Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Andy pointed at me today!

When I went to pick Andy up from therapy, he pointed at me when he saw me. I was so proud of him. It was nice for him to look up and recognize me and then point to me. It was like he was trying to tell the staff, "mom's here"! It was really great.

Then, I was feeding Andy his dinner and salad. When he was ready for his next bite, and I was taking too long, he took his finger and pointed to the salad. I told him, "Wow, good pointing! He just pointed to his salad!" It gave me a great feeling that he had just successfully communicated with me. He did it just once, and it really made me happy.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Week three of ABA therapy

Week three has been rocky. Andy spent a lot of time crying at the center, but was also constipated. I informed them of this, and Andy was rough until he was all cleared up on Friday. They had me listen to some of his crying to try and help discern what he might be trying to communicate.

I emphasized that I often do not know, but I felt that he sounded tired. Andy has gotten back to taking daily naps right after he returns home. He has a lot of stimulation at the center and is asked to do several tasks that tire him.

I was told that it would be hard work to try and "undo" five years of Andy crying to communicate. However, I don't know that Andy is crying to get what he wants, or to communicate. It is just Andy. He cries when he's tired, angry and frustrated. It has never gotten him what he wants, because honestly, I don't EVER know what he wants. And I have honestly, never, gotten him to stop crying by giving him something-EVER. Because I don't know what he wants. I don't know what he wishes to have, and I've never felt that I have successfully remedied his crying.

So, I don't feel that his crying has ever been negatively reinforced in anyway-whatsoever. Though, I am being made to feel this way. As though, Andy is somehow manipulating me through his crying to get what he wants. This just simply is not true. He doesn't think like that. I don't even think he would be able to conjure up such a grand master plan.

I really wish I knew what he wanted, so I could just give it to him.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Week Two of ABA therapy

Andy is still getting used to the new routine of getting up in the morning and getting ready for therapy. I tell him that he is going to go play today. Sometimes, he cries all the way to the therapy building (25 minute drive). Other times, he's happy in the car.

Some days, after working with Andy, they tell me he had a good day and played well. Other days, they tell me he had tantrums throughout the day. Some days, he won't eat much there and can't easily be consoled. I told them to let me know of this in the future, as he might have a headache or gas issues, that could be solved by me bringing up some medicine.

It has been nice to have them working with him for several hours a day. I can tell that they are worn out when I pick him up. He is a lot of work, and can be quite exhausting, I know.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Me and Gabby time

There has been such a huge relief that has come along with my son Andy being able to attend an ABA program several days a week. It has allowed my daughter and I to spend time together this summer. Previously, his preschool wasn't long enough to make lunch plans. I had to be home at noon to get him off his bus. Now, he is going to school a bit longer. So, we made plans to go eat lunch with my mom.

It was so nice, and non-stressful, that I could have cried. I didn't have to worry about Andy's constant squealing and screeching and all the loud noises he makes in restaurants that make people stare. You can also tell that they are wondering, 'why would they bring him here'? Well, we need to eat too, and I  occasionally deserve a break from cooking. You can't always get a babysitter when the mood strikes on the spur of the moment. There are just so many reasons why we bring him into a restaurant, and we always leave thinking, never again. Or at least until I'm feeling brave again.

But not today. I wasn't in a hurry, or frustrated with my son. I didn't want to rush the waiter to stop talking and get the order in, we just sat there with no worries. I wanted to cry because it was too good.

We can shop without Andy kicking and screaming in the cart, and actually try on clothing without trying to keep Andy calm. Luckily, my daughter enjoys shopping, especially if she is going to get something out of the deal. We got to step onto an escalator, which we never do, because I am always pushing Andy around. My daughter thought it was magical and so cool. She wanted to go up and down, and hold my hand getting on and off, because it was a little scary too. And so we did.

She checked out all the "fashion gowns", leftover prom dresses and picked out one for me to try on. She told me to please put it on, and then twirl around. So I did.

I am just so grateful, and am happy to get some time with my daughter.

Week one of ABA therapy

Andy has completed one full week of ABA therapy. He isn't crying upon entering the building any more. He has learned that it is a fun place, and that they will be playing with him there. He is receiving therapy five days a week. He has fun there, and only gets fussy at times.

On the fifth day of therapy, Andy was very worn out. He was having trouble keeping his eyes open, when I picked him up and then put his head down on his tray. He never sleeps in the car, but on this day, he slept all the way home.

I am supposed to attend a parent seminar on ABA techniques for parents, so I'll write about that after it is over. So far the center has been great, and Andy seems to be trying to communicate a bit more with us.