Our journey through autism

Archive for September, 2012

Turning 5

5th Birthday party Balloons

My little guy turned five this week. A whole five years mashaAllah, its such an amazing milestone. When I was a kid I thought five was so cool because you stick up all the fingers on your hand, and high fives and such. Needless to say Bilal thought it amazing as well. He’s been into the calendar and the days of the week and months since I’ve gotten a dry erase calendar on our fridge which has all his therapies and appointments, I also draw a little cake with the age of whoever’s birthday it is, so every few days he would count the number of days left and the week before his birthday he’d say “we’re on top of my birthday” . I kinda went all out for him, the first year he’s aware of his birthday and that he’s turning a year older and he kinda understands that he was “born” or came as a baby on this day. So I ordered cupcakes for his in class party, and went had lunch with him sang happy birthday and left, they have this crown with 5 candles on it for him that he had on the whole day even when I picked him up.

School Party

I also ordered some cupcakes for his swim teachers as it was his last day of swimming for the year, we may go back in the Spring. They really enjoyed that and they also sang Happy Birthday to him. We then had music and she printed out the notes to the Happy Birthday song and they played it on the piano and sang it and had lots of fun as well. He was also really looking forward to his birthday because of a certain gift. His favorite Xbox game was Disney Universe and somehow we don’t know how he broke it, most probably stepped on it and he was really sad and wanted us to fix it and we told him if he was good and took care of his stuff we’ll get it for his birthday, and this was a few months ago, he got a couple other games since but he wanted the Disney one. So we got that and I wrapped it up and got the Rio game as well, a singing birthday card, balloons, a banner a couple party hats (which he refused to wear cuz he wanted to wear his school crown), we had my cousin, her husband and daughter along with my brother to come over for cake and it was so much fun, he had a blast and enjoyed all the singing and he was able to blow out his own candles, an achievement for him, just a few months ago he didn’t know how to bring his lips together and blow. He got Lego and Angry Birds gifts and we haven’t opened them all yet, as we’re opening one at a time. I barely took any pictures of my own but thankfully my cousin’s daughter a professional photographer snapped some beautiful pics. It was great something truly memorable, and next month is his brother’s 2nd birthday, we’re not really gonna go all out for him but just cake and balloons and a couple gifts, he’ll learn the meaning of birthday’s sooner than 5 I’m sure but for now he doesn’t get it.

Birthday Cake

School Update

Bilal has been back in school for 6 weeks now and is doing great. He was super excited to start school and had no problem transitioning and moving into the other class. This year those closer to 5 are in one class and those closer to 3 in the other. The week before school started there was the open house and he was so happy to see his school and class and he asked about all the toys and was disappointed that we left so quickly. The first day of school I walked him to his class and he didn’t even look back went right into playing and he had a great day. His teacher this year, Ms. Tiffany has 11 years of special ed experience and it really does show, regular emails sent out, the daily report sent home completed everyday, she has a song or game for everything which is great for Bilal, he came home the 3rd day of school already singing the songs and telling me the story of the month. As his birthday is at the end of September with barely a month of progress achieved she had a progress report and notice sent home and a draft IEP and was all set for his annual IEP meeting. Went to the meeting and it went really smoothly, I added a couple goals to the draft, went over concerns and got an idea about what to expect next year for Kindergarten, with a transitional meeting due in Feb. He’s met all pre-K cognitive goals, most social goals but almost none of his fine motor goals, with only an hour a week of school OT therapy they’re trying their best to get him writing and using scissors, also because he never sleeps during nap time they let him rest for a few minutes till all his classmates fall asleep and they take him out for some extra therapy which is great. Ms. Tiffany says that next year he’ll most probably be placed in a typical Kindergarten class with support and therapy so we’ll see when Feb. comes around and also whether we’ll move or not and which school he’ll go to then. He’s the oldest and most advanced in his class, with 2 other high functioning classmates so they’re working hard on keeping him challenged and learning all his pre-k skills and even a little of Kindergarten skills like reading. Alhamdullah I could be happier, so proud of him and really grateful for such an experienced team to help him progress even further inshaAllah.

 

 

Going Green

This isn’t really directly related to autism or to Bilal’s journey but its something that might make a difference in our lives so thought of sharing. A lot of you may have already gone green, organic and all natural once you got the diagnosis. There are countless articles and research that suggests that environmental factors may cause or increase the risk for autism. The most exposed to toxin may be household cleaning products. The chemicals used in store bought products are harsh and expensive, so eliminating  those whether your child has autism or not is a good idea for you and the environment, more importantly during pregnancy and infancy, where the developing baby is most at risk.

 

Green products

Going green is easy and so much cheaper, most probably you already have all the ingredients you need right in your house or a quick trip to your local supermarket is all that is required. Most common ingredients are:

  • vinegar
  • lemons
  • baking soda
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • rubbing alcohol
  • cream of tartar
  • essential oils (mint, lemon, lavendar, etc…)
  • Dawn dish-washing soap (not natural but not harsh and adds major cleaning power to the above)
  • Borax

You’ll also need spray bottles, rags, towels, sponges or cleaning brushes.

 

The only cons I can say with going green is that it takes a bit more time, you have to mix and prepare the mixes before each time you clean so as to be most effective and the cleaner will have to sit or soak for a bit as well. But really its minor and the pros are way more important.

You’ll find countless recipes online, Pinterest and Google are your friends. Mixing those stuff together really do the job and its all natural, cheap and isn’t harsh smelling or dangerous. I clean my bathroom and kitchen with these mixes and they really shine, no soap scum or grease or residue with these.  Some people do their laundry and dish-washing with their own DIY cleaners. People have also made their own paper towels and wipes, so even less waste…  So look into it for your safety, your children and that of the environment.

 

My favorite website is One Good Thing by Jillee found through Pinterest, she’s all into DIY cleaning products and organization tips.

 

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