Monday, 26 May 2014

It's the little things....

So, as my dear Husband was cooking today I heard a little voice from the kitchen ask, "Oh, that's Quinoa in there? Is cooking." I just about passed out. And here's why... On a sunny day about a year ago I sat in the same kitchen with a speech pathologist named Rachel. She came out from the local Child Development Center to do a word count on my boy. I was eager to invite her in, unleash on her the last year of development milestones we didn't see and brag about how many words my son knew. As the hour passed, she sat smiling nodding asking questions, going over lists of words I had provided her that I knew my son knew, and all the while hoping to hear her say, "Mrs. Jones, you're not crazy, something is happening inside of Keltanys and lets figure it out together." Sure enough as the hour came to a close she looked at me smiled and said, "I'm going to put the referral forward for an assessment for autism." I was relieved and said, "Great, when can we get started?" Suddenly her sentences became longer and time stopped almost completely as she said, "It won't be till next year due to our staff and the needs of kids in the Yukon." I just about fell over. Here I was with a son who wouldn't look at me when I entered the room, hated being touched, only knew about 50 words and could not form sentences, would move from an area he was playing in if I joined him, would not need me for hours and hours on end, and had a hard time understanding emotions. I felt completely helpless at first, and the only thing that ran through me and my husbands mind during that time was, "I can't lose my son even more between now and his assessment." We already felt like he had pulled away from the world at 18 months and here she was telling us we had to wait another year. Now, I don't blame the facility at all. They are so amazing that everyone wants their services and who can blame them. They are the best and have helped us tremendously. That being said I started doing crazy amounts of research on autism, the spectrum, similarities of my kid to other kids that have asd, the myths, etc. etc. etc. I went through so much overwhelming data that I decided half way through the confusion to focus on two sources, those that have asd, and the parents of children who have asd, because lets face it people, they are the real experts. Here's what I found that worked for me and my son, anything that had to do with the senses, and it all started with play dough and numbers. What went from a 50 words child went to 100 and now even more. My kid had an obsession with numbers and anytime we played with play dough, as long as he would mimic my words, which I knew he could, he could have the play dough shaped as his favorite numbers. We used to play for 3 hours every morning. And soon enough he understood what the words meant and could give me directions on what to do next. My husband and I took advantage of every single repetitive behavior he had, he wanted to flap things we'd have a stash of receipts waiting to be flapped. We bought him tiny flags as well to carry around with him. He wanted to run for hours on end we'd let him. He wanted to line things up we'd help him by providing the space to do so. And soon he started making eye contact again, would smile when we told him he was cute instead of hitting and not understanding. I not only attribute this to the wonderful staff at the CDC, our patience and dedication to unlearn and re-learn, but the the sensory toys we've introduced because without them our means for motivating him to communicate might not have existed. I tear up thinking about how far we've come. My Son is much more happy with experience and sensory toys that force interaction than with any mutant turtle or transformer. And he loves to communicate. It maybe difficult at times and yes frustrating to the point where we're both crying, but he strives forward past every obstacle determined to be heard and understood, and I am so proud of him...

Well now that I've sapped myself up and am smiling goofy style here is a project for all those kids (and maybe even adults as we had fun looking at them before we gave them to the kids..he he.) who have visual stimulation sensory needs. The Sensory Bottle. Pictures of what you'll need and the finished project are listed below, as well as a link to our you tube channel for instructions on how to put it together. Enjoy!!!

Always with love and Gratitude,
Amber Jones

Because every project should start off right.

Things that you think would visual stimulate your kid. Here's some of our kids favorites.

Any water bottle or bottle with a large opening. Voss water bottle was perfect for this project.  You'll also need crazy glue to glue the cap on, and the infamous duct tape just as extra precaution to keep the lid on it.

We took the letter beads and spelled out our kids names. Now, we put them in unstrung, but you can definitely string them together and then put them in the bottle if ya want to. 

TA DA!!! Really cool sensory bottle for on the road, I spy games, and working their muscles by shaking it up.

Follow the link below for video instructions on how to make your own sensory bottle!!

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