Sunday, November 02, 2008

It's all good.

Firefighters just want to have fun!

Ethan went trick or treating at school on Friday. See how big this school is? He got candy from every single classroom! 

Ethan during a speech therapy session. 

I love October, but I'm really glad that it's over this year. Rich was out of town (working) for all but 2 days last month. Ethan and I have really missed him.  We took a trip to Virginia and visited my parents, had several different appointments with the team, and started weekly PT with bi-monthly OT about to begin next week. Ethan also participated in a research project at Children's that examines language development in young deaf children who have developmental disabilities and cochlear implants. 

We successfully closed on our house in Athens and now have money in the bank and a big decision to make about our next move. It's the first time we've been able to relax and take a deep breath since moving here in July and it feels GOOD. I don't see us jumping into a new house anytime soon, unless of course the ideal place presents itself with the ideal price tag. We're actually really happy in our little apartment, especially now that we have Rich here for an extended stay. 

Ethan continues to make our hearts sing with his vibrant and tenacious little personality. He has been working so hard on speech lately and it's beginning to look like he may someday be able to talk. I have always been very hesitant to make any assumptions regarding what he will or will not be able to do, especially in the speech department. That doesn't mean that I don't have high expectations for Ethan's future, it just means that I'm guarded about the details of how he'll get there. It's a form of self-preservation that is necessary if I'm to keep myself from feeling sad or depressed. 

There's nothing to feel sad about these days with regards to Ethan's progress. We're hearing his sweet little voice all the time now. He has mastered the variety of vowel sounds that our language produces and he's also quite good at the beat of speech, never missing a syllable. He's picked up the ability to enunciate a handful of consonants now so his speech is sounding more and more intelligible each day. His signing is taking off as well. Yesterday he signed his first phrase, "My name is Ethan". We were over the moon! 

The sight reading is also continuing to amaze our family, his therapists, and even the researchers who worked with him last week. I'm going to have to compile a word list that he reads before our next IEP meeting, but I'd say that it's up near 30 words at this point. He's one observant little dude. He's starting to sign and say "smart"; apparently his self-esteem is on the rise along with everything else! 

We continue to move along on the gluten-casein free diet. It's not as much work as I had imagined many weeks ago. He can still eat meat, fruits, and veggies. The carbs are where you have to be really vigilant. He has never tolerated dairy in any form, so we didn't have to give those things up, which for many starting this diet is the toughest part. I've been watching the meats we buy to make sure they have no additives such as nitrites or nitrates. We're generally going with products from Whole Foods or all natural lunch meat from Boars Head. I've restocked my pantry with tons of flours that I never knew existed and have found numerous delicious baking recipes online. So it's not as daunting as it seemed and I'm convinced that it's really helping our boy. He is giving more eye contact and engaging in social interactions and his speech is obviously exploding for the first time in his life. The diet combined with the program at his school have formed the perfect recipe for his success. 

And there's plenty more of that on the horizon....


Kyla said...

I'm so excited for you guys!! It sounds like everything is really wonderful. I'm so proud of Ethan!

I have that same self-preservation method, it has served me well. LOL.

Dave said...

So excited that my little buddy Ethan is thriving and doing well on speech. Happy for you folks on the house closing. A bit of peace of mind for sure.
Nice to catch up and nice to see your comments today.
They are nice to see and I thank you

Cheryl said...

There is so much more for him on the horizon. The sky is the limit for him. I'm so happy to hear how well he is doing, but not at all surprised.

Loved the photos! His school is huge, that must have been some Halloween bag! He is as cute as ever, always the great smile.

I'm also glad to hear about the house. Now you all can really get settled in and focus on the future.

Missed hearing from you. Your post made my day!


I am Trish Marie said...

So good to hear Ethan is doing so well!

leahlefler said...

I love the picture of him in speech therapy! Do all speech therapists have a Mr. Potato Head? LOL. I'll bet he had a TON of candy from school- it looks huge! He has really started blossoming since starting there, or so it seems!

Aliki2006 said...

He must have gotten a ton of candy! I'm glad all is going well, and that the house is closed and done with.


She said...

I know I say this EVERY TIME I COMMENT, but the little guy is SO CUTE!

So happy to hear how well you all are doing!

Tom's mum said...

Heather this is such a great post, he is doing so well and is such a cute little chap. You must be soooo proud.

Loudest Mom said...

Heather, I'm so glad to hear that so many things are falling into place for you all :) Know that our thoughts are with you all, and I hope to see great updates soon!

Beck said...

Good grief! You coudl fit my whole town in that school! (really!)
He's handsome. And I laughed at the speech therapy picture - does EVERY speech therapist use Mr. Potato Head?

Karen Putz said...

Whoohooo, this all sounds like things are humming along! What a cute picture in that firefighter outfit.

So, have you stolen all of his candy away? :)

Julie said...

Yeah, Heather, and yeah Ethan :0)

Good news!

She said...

I want to kiss his whole face! What a doll!

Glad things are going well!

Loudest Mom said...

How is everything going these days w/ getting the district to 'help out'. We've made huge strides (I think)......I hope, at least.