Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Justin’s ups and downs…

Raising a child with Autism is like riding a roller coaster—we always have our ups and downs.  These past few weeks have been full of both!! 
Justin has figured out that he is too big for me to lift anymore, so now if he doesn’t want to do what I ask, he just sits there and stares at me—with his fingers plugging his ears!!  That has been a challenge!!  Especially when he dropped to the floor at church and refused to move and I couldn’t find my husband…
But he has also done some fabulous new things lately.  He was invited to his first birthday party and went roller skating with his dad’s help.  And he LOVED it!!  He wrote on the birthday card too…
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On the “up” side of things, one of Justin’s therapists has taught him the value of pointing for things that he wants.  He knows how to point, but usually ends up pulling at our arms to get us to go to the pantry or to show us what he wants.   Justin’s sweet little therapist told me she’s been putting Justin on her shoulders and talking him for walks during therapy and letting him tell her where to walk by pointing.  She’ll stop in the hall and say, “Where do you want to go?”  And then she waits for Justin to point and then she takes him that direction.  He things this is the GREATEST THING EVER!! 
One night Justin climbed up on my husband’s shoulders and I told him that he wanted to play the same game he does at therapy.  So my husband got up and walked him around the house and Justin squealed with joy the whole time and couldn’t stop laughing!!  It was SO sweet.  And guess what?!? 
I got it all on video—plus my precious boy saying hi to me…


Justin pointing

I love all of Justin’s therapists, past and present.  He’s going to be getting new ones for the summer and I have such a hard time saying goodbye to all of them!!  They will always be part of my “Team Justin.”  I am so grateful for their love of my sweet boy and all of their inspiration in helping him grow and develop.
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Balloon Wreath Giveaway winner!!


And the winner of the Balloon Wreath giveaway is…
CHAR
Her comment…”While I've been following you for quite some time now via Google Reader, I'm now a follower by Google Connect as well. I LOVE your balloon wreath!!!…” was the winning entry selected by random.org.
Congrats Char!!  Please e-mail me your address so that I can mail you your new wreath!!
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Paint chip color matching activity…

Summer is just around the corner and I am still trying to get my summer activities planned out for my kids!!  Justin will be doing some home therapy this summer—which means a therapist will be in our home doing one-to-one therapy with him.  What does that entail?? A therapist at our house for 10 hours a week.  We used to do 40+ hours of home therapy a week, which was wonderful, and CRAZY at the same time.  It was absolutely essential for Justin’s progression, but Little Miss and I couldn’t leave the house while a therapist was there, and I needed to be on hand to observe, learn, and help—so it was a little overwhelming at times.  It’s going to be a little different now, because we’re almost 5 years past the original year of ABA (one-to-one) therapy when Justin was just starting out and had quite a few tantrums.  And Justin has grown up so much since then and learned so many skills that it won’t (hopefully!) involve a lot of tantrums.  The therapy programs will mostly be focused on teaching Justin life skills—amidst all the distractions of his family:)  It’s going to be great, but a little crazy as I try to juggle therapists in and out, and try not to be OCD about keeping my house clean, and deal with the regular crazies of life with a 2 year old and 10 month old.  So what do I do when I’m overwhelmed??  Organize, over-plan, and get to work!!   I have made a huge list of fun activities to do—A WAY TOO LONG LIST of things to do!!  I’m in the process of editing it down:)  I did say OVER-plan, right??  Trying to stop that…

Here’s the first of a few clothespin activities for my kiddos to do this summer…

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I used a free paint stick from Home Depot and then glued down strips of cut up paint chips leaving a little “handle” so it can be held in one hand.  Then I cut out matching paint chip tags (I just used a tag paper punch) and then glued them to regular sized clothespins.

My Little Guy is loving colors and saying them right now, so I wanted to teach him how to match them and also help him with his fine motor skills (opening and placing the clothespins).  Justin’s adaptation of this activity will be to first match the colors when asked, and then I’m making him a different paint stick with black and white names of colors so he can match the clothespin colors to the word—that will help us understand what words he can already read.  Justin can do so many great things—but doesn’t always want to do them when asked (funny that he’s a “typical” kid that way!!  Or just inherited some good stubborn genes that run so strong in our family…).

I have a few more of these I want to pull together with faces of family members and matching names, and number to quantity matching.  We’ll see how much I get done this weekend!!

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