Journey to the Center of Sylvie’s Brain

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Spring has sprung! March 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — janaquinn @ 12:58 am

at least for a few days… Mother Nature has been teasing us with 60-70 degree weather for a few days, and the whole family’s been giddily running in circles around the yard. Sylvie in particular is OBSESSED with being outside. In fact, nothing can trigger an instantaneous meltdown quite like the announcement that it’s time to go inside.  Actually, now that I think about it, quite a few things can trigger an instantaneous meltdown these days. Sigh. Sylvie officially received her invite to the “terrible twos” throwdown (albeit it a few months late) and has released her wrath on us in ways I never imagined.  Her tantrums were particularly bad a week or so ago, when she’d turn into a wild animal for no reason at all, raging for up to an hour at a time. And the force of her tantrums- MAN! I mean, Amelia’s a tough kid, but Amelia’s tantrums were like pony rides and ice cream compared to Sylvie’s. Thankfully, those scary tantrums are happening much less frequently, and I’ve received a lot of good tips and advice from her therapists as to how to handle them, so I’m not feeling quite as unnerved and overwhelmed by them as I was. Not gonna lie, though- I’m not looking forward to the next one!

In other news, we have officially begun the IEP/Transition to School process- we met the special ed preschool coordinator for Arlington schools today… really nice guy, with lots of great information. We’ll be starting with the evaluation process in the coming weeks (OT, speech, PT, and a psychological eval- ikes!) In the meanwhile, though, I’m very optimistic that Sylvie will find a great home in the Arlington system come September. Guess time will tell!

And in a slight twist to the usual routine, Matt will be heading down to the Cape with Sylvie tomorrow, leaving me and Amelia to share in some crazy mom-daughter quality time. Can’t wait. 🙂

 

Could I *be* any worse at this? March 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — janaquinn @ 3:45 am

Apparently I’m attempting to snag the award for “most sporadically updated blog” on the entire interwebs.   I know, an update every 6 months just doesn’t cut it, so here I am, trying to make amends to you, my loyal reader(s).   (Don’t want to get too cocky, you know.)  Enough of my pathetic groveling, though, and on to Sylvie.  After all, that’s why we’re here, right?

We’ve been very busy since my last update in September.  Sylvie’s kicking butt at Clinic (Milestones’ practice preschool), where she goes two mornings each week.  The therapists there help her work on all sorts of skills- social pragmatics in particular, which she obviously doesn’t get a ton of in her one-on-one therapy sessions. I’m starting to see a little improvement in her interactions with Amelia, though my intervention is usually required when the two of them are interacting. (To her credit, Amelia’s been an AMAZING big sister, really learning to be more patient with Sylvie and trying whenever she can to help her out.) Sylvie’s also begun receiving additional speech and OT through Milestones as well. All told, between ABA, clinic and EI, she’s now up to 22 hours of therapy each week. While the adjustment has been a little tough on me (Mommy misses her down time!), Sylvie’s taken all the added sessions in stride. Her communication is really blossoming- if you need any proof, stop by 50 Nicod around bedtime, when she bids us good night with a chorus of  “Sagapo poe-ee!” (greek for I love you very much.) 🙂 She’s a labeling fool, quick to point out a truck, tree, star, bird… just about anything within a ten-mile radius.  Colors, numbers and letters also play a big part in Sylvie’s daily observations.  Yellow, 2 and O are her current favorites (ask my why, I have no idea.)

While she’s making great improvements in her communication, I’d be lying if I said each day doesn’t come with its own unique challenges.  Like a typical 2-year-old, Sylvie’s learned the art of the tantrum. She likes to take it to a new level, though, freaking out at the drop of a hat and remaining inconsolable for longer than I care to admit. She’s exceptionally hard to manage at certain events and venues (the Children’s Museum on a Saturday? NEVER. Birthday parties also make me break into a cold sweat.) And I still struggle with keeping her safe outdoors, as she likes to bolt the second her feet hit the ground.  Feeding is a joke- my once voracious eater’s food preferences have now dwindled to about 6. Luckily, I’m still able to sneak veggies and healthy junk like tofu into her diet through smoothies and the like. But seriously- a kid who doesn’t like hot dogs?!? Does that even exist??

Amidst all our day-to-day “stuff”, Sylvie and I had the chance to participate in our first mother-daughter protest this past week! Deval Patrick and company had proposed some outrageous fee hikes and changes to eligibility requirements within the state’s Early Intervention Program (the very program which helped us get the ball rolling for Sylvie’s therapy.) Last Monday, a “stroller-in” was held at Governor Patrick’s office at the State House, and Sylvie and I attended to show our support. We were even interviewed by Channel 4, and though our lovely mugs didn’t make it on the evening news, we did make it to print! It looks like Governor Patrick has since reversed the proposed changes and for the time being, EI services will remain as they are. Success! Sylvie’s EI service coordinator has started a support page on Facebook, which is a great way to stay current on the situation EI as well as read some very inspiring EI success stories.  Check it out!

And while we’d love to stay in the safety net of EI forever, once Sylvie turns 3, her education becomes the responsibility of the Arlington Public Schools. So we’re also beginning the process of meeting with school administrators to determine how her needs will best be met by the school system. Arlington recently opened Footprints, an early childhood classroom for kids specifically on the Spectrum, so that may be the best fit for Sylvie. I’m looking forward to visiting the various rooms myself, though, to get a better sense of where she’ll be most successful.

It’s definitely a rocky road most days. But on the days it all comes together, when she looks at me, smiles and says, “Hi Mom”, in that sweet little voice, or when she walks up to Matt and says, “I want Uh-oh!” (one of their games), all the frustration and stress just melts away and I know that in the end, we’ll all be okay. 🙂