Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

First off I want to tell everyone Happy Valentine's Day! It has been way too long since I last updated Noah's blog, but things have been rather unusual around here. Noah's daddy and I have both been hosptitalized with health issues amongst other things that have been keeping us on our toes. Our computer was also down for a time which made it hard to blog. But I am back now and hope to blog regularly about my little munchkin!

There is so much to catch up on that I am not sure where to start. First Noah had surgery back on November 8th. It was nothing major and he did really well. He is completely recovered and back to his old self. He will be going in for dental surgery sometime in April, so we'll see how that goes.

We had Noah's latest IEP meeting during the first week of December. It was pretty much what we expected. Noah still receives OT, PT and ST. The only major difference from his last IEP is that his aide is only part-time now instead of full-time. I guess that is a good change, but I'm not really sure. I was really concerned when the director first approached me about it, but she assured me that if Noah needed her the aide would be there for him. We agrreed to the new set up and so far things are going along. I won't say things are going well, but they are going okay.

Noah is officially potty-trained since last summer! I am so happy and proud of him. He just did it on his own. We gave up trying to pressue him and he just sort of started going on the potty. I know how hard it can be to potty-train our kids, so I am very thankful that Noah is potty-trained at 5.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

No Computer!! Ahhhh!! (oh and a mini-update)

Okay, so my computer is a goner. It sputtered for a few weeks and then it was done. I never realized how much I would miss having it until it went haywire. Now I am just waiting to see if it can be salvaged or if I need to drop some major cash and buy a new one.

Anyways, things are going well here in Noah's world. He is doing really well in school, sleeping excellently (with the help of a little melatonin), and had a few appointments with specialists lately that were reassuring. We are in the process of seeking some help with a few behaviors that are somewhat troubling. Mainly we are dealing with some obseesive-compulsive-type behaviors that are interfering with daily functions.

We had his IEP last month and it went really well. He qualified for PT, OT, Speech and his aide. I was really prepared this time. I asked for a copy of the proposed IEP a week before the meeting, wrote down my concerns and gave them to his teacher weeks before, and had all my questions ready. It was a completely different experience from his last IEP. The only people at his IEP meeting last year was the district rep., me, and Noah's dad (oh and Noah came too because we didn't have enough time to find a babysitter since we didn't know about the meeting until the night before!). This time Noah's teacher, the school's speech therapist, adaptive physical education teacher, the district representative, Noah's teacher and I were all in attendance. It was a much more comfortable experience and we all agreed on everything. I am so glad that Noah attends the school that he attends. He has been there since he was 21 months old. They know him so well and he is so happy there.

He had an awesome Christmas (although he doesn't really play with anything that he received very much). He did struggle some with all the people and opening presents. He was finished before he had even opened all his gifts.

All in all things are going well here, but I really miss checking in on my fellow autism moms. What a wonderful resource the internet has turned out to be. I can't wait until I have unlimited access to all your wonderful blogs again!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

This Crazy Life

Life has really gotten the best of me lately. Needless to say I have been terribly neglectful in visiting other's blogs and even more neglectful in updating my own blog. There has been so much going on that I don't even know where to start.

Noah's daddy was admitted to the hospital on Nov. 29th. He has an autoimmune disease, and he let things get a little out of hand. He was able to come home on Dec. 6th, which was also Noah's 4th birthday.

Noah finally turns 4!!

Unfortunately, our neighbor's house caught fire and burned down on the same day. Luckily, she was at work and her beloved dog made it out fine. Unfortunately, her three beloved cats did not. So we did not have much of a birthday celebration. Noah opened his presents and took a treat to school for his friends, but other than that it was pretty much a blah kind of day.

Now that he is 4, Noah thinks he is a big boy and we have taken full advantage of the situation to really push the potty training  issue. It's still hit and miss, but it is slowly improving.

He got his Wii!
Unfortunately, he's having some trouble figuring it out and hasn't touched it much since he opened it!

Our town also suffered a real tragedy on December 9th. I live in a fairly small town with a population of about 13,000. Everyone either knows or knows of everyone else. An acquaintance that I graduated from hight school with lost 3 of her children in a house fire. Our whole community was really rocked by the loss of three little ones. They were only 7, 6, and 3 years old. Today was the funeral and the whole community is still in mourning. 

Today was also Noah's last day of school until after the holidays and they had the Christmas party and program. This was really fun. Noah had a really good time. He actually participated in the program. This was no easy accomplishment. After the program was finished his aide let me know how close Noah came to sitting out in the hall during the program. Apparently he was having some problems during the rehearsal earlier. Thankfully, he worked through his sensory stuff with his aide and was able to participate. Here's a little video. Sorry about the quality, but my camera isn't the greatest when you zoom in.

He really had fun. And did I mention how much I love his aide this year? She is great with him!

After the program we went back to the classroom to do a craft and see a special visitor. Noah is finally "getting" the whole Santa thing this year.

He even sat on Santa's lap and told him what he wanted for Christmas. I can't believe how much he has grown over the last year.

Noah also had his annual IEP while Dave was in the hospital, but that's a whole other post! 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving and I have so many things in my life to be thankful for. Instead of sitting here and typing up a long list of the usual things that people are thankful for, I will sum it all up in one little video.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Halloween Rewind

I sound like a scratched record when I say that things have been crazy busy around here! I've been stressing over Noah's upcoming IEP and spending way too much time analyzing every piece of information that I have to prepare. I'm not sure why I am stressing this one so much, but I am. Anyways, we had a wonderful Halloween this year. We went trick or treating three times and I think Noah actually said, "trick or treat" exactly once. LOL I also helped out in his classroom during their Halloween party. Here are a few pictures from Halloween week.

This is Noah at our city's Mardi Gras parade. Noah likes parade for about the first 10 minutes, then he is ready to go home.

Classroom Halloween party! He had a blast!

Noah loved his cupcake and was the first one to finish!

The class planted "magic seeds" the day before and went outside to see if they grew. Noah was slightly taken aback when he realized that the pumpkins were not in the exact location that they planted the seeds in. It took some fancy footwork by his aide and I to convince him that the seeds must have gotten blown by the wind to a different spot. (Have I ever mentioned that my kid is a perfectionist that forgets nothing?)

The seeds were originally planted where Noah is.

I found a magic pumpkin!!

Then they decorated their pumpkins.

Getting ready for Trick or Treat!

Trick or Treating!

Noah Story: I had a blast helping out in his classroom! I was blessed to witness one of the many milestones this year. After the pumpkin hunt and snack, Noah's teacher decided that the kids needed to release some energy. She played some music and had the kids stand up and dance. Noah joined in! Now for those that don't know, last year Noah would not have been able to handle this. He would have needed headphones or even had to leave the room. And there was no way he would have participated with his peers. This year he is actively participating! And no headphones! I am so proud of him. Here's a video. It's a little long, but it sure is cute!

(((editor's note: I can't seem to get the video loaded yet, but I will try again tomorrow!)))

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Two Years

Today marks two years since Noah's autism diagnosis. Two years ago today we were in a strange city listening to a doctor we had never met tell us that our beautiful, sweet, smart, soon-to-be two-year-old had autism. The doctor that day told us that there really wasn't much that could be done to help him. Her advice, "Keep up the speech and occupational therapy, keep sending him to Early Intervention classes, and come back in a year." Oh, she also ordered a CT scan because of his hypotonia and referred us to the feeding clinic. She spoke with us about communication devices and the possibility that Noah may never develop language. Everything was so negative and saddening. The doctor that we saw that day left us with little hope for any improvement. I felt as if she had stolen Noah's future and all the dreams I had for him. She couldn't have been more wrong.

Since that day Noah has blossomed. His last speech evaluation showed his receptive language to be "within functional limits" and his expressive language to be "mildly delayed". I'm not saying that his language is normal, not by any means, but he is doing far better than anyone could have hoped. He still faces numerous challenges, but he has had so many victories. He still has some echolalia, he isn't potty-trained, he can't dress himself, and he can't carry on a conversation. But he can count to 20, say his nightly prayers, give affection, make you laugh, name all the Transformers, and beat all the Decepticons on his Transformers video games.

I spent a long time in denial. I spent a long time mourning the kid that Noah could have been if not for autism. I even spent some time questioning why God would do this to me. Now I spend most of my time marveling at the kid that Noah has become and thanking God for blessing me with this amazing child.

Monday, October 18, 2010

School and Seizures

I can't believe that it has been over two months since my last post! I am so sorry. I am not joking when I say that life has really been crazy-hectic lately. There has been so much going on that I don't even know where to begin this post. Guess I'll just start with two of the more important topics: school and seizures.

Noah started school on August 30th .

So far he's doing really well. We had a small issue on the first day because he wanted to ride the bus, and he wasn't supposed to start riding until the second day. Of course, this led to a meltdown when I dropped him off at school. His aide had to pry him out of my arms and carry him to his seat. I really hate to see him get so upset.

On the second day, all went fine.

He was so excited to finally ride the bus.

He has a new 1:1 aide this year, and we all love her. So far, she is great. Noah doesn't want anyone else to change his pull-up or help brush his teeth. Every day when I go to pick him up, he is either playing with her or being held by her. She really seems to "get" Noah and his little quirks. Since school started, we have only received 5 - 6 behavior reports and 4 of them were on the same day. This is still better than last year when we received 5 - 6 every day. His teacher is the same teacher he had last year and she has also noticed that he is very different than last year. We think that part of the dramatic change can be attributed to having his seizures under control. Speaking of which....

We received the final MRI results from his neurologist. Considering that 70% of seizures have either a genetic or no identifiable cause, we were kind of surprised to find out that there is an identifiable cause for his seizures. The MRI showed that Noah's left (I think, but can't remember) hippocampus is smaller than normal and he has mesial temporal sclerosis. In layman's terms this simply means that part of Noah's hippocampus has been replaced by scar tissue. This is where his seizures are originating from. This probably happened before he was born, but we're not sure. He has done exceptionally well on the anti-seizure medication and we really haven't noticed any seizures since he started the medication.

I promise another post really soon. If not, someone hit me over the head!