Recognize this look?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A year

Wow! I have not been on here in a year almost! I think when I started this I wanted to reach out and connect with others who knew my struggle and felt my pain, but I became too overwhelmed with life's responsibilities after Danny spent the summer in and out of the hospital.

So, here we are a year later almost! Well, life has afforded us many changes. Danny is in a much better place. He was able to get very specialized IEP services. Moved to a new school where there are 8 kids in the class and 4 teachers, and he is finally reading and writing! He has seen most of the specialist at OHSU Children's Hospital I think. I am told by doctors he has quite an extensive medical record for such a little guy. And he is growing healthy and breathing well these days.

Danny still attends occupational therapy bi-weekly, behavioral therapy bi-weekly, as well as art therapy bi-weekly. He is also doing sound therapy and oral therapy. And in the summer he will begin swim lessons with a children's physical therapist who specializes in working with sensory sensitive children. And he has asked to take piano lessons! He has been able to make (and keep) a friend the entire school year. Because he has such poor social skills this is very hard, but he has connected with another little boy and we are so happy for him.

The daily throwing up has stopped and he only throws up when he is very overstimulated, just a few times a month (instead of 3+ times a day). The meltdowns are less frequent and much less intense. Maybe just a few a week and recovery happens within 10 - 20 minutes (instead of 5 times a day and sometimes the intense ones lasting up to an hour). The acid reflux is much more controlled as well.  We have switched to everything organic and local. We cut out the preservatives and foods with dye in them and have minimized his sugar intake as well as anything with high fructose corn syrup.

In the past 3 months he has washed his hair twice on his own (these are the 1st hair washings he has had since he was a baby). He has also tried artichokes, sweet potatoes, salsa, granola, nuts, and red bell pepper thanks to oral therapy! He can now tolerate the grocery store and will help me put each item from the produce section in the basket (touching everything individually), where he used to cry and scream at the sight of the produce section.

With the help of sound therapy he is longer scared at the sound of sirens and can ride in the car without wearing his noise blocking headphones. He even is participating in music class!

His tactile defensiveness has not diminished, but it is okay because I have better learned how to deal with this. And with all the progress, I relish in his abilities at this point than sadden over the challenges. He has made amazing life altering progress in the past 8 months and I look forward to the opportunities he will have in the future. His challenge areas will still continue to be the hardest work for all of us (behavior, social skills, emotional) but I realize as I read back through last years posts, that a year can be like a lifetime in the world of special needs!

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