Saturday, December 6, 2008

VIDEO: Almost 6 years old- Playdate

I am so thankful that each week Lizzie does a play date with two friends from school. This week it was Natalie and Olivia. The girls do some structured activities like one shown in the video with Cristina and some unstructured play as well. Lizzie loves for her friends to come over. She gets very, very excited and always greets them with a big hug. Once they are here though, she isn't quite sure what to do with them. This is why we have a therapist help with the play date. Each time Lizzie is talking and playing more and more with her friends. Our hope is that someday, she will be able to do this without support.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Video: Almost 6 years old - More Obnoxious Play

Of course I missed the best part of their play. Before I got the camera, they had actually opened the window and started taking turns throwing things to each other out the window. I love that they came up with this together and that they were discussing what they were throwing out the window the whole time.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Video: Almost 6 Years Old - Obnoxious Play

I kept missing opportunity after opportunity to video Lizzie playing with her brothers. They play all the time. She genuinely loves them and will stay and play with them as long as they are doing something that is fun for her. Most of the time this involves what I call "obnoxious play". They are all running around screaming and getting into trouble together. They somehow know that they shouldn't be able to do these things in a normal house and that makes it even more fun. Since they have a mother that is more worried about her daughter forming relationships, they get away with pretty much anything as long as they are all engaged.  I love that Lizzie has become such a tattle tale. She LOVES it when her brothers get in trouble and is quick to point out anything that they shouldn't be doing.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Video: Almost 6 years old - "Sit down!" Game

I shared about this in an earlier post, but let me share again because we got it on video! Yeah! I think this is maybe the fourth or fifth time we played this that day.

On Thanksgiving day, we had reached the part of the evening when everyone was just sitting around on the couch, chatting and watching the Cowboys game. Lizzie had kinda been wandering in and out of the room same as the other kids. I guess she was tired of all the sitting around because she stood in front of the couch and said, "I have an idea!" We all looked at her like, "okay"?!!! "Everyone stand up!" she says. We all stood up like obedient little school kids. She then goes on to explain that she was thinking of a number. "I choose number 5!" she exclaims. She then starts to count off, and each times someone is number 5, she tells them to "sit down!" The last person still up is the winner. It was so cool because she came up with the idea (not sure what class at school she learned it in), saw an opportunity, and then clearly and pleasantly instructed the group on what to do. It was really amazing. So amazing that we played it like 10 times throughout the night! I was so thankful that everyone was willing to follow her lead and they could see how far Lizzie has come!

Thanksgiving Video

Lizzie was featured in the Thanks-giving video for the Autism Spot. Check it out!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Miss February

I am so excited that this picture of Lizzie taken by Jill Hornok made the 2009 National Autism Association Calendar.

This picture was taken when Lizzie was 4 years old. I love the colors and the depth of what this picture represents.
The link for the calendar is

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You know you have a child with autism when.............

I was driving home from Bible study last night when I opened my phone to call a friend. Her number wasn't in my phone, but all of Lizzie's therapists were! I couldn't stop laughing and that got me thinking. Here are some things that ring true in our family, and I am sure many others too.

You know you have a child with autism when…. open your phone book on your cell and see more therapists than friends.
....your child digests more calories from your medicine cabinet than she does from your pantry. spend the time to tuck in 10 stuffed animals exactly right in their beds, so your child will actually consider getting in their own bed.
....your favorite actor is Jim Carrey and it is not because of his acting. find yourself doing barrel rolls in public just to relate to your child. apologize to a stranger at the pool for the first time for your child chucking all their belongings in the pool. have to take over 100 pictures just to get 1 of your child actually looking at the camera. put your child's favorite toy on top of their birthday cake to get them to sit at the table long enough for the guests to sing.
....when you carry around spoons and toy trees in your purse because you know they will occupy your child's time for hours if needed. never, never consider getting the letters or puzzles out to play with without making sure to double and triple check that one of the pieces is not missing. apologize to a stranger at the pool for the twentieth time for your child chucking all their belongings in the pool only know your friends by their e-mail address. are excited to spend your "play money" on thera-puddy and pencil grips. allow your child to go to school in long pants and long sleeves in the summer and shorts and a tank top in the winter.
....your kids' bedtimes are determined by how much they are interacting.
....a chew toy becomes a fashionable accessory. live your life in 2 hour increments. are encouraging your husband to look up Jenny McCarthy online. would donate a kidney to hear an unprompted "I love you". don't have the brain power to make a grocery list. know that one accidental lick of a lollipop means the whole family will be up all night. exceeded your login time and have to re-login from spending too much time doing online research. loose your faith in doctors, law-makers and the "system" in a matter of months. introduce your child to someone knowing they could really care less. apologize to a stranger at the pool for the fortieth time for your child chucking all their belongings in the pool want to hurry up and go to Disney World before your child appears too “normal” to take advantage of the disability pass and not wait in any lines.
....your monthly therapy bill is four times as big as your mortgage. wonder why your child will lick a metal pole covered in dirt, but can't tolerate a grape on her plate at dinner.
....gluten and casein are the devil. wish your husband would leave the flowers at the florist and show his love by researching a new treatment. find that there is a warrior inside yourself after all. can't leave the play area at the mall until you have screened each of the kids for red flags.
….you leave the pool because you are tired of apologizing. just know everything will be better in two years.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lizzie's First Day of Kindergarten

I got great reports all around for Lizzie today. After not wanting to get dressed, she turned her day around and got really excited! She kept yelling, "Hi Crossing Guard!" at the crossing guard and was thrilled to see that all her "friends" decided to come to school with her today. Cristina, Lizzie's home consultant, went in for an hour and couldn't believe how great Lizzie was doing. It really helped that her teacher was the same as last year. Lizzie followed directions well and transitioned well. Your prayers were definitely felt today! It seems that a little girl in her class has taken to her and called her "the pretty girl". I knew there was a reason I dressed her so cute! Whatever it takes, right? I think they had a few little issues, but for the most part, she did way better than expected.

Lizzie was upset when she saw me when I picked her up and cried in her bed for about 15 minutes when she got home. After she got it out of her system, she set up all her dollhouses and played kindergarten. She even had the mommy dog say goodbye to the little dog and then at school sang the calendar song (although somehow Saturday comes after Tuesday in this song....hmmm) and went to gym. I was so excited when I asked her if she went to the library, and she said, "No. I went to gym!" We have been working on recalling past events for so long without tons of success. I usually have to pry info out of her and give her two options to choose from. I couldn't believe that she answered so readily and with accurate info too! She had so much energy that she wanted to go swimming, so we packed up and headed to the pool. Tonight she had trouble going to sleep because she was so excited to go back to kindergarten. I am thrilled that all went well. I know we have a long road until she really does good in kindergarten, but this is the greatest start!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lizzie Update

Okay, I just had to brag a little more about how great Lizzie is doing since today is the end of a huge chapter in our lives. Lizzie's early intervention is over, and tomorrow she starts kindergarten. Although I am fighting back the tears for so many reasons, I know that she is as ready as she could possibly be. There are so many great things she has done even just this weekend that I don't even know where to begin!

We have learned that Lizzie is a seasonal kid. She seems to go into a funk in the winter and spring and thrives in the summer and fall with smaller fluctuations all year long. Right now she is more aware of the world around her than ever, and even more important than that, she is excited to be a part of it! I have loved these last few weeks of watching her play with her brothers and initiate interaction with all of us. Even Grandma and Grandpa are getting big hugs these days. I don't ever want it to end!

We have been working on writing this summer and yesterday out of the blue, she came to me and handed me a paper with the words "Joe" written on it in beautiful handwriting! I knew where this came from since she had just watched Blues Clues, and I figured that they must have spelled it on the show. Then, one after the other she started writing words and bringing them to me. I could hear her in the other room sounding them out, and I was so proud of her! The list included cat, stop, tom and sory (jerry), Noah, Joe (again!), Lizzie, jump, jet, sun, pig, big, joe (again!), stop (again!), Dad, and Mom. I could hardly believe it!

We also went to cousin Sam's b-day party at Pump-It-Up yesterday. I usually get there late because she throws a fit that she can't run right in and play. But, we got there and they were STILL watching the instructional video (seriously, do they think anyone is really listening to it?!!!). Instead of throwing her normal fit, she walks right over and sits down with the kids and watches the video. Then she lines up with the kids, gets her stamp with the kids and waits patiently (but not without complaining) to go in. Once in, she did great. She asked me to slide with her, tried new things, and even asked permission to get a drink from the water fountain instead of doing without telling me. Next they had a structured game. Usually a disaster, but this time she recognized (without prompting!) that they are putting something together, goes over to the group, walks to the front to get her number as they are numbering off and has total desire to participate! With a little help, she did play the game and actually seemed to enjoy it.

After a very rough start to the summer, Lizzie is now doing the best she has ever done. I am so proud of how hard she works each day. I am beyond grateful for each person that has invested in her life and the lives of our family. Please pray that Lizzie will be able to handle the new environment, many transitions, and long day tomorrow. Our ultimate goal is for her to have the ability to have meaningful relationships and be successful in a typical school environment. I will post another update on how things go later this week.

I hope you enjoy the pic of Lizzie in my wedding dress. This was the only princess dress that would fit mommy when we were playing princesses! :) She was so excited to see me in it and said, "Mommy! You get married!" Of course, I had to take her in the other room and show her Prince Greg. I am thankful that Lizzie's future is looking more and more like "happily ever after".

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Horses Horses Horses!

We have been so thankful that Lizzie gets to participate in a program called Horses 4 Hope. She absolutely loves getting to ride horses (while working on her sensory needs) once a week!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Our Little Gymnast

We decided to try gymnastics, and Lizzie LOVES it. The first time was a bit of a disaster. I made her a social story for her second time and what a difference! Not only was she excited to go, but she stayed with her class and participated the whole time!