Random ramblings of a Rose…

Archive for August, 2011

Update on Jose and the ADD/ADHD/Autism Question!!!!!

Well, I just went back and looked at my very first post and I realized that I never ever updated you guys on anything regarding the possibility of Jose having ADD/ADHD or something on the Autism spectrum!!! 😳 So, I thought that while it was on my mind, I’d address that.

To start out with, he has not been officially diagnosed with anything at all, so we haven’t had to get into any type of education plans with his school.  That may change at a later date, but I’ll explain that further in.  So, we had been seeing Dr. Beth Onufrak (excellent licensed child psychologist – I want to get her name out there for people seeking help as she deals SPECIFICALLY with children ages 3-8!) on a fairly regular basis.  Of course, the very first thing we had done was address all of our concerns about Jose with her and she led us through a very detailed inventory/questionnaire that is used to pinpoint specific areas to focus on with a child.

The results made it clear that while he does have control issues and obsessive qualities, he falls outside of the autism spectrum, so that was a relief!  Not that we would have loved him any less or felt as though there was something inherently wrong with him if he had been given an official diagnosis, but that would have been such a huge burden and it made breathing just a little easier knowing we wouldn’t have to bear that cross.  In regards to the question of ADD/ADHD, whether or not he does have one of those disorders, it hasn’t affected him as of yet to the point that it is interfering with his life.  Therefore, we set that concern aside for now, and will return to it in the future (if needed) once we see how he does in the full-time school setting.  If we feel that things are becoming too difficult for him to handle, we will talk to Dr. Beth about revisiting possible treatment/therapy.

So, what did we talk about in our visits?  Well, as I mentioned above, he has issues with control and obsessiveness.  Basically, because he is quite intelligent, he wants to be able to do everything that adults can, and it frustrates the LIFE out of him when he can’t!  He wants to do things his way, and he’s convinced that is way is the ONLY right way; when things don’t turn out how he expects them to, it’s very difficult for him to cope. 😦 Dr. Beth worked with Jose on flexibility and talking about things instead of keeping them bottled up inside.

For example: They would play a game where two of the puppets went to McDonald’s and knew EXACTLY what they wanted to order.  (Jose always wanted to be the server/cashier.)  One of the puppet’s orders would always have something wrong (no ranch dressing, only chicken nuggets when they wanted a cheeseburger, etc.) and that puppet would start to have a huge fit.  The other puppet would talk to the first one about how to be flexible in a situation like that, and Jose would be drawn into the conversation to try and work out the best way for the upset puppet to react and handle the fact that things didn’t go as planned.  <<<<This was an EXCELLENT tool and Jose still employs what he learned. 🙂

Another tool Dr. Beth gave us to use was an un-chart.  As opposed to something like a chore chart where completing specific duties is required, this is way to earn stickers and rewards for exhibiting excellent behavior that we want to see repeated.  Jose chose a picture of Caillou (two actually – one where he’s mad and one where he’s glad) and puts Littlest Pet Shop stickers on it whenever he earns one.  Still not sure what I mean?  Let me explain: Say Jose is met with an upsetting situation, and rather than having a fit about it, he says, “It’s okay, etc…”, he earns a sticker.  Or perhaps he displays wonderful character qualities without being prodded to – he gets a sticker!  I realize this may seem silly and as though we are rewarding behavior that we should EXPECT in the first place; I know I went into it feeling kind of like that.  But let me tell you, it works!  By acknowledging and specifically detailing the type of actions and mannerisms we want to see from Jose on a regular basis, he now better understands and can exhibit those types of behaviors.  The change has been amazing!  Not saying things are perfect – he IS a five-year-old boy after all – but thinking about where we were 6 months ago and where we are now?  Totally worth the time, effort, AND money. 😀

After seeing Dr. Beth on a weekly and then bi-weekly basis through the end of June, Jose improved so drastically that we are only going in on a need-to basis at this point.  If things start getting more out of hand again (ex: fits lasting longer than 5 minutes and/or happening more frequently than 2 times a month) we may begin regularly scheduled visits for a time, but as of now, neither we nor Dr. Beth feel it is necessary.  Do you know what an amazing feeling that is????  We are so proud of Jose and all the progress he’s made.  We see him put into practice what he’s learned on a daily basis – even just tonight, when Squishy broke his mini Etch-a-Sketch.  In the past, this would have put him into an inconsolable rage that lasted quite awhile before he could be calmed down.  Tonight, his face crumpled, and he started crying, but got it under control easily within the 5 minute time-limit.  It helped that we had a movie playing, which distracted him, but in the past, that wouldn’t have made a bit of difference.  WOO HOO!!! :mrgreen:

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Dinner Date w/o Dinner!

Kids say, and do, the darndest things, don’t they?  As we were coming home from working in Daddy’s classroom today, Jose asked us, “Can we have Laurla come over and watch ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ with us?  Oh, and can we ask Eggy and Badi and Pop-pop, too?  But not Uncle Jimmy, because he’s in North Carolina, so he can’t come.”

Laurla was the first to respond, with a text that said, “aww. i think we can arrange that.” And then in response to Jose stating that he wants to sit next to her on the couch, “haha what a cutie. it would make my heart smile to sit next to him.” 🙂

Badi and Pop-pop were next – a telephone call to say that they would love to come over, too, but that we didn’t need to worry about feeding them dinner because they’d just eat before they came over.

Eggy was last to respond; she wasn’t sure at first if she could make it due to early work hours the next day, but when she heard there was the possibility of free food, she was all for it. 😀

So, the little mastermind was very pleased and began planning away immediately.  At first, he was disappointed that ONLY Eggy would be eating.  He said, “But I wanted it to be a dinner date!” (Where he got that phrase from, I have NO idea.) 😀 He shared with us his idea that our house would be a restaurant where we would set up a table in the middle of the room with balloons, and he would take our orders from the menu.  But then he said, “It’s okay.  We can just do that next time everyone comes over, okay?”  What a sweetheart!

Moving on from the dinner-less dinner date idea, he began to focus on the movie-and-popcorn date instead.  Knowing that he wanted to sit next to Laurla on the couch, he began to devise a scheme for how all of us could sit together and be next to the people we love.  Well, at least how 4 of us could do that.  I guess everyone else is supposed to fend for themselves… 😉 At any rate, here’s his master plan:

“Laurla and I will sit next to each other, and you [momma] will sit next to me also.  You will sit on one side and Laurla will sit on the other, and half of me will sit next to each of you.  The girls on the outside and the boys on the inside.  Except then where will daddy sit?  Okay, how about this.  Daddy will sit next to you, momma, since you don’t get to sit next to him in church anymore.  And then I will sit next to daddy so the boys are in the middle, and Laurla will sit next to me.  And I will hold hands with Laurla and daddy, and daddy will hold your hand, momma.  And then the free hands will hold each other and we’ll be stuck together forever like glue.  Except for if you have to go to the bathroom.  Then we’ll pour water to melt the glue so we don’t have to all go to the bathroom together.  That would be EMBARRASSING.” 😆

Yearly Photo Sessions!!!

So, in order to at least have some photographical proof of the boys’ existance (yeah, like we weren’t going to get that any other way?  Lol…) we have been having regular studio portraits done since birth.  Newborn, 2mo, 4mo, 6mo, 9mo, 12mo, 18mo, and then at their birthday every year after that.  Well, obviously, if the boys just each had a birthday, that means they each had some pictures done!  And I thought I’d share them with you. 🙂 Aren’t you lucky???? 😉

Jose, first:

Squishy, second:

Graduation Gifts and Turning 5

Well, here I am again!  Late, as usual, but I wanted to finally sit down and hash out some of the blogs I’d been putting off so I can get that weight off my chest and move forward in blogdom. 😉 This one is short on words but very, very sweet.

First, I just wanted to put up a picture of all the various and sundry things Jose got for graduation.  He’s got cards, books, pictures, a diploma – all kinds of cool stuff!  It’s important to acknowledge these milestones – even as silly as it may seem sometimes. 🙂

Secondly, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate Jose’s life as I did with Squishy!  Jose’s birthday was actually back on June 13th (I know, I know!! :oops:) and he turned the big number 5 this year!  As you could probably tell by the number of pictures I put up for Squishy, I am a shutterbug.  As such, if I went back and posted tons of pictures from the beginning of Jose’s life until now, we’d be here all day long!  So, I’ll just put up a few that I picked out when his teacher was making a slideshow of the students for the end of the year.  I’ve already pared them down 4 pictures, so it won’t be too bad. 😆 I’ll also throw in a couple (okay, a FEW) from his actual birthday, and that will be it, I promise!

And just in case you were wondering, here are his stats, since I posted Squishy’s –
Birth Date: June 13, 2006
Time: 11:31am
Weight: 9lbs, 1.2oz
Length: 20.5″
Head: 14.5″

Okay, here’s a few growing up pictures:

His First 4th of July

Happy One Year Old!!!

Getting a Treat at Applebee’s for His 2nd Birthday

In the Christmas Pageant at 3 1/2

And now for the pictures from his birthday!!!

Got Another Fish – Nemo Tuki

PRESENTS!!!

Birthday Cake Time!!!

Jose With the “Pop-pop” Pig

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