Thursday, October 27, 2011

Always playing catch-up

I feel like I'm always three chores and two phone calls behind. Part of the problem is trying to be Super Mom and spending all my time to improve the lives of my kids.  I need to slow down and do some things for myself, but that's hard for me.  And I'm such an introvert; I've never been the kind to call others much because I can't see your facial expressions. I'd rather we got together where I can see you when I'm talking to you. I'm a bit of an Aspie, I guess. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as they say.

I know, it's been a month since I've written!  I think about blogging a lot, because I feel like there are so many wonderful achievements with Hayden lately that I want to share. Plus I love writing.  I try to write during my lunch at work, but I'm often out at a school, or using my lunch to go to the health food store and buy GFCFSF butter. I'm hoping to have wireless in my apartment soon, which would allow me to blog in the evening right before bed.  And hopefully Miss Rylie doesn't have much time left on bottles, so that will free up some time, as well.  Another time saver I've come up with is to make supplement cups on the weekends to use during the week.  I never had enough sippy cups to do this before. Then I realized I could use little two-ounce cups with snap-on lids to put the dry supplements in.  And, I won't have to wash them because they'll always just have vitamins and no food or juice.  Anyway...

Achievements in the World of Hayden

Eating foods other than pizza and chicken nuggets
I asked for Hayden to be put on a food-trying program at school, to get him to be at least willing to try new foods. The goal is that he talk about the food, touch it, put is to his lips, lick it, then eat one bite. It has worked wonders.  Within just a couple months he has tried lots of things, and has some staples he now really likes!  He often skips all the steps and jumps right to trying the item, even at home.  Some things he will now eat as a result:  bacon (thanks Beth!), peaches (sometimes), spicy dried peas, V8 fruit juice blends, raspberry/cranberry juice (new favorite!) and banana chips. It seems like there are more but I can't think of them right now.  He's not too fond of but at least tried boiled eggs, egg casserole, bread with chocolate almond butter, diced pears, blueberries, pineapples, jello with fruit.  Last weekend at the store I kept saying, "what food would you like to get today?" and he would say, "chips!" and I would say, "no, like apples or carrots or bananas or..."  He saw celery and decided that was what he wanted.  All through the store he kept asking, "I want my ce-were-ree. Can I have it?"  I told him he had to wait until we got home, because I knew he wasn't going to like it and I wanted a back-up food for him to try. I saw the raspberries, and since it's his favorite juice I said, "do you want to try these?  You know your red juice? To make it you take raspberries and squish them, and the juice comes out. Want to try some?" Sure!  At home he tried several (after the ce-were-ree that he of course didn't like) and he at least didn't hate them like the celery.  He is now also on a pill-swallowing program to teach him how to swallow pills.  This will save me lots of time in the evenings if he can take all his supplements at once in pill form instead of having to hide lots of powders in his drinks throughout the day. On his first day on the program he swallowed a pill on his third try. (They are empty gelatin pills.  I had to order them online.)

I've also made new charts for his therapists, and a new chart for home that includes some of the things below in addition to the supplements and behavior that I was already tracking. More on that another day.

I've come up with a method of making his pizza to save time, and add more nutrients to it.  I add pea protein, EFA powder (Omegas) and some baby food squash for fiber. I make a whole loaf of bread at once and bake it, then put some in the freezer for later. He used to eat chicken nuggets for lunch each day at school.  He will now eat spaghetti or pizza there.

The pea protein doesn't look too appetizing sprinkled on there!

Hayden's language goes through bell curves at an upward angle.  Does that make sense?  I'm not a math person. Basically I'm saying that sometimes he'll have huge gains, then fall back a bit, but overall he's always improving.  Right now he is in a big gain again.  Adding cholesterol with the lard and bacon have helped, and then the next week I added a B12 nasal spray.  Ok, and can I say that they need to label the package of that stuff and tell you that it's dyed bright red?  The first time I used it with him I thought he was having a bloody nose all over!  Geesh, warn a person please!  Has to be better than giving him a B12 shot every 3 days though.

I should also say that in the last month his therapists at school noticed that in addition to language his overall coordination, gross motor skills, and confidence have improved as well.  As far as language, it's always hard for me to describe to others or pinpoint exactly what it is that has improved.  I just notice day to day that he'll say things that he never would have said before. But something that a "typical" kid his age would say all the time. Like this morning, he went to turn on Bugs life and said, "Where's the radio?" I was like, what radio?  He said, "I mean the remote. I need to use the remote to skip.I'm going to watch Bugs Life. A Bugsssss Life."

Hayden hurt his foot and I took him to get it X-rayed at OrthoIndy.  He wouldn't tell us which foot hurt, because he thought then we'd let him leave. So we had to x-ray both.  He was very scared, but he used his words to tell me he was scared. He said, "I not get a shot. It doesn't hurt. I not get a picture." He fussed, but did not throw himself down kicking and screaming when we got in the x-ray room.. After I pretended to let the machine take a picture of my hand, he was willing to get on the table and lay down by himself while I left the room.  Huge thing for him, never would have happened a year ago. It did take several minutes to get to that point, but still, a year ago I would have been wearing a lead vest and holding him down to get the pictures taken.  The techs were really good with him (he told one "shut up" when she was first trying to tell him it wouldn't hurt, so I had to of course explain that he was autistic.)  Both techs were very good with him. They told him to smile each time they took a picture of his foot (four pictures total), so he smiled each time!  So cute!  Then they let him see what his bones look like and he said "it's a foot skeleton!"  And of course, it wasn't broken.  But after a week and a half of him limping on it I felt like I needed to make sure. : )  It still took him another week after that for it to feel better, so whatever he did to it he must have pulled it pretty badly. (For a kid like him who doesn't notice pain, to be in pain for that long is a big deal.)

Poop on the Potty
Hayden has gone poop on the potty three times now. The first was the infamous bath tub incident. The second was one day a few weeks ago, when he walked up to me and said, "Mommy, I need to go poop on the potty."  I gave him a weird look, because he had just had a messy diaper. I said, Are you sure?  "Yes." Ok, let's try. So he sat on the potty and a little one came out. He really did have to go!  He chose a black Angry Bird.for that.  Yesterday at daycare I asked him to use the potty before we left, like I always do (he still doesn't go unless asked.)  When he came out he was all excited and said, "Mommy I pooped on the potty!" Again I gave him a weird look (am I a mean mom or what?) and said, Really?  "Yeah, I did!" So we went in the bathroom but he had of course flushed, so I had him take his pullup off so I could look.  It was a little bit messy so he must have really gone on his own!  So we talked about wiping and not flushing until mommy could see it, and then discussed his reward.  He chose Tails this time (Sonic's friend, a cat with two tails.) He took him to school today to show everyone.

Mommy and Me Day
I took Hayden out of school last Friday during my fall break so that he and I could have some quality time together.  We first went to the Children's Museum, where we have a membership.  Lots of  people were in line for the haunted house, but I knew Hayden would be too scared for that so we didn't do that. So the rest of the museum was still pretty quiet, and Hayden got lots of time on all his favorite activities, especially the ball machine. He did really well with leaving activities to give others a turn, sharing with the other kids, and playing nicely. The biggest change I noticed on this trip was his attention to other kids.  Usually when he goes to the museum his attention is focused on interacting with the exhibits and everything he sees. This time he tried to find a new friend at each exhibit. He would go up to a little boy around his age and say "do you want to be my friend?" It was so cute. Usually the other kid would look at him and then shrug, and then they'd play together. But rather than Hayden playing parallel to the other child, he was trying to play with him the whole time, and really interacting with him.  This is a big change for him.
Real frogs.

Sitting on the lily pad.

He and the other frogs were chasing the white light on the floor (a fly image that moved around.) And hopping.

Last time we were here he didn't have the motor skills and strength to do all these machines himself.

Next we went to the Zoo for Zoo Boo.  We got there an hour before it started, but Hayden wanted to wear his Spiderman costume anyway. There were lots of kids dressed up and he kept going up to them and saying "Hi Batman!" ...  "Oh, Hi, Ironman! What are you doing?"...  "Hey Mario, it's me, Spiderman!"  He was the talk of the zoo at the Food Court area. We stopped to have a snack and he heard music playing and started jumping around like Spiderman to the music.  A little girl next to us was scared of him and hid under the table until I had him take his mask off and prove he was a little boy and not Spiderman. She thought it was really Spiderman jumping around.  People would walk by and he would sling webs at them.  I would hear people saying, "did you see that Spiderman kid?"  "Yeah, he was really funny!"  We rode the train, and saw the tiger, cheetah and bear, all of whom were enjoying the cool weather and were right up close.  We watched the elephants smash a pumpkin.  Hayden went trick or treating in the Plains area, but couldn't eat any of the candy except a Smartie. He wasn't too worried about it though.  I didn't have to tell one person at the Zoo or museum that he was Autistic. : )

On the way home from the zoo he said, "Can we not get Rylie?  Can we go to the museum now?"  I told him Mommy was a bit tired after all that!  The next day when he got up he said, "Are we going to the museum today?" Nope, we did that yesterday, remember? Sad face. The next day: "Are we going to the museum today?"  So, I told him if he goes poop on the potty again he can choose that as his prize.

This is what I have to deal with in the mornings. Where is Rylie and what did she find? How many shirts has she pulled out of the drawers for me? 

(Yes, this is what my place looks like in the background, pretty much at all times. Oh well.)  
Obligatory Rylie pics since I didn't talk about her this time. She's doing great! 

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