Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A busy couple of weeks

My new screensaver.

"You interrupted 'Blues Clues' to take a damn picture?!"

My little family has had a hectic couple of weeks. The day after I attended the retreat referenced below, we drove up to Alexandria to a) visit with our kids, and b) help out with the parents' group's staff appreciation day. Shortly before we left home, we received a call telling us that our oldest son's headcold and sore throat had reached the point where the doc wanted to see him at the hospital, which is where we went as soon as we got up there. T was pumped full of antibiotics and he improved rapidly, but he was still a little weak a couple of days later. DW and I managed to juggle T's situation with seeing A and helping out with the parents' group event. We then took T out on the town for a day.

I returned to work for a couple of days, then we headed back up to Alexandria to fetch A for a visit home. He had a great time, and we saw some emerging play skills, one of which involved T's Blue's Clues karaoke machine. A picked the thing up and started pushing buttons that play various well-known songs from that show. I know them all by heart after years of viewing, so I sang along. At first, A looked perplexed and surprised that I, of all people, would know songs from Blue's Clues. It took only a few minutes for him to realize that he could push those buttons and make me sing. For example, He would start the Mail Time tune, then push the button again a few seconds later, just to see me have to start over. We also did the We Just Figured Out Blue's Clues song and--my personal favorite--the Planets song.
DW and I returned A to Alexandria yesterday and brought T over to the hotel for a swimming pool visit.

We recently got some very good news about our boys. This coming school year, they will be among the 14 students at St. Mary's to receive all of their daily instruction from the Autism Center. They will receive six hours/day of training using applied behavior analysis (ABA), up from the one hour/day that they have been receiving. A, especially, has done well with ABA at St. Mary's. The boys also will move to new living quarters, with two other boys, into what amounts to a mini-group home that will use ABA to teach daily living skills. This is exactly the kind of program we wanted for our boys before we placed them at St. Mary's, but were unable to put into place. ABA, executed properly, is intense and difficult for the adults involved. To pull it off, you need a properly trained school and in-home staff, especially during the initial phase of "extinction burst" behaviors. Unfortunately, we didn't have the resources at our disposal to get this going at home with both of our boys. Fortunately, St. Mary's now has those kinds of resources.


Ann said...

Oh, my, Randy, that is EXCELLENT news. I'm so happy for you and C and T and A. What a wonderful thing to have happen.

See how that nice shiny karma is just reflecting right back at you?

Miranda said...

I'm also excited that your boys are getting their needs met. They are getting so big, too.

Maddy said...

Sounds like everything is moving in the right direction.
Best wishes