Friday, November 20, 2009

Floam Activity


*Floam- and lots of it!
*A small plastic container (I used the one that is the right size for a pair of shoes)
*Small toys
*Pictures of those small toys

Mix all of the floam you have into the container. Bury the objects/toys into the floam. That's it for the set-up!

Give your child one picture at a time and see if he can find it in the floam.

This activity helps with tactile issues, stereognosis (being able to feel for objects without looking), fine motor skills, and cognitive skills like matching. Plus it's one learning activity that Brian really enjoys! If you want to work on receptive language skills you could eliminate the pictures and just ask your child to find whatever object you have in mind.

My professor actually gave each of us a small package of floam to make into a stress ball of sorts. You can squish it over and over and over again. That's actually what prompted me to write about this activity we have been doing for about a year now.

Oh, and a word of reassurance- floam is not as messy as pictured. I'm assuming they must've changed the makeup of the product because now the colors stay in the floam and they are not sticky at all! Though this picture made it look incredibly messy, I included it because it really speaks to sensory awareness!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Green Our Vaccines Initiative

This could really be history in the making! A ballot initiative regarding the safety of our current vaccines and vaccination schedule will hopefully be introduced to Oregon next year! Of course it is an expensive process and all donations are welcomed. For a lot more information and to be able to read the proposed bill go to Age of Autism.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Corbin's Strong Heart

Corbin had his annual cardioligist appointment this past Friday and it was completely unremarkable. Which is great news. The arc in his aorta looks very smooth- as if there was never any surgical repairs to it. Our doctor did mention the blood flow through it looked rough so you can tell there is scar tissue there but it's not to the point to stress his heart. The thickness on the heart is completely normal, nothing like what it use to be thankfully. Same rules as usual- annual checkups, watch out for blue fingers & toes, complaining of chest pain, and/or tiring quicker than his peers when playing and there will be a follow-up procedure at some point, which we've always known, but for now it all looks great!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Phenols Strike Again

I can't believe that I didn't mention this in my blog about Brian having a meltdown like I've never seen before at Corbin's birthday party. Maybe I did it subconciously because I knew it deserved it's own post.

On the ride up to Jokers, Brian drank a whole bottle of apple juice.

We stopped at a convenience store on the way up to get all the boys something to drink. I pumped the gas and Josh went in and bought juices. When I got back in the van I noticed he had bought them all apple juice. I mentioned it and he apologized, couldn't believe he didn't even really think about it. For those who haven't followed we have stopped giving Brian items that contain phenols in them- one being apples. Brian was already laughing and drinking and just so excited about his apple juice, I just decided I didn't want the tantrum that would ensue when I took the juice away. Corbin had two friends with us in the van and I didn't want Brian to be "weird" in their eyes.

So we had the huge tantrum at Jokers. Really, it wasn't something like I've seen since he was probably two. He was kicking, screaming, crying huge tears, and didn't even want me to comfort him- which is definitely not like him. He just could NOT come back down.

Not only did he have that tantrum but on the long drive home he fell asleep and then woke up screaming and I couldn't get him to calm down then either. I ended up climbing in the back and holding him on my lap for a little while. (I know not exactly legal but it was the only way we could get him to stop).

It wasn't until the next day when I was talking to Josh about it and it just hit me. He drank all that apple juice!! The first time he had anything apple since our trip to the apple orchard in September. I think we are really on to something here. It's amazing how food can affect people and how individual every single person is.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Positive Side of the Party

I don't want to linger on the difficulties when it was really a wonderful day for the boy that it was all planned for- Corbin! He had so much fun and it was great seeing him interact with his new friends from school. He recieved a bunch of Bakugan toys, legos, science stuff, and learning books (all things he asked for) as well as some other great gifts! I think everyone agreed that laser tag was the most fun activity- as the grown-ups also played with the kids. One might argue that the grown-ups had more fun actually lol.

Some pictures to share Corbin's SEVENTH birthday!

{{socializing with friends.}}

{{bri stuffing his mouth with cupcake.}} {{spinning the wheel.}}

{{checking out his cake.}}

{{blowing out the candles.}} {{kung-fu fighting card.}}

{{bakugans and lego star wars video game. perfect.}}

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Brian and Jokers Do Not Mix

It's been awhile since I've worried about bringing Brian to a crowded event. Sure he doesn't do wonderful at most events but he does okay, he's able to hold it together for quite a while.
Yesterday we went to Jokers for Corbin's birthday party. Jokers is like a Chuck E. Cheese only bigger and better. There is laser tag, a HUGE playhouse, a ferris wheel, bounce house, arcade games, and more. And it was crowded. Extremely crowded and extremely noisy.
First thing Brian ran into the playhouse. He really enjoyed it and was able to maneuver through even the trickiest areas. After a half hour in the playhouse our hostess brought the pizza. Getting Brian out of the playhouse was a struggle, but still not a meltdown. Everyone ate pizza and then Corbin started to open his presents. That was when the meltdown started. He was done eating pizza, he wanted to back in the playhouse. It was a full angry meltdown. Screaming and I couldn't get him to calm down. Usually I can squeeze him, sing to him, rub his back, something to calm him down. It wasn't happening. Josh's neice offered to bring him back in the playhouse and then he was good.
They came back just in time for the cake. Brian stuffed in one of his cupcakes I brought for him and then again just started screaming because I wanted him to wait for everyone. I again couldn't get him to calm down. I looked around and thought, the bathroom is probably the quietest place. I bring him in and he is still screaming and wriggling out of my arms like I'm abusing him. He gets away from me and runs full speed into a stall that was occupied. I pulled him out, apologizing to the occupant. I sit on the floor and finally get him to calm and ask him if he is ready to go back, he replies, "Ready".
We go back out and he waits with me nicely for me to hand out tickets and tokens to all of the kids. I then let him go into the playhouse again. While he is in there I decide maybe I'll go around and try to play some games. I just put in my first token into a game and I see Brian running around the grounds of the building SCREAMING, tears running down his cheeks, and holding his hands over his ears.
I run after him and he doesn't even want me to touch him. I am trying and trying to calm him and he is not having it. Everyone is staring. I carry him over to the bounce house and the attendant is trying to stop him from just running in and he isn't having it. I let her know that he has autism and he is extremely overwhelmed, she immediately steps away and lets me take over. We both climb into the bounce house.
Luckily, it was empty- so it was just the two of us. He threw himself onto the floor and started rolling around, kicking his feet, and just crying, not letting go of his ears. I actually lay on top of him and whisper in his ear. I could feel the tension start to leave his body. I rolled off of him and laid next to him and we just laid there in silence for a few minutes.
We got out and held hands and walked out. He was able to hold it together for the last 45 minutes of the party, after he got over that hump, but it was definitely not a place that I plan on bringing him to again any time soon.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Seven Years of Being A Mom

Today my oldest child turns seven. How does time fly? I ask him over and over to please stop growing but he is not heeding my advice. He tells me he loves to learn and learning makes him grow and he just can't stop learning. He is such a smart, sensitive, personable, funny, kind little boy. I am so proud of his growth and even though I ask him to stop growing I am looking forward to watching how he changes and grows.
Is a sad moment for me as we always have birthday breakfasts with blowing out candles and opening one of your presents. I had an anatomy and physiology lab this morning and had to leave my home around six am. Josh is under strict directions to follow through with our routine and take a lot of pictures. Hopefully he had a great morning!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Snacks

I made these delicious Halloween snacks for Brian's party at school. By the way, his teacher asked all the parents to bring in gluten-free/dairy-free food. I was impressed!
I melted down Enjoy Life chocolate chips and dipped Ener G sesame seed pretzel rings into the chocolate. I then covered them with Halloween themed candy sprinkles- Betty Crocker brand.
Simple, easy, and very yummy!