To Add to the Loveliness

February 28, 2009

Remember at the beginning of January when I told you Gav had to be put on a waiting list for funding for Medicaid, but that there was a new program starting and he would be first on the list? I received a lovely little letter from the Department of Human Services yesterday that states:

“Your application for Gavin is APPROVED for Medical Assistance beginnng 01/01/09.” WOO HOO! Thank you, Lord!!! Finally a positive letter! I don’t know what all this covers yet, but at least it’s something! I’ll be talking with our case worker probably Monday to get all the details.

(And in case you’re wondering, we’re still waiting to hear back on our appeal letters we sent to our insurance company regarding coverage of speech and OT. I don’t hold out much hope).

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Lovelies

February 26, 2009

Yesterday was such a BEAUTIFUL day. Gorgeous. Glorious. Make-me-joyful kind of day. Days such as these bring to mind all the lovelies in our lives right now:

  • Gavin had a GREAT speech therapy session on Tuesday. The last few appointments have not gone so well and I was seriously considering pulling him out. Tuesday went more smoothly and he was so happy to be there. Maybe he just needed time to adjust?
  • I had my phone consult yesterday with the Autism Institute. Brian, the counselor, was so helpful and the coolest part is that he recovered his 15 year old son several years ago from autism through this program, so he’s seen it work first hand.
  • Josh and I get to go to the Autism Institute in MA June 14-19! This is going to be life-changing, I can just feel it!
  • We find out the sex of baby #3 in a week!
  • Family pictures that we took a few weeks back turned out AWESOME! Everyone (the boys) was cooperative and happy!
  • We’re entering birthday “season” in our family. Who doesn’t like a good party (and cake)?
  • My dear friend Em gave me great direction about the boys’ diet yesterday. I’m feeling much better about what I’m doing and what they’re putting in their bodies. Thanks Em!
  • I woke up to the birds singing this morning. That can only mean one thing.
  • One (of our 3) houses is almost finished and ready for renters (again). I can’t tell you how relieved that makes me. Whew. What a nightmare that’s been.
  • The boys are spending the night with Grandpa and Grandma tomorrow night so Josh and I can have date night. So excited!

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“Towel Be Loud.” About two years ago, I bought new hand towels for one of our bathrooms. A few months later, I noticed the one hanging in the bathroom kept disappearing, and how annoying is that when you don’t notice until after your hands are wet?!

I kept finding them in Gavin’s room and a short time later, he started wearing them on his head. If you’ve seen Gav much at all, you know that he LOVES wearing hats. At night, since he can’t wear a hat, he wears a towel over his face. My hand towel. That he calls Towel Be Loud. Or just Be Loud. I have NO IDEA where he got the name or why he loves these particular towels.

The funniest thing about this whole story is that TBL is so common to us now that we forget it’s not normal for other people. Once when Gav managed to escape outside with it on (it never leaves our house) our neighbor saw him and started calling him Sheik Gavin. It’s true, he does look a bit like a sheik in it. And the other day we had friends over and he was getting ready for bed, searching for Be Loud. Once he found it, he plopped it on his head and went about his business. What, your kid doesn’t go to bed with a dish towel on his head called Be Loud?

(We won’t even talk about what he calls his favorite sweatshirt!)

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Tomorrow at 8:45am is my initial phone consultation with the Autism Institute in Massachusetts. It’s lookin’ like we may be able to go in June! How exciting is that?!

Son-Rise and Raun

February 19, 2009

First of all, I just got off the phone with the Autism Institute of America and I have a phone consultation scheduled with a family counselor for next Wednesday morning. I’m very excited about this because ultimately this is the first step for us to go to Massachusetts for our Son-Rise Training.

I know I have been kind of vague on this whole topic, so I’ll explain in more detail now. I read the book Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues about the Kaufman’s and their journey to recover their son Raun from autism in the late 70’s. He is fully recovered without a hint of his former ways. Through this time, the Kaufmans developed an intense training program for parents with children on the spectrum.

The unique thing about the Son-Rise program is that it pretty much goes against what all other mainstream autism programs (ABA) are teaching. If your child “stims” (ie: hand flapping, spinning, etc) then join in. ALL other programs teach that stims are bad and must be trained out of children. They also teach that a home-based program is much more suited to a child then a specialized classroom. Gee….when Gav was first diagnosed, the first thing we were told to do was put him in school.

As I’ve mentioned before, the book is amazing. I also received the info packed in the mail and watched countless DVDs at home and on their web site. It didn’t take much convincing for me to see that this is something we HAVE to do for little Gavin.

I also mentioned a while back that the Kaufman’s son, Raun, is touring the country this year giving FREE lectures on the Son-Rise program. If you live in Des Moines and the surrounding area, he will be here Tuesday night, May 5th at 7pm at Foxboro Conference Center in Johnston. This is free, but seating is limited, so you must register. You can do so here. If you live in another state, here are dates and locations.

What We’ve Been Up To

February 13, 2009

It’s been a while since I posted and much of that time has been spent catching up on life after 10+ days of being sick. We’ve been keeping busy here and I thought I’d share a bit with you.

  • Today, Gavin led the Pledge of Allegiance over the intercom for the ENTIRE school. It was really cute and kind of sing songy (as is his way). The “justice for all” note got held really long at the end. Everyone in the office was cracking up. It was delightful!
  • I’ve finally found some time to finish my Son-Rise research and watch all the DVDs they sent. I have to say one of the documentaries I watched last night had me bawling. We had to stop it for a time so I could calm down. Again, how I wish we could just hop on a plane to MA and take part in the complete series of workshops. We just need to start saving our pennies!
  • I am almost finished with Gavin’s “room” (a quiet, distraction-free place where we can work one on one every afternoon). I’ve been trying to do activities with him every day since the beginning of the year, so this room is going to be his special place that only he and I use. It’s turning out cute and I’ll have pictures up soon.
  • We’re getting family pictures taken tomorrow. Our family has never had our pictures taken professionally (sad, I know) and the last time we had the boys’ pics taken was almost 2 years ago-Liam just laid there like the 3 month old lump that he was. There is always one of us behind the camera and the only good shot I have of Josh and me is from over a year ago at my sister’s wedding. I’m kind of nervous about this because pictures are not really Gav’s forte and Liam always puts on a serious face when someone pulls out a camera. The boys did get new matching Chucks (thank you, Grandma) and new shirts, so at least we’ll look cute!
  • I’ve had several people ask if we’ve returned to the Specific Carb Diet now that we’re all recovered. The answer is no. It has been SO NICE to offer the boys more food options and to have the old stand-bys back. (We’re still GF/CF). We’ve also been eating a ton of fresh fruit (something we were not able to do yet on that diet). Honestly, I don’t know if we’ll go back to it. It was H-A-R-D. And I hate cooking and lots of food prep. You should have seen Gavin’s face light up yesterday when I offered him a peanut butter wrap for lunch- his all-time favorite meal. We are still eating extremely healthy with little to no sugar. I just don’t know if I can do that to them again………………….I’m still deciding.
  • Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and while we don’t usually make much of “Hallmark Holidays” we are planning to have family movie night. We have never done this before (both boys are just now starting to sit through the majority of a movie). I wanted the whole family to celebrate together instead of just Josh and I so we’ll pop some popcorn, get our jammies on, and snuggle up. I’m really excited for my (cheap) date with my boys. Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

SO Freaking Excited!!!!!!

February 6, 2009

I just opened up an email and was notified that Raun Kaufman will be touring the US for the next 11 months giving FREE autism lectures related to the Son-Rise program. He’ll be in Iowa in May!

I have discussed the Son-Rise book some, but this is part of the new research I’ve been doing to take Gav’s education to the next level. I am not ready to talk about it fully yet (I still have a huge packet to read through and a couple of DVDs to watch). BUT, I have so desperately been wanting to attend the Autism Treatment Center in MA for their week long seminars (for $2500 per person!) and now I can hear Raun speak for FREE!

If anyone else is interested in hearing him speak, the Iowa details have not yet been released, but you can check out this site for more info.

My blog’s been posted on the HealthyChild.org web site today. Check us out! This has been an amazing journey with Gavin and I’m thrilled and honored that more people can now read our story and hopefully we can touch some lives and help some families in the process!