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Balancing Act

October 7, 2013

Over the weekend we went to stay with my parents. One thing we always do when we are there is go on a golf cart ride around town. My parents live in a small town where almost everyone uses their golf cart to get around town.

1383931_10200807474648576_1012286080_nWhile we were out on our ride we decided to visit one of the walking (made with hedges) labyrinths in town. I took Owen with me. Carrying him on my hip, we made our way through the maze. After a few minutes of getting my arms scraped by the bushes I decided we needed to try something else. So, I lift him up and throw him on my shoulders.

This is something we have tried numerous times with Owen over the years. He never quite grasped the concept. He would usually lose his balance or just go limp and lean over your head. Not this time though. He straightened up and enjoyed the ride. I couldn’t believe it.

Granted he was still a stinker. He put his hands over my eye, pulled me hair, etc. But for the most part it was great. I just held onto his knees and he was good to go. I was shocked.

It isn’t the easiest thing to do with an almost 6 year old kid. But it is great to have another option.

Owen never ceases to amaze me. To some it might seem like he is progressing so slow compared to other “typical” kids. But to us he is growing up at warp speed.

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What did you do today?

September 20, 2013

I would say I have easily asked Owen the question, “What did you do today?” a hundred thousand times. The normal response is a smile. Then I follow up with, “Did yooooouuuu play with your friends?… No? Did yoooouuuu use the computer?… No?” and so on. Sometimes you would see a twinkle in his eye or see a physical response when you hit on something they did during the day.1150636_10200499509549641_1334549541_o

Today the usual conversation happened. “Owen, Did you have a good day today?…. What did you do today at school?”

This time I actually got a response! If I wasn’t paying attention I wouldn’t have caught it. He responded to me the same way I ask him, but was telling me the things he did today. He said, “Did yoooouuuu library?…. Did yoooouuuu Shipp’s (special ed teacher) room? Did yoooouuu Egeling’s (gen ed teacher) room?” He said a few others that I didn’t quite understand. But in his way he was actually telling me what he did today!

This was a huge deal. We were having a bit of a conversation. It was so exciting. I am still shocked. And to think if I hadn’t really been paying attention I would have thought he was just mimicking what I usually ask him.

He truly amazes me!

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Questions?

September 12, 2013

Today I went to Owen’s school to talk to his Kindergarten class. I wanted to tell them a little more about Owen and allow them to ask questions. His teacher had indicated that some of the kids in his class were still apprehensive when it came to interacting with Owen. So we all thought it would be a good idea for me to come in and talk to the class.

601759_4898427497913_1331105485_nIt was a lot of fun. First I showed the kids some pictures of Owen doing some fun stuff. Things like riding his bike, dressed up for Halloween, riding his horse, etc. The kids got really excited to see him doing things that they do.

Then I talked about some of the best ways to interact with Owen and what some of his gestures mean. I told them that when he gets loud it is just because he is excited. Also, that if they are trying to share something with him that they might need to ask him a couple of times and wait a little longer than normal.

We also talked about Owen’s walker and his wheelchair. We talked about why Owen couldn’t talk or walk and why he wears braces on his feet.

Then I let the kids ask questions. And boy did they have questions. They asked me how Owen slept at night. They asked if he liked video games, if he liked dinosaurs and what he is going to be for Halloween this year.

Overall I would say it was definitely a success. When we were leaving several of the kids said goodbye to Owen. You could tell that this wasn’t the norm. Hopefully they will interact with him more now and not be nervous.

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Where have I been?

September 6, 2013

Well, things have been CRAZY! Hence the name of the blog. :)

Owen is now a kindergartener. It is so hard to believe that my little boy is such a big kid.

KindergartenThis momma had a really hard time with that first day of kindergarten. It’s a new school, new staff, new kids… I was scared for Owen. Thinking about the fact that he couldn’t tell people what he needed, wanted or felt.

Also, as a mom of a young special needs child, I try to avoid thinking too far in the future. It’s scary. That’s where my mind went seeing him at his new school. I started thinking; Will he be able to be independent? Will he be able to walk? Will he go to a typical high school? And so on and so on.

Needless to say that was a really tough day for me. When he finally got home from school I just wanted to grab him, hold him and never let him grow up. Luckily that smile quickly brings me back to the present.

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My little helper

November 6, 2012

Owen has never really been a kid that “wanted” to help. I always have to try hard to get him involved with the types of things his peers are.

I have seen tons of lists of chores your special needs child can help with. Most of them are not appropriate for Owen. I think it is really important for him to learn a sense of responsibility.

Today I had Owen with me at the grocery store. For the most part he just hangs out and rides along.

As I was getting ready to start bagging the groceries it occurred to me it might be a good opportunity for Owen to help. So, I took him out of his wheelchair and sat him on the counter. I handed him the groceries one at a time and had him put them in the bag.

He didn’t make it through the whole cart, but bagged 3 or 4 bags. He thought it was hilarious. It definitely took longer than normal, but I think we will do it more often. It was good for him.

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Back on track?

November 2, 2012

Maybe… I’m going to try to get back on track with posting. It was an interesting day today and I thought, I should blog about that. Then I thought, gee…. I haven’t done that in a while. lol

This morning Owen’s PT came over to work with him. We talked about a lot of ways to work on Owen’s walking skills. She asks me if I take Owen outside for walks in his walker. No, I haven’t. Honestly I hadn’t thought about doing it. It’s not that I’m against it, just hadn’t thought about it.

So, I’m thinking it sounds like a good idea and its sunny out. I get everyone dressed, jackets and shoes on. Laney gets strapped into Owen’s old tricycle. I get Owen’s walker out and put him in it.

Our driveway is a little steep so it takes some maneuvering and multiple trips to get everyone to the road. So far everyone is still thinking this is fun. After all, it is a great day out.

We get to the road and that’s when the fun stops. Owen doesn’t want to walk and Laney doesn’t want to hold still. I’m going back and forth trying to keep everyone happy while still accomplishing the goal of getting Owen some walking time.

After about 20-30 mins I gave up. It took about 15 mins to get everyone back in the house. All three of us are frustrated. Laney is crying.

Once we get in and jackets off I think… yeah, that’s why I don’t do this.

I know it was just a bad day and it won’t always be like that. We will try again another time. Hopefully with more success.

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Real Hugs

September 19, 2012

Last night for the first time ever I got TWO actual real hugs from Owen. They were actual, arms around my neck, squeezing hugs. In the past I had gotten forced hugs or grabbing out of frustration or nervous “hugs”.

These were the first “real hugs”. So exciting!!! I’m not sure why now. It might be because I have been giving him bear hugs to help with his sensory input. I really don’t care why though…. I’m just happy it happened. :)

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