I haven't had much time to blog since school let out for the summer. 3 kids keep you very busy, to say the least.

I don't really have a lot to report with Holden. He's doing well, although now it's very slow, steady gains. As compared to big "wows" we were seeing. I'm not sure which is better honestly. The big "wows" tend to take you aback a little more, just because maybe you aren't expecting it. But, the slow, steady gains make me believe that he's just continuing to learn and progress on more of a regular basis. Make sense? Well, if not, it is early this morning and I have had only 1 cup of coffee so far.

He has been attending the ESY summer program through the public school. He goes M-Th, from 8-noon. They aren't teaching any new skills. Only focusing on maintenence and making sure he's retaining all he learned and mastered throughout last school year. Well, I decided the last couple of days of school to call our insurance company to find out if it covered any ABA therapy at all because I wanted to supplement the summer school program with additional therapy. And let me tell you, it has turned into a major shocker! Seems that our insurance falls under "Texas mandates", instead of federal mandates. Which, apparently, is GREAT. Over the past few weeks, I've found out that Holden will be able to attend a wonderful ABA clinic FIVE days per week, from 9am - 4pm!! And, our cost? We pay a one-time $50.00 copay. Insurance picks up the remaining amount. Crazy, I know. I wasn't expecting it, at all. So, I'm going to remove him from the public school summer ESY and put him into the clinic fulltime. I'll re-evaluate in a month and a half to see how he's doing there before I decide if I'm going to keep him in the clinic or put him back in his classroom. I love his school and it's a great program, but, we only have 2 years until he HAS to be enrolled in school in the state of Texas and I'm very hopeful that if we're aggressive enough, he can enter in a regular/mainstream classroom with the help of an Aide. So, I will keep you posted on how he does at the clinic. His start date is July 8th.

We are still chelating. Once a week, using EDTA + DMSA. Last week, I only did the EDTA because he seemed restless and didn't want to push it. He ended up sick for 2 days after chelation night. Not sure if it was because of chelation or just a virus he picked up somewhere. I've heard of some kids getting sick after chelation because of the redistribution of the toxins. I gave him charcoal last week, twice, and it seemed to help a little.

Well, looks like the little chickens are up for the day, so more later!

Here's a few pictures of our summer "adventures" so far (in HOT AS HECK TEXAS)



Ok, so, for any parent of a typical 4 year old, this will no doubt ... NOT be exciting. But, for those of us dealing with a child with autism. VERY exciting.

This morning, Holden was eating his scrambled eggs. When he was done eating, he did his usual routine of putting his plate in the kitchen. (Learned that at school). He left his fork on the table. So when he came back into the room, I pointed to the fork and said to him "Holden, can you put your fork away, too?" and he looked at it, said "OH!", ran over to the table, grabbed his fork, and put it in the kitchen. He came back all "smiley" and sat next to me.

Why is this exciting? Well, 1. he actually looked at where I was pointing. 2. I only gave the direction ONE time. And, 3. He followed the direction!


End of School Update

So, little Miss Zoe got ALL A's for her final grades. ALL A's. Very proud of her!!!

Holden's update is as follows: (his is different than just grades, so I have to update all of his "objectives" individually)

GOAL: Holden will master the skills needed to effectively communicate.
Comments: Holden has mastered 18 motor imitative responses this 9 weeks. He has also mastered 5 new mands (signs with vocal approimations) and acquired at least 5 to learn. We will continue to target new mands next school year and he will work to maintain his mastered ones in ESY (summer school). We have tested 15 tacts (signs wtih vocal approximations) and will target new ones next school year. He can echo an approximation to at least 15 words and has mastered 3 this nine weeks. We will add new echoics next school year. Good job!

GOAL: Holden will improve fine and/or gross motor skills
Comments: Holden has mastered these objectives for this school year, we will target new objectives next school year. Great work, Holden!

GOAL: Holden will improve cognitive skills
Comments: Holden has mastered 11 visual performance skills this 9 weeks and has become a master at basic puzzles. He has also mastered 6 new receptive language skills this 9 weeks! Holden works very well at the table and is okay if reinforcement is delayed after completing a skill. Great job, Holden!

GOAL: Holden will improve personal-social skills
Comments: Holden attends the entire circle time, transitions well and participates in singing and doing the actions. He makes occasional eye contact and will attempt to copy new motions the teachers are doing. Holden will play nicely with the other students, occasionally taking something they have if he likes it. He takes turns nicely and is not disturbed by the other children. Great playing & singing, Holden!

GOAL: Holden will improve daily living skills
Comments: Holden is a pro at the backpack routine, we no longer prompt, as he seems to be prompt dependent when we do so. He occasionally needs physical guidance for reaching the basket to get his folder out, but can do the routine independently. Good job!

GOAL: Holden will increase positive behaviors and/or decrease negative behaviors
Comments: Holden's tantrums have decreased substantially this school year. He has also dropped his stimmy circles, only engaging in them on occasion. He will still get mad when told "no" to lining up toys, running off the playground, or sitting inappropriately. This is all age-appropriate and we expect to see continued progress next school year. Way to go, Holden!

Last day (almost) of school

Just a few pictures from Holden's last day of school party yesterday. Today's actually the last day ... but the party was yesterday. He's done so good - I almost can't wait for school to start again so that he can continue to learn more!


enhansa update

i hesitate to write this ... cause, i'm sure i'll jinx something. but, holden seems to be finally adjusting well to the enhansa. i still think he may have phenol issues; but so far, nightly epsom salt / baking soda baths seem to be helping (a lot). i was already doing epsom salt baths, but not religiously. now, i'm making sure that EVERY night, he has at least 2 cups of salts in his bath and that he sits and plays for at least 15 minutes. i haven't seen any red cheeks since last week, and he's definitely talking more. i have no idea if that has to do with the enhansa or not. he's doing a lot of scripting and singing songs from his movies/tv shows. which, hey, if it's language of any kind, i'll take it right now! we'll work out the details later! he's also showing that he understands (at least somewhat) certain emotions. jackson was crying this morning and i said "holden, tell jackson "don't cry"") and he said ... "jackson, don't cry" in a really sad voice. like he knew that crying was sad. he's also been pretending to talk on the phone. he'll walk in the other room and make the sound of a phone ringing and then put his hand up to his ear and say "hello"....then...."have a good day"....and then...."bye". i tried having a pretend phone conversation with him, but haven't gotten that far yet.

so who knows. i may increase his dose by 75mgs and see if i see anything different.