Friday, November 30, 2007

Comprehension is Improving Quickly

The past week, but particularly the past 2 day, we have noticed that Jonathan's little brain is comprehending things much better than he did in the past. He is now able to take what we say and paraphrase it. Which he could never do before. But he is also hearing, understanding and he is making logical statements. For instance, last weekend we were in the car and he told me "mommy, the DVDs in the car do not turn off EVEN IF the car is off" - which they do because they are portable. I was very impressed to hear him say that. She said it a couple of times actually. And he does not take what I say anymore by law. He asks "why" a lot. We argue quite a bit. "I want chocolate". "No, can't have it right now". "But why?". "Because you need to eat your dinner before you eat chocolate." "But I already ate dinner at McDonnalds". Life is rather colorful :)

Today he called me on my cell phone and asked "Mommy, where are the chocolate cones?" (the oreo cookies sugar cones that I buy for his ice cream). I told him that Vanessa broke them last night by accident. So he asked "so what are you going to do? are you going to buy more? when?" Wow, 3 questions at once. I explained that I would stop at the grocery store on my way home and I would get him some. He was sad but said "Ok".

Dr. Yasko published a list with her suggested dosage for supplements depending on mutations and results of tests. I was very excited to see that. I already collected the ones that apply to Jonathan based on his genetics and there were a few that I was missing. I'll introduce them in December and run some tests in January to see where else I need to adjust his supplements.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

First Tae Kwon Do Lesson

I am so proud of Jonathan. Even though I feel that we are "stuck" again, he is actually developing quite nicely. He is now sooo interested in doing all kinds of activities. He is thirsty for new things to do. He is always asking "what comes next". Or says "I want to do something new today". He wants to help me cook all the time. He helped put the Christmas tree up with great enthusiasm. And today, his grandmother took him to a try-out Tae Kwon Do class, and he did awesome. Came home so excited about it and told me that he is going on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

He has become rather self-sufficient. He gets his own snacks at home. He wanted scrambled eggs tonight, so he grabbed the 2-step stool, opened the frig, grabbed the eggs, took the pan out and told me that he wanted eggs and wanted to hep make them. He serves his own juice. He now even goes to the bathroom and closes the door when he is doing number 2. I know these are normal behaviors from a 5-year old. But since we didn't witness the development of these behaviors like we are with Vanessa, all of this is new and exciting. And they seem to be better controlled as time goes by.

His receptive language has gotten much much much better. Faster than his expressive language. We need to work hard on that area. His apraxia is very pronounced. However, most people can understand when he wants something or simply wants to communicate.

Baking Cup Cakes

Setting up the Christmas Tree

First Tae Kwon Do Class

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

It has been over a week since I updated the blog. We are keeping very busy. My brother came to the US with his family and we went on a short vacation to a town near-by. It was very nice.

Jonathan is doing great. He is interacting with everyone, he is curious, he wants to help me with everything. But at the same time some of his old obsessions have returned. The past 2 week he has been putting DVDs and music CDs in DVD players for just a few minutes and then finding another one to put them on. He is also humming quite a bit.

I have actually been thinking about him all week. On one hand, many people have been telling us for the past 2 weeks that Jonathan acts like a normal child. Mainly because they see him playing with other children in playgrounds or moon bounces, or even playing with swords and hide and seek. But then when he wants to communicate what he is thinking or experienced, he has trouble putting the sentences together. And if you don't know him, it is hard to actually understand what he is telling you. I find myself translating. I understand him. I have learned to communicate with him in such way that I understand 95% of what he says. I believe Dad and Abuita do as well. And now even my father is getting better at it. But tonight he came to tell me that he had bumped into the door and hit his lip and even though I understood enough to help him complete the thought, my brother told me that he would have never understood what he was trying to say. He can repeat the phrases that he hears at school or on TV without problems and they are clear enough that anyone can understand him. So it is not a vocal or motor problem. It is his apraxia. It is very pronounced still. I am glad that today's event with my brother took place so I can refocus. Sometimes, since I live with him, I feel that he is more advanced that he is because I understand him. But he still has a very severe communications problem. I need to focus on that this year or else the first-graders are going to give him a very hard time next year.

Here are some pictures from this week. He has been very happy and playful and also alert. We went to a birthday party (moon bounce pictures). Then we went to a ski resort for a couple of days. It was cold but not much snow to ski. He also played chu chu train with Vanessa and his cousin. We also went to a great colorful park. And in the last picture you'll see Jonathan helping my brother blow his birthday candles. He wasn't into birthdays until this year. It was a full and fun week.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Veteran's Day Weekend

This weekend we met a very nice lady and her family for a play date. Her son M. is on the spectrum and is a few months younger than Jonathan. Undoubtedly we compared the two boys to give her an idea of where Jonathan was a year ago and even just a few months ago compared to now. Her son seems to be more metal toxic than Jonathan, yet he is high functioning. Which is a great position towards recovery. She is counseling with a great DAN! doctor. I wish her the best reaching that goal. Vanessa and the lady's younger son played very nicely and Vanessa kept nice memories of that play date for a few days. Jonathan was not as interactive and playful as he is at other places. I think it is because he was fascinated with a marbles game they had and wanted to play that over and over. He then played with the trains and M. for a few minutes and it was nice to watch Jonathan give M. the trains and engage in play even if it was for just a couple of minutes.

Jonathan has been a bit more obsessed these days than normal. It is funny how when a child improves, that becomes the new baseline of what we think of "normal". So a tiny bit of regression is noticed as abnormal. He has been playing video games on the PC with a particular CD for 4 days. I hid it today because he needs to disengage from that behavior. By tomorrow he probably won't even ask. Cross my fingers.

Jonathan has been making a noise with his throat as if he had something in his throat that bothered him (like allergies). I give him zyrtec and he gets weekly allergy shots. So I am not sure if it is due to the tree leaves falling down (which has affected my nose and throat and made my voice hoarse and I am on medication for that) or a reaction to a supplement or food. I am not even sure how to check. We noticed today that he doesn't scratch his throat first thing in the morning and it does start after his supplements. The only thing I added a couple of weeks ago was the Houston's Fenol enzymes. I'll finish this week and give him a break next week to compare.

We went to the shopping mall over the weekend to shop for a nice outfit for Jonathan for the Veteran's Day event he was going to have on Monday at school, and decided to have a picture with Santa taken since there was no line. It was soooo hard to get the kids to smile naturally. The staff took 6 pictures of them. They are so much more photogenic in other places. I don't know why it was so hard to get a picture with Santa. But at leased we got one semi-decent. Last year I was very sad because Jonathan looked very autistic and my dad made fun of me and told me not to react like last year. This year, the first set turned out looking very autistic. But since there was no line, I requested a second set. He looks fake, but not autistic.

Other than the obsession with the Aladdin games CD and the throat noise, he is doing quite well. He is playing a lot with Vanessa. He does seem a bit more absentminded than normal. I think he still has some severe muscle tone issues. Since we are going to have BCBS insurance starting in January, I called his old OT and requested his spot on Mondays back. They will get back to me.

On Monday they had an event at school and we dressed Jonathan up. He looked adorable, although I think he didn't feel very comfortable. His class had been rehearsing the Pledge Allegiance and he rehearsed with us a bit. Daddy attended the event and said that it went well. Jonathan sat with the rest of the class and did what the teacher told him to do.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Good School Report

I haven't had time to update the blog lately. Daddy and I started a detox diet and it has been really hard on us. I can only imagine what our kids go through. We had 3 really tough days (headaches, lack of energy, cravings, bad moods). Today is better.

Jonathan has had a very good week. Tonight he was a bit strange. He seemed in his world all the time. Lots of humming. But he had been doing quite well during the week. Perhaps just tired. Perhaps yeast. I ran out of diflucan.

We had the parent-teacher conference on Monday. The teacher told us that she is very pleased with his progress. He is doing very well in class. For a child with social problems, he is quite social. Academically he is doing very well except with rhymes. He does not understand rhymes, cannot point them out in a sentence and cannot make one up. He did very well in the Fall DRA standardized test (min was 61 and he got a 159). But he got zeros in the rhymes section. The teacher told us that she is going to work with him on that.

I feel very joyful to know that Jonathan can take standardized tests. Back in February we were told that he would possibly not do well on standardized tests and I am so happy to have prove them wrong. The nice thing is that everyone in Jonathan's class got over 140 except 3 kids that got less that 61 and 2 that got over 191 which is the school year-end goal. Which means that Jonathan is in a group of very verbal and intellectual kids. That might be another reason for his recent improvements in language and social skills.