Friday, March 24, 2017

Braces!!!!

If you remember in February, we went to see the orthodontist recommended by our regular pediatric dentist, and made a plan for Dominic to get braces. None of us had any confidence that Dominic would be able to actually tolerate the sensation of having braces placed on his teeth.  Knowing that there would be a period of time that involved much discomfort, we scheduled the braces placement for the day before spring break. That day was today. The entire city was shut down due to a surprise spring blizzard this morning. So while we had plans to pull Dominic out of school for the day for this – turns out there was no school. We took Dominic to the orthodontist on the northside of the city and had his braces placed. We had taken some very calming music with us, dosed him with an anti-inflammatory painkiller before the procedure, and crossed fingers and toes. When we got there the headphones for The music we had prepared didn't work so I ran across the parking lot to the Ace Hardware and bought a new pair. We just went for it. And Dominic has his top braces on. He picked the color red for the rubber bands which is adorable. Maybe red is his  favorite color – I still don't know what that is. We along with the orthodontist were absolutely dumbfounded at how well Dominic did. When I mentioned that we were going to try this I caveated that with the statement that the orthodontist had agreed to allow us as many times as we need to get them placed. None of us thought that he was going to allow us to do it on the first try. So we are ecstatic about the success. The orthodontist said that as well as he did today, we should consider placing the lower braces which we haven't even discussed doing, so that the orthodontist could better expand his upper palate. We will likely schedule the lower braces placement in six weeks when we go back for our first wire change. 


 



We told Dominic that every time he eats he has to brush his teeth. So as we finished up getting his braces, he announced he was hungry. We got him home, fed him the very nice soft turkey salad I had ready and shortly there after he came running up to me screaming "mommy brush the teeth", so he got it. 

I absolutely credit all of the ion cleanse by AMD foot baths for getting us to a place where the nutrition Dominic needed could be assimilated by his body. And where that nutrition could pave the way for such a sensory child to allow this kind of work in his mouth. 

 Now this evening - he is in pain.   Hopefully it will be short lived.  

Monday, March 13, 2017

Zoo!!

Daddy was at a conference this weekend, So Dominic and I went to the Zoo on Saturday.  Here's a selection of cool pictures from the day...






 

 


 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Climb rocks!!

Dominic loves to go hiking. We have a great park for this just a few blocks from our house, but we live in Colorado and its supposedly still winter.  Colorado apparently missed that memo because it was tshirt and shorts weather this weekend and we had arranged to go hiking with Jonny and Jonny's girlfriend Hannah.

I made the rookie mistake of letting Dominic know on Monday that we would be going hiking on Friday.  All week long he preserverated on the phrase "climb rocks".  I had told him he could bring one dog with us, and he picked Kama.  As we were getting ready to go, Shanti got super excited too and I decided last minute to bring him. I halfway thought that I'd be carrying him the last bit (he is 13 now you know), but he did beautifully.

Dominic was SO Excited about this that he got the dogs all riled up and then we shot this video waiting for Jonny and Hannah to get here.



Here are some random pictures of the beauty that is literally 4 blocks from my house.




 

 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Mighty eagle!!

Dominic is on a "Mighty Eagle" kick.  Let me provide background for those of you not fluent in children's movies lately.  In the movie Angry Birds, the community leader / judge / etc is a bald eagle, who place one arm wing  on his hip and points to the sky with the other while puffing up his chest.  All the other birds then chorus "Mighty Eagle".  So when Dominic assumes the position, we all say "Mighty Eagle"

We went hiking yesterday with Jonny and his girlfriend Hannah.  More about that tomorrow. What I want to show you today is all the Mighty Eagle poses he did both yesterday hiking, and today, at the zoo.





 



 

 


 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Yay for being able to tell me whats wrong...

We had a little drama this afternoon.

Dominic's usual routine is to come home from school on the SPED bus, come inside, set his backpack down, attach his ID lanyard to the backpack, and take his lunchbox the the kitchen.

Today, he came home at the same time as our curren roommate, Tim.  And the bus drove off as he was getting to the door since Tim was out there.  The next thing I knew he was very Agitatedly saying "Mommy, Backpack, backpack" and  was nearly in tears.  He'd forgotton it on the bus.  I called transportation, and his driver came back with it after her run.

So - She told me he forgot it because he was so busy high five-ing all his friends and that she wanted to tell me how much better he has been talking... She is working hard on getting him to independently say "Bye, Miss Mo"

It makes our lives so much easier now that he can tell us whats wrong instead of just screaming, crying and pointing.

Progress people :)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Cooking - and legos

All of you guys know that I believe we've peeled back enough layers of Toxicity (thank you IonCleanse by AMD) that we are finally healing Dominic's viral brain injury.   If you pay close attention you also know that I figured out that the chiropractic miracle over Christmas was a combination of the right nutrition being in his system at the moment that his atlas was adjusted and his body could use it.  This product is a FINISHER, guys, we used it years ago with zero results and it was very hopeful thinking that I started it back up at Thanksgiving.  His body was just primed to be able to actually use it this time.


I increased his dose a week or so ago from 2 pills a day to 3.  
Thursday evening, we were getting his dinner - and therefore Friday's lunch - together, when he looked at me and said "mommy, Jelly".  He was asking for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for his lunch. Okay.  So i helped him make it for himself.  Then he asked for a cucumber.  I decided on a whim to have him help me peel it.  No he did not cut himself, it just looks like he almost did.





I sent that video to our OT, Jonny, who was so impressed by it that he suggested we make today's session about cooking. I asked Dominic if he'd rather make egg cups or corn dogs.  He picked corn dogs. 

Then Saturday night, I had made him a plate and I told him to go heat it in the microwave for one minute.  The next thing I knew, he was saying "Mommy, its not working".  Turns out the fuse had blown.   But - the right tense of the verb???  Knowing something was wrong??? Telling me???  Wow.

Anyway.  Today was corn dog OT day. It was also lego day.  Both of these things he did amazing at, but what was BIGGER than that - was that he went back and forth between activities with zero prompting to refocus.

So...












 


And then he went and stood in the footbath bin, so he's having a footbath right now.

Color me amazed!!

And for the record - we are working on skills for independence.  So he cracked the eggs himself, mixed the cornbread batter himself... we did do hand over hand cutting the hot dogs and he did all the rest himself including putting on the "mittens" for safety.

 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Twelve...

Today is Dominic's twelfth birthday - in many ways it feels like just yesterday we brought a sweet baby home, and in other ways it feels like we have lived three lifetimes in the last 12 years.

Dominic came into our bed about 6:30 to snuggle and as is our family tradition, we opened presents in bed:

 

 

 

 


We were so happy that his therapist Jonny and Jonny's other half, Hanna, joined us at Red Robin for lunch and then the zoo.  It was a fabulous day :)

 
Dominic likes to do "cheers" even more when it's freckled lemonade 



 

Mugging for the camera 


 
Hey man, got any lettuce??

 

Fun with Jonny

 

 
What was hilarious here is that he actually was yelling 


 


 
Fascinated by the wolf pelt...

 
This video totally caught his attention 


 


 














Monday, January 30, 2017

Tales from home based therapy - new exercises

Jonny has been working hard with Dominic developing a new home exercise plan for us to focus on since we got the other one mastered ages ago...

today was day 1 of doing it.  We are focusing on visual processing speed, core strength and body/spatial awareness.  We're also sneakily trying to increase his arm strength.

So first up are some vision exercises.
This is one of 3 vision exercises we do, and the only one i was able to film while supervising.  The idea here is by going from upper left to lower right we increase his visual processing speed crossing brain hemispheres. 




Then we do situps and pushups.  Pushups are very hard for him (weak upper body), so we do them on our knees and with him so he mimics. Situps are easier to get video of:




We are still working on lizards for reflex integration, tho on days we can ride the bike or go rock climbing, he can skip them. (yes, we are going to be taking him to the rock climbing gym in town as part of his therapy soon)



It was almost comical, as Jonny was finishing telling us about the exercises last night he said that he was going to bring us some "Yogorilla" cards for Dominic to mirror the picture of and get some body awareness via yoga. Rod, being a yoga teacher, had better ones already here.  And to Jonny's extreme Suprise Dominic did great with them last night.

Here he is today, slaying the yoga poses I asked him to do:




And I had him finish with child's pose....




The plan here is that we will do all these exercises a couple of times (i committed to 2) a day until mastery. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

That was cool!

Last night we went to the annual Yule gathering with our friends (yes, we know its a month late, we like it that way).  We've attended this party for easily 20 years and the group of people who are there are very much family.

This is also a dog party.  We only took one because... well, just because. At any rate, there were probably as many 4 leggeds as there were 2 leggeds there last night and a fabulous time was had by all.  Dominic LOVES dogs of all varieties and was in his element playing with them.

The cool moment came as we were getting ready to leave.  Dominic was in his coat, headed out the door when he got obviously distressed.  I heard him saying "come on come one" and at first thought it was because he wanted to leave.  Then he clapped loudly and intently and in trotted a dog who had managed to get out the door.

WHAT JUST HAPPENED????

He recognized a problem, he asked for help and when help didn't come because we didn't understand him, he got the dog back inside himself.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

orthodontia....


If you had told me a year ago - even 6 months ago - that we would be considering orthodontia for Dominic, I would've told you that you were crazy.

Yeah.
So.
Today we had a consult with an orthodontist who comes very highly recommended by our pediatric dentist.
That we were even willing to attempt this consult should tell you that Dominic has come MILES in the last few months.


What we are most urgently addressing is crowding on Dominic's upper palate that is keeping his adult canines from having space to drop in.  Secondary concern is an "anterior cross bite with an anterior functional shift".

Couple of things that are fabulous:
- Dominic ROCKED the exam, did great following directions for pictures and xrays
- The routine shift of spending almost 90 minutes in a strange office instead of going to school didn't phase him.
- somehow we have some insurance coverage for this, so our portion is WAY LESS than I was expecting and in fact if we choose their payment plan (1/3 down then the remainder spread out over the next 12 months), we won't even feel it financially.  We decided on the way home that all the years of STUPID expensive out of pocket autism treatment has completely jaded us.


so we have some options to discuss with our regular dentist next month.

1. Plan A - regular dentists does sedation and removes adult teeth.  cons: sedation is a crapshoot and per the orthodontist, that could make his underbite worse.

2. Plan B - the everything plan:  upper and lower braces; palate expanders / reverse pull headgear at night.  cons: Sensory boy in headgear?? you must be kidding.

3.  Plan C - Just upper braces addressing the spacing issue only for now.  Pros: Leaves a full spectrum of options for later should we think he could do plan B later.  And if we did plan B later if would just be an additional $400 (insurance!)


Interestingly Plan A and Plan C are roughly the same amount out of pocket.   We are leaning towards plan C.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ramblings...

Its been a very weird week.

Monday/Tuesday we had a 27 hour power outage.  The outage was the result of Chinook winds which brought along with the 100+ mph winds,  high temps in the 50's and 60's.   It was bad enough that the state patrol ordered the schools in the county to not do afternoon bus service and tons of damage around town.  We made the decision to stay home and ride it out instead of going elsewhere and Dominic did amazing. I'm shocked at how my routine oriented kid just rolled with dark, cold, and no shower (he had a sink bath instead).  

Tuesday afternoon was a very hard Speech Therapy session, but Thursday's ST was amazing. Never quite know how he's going ot do in therapy.

Then last night, Daddy and Mommy went on a date (dinner and a hockey game), so Mr Jonny, our OT hung out with Dominic for a few hours.  here's a sampling of the texts I got about the evening

We did a lot of ADL type stuff, multi step directions, and overall engagement was spectacular to say the least" (ADL = activities of daily living)

He used the microwave and tested the temperature of his food and then warmed it up more

Its really cool to see this side of him and have him not see me as a dictator. 


I think its really valuable to have the folks giving Dominic therapy interact with him outside of a therapeutic setting.  So I'm pleased, even tho CC lost the hockey game.... 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Cooking show

Anyone who knows me well knows that my choice of TV when I'm by myself (and often when i'm not) is the Food Network. I like to cook, i like to get ideas, I enjoy seeing whats out there.  And its relatively mindless, and very positive.

So last night, I'm hanging out in bed watching Diners, Drive ins, and Dives while Dominic took his shower as I have done every night since he switched from baths to showers over a year ago.   Dominic got himself bathed, dressed and brushed and came over to me presumably to say goodnight. Instead he announced "Cooking Show!!!" with such excitement that I told him to hop in and watch with me.

And he did.

For an Hour!!!

My kid hung out with me watching a cooking show for a solid hour, during which he provided a running commentary on what he was seeing "Eggs!  Hamburger!! Cheeeeeeeze" and so forth.  If you saw my facebook status last night, you've already seen this video...



This is what he did - cuddled with the dogs, under a blanket, he just hung out and enjoyed himself...








Then we got goofy. Because thats what we do.  And who let his feet get almost as big as mine?????? 




I cannot remember being so relaxed and happy just hanging out with him EVER. He stayed a little while after Daddy came down and joined us and then put himself to bed. 

This recovering thing.. its really amazing.  I am totally blown away.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Takes from home based therapy - word search

So tonight, after a rousing game of Hungry Hungry Hippo (Thank you Sherri!!), during which Dominic was very confused as to the point (can't really blame him...its sort of a bizarre game)... Jonny attempted to get him to do a word search.  This was the FIRST time ever that Dominic even allowed it..

Jonny showed him what to do by circling 2 words in black, adn then Dominic figured it out and found the ones in RED in 3-4 minutes






For real - wow.   The cognition gains are coming in LEAPS and bounds.  I'm basically slackjawed.  I was telling my BFF tonight that it was our turn for a breakthrough. We've had gains on many protocols, but this last few weeks, whether it was the particular combo of supplements he's on plus the adjustment, or solar flares, or what - its the first major breakthrough we've had in the 9 years we've been treating Dominic.  It was our turn.