Friday, March 16, 2012

Emma Stone's Doppelganger & The Blondtourage

Early Intervention is something that many children face in their early years. Once we were faced with EI, I read about all the wonderful things parents had to say about it, all the progress, all the fun their child had. I was honestly excited about it. Well, none of that happened.

In a word, Early Intervention SUCKED.

We started with PT, and had a very nice one named Monica. She was young, calming, a pleasure.

Owen screamed in her face and cried for the first 6 months.

After that, Owen just cried constantly, moaned, yelled-- he hated her.

Then we started with the learning consultant, a wonderful special ed teacher named Ida. So nice, so informative, and always came in with a smile on her face. Owen was standing at this point so he'd stand at the gate where I had them corralled and just yell if I made even a sound. Occasionally, you'd hear a good job because he actually did something, but it was far and few between.

By the time we started preschool, PT became bareable due to Mary, the PT that replaced Monica and the fact that we did the first 6 weeks of therapy with her at the neighborhood ear infection zone AKA Party Place. He loved the ball pit so he tolerated her and actually started to like her a bit then it was time for preschool.

Preschool brought us Ms Penny. Penny was assigned to be Owen's 1:1 Monitor at Village School. Penny was Owen's main lady and he loved it. He listened to her, most of the time, but that was okay with me because she stepped in and got him refocused and he really started to just listen more all around. He started to progress even better, and he'd be beaming when he came out of school holding her hand. Also, me being an Investigator with all things O, loved it when his teacher said that she was a like winning the lottery and just "wonderful". Even his school therapists would tell me what a great influence she was in the little man's life. That and she's one of the nicest people we've met on our Autism ride. She's still with the Short Man at Kindergarten with Ms. Susan. We switched schools for Kindergarten and it was so nice knowing that I had Penny already in the little man's corner. I will be so sad the day Ms. Penny gets snatched up by a district and starts her teaching career. Seriously, the tears will be flowing and it won't be Owen.

Now that brings us the point of this post, and that would be Owen's beloved Blondetourage.

In January of 2011, we started Speech Therapy at Abilities in Action. I was nervous as usual, who would it be? Are they Prompt trained as I wanted? Well, I wanted and I got. Ms. Sarah. Sarah was assigned to be the little man's therapist and it was soon love for him and for me it was a shock to the system. I was so nervous for outside therapy. I only knew what I had dealt with at home. If I knew that outpatient therapy would go so smoothly, I'd have pushed it sooner. Owen's being with Ms. Sarah now for a little over a year and we've recently increased to 2 times a week. In this short time, the main man has had an explosion of words. iPad, puppy, purple, byebye, up, no, BOOM!. I personally think it's Sarah. She's the only change we've had. I know she'd probably disagree, but too bad. Credit in my book goes to Sarah. His notes home from his School ST Amy have been better which is so nice as well. Amy is fantastic so I'm so happy he's been really cooperating with her and getting the work done. He only has Amy for 30 minutes at a time, so the clock's ticking and I think sometimes the boy knows it. Owen also really likes Amy. I've gone in for a Speech session and he gets the cute look at her and goes so willingly. LOVE it!

Then in the Spring of 2011, we started private OT at Abilities. This brought us Ms. Tara. In a word, Tara rocks. The boy loves her, and he comes out of therapy beaming. Before Tara, dinner time was a dance party for the kid. His butt NEVER touched the seat. Within six weeks of Ms. Tara and her OT goodness he was sitting at the table for all meals and eating without moving. That elevated her to Sarah's Holy status in my book. SOLD!

We of course, still attend Special Strides every Wednesday with Ms. Maureen. Owen's core is so much stronger thanks to his Wednesday haunt and as far as Owen's affections for Maureen? He won't go inside the office and wait for her, he stands at the curb and watches for her coming with her previous client and once he gets a glimpse he attempts to run to her. She's awesome.

Now, by this point you may be wondering-- What's up with the title?

Well, Sarah looks just like Emma Stone with blond hair. Owen thinks so too because he pointed to a magazine with her on it at Target and attempted to say her name. When I asked him "Sarah"? He shook his head for yes. All the other therapists? They all have blonde hair. I just find it so funny that all of his therapists that he's really clicked with have blonde hair.

The boy loves a Blonde. It cracks me up!

The bottom line is that when we look back on these early years, I will tell Owen all about his beloved Blondetourage and how amazing they were.

Because they are.

And we are Grateful.

Also, it's time to reset the peepee clock. The boy had his first accident in 4 1/2 weeks. :( He seemed upset by it. He was watching Fraggle Rock and I think just didn't want to tear himself away from Gobo. I hope we're not regressing.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Let There Be Light!

Yesterday was Sunday, so it was time for some Sensory fun! After reading about Jordan and Trevor's fun with a Sensory Light Box, I decided I was going to do the same. You can read about their fun at Jordan's blog. I had a hard time finding the right box, All the boxes I could find were too dark, or colored tops. But, the world's crappiest Kmart of Hazlet, NJ had the right one, because, quite frankly, no one shops there, I'm sure.

In short, the boy LOVED this! I only introduced 2 different kinds of things to display. The 1st being Easter gel clings for the windows, and aquarium rocks. The clings were great as they prompted a lot of him saying "purple" or "purpah" as he says it. The aquarium rocks were fun for him, but he got so over stimulated that he decided they needed to be thrown everywhere. I also think I put out too many at first. I'd love more ideas of what to use with the light box so if anyone knows of anything, let us know. We'll be trying out colored gel next! Here's some photos of the fun:

Also, we are now at 4 weeks of being peepee potty trained, poop, well, that's a different story. Purple has also been part of the boy's vocabulary for 1 week. Another word!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Attention Target Guests

When the boy was a baby, he HATED Target. He'd scream, cry, demand to be held. I couldn't go there-but he loved Wal-Mart. Then, about 2, Target was OK to run in and out. Spending an hour there getting all your household needs and all the crap you think you need. Nope. Not a chance, until about the last year, NOW, the boy loves Target.

He's been doing really, really with following directons. He's listening and really likes to be helping. So, now, Target is like a playground. I thought I'd document a trip to show how he's gone from crazy baby to the big boy.

First off, the boy loves dish detergent. He will immediately run for a bottle and watch the soap. I've been thinking for a while now to get him a lava lamp, but I'm afraid he might become Sir Stims-a-lot from it. Still contemplating..

He's also doing awesome with walking next to the cart, and even pushing it with me. He will get really mad if you try and cart him most of the time.

He also did awesome waiting at the Pharmacy for Daddy's prescriptions. This to most would seem normal and not worth mentioning but in the Conroy home, this is cause for mention. A few months ago, his little butt wouldn't even had touched the chair and sat for 10 seconds. It would have been a race of him running and laughing as he knows he's fast as anything.

I've also been really working on shopping skills with him. I always show him what I'm making and what the boxes look like because I want him to be able to find these things in a grocery store. I just think you can't start too soon with this life skill and he really enjoys it.

Also, in case you didn't know: The 3 foods that a soon to be 6 year old really loves are Waffles, Chocolate and Propel. This just makes him gitty to find them.

At some point in our trip, the boy gets brave and likes to walk a few feet in front of the cart. I've been letting him a bit because I've been testing him with listening skills. Today, he did OK, but most of the time, he'll come right back to me when I ask him to do so.

Here's the shirt that I really wanted to get him but didn't. Luckily, it was in the infant section, but I thought this would have been perfect!

Now, by this point we've hit Furniture row.

I don't know what he would do if this actually turned on!

Everything is always better when you are whistling!

Hang on! Just one more seat to try!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spaghetti with a side of Sensory

Sunday nights are just me and the O flying solo since Rich is at work. I've deemed them Sensory Sundays. This week's fun was Spaghetti Therapy. The little red haired maniac that I adore LOVED it. If you try this at home, I suggest doing it before the bath or shower because the boy was dirty, dirty, dirty! Owen was a little unsure at first, but when he realized the purpose after I demonstrated, he was all in.

In an interesting note, after we were done, Owen walked away toe walking, which he hasn't done in FOREVER. It was brief, but I noticed it. Is it because he was just overloaded? I can't wait to ask Tara, his OT who's a member of the boy's beloved Therapy Blondentourage. The Blondetourage warrants another post as they rule.

Here is our photo overload!!

Also, this weekend Owen said "Mommy, Daddy, Bye Puppy" All unprompted and CLEAR. I'm quite excited to tell Sarah, Owen's Speech Therapist and the long standing recipient of Os Love Goggles.