Saturday, May 30, 2020
Friday, May 29, 2020
Tuesday afternoon of our camping trip, three of the adults and the 2 kids drove deep up a dirt road into the mountains, to see ghost towns! and an old mining camp!! It was really fun, and Dominic and I both loved it.
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Enter a solid group of friends who loves to camp and a cheap camper I bought in January. They promised they'd help me keep eyes on him so that I could also do some relaxing. And they did. We had success!! Dominic and I went camping with another 5 people over Memorial day and he loved it. He was in constant motion all day every day - by the river, playing with the dog, etc. Huge win.
Couple of things of note...:
Sunday, May 10, 2020
Some of the highlights included a goal of getting him to use the calculator for math (that was a 4th grade goal) and copy questions and answers (wheres the comprehension?). And the school district thinks Dominic's got the potential to live at home forever and maybe have a shadow job someday.
I want him to be receiving education from people who actually believe he can learn, so I'm very grateful we have been able to make this Rachel thing work financially and unless we can no longer pay for it, he will remain with her until he is educated.
Here are some of the videos she's taken of his work just in the last week.
He's also taking (and passing) spelling tests, which shocked the school staff, and doing PE at the park as per below...
Saturday, May 9, 2020
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Friday, May 1, 2020
Thursday, April 30, 2020
Today, tho. Was special. Dominic had a very oppositional day at school, and Tyler was crabby because I limited his tablet time to 30 minutes at my house. BUT... eventually they pulled it together.
First, Tyler wore the cape / whatever that is and Dominic "drove" .
Then they traded places....
Then they turned the cape into a bedroom, and each other into TV's. First Dominic got to watch TylerTV and then Tyler got to watch DominicTV. Then they watched the invisible TV on the ceiling
What happened next had me nearly bursting into tears, tho. Tyler decided to pretend to be a floppy fish and Dominic joined in!!! Ya'll don't understand, pretend play has not been a thing he has EVER done.
Then they built a fort
I'm exhausted - all of that occured in under an hour.... - this is really amazing growth we are seeing. These are things that have NEVER happened for Dominic.
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
I’m overdue blogging this and I’m so glad I didn’t forget.
As most of you’ve figured out during the course of the quarantine / work from home, I’ve been watching a friends son 4ish hours a day so she can actually work. Its been a win/win situation because its forcing Dominic to learn to interact and share, and that’s a good thing. Anyway. My friend was over Monday evening and we were doing our kiddo handoff download (aka chatting for an hour to make sure everyone is in the appropriate loop).
History Lesson sideline: Dominic’s gas is horrible and one of the things I’ve tried is activated charcoal filter stickers in his pants to absorb the smell so that people don’t react at least (we’re talking paint peeling bad) and we can then do some behavior mod. I get those, his pancake mix, his olive envelopes and a few of his supplements once a month on amazon Auto delivery because its cheaper that way.
So we were hanging out on the deck chatting Monday and the doorbell rang. Dominic went running to see who it was, and it was the Amazon Delivery person. He brought the box and I opened it and he was sad there was no toy. I told him to put it on the counter. We then repeated the exercise with one more (because amazon can’t seem to box things together sometimes). I assumed that he was putting everything on the counter and I’d get to it later. Then apparently another large envelope arrived. From inside we hear him excitedly call out “SMELLY BUTT”. Yeah. The charcoal stickers arrived.
When we stopped laughing, they headed home and I came inside to put everything away. There were only 2 supplement bottles on the counter. I stuck my head in the pantry…. The olives and pancake mix were exactly where the belong…. Dominic put them away.
Monday, April 20, 2020
Saturday, April 18, 2020
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Secondly, he's been really wanting to talk on video chat. So on Monday, during speech we called and practiced with a friend to give Savannah an idea of what to create in support of this. Yesterday, she brought this script and we practiced two ways, with me on the other end of the call and her supporting and vice versa. The idea is to practice these calls (and we're using the Facebook Messenger KIDS app because i want to be able to control and monitor going forward) and this script, then expand the script and start giving him options of questions to ask, and we'll give him options of things to answer with as people interact with him. (The hand graphic is there to remind him To pause) Its really choppy and slow going and he needs a ton of support. So that all said, if any of ya'll are interested in being a person with whom Dominic practices, let me know and I'll add you to his facebook messenger list. I will attempt to text and ensure its an okay time for him to call but my long term desire is for him to be able to just call someone on his ipad. If that happens, can ya'll let me know? Also fair warning he will likely randomly message you food emoticons.
Saturday, April 11, 2020
When I posted last I was updating various therapy videos and talking about how we were starting to see things shifting for Dominic. We had gone down to Pueblo and visited my friends Stable with our friends, and generally life was just plugging along. Dominic was in a stand alone significant special needs classroom in public school, and was wrapping up a unit of swim class that we had to fight to get him in. And that he loved. We were making plans to go skiing with the same friends we went to the stables with over spring break. And i'd bought a camper and was making plans to get it tuned up and happy so we could go camping this summer. We had made plans for Dominic to continue the tutoring that we started over the holiday break twice a week and that he would join full time for the summer (full time is 6 hours a day / 5 days a week)
Then the plague arrived.
Mid March the state of Colorado basically shut down. Our ski trip plans got axed (only took 3 weeks to get the refund on the VRBO, but it did come), schools closed a week before spring break planning to come back after like nothing else. We thought we just needed 14 days to incubate. At the beginning of this, a couple of us who are pretty close agreed to quarantine together - eg - go shopping for each other as needed, take care of each other if we got sick, take turns giving each other a break from the kids, offer adult conversation, etc. I'm so very grateful for that. I spent those 2 weeks taking care of 2 kids most days, while working the first week (the second i already had vacation for spring break) and rode out some crud or another (not saying it was the plague, but i did talk to my doctor during it, and it did take me about 10 days to feel right, but i never got super sick. OTOH, I did throw ALL my tricks at it including nebulizing colloidal silver).
By the end of that second week we knew that the schools were going to go to distance learning - and we will be suprised if thats not for the remainder of the year - and that we would be expected to do it all. That did not work for Dominic. His first attempt at video interaction with a therapist was a huge failure. He really does need the 1:1 right there and I cannot do that and work. So he spent 2 weeks staring at the tv and it showed. So we reached out to Rachel, his tutor. I am considered essential because I work telecom. My friend is essential as healthcare. Both our kids are allowed to be in daycare. The tutor is an LLC, not a school, so she's allowed to offer care. We made it work. Instead of starting full time there on June 1, Dominic started full time April 1. My friend picks him up and drops both kids off in the morning and I pick them up and let them play for a few hours together after. Rachel is working on brain bridging, math, science and reading. At the level they are.
1. In general its really good for 2 only children to have to learn to cooperate, play together and share. When both those kids have quirks of varying levels, its actually imperative. Its been very nice to see that when left to their own devices, these two kids end up playing together in one form or another. This is the first actual FRIEND Dominic has had since before he regressed. he has never spent this much time playing with ANY other child in the course of his life.
2. 8 full days with Rachel and we are seeing HUGE things and i'm trying hard to not get sucked back into the hope thing, but its hard when we see
- Dominic spontaneously using full sentences that are NOT scripts
- Dominic's articulation improving to the point that we are figuring out what he's saying ("happyerector" was actually happily ever after)
- Dominic is trying to read EVERYTHING. I caught him watching a youtube on the TV of someone reading a finding nemo story aloud and he paused it and we read one word at a time. He struggles and he gets mad, but he is trying so hard.
Edited to add, as I was publishing this blog, he started to do it! So here's a video of it from RIGHT THIS SECOND.
- Dominic asking to call his friends (specifically Kelley and Rachel and then being happy to send them messages on messenger kids)
- Last night as Daddy was going upstairs after wishing him good night, Dominic came running out and hollered (twice) "You are my Best Friend" up the stairs.
3. It is my hope to be able to finance keeping Dominic with Rachel through the remainder of his high school career. Currently the universe seems to be supporting that desire as the way to pay for it is appearing.
I'll try to remember to post here for long term record keeping.... but no promises. Clearly i get easily distracted.