proud moments

I have a couple of proud momma moments to share…

Jake was fully potty trained during the day about 3 years ago. Potty training him took a very long time and it was SO hard; the thought of trying to teach him to stay dry at night was on the very back burner. He has worn pull-ups every night and we didn’t even start talking about staying dry through the night until several months ago when I told him that none of us wore pull-ups at night. He looked at me so puzzled and laughed saying something like “you and daddy do wear pull-ups at night; everyone does.” I told him that we didn’t and told him if he stayed dry he could wear big boy underwear like all of us to bed. He looked shocked, I wish I had a picture to capture the look on his face. About 2 weeks ago Jake woke up with a dry pull-up and I told him I was so proud that his pull-up was dry. Jake was so excited that he was dry and told me he was going to try to keep it dry the next night too. The next morning it was dry again! I told him if he kept his pull-up dry for a week I would take him to get a Transformer. He had a few mornings he was a little wet but for the past week he woke up dry every morning. Every morning we celebrated! This past Friday was the day he would get to buy a Transformer and was thrilled when he woke up dry once again. He was jumping around telling me “I am dry and now I get a transformer!!” He then told me “I want to wear underwear like you, Dad and Sis tonight!” I was a little nervous but let him wear underwear to bed on Friday night and he was thrilled when he woke up Saturday morning, dry! We celebrated and he talked about how he didn’t ever want to wear a pull-up again! Another milestone checked off the list! So proud of this kid and I didn’t have to stress over it…he was ready and did it all on his own!

Friday, May 27th, was Jake’s last day of 1st grade. Overall he had a great year. We hit a few bumps and there was a point I thought we might have to go back to having a full-time aide or even pulling him out of class during the day due to his behaviors. Fortunately, the staff at Jake’s school is phenomenal! His teacher, resource teacher and aide worked diligently with him at school while I worked hard at home. Jake’s behaviors finally dwindled down and he was more compliant and a better student. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it many times over the next several years while we are in elementary school but they all want the best for Jake. They want to see him grow and succeed almost as much as we do and I couldn’t ask for anything better.

I am a little sad the school year is over because we have to leave an amazing teacher; she was a perfect fit for my boy. I want to take Mrs. S. with us to the 2nd grade. I’m already praying for his new teacher and praying Jake has another great connection. I am also excited that school is over. We will have a more relaxed schedule, something that Jake doesn’t do well with which is why I am making it this way. We are working on being more flexible and doing things on a whim. The way Jake’s brain works is he needs to prepare and know what each step is and if there is a kink in the plans he usually breaks down. Just the other day we had 4 places to go and he kept repeating the steps over and over. After the second stop I had to run home for a minute. This was not part of the plan and Jake immediately started melting down. One of the things he has worked on in his social playgroup is being flexible so I told him “buddy, I know this wasn’t part of our plan but I really need you to be flexible right now, okay?” He stopped crying almost immediately, took a couple of big deep breaths, repeated the steps and said “okay, we can stop at home. Jake, you can do this!” He smiles at me in the rear view mirror and said “I’m good and I’m flexible!” This was a BIG DEAL!!!!

We still have a lot of behaviors to work through and Jake can be very difficult at times but we are making progress each and every day and I couldn’t be more proud of this kid!

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Last day of school with his Transformer

 

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fun stuff

So many things to share and limited time to sit and write. My brain has been going ninety to nothing these past few weeks and it doesn’t look like it will get rest anytime soon. But that’s okay as we have a lot of fun stuff going on 🙂

First off, Jake has had a couple of really good weeks at school! Yay!! He has followed directions, is listening and we’ve had little meltdowns. As of today, Monday, Jake has 2 weeks of school left in the first grade. I cannot believe this year has gone by as quickly as it has! I am looking forward to summer and the more flexible schedule. Jake has adjusted well in the past and I’m praying he does so again this summer. Jake’s vocabulary has picked up even more and is asking more questions when he doesn’t understand something. He is initiating conversation and responding appropriately. Jake’s Grandpa came down from New York for the week and the other day I was in another room and could overhear him talking to Grandpa. In the past Grandpa was the only one talking but on this day I could hear Jake initiating conversation; this will be a memory etched in my brain for a long time. It was just so neat to hear them going back and forth talking. I cannot express how happy this made my heart!

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Two weeks ago we signed a contract on a house! We have been in an apartment for the longest time and the thought of not being on top of each other, having more room and a backyard is exciting! We’ve shown Jake pictures of the house and talk about it all the time. At first he said he didn’t want to move that he loved his room and wanted to stay here. But the more we talk about the more excited he seems to be about this big change. He has told his friends and teacher at school that he is moving and is finding out many of his friends live nearby our new home. We will take him to actually see the house this week; I think once he sees it he will be even more excited to move. For me, the best part is that our new house is in the zoned area for Jake’s school. All of the schools are great where we live but not having to put in a transfer gives me such peace of mind. Let’s just say this next month cannot pass quick enough!

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Allie will be graduating from high school this week! Again, I cannot believe how fast this school year has gone. As you can imagine she is very excited and looking forward to college and living on campus! I am excited for her too; it will just be strange not having her live at home. 

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I’ve also been dealing with my parent’s estate. We’ve spent the past 8 weeks cleaning out their home and getting it ready to put it on the market. I am hoping the house sells soon and then my sister and I can maybe relax a bit.

Overall, things are pretty good. A lot going on! Jake’s routine is thrown off a little bit but for the most part he has been pretty flexible. I owe a lot of gratitude to one of the therapies he is in right now where they work on being more flexible. This social group that Jake is a part of couldn’t have come at a better time.

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Romans 15:13 “ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

a break in the clouds

Hard to believe I haven’t posted anything in about a month. A lot has been going on and mentally; I’m exhausted! Since the passing of my mom, this past February, my sister and I have dealt with her estate. In this short time, we have managed to clean out her house (mostly), had a garage sale that was a bust and are getting ready to put her home on the market. Each time I have sat down to write I just couldn’t do it…most of my posts would have been just too depressing. 

Due to my mind being on other things, Jake’s behaviors have escalated. At school, he has done okay but has had a several days where I’ve either gotten a note or Jake told me his behavior clip was below green. At home, he chooses his favorite word “no” as his first response when I ask him to do anything. This autism mom has let things slide a little. We haven’t worked as much on handwriting, reading, math and behaviors and it is apparent. Seeing Jake’s regression makes me feel more frustrated. This has shown me that I can’t really take a break, I need to be present and work with him. Unlike with my typical kids; I don’t get the luxury of taking time off. Don’t get me wrong, we are not working 24/7. We don’t have a schedule to work with Jake but when I’m paying attention and I see a problem I work on it then and there in hopes to help Jake learn and not repeat said problem.

But one thing I have noticed is that Jake has learned to actually play. Many times he would have his toys out but they would just be near him while he watched TV or was on the iPad. If I suggested we play with them, he would cry or just transform the toys but no real play. Over the past few weeks I have seen him actually play with his transformers and pretending to be a transformer himself. Watching him play has been amazing and, for lack of a better word, normal. Many days after school he comes in and immediately says “I’m playing in my room”. He has always liked to be by himself but during play he would want me there. In my opinion, to help him know what to do with his toys. Through everything that has gone on these past few months, watching Jake blossom like this has brought me so much peace and comfort.

Although his behaviors are not what I would like them to be; seeing him choosing to play over watching TV or with his iPad is a huge accomplishment. I am always looking to find the silver lining in things and his playtime is certainly that break in the clouds that I have needed.

 

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