Around here: November

For my own personal need to document the big and the not-so-big, and for H, who said she missed my updates.  Here’s a recap on November, from my big camera, my phone, and my mind:

Guinness waited patiently…

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and then this started…

Camera HDR Studio - 1383745468670and now he spends his days like this.

IMG_2604The snow means I’m running inside on the treadmill.  (So glad we bought a treadmill back in July when they were on sale!)  I quickly blew through Orange Is The New Black on Netflix while running and was looking for another series to watch when I saw Parenthood on my list.  I had heard good things about it, but for a long time didn’t think I could handle a show where autism would be one of the topics.  I was wrong, or I’m watching it at the right time for me, but I am hooked.  Love the show.  It’s not just the autism storyline that has captured my attention, all of it has, I enjoy all the characters.  But I will admit to tearing up at more than one situation involving Max and his family.  There are moments, like when Max shrugs off his mother’s hands when she rubs his arm and the look on his mother’s face.  Or when the dad tries to take Max out of his routine for a fun day at the amusement park and it doesn’t go as he’d hoped….it just hits so close to home.  I think it gives people without a child on the spectrum a glimpse of what our lives can be like.  Some of the day to day battles, heartaches, and joys.  I talked about the show a few times and my parents started to watch it too.

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OT Graduation!  The Roc was released from Occupational Therapy in mid-November after fourteen months.  I love his therapist, who is also his hippotherapist, so we still get to see her every Saturday.  A week before he was released she warned me it was coming, that she knew he was going to score in the average range when she did her sixty day testing.  On his last day she had me come back to the therapy room to show me his scores from his initial evaluation and then he demonstrated some of the things he couldn’t do a year ago.  She remarked that something really clicked in the last couple months and she saw some big gains in his physical ability as well as his confidence.  I wondered aloud if his being in the pool multiple nights a week had something to do with it…to which she agreed.

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The Roc still loves swimming on the swim team.  He isn’t always paying attention to the coaches when they are giving directions, and is then behind or confused as to what he is supposed to be doing, but he’s getting better about looking at the other kids in his lane and following their lead.  He will also call out questions to the coaches, something he wouldn’t have done a couple years ago, now we need to work on teaching him how to get their attention first–or better yet, paying attention when they give directions!  He can definitely keep up with the other kids in the water though!

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After an early morning dental appointment I got to walk the Roc down to his classroom and just had to talk a picture of what was taped to his locker.

IMAG0825I want that for you too kid.

***

This.

This bottle is still sitting on my dresser.  Unopened.  In front of a photograph of baby Roc.  There are too many words to simply say… I’m not ready to go down that road.  We are not ready.  So that bottle of pills will wait.

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While going through old binders of evaluations and progress reports to scan into my computer (and then shred–too much paper!) I came across the Roc’s first OT session with his preschool OT.  I pulled it out to save, but not before snapping a pic.  He’s come so far.

IMAG0827His Christmas list which he wrote RIGHT after Thanksgiving with a little idea and spelling help.  Gotta love this kid who when you ask what he wants for Christmas says, “I don’t know, could you give me some ideas?”

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As soon as Thanksgiving was over and the wish list was on the fridge, the Roc started in on all things Christmas.  How far away it was, what he wanted, how many presents he would get, if we could put more lights outside (we leave colored lights in our pine tree year round) or a light up reindeer, and when we could decorate inside.  He got started decorating before I got the boxes out of the basement.

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He was satisfied with that for a short time and then went back to asking when we could get the rest of the stuff out.

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Not only has the Roc gotten into making his own decorations.  He decided one day to make his own memory game.

IMG_2608Which is totally cool.  He didn’t ask for any games on his Christmas list, but he’s getting a bunch.  We are working hard on playing games.

He also drew and colored this house when he spent the night at my mom and dad’s in early November.  Grandma doesn’t remember him making it, only that it was completed that Sunday when she woke up.  He got up and made it while she was still in bed.

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The Roc’s after school schedule has changed a bit with the addition of a behavioral aide.  He was on the wait list for this program for months and when his name got to the top of the list and we were offered a premium spot of 3:30 – 5:30 twice a week, I jumped on it.  His skills trainer would be stopping anyway and we stopped music therapy for awhile to be able to fit everything in.  His BA is young college graduate who works really well with the Roc.  He wasted no time and was himself right from the start.  Loud.  No honeymoon period for her.  He was very unhappy about being challenged.  But she has not been phased by anything he’s thrown her way and is very, very positive.  It’s nice to have someone so positive in the house and even though she’s young and doesn’t have kids of her own yet, I’m learning just by listening to her interact with the Roc.  She sees the small steps of progress and points them out to me, which is also so nice to hear.  Right now they are working on coping skills, his big emotions, and how to play board games.  Not getting his way and losing are huge triggers for the Roc and it’s nice to work on this as it happens instead of talking about situations.  Eventually we will add another child to some of the sessions so the Roc can work on these skills in real situations with other kids.

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My most favorite part of November was my trip with my best friend Christa.  It deserves a post of it’s own.

 

Love this lady!

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Up next!  Charleston with Christa!

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