I didn’t want to stop watching Owen shine today. He slept good, spilled milk but helped me wipe up the mess, and let me put a pirate eyepatch on him twice all by nine o’clock in the morning. Now here I am trying to teach my boy independence and life skills when the one I’m teaching him will certainly cause screams and anxiety from him and me both. But I know we will get through it together. He wants milk and lots of milk. I only fill his cup a portion of the way because he is still learning how to drink out of an open cup. This is where the magic happened. When he spilled his milk this morning he immediately started screaming. I recognize the anxiety-driven scream and told him that it would be fine. I got some paper towels to start wiping up the mess and he put his hand on it to help me wipe it up. This was huge. Miracles happen every single day if we wait, watch, and listen. This was a miracle. He has been watching Jake and the Never Land Pirates so for Halloween, I got him a pirate costume. It had numerous accessories that I was hoping he would connect with to the show. He doesn’t like anything on his head but I try to work with him so that it will get more familiar for him. He played with the doubloons, map, compass, and let me put the headband and eyepatch on him several times. These moments were huge. He wanted nothing to do with the costume but so many big steps were accomplished today. Celebrate our victories, celebrate yours. Believe in yourself and the rest will follow. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Today felt a little calmer but then it also felt like how the start of the holidays go. I got a pirate costume for Owen for Halloween. He’s been watching different cartoons featuring pirates so I thought maybe he would connect to it. I wanted him to try his costume over the clothes he had on. That did not go over well at all. I put the vest on him and before I could even think about trying the pants on him the vest was off. He wouldn’t even try the pants over his jeans. This is when you don’t rock the boat. He doesn’t understand about Halloween at all. For now, the costume was for me, not really for him. Clothes bother him, the length, the feel, the size, the colors, and the list goes on so a costume really isn’t something that he is interested in. It took me a while to work through all the emotions but I realized his smile is what I wanted so each year I still try to explain the holidays to him but I don’t push my expectations on him. He was so animated tonight, excited about reading, and finding the videos once he read the captions to me. I’m thankful for this new found love of reading. I still sit amazed at every single word he reads. My heart swells with pride for every letter he makes out and every combination of words he puts together. We laughed a lot tonight. He sang and he played his keyboard for quite some time. I celebrate these moments and reflect on where we’ve come from. Never give up. Keep pushing forward. And know that you can accomplish great things if you set your mind to it. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Routine is routine unless it’s not routine and then it’s nothing but wanting routine. And then there were puddles. Owen is all boy and add in the fact that he loves puddles, plus he doesn’t always look where he is going and we got ourselves some wet shoes. We always walk on the sidewalk but at the end of the sidewalk was a huge puddle. I wanted him to walk in the road to avoid the puddles, he wanted to walk the path we always walk. He doesn’t want to walk around puddles even if I try to convince him. He squealed when I tried to turn around and head towards the road. He didn’t want to go back even for the few steps. He knew which way he wanted to go. So, hey, what’re wet shoes versus meltdowns. The night went much smoother than it had in several days. My dude is going to be an excellent reader. He’s already grasping words that are above his age level. I think sometimes he memorizes the words but that in itself is half the battle of learning to read. He always wants me to use the voice-activated option for his tablet to find the YouTube videos that he already has open. First of all, he already has it open but he wants to see other videos similar, and second how in the world am I supposed to remember all the words under a YouTube video. I explain to him why mommy can’t remember it all hoping that it will help as time goes on but for now I make him read each caption that he wants me to find. He is saying big words, big big words. And for a kiddo the doctors said might not talk he is and reading. I want to put a thousand exclamation points after that. He is reading. Sure he still needs help with words but he is sounding out words and showing patience to actually wait for us to go through the process. These are big steps for my sweet baby O. There are tough days, there are rough days, and even some days we have to sugarcoat but those glorious days when my blue-eyed baby looks at me and asks for a video that he has read the ten words and a date that’s under it there’s no comparison. He will soar above the clouds. Tomorrow’s dream is what you make it. Smiles to all and donut daze!
The morning started off a little rough and the night still had the ruffled edges of a hard day but he was able to work through his emotions with me. Sleep hasn’t come easily for Owen this week either. I can see him working through all kinds of emotions, even my emotions. It takes a lot out of him. It takes a lot out of me too. I see progress coming. In the past when he would have lots of meltdowns and emotions for days on end there would be a huge growth spurt following. It was like everything was coming at him so fast, soaking it up like a sponge, and then more connections were made. I had him read with me tonight. I make him read the titles under the YouTube videos he wants. It’s a mix between words he knows and very long words that we sound out together. I think about the process of reading and I’m thankful that he is trying hard to learn to read. I will put my finger under each word having him say the word if I know he can or I will tell him to sound it out and I prompt him through each section of the word. He will now take my finger and put it under the words when he wants to read. When I hear him pronouncing words I think back to when he couldn’t talk and when the doctors told me he probably wouldn’t talk. Not only is he talking but reading and singing. On tonight’s distraction agenda was him singing his scales. I work with him on singing different tones and pitches. I want him to feel the connection to music and I know that working on his scales will also help his pronunciation of words. I have him sing looking in a mirror sometimes as well. This way he can see how his face changes with the sounds. I tell him every day that he is amazing and he can do anything he wants to do if he sets his mind to it. I want him to dream the big dream and know that he can obtain it. Never give up on your dreams. Believe in yourself and the rest will follow. Smiles to all and donut daze!
How many bubbles can I blow to keep the meltdowns from happening and when is bedtime keeps running through my mind. One minute meltdowns the next minute Owen was happy as a lark. And I kept blowing bubbles to distract him. For several days words were really hard for him and tonight there are so many words flying right at me that I can’t even process them all but he doesn’t understand why and they weren’t all connected. He was getting upset with me because I couldn't find something on his tablet. I told him I was trying to help him but we had to work together to find it. He was asking me for several different videos all at the same time. I couldn’t make him understand that what he was saying would not pull up. He loves for me to use the voice-activated option but it still wasn’t pulling up what he wanted and he started screaming again. I could see him struggling with every emotion. He said, “sorry mommy” without me prompting him or before I could even try to answer him. My heart ached for him. He kept trying to do the same actions and waiting for my same reactions. So I sat. Every single thing upset him. I didn’t even realize I was clicking my fingernail and he started screaming about the clippers and “makEee de noise”. He cried, he screamed, he cried some more. He couldn’t process it all. It felt like he was three again with all the screams, the ear-piercing screams that always went straight to my soul. My poor baby. And all the emotions we both have. It seems like when he is going through a huge learning curve his emotions become stronger. Today feels like it proved that. One day at a time I remind myself. Sometimes one second at a time. He fell asleep in my arms, crying. I think we both were. Today will be but one memory. Keep pushing past what’s stopping you from your dreams. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen asked for milk and before I could say anything he went to get the container out of the refrigerator. The container was pretty full so he struggled to hold it and close the door. He lifted his left leg resting the bottom of the container on it, holding it with his left hand, and closing the refrigerator with his right hand. This was truly amazing. Beyond amazing really. He looked like a little baby flamingo standing there and I thought my baby is spreading his wings and about to fly. He’s had a rough couple of days with sensory overload but he’s having a much calmer night as long as I don’t get too far from his grasp unless of course, it’s his choice. He’s playing music tonight, going from one of his instruments to the next, and singing with different Disney videos on YouTube. I love it when he plays his instruments without me prompting him. I have always made music a focus for him. When he was a baby I wanted him to be able to understand how music could move our soul. I would hold one of his hands on my neck and the other one in front of my mouth or on my heart. I would then sing to him, letting him hear and feel the vibrations. He’s been sleeping better again, well, most nights and I’m hoping that tonight is another great sleeping night. Maybe one of these nights I’ll actually sleep. As the night wore on he was much calmer. We had our moments but the screams were few and far in between so here’s to a good night, a strong finish to our day, and a great tomorrow. A smile is one step to a brighter future. Find your strength, be happy even in the storm, and know that tomorrow is a brand new day. Smiles to all and donut daze!
One emotion after another kept pouring into me. Owen woke very early but fell back asleep for a few hours. Me, I don’t know that I slept at all last night. The demands came early from him. “Sit”, he said, before I had a chance to even completely get up from my seat. I was going to get the coffee I so desperately needed but he wanted the comfort of me next to him. The emotions, all the emotions shift through my body tirelessly like a weighted ballon trying to get off the ground. I try so hard to make connections to emotions and circumstances for him but my emotions can send him into his own little tailspin. So I breathe. His growth is huge and I know the day will come. He has been in sensory overload all day. Every single thing I’ve done today has caused screams or meltdowns so I sit. I walked into his bedroom to put something away. The minute I walked in there he came running around the corner and turned off the light, as he screamed for me to stop and once again wanting me to sit. The lights were too bright, the sounds were too loud until they weren’t loud enough, and he wanted to be pushed up against me as much as possible. I can only imagine how the world is amplified to him. I tried not to be emotional today but emotional is exactly what I was. He threw himself to the ground, flailing and screaming throughout the day. Washing my hands was one of the biggest challenges for the day but he washed his hands and dried them better than I’ve ever seen him dry them before without one scream. I hold on to the hope of tomorrow. I try to stay strong for him even though I crumble more times than I can count. I see growth though and his future will be amazing because every day he grows. Never stop believing in the hope for tomorrow. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen likes to use an app that mimics his voice and makes it sound like a cartoon character. He doesn’t like to use words with it though, he makes sounds but they range from high-pitched screams to his stimming EEEEE sound. He will put his keyboard on the automatic sounds or his tablet to a music video he likes and then he starts the recording. I tell him he can use the app but he has to use his words. I try to encourage him to use his words so he can hear what they sound like when he says them. I made breakfast for us. I put it down in front of him and he said, “I eat bis cut and gravy”. And not only did he eat it but he ate a lot of it. He went to spend a few hours with his grandparents today. We’ve been working on him being able to dress himself. He’s been able to put his shirt on for a while but not his pants. I helped him put one leg of his sweat pants on and then I told him to put the other one on. Instead of pulling them on, he took them off. I told him that now he had to put both legs in. I walked towards the kitchen, still watching him, and there it was one leg and then the other in his pants. He even had them on the right direction. Big ole victory right there. I told him he did a good job and he said, “very good job”. I’ve always felt like he sees all languages as one big language. He doesn’t understand that I can’t speak them all or read them. I don’t even know how to explain it to him. He has watched many videos in French and today he was screaming at the top of his lungs, running through the house, with his tablet to his ear, belting out Old MacDonald in French. I’ve counted at least six languages that he listens to and what gets hard is when he wants me to use the voice-activated option to find the video he’s looking for. I made him shrimp for dinner and I cooked myself eggs. He loves eggs but I had added vegetables to it so I wanted him to try. I said, Owen come here and he said, “excuse me”. I wonder if that’s the start of attitude of using his ever-growing word list but he did try a bite and like them. Today I’m thankful for celebrating the lifeskill victories he has accomplished. There’s great joy in knowing he can put his pants on. Next to learn shoes and socks. Celebrate your victories one by one, cherish the steps you take, and know that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. Smiles to all and donut daze!
What a rollercoaster ride today has been. Hyper and in sensory overload describes Owen tonight and I’m downright cranky. He was yelling at me for every noise in the whole wide world it seems and I wanted to cry. He asked for milk repeatedly but still had milk in his cup. Then he spilled his milk but didn’t get upset until I tried to clean it up. He spilled it all over the table and it went to the floor. When I had to move the table he kept screaming for me to put it back. When things aren’t in their place this can upset him instantly or he may pass by something ten times and then it sets him off. I see him paying more attention to how something is set or angled. Our morning kept me strong throughout the day though. He woke excited about going to school. We got ready and walked to the bus stop. He saw the bus approaching and his smile got bigger. When he started walking up the steps he said, “it’s the bus I ride the bus let’s go bus”. Those were all his sentences, his glorious sentences. I was so excited to hear them all. He was all smiles as they took him to his seat. It’s the most amazing feeling to hear sentences coming from Owen that he formed. It is hard for him to process language so this is a huge step for him. When he came home from school that’s when the sensory overload took place but he was still smiling and singing, “Humpty Dumpty sat on them all”. I think I like his version best. He set up his keyboard so that it would play automatically. Then he started playing his guitar and belting out, “twinkle twinkle little star” with the tune from the keyboard. I see so much growth. He took his bath and when we were finished drying him he took his towel without me asking and hung it up. I may have had a rollercoaster day but here my boy is growing again. So proud of his progress. I turned my frown upside down many times for my sweet baby O. Smile and let the world smile with you. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I saw Owen actually jump over a shoe with his two feet jumping at the same time. I instantly started crying. There was so much goodness packed into that one moment I couldn’t contain my excitement. For him to be aware something was there in itself was incredible and then to jump over it the way he did made the tears flow. He doesn’t always pay attention to his surroundings. And he doesn’t understand when I tell him to watch out or look on the floor. We go through this every day when I ask him to bring his shoes to me and put them on the floor, instead he puts them on the couch. He jumps all the time. It’s one of his stimming moves but to jump with both feet over something was incredible. I wanted to see if he could jump over a book when I asked him to. At first, he didn’t understand the instructions and so I asked him to walk over the item. I held his hands and we practiced walking over the book. He didn’t understand so we worked through it several times. Once he got that I then had him jump over the book. I held his hands and basically picked him up through the motions. He had not been completely on board with all this until I picked him up to jump. Once he realized he was flying through the air he wanted to do it over and over again. I set up our little obstacle course of books, baby wipes, and pens and he went to town jumping over it all. He ran around jumping for over fifteen minutes, never seeming to tire of what he was doing. This was a huge day for him and a bigger day for me. There are no words to describe the excitement of watching your child achieve his goals. The victories are loud and clear today. I’m thankful for my miracle that shows me every day how to never give up. Celebrate your victories no matter how big or small they are, enjoy them all. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I'm Lynn Browder. Owen's Mommy. The best moments in time are when I get to see the smile on his face and that giggle come from his heart.