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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Back to School and Fall!

We've been trying to soak up the last of summer, even though I'm not too sad to see it go.  We've been to the park at Chloe's Sunshine Playground because it's an all abilities one, the kids love it!  We've been to the splash park and Carter is still riding his horses.  We thought we were about done with our scholarship and with Sierra starting dance, but I guess it will last a little longer.  Keaton rode the horse once and loved it!  Keaton finished services with his early intervention physical therapist.  Angie was great and so sweet but so glad to see the progress.  Carter saw GI for his yearly visit, it was so quick!  He's doing great, he is in the 70th percentile for height and weight.  Labs came back normal, always happy for that.  Carter also got his new Batman ankle braces from Shriner's and of course we had to get matching shoes!  Chris and my father in law fixed the van from my accident and it was able to pass emissions and inspections, so happy for that!  I have my van back!  It's amazing how much you can save by going to the junk yard and doing the work yourself.  Grateful!

Carter started 1st grade, we are so happy for him!  His bus drivers are new but his special education teacher(s) stayed the same.  She is awesome so yay for us!  He has seemed happy to be back keeping busy and being around friends.  I feel like I barely survived the summer with the kids, so it's a relief!  The first week was early out, but now he's back to 4 days from 8:27-3:50 and Friday early out.  Carter has started something new that I don't like and not sure how to deal with.  He has been exploring his diaper area and it's something that I'll have to learn to distract him from.  Oy.  His wheelchair was approved by insurance even though it's hasn't been quite five years, so it's now being ordered.  I think he'll love being able to push himself with the wheels!  He has an appointment in November to be assessed for autism, so we'll see what happens with that.  He has been waking up some at night for the past while, not sure why.  Change in the weather?
Sierra has been going to speech at the Primary Children's Rehab in Bountiful.  I love the lady she works with, she is so sweet with her!  She seems to be doing well so far, I just need to find time to work with her everyday.  We are still waiting on her assessment in Salt Lake to see if she has appraxia.  I hope she doesn't.  Sierra also starts dance next week, she can't wait!  It's a ballet/tap/jazz preschool class for kids age 4.  I've been wanting her to dance since she was 3, she will absolutely love it!  Sierra started her second year of preschool yesterday; she goes to Sunset Elementary in the Head Start preschool.  Several kids from last year are there and her teachers seem so nice.  My little girl is growing up!  She is almost 80% for height and in the 60% for weight.  She is also doing her preschool program online, it seems to motivate her to learn.  She will be busy in the coming weeks, that's for sure!  She has been such a big helper to me this summer, always looking out for her brothers and playing and being affectionate.  She balances me out, I don't know how I'd do this without her.
In looking for resources which I'm always on the lookout for, we went to the library in Roy on Saturday for sensory hour.  It was on dinosaurs and Sierra just loved it!  It's funny how I went mostly for Keaton, but she ended up doing better.  It's something I want to continue to do.  I found a great class for kids with autism through an old friend.  Keaton will be starting on the 26th for 10 weeks every Monday morning with me.  It will be like a boot camp of sorts, learning how to deal with Keaton's behaviors and such.  I feel blessed we found this resource and that we're able to attend.  A neighbor will be helping me get the other two kids off to school those mornings so I can just go with Keaton.  In the meantime, he's still doing OT, speech and meeting with the developmental specialist through early intervention.  ABA therapy (applied behavior analysis) also started last week, and so far he's seemed to enjoy having people come and play with him.  It's nice for me because I don't have to be with him for the session, I can come and go as I please.  They give me tips of things to work on at the end and I can always ask questions.  We've started with 9 hours a week, but can go up to 30 hours a week.  They have goals and things they work on with him, such as his tantrums and throwing things and rocking.  It will be good to keep him occupied while Sierra isn't home since he misses her.  We found out WIC covers Carnation instant breakfast which Keaton loves in his bottles, and I ordered some Boost puddings to help him get the nutrition he needs.  His weight is not an issue he is almost 80%, but with how little he eats I'm glad he is getting what he needs.  He is 40%ish for height.  The OT is addressing his feeding concerns and I hope he continues to make progress.  He has said 'bobba' for bottle, 'no' and 'dadda' this month, so his speech seems to be progressing slowly but surely.  He sure keeps me on my toes!

It's interesting how your parenting becomes different when you have children with special needs.  For instance, with Keaton, if he asks for something whether verbally or with gestures, we're supposed to instantly give it to him to reinforce his request and to keep him using communication instead of like yelling or crying.  They call it manding.  The ABA therapy is also a lot about restitution, so if he throws a toy he has to pick it up, or if he plays with a puzzle when he's done he has to put it away.  They like to reinforce and praise him a lot, especially with trying to communicate.  A lot of it is consistency so it can look boring but it's essential to how Keaton is going to learn.  As Moms we have so much to do in our day and it can be hard to pay attention to everything, but with Keaton I have to watch for those clues that could lead to a tantrum or clues that he wants something etc.

We went up to the mountains over Labor Day weekend, the kids loved it!  Even Carter who had to stay in his wheelchair because he couldn't just crawl on the dirt.  We didn't get to camp among a few other things this year that I wanted to, but it sure was nice to get out and be with family.  For my mom's birthday we surprised her by most of us meeting at Texas Roadhouse for dinner.  She seemed happy and surprised to see us there!  All 3 kids saw the dentist and did great!  Sierra was actually so excited to see the dentist, his assistant is the best!  She is getting some cavities on her bottom because she's miss independent and doesn't like me to help her brush or floss, so hopefully we can work on that.  It's fall and I already got my fall decorations and clothes out!  I love the crisp weather, pumpkins, scarves, boots and jackets and hot chocolate and leaves.  I can't wait for the fun activities too!  I've been reading some good books, trying to get out with my close friends when I can.  It's important for us mommas, especially those that have kids with special needs, to take care of ourselves.  Our new routine has just begun, but I feel like we'll settle in nicely and I can finally enjoy some peace and quite, here and there:)

What's Coming Up:  Sierra's dance class, Walk & Roll walk for Shriner's, Church Primary program, Keaton's Play2Learn group class, new wheelchair

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