IAHP Visit – Traveling Day – Friday


IAHP Visit - Traveling Day - Friday

IAHP Visit – Traveling Day – Friday

Friday, August 4th, 2017… The day we had been waiting for. We were heading to the airport to start our journey to bring Little Z man to The Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential. Today is what I have dubbed our Traveling Day.

11 months after my first journey to Philadelphia. It was almost like a dream. Never in a million years did I think we could pull this off.

But thanks to the help from a wonderful organization, The Elks of Canada, we were there at the airport. Starting our journey to the IAHP in Philadelphia.

I had to say I was completely nervous to be traveling by air with Zakari. He’s not one for crowds and we had a layover in Chicago.

Waiting to check our bag.

We arrived at the airport 2 hours early like they recommended. Then we saw the line to check in. We had tried to check in the night before online, but it said we had to check in when we arrived. So we got in line and waited our turn.

We started getting nervous when the line wasn’t really moving. Were they canceling flights. We had taken a chance and flown United Airlines. yes they had bad publicity lately, but we figured they would now be on their best behaviour since the world was watching.

We finally reach the check in desk and everything was fine. They let us check our bag and off to security we went. Thankfully we were the only people going through security at the time.

The people who were running security were amazing. I quickly explained to them that Z has autism and that I could not let go of his hand. They were very compassionate and kind. They had us remove our shoes. We were told that Z could keep his on, but then they noticed they were light up shoes, so they said he had to remove them. Well Mr. Z was more than willing to comply.

From that point on he was convinced you’re not suppose to wear shoes in the airport.

They let me carry Z through the metal detector. We quickly gathered our belongings and made our way to customs. We had 2 back packs, Z’s car seat and 1 carry on because Hubby thought that it would be worth the money to check a bag. Boy was he right! I could not image trying to juggle an extra bag. While the carseat was a pain to drag around, it was a blessing to use on the plan.

We found a little alcove in the waiting area and Z climbed on the couches and got all his wiggles out. They kept changing gates, so we just stayed there till we heard they were boarding our flight. The Winnipeg Airport is very small so its easy to just stay put and move to where you need to be when its time.

We got in line and when we made it to the front the flight attendant said she had called us to board first. We must have missed her call. She said because I had called ahead to let them know about Z’s special needs they wanted to make sure he was taken care of.

Mr Z’s first time on an airplane.

  When we got on board, Hubby helped me install Z’s car seat. I have to say, if you have a busy child, make sure to bring your child’s car seat on the plane. Z knows when he’s in a car in his carseat, that’s where he is expected to be.

Take off went well. I was worried he might freak out about his ears popping, but he just plugged them. I had brought ear defenders, but he was not interested in using them.

When they came around with snacks and drinks, they brought him one of those squeezy apple sauces, which he enjoyed. But of course in total Z style, he managed to dump my glass of coke on my lap. Thankfully I had already drank half of it, so I was only a little wet.

The biggest challenge for me was preventing him from kicking the chair ahead of us. He is use to traveling in a van where he has lots of legroom.

Luckily the person in front of him had no one sitting beside him, he was able to move over. That being said I made my best effort to stop him from kicking the back of the chair.

About 30 mins into the flight Z decided that he wanted to go play outside. Try as I might to explain to him that we are thousands of feet in the air, he still wanted to go play outside. This was one of the many times this trip this poor guy’s mom rained on his parade.

After our 2+ hour flight we landed in Chicago. We waited for the plane to empty out and then we uninstalled his car seat and made our way off.

There waiting for us was a United Airlines employee with a wheelchair. Z needed the opportunity to stretch his legs. But the employee invited us to put his car seat and bags on the wheelchair, and escorted us through the airport to our next terminal gate.

I was so grateful he did! Boy oh boy is the Chicago airport huge! Because he escorted us, we were able to have time for a bathroom break as well as get Z some popcorn to snack on on the next flight.

Because we were right by the gate, we were able to board first. United was able to upgrade our seats so Z had more leg room. Z snacked on popcorn and watched a few episodes of his show I had downloaded from Netflix to his tablet. He started to doze off to sleep just before we landed.

We are in Philadelphia! Posing for a silly picture while Daddy gets our bag.

Once again we let the plane empty out before we gathered our belongings and got off. There waiting for us was another United employee with a wheelchair. We thanked him very much, but told him we knew where to go as I’ve been to the Philadelphia airport before and Z needed to stretch again.

We made our way to the baggage claim. Grabbed our bag and made our way to catch the shuttle to the Alamo, the car rental company.

By now it is Saturday. Z is tired, and a giggling mess. As I waited for Hubby to finalize our car rental, Z is jumping from couch to couch in the empty waiting area.

A few people in line were staring, but frankly I didn’t care. He was not disturbing anyone. It’s after 1am and my kid is right on the edge of having a party or having a meltdown. I’m wanting to mark this up as a good traveling day, so I’m voting for the party option. I could handle the dirty looks, those would disappear as soon as we got into our rental car. The meltdown however would follow us to the hotel.

A few minutes later we were away from the dirty looks and cruising to our hotel to check in.

35 mins later we arrived. I had made arrangements with Expedia to be able to check in at 2am. But when I went in, the front desk needed 45 minutes to reboot the system so that the sign in would count as a Saturday check in. So back to the car I went, and off we went to look for food.

A quick trip through a drive through, we still had a bit of time to kill. So Hubby ran into a 24 hour Walmart and picked up some supplies we were going to need in the morning. I waiting in the car while Little Z slept. Of course just before Hubby was about to come out of the store there was a torrential downfall. By the time he got to the car with the bag they were both soaked.

Now I made a huge mistake, while waiting for Hubby. I went and rechecked the hotel we were staying at’s reviews. When I had booked this hotel, the reviews were ok. Now since I last check there was a terrible review. I went into panic mode. Do I call Expedia and try to get into a different hotel? I’m tired and sleep deprived at this point and a bit irrational.

We head back to the hotel and when we arrive there is a sign, “Back in 15 mins.” Are you kidding me? I’m tired and it’s now almost 3 am. I start praying, is this a sign we should find another hotel? I get on the phone with Expedia and am put on hold. As I wait the woman come back to the desk and removes the sign. I hang up the phone, I guess this is where we are suppose to be.

A few minutes later we are parked near our hotel entrance. I’m panicking. Maybe we should check it out first before we bring in the bags and Z? Nope, Hubby wants to bring everything in in one trip. I put the card in the door and slowly open it…

Much to my relief, it looks nice and clean. A quick examination and I’m feeling a bit better. Z immediately makes himself comfortable and takes up a whole bed.

Here we are, we’ve made it. Finally able to kick off our shoes and get cleaned up from our first Traveling Day.

Our Adventures have just begun after our first Traveling Day.

 

Bed! After a long day traveling.

LeapFrog Letter Factory Leaping Letters Review

LeapFrog Letter Factory Leaping Letters ReviewLeapfrog leaping letters review

LeapFrog Letter Factory Leaping Letters Review

Little Z is not an easy child to shop for at Christmas time. Before the holidays, my mom had me on the search for some gift ideas. While we were shopping we landed up in the LeapFrog section of the toy store. Little Z had really wanted the My Pal Violet plushie toy to match his My Pal Scout. When were there we noticed this game, LeapFrog Letter Factory Leaping Letters.

Basically this game is like the game Perfection. Except instead of an assortment of shapes, this game requires the player to put the alphabet in order. There is also a second part to the game, level 2 I guess. You instead a card in the indent of the board and start trying to build as many 3 letter words.

I love that the timer is quite long. I mean the game is designed for 3-6 year olds, so I appreciate that they actually have a chance to complete the task. How frustrating would it be for Little Z to never be able to complete the game. However I do love that as they get older you can give them less and less time to complete the game.

playing LeapFrog Letter Factory Leaping Letters

I do have to say, keep your receipt when you purchase LeapFrog Letter Factory Leaping Letters. The first one we got was a dud. We sat down to play it with Z and the board would not click down. We landed up having to take it back to the store to exchange. The second one works great, and we have had no issues. However I wanted to be fully transparent as I would hate to mislead my readers.

I originally thought it was just a great game for fine motor skills and focus. Z already knows his alphabet and his letter sounds. However, this week I realized this game will be a perfect addition to the All About Spelling curriculum I plan to use with Z in the future. One activity that is required is learning how to put the alphabet in order. I think this game is a great start. Parents can talk to their child when they are looking to put the letter in its correct spot, “What comes before Q?” or “What letter comes after V”. It is a great tool to facilitate these types of conversations with with child, without them feeling like they are being tested.

Check out my Youtube video review:

What are your thoughts on the LeapFrog Letter Factory Leaping Letters?

Disclaimer: My son received this game as a gift from my mom. We were not paid or compensated in any way by this company to share our opinion. I just thought what an awesome addition to our homeschooling curriculum and wanted to share it with my readers.

My Top Favorite 6 Early Education Blogs (Post #2- 2016)

blogI love reading blogs! Back when I was a teenager I joined a website called teenopendiary.com. I really didn’t write all that often. But what I did do was save my list of favorites and go check on them everyday to see what was going on in their lives.

Then I got busy with college and work, and well teenopendiary.com just didn’t seem like a place for an 18 year old college student.

Then I got pregnant with Wes. I was 19 years old and while I had a good job and knew I could support us, my friends were all in a different place in life. I felt alone.

That is when I started writing on OpenDiary.com, the parent site of TeenOpenDiary.com. There I was able to meet people who were the same age or close to that were going through the same thing as I was. It was a real community. To this day, even though OpenDiary.com is no more, I am still close friends with many of the women I meet on this site. We become mothers together, we were there for eachother during pregnancy losses, divorces, marriages, custody battles, and the joys and trials of raising our children.

This was my early introduction to blogging.

A few years after Wes was born I started reading some stand alone blogs. And in 2010 I decided I wanted to start my own stand alone blog and share what I had learned over the years. I started my blog Doman, ABA, Homeschooling Momma.

In late October 2014, I decided to purchase my own domain and webhosting services. But I realized that Doman, ABA, and Afterschooling Momma(switched to Afterschooling in 2012) just didn’t roll off the tongue, and there were too many spelling variations for Momma. So that’s when EarlyLearningMom.com was born.

Even though I’ve been blogging for over 5 years now about parenting, autism, homeschooling, and afterschooling, I am NO MEANS an expert. There are regular blogs I read for ideas, and all sorts of information on how to raise my boys.

Here are my TOP 6 Educational Blogs I Follow:

planetsmarty

Planet Smart Pants

Planet Smarty Pants– Natalie from Planet Smarty Pants blogs about her adventures raising her only child. Her daughter is only one year younger than Wes, so while I was a working mom I read her blog quite closely, picking up tips on how to afterschool my child while keeping up the demands of being a mom who works out of the home.

Natalie also host link ups for other blogs to share what they have been doing to afterschool their children.

1+1+1=1

1+1+1=1

1+1+1=1 – If you’re looking for ways to teach your toddler, preschooler,or kindergartener this is the site to visit. There are so many resources that Carisa as created for her own children available for free right at your fingertips. She also has an online store where she has a membership only powerpoints, and several bundles of more educational materials. The prices are very affordable.

I have printed out plenty of her printouts when Wes was younger and in more recent years have started using some of her ideas with Little Z.

domanmom

Doman Mom

DomanMom : Liz from DomanMom is someone I have looked up to in the early learning movement since I embarked on my journey. Her two boys are just a bit older than my two boys. So I’ve been watching her blog very carefully over the years. Be sure to also check out her YouTube Channel, which is filled with awesome educational videos for your little ones.

 

 

marta

Early Learning with Marta, Eaton and Nathaniel

Early Learning with Marta, Eaton and Nathaniel: I love Marta’s blog, I can’t say that enough!! Her youngest is just a bit older then my Little Z, so I’m often snooping around her blog looking for ideas. The stuff her boys are able to do at such a young age blows my mind.

If I had to describe her style of teaching her boys, I would describe it as very montessori.

 

 

larrysanger

Larry Sanger

larrysanger.org: Larry’s blog is not strictly a early learning parenting blog. However he written a 140 page Essay on how he taught his young son to read at a young age. Trust me, the 140 page essay is worth your time to read. We are lucky he has decided to share it for free instead of turning it into a book for purchase.  He is also the creator of the FREE online reading program Reading Bear.

 

 

figur8

Figur8

Figur8: If you are looking for early learning information this is the blog to go to. I have been reading it for years and I keep finding new info I missed. Whether you are looking for brain training, child development, early learning ideas, etc. You will find it here.

 

 

 

Who do you regularly follow? I’m always looking for new learning blogs to check out.

 

 

 

ABA Therapy and Herbal Remedies

 
Little Z loves his tutors and they are just so kind to him. I’m so happy with our awesome team. Everyone has come into our home with their A game on.

Yesterday one of the tutors knocked on my bedroom door. (I always hide in my room during the afternoon, daycare kids are napping downstairs and Z and his tutors have the run of the upper floor.) Little Z had taken one of each of their boots and was walking around with them. They thought it was so cute they had to share with me. I’m so happy he’s allowed to learn and just be a kid and have find at the same time. 

He’s mastered a few programs and now he has a maintenance program. Basically what this is is the tutor occasionally asks Z to do a program he’s already master periodically to insurance he maintained that skill. It’s awesome we are only 6 weeks in and he’s already running maintenance.

  This weekend our herbalist and I tweaked his herbal program. I found that his sleep cycles were all wonky, and his bowel movements were too frequent. So we cut his catnip fennel from 4mls a day to 2mls, and his turmeric from 4 capsules a day to 1. We kept his black walnut at 1 capsule a day.

Our herbalist Carrie also mentioned this Nature’s Sunshine blend/formula she brought in and was having success with 2 other children like Little Z. So we decided what the heck, let’s give it a go. I scraped up $45 and went and picked it up.

Well I’m glad I did! He’s so calm. Well I mean if you didn’t know him, you might think he was still hyper. But if you know where we are coming from then you would see a HUGE improvement.

I am so happy and grateful we are able to combine these two amazing therapies and create such earth shattering results. For the last year and a half I have been a basket case, having to be on my toes every waking minute. Now yes I’m still on my toes, but not much more than any mother of a rambunctious 3 year old. 

This morning I was able to hot iron my hair while he played with his bin of bath toys in the floor of the bathroom or sat in the stool chatting to me. I’m so happy and feel so relaxed now. To an parent to a easy going typical child, you might not understand. But if you saw me a few months ago and saw me now you would see a difference. I feel like I’m living again, not just surviving. 

Disclaimer: This is not a cookie cutter herbal plan. I am just blogging what we are using here for my records. I would strongly suggest before using a herbal plan with your child you speak with an herbalist. I’m not an herbalist and I am not in a position to offer any advice other then see an herbalist. If you do try what I’m doing with Little Z regarding herbs I am not responsible for any outcomes.

Little Z Update. Nov 2015

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the year. Little Z is officially 3 and a half years old. So much has been going on his life.

Little Z started ABA therapy at the beginning of September. It’s been a slow start getting staffing in place, but we are almost running at full capacity now.

  Z has really started building a relationship with his morning tutor, and looks forward to her coming every morning. His senior tutor is awesome too, she has even more energy than Z has. I’ve only met our afternoon tutor twice, but I think she is going to make a great addition to our team.

Right now we have a few program going to build compliance, a matching program and a waiting program. But mostly we are just trying to make our tutors reinforcing and fun for Z.

Little Z had a visit last week from our Occupational Therapist. She recommended we try having Z wear a Bear Hug periodically to help him calm down and regulate. She said that deep tissue pressure might do him some good.

He originally freaked out there first time we put it on him, but he settled and seem to be calmed by it. But the next time I put it on him, he did not resist at all. He is able to sit down and do activities more with me now when he wears it.

This is the one we are currently borrowing from our OT. You will notice that it comes with straps. Z didn’t seem to like the straps at all. But the good thing is the straps are removeable. We are going to see what we notice in the next month, and then decided if we should order one. But so far I’m leaning towards yes.

 We have been also implementing a homeschool/Glenn Doman style learning program.

Usually before ABA arrives, lunch time, sometimes in the evening and then before bed, we work through his learning binders and homemade books.

Little Z has also been playing with his own little Mortensen Block sets. Hopefully with time we will be able to transition to a full math program using this blocks.

Skip counting seems to be Zs favorite thing to practice. We have one skip counting chart per learning binder. However in the picture above my son got ahold of one of the binders full of stuff I have ready to put in the binder when he retires the material that is currently there. I guess he wanted to work on counting by 14s and 15s.

If you want to use these charts with your child, check out Homeschool Creations. Jolanthe has charts from 2-15 posted on her blog.

Before bed every night I’ve been trying to read him one story from this amazing book I found at a local church book sale. So far we have read classics like:

– Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

– Jack and the Beanstalk

– Goldilocks and the Three Bears

To name a few…

We are still logging books in our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten log, but seeing as he’s only 3 and already 25% done, I figured we can slow down a bit and work through some classical literature to work on enhancing his vocabulary.

So all and all, I feel like we are on the right path. ABA is hitting on the compliance and left brain skills. At home we are working on the right brain side of things.

What are you doing with your child? I’m always curious to hear, might be something we can incorporate into our day.

Raising An Avid Reader… Failure?

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Reading some National Geographic fact books we found at the thrift store.

So I love to read. I don’t read as much fiction as I did before I had Z, but I still make time to read non-fiction. I especially love reading to my kids. Its an excuse to read more of the old classic series I use to read as a child. I feel being a parent is the perfect excuse to keep reading all the awesome series designed for children, without anyone batting an eyelash. I’m also the person who left the movie theater in an uproar after each Harry Potter movie.

My 10 year old on the other hand, he’s not an avid reader. He would much rather watch the movie and skip the book. This drives me BONKERS! I just can’t wrap my mind around this one. I refuse to watch the movie, “The Time Traveler’s Wife” because I know it will ruin the warm fuzzy feelings I have about the book. That is what happened when I watch the movie “Where the Heart Is”. How can he not like cuddling up with a book and getting lost in another world.

Where did I go wrong? When I was a kid my personal library was on the thin side. I mean I know that in retrospect, it wasn’t thin in the eyes of a lot of people. But for a little book worm, it was not enough to feed my hunger. We were living on a single income and my mom did buy me the books that were on sale in the scholastic flyers, but a lot of the time they were not to my taste.  I did what I could to get my hands on books, I reread books, saved allowance money, borrowed from friends and the library. Now the problem came when summer came around. We lived in a small town, and the only libraries I had access to were in the schools. That meant they were shut down during summer. I’m embarrassed to admit, I even went as far to steal books during the year from the library to have things to read. Sometimes I returned them… sometimes I didn’t *blush*. (Note to self, make a donation to my old high school library.) I later discovered that I could order books from a mail service library. I’m telling you, back then this BLEW MY MIND. The first thing I did when I moved to the city was get a library card.

So as a mother, who when as far as stealing books to read, how come my child, who has a library I would have KILLED for couldn’t care less to pick up a book.

Well that was until I realized I hadn’t found the right materials yet to bait him. Also his reading comprehension issues affected things too.

Looking back there are a few mistakes I made with Wes which I think may have stunted his love for reading. I’m trying my best to not make the same mistakes with Little Z. (… anyone else feel bad for their first child. I often feel like he was my practice child. I made my mistakes with him and try to avoid them with Z. Especially when my boys are almost 7 years apart. *sigh*)

2014-10-17 11.39.35 reading20150802_195521185_iOS

 

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I put some books that I needed to sort through in a playpen to keep them away from my daycare babies. Little Z climbed into it to check them out.

 

I didn’t start reading to him soon enough. I mean I read to him, but I would get discouraged when I didn’t think he was into the books, or really listening. I should have keep on reading. With Z I have made storytime part of our routine, just like brushing our teeth.

I focused on LEARNING to read, instead of learning to LOVE to read with Wes. Now with Z, I’m teaching him how to read, but also constantly reading to him without expecting him to read anything.

So is Wes a lost cause?

I’m happy to say he’s not! Last week Wes and I went to run some errands, on our way to pick up Z from a friends, Wes was in the back reading an Archie comic. I had bought it at a thrift store months before, and it was sitting in the back of the van all this time. When we pulled up infront of my friend’s house, I asked him, “Would you like to come in or keep reading your book?” I assumed I knew the answer, but he shocked me when he replied without lifting his nose out of the book, “I’ll wait here and keep reading.” It’s worth noting he LOVES my friend, and she also has a son his age that he loves too.

When I got back in the car I asked him if he really liked these comics. He told me he did. So I suggested he call Papa(my dad) and ask him if he could borrow some Archie comics from him. I told him I think he has a collection. I knew darn well my whole Archie collection was collecting dust in their basement. He called and Papa said he had “a few” he could have.

Back when I was a little girl, my Memere (French for Grandma) had this sweet old lady named Irene as a neighbour. They lived in the foyer in our home town. One day she stopped in when my brother and I were visiting. She was shocked to see us nicely putting away our colouring books and crayons where they belonged, and the toys my Memere had for us to play with were all in working order. She told my Memere that her grandchildren were awful with toys. She would buy them a doll and the next time she went over, it would be naked and missing limbs on the floor. From then on, whenever she when on vacation, instead of bringing back her grandchildren souvenirs she would drop stuff off at our home for my brother and I. One day she called my mom and asked her if we would like to have her Archie comic collection. My mom knew I would be over the moon. Little did we know her collection consisted of HUNDREDS of comics. The nerd in me was in my glory. I sorted them by series and issue numbers and read them all.

Sadly when I was 10 Irene passed away. Since this post seems to be getting personal, I may as well share. I remember the morning she passed, I woke up and all I could smell was cigarette smoke. No one in my home smoked and my window was closed. As I got out of bed, our home phone rang. It was my Memere, Irene had passed away. Irene was a heavy smoker. In my heart, I feel like she was coming to say good-bye. I still tear up thinking about that day.

But 20 years later she lives on in my heart, and her generous gift is blessing my now 10 year old son.

At the beginning of the year, I made a bucket list. I have to go back and check, but I do know that one of the items was for Wes and I to read 12 chapter books. We kind of snuffed off on that, we are sitting at 6 I believe, might be 7 as I think I forgot to write down a Geronimo Stilton book we read. We have still been reading, but just not chapter books.

But it’s not too late! I think we can make our goal in the next 6-7 weeks. We just finished “My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish” this week. I suggested to him we start “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl, because my 9 year old step daughter is reading it for fun. She is an avid reader, with reading skills I would have killed for at her age. I thought maybe they might land up chatting about it. But he wanted to read “George’s Marvellous Medicine” by the same author. “Then we can read “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mom.” he said. His old teacher read it to the class, and he wanted to read it with me. I haven’t read this Roald Dahl book before so I agreed.

So do I think he will become this avid reader who can’t get enough books to read? Honestly, no. But I think he likes the time we read together, and will remember that when he’s older. I also think he will be a good reader, just not someone who will always have a book with them. And that is ok. I could have done everything right with him in regards to reading and he might still not be an avid reader. But he is an amazing mathematician and builder. These are his strengths and I’m proud of him.

Happy 10th Birthday Wes!

20150609_141946000_iOS I can’t believe I’m writing this entry already. My son turned 10 years old today. When I first started this blog, he was 5 years old.

Over the years we have been through so much with him. But he has grown into the most amazing little man. He is just so sweet and kind. Today I felt really guilty. My allergies have gone haywire because of the smoke from the forest fires in Saskatchewan blowing into Manitoba. I wanted to make his an awesome cake, but I just couldn’t muster the energy. Honestly, he almost got a store bought cake. So when he came home from school today, there was a slab cake waiting with just plain chocolate icing. Pretty boring if you ask me.

Me: I’m sorry I wasn’t able to make you a pretty cake like I wanted to Wes.

Wes: Thats ok Mom, this cake is pretty too.

Heart melts. Honestly this cake was far from pretty, but to him, he didn’t care. He just knew I made it with love.

20150609_222006580_iOSWe had my parents and brother over for dinner today, open presents and ate cake.20150609_223045711_iOS He got a scooter,  full size skateboard and a mini skateboard. He spent a good chunk of time outside messing around on them. I wish I could have gone out and played with him, but the smoke still bothers me. Luckily he had the company of my dad and brother.

On top of the Lego sets he got(which will come in handy this summer when he’s not in camp and looking for something to do.) He also got some Jet items. This year he has become a huge Winnipeg Jets fan. I wish tickets were not so expensive. I’d love to take him to a game one time.

Happy Birthday Little Man! I can’t believe we have some so far in our journey together.


This evening I heard some pretty sad news. A woman that makes my boys birthday t shirts 3 month old was diagnosed with cancer. It is so heartbreaking. There is something very terribly wrong with this world when little babies are getting cancer. What are we doing to ourselves and our children?? Cancer, autism, autoimmune diseases.

I sent the boys to bed tonight, and I sat down in my room with my diffuser blowing. Then something said I should go read with Wes. I mean yes its past bedtime, but I should go read with him anyhow. All this cancer talk has made we realize I should hug my kids a little bit tighter. So I went in and he wasn’t sleeping yet. So we read a chapter of Zombie Goldfish.

Savouring moments that are usually taken for granted.

What Is Early Learning To Me?

This is a topic that everyone seems to have a different option.

What is Early Learning?

All kids start learning at a very early age. Even before they are born, fetuses are learning the sound of their mother’s voice. Infants start learning their native tongue. Toddlers learn how to walk, talk, etc.

Well yes all that is learning, I don’t consider that “Early Learning” though.

To me Early Learning is a parent creating an environment for a child to learn something that is not typically taught at that age.

While no one will bat an eyelash at the thought of teaching a little one there ABCs or to count to 10. As soon as your start teaching your little one letter sounds, sight words, days of the week, addition, etc, you MUST be pressuring them.

Early Learning is not hot housing little babies. Its not strapping them down and drilling math problems. Those types of techniques would not work on a baby or a toddler.

But when you present information to a child in a fun, gentle, calm way, your child will WANT to learn. When I do flashcards with my child or for us we use Learning Binders Little Z gets so excited. While we were with the NACD, they did not want us doing this program, so I put the binders away. Well one day I found that he broke into my room and found them in the closet and was using them himself. So trust me this is a gentle process.

What does Early Learning Look Like?

Early Learning when it comes to reading might be a mom sitting down with her child at 6 months following the flashcard program designed in Glenn Doman’s How to Teach your Baby to Read book.

Wesley GraduationTo another family Early Learning Reading might look like it did for Wes and I when he was two. In the morning I would play Your Baby Can Read(YBCR) DVDs while he ate his breakfast. Then I would buckle him in the car to go to daycare and flash through a few index cards with words handwritten on them. We would arrive at daycare and we would go through them again. He would get dropped off at daycare and I would go to work. In the evening he would watch another video of YBCR. Then after supper and playtime, it would be bath and bed. We would read a book or two together, flash though some flashcards and off to bed he went. When he was three we finished the YBCR DVDs and started using BrillKids Little Reader(2 sessions) before bed.

SAM_0965To another family Early Learning Reading might look like what happened with Z. He was a second child to an Early Learning family. We started some of Glenn Doman’s “How Smart is Your Baby program early on. We also started him on Sparkabilities DVD’s at a week old. Then when he was 3 months old we started  BK Little Reader. It took me a little longer then I would have liked to start him on the other BrillKids programs because my laptop broke and took me a few months to replace, But during that time I was so grateful to have the iPad. When he was 12 months we started doing apps like Hooked On Phonics and Teach Me among others.

I think that the environment is the key. I think at the end of the day to be considered an Early Learning parent, your child must be in the early learning window of 0-5 years old. These parents go beyond the usual ABC’s and 123’s.

What is Early Learning to your family?

Book Review: He’s Not Autistic, But… by Tenna Merchent

Hes not autisticHe’s Not Autistic But…: How We Pulled Our Son From the Mouth of the Abyss

I love reading autobiographies mom’s have written about raising a child with autism, and succeeding. Even though these books are not designed as a step by step guide, a lot of these books have forced me to step back and consider new options.

Tenna’s son Clay was a very sick little boy. But that actually was not that surprising, seeing as she herself was also very ill. One thing I find fascinating that you see in this book, a mother herself can be very sick, however its not until her child falls ill that she is going to stop at nothing to help her child.

I can relate a lot with Tenna’s story. The heartbreak when the doctors you have trusted cannot help your child. If you were like me, you were raise believing doctors have all the answers when it comes to your health. Get your shots and don’t ask any questions. Take your pills, the doctors know best.

What happens when there are no answers, or when your doctor doesn’t think there is a problem? But you know in your heart there is.

Clay was not developing as he should have been, and while his doctor said he is not autistic, he was considered high risk to be autism. Hence the title of their book “He’s Not Autistic, But…”.

Between dealing with headbanging, allergies, yeast, chronic illness, and aluminum poor Clay was dealing with a lot.

One thing I really liked about this book is the chapter on Tenna’s infertility and difficulties during pregnancy(preeclampsia). While I did not suffer from infertility, I did suffer from preeclampsia. This puts a new perspective on the situation. As important for us to figure out how to help our kids with Autism, its equally important to figure out whats going on with our babies prenatally and try and prevent autism before birth. Interestingly enough there are now some studies suggesting that moms of children with autism were more than 2 times likely to have has suffered from preeclampsia. (Read Here)

The author, take the reader through step by step of what she did. What therapies she tried, her theories and what worked and what did not work for Clay. I think as a reader this insight is just pure gold. I know that it opened my eyes to different possibilities and because of her suggestions I explored other avenues with my boys. Its also worth noting, if you do read this book and read about one of the therapies that may not have yield the best results for Clay, but you feel strongly about it, still look into it. Some therapies work for one child and not another.

NACD Update for Little Z- Second Quarter in the Program

Well I can’t believe its taken me this long to write about our March evaluation! Yikes!

The NACD is an organization that will help parents create a program plan to implement with their children to help them be the best they can be. These programs can be for children with disabilities, who are gifted, who are average, as well these programs can even be created for adults.

If you have read about what we were doing with Little Z before, you can check out our First Quarter NACD Programs Here.

Before the actually evaluation I had to do a reading test on Little Z, nothing fancy. So I gave them the test back an our evaluator marked it. Little Z’s reading recognition is at a Grade 2.8 level. Now we can’t test reading comprehension just yet, but this was pretty exciting for us.

Zakari:
– Continue the Listening Program
– Continue Targeted Sound Intervention
– Continue Encyclopedia Program
– Start Memory 4 U app x2

– Read books x2: For this program I have been using a mix of Farfaria, as well as regular picture books. 

– Continue Language Play: I don’t know why this program is difficult for me. If you ask my childhood friends, they will tell you I was queen of make believe play. But in my “old age” I guess I’m having trouble going back to that state of mind. 

– Start Experience books (Using Picello): This program I am creating books using pictures to tell a story. Right now we are working on a book about going to visit a family friend. 

– Language Related Photo flashcards (Using Picello)x3: This program we are teaching Little Z what to say for different situations. For example I have a photo of him in a high chair, so we would prompt him to say “I am hungry.”

– Functional Directions x20: Basically I have to give Z 20 directions, “put this in the laundry basket, could you put this in the sink, go to the bathroom for bathtime, etc”.


– COntinue Spontaneous Scripts x20. I talked about this before, but using a whiteboard I’m suppose to write things that Little Z might think. 


– 1 step directions x10: This is a bit different than Functional Directions. Here I have to ask him to do things that are not really functional, but still useful. Like point to the horse in the picture. Or touch your nose. Etc.

– Stairs x5: We are back to working on climbing stairs. This is to help build the muscles in his thighs.


– Mouth Stimulation x4: And we are still using one of those Nuby Rubbery ToothBrushes. This is to help desensitize his need to put things in his mouth. It really does seem to be helping. 


 We have had to make a super hard decision, and on the first of May I gave our 30 days notice to go into vacation mode with the NACD. RIght now we are working so closely with the herbalist/energy work, that money wise I cannot swing running both programs. Don’t you wish there was an endless supply of money to help your kids out. Sadly I have to make sure my kids are health physically, otherwise I am basically wasting money in the other areas.

But stay tuned because I finally have gotten out of my little funk I was in and have created a schedule for Z that combined what we learned with the NACD, plus sneaking in some other programs I feel are important.