Not everything, mind you. Not even close to everything. BUT, he IS repeating some things on TV. Mostly on the Baby Einstein DVDs, which I thought were really some type of devil-spawned DVD collection because they became such an obsession with him early on. But, if they're going to help him get some words out, then so be it. So far today, I've heard "kitchen", "chair", and "ball". And, while watching Baby DaVinci, he imitated sounds that the puppets were making. They were yawning, and he does it right after them. Everytime. So it's NOT a fluke.

As painful for me as that IV was 12 days ago - I'm ready for another!


what's going on???

I have no idea, but I'm not changing anything. I don't know if it was the IV chelation from last Thursday, or if things are just starting to "click" for Holden. He had a great week, doing things I haven't seen him do before. His ABA therapists all said he's making a lot more sounds. Not noises, but actual sounds. 3 days in a row, I caught him imitating things from TV. He was watching Barney once (I know, I know) and I caught him out of the corner of my eye doing something with his feet. I thought "oh, its just one of his dances he's doing". Then I looked at the TV and saw the kids dancing, doing exactly what Holden was doing. They started swinging their arms around and he watched and did the same thing...again. Just yesterday, he was watching a Baby Einstein video and there was a windup toy on there that would jump...walk, then jump again. Holden stood in front of the TV and jumpped every time the toy did. And smiled. I also heard some verbal imitation while he was watching a video, too.

Gross motor imitation is what we've been focusing on in ABA for him. It seems to facilitate verbal imitation. He's done GMI on occassion, but most of the time, its been prompted. This week, the times I caught him doing it, it was NOT prompted at all. Completely independent. I wish I would've had a video camera when he was doing it ... but I hadn't expected it, so I wasn't prepared.

Was it a fluke? Maybe. But I don't think so. Was it due to the little bit of detox that the one IV chelation would have accomplished? Possibly. Or, is it because he's started ABA thearpy 4 days a week this past week? Could be. Whatever the reason, I'm not stopping any of it.


challenge (provocation) test

Holden had his 1st challenge test today at the DAN doc. He was given 450mg of Glutathione and then he had 50mg of IV DMPS. It sucked. I had to hold him down. Normally, I'd make Dietrich do the holding down, but he is out of town for work. So, I had to do the dirty work. She had a hard time getting the vein in his arm, but FINALLY did enough to get the blood draw we needed. We're also checking his hormone and cortisol levels. And checking to see if the TD Glutathione is helping him, so we're checking those levels, too. Then the vein blew, so she couldn't administer the meds through that one. Had to remove the needle and then poke him in his hand. He screamed and cried and cried and I cried. He looked at me, crying, and yelled "MAMA!!!!" I thought my heart would break.

For 8 hours, we're collecting urine. I'll send it to the lab on Monday and we'll see what comes out.

So far, he's okay. Tired, but okay. We're all beat after today.


the "window"

Jenny McCarthy talks about The Window in her book about her son's autism. I've heard a lot of interviews, too, where she talks about The Window. How we have to pull our kids through this window.

I'm hesitant to type this, or think this, or admit this - for fear that it will go away. But, for the 1st time since Holden's diagnosis, I feel like The Window is at the very least ... opening. We have a long, long way to go in Holden's recovery process, but it feels like we're truly finally making some progress. And, progress that is notable. Not just us asking if it's a coincidence, or asking ourselves "did we really just see that?" and answering with a "nah, probably not".

Saturday, we were going somewhere - to run errands. Holden's been saying "bye bye" pretty consistently for the past few weeks. So, we told him we were going bye bye. I told him to go get his shoes so we could go. I kept talking to Dietrich and then realized as Holden walked around the corner and back into the room - that he had his shoes in his hands. Not only did he go get them. But he brought them to me to help him put them on. For most people, that's really nothing. Most parents can say to their kids "go get your shoes!" and they will go get their shoes. I've always wondered if Holden understands what I'm saying, yet he's unable to respond. Now I KNOW he understands most of what I say, because he IS responding. For a child with autism, that's huge.

So, yes, even if it's just a crack, The Window is FINALLY opening.



Holden loves paper. It's his "toy" of choice. He likes to shred paper, specifically. And hold it in his hand. Not just any paper, but paper towels or tissue. Regular paper you draw on just won't work. On New Years Eve, we spent the afternoon and night at a friend's house. Holden was really good. He crawled up in the chair with a few people and just hung out. He also played with his paper and when we were in the kitchen, we all heard him say "paper". Not just once, but 3 times. And it wasn't just me, but everyone else heard it too.

So, no more flukes. He's talking. It's not consistent, but he's talking. In the past week or so, we've heard "paper" (more, and again and again), "bath", "bubba" (for Jackson), "sissy" (for Zoe), "wawa" (for water). And it's great. He's not consistent, like I said, but we're hearing more sounds at least. And actual words. I really think his receptive language is improving the most lately though. While at our friends house on New Years Eve, he had a long sleeved shirt on and was sweating a little (damn Florida weather). I said to him "honey, do you want me to change your shirt and put on something cooler?" Not expecting him to actually SAY anything or DO anything. But he walked over to his bag, pulled out his other shirt, and laid it on top of the bag. And there's no way it could have been a coinidence. He's also listening to me more when I tell him to "come here". Or telling him to "get down". He's taken to crawling up on the trunk in the living room next to the TV. So, I think his receptive language is really really improving right now, which is awesome.

In other news: Zoe started her new school 3 days ago. She now has a total of 2 "really good friends", she says. I love that kid, she's so great. I was worried about her the 1st 2 days, but today she did so good and I know that we're over the worst of it. Thank God!

Tomorrow is such a full day that it's 9pm and I'm going to bed. We have ABA at the clinic from 9-11am, OT at the clinic from 1-1:30, walk to pick up Zoe at 2:30, and back for in-home ABA from 3:30-5:30. I'm tired just typing it out. Good night internet!