Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bendaroos

What is it?






Mikan's answer: Anica sleeping with a #4 blanket.


ABA Update: We are on three different waiting lists for ABA programs in "our area." Our ideal scenario would be sending Mikan to an intensive ABA therapy/school program for a few days a week and then sending him to a regular, general education classroom the rest. We don't know how feasible this is with the ABA programs we are working with. We're not really sure what is best for him right now, we are just looking at all of our options. The hope is that he would only need the intensive therapy/school program for one or two years and then we could continue the program at home or outside of the normal school day once he is in kindergarten or elementary school. Anyone with a child who has special needs has probably heard the mantra of "early intervention" during the "most formative years." We are trying to get access to as many interventions as possible right now so that hopefully he will need fewer later.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

More Therapies



We are still in the process of researching therapy dogs and Applied Behavioral Analysis Programs. I am only aware of one ABA program within a 45 minute radius of us. This intensive program begins this summer, and children have to apply for consideration. We are hoping Mikan will be accepted into the program, but we don't know what factors are taken into consideration. If he is rejected, then we will expand our search a little. This may mean we will have to travel farther for fewer sessions perhaps.

I'm having difficulty with getting responses from the therapy dog agencies I've found. I'm not sure if this means they are inactive, flooded with clients, or just plain incompetent. Regardless, none of these are good signs. If anyone knows of an agency anywhere in this country that they or someone they know has worked with, please leave a comment for us to follow-up on.

We're also a little behind this year on March of Dimes fundraising. If you are intersted, follow Mikan's donations link on the left hand side to support our team this year. Every little bit is appreciated. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cocoa Pebbles

Since Mikan's autism diagnosis we have been considering the possibility of a therapy dog. I never thought I would ever get a dog (especially before my kids were old enough to take care of it), but I feel like I can't argue with "what might be best for Mikan..." Anyway, I am trying to figure out details about the process now.

We are also looking for ABA (applied behavioral analysis) therapy in a group setting in our area. This may be another regular therapy we will need to add to his regimen.

Cocoa Pebble Progress



Anyone who has been following this blog already knows what a great step this video documents. We're hoping that it is a permanent step rather than a novelty instance which we see so frequently with his eating. For those who aren't familiar with how great this accomplishment is, let me break it down some of the exciting details:
1. Mikan is using a spoon. His sensory issues have prevented him from being comfortable using utensils with his food.
2. The fact that he can coordinate gripping a spoon and bringing it to his mouth shows that his nervous system has matured.
3. Mikan's sensory issues have prevented him from eating anything wet besides milk from a special cup. Anything. So the fact that he is allowing his cereal and milk to mix and still eating it is a huge breakthrough for him.

My mom made Mikan a "food wall" for his birthday. It is a floor to ceiling shoe holder that she stuffed with different kinds of foods and labeled them with different numbers. I was floored when Mikan approached it and started to grab some food. We are hoping this approach continues to work for him. I am always looking for new ideas.



Mikan's superhero outfit. He asks to be called "Yucky Man" when he wears it.




Playing at the Art Museum Park in Indy before our appointment





Another hard-core Alex and Leah fan

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

indianapolis News

In Indy today we found out what we had been anticipating. We had seen the signs for the past number of months to a year. Therefore, it really did not come as a shock to us. Difficult to digest, sure. And we'll continue to digest throughout the future.

Those are all parallels between Mikan and the Peyton Manning news story.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday Mikan!

Mikan's 4th birthday weekend (a world-themed party)...plus some extras...

We love you Mikan!