Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New School Year

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but I plan to make a few posts over the next few days to catch up on all that we did over the summer!!

Last Thursday we went to Meet the Teacher night at the kids school. Ainsleigh is in Kindergarten and Brycen is still in his PPCD class (Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities). Ainsleigh's teacher is Ms. Cherry and she is VERY nice!! Ainsleigh likes her and we chatted about some of the things going on with Ainsleigh so that we could work together to make this a GREAT year. Brycen's teacher is Ms. Tierney and she is the same teacher he had last year, YEAH!!!!! : ) She was SO excited to see Brycen and so proud of his hard work during the summer to not regress! Ainsleigh's classroom is just a few doors down from Brycen's and his teacher is helping keep an eye on Ainsleigh!!

The kids started school on Tuesday and Brycen was excited and happy!! He really loves his class!! Ainsleigh had a meltdown before we got to school and Brent went to work late so that he could be there to help ease her into the transition. She did better once she got to school and she ended up having a GOOD day!!! She told me when I picked her up, though she was crying. I was stuck in the line of cars picking up kids and I didn't get there fast enough for her, haha!! Anyway, the teacher, the principal, and Brycen's teacher all told me she had a good day too!! I had to meet with the teachers, the cafeteria manager, and the nurse about Ainsleigh's peanut allergy and I am VERY impressed at how serious they are taking it and the measure's they are taking to keep her safe! Her peanut allergy is severe and because of her sensory issues it is very hard for her to even be in the same room with peanut butter. Brycen had a good day too!! He did not fuss at all and was very happy to be back in his class (he didn't take to well to the summer school class).

This morning we had a major meltdown with Ainsleigh and it is so heart breaking to see her so upset and not be able to do anything about it! It is going to take some time for her to adjust to the change, but we are very hopeful it will work out!! She was doing much better once at school, so hopefully she will have another good day!! Brycen was happy as usual, haha!!! : ) I'll write more later about the summer and how today goes!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fun in the Sun

We had a family fun day outside last weekend due to the nice weather! The kids got to play in the sandbox, swing on the swing set, sensory play with shaving cream, and water fun!! We had such a great time and the kids really loved it!! I wanted to share some pictures we took of their fun!! Brycen is now in summer school (ESY) and he seems to like it. He goes three days a week for three hours each day. Ainsleigh now has a library card at our library and has joined the Summer Reading Club!! We checked out some books and she got to participate in Story Time!! I am trying to set up different activities for each of the kids for the summer so that they have some fun things to do!

Fun in the Sun (cont'd)

Fun in the Sun (cont'd)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Truly Amazing Gift

I have a link attached to my blog that tells the story of a couple who are truly selfless!!!! They are creating a retreat for families with autistic children so that they may have family vacations that are truly "worry free"!! Please click on the link, Elijah's Retreat, and read their awesome story!!! I am truly humbled and thankful that there are such wonderful people in the world that they would do this for so many families they do not even know!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My Sunday Surprise

Texas is a GREAT state to live in and I am proud to be from Texas, but there are some serious flaws!! Now I know I will probably lose my citizenship for admitting openly and on the internet (gasp!!) that TX has flaws, but it does (still love TX!!)....

I was trying to sneak out of the house to go to the store without having an entourage (aka KIDS!! hahaha) go with me, so I quietly put on my shoes and grabbed my keys, phone, and planner (when Brycen sees shoes, he knows that means we are going "out") to head to the store. I eased the garage door open as soundless as I possibly could and stepped into the garage without turning lights on so as not to be seen by the entourage. Just as soundlessly, I close the garage door and flip on the overhead light when I got the biggest surprise that I have gotten in a while..... (look down only if you have a strong stomach)

Oh YEAH!!!! This little surprise was literally about a foot away from me when I flipped on that light and needless to say I startled him just as badly as he startled me!!!!! His head was up, facing me, mouth open...... my reaction: RAN!!!!!!!! Luckily, I had NOT locked the door behind me and I burst in and slammed it as quickly as I could at the same time screaming at Brent, "WHY DOES THIS ALWAYS HAPPEN TO ME?!?!?!?!"... hahaha, his reaction was hilarious - he had not a clue about my little surprise. I quickly told him what was in there and that I was NEVER going in there again!!! hahaha Rewind about three years when we were living in Medina, I wanted to take Ainsleigh (two years old) and Brycen (newborn) onto the patio to play. Ainsleigh ran out ahead of me as I held Brycen in one arm and the bouncer in the other walked through the doorway only to get a movement from the corner of my eye.... can you guess what it was?! Oh yes.... it was a snake, ON THE WALL!!!!! I freaked just as I did on Sunday!!! I DO NOT LIKE SNAKES!!!! Most people don't but I REALLY don't!!! I have gone into the garage since Sunday, but you do not even want to know the precautions I take now. The only thought that constantly runs through my mind is that it was sitting right were Brycen runs to go to his side of the car, my beautiful little oblivious to all dangers Brycen.... I know I shouldn't think about it because it didn't happen that way, but.... I am a mom and I am a worry wart!!! Gotta love TX surprises... : )

A special moment...

It is a rare moment in our house when this happens, I had to get a picture and share!! I hear stories from other parents about how their kids play together, interact with each other, and fight too!! In our house, that is not a usual occurence... ever. Granted, I do like the fact that my children rarely ever fight with each other (or with other children), but it would be nice to see this more often!! I just love these two little peas and I'm glad they are in the same pod even if it was only for a moment.

Ainsleigh's 1st Lost Tooth

There are times that make you stop and look at your children and realize that they are not babies anymore... this was one of those moments for us!!! : ( She was such a trooper about having this pulled (of course, we had to bribe her with money AND a visit to Chuck E. Cheese), and she did GREAT!!!!! I cannot belive my little girl has lost her first tooth!!!! The Tooth Fairy brought her a little something and she was SO excited about that!!! We discussed with her the Tooth Fairy and what happens almost everyday for two weeks to prepare her (she kept saying the Tooth Fairy was stealing her tooth, haha). Brent and I were SO nervous we had to enlist the help of my parents (we are such chickens!!!) and I really think that took alot of the fear away for Ainsleigh (she was very distraught about losing her tooth) and us. We treasure these moments for sure!!! : )

ISD vs. ME

Ok, so I know I have been VERY bad lately about updating everyone, so sorry!!! Here it goes... We had two ARD's with the school district (one for Brycen and one for Ainsleigh). Ainsleigh's did not go well. The school district, after reading the neuropsychologist's report, is sticking to their guns that Ainsleigh does not have an educational need for special education services (speech, occupational, etc.), and are taking the "wait and see" approach to educating her. I, of course, held to my guns that I do not believe in "waiting to see a child fail" before acting as a way of educating a child. We (Brent and I) decided to "play nice" and agree that we would enroll her without services set up, and "wait and see" how she responded to Kindergarten. The look of triumph was very short lived on their faces when I very "nicely" but in Wendi style "bluntly" let them know that I would be watching like a hawk and the second problems arose I would be on them (to quote an old teacher of mine) "like white on rice", but this time I would bring out the big guns (aka my bulldog advocate that is chomping at the bit to tear into them) if steps were not taken to give her the support she needs to receive her "free, appropriate education". Though I do not like the idea of going toe to toe with the ISD, I will do whatever is necessary to make certain Ainsleigh is not put in a situation that will cause her to fail.
Brycen's ARD went much better! He did not receive the in home behavioral trainer because (to put it plainly) he is not violent enough. I did not disagree and we moved on to our next agenda (the one I was really more concerned with) of Brycen's eligibility of ESY. He WILL be going to ESY!!!!! YEAH!!!! ESY is Extended School Year, and I really wanted this for him so that he would not lose the skills and progress that he has worked for!!!! He has progressed SO MUCH!!! He is really trying to talk and sing, and has a few words now that he can actually say!!! Most do not have meaning yet, but I am still SO PROUD of HIM!!! : )
I had Ainsleigh transfered to Brycen's school and the principal there as arranged for Ainsleigh to be placed in the Kindergarten class near Brycen's class with a teacher who has experience working with children on the spectrum. Also, the teacher and the principal reassured me that they would be talking with and including Brycen's teacher in decisions regarding Ainsleigh. This does make me feel better and I really hope it benefits Ainsleigh greatly!! We'll see and I'll keep you posted!! : )

Friday, April 17, 2009

Autism: Breaking Barriers (3)

This video discusses one story of a child with autism that "recovered". There is alot of controversy with this topic in the autism community. Most people know of Jenny McCarthy's son and her story that he is "recovered" from autism. The percentage of children who "recover" from autism is VERY low, and I find to be suspect. To me when I read about this, my first thought is always the same: they regressed then "recovered". I am always happy to hear of success stories of autistic children because I am always for progress, for success, for them!! But the skills were there at one time, so "recovering" those skills seems possible. But what about for those who never had those skills? That is our story and I would like to see if there is documentation on children born with autism (meaning shows signs from birth) who "recover". Brycen showed signs of autism from birth and did not develop typically. He never regressed because he never acquired developmental milestones then lost them. I pray every day that his progress will continue to grow, leaps and bounds, and that we never hit plateau. To me, Brycen is who he is! I want him to have a full, happy, wonderful life, but I refuse to look at him as though there is something wrong with him!! God made him the way he is and to want a cure or want him to "recover", to me means that I do not accept him for who he is... I am his mother and he is my blessing!! Now I know that comment brings alot of anger and contempt from some in the autism community, but it is my opinion and I am sticking to it!! Do I want him to develop, mature, progress? Of course!!!!! But I do not want him to "get better" because he isn't sick!!!! Neither is Ainsleigh!!! They were created the way they are and I love them and every single "quirky", "unique", "different" characteristic of who they are!! Some will say that I am in denial or naive, but those of you who really know me, know that those are not words that describe me! Anyway, that is my take on things and this is my blog, hahaha!!! : )

Thursday, April 16, 2009

6 Words... Amazing!!!

Ainsleigh and I visited Brycen's class today (I had to drop off some soy milk for Brycen), and we found out that Brycen said 5 words today in class!!!!! He said: fish, car, boat, hat, and bed!!! Then while I was there, he said "apple"!!!! He is SO AMAZING!!!! This weekend he said "mama" for the first time!!! He is doing SO WELL!!! He knows his alphabet, uppercase and lowercase, and he is even getting better with his letter sounds!! I am going to try to get video of him singing with his videos (Yo Gabba Gabba), it is SO CUTE!! We have been working on colors and animals, but all in due time. Also, his teacher told me that Brycen is actually taking their breakfast wagon to the cafeteria by himself, and coming back to the classroom and opening the door by himself!!! I think I almost fell over when she told me that, I know my mouth was wide open (hahaha)!!! : ) I will share a moment with y'all that was very heartwarming and tearful for me. Yesterday, the kids and I were playing in the living room after Brycen got home from school. We were standing in the middle of the livingroom and Brycen just reached up and grabbed my hand. I was a little dumbstruck at first then I started looking around to see if there was something that he was wanting (usually he only touches my hand to indicate he wants something out of reach), and I couldn't see anything that he would want. Then the realization hit me...... he was HOLDING my hand!!!!!! I couldn't believe it!!!! He just wanted to hold my hand, and that was it - not requesting, no demands... just simply wanted to hold my hand!!!! The tears started flowing and I cannot express to you the emotions pouring through me!!! So many people take the little things for granted but I don't... to have my little boy actually *want* to hold my hand then actually *hold* it was so precious and awesome!!!! For those of you who do not understand, Brycen does NOT like to have his hands touched and he has NEVER held another person's hand without being forced or prompted, even then he lets go as soon as he physically can! Anyway, I just wanted to share that moment, it was so beautiful to me!! Wish I could have gotten it on video, haha!!! : ) Priceless!!!!!

Autism Awareness (Video)

Autism: Breaking Barriers (2)

This video talks about Sensory Integration Dysfunction or Disorder. SID is a disorder of the senses (smell, sight, hearing, touch, etc.) and it can be hyper (over sensitive) or hypo (under sensitive), or a combination of both. Alot of individuals with autism also have SID.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Autsim: Breaking Barriers

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The Today Show is doing a three part series on Autism: Breaking Barriers. This is segment one and I will try to add each segment each day. Very interesting stuff!! Thanks, Rachel, for letting me know!!!! : )

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April - Autism Awareness Month

Though I am not a huge fan of Autism Speaks, I do love this video! Autism affects so many of our children and it is on the rise! The awareness needs to be spread and our children's stories and voices need to be heard!

This is a huge controversy in the autism community as state officials, government officials, doctors, teachers, and parents all battle. Our government and insurance companies need to wake up and realize that this is not going away! Children and their parents need help! Autism is NOT a disease (I really did not like it that they said that in this video), but it is SERIOUS! Insurance companies need to change policies and start covering for services for our children! Our government needs to fund our schools properly so our kids can get the education that is their right!! In this clip, it talks about how Texas is one of the states with mandates for autism coverage... however, what they fail to mention is that it is only for FULLY FUNDED policies, not SELF FUNDED policies (yep, you guessed it... we have a self funded which means they do not have to obide by Texas mandate)!! Self funded policies need to be held to the same mandates as fully funded! Our children need help... I hope their listening!!!

Funny days

Brycen is such a funny little guy!! Everyday when he comes home from school he likes to eat a little snack before taking a nap. Usually I give him Nilla Wafers or Teddy Grahams (Cinnamon and Honey.. of course, they are his color); Teddy Grahams are his favorite. I open the bag and set it next to him so he will feed himself (we worked hard on getting him ok with reaching his own hand into the bag). It nevers fails... if he pulls one out that has a missing arm, leg or head, he will lay it to the side and go for another one. After he is finished, there is usually a small line of disfigured Teddy Grahams beside him!! It cracks me up!!
This morning before going to school, Brycen and I were sitting next to each other on the floor going over different letters he would find on various things (boxes, cards, etc.). He would identify the letter then look to me to receive praise for getting it right!! And he did!! Everytime, even the lowercase letters!! As if that was not amazing enough, he was using his index finger (open hand) to point out the letters he was identifying!! : ) Brent and I were SO excited and proud!! He is such an amazing little person!! : ) When I went to drop him off at school, he and I walked over to his aide and he actually let go of my hand and went to her!!! I could not believe it!! This is SO great! We looked at each other with open mouths, completely surprised and thrilled! She then told me that he was identifying letters in a word, "Well", and he was using his finger to point to the letters too!! Also, his teacher told me that he did the letters in his name too!! Such awesome, awesome progress!! : )
I am still working on getting Ainsleigh into therapy and I am researching other insurance companies to see if I could possibly get us a different insurance that is more "autism friendly". Or get us an insurance policy that is fully funded so that it will have to obide by Texas law to provide services to children with autism (HB 1919). Ainsleigh and I do little play activities each day to work on her gross and fine motor skills as well as her letters/numbers/etc. It is very hard to keep her focused on learning activities and she is so smart that no matter how creative I am in working learning into our activity, she figures it out! : ) I wish I could figure out how to make learning more fun for her than challenging!! Anything that presents as a challenge, she shies away from (even when she knows the right answer). I have two school meetings this month, one for Ainsleigh and one for Brycen. I am not so worried about Brycen's, but Ainsleigh's I am!! Please pray that the school will recognize that she has a disability and will work with me to help her!! I am so fearful of when she starts Kindergarden in the fall! I know that she will become overwhelmed and anxiety consumed if the school district does not implement a plan to help her in that setting. I had her transfered to Brycen's school, but I still have to meet with the educators at the school in our neighborhood. We'll see how it goes...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Ainsleigh's School Pictures - October '08

I know these aren't too recent, but I wanted to put her's on here too!!! We will be sending these out with Brycen's. Brent and I were laughing at the fact that both of our kids had picture day on their first days of school : ) They are such troopers!!!! More updates coming soon!!!

Brycen's School Picture

I just wanted to share this with everyone - we couldn't believe how well he did especially since this was taken on his first day of school!!!! : ) We will be sending these out in the mail soon. More updates to come!!

Brycen Counting Backwards

Brycen Counting from 1 - 10

Brycen's version of the Alphabet

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Break

It is Spring Break!!! Though I do not like Brycen being out of school for his benefit, for me it is GREAT!! Though our routine time is a little off, it is SO nice to not have to rush around in the morning to get him to school. The kids are enjoying it too!!! They like not having to rush around first thing in the morning.

Brycen is doing SO WELL!!! He is starting to count, say letters, and try sounds!!! He can even identify certain letters ("C", "K", "O", "S", "T", "W") and a number ("2"). He REALLY likes the number 2 for some reason and can actually say it!!! : ) Last night, he tried to say Ainsleigh's name!!!!!! We couldn't believe it!! Brent and I both were in such shock we didn't think to grab the camera (probably wouldn't have made it anyway), but we were SO VERY EXCITED!!! I did get video of Brycen doing letters that I will try to post (I have NO idea how to do that, but I am determined for y'all to see how GREAT he is doing!!!), and I think I got video of him counting so if I did I will try to post that too!!! He really is progressing so much in such a short amount of time. He actually will turn at the sound of his name (not always, but more than before), he will sometimes make better eye contact, and he initiates interaction now (not all the time, but more than before)!! We got him a weighted vest for home through an awesome organization, Stitches4Autism, and we are working on getting him Baby BumbleBee videos (they REALLY do work for him!!!!!). His teacher let us borrow the letters video, which of course is why he is doing SO well at letters now (Ainsleigh and I also work with him using flashcards and foam bath letters/numbers). We are SO thrilled at how everything is going for Brycen and feel completely blessed that he got the teacher and aides that he did!!!! Ms. Mashelle (his teacher) and Ms. Tammie (one of his aides) are SO wonderful!!! The love they have for our special children is humbling!! We need more people like them in the world!! : )

Ainsleigh is doing much better now that she is not in school. We are still working on trying to get her into therapy; I have a few places that I am talking with and trying to work out the insurance/financing details with (therapy is NOT cheap and our insurance is HORRIBLE), so hopefully it will work out soon!! I need to set it up for Brycen, as well, for summer time when he will be out of school (fingers crossed for ESY). We are contemplating putting her in a private christian school in our neighborhood, but we feel unsure about that decision. I am still battling with the ISD to get her services so when she enters Kindergarden next year, trying to set her up to succeed not fail. She struggles so much within a classroom, but hopefully therapy will help us with that!! : ) I'll work on those videos, haha!!! Hope everyone is having a great Spring Break and doing well!!! We love you all!! : )

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The results are in...

We had our follow up appointment yesterday with the Neuropsychologist who evaluated Ainsleigh, and unfortunately we had reason to be concerned. Ainsleigh has Asperger's Syndrome, a mild form of autism. They consider it mild because there is no speech delay with Asperger's, no mental retardation, etc. However, individuals with Asperger's have many challenges and of course, social skills is the number one area.

Ainsleigh's verbal and nonverbal, perceptual organizational processes were at significant opposites. This means that Ainsleigh's nonverbal communication skills were off the charts high, but her verbal communication skills were way low. The doctor told us that this could be a possible indicator of a future learning disability. She, also, has very weak information processing speed. Her ability to use language is were it should be, her memory is excellent, but her receptive functional communication is about 3 years delayed. This means that when you talk with Ainsleigh, her perception of what you say is off. She may indicate to you that she understands, but she really doesn't and she doesn't even know that she doesn't understand.

The doctor recommended that we immediately get her working with a speech therapist, occupational therapist, and get her into social skills therapy. So off we go.... We withdrew her from her preschool (doctor recommended), there is relief in that since school has become the number one meltdown trigger for Ainsleigh, and we begin the process of evaluations and therapy appointments (ahhh.. familiar ground, haha). There is relief in knowing yet heartache too!! We honestly were praying the doctor would say the loathed yet hopeful word "typical", but of course deep down we knew. We are the family of A's: Allergies, Asthma, Autism (and a possible future ADHD). Yes, the doctor said there were indicators that Ainsleigh may have ADHD but she did not want to "label" (diagnose) her yet. She is hoping with therapy and time that she will be able to develop the attention, focus part of her brain since it is the last part of the brain to develop and Asperger's could also explain that, but she said it is a possibility.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying, we are SO grateful and thankful!!!! Love you all!! : )

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Words are not just words... anymore

It is funny to me how often life experiences can change the way you feel about something as simple as a word... In our household, the words "typical" and "normal" have taken on a negative feeling. In the past, I used these words without so much as a thought or feeling; they simply were just words. However, over the course of the last few months or so, that is no longer the case.
I can be shopping at the grocery store, walking through the halls of our church, or even having a conversation with someone and if those two words are spoken, immediately I have a physical reaction: stomach tightens and twists, facial muscles stiffen, ridged posture. Sometimes it is in reference to my children and sometimes not, either way the result is the same: negative. Brent and I joke about how we respond to these words yet deep down I know we both are bothered by the fact that they bother us. Our children are perfectly "normal" and "typical" to us; it is the outside world that has issues, not them.
Since our life turned upside down almost 9 months ago, random people have said things that have inflammed me, frustrated me, hurt me, and encouraged me. I write some of them down so I can laugh about them later or strengthen me when I feel overwhelmed. I'll give you a little view of what our life is like:

"Is he on any medication for that?" - A doctor actually said this to me after reading in Brycen's medical file that he was diagnosed with autism

"Oh, wow.. is he ok? He's not blind is he?" - A woman said this to me after seeing Brycen visual stimming (i.e. walking sideways with eyes slanted to the side)

"There's a cure for that right? I mean, Jenny McCarthy cured her son" - For those of you who do not know, I am NOT a fan of Jenny McCarthy and her lies of having "cured" or "recovered" her son from autism - there is NOT a cure for something that is not a DISEASE nor can you recover from something that was not (in her words) "like a traumatic accident"

I could go on but I think you get the picture. Though the saying goes that ignorance is bliss, I do not believe in this situation blissfulness is what I am feeling, : ) The one comment that has inspired me, encouraged me, and definitely made me stronger is this:

"God created Brycen just the way he is!"

Through all of this, Brent and I have grown stronger together and so has our family. We still have a long road ahead with plenty of heartache and joy, but it is the road that God made for us and He loves us! And THAT is completely AWESOME!! I'll step down from my soapbox, updates coming soon!! : )

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ainsleigh's 5th & Brycen's 3rd Birthdays

Brycen's Birthday Cake
Finding Nemo

Ainsleigh's Birthday Cake
Scooby Doo

No, the charcoal was not a gift!! ; )

Hurry up, Daddy!!!! I want cake!!

Aiden (our nephew) & Brycen
The kids had a GREAT party!!!! The party was at Scott's house, my older brother. Brent's parents and our niece, Scarlett, drove up for the party!! It was SO awesome to get to see all of our nieces and nephew together (we have two nieces: Scarlett and Kaelyn, one nephew: Aiden). My parents were there, and obviously the host/hostess: Scott and Sherie (my sister in law). Ainsleigh got a little overwhelmed just before opening presents. Needless to say, opening presents was a little bit of a disaster (Brent and I pretty much had to open everything ourselves). They got lots of fun things and they really enjoyed them the next day when everything was much more calm. My brother cooked steaks on the grill (YUM!!!!) and everyone had a really good time!!!

Brycen's 1st Day Pics

Too early, wake up call is at 6am He's looking good and ready to go!

Brycen & Ainsleigh

Look how little his backpack is!!!

Out front of his school

Sorry this took me so long to post, but here they are!!! Brycen is doing SO WELL!!!! He is making awesome progress, almost on a daily basis!!!! : ) Today he tore off a paper towel all by himself without fussing, he got soap and washed his hands without fussing, and he actually LOOKED at his PECS cards for the FIRST TIME EVER!!!!!!! : ) He is doing wonderfully and we couldn't be more excited, thrilled, humbled!!!! I'll post more on his progress later, thank you to everyone who is praying for him!!!!! You're part of his progress too!!! : )

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Brycen has started school!!

Brycen started school last Friday!!! I am still in shock that this time has already arrived!! We had his ARD meeting with the ISD last Tuesday, and it went very well! I did not have to fight for services for him, and his teacher is really wonderful!! They wanted him to start on Wednesday of last week, but I said no. We had multiple therapy appointments already scheduled and honestly, I wasn't ready! : } He did start on Friday and he did GREAT!!! It was picture day (can't wait to get those and share them!), and they had a little Valentine's Party too!! This week he has gone everyday and he is transitioning VERY well!!! Much, much better than I expected him to! We are having a little issue with our good bye in the morning so the teacher and I are creating a plan on how to best transition him into school without lots of crying (and without riding the bus). Hopefully it works, I'll keep you posted!! I really do not want him riding the bus! Anyway, they have been using a weighted vest to help him regulate himself and calm down, and it is working GREAT!!! We are looking into getting one for him at home! He tantrums a little when he gets home (really bad yesterday but I think it was because he was REALLY tired), but after some brushing and deep pressure he seems to relax and calm down. The teacher and I communicate through a daily log so she can let me know how he is doing, what they are trying with him, and I can incorporate those things at home as well. They are using pull ups with him, and he is getting more used to them each day. He is verbalizing and really enjoys the Baby Bumble Bee DVD's the teacher has (we are looking into getting him some of these, but they are expensive). Anyway, I will post a picture later of him and his first day of school!!! I am very excited about how this is going and will keep you all posted on how he is doing!!! Love you all! : )

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Our upcoming week

This is going to be a VERY busy week for me (busier than usual!)! This is Brycen's last week of therapy with ECI, so ALL of his therapists (he has about 6 of them) are scheduling their last visits for this week, we have a meeting with the school district to transition Brycen into school on his 3rd birthday (he'll be 3 on the 16th!!!!!), and Ainsleigh's school is having a Valentine's Day Party!! Please say a little prayer that everything goes well with the school district, and that Brycen will transition as smoothly as possible into his class. Oh.. I almost forgot. On top of all of that, we are trying to get everything ready for the kids birthday party which is coming up (Ainsleigh will be 5 on the 24th, gotta love February birthdays, haha!) on the 21st. Let's not even discuss celebrating Valentine's Day or Brent and I's 7th Anniversary this month too!! I am SO looking forward to March.... haha!! : )

We made it through : )

Today was a GREAT day!!! We were actually able to stay for the entire church service (class at 9am, and service at 10:30am)!!!! Brycen did AWESOME!! No meltdowns, no crying, no hitting... He has come such a LONG way and we are SO proud of him!! He was definitely tired and ready to go when we picked him up, but he did it!! We have been attending Heritage for several months now, but only until the last month have I been able to leave his class so that I could attend service. After first service, we had to leave because Brycen's morning class usually consisted of 5 other toddlers and 3 teachers, but the later morning class consists of about 15 toddlers besides Brycen (too much for him). The teachers said he did very well, even sat at the table for a little while with the other children : )

Ainsleigh LOVES her class and was SO thrilled to get to stay the whole time!!! She is such a GREAT big sister!! She has been very understanding with Brycen and has not complained at having to leave her class earlier than the other children. It was SO WONDERFUL to get to reward her for HER efforts today!!! I wish I had a picture to post but unfortunately as soon as we left the church building Brycen had a meltdown (hahaha!!)... he really was ready to go!!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Ainsleigh's Latest Updates

Being a parent is never easy, especially when there wasn't a chapter in the manual for a child like Ainsleigh, haha!! : ) Her teachers reported to us that her behaviors in school have progressed (she isn't flapping, head banging, or getting out of her seat to walk in circles as much anymore), she is socializing with the other children more, and talking more (don't know if they are happy about that one, haha)!! WONDERFUL news for us!!

However, there are still some issues we are all concerned about. The teachers report that she knows the tasks she is supposed to do, even tells the teachers exactly what she is supposed to do yet she cannot do them. She is not being willful or stubborn, but literally is physically unable to do what they want of her (i.e. cutting paper, writing her letters/numbers, etc.). She still has oddities with her socializing with other children, cannot eat her lunch, and if the teachers change the routine she has a hard time. I dread every Tuesday and Thursday now!! As soon as I have to tell her that it is time to get ready for school, the tears come... the begging not to go... the emotional tidal wave... I have resorted to bribing her to go to school so that I will not have to "make" her go. It breaks my heart when I pick her up and she bursts into tears, wanting to leave school immediately! It is not that she does not have a good time at school, she does!! She likes singing, coloring, making crafts, playing with her "friends", but there is something.... Hopefully we'll have some answers soon! We are taking her to a neuropsychologist to help us figure out what is going on with Ainsleigh, and what we can do to help her. Hopefully, we'll get some answers!

Brycen's Latest Accomplishments

It never ceases to amaze me at just how powerful music can be! Thanks to Yo Gabba Gabba songs, Brycen is now trying to imitate the lyrics he hears!! He doesn't actually say the words yet, but we are close! The other day Yo Gabba Gabba did a song on "High 5's" and Brycen can now give "High 5's"!!!!!!! This is truly an amazing thing!!!

Brycen is now jumping for the first time, he is riding on his ride-on toys appropriately, we played with his little laptop and I would point to the letters he had to identify for the game, and he would press the correct button!!! As if that alone wasn't amazing enough, he then started pressing the correct buttons on his own!!!!!! AMAZING!!! We are ecstatic!!!! I am SO proud of him!!!!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Our Journey Begins..... (bum, bum, baaaa)

I have been attempting at putting this together for a wee bit of time now, but those of you who know me, also know that I AM NOT good with the PC these days. I am working on that... continual work in progress : ) This is just the first post, I will have an update post later for those of you who have been wondering how our journey is going with February just around the corner........ yes, stress is definitely my new coat, haha!!! : ) We love you all very much and hope you enjoy this format of keeping up with the Waters', hehehe!! Take care family and friends, you are all always in our prayers and thoughts!!