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Monday, January 2, 2012

January 1st marked 4 months since Garrett's autism diagnosis. At that time he made very little eye contact with almost everyone. His activities were very limited. He wouldn't even flinch when I called his name. He was in his own little world.

Today Garrett will put his arms up and say, "up" to be picked up. If he has his hand in the cat's water bowl and I yell "no!" he looks at me and laughs. He still had a hard time with eye contact but it has improved tremendously. With help, he is able to complete a simple puzzle. He eats yogurt with a spoon, sits at the table and eats snacks from a plate. I have seen a great improvement but there's still a long road ahead for him.

AJ was diagnosed at the end of October. With 2 months of therapy he has greatly improved his ability to get his needs met. He can point, ask for more, bring me something that he wants. He's using words more and shows an interest in what his sister is doing. He seems like a typical toddler with a few quirks.

The boys start school on January 9th. They will be getting 2 hours a day of ABA therapy 5 days a week. ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis.

In looking back at our experience with Birth to Three (B23 - CT's version of Early Intervention) I am very disappointed. When Garrett was diagnosed I knew very little about what to expect from B23. After Garrett's evaluation they took a month to score the results. Then they gave us an audiologist as a therapist.  For 6 weeks I felt like nothing was happening. It wasn't!! I had to keep pressing and pressing to get more services and the right people. I feel so sick over this. What about other parents who don't know any better? It is a case of only getting what you ask for and not knowing what to ask for. Pretty gross if you ask me.

We will continue getting services from B23 during the hours the boys aren't at their new school.  I have worked with them to assemble a team that I feel comfortable with. The guys will be getting over 15 hours of therapy a week each - hopefully closer to 20.

I'm really excited for the boys to start school. I'm also nervous and a sad. My little dudes have to work so hard for things that come naturally to other children. I worry about them being at school without me and unable to communicate with me if something is wrong. Trusting people isn't my strong suit. My gut tells me this is the right decision and a very good choice for them. I look forward to reporting back all of their successes.

As for Angie, she is such a good sport. There are literally 7 different people that come in and out of our home on a weekly basis for Garrett & AJ. 18 hours of people working and playing with her brothers and not her. She handles it so well.  

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” 
 Albert Einstein

1 comment:

  1. Letting them go off to school is hard, but it gets easier. My two little guys are about to turn six, and they have three years of Early Start behind them and are half-way through kindergarten. They have made so much progress in those years with so much help from their school teams. We have been lucky to have amazing teams at both schools, which definitely makes it easier to drop them off in the mornings. Best of luck in your new chapter!