Saturday, April 14, 2007

Ear infections

One thing you need when you are sick is rest. Joey appears to hae an ear infection that is resistant to Zithromax, which sucks, so we changed his antibiotic. Now if only I could get him to SIT DOWN. He has as much energy now as when he's fine! We are trying to tempt him with Oobi and Pinky Dinky Doo games on Noggin's website, but... bounce bounce bounce! IF the child would just take a NAP!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Long Day

So the boy starts to stir about quarter to seven this morning, with a moan and sob, and "My ears hurt!" Just a few direct questions makes it clear- he really did just tell us not only that he is in pain, but that his ears are the specific, actual problem. Holy cow, my son can communicate with me!!!

So I pack up two little boys and head off to the Medic One, a walk-in clinic we tend to use, especially for ear infections. And bingo, we have one. Fill the scrip, give him a dose, pick up grandma, and we're off to Kluge.

Charlottesville is lovely in the spring. 270 was planted for flowey effect, and the redbuds, dogwoods, and cherry trees are in full swing. Very pretty. When we go back next month for Andy, I hope the azaleas will still be in bloom.

Anyway, nothing too new and exciting. Dr. Blackman is still nice, supportive, and very interested in Joey's progress. He wants us to work on social skills. The OT wants us to try brushing. The PT wants him able to climb into a sling-swing. The SLP says he's progressed in receptive language a full standard of deviation, so now he's just breaking into two standards of deviation, instead of being a full 3 standards of deviation behind. So he's made up some ground. We didn't test expressive, but he's about to get a full eval from our private OT anyway. We were just testing the waters. Why, I don't know. I keep calling them saying I want a full eval to get a sense of where he is, and when we get there, they're all just consult appointments. But at least I''l have some letters with "Kluge" in the letterhead saying he needs services. They'll promptly be ignored, but there you are.

We'll probably wait on teh brushing until summer. If I can't get this school OT to even give him gum, I can't see expecting her to do brushing in a supportive, appropriate way. After all, when it was mentioned before, she blew it off as "too difficult, too time-consuming." If it works, what's a little time?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Today, Joey is five years old! Happy Birthday, Buddha Buddy!

So he got up this morning, and started rummaging through the clean clothes (which tend to sit in the hall with the washer and dryer, rather than being folded and put away in a timely manner). When I asked him what he needed, he said "Red one! I want a red shirt!"

Allow me to stop and pick up my teeth from the floor. He responded to me... in a sentence... expressing a preference. My Joey! What a great birthday present!!!

After a good deal of rummaging, we did finally find a red shirt. I was surprised he didn't have several, usually we have a variety of long-sleeve t-shirts from teh Lands' End Overstocks, but apparently they are all size 6, and have been passed down to Andy, and got mostly replaced by blue and orange shirts (the red ones must not have been on sale). But I finally found one that fit him, and all was groovy. I got him dressed, and started on Andy, who wanted his favorite dinosaur shirt this morning.

Joey started down teh stairs.

Last night, I prepared for the Birthday Morning by setting up a playtent in teh livingroom, and arranging his presents. So as I am dressing Andy, Joey starts down the stairs, and sees teh tent, and says, "Oh! Nice surprise!"

I could have cried.

This burst of verbal-ness is actually something of a shock. It started when he was put on the oxygen during our Croup Crisis a couple weeks ago. He's been using sentences ever since. We know Joey does these burst-breakthroughs, but to have it coincide so perfectly with the oxygen and steroids (he was put on steroids for the croup) is just strange. It was so dramatic, I'm going to have him checked again for allergies, since this steroid helps stem allergic reactions.

Tomorrow is Kluge Day. I don't expect to learn much new, but just to document where we are. I'll keep everybody posted. :)

Monday, April 09, 2007


I don't usually say much about Andy here. This blog mostly focuses on autism, and my autistic son. However, today was an Andy Day, and there are clouds on the horizon.

We have Andy doing something called Therapeutic Listening. Its one of those therapies that sounds like a duck, but it can't hurt him, so why not try it? Andy, like me, is highly sensitive to sound, and appears to have some other sensory issues going on that make him dislike crowds, avoid too many people at once (even familiar ones), and get very, very grumpy. He also has been doign a lot more toe-walking. He doesn't appear to be autistic, but appearances? What would I know? We've got an appointment for Dr. Blakcman to give him a look-see in May. In the meantime, we have the Listening. He listens to modulated music for 30 minutes, twice a day. It actually seems to be helping, as he will now listen ot the music on a normal volume (at first, I couldn't even hear it and he would pitch a fit), and will do a single activity for the half-hour, such as playing with playdough or doing puzzles. Who knew?

My private OT.

Anyway, we're also trying to do a general eval, and that is much harder. Andy has a lot of trouble following instructions, espceially from strangers (he does just OK at home). He seems to be doing something very strange- his skills set is all over the place, making the test nearly impossible to score. The joys of standardization. In the meantime, the speech therapist took a look at him. He's having some trouble with articulation. His language use seems to be ok, but understanding what he's saying can be next to impossible. We're going to see if the insurance will cover an eval and therapy for him. Then we shall see what we shall see.

I really don't want him in teh hands of the special ed folks. That's just won't do.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


We had an interesting morning at church today. The church insisted on having the kids in service today, so they started the service 15 minutes early, then planne to send the kids to Sunday School after "children's time." This meant I had to have Joey in a huge crowd of people (Its EASTER, people!) and then have him sit in front of all those people and try to participate in an activity before going to Sunday school. What a great idea... not.

Fortunately, Joey performed beautifully. There were too many people in the service, so we set up camp in the vestibule. Fortunately, the nursery was open, so Andy got an extra few minutes to play. There was NO WAY he would be able to deal with that many people all at once. Joey wanted to go up and see the instruments, so we ran up the side aisle. Our service has a deaf couple with an interpreter in teh front row; Joey reached the front and the intepreter was there signing, and stopped, fascinated. He had me hold him for a while to hear and bounce to the music, and watch the signing, and he was such a happy little child. When we ran back to the vestibule, it was packed with people; no longer a quiet escape from the crowd. Yet, Joey did not meltdown; instead, he started barking like a dog and tracking the lines in the floor. We got some funny looks, but since he was managing to control himself and make himself comfy, I was prety proud of him.

So Children's Time came at last, and up we went. We sat towards the back of the crowd of children, in front of our deaf friends. The children's pastor had the kids sing a song; I wasn't familiar with it, but JOey was trying hard to sing along, so they must have been teaching it in Sunday School. Of course, his procesing problems meant he remained a verse and half behind, and he was getting frustrated; he knew the others were ahead of him. He sat in my lap and tried, though; I am SO proud of him! And then the amazing thing happened.

The deaf lady caught his attention, and was signing the song to him; and he tried to sign back, and sang along.

The whole visual thing just struck me, then and there. I know Joey is highly visual, and learns best with visual cues and aids. TV is a great boon for us. He just loves the idea of reading. He's a very visual person. But to see him able to process the visual cues so much faster, and actually keep up... I am going to spend some time this afternoon looking for signing classes. It would be such a simple way to help him keep up with the conversation, to be able to give him those visual cues. I know he'll need to get on in the world without signs, but he also will need to keep up with work and lessons, and having a way to help him not lose that ground has to be worth something.