At 42 Degrees

At 42 Degrees

Friday, September 23, 2016

When You Have Great Big Brothers,...

When you have great big brothers,...i.e. brothers who are grown men, find that they can be very busy with 'careers' and outside stuff, getting married. Michael's wedding is rapidly approaching which means Isaac will have a big sister, too, very soon. 

Although Isaac actually got to spend a recent weekend with his big brothers so Mama and Daddy could celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary on a mini-vacation!!! Woohoo, for the vacation, and the fact Isaac was totally fine staying with Teddy and Michael and Kelsey for 24 hours,...'cause it was a mini-vacation. But was a cause to celebrate the 32 years, AND the fact Isaac was able to be without Mama and Daddy for that amount of time. Huge achievement,...thank you guys, and Kelsey,...for cherishing our little guy, and us,...everyone needs a break, especially as Autism/Apraxia is such a 24/7-365 commitment. 

A weekend with big brothers is well and good, but what is a little guy to do when big brothers have to go off to work, or wooing?

How about some Puppy Love? 

Who is more in love? Isaac or Oreo? 
As a therapy pet,...Oreo has been such a tremendous help to our little guy
even in the short time she's been in our home. 

A border-beagle,...Oreo has got the smarts, keep up with I.I.

And for Isaac the benefits in communication have been stunning. 
Guess what Isaac is learning?
A puppy won't listen to you unless you communicate very clearly.
Eye contact. 
Exact commands. 
And lots and lots of patience. 

Happy barking and happy giggles,...every day,...from sunrise to sunset.
And in the evening,
Isaac likes to sit next to Oreo,
and gently stroke her fur. 
"Good puppy." 

A very good decision to add a puppy to our lives,
Big Brothers will always be around,
to hang out as their busy schedules allow,
but Oreo,
doesn't have to go to work,
and is not getting married!
As the Lord wills,
she'll be around for a long time to keep I.I. company,
because when you have great big brothers you need a puppy too. 

Thumbs up,...and Isaac's attempt to wink.

Summer 2016 is done,
but Fall 2016
is looking like it's going to be lots of fun!

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

Friday, September 9, 2016

A Journey Worth Taking

WOW! It is hard to believe it's been four and half years since Isaac was first diagnosed with Apraxia, which is the inability to say what you want to say when you want to say it. The speech disorder involves motor processing not the mechanics of speech. 

This tee-shirt hung to Isaac's knees the year he was diagnosed in 2012!!!!

Isaac was two years old when he was first diagnosed and this journey began. At that time Isaac had only one functional word, "Go!" -- Isaac's signature ISAAC shirts, by the way, are not a fashion-statement, although he does 'rock' them, but a necessity since functional speech is still a major challenge for our little guy,...although he's come a long way in four and half years!!!

Example: Conversation overheard between Isaac and Teddy this week
Isaac: "Good morning Teddy. Say 'Good morning.'"
Teddy: (obediently) "Good morning, Isaac."
Isaac (emphatically) "NO is NOT good morning! It's a GREAT morning!"
Teddy: (stifled laughter) - glances at the clock - it's after six p.m. "Yes, Isaac it is a GREAT MORNING."
Isaac: (very businesslike) - "Yes, it is," - HUGE SMILE to finish.
---- Mama and Teddy exchange a glance ---
Mama: (stunned, amazed, amused) "Did Isaac just say that."
Teddy: (laughing) "Yep,...he did!"

Of course Autism doesn't help with the 'social' appropriateness of communication,...thus Isaac controls the narrative,...even when you think - he's not, he is,...although we are working our way around this challenge. It's kinda like sending telegraph messages to another universe -- the receiving end, may or may not pick up,....and if they do pick up,...their topic of conversation will be VASTLY different from yours,...even when you think it's not, it is,...which sound very confusing, but the symbol of autism is a puzzle piece. But the good news is that Isaac is ALWAYS fascinating, matter what is being discussed. 

Four by three foot bear, anyone? 

Isaac has a way of making new friends wherever he goes!!!

Okay Big Bear is actually a Proprioception Tool for our sensory seeking little guy. Don't you just love these mile-long words that apply to your child? It refers to knowing where your body is at all time in relation to space. What? Yeah, ain't it complicated. Children on the spectrum at times have trouble orientating their limbs within their personal space,...thus sensory seeking children will zoom and bump into objects, self-regulate,...and if you're going to bump into an object, might as well be an uber-cool bear,...not a real,...of course. But Isaac has had a time 'wallowing' no other word applies, upon his new friend. Isaac likes the weight of lifting the bear, tugging it, wrestling (Isaac always wins) and as a substitute for a bounce-house,...Big Bear fills in nicely. 

Our little bear is getting to be a big guy,...
even though still likes Daddy's shoulders when he's tired. 

Another year or two and Daddy will be riding on Isaac's shoulders!!!

Quiet Saturday afternoon,...what to do?

Isaac ALWAYS finds something interesting to do,...

A busy little guy is our Big Little Guy,...

Fall baseball anyone???

Sounds fun,...but we live in the deep south and it is VERY HOT,...even in the evenings.

Isaac does his best to work up some enthusiasm,...

After all there are home-runs to be hit,...

And discussed. 

Mama: "Isaac did you hit the ball?"
Isaac: "Yes." 

A man of few words?
Not exactly, it depends upon who starts the narrative. 
When in negotiation-mode,...Isaac can be VERY verbose.
Still, it is process,...HUGE progress that Isaac can answer a question. 
Give thumbs up.
Negotiate like a pro.
And invite us into his world. 
It is always a journey worth taking. 

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

Friday, September 2, 2016

Just Add A Puppy!!!!

Adopt a puppy?

"Sure," says Isaac,...

Our new puppy is Oreo 2.0, our last dog a black and white rat terrier was named Oreo.
After Mama got sick,...very sick with an allergic reaction to an antibiotic,...
Mr. Oreo moved to the country, boondox country where he is happy living 
with plenty of room to roam and lots of doggie pals,...
and best yet,...we still get to see him, now and then.

But it was time for a new puppy in our lives.
Enter Miss Oreo,...adopted two weeks ago, hence no time for blog posts!!!
The shelter had Miss Oreo categorized as a seven week old Lab-Mix,
but the Vet said, "Eh-eh."
Miss Oreo is more like a Border Collie-Beagle Mix,
but ain't she cute?
Add a very sweet personality, as Oreo is (mostly) very calm and patient with I.I., 
and he is likewise with his new love.

Of course, Isaac still loves Teddy and video games!!!

Woohoo!!! How about a VIDEO=GAME truck at a local event to celebrate a new
Miracle League playground!!!

The video game truck was totally cool,...Isaac didn't even glance at the bounce-house,
and he barely noticed the state-of-the-art playground,
but no doubt he will,
because the game-truck won't be at every baseball game!!!!

Thank you to everyone who contributes time and funds for special needs charities,
We are very grateful. 

History has been made,...Isaac is eating birthday cake WITH ICING!!!
But only at the surprise party for Aunt D,
Daddy's birthday cake was only a photo-op,
but whatever you can't figure this stuff out with autism,
you just roll with whatever comes,
and celebrate because Isaac is soooooo cute saying, "Happa Birfthday"

Busy little guy this past August with school starting
and celebrations to celebrate.

Michael is getting married soon,...something to have thumbs up about.

Even if you have to try on dress-clothes,...oh dear!

Actually Isaac wasn't so sad about the clothes, 
he looks unhappy because he wanted to be playing with his "OREO!"
Oh yes,'s Puppy Love!

This is our backyard every day after school,....

But there is more to celebrate!!!!

First Grade is FANTASTIC!!!!

Lot of good developmental developments took place over the summer.

Isaac LOVES school,...

Isaac's new teacher Mrs. B,...keeps Isaac on track with all the support he needs!!!

Open House at school,...selfie with Teddy,...

Yes,...the water-logged kids,...all three of them are mine.
Mama had to run an errand and left Teddy in charge of the little ones. 
Rainstorm hits while Mama drives home from town,
and when she pulled into the driveway,
with torrential rain,
what does she see?
Isaac and Oreo frolicking in the rain having the time of their lives,
while Teddy is supervising from an overhang,....laughing at the pair. 

Oh dear,...if Isaac wasn't fun enough,...just add a puppy to the mix!!!

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