Thursday, May 27, 2010

Birthday Pancakes.... YUMMY

So for Joshua's birthday I made happy colourful birthday pancakes... it is so much fun and really easy to do.

Make you pancake batter as usual, pancake mix works as well

Separate the batter into separate bowls... I used three colours Blue, Yellow and Red because Joshua LOVES Thomas the Tank Engine... but you can use more colours. just remember that you have to act quickly when putting the batter in the pan and if you have a bunch of colours you will end up with a really gross soggy pancake.

After you have separated the batter add a few drops of food colouring to your batter, mix well until the batter is the colour you want. Remember that the use of red food die that isn't tasteless like Wilton's tasteless red food die will leave a bitter taste to your pancakes... so your red will more than likely be more of a dark pink.

Heat the stove top at a medium high (or lower than you would normally cook pancakes) and place a little butter in the pan, add your first colour and use the ladle to flatten it out a bit. Add your next colour and third colour really try to make it thinner so that you don't have a soft spot in your pancakes.

You can make art, letters faces anything you like... serve to your littles on their favorite plate... They will love it!

From Signs of Love to Words.... Our Journey Part 10

WOW this month has been really amazing and as well really packed and full of A LOT of stuff. Joshua turned 4 last week, I became 25 again... as I stopped getting older at that age!

We also had mothers day and I have to tell you that this mothers day present was by far the best one that I have ever received. Joshua and Peyton both made one each for me, and lets just say... I cried. I will fill you in later as to what the present was, and you will understand why I cried.

So lets go back to last year, at about this time... Joshua was in speech therapy and we were working on it daily, at the same time I had put Joshua in signing preschool, or a preschool for the hearing impaired. It was my thinking that if he couldn't talk then he needed to sign. The more he signed and we signed as a family, the easier the days would get. I had not accepted the diagnosis that the Dr. had previously given Joshua which was for us to be prepared for him to never speak, but I wasn't going to let that stop him from becoming anything and everything he wanted to be, even if he didn't speak until 14, 20 or even ever... I was prepared for it but I was also going to give it my all.

Joshua at this point could have full conversations in signing, and it was wonderful, he was able to make friends which he hadn't been able to do before because a lot of kids and parents were almost fearful of what Joshua might have. The looks that he and I received were horrible, and now that he was able to express himself he could tell me what he was feeling... however I always knew that it was painful for him. Now that he knew sign, he would approach kids and sign to them, most not all but most kids really liked this. Some kids parents had taught them sign and they knew some of what Joshua was saying. Those kids attached themselves to Joshua and you could see his true personality coming out.

One thing that I really noticed with Joshua was that he was fearful of anything new, I always joked that he was a 40 year old accountant in a 2 year old body because he wouldn't do anything that appeared dangerous... this included running. I was concerned about it, but I also knew that his personality was one that was quite conservative, and I wanted to respect that.

One night I was giving Joshua and Peyton a bath and I ALWAYS sign to them in the bath, and I had begun the ABC Song and signed along, all of a sudden Joshua out of the blue started making sounds. AH for A, Buh for B, no C, Duh for d and EEEEE for E... he did the whole alphabet and only missed I think 4 letters. It was amazing... this was such a break through because now we could have him piece the sounds together... hopefully.... I thought it would be a lot easier but after another 4 weeks of therapy and doing his ABC still no words.

At least at this point I had some hope!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

From Signs of Love to Words.... Our Journey Part 9

Ahhh... So where did I leave off... Oh that's right Disneyland... Well we came home from Disneyland and for the first two weeks I really couldn't figure out what to do... I felt as though I had a thousand things to do and I had no idea how to do them.

I originally started to take this night course offered by the city which helps parents whose children are on the wait list for speech therapy with simple speech practices. I always stayed after and asked questions because I had been doing all of the exercises and yet Joshua was showing no improvement. This course runs for about 6 weeks so after 6 weeks of discussion with the SLP she had started to understand that this was not just a late talker... something was wrong.

I expressed that he had on more than one occasion been placed in the Autism box and that I have fought that one. I also said that Joshua simply says "ahhahhahha hhahhhaahha" but that he really is, in his mind talking. As well as we filmed him speaking to us and showed the tape to him and he became very upset, almost as though he was surprised that he sounded like that. This SLP, lets call her Lily, after many conversations looked at me and said, " have you looked into Apraxia of Speech?", I replied with a "no, I have never heard of that", she went on to explain that children with Apraxia seem to get labeled with Autism, however they are far from it. Lily asked me to go home and look it up online and see if I felt that it was a possibility. If so I could try and find some SLP's that specialized in helping children with Apraxia and we could get the ball rolling. One very important note about Apraxia is that early intervention is HIGHLY important. So I went home and looked up Apraxia. This is the definition that I found:

Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a communication disorder in which a child can understand language and formulate words to say, but the brain is unable to move or coordinate the muscles of the mouth to speak those words. It is not a problem with the muscles but with the brain's ability to control them. CAS can improve with intensive speech therapy, and children with apraxia also often use sign language or communication devices to help them communicate while they struggle with speech.

Wow, someone actually just wrote out my son and his issues. I called my mom in tears, I was so happy to see it in writing, there is a name for what is happening. I went back to the class and talked to Lily, she said if that is what I thought the issue was I would need to have a SLP do an assessment of him. After the last SLP I wasn't not too happy but I gave it another shot, just this time I was going to interview each and every person.

I went onto the BCSLP website and through that website you can sift through individuals who have experience and knowledge of specific impediments. I found quite a few people and called all for interviews. While I was in the process of finding a SLP for Joshua, one of my friends had a boyfriend whose cousin (follow that one... sorry) was an SLP in a near by city; so this woman came out and did her own assessment, of Joshua. After an hour or so she said that with what she saw he did seem to fall in the guidelines of Apraxia, now this is in no way a diagnosis, but it did give hope and the ability to look more closely at that specific impediment instead of the whole spectrum.

I would be lying if I said that I wasn't happy that we were finally starting to look at a diagnosis. I finally was going to be able to make myself a knowledgeable person and when those busy bodies came near my house with those Autism comments I could correct them and explain why they were wrong and educate them... When it comes to speech issues the variety is as extensive as the variety of gums out there. Not all gum is bubblegum flavor and not all kids that are late talkers are instantly Autistic.

I finally after a month... I DO MEAN A MONTH of interviews found the worlds most wonderful SLP, lets call her Calli, and Joshua immediately loved her. She was on the floor playing with him and using pictures and different objects and games to get sounds out of him. By about the 3 week in he made a sound... "ha"!!!