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Boogie and Eli

Ok so here I am….. yet again I have fallen off the blog writing wagon. That’s it!! No more promises about writing everyday, every week, every year…. Of course I have all the good intentions of writing everyday, but darn it!! Life keeps getting in the way!!! ūüėČ

We are now in July and summer is in full swing here in our house. Mommy is thrilled because it’s sweltering hot outside and she can go to the beach. Daddy is complaining about the heat.The kiddies are both out of school and keeping busy. Boogie at day camp all summer long. She comes home chattering about all her daily adventures. Looking tanned and healthy from the clean mountain air, not to mention the nonstop activities, I am so thrilled that she is¬†so happy!

Eli had two weeks off from school until Extended School Year (ESY) starts for 6 weeks then another three weeks off until school starts again in the fall. In the meantime, we have been very lucky that a teacher off for the summer has been watching him for half the day, taking him to the park, bookstore, working on his school activity books so as to avoid any summer regression. Most importantly Eli won’t think that his program workbook¬†has permanently¬†disappeared and won’t be caught by surprise when he sees it again at school!! His babysitter is great and I am so grateful to have her. She has a lot of¬†experience with children with special needs so Eli’s occasional meltdowns don’t faze her.

On the speech front, Eli seems to be progressing beautifully!! More consonant sounds are emerging along with words. Placing consonants correctly at the beginning of words are difficult for him, but he doesn’t seem to have the same issue with consonant word endings. For instance, you can clearly hear Eli say ‘wait’ and ‘eat.’ However, much to my dismay, the word ‘bye’ often comes out as ‘die.’ No matter how many times we say ‘Eli say buh’ and he repeats it correctly; then when we tell quickly to say ‘bye’… Well ‘die’ comes out…. Pretty funny when you get puzzled looks from the cashier at a store¬†as the adorable four-year¬†old says ‘Die!!’ with a big smile on his face as he walks away! I have been told that this is quite typical with children dealing with apraxia. All kidding aside, I owe a lot to the unwavering dedication from his school and private speech therapists. He still has three 30 minute school speech therapy sessions weekly plus¬†two¬†30 minute private sessions at home.¬†I am pretty sure these two ladies have wanted to¬†leave the room screaming while pulling their hair out due to Eli’s¬†stubborn nature, but they never did. Their dedication has shown great results¬†and now¬†Eli (for the most part) cooperates and dare I say, even enjoys speech therapy.

Fine motor skills, well, still are a¬†royal pain in the ass. I still stand firm when I say that I truly think that Eli’s non-compliance in this area is due to his¬†frustration in dealing with activities that¬†he¬†finds difficulty. The school thinks that¬†it’s Eli’s¬†stubborn nature. Maybe¬†it’s a little of both? Anyway a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) was written¬†by the school behaviorist. According to wrightslaw.com an FBA¬†is the process of determining the cause (or “function”) of behavior before developing an intervention. The intervention must be based on the hypothesized cause (function) of behavior.¬†In our case this was a pretty long process where the behaviorist observed Eli’s behavior in¬†different¬†settings with various teachers/therapists.¬† This FBA has helped in the long run because it developed concrete strategies in dealing with the behaviors and, in essence, put everyone on the same page.¬†Since the document was drawn up Eli has gone on to willingly join (and sing!!) in circle time, pick up a crayon independently and draw lines, and work on his program book (with assistance) for longer periods of time. For Eli, these gains are huge. He even got an award at the end of the year for improvement in scholastic areas ūüôā

Also new for Eli, is that he will be getting a district appointed aide, that will help in combatting or preventing his other remaining issues, namely escaping/avoidance. If Eli can manage it, he will literally try to run away from whatever task is being placed on him. The time being spent on trying to get Eli back on task takes time away from his learning. So it is our hope that this aide will beat him to escape by literally blocking flight. If he turns and tries to run or avoid, she will be right behind him ready to turn him back around and get to work. God bless her! I have spoken to her and she says she is ready for the challenge! Oh boy…. Hopefully we can break him of his bad habits to get him over the behavioral hump and learning….

As far as Mommy is concerned, I am getting ready to start the summer semester at college. After all my credits were transferred and the classes that I have to take over the next few months, it looks like I may be on the course to graduate with my associates in human services by spring next year.. Yay! So excited! AND so thankful for Hubby and his support… I wouldn’t be able to even contemplate this goal if it weren’t for him taking over with the kids in order for me to take night classes.

On another note, Team Elias will be participating in the CASANA¬†Apraxia 5K Walk/Run for the second year now.¬†Despite my weight gain, I am determined to run it… (Eeeeek!!) If anyone would like to participate in the walk or donate for apraxia awareness please go our team page at : https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1014964&supId=339402837

All in all, it has been a great few months for us thank God. ūüôā

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