While our ABA therapy has been getting more intense, I have like zero free time to blog. Okay well except for right now, but that’s it 🙂
Our Early Intervention teachers are always praising our wonderful progress and how we’ve incorporated new activities and strategies into our daily routine. And those are the things I want to keep sharing with you. So, you can now follow our colorful adventures on INSTAGRAM! I’ll be posting photos and stories about fun new activities, new toys, and our home decorating style that accommodates an active toddler and still looks like adults live here.
Flashing lights, tons of buttons, and rhyming songs Oh My…God get it out of my house! The electronic toys are adorable and fun, but for a child with ASD (autism spectrum disorder), they become hyper focus prisons. It might take a little time to replace the toy box contents, but the non-electronic toys are out there and they are so much better for promoting cognitive and engaging play.
In the heat of the moment, when those “terrible two’s” begin to take hold of your child for the first time, it can be really hard to recognize what is actually happening versus what it “feels” like is happening. But that outburst isn’t coming from a place of disrespect or disobedience; it’s an outburst of independence with a serious need to learn self regulation. And as difficult and backwards as it might seem, our response should be to teach rather than punish.
I’ve always prided myself on being an exceptional multitasker. I love having tons of projects going on at the same time. Even when my life becomes stressful and hectic, there’s nothing better that the feeling of relief and accomplishment when I can check off my To-Do list. I’ve always worked 2 or more jobs and had a side project going on. I just love being able to do it all.
My son and I had a really rough delivery and then everything after that just seemed to get harder and harder. As we struggled through not being able to breastfeed, I tried to cope with the immense guilt of feeding my precious newborn formula. His relentless cries brought us to the doctor and emergency room more times that I can count until finally a doctor recognized he was suffering from reflux, not colic (like we kept being told by multiple previous doctors). We moved twice, I had surgery, my husband was taking nighttime classes, and I started working from home. Our bills were piling up, cars were in desperate need of repairs, and no one was sleeping. As a new family, we were seriously overwhelmed.
Most of my sons major challenges have to do with his sensory processing: he’s both sensory defensive and seeking. Some things are just too much for him too handle; such as super busy public places, most foods, and anything that sticks to his hands(defensive). And some days, his body and mind just need more input so he’ll do quirky things like walk on his tip toes all day, hyper-focus on spinning the wheels of his toy bus, or constantly put toys in his mouth (seeking).
Actually “mouthing objects” was a huge concern for us. He was past the point of teething, but would put anything and everything in his mouth. A remote control, toys, water bottle, cell phones, sides of furniture…literally anything that he could get into his mouth, he would try to chew on. Except for food. For some reason, any and all textures of food was just too much to process and he would even gag at the site of food. Our EI teachers explained he had sensory processing so we started daily activities to desensitize as well as provide the appropriate input he needed. Continue reading “I’m Not Sensory, You Are.”
When we got pregnant, my husband and I decided we were going to teach our child sign language. We learned that before a child is able to physically speak, as in having developed muscle tone and coordination to move the mouth, tongue and breath, they have the hand coordination to sign. And since their little brains are working hard on thoughts and feelings from the get-go, signing gives them the opportunity to express their needs. It also provides a level of confidence and patience since they know you will understand them, while preventing a lot of frustrating moments. Continue reading “If You Can’t Say It, Sign It”
“It takes a village..” and the teachers we have through the Early Intervention program are my village.
As a first time mom, I read a ton of books about child development and although doctors say “every child develops at different paces” I constantly checked to make sure my son was reaching his milestones every month.
He always seemed to meet his milestones, but just differently. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it and since we didn’t know anyone else with newborns at the time, we just chalked it up to his uniqueness. Looking back, however, there were several early signs of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), but it wasn’t until a severe adverse reaction to baby puree that realized we needed help. Continue reading “Early Intervention Is My Village”