Thursday, May 04, 2006

One Sport, Two Therapies

Ahhhh......life is somewhat "normal" again - if you can call it that. Things have been beyond crazy and stressful lately, so much so, that I haven't had time, or the urge to write - (UGH! That's so sad). Most of my stressors seemed to have temporarily leveled off for a bit thanks to some help from family and some HUGE miracles (98% family). Additionally, Girl is down to ONLY ONE SPORT!!!!!!! HOORAY!!!!! Volleyball is officially over and it's just softball now. I was hoping to have some pictures for you from this past weekend, but her tournament got rained out - 45 degrees and 7 hours of rain are NOT conducive for softball.

SmallBoy is truly starting to make some noticeable progress. I am noticing it and I see him everyday. Know how when you don't see someone for a long time, it's quite obvious if things have changed? Like a baby growing - you don't notice the gradual changes of your own child because you see him every day, but others will notice from one visit to the next. Same thing with this and SmallBoy. The growth, the strides, the maturity, the improvements that I have begun to see in him are absolutely astounding. He is using manners, he is not melting as much, he gets it when I tell him WHY something is not the way he likes it or in HIS grand scheme. Part, I'm certain has to do with the fact that WE are working as a unit, a complete unit. Ex, well, he doesn't even come to OT for his fleeting 20minutes anymore. When SmallBoy goes to visit for his alloted few hours, it's similar to a child tagging along with Mom and Dad to visit one of their friends. The rest of his successes I credit to his OT & his therapist.

J, his OT, has started, in addition to the physical aspects of his OT sessions, a listening therapy that he does at home. He listens to this funky music through headphones - one speaker has the melody playing softly, faintly almost, while the other speaker has these varying frequencies running through it. He listens 30mins/day 2x/day. The disc he is working with now is to help him with his disconnection. As SOON as he began listening for the first time at J's office, the change in him was apparent. His breathing slowed and he became calm and relaxed. He wasn't in meldtdown mode, or even high energy mode, but just a little extra energy. The effect of this musica was instantaneous. PC listened to it also and it had the same impact on him. Personally, I couldn't stand the music. There were frequencies that just made me think of going to the dentist and did the complete opposite for me - there was no relaxation. What mattered, though, and what is truly important are SmallBoy's reactions. WOW - that's all I've got to say, WOW! His behavioral thrapist has us working very short social stories with him to help explain the rules at dad's house vs the rules at mom's - how even though they may SEEM different, they are, ultimately, the same. These are still in the drafting stages, but look to be promising.

In his English Lit class, LargeBoy(REALLLY old pic, he'll HATE this one, he still has braces in this pic) just finished reading Curious Incident. LargeBoy was surprised and, at the same time comforted, to find out that there are many others - just within his class - who have Aspie sibs. Can you imagine what he'll do when he realizes the numbers of students in the entire high school with Aspie Sibs? For the paper on the book, the class had to write about an "Aspergian Utopia". He, of course, used his brother as his model. I felt compelled to share this with you. As a mother and a grammar geek, it was difficult for me to not edit, but I left it for content.

Utopia

People with Aspergers Syndrome are tough to deal with. They need certain thing in the right order and they act as if it would be the end of the world if they went near something that they don’t like. But it is not their fault. I know this because my little brother has Aspergers Syndrome. He can get upset just by taking a different way to school in the morning. But there are things that make him really happy also.

My brother gets angry very easily. When our living room was painted red, he got mad and said he didn’t like it. My mom then said to him “It will eventually grow on you”. My brother then thought that the paint would grow on his skin and he freaked out. But my mom has my brother do a number of things to make him settle down. And I think this would be his own little Utopia. It would be large and open, probably staying the same color. He would be the all-seeing ruler, where anything that was about to change had to be aproved by him first. People that are mean and don’t have much of an imagination probably couldn’t come in, or people who would try and hurt andyone. But one of the main atractions would be video games.

My brother loves video games. Unless you pull him away, he probably won’t leave. And if he’s not playing video games, he’ll be watching a movie. But not just once, he’ll watch it three or four times and catch and memorize every little thing. Ocassionally he might read a book or two, but he’ll probably stick with the games and movies. But one thing I know he would have would be a room with a giant trampoline. Jumping is like a sport to my brother. He has his own little mini trampoline in the back yard for him to jump on if he is to excited or needs to settle down a bit. This gets him tired and more relaxed.

My brother would only let select people in to his Utopia. He would probably let his entire family in, his closest friends, and lots of animals. But my brother would also have a button or something. This button would be used to bassicaly send every one out of the Utopia at any time. He might do this for fun, if he just wants to be alone, or if he is mad at someone in the Utopia. He would also have his music playing. The music that he would play is almost as bad and evil as hell itself but he likes it. It is Kidz Bop. He (like every other kid) loves this music because it is sung by other kids. My brother would also have main food supply come from the Ramen Noodle Company. My brother eats at least two packages of Ramen Noodles a week.

This is what I think my brothers Utopia would be like. I don’t know that this is 100% right because it is all in his head not mine. But since I have lived with him for the past nine and a half years, I have a pretty good idea.

As for me (and PC), we're exhaling again. I'm feeling a lot more relaxed and he's right there holding my hand, as always (Thanks, My Love). This weekend is round two of the vocal contest. I will be singing "At Last", by Etta James. From this group of 13, we will be narrowed down to 6 for the semi-finals...EEEEEEKKKKK. If I make it though that round, I'm going to need some help finding another song...one that will out-do Etta AND be under 3 1/2 minutes (so if you've got some suggestions, you know how to hit the comment button - or send me an email). Oh, and the pic.....I realized I hadn't posted one from the band's gig at Fitzgerald's last week (or week & 1/2 ago), so here ya go! (Just for the record, my 13y/o daughter scolded me for going out of the house "dressed like THAT!!!")

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're the best...
only, BETTER.

Quite a gal,
A no regretter.

Set you mind now to the task,
get out there and kick some
A_ _!

The Lord has blessed so many with talents.
With your's He really set the balance.

There's so much more that I could add,
But I'll end right here with,
Love from Dad.

DAB

Laura said...

Ooooh! Is that a belly button I see??? I wish my stomach was shaped appropriately to show a belly button!

Also, music. Hmm. Maybe "Don't wait too long" by Madeline Peyroux, or "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" by KT Tunstall if you are looking for something really upbeat? Just say no to Celine, Barbara, and Whitney. That is just asking for trouble. Maybe something by Carole King? I could see you killing on "Smackwater Jack" or "Tapestry."

What a wonderful big son you have there. He really seems to understand his brother. And hooray for Smallboy and his continued improvements! The music therapy sounds really neat - can you send me some info on it? I think at my house it would work really well for S.

Nice to see you again!!!

Lora said...

So glad that you found time to write and thank you for sharing Largeboy's paper that was amazing.Yippee for Smallboy and his latest progress!Good luck in finding just the right song and throughout the competition. I have faith in you that you will do very well. Way to go everybody! Lots of love & Hugs from Alaska to all of you

katie said...

Sounds like you're kids are pretty awesome. Love LargeBoy's paper. Go SmallBoy!! BTW, what is he doing with those bottles?? ;-P Love you!

K.C.'sMommy said...

Hi Christina!
You have the cutest figure! You look beautiful:)
So glad to hear SmallBoy is getting along well!
Take care,
Tina and Boys

Wade Rankin said...

Nice job, Large Boy! And nice choice on the song, Mommy G!

But I really have to ask what's in those bottles?

Melissa H said...

I didn't see it in your posts (forgive me if its there), but what is with Smallboy's bottles and the duct tape? Is that an obsession? I'm dying to know because Conor is absolutely obsessed with any type of container: milk cartons, bottles, cans. (and maybe I am a little too, since I'm the one who wants to know!)

JodiTucker said...

Is the therapy for SmallBoy called Digital Auditory Aerobics? just curious.