Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Garrett started pointing!

While at the TACA "coffee talk" last night, Garrett grabbed someone's phone off the table. He pointed to the screen.

That was the first time that I've ever seen him point. I wasn't sure if it was intentional or not, so I didn't make a huge deal about it.

But he did it again this morning! We were playing with the See n' Say and he pointed to a few of the animals. Now I'll just have to focus on getting him to point to things that he wants and we'll have some non-verbal communication going on.

I'm so excited!

Friday, August 21, 2009

We've gone GFCF!

We are on day three of the GFCF diet. Garrett doesn't have much variety in his diet anyway because of his food aversions and sensory/texture issues.

Things he will eat:

chicken nuggets
cold baked or grilled chicken
peanut butter sandwiches
french fries

I have found GFCF replacements for most of those items, but our go-to meal for Garrett has always been a peanut butter sandwich. If he wouldn't eat what we were having, he would have a sandwich. I refuse to pay $6 for a little tiny loaf of gluten free bread, so he's going without right now.

One of his other problems is that he won't eat what he doesn't recognize.

For breakfast this morning, I gave him GFCF waffles, scrambled eggs, banana and rice milk. I knew that he wasn't going to eat the eggs, so I spread some peanut butter on his mini waffles. He wouldn't touch them. After watching him pushing them around the tray for 10 minutes, I finally stepped over and shoved a piece in his mouth. I know that it's something he'll eat, but he doesn't recognize it as something he likes. We have to do that a lot.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Official Diagnosis

Garrett had his appointment with his Developmental Pediatrician today. We weren't sure what to expect at this visit. We weren't sure if he would just be gathering information for a future diagnosis or if we would be jumping right in.

The doctor took Garrett's history, some family history and asked us questions about his development. He then did some tests with Garrett (a peg board, cup and blocks, etc.) and did a quick physical exam.

Then came the hard part.

Although we were expecting it, I don't think we could ever be fully prepared to hear it. Garrett is autistic. We've known that for 3 months, we just needed an official diagnosis.

Now that we have a diagnosis, we can enroll him in the Exceptional Family Member Program. He will also qualify for ECHO, which will cover his Applied Behavioral Analysis.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Audiology, appointment #3

Today we went to Walter Reed for another pediatric audiology appointment. They asked us at our last visit to have Garrett practice wearing headphones to prepare for the tests. Garrett doesn't like having things in, on or anywhere near his ears.

They tried inserts and Garrett pulled those right out. I held his hands, but he still rubbed his head and moved all over so that the inserts would fall out.

The ditched that idea after a few minutes and started the normal testing. Garrett remembered this part and was looking for the bear and the bunny as soon as we sat down. They brought out the pegs to get his attention centered. Unfortunately, with Garrett there is no middle ground. He is either not interested in the toys and is looking around too much or he's so focused on the toys, he doesn't turn at all when they start the sounds.

They tried the individual ear testing again, but with headphones. That lasted all of 30 seconds. Garrett wanted nothing to do with them.

They tried to get a fluid reading. This is when the meltdown started. He had already put up with us putting things in and on his ears, but holding him down and sticking stuff in his ears... He was done.

They want us to come back next month for a PABR (Pediatric Auditory Brainstem Response) test.

General Testing Information:

For some children, reliable results from behavioral hearing tests cannot be obtained. The ABR can provide useful information about the amound and type of hearing loss and the function of the auditory nerve.

During the ABR, sounds are presented to the child's ears through earphones while he/she sleeps or rests quietly in a bed or chair or in a parent's lap. Small electrodes are taped to teh ears and head to measure the response. The test usually takes about one to one-and-a-half hours.

The ABR is a noninvasive, safe and painless test. It requires that the child remain still and quiet. Some children will lie quietly or sleep, but many will require a light sedation. If sedation is indicated, your child's appointment will be coordinated with the Pediatric Sedation Unit; a pediatrician will evaluate your child prior to the sedation and give medical clearance.

They want to sedate him. I don't blame them. Todd isn't too thrilled with this idea.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Speech Therapy session 3

Garrett is still not talking, but we're really working on getting him to communicate in other ways. Eye contact is a big thing right now. We've been trying to wait until he looks at us to do what he wants.

Today during speech therapy, he was playing with a Little People house that has a bell on it. He can't make the bell ring by himself. He needs either Chris or I to do it for him. He would try to push it and when it didn't work for him, he would grunt. Chris would wait until he looked up before she would ring the bell. At first, he would only look as high as her hand, so she raised her hand up to her cheek. That brought Garrett's attention upward and he began to look up at her to communicate that he wanted her to ring the bell again.

I've been doing the same thing when he wants to jump. I'll make him jump once. I know that he wants more because he bends his knees, but I wait until he looks up at me before I will respond.

Garrett loves it when Chris brings out the beads. He loves to shake them around, or put them on the ground and rake him fingers across them. Chris would like me to put some beads in a container that Garrett can't open. He'll need to communicate to me that he needs help to open it if he'd like to play. I have a plastic shoebox that I can use, but I'll need to go buy some beads for him.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Occupational Therapy session 3

Garrett is making great strides with his early intervention services. He played with Bronson for a few minutes today. He never shows any interest in what his brother is doing, so this is a HUGE thing. Our OT brought some Peek-a-blocks today, and since Garrett was so interested in them, she's leaving them with us until she comes back next month. He likes them because of the texture. He gets that sensory input on his hand when he pushes them together.

Here are the OT's notes for today:
Garrett did not leave us at all today. He was engaged in toys and focused. Does less spitting when engaged in play. Approached brother who was playing with a toy and started playing at same time. Held up toys to get eye contact - then gave to Garrett.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

He takes me by the hand

This past week, Garrett has started taking my hand. He started doing it when we were getting ready to leave the apartment. Friday, we had some company, including two boys around Bronson's age. The three of them were running around the apartment playing and just having a good ol' time.

Their good ol' time was too much for Garrett.

He walked over to me, grabbed my hand, and lead me to the front door. There was too much going on and he wanted to leave. Garrett spent the remainder of their visit in his crib by himself. He was completely content to just sit there and stare at his sheet.

He has lead me to the door a few times since then. He doesn't lead me to anywhere else, just the front door.