That is huge progress for K.C.!

All in all it was a good day for the boys. We aren't going to let the supermarket incident get us down, there is much to learn and K.C. is making good progress each and everyday.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

School, Bus and ABA

(Getting Ready to Leave For The Bus)

The first night of Hanukkah began for us this evening. Big Brother is very excited and K.C. happily ate 3 Latkes and watched his Big Brother play his new game. We are celebrating a very low key Hanukkah this year. We usually spend Hanukkah with my Brother and Parents, but this year we are spending it at home. Tomorrow my Brother Adam is coming to spend Hanukkah with us. We are very happy about that :) K.C. got a squishy, spiky ball tonight as a gift, (at school they are called sensory balls).

K.C. actually has a P.E.C.S. card with the picture of the sensory ball on it as a motivator to board the bus and as soon as he gets to school his teacher allows him to hold the sensory ball straight away. We have been having some problems with the bus for about a week now. K.C. has been refusing to board the bus. As I put him into the car for our trip to catch the bus at my Parents house, as we nearly get there, he looks panicky, as I get him out of the car he falls to the ground and won't get up. Twice I could not get him onto the bus period. As he is much bigger now, I can't just scoop him up anymore. Gosh this kiddo is stronger and heavier than he was just a year ago. Still I had that horrible feeling that maybe K.C. was trying to tell me something. I can't begin to even describe the feeling I have putting him on the bus when he is trying so hard to keep my from doing just that. I kept thinking to myself what if something terrible is happening to him once he's on the bus? Here I am putting him on the damn thing, guilt, it is overwhelming. I have been talking with his teacher on a nearly daily basis. That is where the "squishy ball motivator" came into play. Well, one afternoon he refused to board the bus home. His teacher reported he had a major meltdown and couldn't figure out why. She had to take him off the bus, re board the bus, try to figure out what she had done differently. Poor kiddo, I knew something was wrong, it hurts not knowing how to help your child.

In comes his ABA therapist. K.C. has had a new therapist for a month now and it has taken him sometime to get used to him. His therapist knew what was going on and asked if he could ride the bus with K.C. I was so relieved that I had someone that would help, be there for us and has K.C.'s best interests at heart. That morning, that afternoon, his therapist, with one P.E.C.S. card in hand, rode the school bus with him. That afternoon, on the bus, his therapist called me. He watched each and everything the drivers did and figured it out. The afternoon driver hooked K.C. into his harness (as he is still quite unpredictable on the bus) and then she pulled his lap belt tight. That was all it took, K.C. screamed, kicked, lost it. His therapist took him off the bus, (it was raining that day) stood in the rain, waited, kept K.C. safe, let him calm down and boarded the bus again. This time he told the driver, "to do what she normally does slowly." Just as she was about to pull his lap belt tight, he looked panicked and his therapist told her to "stop." K.C. reached down at his lap belt and wanted to pull it tight! He wanted to try to do it! Nobody could understand, nobody thought he could do it, nobody thought he was paying attention all this time but he was! His therapist called me that afternoon, so very proud of K.C., I cried and cried.

Today, he was hooked into the harness, he pulled his OWN lap belt tight, I watched, amazing. I got off the bus, knocked on the window and waved to K.C., he never looks in my direction when I wave from outside the bus, just looks straight ahead, my big boy going to school, learning to help himself, wanting people to give him a chance :) I am amazed and so proud.