At 42 Degrees

At 42 Degrees

Monday, June 30, 2014

Eva Want Green,...

Today Isaac gave his FIRST movie synopsis,...when he ran into my office and excitedly said:

"Eva want green!"

For clarity it helped a lot that Isaac had Eva with him for confirmation, and he showed me the little green leaf symbol on Eva's chest, and it made so much sense: Eva's prime directive was to search for green plant life = Eva want green. It is important to note here that Isaac was not watching WALL-E,...he was just playing with his Eva plush toy.



So pleased with ourselves, Isaac attempts a wink,...


Kinda,...we're still working on that wink,...but the attempt is cute, and it's appropriate,...because Mama was so delighted with the explanation that Eva wants green,...gotta give Mama a wink,...she's clapping and laughing,...and poor Mama, you know,...she needs these movies explained to her,...obviously that's my tenderhearted little guy's job,...



When we're not zooming around the house with EEEEEEVA!!!!!!!!


Isaac would be zooming around outside, but it's the middle of the day and sooooo hot and humid here in the Deep South,...we don't willingly emerge unless it is early morning or late afternoon,...so from 10:00 o'clock to 3 or 4:00 o'clock,...we're chilling,...or rather Isaac chills, while Mama's always got something to do,...like laundry,...or blog posts because her little guy is exhibiting recall,...not a strong suit for Isaac up today,...so yeah, yeah, yeah!!!!


After all that cuteness,....of course Mama put WALL-E on for Isaac,....




We'll call it therapy affirmation activity,....or just fun,...


Anyway everyone's happy here today,...Isaac has Eva,...I have Isaac, and it's only a few more hours 
until it is cool enough to go outside and play,....and that's a wonderful way to spend a Monday!


Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Friday, June 27, 2014

O-E-O

Our little rat terrier puppy is named: Oreo,...for obvious reasons,...and it is a delight to hear Isaac call the puppy for some playtime, "O-E-O!" - and that's close enough to send the puppy scampering to Isaac's side for some fun,...because even a puppy knows Isaac is the fun-mister in the house!



Isaac also points to the puppy and says, "Coo-tute" -- Cute,...which for us is really cute, and very appropriate use of an adjective and that's encouraging as we are trying to help Isaac learn language structure. 





Vocabulary for Isaac is coming along nicely and we have a feeling that busy-little-mind receptively absorbs everything, but expressive language skills are the challenge,...and where or how the disconnect is disconnected we are not sure except that Apraxia and Autism both have a part to play in making communication a challenge for our little guy. 

Modeling language is effective,...Isaac learned, "Cute," -- applied to the puppy from hearing us,...referring to the puppy or even more likely himself,...because Isaac's chock full of cuteness, and at times when he's in full echolian-mode, intellectually spouting what sounds like gibberish, all you can do to respond is exclaim, "I didn't quite catch that son,...but you're soooo cute!"

Sign language for us has been an invaluable tool, and while it's not a difficult language to learn as most signs make approximations to what you are referring to,...it's difficult to remember to sign to Isaac as he is not hearing impaired,...and my husband and I have both discussed the fact that we need to step up our game in the signing department and this week, Isaac's doctor agreed that it is vital for Isaac to 'see' language as he is such a visual learner,...so back to the books for this Mama,...as I need to become more exact about learning how to sign Exact English to Isaac,...but hey,...anything to help our little guy make the connections on how our complex language structure works,...because being soooo cute will only go so far for our little guy in the wider world,...and no doubt we'll also make use of language apps as well,...everything and anything,...but so far Isaac responds to signing most effectively...so Joy of Signing,...here I come,...

                                                     

Luckily Isaac already knows how to sign: dog,...and he can say: "O-E-O" - and we hope one day he can sign or say: "Oreo is my dog."


Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!




Monday, June 23, 2014

Garden Therapy & Gravity

Our vegetable garden is taking off with the help of miracle grow,...that stuff really works,...and Isaac is enjoying working in the garden,...he is a watering expert with his little watering can and a spray bottle, which he uses to keep everything well misted. Why? I am not sure, he just likes to spray water on the leaves, and as it is beneficial,...I keep filling up that little spray bottle as much as he likes.


When not watering,...Isaac is helping to harvest,...and while he's not quite up to picking anything,...he likes helping to find what is ripe and proudly putting the produce in our harvest bucket,...


Proudly posing for a rare posed picture, Isaac doesn't mind showing off an EXTRA LARGE squash,....yum, yum,...fried squash is a YES for Isaac,...and shhhhh,...don't tell,...but Isaac consumed a watermelon/cucumber smoothie this morning,...'cause he thought it was Diet Coke,...and I stayed wide-eyed with innocence,...for all is fair in love an nutrition,...when it comes to nutrition,...and YES,...it was hard to keep a straight face when our little guy was smacking his lips over that smoothie!!!



So quite obviously the garden therapy has been going quite well,...it certainly keeps us outside and provides lots of opportunities for cooperation and socialization,...and it just plain ol' FUN,...and you get fresh veggies to boot,...it's a win-win and well worth the investment!



However a little gardener can't garden ALL day long,...you have to save some time to experiment with gravity,...as Isaac has discovered how much fun a sloping yard and a wheeled vehicle can provide,...as he drags the little front loader up the slope and happily rolls down,...


Up the slope,...down the slope,...and it's utterly amazing how gravity works every single time!!!



All that botany and physics can wear out a little guy,...


And YES,...our sleepy little batman eked a tons of smiles and comments at Lowes when we had to run to town for more stepping stones as we are still working on Isaac's backyard play area,...it's been a hurry up and wait project as we are waiting on a portion of his play structure to arrive,...but that's why its been so nice to have the garden,...Isaac's having a great time with gardening and gravity,...he has no idea more fun is in store,....


Squash blossoms,...a mammoth flower,...which are edible,...and the ones we don't let grow into squash,...we pick, dredge in flour and fry like fried squash,...and Isaac LOVES them,...they are very crisp like a potato chip with a very mild squash flavor...but best of all they provide a great vitamin A boost,...and what's the fun of having a garden if you can't home-grow all your vitamins.

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!





Friday, June 20, 2014

Help, Want, What?

It is rare for Isaac not to be able to get his message across,...he is truly gifted with nonverbal communication skills which he skillfully merges with what vocabulary he does possess,...but from time to time,...even those skills evade what he is trying to communicate,...and that's when life gets tough.


"Help."..."Want."...says Isaac,...usually when he isn't feeling well,...and we are left to guess, "What?"

An obvious illness is easy to diagnose,...although extremely difficult to explain to Isaac what is wrong and that it is only temporary and with a little rest and maybe a little medicine, ick,...he'll feel better soon,...and we hold, and hug, and offer kisses and reassurance,...but an elusive illness or hurt can set our world on end,...when Isaac whimpers, "Help,...Want",...and we are frantically asking, "What?"

Such gaps in communication can make even simple insect bites take on new dimension when it is 3:00 am,...and Isaac is frantically scratching - in full sensory overload - and all the lotions and creams can't quell his, "Help,...Want,"....and we are frantically asking, "What else can we do?" - and the answer is nothing, but hold, hug, and offer kisses and reassurance,...and cling to the hope that we'll be able to explain such inconvenience as an itchy bite to our son in the near future. 

Summer time and insect bites go hand in hand,...at least here in the deep south,...and perhaps last night was a rough night with Isaac so restless and so upset by the hurt of those little raised bites,...and the lapses in our communication were sooooooo glaringly obvious. With Autism and Apraxia, the simple become complex,...and you can't just explain hurts away,...as you offer what assistance within your ability - lotions, creams, long sleeve shirt, and very, very, very short fingernails for our little guy,...and this is a reality we live with. 

Don't get me wrong,...we are so grateful for what Isaac is able to communicate,...he's come such a long way and it is a gift,...that he can at least say, "Help and Want,"...but the rub is that he can't answer the "What?" - "What, Baby,...what help do you need?" "What do you want, Sweetie?"  -- and at this juncture,...summer of 2014,...Isaac can't answer,...so we frantically guess, we hold and hug, and offer kisses and reassurances,...it's all we know to do,...and all we can do is pray that it is enough. 

This morning Isaac is better,...we slept in, rather late, and I tried a different brand of Hydrocortisone cream, which has actually reduced the redness of those bites,...so yeah,...although applying the Hydrocortisone cream would be another post unto itself as Isaac doesn't willingly do soft and gooey and that's another sigh,...but as I type these words I can hear him giggling and singing in the living room, "Lolly, lolly, lolly, LA!" -- direct quote - and I have no idea what it means, but it sounds happy and it's not a whimpered, "Help or Want," and that's what makes makes my heart soar. 

As for future gaps in communication? We are walking by faith and not by sight,...and I frankly don't have any answers,...but I do have faith, hope and love,...and I know the greatest of these is LOVE!

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!











Thursday, June 12, 2014

Isaac's Daddy



There are fathers and there are DADDIES,...and my husband Lynn is a Daddy in every sense of the word to our three sons,...



Whenever you see Isaac,...his Daddy is always close at hand,...helping, protecting, playing,...



Let's be clear,...Isaac know EXACTLY who to call when he's looking for some fun,...





Mama takes the pictures,...but it is Daddy who slides down the slides,...



Gives,...high fives,...



Hides in rugs,...



Colors eggs,...




Holds hands,....




Carries sleepy little guys,...





Reassures in new venues,...



Works extra hard to make it to special events,...




Never runs out of delight,...





Or tenderness,...




Any man can be a father,...but it takes a very special man to be a Daddy,...


Happy Father's Day to one and all,...and especially to my husband Lynn,...we are so blessed to have him in our lives,...kindness, gentleness, wisdom personified,...and LOTS of fun,...he's an amazing man,...and an even more amazing Daddy!!!

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!



Friday, June 6, 2014

Puppies and Progress,...

In Isaac's opinion a Humane Society full of dogs and cats and puppies and kitten could only be improved by a myriad of PUZZLES,....


So our first foray into dog ownership was a wash when the rescue mission misrepresented - in a classic bait and switch - our puppy's breed, we were told Little Lady and Buster were Lab/Boxer mix, but when their medical records arrived, we were dismayed to learn they are Pit Bull Mix,...and in our area Pit Bulls have to be REGISTERED,...so it's a big deal to have potentially aggressive dogs,...and it was not a risk we were willing to take,...thus those sweet puppies were returned to the mission,...and my only request was that they be properly identified to their new families,...it is only fair  with that MUCH responsibility that adopting families KNOW what they are getting into. 

That's been a few weeks ago,...and every night since when Isaac says his prayers,...he has still been adding: '....and dog and dog,...AMEN!'

Kinda hint, that Isaac would like to have that empty dog crate filled,...and after much research we've decided to look for a Jack Russell or a Rat Terrier puppy for our family,...and we've looked and looked and looked,....considering all options,...purchasing a puppy or rescuing a puppy,...with the hopes to rescue,...but finding exact puppies for an exact breed in a shelter isn't easy,...and we were about to go the breeder route when earlier this week, I spotted a eight week old, Rat Terrier cutie on the internet at our local Humane Society,....and thus Isaac got to happily hang out in the Humane Society's waiting area,....while I spoke with the handlers,...about: Carlton. 


Needless to say the adoption process took a while,...but Isaac was good as gold!!!!....So proud of his progress,...because there were lots of distractions with all those pets,...but Isaac stayed on the little stool and waited,...like a champ,...although the puzzles and having big brother Teddy there did help a LOT!!!


Of course we adopted that sweet little guy,...eight weeks old,...black and white,...Rat Terrier,...boy puppy, who we have renamed: Oreo,...


It's hard to tell in the pictures but Oreo has lots of black: cookie shaped splotches,...mostly on his little legs, so the name was most apropos!!!


Oreo is a little dog with one BIG heart,...


Calm, cool and collected as an Oreo Blizzard,...and as sweet!!!



So, Oreo is a darling, but he is also is still VERY young,...just eight weeks,...and a little nervous from having been rescued from who-knows-what,...but the puppy is very interest whenever Isaac is about,...watching Isaac's every move and tolerating the loving pats that Isaac has bestowed upon our new family member,...and no disrespect to Little Lady or Buster,...but when Isaac said his prayers last night,...he only mentioned:....dog: Or-e-O,...which is FANTASTIC that Isaac can say: Oreo,...I half-thought the puppy would probably be nicknamed: O,...but Isaac's made a lot of progress,...his vocabulary is increasing and we are working on his expressive - expression: "I want a drink" - not "Dink."

On a side note,...Isaac had the opportunity to learn about civic responsibility this week when he went to our local polling place and helped me vote,...in the sense he sat on my lap and admired the little black circles I made with the pen,...but it was a positive experience and of course, Isaac charmed all the voting officials,...with that sunshine smile of his,...and of course Isaac had FUN!!!!



More fun in store for us this summer as we integrate Oreo into our family routine....for it is progress for us to finally have a puppy!!!

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!