Ethan at the beach with dad and mom
Our little threesome reached a new milestone this summer, our first family vacation! We've been looking forward to Ethan's first trip to the beach for years and this summer seemed like the right time. This trip was made even more special (and possible!) because many of our extended family members decided to join us. We rented a 4 bedroom house walking distance from the beach in Hilton Head Island. We had a very spacious kitchen and living area and a nice deck with table and chairs. The house came with bicycles as well, so there was always something to do. Ethan was over the moon with his aunt and uncles, his cousins, and grandparents all along for the fun.
Ethan continues to wear his left Ci and is steadily making progress with speech and responding to sounds again. He is enjoying summer school and has been going to the occasional appointment at the hospital as well as the neighborhood pool with mom. In August we'll travel to see his other set of grandparents and stop to visit with our friends on the way down and back.
Two areas where Ethan has been making huge strides lately are with eating and playing. He has always had a tough time with food (acid reflux, sensory issues, oral motor delays) and his autism has impacted his ability to really enjoy toys and the act of play. Lately we're seeing some neat imaginative play happening as well as a new interest in trying different foods. In fact, we hit another milestone with him recently when we were able to order him a meal from a menu (in a Lebanese restaurant of all places!) and watch him enjoy eating it. You can bet we'll become regulars at that place!
He has also made incredible strides in recent weeks with cochlear implant mapping sessions. Our amazing SLP and audiologist put their heads together and thought that maybe if we tried a mapping session in a new environment (during a speech session), that it would help Ethan relax and participate in the process. He has bad associations with the audiology clinic now and that has been a big part of the problem apparently. He still doesn't like the mapping process, not even close, but he is finally allowing our audiologist to take measurements without flipping over tables or head-banging during the course of the session.
We are also working with an in-home ABA consultant to help with behavior issues. We have a long way to go, but we're slowly making progress in a number of areas here as well.
I remain hopeful.