Thursday, February 13, 2014
A year or so ago -- Mom, Elena and I decide to do lunch. The restaurant is nearly empty. Soon after we get to the restaurant Elena gets restless. We yells and touches/throws everything. We have to get up several times to walk with her outside while waiting for our food. She's crying and just not having it. Almost as soon as the food gets to the table we pack it up and go home feeling frustrated and defeated.
Tuesday -- We all go to lunch again. While waiting for her food, Elena happily colors. When the food comes, she gets impatience but is quickly calmed and then waits for her food. She uses a fork to eat! She politely asks for a drink and more food. When she got too loud, a reminder was all she needed to be quiet again. Overall, she was amazing!
After lunch we wanted to do something else but weren't sure what we would do with Elena. We decided to chance it at the movies. We chose "Cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2" at the dollar theatre. We figured since it was a weekday and in the early afternoon we'd have a better chance of not having a full theatre in case Elena got loud and if we got kicked out at least it was only $1. ELENA HAS NEVER BEEN TO A MOVIE THEATRE BEFORE.
I got Elena some headphones with descriptive video and they worked wonders at keeping her entertained. The movie was an hour and a half long. For the first hour, Elena was perfect. She loved listening to her headphones and rocking in her chair. Then she got restless and a little loud. She climbed into my lab and I was able to keep her calm enough to finish the movie. My mom and I were very pleasantly surprised! Even when Elena got restless she wasn't loud enough to be asked to leave, even if the theatre hadn't been empty. I'm so proud and everyone was able to have a good time.
Monday, March 18, 2013
When she was younger, she used to go in her little princess potty about once a day. She did not tell me when she needed to go, I would just take her. I had her sit on it all the time but she didn't like to go in it but that once a day. Then she suddenly decided that not only did she not want to go in it but she didn't want anything to do with it. She'd cry and try to climb up me so she won't have to sit on it. You can read about my last attempt to potty train Elena here http://raisingablindangel.blogspot.com/2012/08/school-birthday-and-potty-training.html?m=1 (Sorry about the long address. Again, I'm on my blogger app and can't figure out how to do a hyperlink.)
I'm not sure what possessed me to try again. Perhaps it's knowing that she'll be starting kindergarten in the fall and she really needs to learn by then. Whatever the reason, I started taking her into the bathroom. The last time I tried this, back in August, I figured out that Elena will pee about every 2 hours, if she stays hydrated. So I started taking her to the bathroom every two hours. I took the seat off her little potty and put it on the big toilet. (A while ago, we were visiting Grandma and Elena insisted on going potty. I didn't have her little one so I just put her on the big one. Ever since then she refuses to use the little one. Good thing it can be used as a step stool.)
At first, nothing happened. She just sat there. We talked, sang songs and read books. Her OT said to do this to get her to relax and distract her. She said the muscles that control the bladder have to relax to pee. (We tried this in the past and it didn't work.) I checked out a book from the library for Elena to read while on the potty. It's called My Big Girl Potty by Joaana Cole. It's great. It's talks about everything from first checking out the potty to using it, to accidents. It took many tries and Elena sitting for an hour or more at a time before she finally went in the potty. We clapped and sang. Then I helped her wipe, flush, wash her hands and pull up her pants. More praise followed by me dancing with her and singing a made up potty song. Basically just singing that she went peepee in the potty like a big girl. Then I gave her a few M&MS and told her repeatedly that it was a potty treat for going in the potty like a big girl.
One thing the OT told me to do I think really helped. She said that even if Elena didn't go in the potty to still have her wipe and flush. Elena loves flushing. It's her favorite part.
It only took a few times of going pee and receiving a treat that she figured out the connection. Finally something clicked! After 4 days of going in the potty everyday and keeping her pull up dry for half that (including no poop!!) I took her to the book store and told her that because she was doing so good at going potty she could have a special potty treat, a book. She loves reading. With some help, she picked out Potty Time with Abby, the fairy from Sesame Street. It has buttons that make noises, including flushing. She loved that. Every time she flushed for the next week she say "Just like in the potty book!" She has me read it at least three times while sitting on the potty. It's been three weeks, I think since we started and she's kept herself dry everyday that I keep on top of it. If I loose track of time, then she wets her Pull Up.
Something I found very useful was giving Elena a daily probiotic. I give her Nature's Way brand Primadophilus Kids. It comes in a small plastic bottle in the refrigerator section at the health foods store. It's a chewable. I started giving it to her for occasional irregularity but turns out that it makes her so regular that I know exactly when she will go. So every night around 6pm I put her on the potty and she poops. No more dirty diapers!!!!
I'm now working on getting her to tell me when she needs to go. She usually won't say anything until after she has already gone. When school gets out, I'm going to switch her to underwear again. My hope is that by that point she will either tell me when she needs to go or it will bother her if she gets wet. Since it will be the summer, I can have her spend most her time outside so if she has an accident it won't make a mess on my carpet plus we won't have anything to do so we can stay home while she gets used to it. I do not want to have to clean up a pee mess in the middle of Walmart.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
I'm typing this on my blogger app so I can't figure out how to put the video on here, just the link. Sorry again. Below are some pictures of Elena warming up in class.
Soon to come - update on physical therapy, school and potty training.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Sensory boxes are great for all kids but blind and other special needs kids find them particularly cool. The different types of materials are good sensory input. Putting toys in the box allows something for them to find and to practice burying and digging up things.
Elena loves it. She likes to scoop with the big spoon and bury her hands in the rice. She likes to put her feet in it too and feel it with her toes. I'm excited to see how she reacts to the other sensory boxes, once I get them done.
Experiencing different textures is very important. Often, blind children do not like textures. I don't know why. We had Elena touch many different textures since she was about 2 months old so she never really experienced texture aversion. Although she didn't always like her hands being gooey.
So whether you have a sensory box or not, have your child feel anything and everything; the brick on the outside of your house, the bark of a tree, the smooth wall of the living room, the cool metal of the stove, the shaggy bathmat, the ridges of your car tires, the bumpy asphalt driveway/road, etc. There are so many things to find and feel.
Monday, January 21, 2013
She uses a booster seat with attachable tray for eating. I took plastic wrap and duck taped it to the tray. Then I duck taped plain computer paper on top of the plastic. When painting, I took her shirt off and put her hair up in a ponytail. I put her in the chair and attached the tray. It keeps her contained and the paint is washable so if it gets on her skin it comes right off. I put a little blob of paint on the paper, give her and brush and let her go at it.
She tends to stay in the middle so she ends up tearing the paper. That's fine for me cause she just enjoys the painting. When she is done, I un-tape, wrap it all up and throw it away. Super easy and mess free.
I used Crayola Washable Kid's Paint. A 10 pack costs me $5 or $10.
Friday, January 4, 2013
These past few months have been chaotic for my family (family meaning Elena and I). I have had some medical issues that were unexpected (aren't they always?) and that added to a very full semester of school and, of course, parenting stuff has made the end of 2012 something I'll never forget. (Not sure yet if that's good or bad.) I am doing good now, btw.
Anyway, I should have some updates soon. I start school on Monday and am hoping to have something posted before then. Thank you all for sticking around and I hope you have a great new year. :)