Good Things-2nd half of December
December raced right by, but there were so many good things, so I thought I’d take a moment to share them.
- We work with a great occupational therapist about once a week. The OT helps us with ideas on how to teach Hannah daily living skills. In a conversation earlier this month, the OT made the comment that Hannah is making great progress, and that she made more progress in some areas in two months than some kids with her diagnosis make in a year of working with her. We feel like we’ve seen an acceleration in her skills lately, and it’s just so wonderful!
- About a week ago, we noticed that Hannah is becoming less rigid in some areas. If you know Hannah well, you know that she insists on wearing dresses, or the occasional skirt. She hasn’t worn a pair of pants or shorts in about a year an a half. For the longest time, the only acceptable dress was the one she was already wearing, which creates a problem when you’re a preschooler and things get dirty- seriously dirty. Oh, the screaming fits! About a week ago, we noticed that the screaming fits about dresses are gone. She’s happy to choose from the clean dresses in her closet, without any complaining. It sounds like a little thing, but this really feels like a big one! Also, for months, Hannah had worn a glittery pink tiara she received for her birthday. (For all her challenges, she’s never lacked personality and her own sense of style!) She wore it all day, most every day, and even slept in it. I insisted that it come off for church, but that was about it. The other day, we realized that she’s stopped insisting on the tiara, too. Ahhhhh, the relief of one less thing to have to keep track off/ battle about on Sunday mornings! She’s also stopped being particular about what order her blankets are layered in on her bed, and which dolls she sleeps with at night. We haven’t targeted improving rigidity during her therapy time. The improvements seem to be a result of her improving overall health an well being.
- For as long as I can remember, Hannah has had a hard time settling down to sleep. Over the past few weeks, that has improved dramatically. She takes a bath, eats a snack, we brush her teeth, then read stories and she mostly settles right down to sleep. It is heavenly!
- Hannah continues to improve in her tolerance of food textures. When we started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet almost 10 months ago, Hannah had become very rigid about the food textures she’d accept- and she especially wouldn’t eat any thing mushy, slimy, or gelatinous. She’ll eat all of those textures now. Over her time on the diet, Hannah’s come to accept pretty much any food she’s offered. I offered homemade pear sauce last week and she ate it! Again, this isn’t something we’ve targeted through therapy, it’s just evolved on it’s own, (likely through feeling better, and through boredom with her limited food choices).
- During this past month, Hannah and her aide tried out a drop-in style preschool program that is one afternoon a week, called Magic Carpet ride (in addition to the three afternoons a week that she’s at preschool). It was a small group- but Hannah went and did fantastically. She sat through circle time, quickly followed directions, participated in all of the songs and activities, made a friend, said goodbye to the teacher without prompting and left happy and relaxed. Many of these skills have been a major focus of Hannah’s therapy time because she’s struggled a lot (with following routines, and controlling her temper ) in her regular preschool class, so it was wonderful to hear that she went in and was instantly successful and engaged with the new people in this program.
- Hannah’s glasses came and she loves them! I was worried that she wouldn’t want to keep them on, but she’s happy to wear them all day. I’m so glad that we got her eyes checked. Sometimes (pre-glasses) she would have us squeeze her head, and I’d really felt like she was having headaches, but couldn’t verbalize it. I’m so happy to be able to remove a layer of discomfort from her life with a relatively simple solution.
- Hannah handled Christmas well. We stayed at home, so it was pretty low-key, but she enjoyed her presents, took turns unwrapping along with Evan and Sarah, and has played really well with Sarah during the break.
What we are doing that is helping bring about all this goodness:
-Gluten-Free, Casein-Free since Sept 2011
-Specific Carbohydrate Diet since April 2012
-Anti Candida Diet and mostly hormone & antiobiotic free meat since Nov 2012
-Herbal anti-yeast and parasitic- early December
-Multivitamin, Acidophilus, Fermented Cod Liver Oil, Magnesium Glycinate, Zinc Chelate, Pyridoxyl-5-Phosphate
-23ish hours per week of play based therapy (OT, speech, behavioral)