Sunday, February 27, 2011

Storytelling 2.0

We have a new app for the IPad that I just have to tell you about.   It is pretty fracken cool.

It is called Stories 2 Learn, and it has become something of a rage in the IPad/IPhone special-needs scene.  It is a social stories program that allows you to create stories to teach concepts like sharing and cooperation with pictures from the child's own life, or to provide preparation for something new coming up.  I am not using it for social stories (yet!), but rather to create stories with pictures about J-man's day or about the people in his life as a mode for conversation for us.  I have made two stories up to this point, one with simple pictures of family members so we can talk about Mommy, Daddy, Papa and Mumu, etc etc, and the other one is about what we do at OT. 

Here is a video of J-man scrolling through the A Day at OT story.  Usually I would be commenting about the pictures (trying to get a little conversation going), but in this video I wanted to just show how it worked. 

As you can see, you can put your own pictures, text and voiceover in the story.  How cool is that?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What You Ought to Know

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I have none.  Nada. Zip. Ziltch.  The center of a doughnut.  The money in my wallet. 
The trust in my heart.


Winter is long. Sunlight is scarce.  The house and all who live here have a serious case of the midwinter blahs.  J-man in particular has been restless, itching to have action and activity.  And Mommy's energy level is not helping matters.  A little bit too much TV has been watched.  A little bit too much IPad time.  Not enough to do, and not enough energy to do it. 

So, as you may already know, we decided to start OT again. 

We took an OT break for about a year and just focused on speech.  It was a good plan.  And it saved Mommy from having to deal with two sets of therapies at the same time.  But with the long, slow winter creeping along, OT would help J-man work on some of his motor issues, endurance issues and play skills.  And... let's face it... OT is FUN.

The trade off is time.  My time.  And miles on the car.  My car. 

Because I have some pretty solid opinions on philosophy and approach for therapy (ahem), I ended up choosing a OT clinic about 30 minutes away from our home.  And, ironically, it is also 30 minutes away from our speech therapist.... who is 30 minutes away from our home.  Think of it as a perfect triangle.  Or the Bermuda triangle.  Whatever.

And since we essentially have back-to-back therapy twice a week, I am getting to know this triangle very, very well.  Add in one additional speech therapy day once a week.  And preschool twice a week. And at home therapy time, J-man and Mommy style, all the time (at least it is suppose to be!).  And work (mostly evening shifts, 3-11:30p) two to three times a week and every third weekend (12 hours shifts no less!)...  which is also (you guessed it) 30 minutes away. 

I wonder why I am tired?  And my house is a wreck?  And I don't have friends? Or a life?

But I will say that I think the sacrifice of my time, sanity, and re-sale value of my car might just pay off. 

On Monday, Miss OT suggested that we try some aquatic therapy with J-man at the next session.  I was excited and nervous at the same time.  J-man would either LOVE IT or HATE IT.  Since he has trust issues (just like his mom), I wasn't sure how he would feel about going into a scary pool with a new person.  J-man loves water... sometimes... but has a healthy anxiety about it.  That, coupled with the "new person" anxiety might be too much for success.  Or not. 

Never know until you try.  So we tried.

It took him about 10 minutes to get him near the stairs where he threw lot of ducks and fish and balls and lizards into the water to be fished out.  And slowly but surely, he creeped further in.  Trust grew.  Pretty soon complete joy ensued.  By the end, he was jumping into Miss OT's arms from the side and into the water full force.

When we got home, I showed J-man and Daddy the pictures.  J-man was riveted to the photos.  "Water" he said (with sign).  "Wimming" he said (with sign).  Over and over.  Later that evening he pulled the photos up on the IPad again.  He said water and swimming and go as he pulled me to the door... to go swimming.

Ah, no.

Let's try the tub.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pass on a Post

Once again, I have been honored to be a guest poster on S-O-S Best of the Best Bloggers.  Check out the list of great folks (and an older post of mine... if you follow me, you will know this post!).

And in that vein, let me share with you a post from one of my favorite bloggers ever, Robert Rummel Hudson from Fighting Monsters with Rubber Swords.

My response to his post:  Hell yeah!

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Valentines

Photo by Jerry Holt

Thursday, February 3, 2011

J-man's Attempt at Persuasion

I might be in the running for the meanest mom in the world.

Yesterday was J-man's 4th birthday, and how did we celebrate?

A trip to the doctor's office, of course.

Yep, meanest mom in the world.

J-man and I have been sharing a cold since Christmas (I swear, it's true). Last week mine settled in my chest and brewed into a full-on bout of bronchitis. And of course, it was J-man's turn. So after a (crabby) speech session and lunchtime pizza at his favorite pizza place, I whisked J-man off to our pediatrician

As we pulled into the parking lot, J-man started to cry. "No no no" he called out.

I told him, "No owies... don't worry... no owies!"

He did not believe me.

Crying, he said, "Ar-get??" (Target)

"No honey, later... after doctor." I said.

As I carried him into the building he asked (still crying) "P-izza?".

"No honey, we just had pizza" I told him. Ugh, for any other event we'd have been out of there. But he clearly was sick and needed some antibiotics.

In the elevator, still crying, he pleaded "C-ar? C-ar?", adding the sign for maximal effect.

Heart is breaking here people. Breaking!

In the office, "Go bye-bye, gooo bye byeee".

In the room, still crying, he passes me his coat over and over, hoping I will put it on.  I manage to distract him a little with finger bowling on my phone, but it doesn't last. The doctor comes in, takes on good listen of his chest, and we are on our way with a script in hand. As we left, tears all gone, J-man says to the doctor, "Bye Bye!". And we left calmly and happily... on our way to Target.

Aside from the fact that I felt like Mommy Dearest on the way in, I was also heartily impressed at all the verbal attempts he made to make his wishes know. He tried multiple techniques, different options, and persisted even when mommy said no. He used spontaneous verbalizations. And he did it all while he was in a serious state of unrest.

And yes, he did get a toy at Target.

I am not beneath bribing J-man for his love.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Groundhog


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