Well all of our hard work is paying off! Wesley read his first book almost independent. He even read a new word without being taught it. Mind you this is a very simple book “The cat sees me… The dog sees me…etc.” BUT even so this is his first book, he was reading the words by himself, and he had never read the story before. I’m so proud of him.
I had these books ready but never showed them to him. We had our parent tutor overlap today. This is where his ABA Senior Tutor and I have a meeting. She goes sits down and goes over the programs I am running with Wes to make sure I am running them correctly. This is also a time for me to ask her any questions I might have. Today she just suggested we just try these new books and see how well it goes.
Well he read about 85% independently. His senior was just jumping with joy, saying “I can’t believe this, I mean he’s only four!” “You have to bring this book to the next clinic meeting so we can show Rene(his ABA consultant), he’s not going to believe me when i tell him this.” Needless to say, I was so proud of him.
This goes to prove what an amazing product BrilKid’s Little Reader program is. If a busy mom who works full time can teach her child to read before Kindergarten, anyone can with this program.
Another thing he has learned this week is his days of the week!! It is so cute to hear him recite them to me. To help him learn we have been using the CD Learning Is Fun by Hesita.
I love this product. The songs are simple but help kids learn. Right now we are focused on the cementing the days of the week in our head. Repetition does wonders for our minds. Were also learning our months of the years, and countries and continents.
The company I purchased it from is great too. One of the two discs only plays when it feels like it. So I emailed and explained my problem and they called me back in 5 mins. No joke it was that fast. They originally wanted me to send the product back but when they found out I was from Canada, they said to nevermind that part because shipping would be so much. So they are sending me a replacement disc.(Update: the company has now changed hands since I last wrote this, I suggest looking for these CDs by Hestia on Amazon.com)
I hope everyone is having a great week like me. We are one step closer to getting a mortgage. Hopefully in the New Year we will be moving into a new house!! This apartment living is hard with 3 people full time in a 2 bedroom apartment and an extra person every weekend when my bf’s daughter is here.
I was asked to write a little blurb about gluten and what it does to some people like my son. For people who do not have a gluten intolerance it can be hard to understand what happens to kids who cannot digest it properly.
My son has been gluten-free since he was 2.5 years old. What is gluten? Why did I choose to remove it from my son’s diet?
In 2005 I had a beautiful little boy. As he grew older he started sending us red flags. I always imagined myself teaching my son so many things. However he was a difficult baby. Always throwing up, screaming and crying all hours of the night. We tried everything, from Ovol gas drops to chiropractic. They both helped him with the stomach pains but something was still off. He was in and out of the doctor’s office, he had a chronic cough, runny nose and was on and off antibiotics.
When I first switched my son from breastmilk to formula and started to notice the difference in him I ask the doctor if he could be allergic to milk. His response was “No the chances of that were one in a million, Milk allergies are so rare. So I believed him and for months we had these issues. I was a young mom having had Wesley one month after turning 20. Prior I had no real experience with babies.
I was a straight edge parent, following everything the doctor said to the tee. But things were not right and milestones were not being hit. Wes was not crawling at the same time others his age were. He sat there all the time and stared into space. Finally after one day when Wes was 11 months old I noticed mucous in his diaper. That was it, I called around the city and finally booked an appointment with a pediatrician.
Our new doctor immediately sent a referral for Wes to go for allergy testing. After waiting for 4 months to get into the specialist. I held my little boy down while they marked his chubby arms with little a pen to match a little grid with all the possible allergens on a paper. Then they started scratching those pen marks with little needles. As he screamed they wrapped his arm up in paper towel and taped it. I was instructed that it would take about 15 minutes for the results to be available.
He screamed and screamed, finally I opened the door and asked the nurse if this was normal. She told me some kids have a harder time than others. So I tried cuddling and rocking him and nothing seemed to help. My last resort, I reached into my diaper bag and pulled out a sippy cup of milk. This settled him, just in time. The nurse came back and removed the paper towel. She said he seem to have a reaction the one item, the milk. I looked down at my baby’s tear stained face and he sucked back the white poison.
He was diagnosed with a milk allergy and we were sent on our way. No instructions, no guidance, nothing. They never gave us a paper that told us what all the secret words like whey and casein. Just sent on our way to figure it out.
I drove us to the local public health nurse clinic where I knew several of the nurses from our Healthy Baby group we attended till I went back to work. I was in tears when I got called in to the nurse’s office. She called in the nutritionist and we came up with a game plan.
You know what happened next? A few days later my clumsy crawler stood up and walked for the first time at 15 months old.
Wesley started developing language well and at 18 months had about 15 words he used regularly. Then we went for our 18 month check up and that’s when things went downhill. At the visit they gave him his regularly scheduled vaccine, and that night he had a terrible fever. From then on his words were gone.
I started thinking about removing gluten from my son’s diet after reading Jenny McCarthy’s book “Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism” when he was 2. Gluten is the protein found in wheat. Similar proteins are also found in rye, barley and possibly oats. At this time I was in denial, I knew he was language delayed, but I refused to believe he had autism. But deep down I think I knew.
It wasn’t until that terrible day in January 2008 when Wesley was diagnosis with autism did I revisit the idea of removing the gluten. A month later we visited a naturopathic doctor, who had me remove gluten and soy from his diet on top of the dairy that was removed a while back.
It wasn’t an easy, kids that are sensitive to gluten are sometimes actually addicted to it. Wesley went through a withdrawal period, where his behaviours went through the roof. But after the rough stage things did get better. His speech started to improve. He started adding in little phrases, seemed happier. Another thing is we were able to start potty training him because his digestive system started to work right.
Basically what was happening to my son was the gluten was effecting the lining of the intestinal wall and large particles of food were getting into his bloodstream and affecting the brain. The body was then sending out antibodies to fight the particles. This was causing my son little body to go into overload.
You can see a MAJOR change in his attention to detail, and if he accidentally has something that has gluten in it he does act up and has trouble with concentrating. One day we will try to reintroduce it, but for now he’s doing great.
UPDATE: Read how we cured my son’s dairy & gluten intolerance HERE and HERE
Well after spending a long time humming and ahhing, last week I finally took the plunge and purchase the Little Reader program by BrillKids. Originally I thought maybe I could just get by using PowerPoint presentations to teach my son how to read. But the more I read the BrillKids forum, the more I needed to get this for my son. But to be honest money was an issue. I’m working really hard right now to get out of debt and purchasing such an expensive product that was really intended for babies kind of worried me.
For those of you who have never heard of Little Reader before(like me a few months ago) this is what the website describes it as “Ideal for babies and young children, Little Reader is the most effective learning system for teaching your child to read. At the heart of Little Reader is a revolutionary software system that delivers lessons in ways never before possible, making learning ENGAGING for your child, and EASY for you.“
Lots of people suggested I try the free trial, get a feel for it. But it was one of those things where you needed a credit card and I’m terrible at cancelling stuff like that before the date.
So then last weekend I noticed it was on sale for 40%. Well that was it, I struggled with my credit card, called the company and waited on hold to get a secure code and there I had it, Little Reader.
So like I said we’ve been doing it for a week now. At first I didn’t feel he was really learning from it because he wasn’t generalizing what he knew from LR to paper flash cards. Now I can see after a week, I write the new words that he has been introduced in LR and it seems to take him much less time to transfer that knowledge to read that flashcards.
It is also getting easier to get him to work on his paper flashcards. I can now have him read the words to me by rewarding him with some of Little Readers more fun presentations. Free downloads like “Counting Bubbles” or “The Alphabet Song” can encourage him to do his lessons.
I also like that the Little Reader community has put together so many programs and now I can start an Encyclopedic Knowledge program with him with ease. My only complaint is that I don’t like that it freezes so often when I’m doing a multi sensory program.(UPDATE: This is no longer a concern with the newer versions.)
So all and all as a mother of a 4 year old son, I think this program is totally worth it. Now that I’ve used it a bit I would have paid full price for it. However, I’m glad I got it at a discounted price 🙂 My son loves this program and it is opening his eyes up a little wider every day.
Now I leave you with a pic of my son yesterday at the park. We were goofing around with a few friends and a camera. 🙂