Saturday, March 26, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday Butters and the IEP results!

Happy 4th Birthday Alvin!!

Since Alvin has become stressed by large groups we pondered what to do for his birthday. Since we are still settling in we decided on one of his favorite dinners (fried chicken) at home.

And then of course there was cake.

Toy Story is a favorite right now so we did that them. The cake was chocolate with banana filling from Safeway. As far as grocery store cakes go it was pretty good.
MMmmm! Cake!

Must grab frosting!!!

 Of course Elliot had to be involved in the fun too!

 Going back in for more frosting!

Earlier that day he also got his puppy back so it was a great birthday for him!

On another note we had the IEP meeting with his school on Thursday and I know one thing. They are not playing. They have some pretty good goals for him. Some of them include (and all of this is to be accomplished by mid June) to have a 30% increase in perceptive and receptive language, doing a task for 5 minutes or more, sitting in a group and listening to a story with other kids, playing well with others with minimal adult intervention and doing imaginary play with an adult or other child. Almost every goal says "with minimal or no assistance" which I love!

I met with his teacher, physical/ occupational therapist, speech therapist and psychologist. I fell in love with these women. They were wonderful to talk to and just kept saying how they wish I had brought him so they could meet him. They are very excited to work with him. 

He will be going from 9 to 11:30 Monday through Thursday and I felt very comfortable with the entire staff and can't wait for him to start on Monday. His class will have 10 kids, 1 teacher and 2 adult teaching assistants.  This is the best student to teacher ratio we could get. I feel like he is going to be challenged but also cared for as well. The staff told me they send home weekly letters so you know what they are working on and also said they communicate through email quite a bit and said if we ever had any questions for any member of his team we were welcome to email or call anyone of them. How great is this! I love the open communication that they are fostering already!

It is a little bitter sweet. He will start school on Monday and I'm not taking him. Will and Elliot. I know he will do well though.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A new normal

Alvin has autism.

There I said it. He has a form of it that most people we meet have no idea about. We are increasingly looked at when out and Alvin has one of his meltdowns in public. His brain is in overdrive and lately the outbursts and being scared has come far more frequent since the move.

But you know what. Alvin is normal to us. One of the things that W and I have strived for in all of this is not to loose sight of is to Always treat Alvin as normal as possible. To us he is still a normal 3 almost 4 year old. He throws tantrums, plays games, and even sometimes does things to his sister that we wish he wouldn't do. He also gets his share of time outs like any other preschooler.

But there are also times when we have to slow down. We have begun to take notice of the times that he needs more reassurance. Times when he just needs an extra minute or two to understand what s going on.

With the move, and diagnosis all within 4 months at times its been overwhelming. But somewhere in the middle of it all I think W and I stopped caring. Not really stopped caring but just stopped worrying about it all. Yes we have challenges that most families don't. Yes Alvin has increasingly more odd outbursts and unexplained (to most) meltdowns.

We got him enrolled in The Little Gym here the same week we got into town. I don't regret it for a minute. The gym helps with his social and motor skills. We have had great success there. Its fun for him without being too structured. He loves it and so do we and I think we will have continued success there with our “normal” little boy!

Playing hockey at The Little Gym
He was actually playing with her!!!!