Incredibly, we are through May in 2011 already. The year is flying by isn’t it?
We had a great weekend with lots done all finished up with meeting new friends (or for Simon anyway) at Vicky’s friend Kerrie’s house.
Simon is heading to the UK on Thursday for just over a week, so Vicky has a long week ahead with the boys unfortunately 🙁 Hopefully the time will pass by quickly and Simon will be back in CA soon. There are a few things that she has planned for the weekend including BBQ with Kerrie and Conny and families.
We are considering looking for a new pad out here in CA again – the requirement for a garden is beckoning….
Trying to work out the best thing for Elliot can be a never ending task and some times a lonely one too. The constant questions I ask myself drive me crazy. Do we do enough with him? Should we push him out of his comfort zone a little more? Is he getter better? Is he getting worse, Will he get much better? Are we doing enough to help? Is this the behavior of a “normal” 4 year old or is it different? The questions are endless and sometimes you can feel like you are the only one that has these issues to deal with.
This really is just not he case at all. I realised this after bumping into a friend I met when I first arrived here, at a BBQ on Memorial Day. She asked what was new with us and after a little small talk I decide to talk to her about Elliot and his pending Aspergers diagnosis. She shared with me that her eldest child has Aspergers quite badly and that her youngest has it also. Wow! amazingly she is going to one of the sessions we are going to and has great things to say about TSSV which is very reassuring she also thinks that she may have details of other summer programmes that really might work out for Elliot. It is so nice to know that you are not alone on this journey albeit a little scary to have a reminder that both the boys may have Aspergers. Although Oliver is currently at the other end of the spectrum and very sociable who knows if this will last forever, at least we know what warning signs to be looking out for in the meantime.
Yesterday, we head down to Gilroy Gardens with Amy, Jason, Charlotte, Clare, Rich, Ben and Alex. We bought a 2011 membership for the three of us (Olly does need tickets as he is under 3) so we can go back as many times as we can between now and the 27th October.
The weather was a little cooler than last year, but the rides have had a lick of paint and the place was full of people.
We then all had dinner @ Roy and Daisy’s place (although R & D are in Tahoe) where we played in the pool and had a great time.
The AR Drone Quadricopter that Simon was bought for his birthday was fully tested in the garden – it is a truly awesome toy – of course Simon has now found and downloaded some software to record the video footage from the device as well as take still photos etc 🙂
Today, we have been out for a picnic in the park at Blossom Hill with the bikes – beautiful day today – not a cloud in the sky. Funnily enough though, there appear to be not a lot of people around the area this weekend – the park was empty when we arrived…
Tomorrow, we head out to the park in Saratoga for the Brit mum’s BBQ and then we are heading over to Vicky’s friend Kerrie’s house – she is having a party in the afternoon. Packed weekend it would seem…. 🙂
Friday is here already and luckily Simon is working from home this morning so that I can head to the therapy session without Oliver in tow. At the moment I am sitting in on all of his sessions as it would be too disruptive for Oliver to be in there also he stays at home. We arrive at PTS sign in and after a short wait head to the gym with Miss Joyce. Elliot seems very quiet and I am wondering if the early morning sessions are not working for him and if we should be a little later. Obviously an earlier session would work for me as currently he has a 8.15 start which considering some days he doesn’t get up until after8 this can be a little difficult as we have to wake him early. Not always a good idea :o) Joyce gets straight to work and has a quick chat with Elliot about the toy he brought to class today. One of Elliots little quirks is that he can’t leave the house with out some sort of toy. This is not such a great deal but each day the idea of what he wants to take out with him changes and it can delay the house leaving process by a good 15minutes. As I am usually running late this little “quirk” can get very stressful and tearful for Elliot. Joyce asks Elliot what he would like to do today and she suggests they make an obstacle course. Elliot is not as “animated ” as he was last week and keeps looking back to me for reassurance. When Joyce asks a question he looks at me to answer for him. Which clearly in the past I have been doing too much. I encourage him to speak in his big loud voice and tell miss Joyce himself. He tries his best but you can see how hard this is for him. The poor guy just when you feel that some real progress is being made and that he maybe isn’t as shy as we think he has a session like this. During the building of the obstacle course he keeps looking back to me to answer for him. He does warm up by the time the course it built and really gets into the flow but it takes a big part of the session. I wonder if me being in the session is holding him back. I ask Joyce and as next week Simon is out of town I suggest that he attends the session himself and see if he gets on any better. Working on one of the techniques that Christie started last week Joyce asks Elliot what his favourite part of the obstacle course was. He tells her it was the stretchy tunnel so they draw a picture together to help explain to Miss Christie what fun they had swinging in the tunnel and doing wiggles.
Onto the SLT session. I am sat on the floor playing with toys with Elliot when Jayne pops her head around the corner. Apparently Miss Christie is running late. This really isn’t an issue as we don’t plan too much during the day to get a smooth transition for Elliot to get to school. Christie arrives and Elliot proudly shows her his toy and tries to tell her all about it. He shows her the drawing he has done with Joyce and does his best to explain to Christie what he has been doing in OT. She asks how we have been getting on and I tell her we have been doing the exercises and that he is doing a lot better at telling us what he has been doing at school. I tell her that we are making a big effort to help him correct words he is struggling to pronounce we are reading lots more books to help with language development and encouraging him to speak as much as possible. Christie comments that she can already see a big improvement in him which is really reassuring. I discuss with Christie how she thinks having him in session on his own will work. She suggest we give it a go and ask me to prepare some things to talk to Elliot about. I tell her we are going to Gilroy gardens so she asks that we bring back a map and take photographs of the day out. Elliot tells her that he will be playing on the Xbox so Christie asks him to draw a picture of what happens in the game so he can tell her all about it next week. Elliot seems to think that this is a good idea and has a good session chatting to Christy. I think it is fair to say that when Christy gets her Ipad out his eyes light up, they play a couple of games together and chat about them. He has a quick game on angry birds as a tool to engage more conversation from him which he just manages. We quickly discuss how next week session will work with me having Oliver in tow and agree that Elliot will spend most of the session on his own and I will join for the last 5-10minutes.
In other news we have finally managed to get him to remove his plaster from last weeks finger cut. He went from being completely adamant about not having a plaster on to being obsessed with wearing one. I sometimes struggle with these changes in direction with him and constantly seem to be asking myself does he have aspergers, are we imagining things on a good day. On a bad day I am then on the other side, OMG he definitely has and am I in complete denial that he is much worse than we possibly think. Oh the indecision and the endless questioning is driving me crazy. At least it isn’t too long now until his session at the Centre fro Developing minds, hopefully this will give us the clarification we need, role on the 14th……
It has only taken 2 and a half months, but we are finally pre approved on a mortgage for our here in California. Well, subject to some crazy stipulations such as:
- Vicky must write to HSBC to advise that Simon is allowed to actually use the money in the joint account (the same one that is in Simon’s name as the main account holder…. ??? Guess they know us too well perhaps?
- Simon needs to get written evidence from the company to state that he is not a shareholder.
- Simon needs to provide evidence of home insurance on the UK house… ???
These just seem crazy but apparently all necessary to prevent the bank from issuing mortgages out to folks who will end up not paying their monthly terms.
Looking forward to a day out at Gilroy Gardens on Saturday (think Jason, Amy and Charlotte may join us), relax with the bikes etc on Sunday, and then out to the Brit Mum’s BBQ and a friend of Vicky’s for a arty on Monday.
Simon hired a car on Saturday since he picked up a screw in one of the tyres in his car, to find that not only could it not be repaired but it was also a special order tyre that needs to be ordered from out of state. Consequently it would not be sorted until Monday afternoon (today in fact). When he called earlier this afternoon, the good news was that the tyre would be fitted when it arrived this afternoon and that it would definitely be here. Hearing the great news, Simon immediately arranged for the rental car to go back thus saving $40 for the next day of rent, and no sooner had this happened than the phone call come in to advise that the tyre had not actually been delivered and it would now be tomorrow. GREAT.
So, we have had a spare tyre fitted to the car, the garage have kept the alloy wheel and will fit the tyre tomorrow when it arrives, and Vicky will need to take the car to the garage in the afternoon to have the wheels swapped over. Simon is going to take Vicky’s car to San Francisco with him so that should there be a problem, there is a spare in that car. Vicky, is only really doing the school run so if there is a problem, it can be easily left on the roadside and Simon can sort it on his return.
Oh the fun of running cars…. At least the sun is shining …..
Another busy week in the Rust Household. We have been busy helping a colleague of Simons and his family acclimate to living the bay area. We went to the Childrens discovery Museum in San Jose, to make it an even bigger adventure we went on the VTA. We met with our friends Conny and Alexander at the Chenworth station and got the VTA to right outside the museum it was great fun and just long enough for the boys. They had a blast in the museum playing on the fire engine, in the ambulance, the mammoth exhibit, the craft area, the bubble are and saving the best till last the water area. We spent lots of time in the under 5’s room upstairs also. As one of Elliots biggest issues is spending time in big groups when they announced it was story time I assumed he would not want to join in. The session started and Elliot asked to look at an area near the story corner and to my surprise he edged to the story are and ask to sit and join in. Wow this was a pleasant surprise. He didn’t join in with the “thick” of the children but was happy to sit at the edge and joined in with the songs at closing circle. Wow what an achievement. It feels like we are making progress finally as a few years ago when I tried to take him to toddler groups he would not join in any circle time. This success is some what short lived though when it is time to leave the museum. We had chosen not to go into the water area until then end of the day. Elliot was having so much fun enjoying himself that he did not realise that he had gotten so wet. Another thing that would not always affect most children but really got Elliot bent out shape and got very upset by it. How frustrating as I hadn’t thought about bring him a spare change of clothes. So by the end of the journey we had a very frazzled mummy trying to explain to Elliot that he could get changed at home and it really wasn’t a problem. Some days the issues we have seem bigger to Elliot and me than others I guess this was one of these days. Oh well nevermind tomorrow is another day.
It’s monday morning again and it is time to get the boys ready to go for Elliot session at TSSV. AS ever the session starts at 10am. It is really difficult to keep an eye on what is going on during Elliots session as Oliver is really being difficult this morning and standing outside the room shouting for Elliot. The room Elliot has his session in has two way glass so that we can see in and he can’t see out. Biggest problem is he can still hear and Oliver is pretty determined to make sure that he is heard :o( It appears the session is pretty uneventful he was having a few issues with one of the exercises according to the notes but he soon got over it. It helps that the session leader is very gentle in her approach and tries to encourage the child to take part but never forces them to do anything they are not comfortable with.
I am still very much in a stage of information overload as the mums that have there children in the Monday morning sessions have been on their journeys for longer than us and have lots more information of classes available. I am currently thinking that the social issues may need a little more help so I am wondering about sports or gym classes I just need to find the right place.
Elliot: Session 8
- Cheers: with structure and prompting, participated in building the town. Watches everything, aware of all things happening. Needs to build social confidence to speak his ideas, will talk quietly to adult if not pushed to do so. Did not like the Hex bug vibration, but was eager to be the builder and rebuild the walls when the hex bugs crashed through. I gave him the opportunity to touch the bug when it was off, but he was not yet ready. I turned one bug off and perched him on top of the wall near Elliot so that E could see the bug, the bugs job was to watch out for escaping bugs! This bug was E’s “partner”. I always work to desensitize a child to a stimulus that they are not comfortable with – I do not push it – I structure the situation so that the child continues to participate at the level he is comfortable with, while continuing to provide opportunities in a non-threatening way, to access the stimulus.
- Challenge: maintaining group peer play, speaking to peers.