Thursday, June 30, 2011

First word????

I think Gav said "MOM" today.

Well kind of....

It was more like "MMMAAAAAAM", but it was the first time I have heard a vowel and consonant sound together from him!

He's been trying so hard lately. We can really see him concentrating on shaping his mouth/lips differently, and producing way more sounds then he ever has! So exciting!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Had to Share!

Had to share a link to this GREAT blog!

And a photo of Gav. Bubbles make him smile too!

Quick Update....

Wow! It's been a while!

Quick update. Been so busy around here lately...

Last week we attended our first MDP (Multi-Disciplinary Panel) with FSCD (Family Services for Children with Disabilities), hoping to have Gavin approved for Specialized Services and more aide hours. And we were approved for up to 20 hours per week of in home aide! So now on to figuring out a new weekly schedule for aide and therapist visits.

Today we had a meeting with the Early Learning Coordinator from our local Catholic School Division to talk about starting Gavin in Pre-K next fall (at just 3.5 years of age). The thought scares me SO much! I'm so protective of my little guy. But I really do think the social interaction will be very good for him, and that he will find the other children very motivating. Now just to decide how many days a week to start. And whether we will participate in a pilot program that would allow him to have the same aide at home as well as in school. Decisions, decisions...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

We're sick :(

Well the boys have been battling colds (and one with an ear infection) for several days now. I've now joined the team!

Made this Treasury on Etsy in "celebration" of feeling under the weather. Featuring several of my teammates from The Alberta Street Team - a team of talented Albertan artists and crafters.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Gavin's "Polenta"

Not truly Polenta, but a Polenta inspired GFCF dish, that meets Gavin's "textural requirements".

3 cups vegetable or chicken stock*
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal
1 can Almer Garlic & Olive Oil petite cut stewed tomatoes (drained)
1-2 tbsp Galaxy Nutritionals Parmesan Flavored Vegan Grated Topping

- Bring broth to a boil
- Slowly stir in cereal using a whisk
- reduce heat to very low
- cover and cook for 5 minutes
- stir in tomatoes and Parmesan topping
- continue to cook an additional 3-5 minutes

Divide in individual portion sizes and refrigerate or freeze.
Additional broth (or water) can be added to reach desired texture when rewarming.
Serve topped with additional Parmesan topping if desired.

*read labels carefully, there are vegetarian/vegan options out there, or make your own

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Who is KoJoZo?

Some of you that know me are asking...why KoJoZo????

So I thought I would quickly explain. It started on Etsy (craft website). I just wanted to use my initials for my user name, but it would not allow the period character. So I changed them to "o". And KoJoZo was born.

In conversations and chat on Etsy many now refer to me as "KoJo". It seems so funny. I've never really had a nick name before, other than just "K".

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

More introductions...

They say "If you know one person with Autism, than you know ONE person with Autism".

Basically Autism is such a variable disorder, that each person is affected in a very different manner. Thus why it is more correctly called Autism SPECTRUM Disorder (ASD).

So that being said I thought I would take the time to introduce you to Gavin. And give you some details about how ASD affects his (and our family's) life.

Gavin is a very happy 3 year old boy. He is non-verbal. He has never uttered one word,  not even close. No "Ma" or "Dada" or "dat" (that). We are starting to get him making some sounds in order to request things. This process is a big part of his current therapy using Pivitol Response Training (PRT).

Unlike some children with ASD, Gavin seems to have quite strong social skills. He makes good eye contact, he does not avoid people (adults or children), and actually tends to seek interaction with them. But that is the point where things tend to break down. He will watch, and be entertained by other children, but does not participate in "play". When he wants them to continue or do "more" he will touch, and kind of push them, urging them to "do it again". But most children are not going to understand his non-verbal communication. To them, he's just touching and pushing them.

Gavin has very "low tone" (muscle tone) around his mouth/lower face. At rest his mouth is open, and his tongue may hang out a little. He drools ALOT! And tends to make "buzzer" or "raspberry" sounds frequently. I change his shirt about 3 times a day.

Gavin also seems to have a Sensory Processing Disorder.
He tends to have an over sensitive tactile response. This is most evident in his eating, and food choices. He won't eat any solids. Everything he eats must be of a relatively pureed texture. It can have some soft chunks (think Stage 3 toddler food). And we spoon feed it to him, although he is slowing learning to spoon feed himself. I know some of you are thinking "picky eater". Well, it goes a little farther than that. Gavin can barely tolerate touching food. Part of his therapy is trying to get him to touch food in a "play" environment, with no expectation of him eating it. We bury things in a bin of Cheerios for him to retrieve. The first few attempts his hand trembles, and I need to guide him through it. But as we continue he gets more comfortable with the exercise. He has never tried to put one in his mouth. He has also started to take a liking to counting Smarties. Picking them up, and placing them in a cup as Mom or Dad counts them out loud. Those too, he will not eat!

Adding to Gavin's eating challenges, or more my feeding/cooking challenges has been his recent Food Allergy diagnosis. Gavin is allergic to Peanuts, and Milk (but not just milk...all dairy...cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream, et al). Although not officially allergic, I do suspect a gluten intolerance as well (after eliminating some regular gluten rich foods and noticing almost immediate changes in his "BM"s). So now we carry an Epi-Pen for his peanut allergy and I have had to become a lot more creative cooking for him, and I spend countless hours label reading in the supermarket.

But...have I mentioned Gavin is happy? Yes, I did. But I want to say it again. Gavin is Happy! Possibly one of the happiest little boys I have ever met. He loves his toys, his cartoons, his specially prepared food, playing with his brother, wrestling with his dad, singing with his mom, going for car rides, playing at the park, visiting Grandma & Grandpa Z, and having Grandma & Grandpa C visit him. He has everything he needs, and has is own way of communicating what those needs are. He is happy, and because of that so am I!


Well I have been contemplating starting a blog for some time now. So today on this rainy day, while stuck inside with two sleeping, sick little boys I finally took the time to do it. Welcome to my blog!

Spent quite a while playing with layouts, fonts & colors so I really do not have time for a very informative post today. Just thought I would share an Etsy find: a jewelry piece I purchased for myself some time ago. And it has since been purchased by several Autism Mom's in the Lethbridge area. I love the quote, "Different Not Less"...couldn't have said it better myself!