Saturday, November 5, 2011

Catching up......

Seems like forever since I have taken the time to post..but it has been a good few months. Matthew is happy and settled which is all we need to be content.
Most recently we took a trip to the pumpkin patch where Matthew had a ball with friends.

He wanted to be Lightening McQueen...again, but he had so much fun this year. He really enjoyed trick or treating and had a blast.

Probably the most exciting is how well school is going. He loves his teacher and looks forward to going to school every day. He talks about what they do in class constantly and everything is "Mrs. Andersen says..." quite a contrast from last year. He even wants to go to school when he is sick! We recently had his tri-ennial which went well. For the first time I felt like we were all on the same page. The District tested him in many areas for this IEP and he did AMAZING! In the past we have had to argue and defend what we knew Matthew was capable of and it felt SOOOOOOOOOO good to see it in black and white...could not be disputed. It truly was a WOW moment. We still have struggles with repetitive behavior, extreme rigidity, lack of social but he is on a path and it renewed out belief that recovery is possible.
The highlight of the year was yesterday for us. We were told that Matthew's shadow would be out yesterday but his teacher wanted to try and see how he would do without her (in the past we would have kept him home). Because she has such a great rapport with Matthew, we decided to agree. I was so nervous I thought I was going to have a stroke. We prepped him and told him his shadow would be out but that he has been so good and made such great choices that we knew he could do it. He immediately responded "I will do a great job. I will be a big boy like my friends". I was so nervous because the days before were a little tough with regards to rigidity.

At pick up his teacher had a huge smile and told me that HE WAS PERFECT! The best day ever! I had to try not to cry, I was so proud! HE DID IT!!!
It was wonderful for his teacher to see and even more wonderful for Matthew to see that he could do it.
Matthew, you never cease to amaze us. You are such an incredible person and you inspire me. I love you sweet boy! We will still have struggles ahead but we know you will be able to get through anything.
Love, Love Love you Matthew Dean!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Good-bye Summer, Hello Fall....

It is hard to believe that summer is over. I didn't post much, it was a tough summer....a tough few months even before that. The good news is Matthew seems to be back on track and almost back to his sunny and happy self. I am hoping the difficulties and memories of last year are in the past. We were so nervous about sending him back to school after his experience of pre-k. I don't think I slept for 2 days before the first day of kindergarten. It was for nothing because Matthew did GREAT! We all walked to school his first day to avoid the parking nightmare.

We prepped him and front loaded him as best we could... He did beautifully. Sat like a champ and was such a big boy.

His teacher is so sweet and very good with Matthew. He told her he loved her this week and we are starting to see his excitement for school return! Seeing him in a good place is like hitting the lottery! I am excited to see what this year hold for my angel.

One of the exciting things about Fall is the return of soccer! Matthew has improved so much from last year! He is having a blast!

He is little but mighty!

Introducing the Green Machine! Here is to a great season!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

San Diego 2011

After 4 ½ years of refraining from any type of family vacation….we thought we would again give it a try. We actually did attempt over nighters twice over the past few years and both were colossal disasters. Autism can really rob a family. Matthew is small but can have a meltdown that can make a mid west hurricane seems like a slight gust of wind. You just give up on going anywhere to avoid having to deal with the screaming, aggression and of course the staring and comments. It is almost like you become a prisoner to your daily routine and rocking the boat by trying a new environment or experience can be more than can be dealt with.

We thought we would try it again by a weekend trip to San Diego. We tried our best to prepare Matthew with photos, social stories and prepping with fun games, legos, puzzles and DVDs for our stay. Still, the start was rough. He was extremely anxious the days before and on the drive down. Once we got there and he saw the beach and the hotel he was extremely happy…. We went into Old Towne for dinner and had a delicious Mexican dinner that he devoured when out of no where…a complete panic attack and meltdown about staying at the hotel. He was distraught and nothing we could say or do was alleviating it. We made a quick exit from the restaurant and drove back to the hotel with Matthew crying the entire way. A friend lent me a copy of Cars 2 and a DVD player and between that and an ice cream sundae in bed, he was comforted. He fought sleep until after 11pm and was up by 6am but he made it through the night without any calls from the neighboring rooms to complain about screaming and crying (thank God!). Overall he did great. We had some issues with rigidity and other behaviors but he had a blast and I think that the next trip will go even better.

Actually, ice cream makes everything better!


Matthew is a water baby for sure and we spent the days at the beach and the pool. He loved it!

He loved ordering and eating snacks by the pool too.

My sweet baby boy. I have to grab every snuggle I can. He is getting stingier with those as he gets older.

As we were playing and feeding the ducks on the beach, Matthew decided he wanted to try riding in a wave runner.

He was sooooooooooooo excited!

Mark got a little heavy with the pedal so Matthew wanted off after about 30 minutes but has already been asking to do it again. Great job brave boy!

One night there was a marshmellow roast on the beach. Matthew made smores and had a blast running back and forth from the fire rings to the water.

Look how tall my boy is getting!


Of course we had to go to Belmont Park for my little thrill seeker. He was so upset because he didn't meet most of the height requirements for the rides. He finally settled for a few rides.

My little adventurer!

We ended our getaway with a trip to Legoland and the Legoland Water Park.

He had fun on the rides but it was sheer joy when we went into the water park.

It was great because he was able to do everything. He could have stayed all day!

It really is a cool place for kids Matthew's size as he met all restrictions for height. He had a blast and is begging to go again. Mark on the other hand will be nursing a sore back for days.
Overall I would have to say it was a successful trip and Matthew was able to work through some of his rigid issues. We still had some challenges but it was a wonderful first vacation for our family. It has been such a rough few months for Matthew and our family and to see him have a few days of so much fun was very comforting for us. He works so hard and as with all kids with autism, deals with so much. So proud of you sweet pea and looking forward to many more special times with you.