Friday, January 25, 2013

Inside Out Clothes

I just put in my first load of laundry for today. As I was adding clothes to the washer, I became very frustrated. Every single item of clothing of Ethan's was inside out which meant that I had an added task of turning every thing right side out. I was getting so annoyed, but then I stopped as God gently reminded wasn't that long ago that Ethan couldn't undress himself at all. Once I realized that these inside out clothes were a sign of progress & life, I became overwhelmed with emotion....

"Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with this child."
"Thank you, Lord, for providing a path for him."
"Thank you, Lord, for the amazing progress he has made."
"Thank you, Lord, for the person I see him becoming."
"Thank you, Lord, for guiding my steps as we parent Ethan."
"Thank you, Lord, for these inside out clothes."

Oh, of course my mind didn't stop there.....I continued to ponder. Why am I always looking at what Ethan CAN'T do....instead of what he can?!?!

Socks. I worked with Ethan for a good 6 weeks specifically on putting on his own socks. He can do his underwear & pants, so we had moved on to socks. 6 WEEKS OF SOCKS! I was going out of my mind. Then, on one of my "days off" (thanks to an amazing husband who insists I take these occasional days for myself), Corey did socks with Ethan. Ethan got it. In one day from Daddy, Ethan can now put on his own socks! YEEHAW!!! I was soooo excited. But shortly after that, can you guess what my new fixation was??? Shoes.

WHY do I do this????? Ethan has come so far in his therapies yet I am always looking for the next "thing" to work on or to fix. What is up with that????? Maybe it's the teacher in me who is ready to teach the next lesson or the oldest child in me trying to be perfect at my job.....whatever the reason, I don't like it.

So......I'm going to try to look at thing differently from now on....

Instead of seeing a kid who can't sit still, 
I'm going to see a child being among his peers.

Instead of seeing a kid who doesn't eat much, 
I'm going to see a child that is taller than his peers.

Instead of seeing a kid who can't self dress, 
I'm going to see a child who can ask for his favorite shirt.

Instead of seeing a kid who cries if a cartoon character gets hurt, 
I'm going to see a child who is becoming sensitive to others.

Instead of seeing a child who doesn't sleep well, 
I'm going to see a child with an amazing mind that doesn't ever stop.

Instead of seeing a messy room, 
I'm going to see signs of life of a child I prayed for.

Instead of seeing inside out clothes, 
I'm going to see a child who is growing in every way.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

More Pretend Play

We have really noticed Ethan tipping his toes into "pretend play"....something that is a struggle for him. Yesterday morning, Ethan created this game. I was so impressed. Yes, it still has a pattern to it as well as repetition, but he created this long drawn out process all on his own. I couldn't believe how many steps it had since this is also a struggle for our Ethan. Usually he can only remember & follow about 3 directions at a time...and sometimes not even that many. So here is Ethan's made up game....I'm so proud of him!!!!
Step 1 - Pick 3 cards from his Logo Board Game
Step 2 - Take Mommy the 3 choices of which she can choose

Step 3 - Take the chosen card to the kitchen table & write the logo's name on the paper. Yes, folks, this child is voluntarily writing!!! It's a miracle!!!!!

You can see here that he has the chosen card

Step 4 - Roll the paper to get a new blank slate. This paper is on a roll similar to a paper towel roll.

He could slide the paper out & get a new canvas for the next card. This roll was brand new!  And we emptied it during this game & had to get out construction paper......which is almost gone from a stamping game he created.

Step 5 - Add the completed cards to the line of logo cards & then start the process over!

Here is a closer look at some of the logos we completed.

I'm a big believer in showcasing kid's artwork, and my hallway was the only place for it....and even it wasn't long enough! Can't see Ethan's writing? It's because he has low muscle tone which translates into him not having enough strength to push a crayon with enough force to show up. It's very light. This is another reason why we do tumbling & swimming as well as strengthen his weak muscles.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Beginning Signs of Pretend Play

Pretend Play is something that we don't see a lot in Ethan. Pretend play can also be labeled creative play, imaginative play or make believe. Lots of kids pretend to be princesses or cowboys. Kiddos also enjoy pretending to play in a kitchen or taking care of a doll.

The only time we have really seen Ethan enjoy pretend play is when is he making his cars race in an imaginative race. A few times we have seen Ethan enjoying playing in a toy kitchen, but for the most part this is not common for him.

However, I have noticed a change in Ethan over the last several months. It started out on a day he was home sick. I was trying to coax him into taking more medicine, and I used one of his semi trucks to ask him....instead of me. Ethan lit up like a Christmas tree, and LOVED that his Mack truck was talking to him. Well.....for a good solid month after that, we played "Big Mack & Little Mack." I would get to be the little semi, and Ethan would be the big semi.....and we would have long conversations as these characters....L-O-N-G.

Then, I noticed that he was starting to pretend to be Elmo or Dora or Charlie Brown or any character that he had recently watched on TV or played on the computer. Yes, the games & actions were still patterned, but he was creating the voices & words all on his ideas & new games.

And just this week, Ethan has been full of creating new games & new characters! One day, we were singing in the car, and in the middle of the song, he said, "Let me hear ya now!" OMGosh! I laughed & laughed!!!! Sooooo funny!!!!

Not normally a cartoon/TV/movie watcher, Ethan has been soaking it all up the last 2 weeks. I don't know why the change, but I'm thinking he is studying......studying the "socialness" of the characters & then acting them out in his playtime. It's been so great to see Ethan doing this kind of play because it has been a goal we have really struggled with in teaching him. And we are seeing the first signs of Ethan's creative play! And we are soooooo excited!!!!! A little worn out from sooooo much playtime & interaction....we are used to our "leave me alone & let me play by myself" child......but we welcome this new stage! YEAH!!!!

Here is a LONG (7 minutes) video of Ethan pretending to be Elmo. He called it Ethan's World (instead of Elmo's World), and came up with all of these actions & rules of play all on his own. He is reading some books that he made on Elmo's World website, and whenever anyone would appear in the'll see. We were merely his audience.....and everyone was having a good time. Enjoy!!!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Revising a Picture Schedule

During our Christmas break, Corey & I were able to slow down & look at our daily life. Although we wanted to change a few things in our personal schedules, the main focus was on Ethan's schedule. Here is what his schedule looked like......

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Blooming Once Again

The last several weeks I have been absent from my blog. I needed to take a small vacation from some of the extras in my life in order to focus on my major priorities. Not only because my Grandpa passed away & then the holidays came, but because I was becoming overwhelmed with my daily life & things were beginning to swallow me whole. I needed time to step back & regroup.

It reminds me of a plant that I have in my kitchen. My mom bought me this beautiful plant for Mother's Day last year. I left it outside all summer, and that thing took off! I have NEVER been able to keep a plant alive, but this one was bound & determined to survive despite it's non-green thumbed caretaker. Around October, my mom told me that I needed to bring it inside for the winter.....and since I always do what my mom tells me (do you believe that?!)......I did as I was told. I really wanted this plant to grow & was just so beautiful!

Once inside, the sheer scale of this thing was just too big for any place in my home. And as I began to really examine this plant, I noticed that due to the plant being so overgrown, some places were beginning to die.....the plant had grown too big for it to sustain it's self. So, I "googled" how to split a plant & how to prune a plant....and set to work.

Holding my breath, I have watched & waited for my plant to regain it's see if it would survive my best efforts.

Guess what happened this week.....

BLOOMS!!!!!!! IT SURVIVED!!!!!  Seems like we are both ready get back at it! So, I apologize for being gone for so long, but I needed to separate & prune some extras in order to maintain my sanity. But, I can't wait to update you all on what has been happening with us! Happy New Year Everyone!!!