Posted in family, Uncategorized

4 year check in 

Eli had his 4th birthday on Sunday. We did a party on Saturday and to keep it comfortable for him we just did a small lego themed party in the basement. Decided to keep it simple and let the kids play with whatever they wanted in leu of organized games (mainly because Eli, and I’m sure most of the kids there, has a short attention span for group games). The only activity we did was a piñata which was such a big hit I’m thinking of just getting some to tie to a tree branch this summer and send Eli loose on it. 
Since the party I’ve been reflecting on where Eli stands as a big and bad 4 year old. He’s still behind in some areas but in others he’s both in line with where he should be and ahead. At the moment the area I feel he needs a lot of work on is his attention span/hyperactivity. I am hesitant to get him into sports because I’m worried he won’t be able to wait his turn, sit still, follow rules, or listen to the coach. You don’t know until you try, but boy am I scared to try. When it comes to learning, he can play a game on his iPad for 30 minutes straight but getting him to sit down and work on flash cards or practice writing (with me) is next to impossible. I say with me because in preschool and even with his therapists he’s more inclined to do these things;but at home with just me he can’t concentrate. I’m sure some of that is maybe a disciple/authority issue. He will act out infront of mom more than he would a stranger or teacher. 

Despite not concentrating on sit down tasks, he is learning at an incredible rate. He knows all his colors, can count to 20, knows the alphabet and can speak in complete sentences. Eli is such a sponge. Once he broke that barrier of learning and talking he just took off. We’re reading educational books at bedtime, he’s playing learning games on his iPad, we’re doing more play dates to work on social skills. Although he’s been on a 3 month hiatus from ABA, the progress hasn’t slowed. 

​​​When we do finally get ABA started I would also like to work on Eli’s tantrums and potty training. Currently Eli pees on the potty (not on his own, only when I make him) but only poops in his diaper. Although his tantrums went way down after he started talking, they are still quite present. Whenever he is told no or to stop doing something, when he has to leave somewhere/someone leaves our house, and when he is frustrated, a tantrum arises. When we are home during a tantrum he runs screaming to his room and slams the door, if we are at a friends house he will fall on the floor crying and sometimes hit himself or other things. Once after a speech appointment he ran into the hallway crying and got on the elevator and told me that he was upset and leaving me there. 

It’s such a fun thing to watch your child transition from toddler to child. His personality is really shining. It’s so much more than just his likes and dislikes. Watching him do imaginative play, seeing his sense of humor, seeing his eyes light up when he is super excited. Eli is very happy, loud, and hyper but he balances it out by being very sensitive and loving. 

​There’s not a doubt in my that by Elis 5th birthday he will be ready for kindergarten and be able to function the same as all the other kids. 

Posted in family, Uncategorized

Social anxiety

Many of Eli’s behaviors are foreign to me, but there is one in particular that him and I have in common- social anxiety. Since starting ABA therapy, social interaction was one of the main areas of improvement. In this past year he has improved tremendously. He now calls everyone by their names, looks at those who are speaking, interacts well with others. Of course he doesn’t hit those on the head every single time- I’m sure no child is perfect with those at this age. But Eli has done amazing. The other day we went to a friends birthday party. Eli was asking about it for weeks because he was so excited. The whole drive to the party he wouldn’t stop talking about it, until we got to the party. He refused to go inside. There were between maybe 20-30 people inside (children and adults) and he sat in the hallway and wouldn’t go in. We had to bribe him with balloons. Once inside he didn’t want to participate in any games with the kids (except for the pinata) and chose to spend most of the party in the corner playing with balloons by himself. He loosened up a bit at the end but still mostly kept to himself. 
At first I thought- wow we need to start working on this when we get ABA back up and running to get him out of his shell. But then I thought to myself, what would I do if I walked up to a party where I only knew 1 person? I’m not an extrovert. I don’t enjoy conversations or games with people I don’t know. First day of class when you have to introduce yourself to the class would make me cringe through my skin. I tend to stick to myself. Not all of Elis insecurities may be related to his diagnosis, I’m sure a lot of them get passed down from his father and me. Not every issue with Eli is something we need to address in therapy. Each kid is built their own way and we shouldn’t try to change everything about them.  
Of course it would be great if Eli was able to be more outgoing and go with the flow. I know a lot of kids that are. It would be great if instead of seeing 20 strangers he just sees his one friend and a bunch of other kids having a great time and him wanting to join in. I’m hoping once he’s back in school he will become more outgoing. We may get there someday. But for now I’m fine with my shy boy who plays with balloons.