Wednesday, February 27, 2008



Friday, February 15, 2008



Hi Christine!

Well I decided to try some new things with Kyle and I'm having a tough time. So is he! I put all of his Thomas train stuff in a big tub and put it up. He seems to be fine with the change. However, I intended to let him play with it once a day, supervised. So later today he guided me to the tub and so I thought it was a good time to play. We took the tub down and set up his circle track. All he wanted to do was lay on the floor and push the train back and forth on the track. I wouldn't let him lay down and said "sit up" everytime he tried to lay down. He didn't like this whatsoever and threw a big tantrum everytime I did it. So I kinda ignored his tantrum and pushed the train by myself and made sounds and stuff. We tried this same thing yesterday and didn't get to play more than 5 minutes. Same thing today....I was tired of all the tantrums so I just put it away and he threw one big one.

So we went straight to the legos and started building stuff and he did okay. He was real upset and was trying to lick things and put things in his mouth. This is something he's never really done before. I think it's from the overwhelming stress of not getting to play with his trains anymore. He focused on the legos for probably 15 minutes...stacking them as I handed them to him. These are the real small legos so he was doing quite well actually.

I don't know what to do about the train stuff though. He gets so upset....I'm not sure if I should just get rid of EVERYTHING we own with wheels...b/c he's been trying to find anything with a wheel on it....I've been keeping it all up. We went outside to play and he found a dumb little truck and was constantly moving it back and forth on his belly so I threw it over the fence hehehe.

Got any advice? I'm trying!! The last two days I've been by his side almost non-stop, playing with him and making sure he's not stimming with anything. It's real hard to do. The only time he's by himself is when he's watching his 2 hours of movies. That goes by real quick. I haven't been able to get much done around the house because I've been right there with him all day. I suppose that's a good thing...hopefully Kyle will make some big improvements. Just tell me if I'm doing the right thing, please!



Teacher's Response:

I think your on the right track (no pun intended) by putting up the trains for awhile. I would advise you to put them up somewhere that Kyle does not know about for about 2 weeks. While the trains are obsessive for him and he really stems off them, they are also very motivating. So - put the trains up to let him release his obsession a little bit. you don't have to remove everything with wheels in your home. The thing is to find a replacement for the action. Since Kyle enjoys the wheels and turning or pushing them, look for something that is appropriate for that action. A wind spinner, connects, ummmm something that is meant to spin. Let him play with it for 10-15 minutes throughout the day, getting the sensory need met. Pair the activity with words such as "Do you want to spin Kyle? Tell me you want to spin." Require an amount of requesting from him and then allow him to do for a short while. By teaching him to request it with functional communication it helps teach him self regulation. Your right about the licking and putting things in his mouth. He is trying to regulate himself in a different way then spinning. The behavior cannot be stopped right now, but directed to a more appropriate way. If he finds a truck and begins to over it back and forth on his belly then use that as a teaching moment. You could work on things such as " prepositions, Kyle you have the truck on your stomach! Lets put it on your leg! OR you could take turns pushing the truck on your stomach. "My turn Kyle!" Then you lay down like Kyle and put the truck on your stomach and make vroom vroom or beep sounds. Do that for a minute or two and then"Kyle's turn!" Has you imitate Kyle, he will begin to imitate you adding the sounds or different subtle actions. It may take a few times of pairing the activity, but you will be amazed at the result.
Kyle will not play functionally with toys very much right now because he sees them in a different way. Typical kids see the car or truck as a mini representation of daddy's truck, but Kyle sees the working of the wheels, the doors, etc. We can't change his way of looking at it very quickly without rocking his world. so we have to teach him subtle different functions of the toy. Unfortunately children don't always want us to "teach" them so we have to kind of trick them into learning.
I am not saying you should let Kyle lay down and push a car for hours, but start small with the demands. Sitting up might be too big of a step at first. Maybe lay down with him with another car and push the car up and down a small ramp or make sounds, crash them, hop them, etc. Once Kyle begins to imitate that then push to another level and have him push them on a table.
When Kyle comes up to you and gets close to your face to "twitter" his eye lashes on you then kiss his nose and say "kiss nose!" Turn his stems and obsessions into a learning experience pushing the envelope a little each time.
It is great that your ignoring the tantrums, we don't want him to think that is a functional way to communicate. Tell him No ___! Count to 10 out loud with your fingers visually seen by him. When you get to 10 then see if he has stopped. If not then say No ____! and repeat. As soon as after 10 he has stopped give him the item or activity. This will take a few times (like 20) but it will again help with self regulation. Letting Kyle know he needs to calm himself down - then he can request correctly to get the item.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Jana's so hot ;) We make cute babies. Look at the love in his eyes...he's precious!
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Kyle on Bob the Builder at Chuck E Cheese

"What the heck dad!? This thing is broken!"
"I'm going to beat that alligator when he comes outta there dad!"
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Here you can see Kyle eating his gluten free, dairy free pizza. It was the first time we made something like this--it turned out very good! Jana used rice/sorghum flour and rice cheese (which doesn't taste too bad--but not really like cheese). My dad liked it better than Papa Murphy's haha! I think he was just being nice. Oh, can you see my new floor, trim and paint in the living room?? We just got all that done two weeks ago!! It's fancy schmancy.
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Jana makes another birthday cake! She makes one for every birthday, based on whatever theme or interest one of our sons is into. She has lots of fun with it. I think it's cute. :)
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Kyle Education

Kyle has now advanced to public education after turning 3 years old last Sunday. He has been attending Richland School District at Jefferson Elementary for about two weeks now. He attends 2.5 hours per day for 5 days per week. His transition went very smoothly. He just put up a short fuss on his first day, but quickly adapted to their plethora of toys and play-based style of teaching. His teacher's name is Karen King and came highly recommended to us by Kyle's former teacher. I didn't even have to ask for her--Kyle just ended up assigned to her. So I think God is definitely watching out for Kyle. Thank you all for your prayers.

I haven't had much reported on Kyle's progress there at the school, as things are still pretty fresh. But, we plan to get some kind of commitment from them to keep us up to date at least on a weekly basis.

Kyle rides the school bus to and from school--he just loves it! When he's dropped off at home, he says "byebye school bus."

Jana and I are starting to address the finer issues of Kyle's behavior. We are going to focus on minor and major problems that Kyle struggles with everyday. Some of those include:

--Escaping while eating (i.e. running around)
--Wiping his hands on his clothes during eating
--Attachment to specific toys--More specifically, his inappropriate use of those toys (laying on the floor "stimming" with them). An example of this would be pushing his trains back and forth while staring at the wheels while they turn. This may seem innocent but it's very obsessive for Kyle.

A big one we will take on soon: POTTY TRAINING!! AAAAAAAAAAAGH!