Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Early Years

Welcome to Courage & Coffee....The Early Years. This portion of our main blog, Courage & Coffee, is dedicated to our years in Early Intervention. As our son is now in elementary school, we are in a new part of our journey. However, it is my hope & prayer that these posts help others during their years in Early Intervention or those families who are journeying thorough the early years of a diagnosis. I pray that connecting with one another through the world wide web, we can help each other learn to live with autism a little better each day.

Thank you for visiting Courage and Coffee The Early Years. If you would like to follow along with our present day story, please visit our main web page at www.courageandcoffee.blogspot.com.

If you would like to connect with me personally, always comment on a post or email me at imjwo80@gmail.com. I would love to "meet" you!


Friday, August 16, 2013

3 Doctors in 3 Days

Ethan at the Dentist. They were amazing.
They let him "play" with the instruments & explained all they were doing to his teeth.
He didn't like the chair moving or the "saliva sucker."
Due to those things, they cleaned his teeth while he stood next to the sink.
He spit into the sink when directed & was excellent at receiving direction!
I don't know who was more nervous....me or him.

Apparently in the state of Illinois, a child entering Kindergarten needs an eye checkup, a dental checkup and a physical including shots.


Because I have been consumed with end of Easter Seals preschool, Walk With Me, our Money Pit of a house, and going on vacation with my In-Laws....I failed to realized this fact until the last month of summer. This led to a schedule of 3 doctor appointment in 3 days.....3 days in a row.....oh joy.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Quiet Fourth of July

For the last 2 years, I have forced encouraged my family to attend our town's Fourth Of July fireworks show. I LOVE the hometown traditions & the sense of community. However, Ethan was terrified both times. I thought the 2nd year would be better...it was a bit. So this year I informed my family that we would not be attending the firework's show. My husband was ecstatic. Ethan was just as happy. So, our 4th of July was spent swimming/eating with friends & family during the day, but then we headed home. My brother-in-law's uncle gifted Ethan with several boxes of sparklers. This was the perfect way for our family to celebrate The Fourth. After we watched a fireworks show on TV, we went outside for sparklers.....

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Attaching A Sensory Toy To A Coat

I am always looking for ways to provide Ethan the sensory items he needs in a way that doesn't scream, "HI! I'M A SENSORY TOY!" It takes a LOT of trial & error as well as thinking outside the box. This can be a challenge, but I believe that it is worth it in the end!

One way that I have discovered to fill his "chewing" need is to attach a toy to his jackets & coats. This is to replace him chewing on his shirt collars & coat zippers. Why replace this behavior? Because the chewing is ruining his clothing. Why attach it to his clothing? Because it's easy for him to access & less change of losing our chew toys!

Using a simple grommet tool....from Hobby Lobby...I was able to insert a ring into the collar of Ethan's coat. Thanks to Jessica over at The Almost Perfectionist for introducing me to this tool! It's so simple...even I can do it!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Morning Routine Organization for Kids

With Back To School in the air (insert sad face), I thought I would share my tips on getting ready in the morning. That is SUCH a hectic time, but it can be made a whole lot easier. And if you start NOW, your kiddos will already be used to this "system," and it won't be another new thing when they actually begin their school year.

1. Address the closet. Mainstream it as much as possible. Picking clothes needs to be simple & not overwhelming. 

This organizer has really helped Ethan feel 
more independent in getting dressed as well as
 allowing me to chose his clothes for him. 
This way he doesn't wear long sleeves 
when it's 90 degrees outside. I also read this book 
as he gets dressed.  It makes it more fun & 
there have been a lot less battles. 
This is Ethan's closet.We have removed the closet doors
 to prevent a frustration/trigger.
 My next step is to remove his winter clothes
because it adds too much visual stimulation.

My husband labeled Ethan's 
dresser drawers with text & pictures.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Our Last Day of Early Intervention

This day had been 3 years in the making. It was coming faster than I realized. The finish line was here.

The last day of Ethan's Early Intervention programs. The final day of professional help & therapy before Ethan starts Kindergarten.

Several friends of mine, including my mother-in-law, are preparing to send their children off to college. In talking with them, most of them are excited but worried too. "Did we teach them enough? Did we do all we could to prepare them for this moment? Did we do all we possible could for them & their future?"

These same thoughts were running through my head as I walked Ethan into his last day at Easter Seals ITAP program.

Our journey with Early Intervention started even before his autism diagnosis.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Last Day of Easter Seals Autism Preschool Program

Today was Ethan's last day of Easter Seals Intensive Therapy Autism Preschool Program. I am currently writing up a post all about this day, what it means for our family, and Ethan's next steps. However, here are some pictures of his last day. I was able to capture Ethan with each therapist except the Director of the program....but we did see her at Walk With Me.

These ladies are amazing, and our family will miss them terribly! Also, we were all very emotional.....my pictures do not portray just how beautiful these women are!!!! Please excuse the blurry lines & red eyes...I was a hot mess taking these pictures! All of my focus was on not crying!

Ethan being presented with his Diploma
Looking at his Diploma