Leelo Update

Leelo Update

Leelo and Seymour were in SoCal for less than 24 hours; they managed to squeak in hotel pool time with me and tons of cousins. Then of course we had the funeral and reception, followed by an eight hour drive home. Leelo wasn't thrilled about any of it except the pool, and has been acting out most of today. Though he does also have a cold, and we've been forgetting his Claritin for most of the past week.

However, his language and behavior are still mostly really great. And he managed to hold it together really well despite my being absent for most of the previous week, including two weekends. I am impressed. His teaching staff is impressed. Everyone who works with him is impressed. I hope he's impressed with himself.

Example of awareness and togetherness from two minutes ago: just now he exclaimed, "Daddy's going to work!" as we are sitting here late in the day and Seymour will be home "soon."

Here are more observations and great language/behavior instances from the past three weeks, dispatch-style:

Great language: "I want to go to Sewerage" instead of "I want naan bread"; "Sophie's gone!" when we told him that Sophie went home, "I want to go on your back, Dad" when asking for a piggyback ride. Also is calling Seymour "Dad" instead of "Daddy." "I want to go play, Dad." "Open the gate, please." And I am occasionally "Mom."

Spontaneous "I'm fine" when a friend's dad asked how he was doing, Asked, "Where are we going, Mommy?" after we dropped Iz off at Aikido (as that was a change in routine), Said, "Happy Face!" upon a video case for Happy Feet; I don't know how he would know what that it, also the word "Jambo" makes him giggle madly and is something he asks for "I want Jambo;" anyone can say "Jambo" to him and he'll start laughing. Nice for his sisters to play with him that way.

Language still good. Has been saying, "no pushing" or "no falling down" in instances where he _wants_ to do those actions, but knows he's not supposed to. Great self control, IMHO.

Looked at my camera and said, "It's a string!" (the cord), also naming and comparing "This is a toothbrush, this is a hairbrush, these are teeth, this is hair," and proceeded to brush teeth and hair at same time. Also likes to brush our hair, or tell us to brush our hair.

Very mellow and compliant, even with toileting (mostly).

Last week he was able to share his favorite trampoline with two constantly marauding toddlers without incident, which is a big deal as he doesn't like being crowded, or being surrounded by noisy people, and I can tell you that Mali and her best friend Trinian are busy little chatterboxes.

Sage is helping us transition Leelo back to chewies and off of straws. He will usually trade out willingly, but still prefers straws.

I restrung his favorite old trampoline. It is more a hammock than a trampoline, but it seems to make him happy. He likes being suspended in the stretch fabric.

He has been more compliant and easy going about toileting, except some head-banging. Tolerated getting a splinter removed from his arm, able to walk most of the way from car to classroom by self without me holding his hand to prevent bolting, able to watch Totoro without banging t

He has been having more good toileting days in general: Totally dry at 1 - 1:15 hour intervals and even during erranding from 2:45 to bedtime. Underwear 7:30 to 2:45; one accident for Therapist L.

When trying to sing "Madeline" song with him, I prompted, "She may be very ... ?" and he said, "Happy?" (The correct answer is "tall" but it was still good thinking, to answer with an adjective).

Today we were talking about friends, and he responded, "Moomin and Sophie! Sophie and Leelo!"

Leelo is now eating plain peanut butter sandwiches, as wed been wondering if processed sugar was affecting his appetite. Asked Y! list about autistic children and compulsive eating, and got several responses: 1) try chewing gum, 2) it's most likely not diabetes (from a woman who son is both autistic and diabetic); and 3) it may be esophagitis as that creates constant pain that is relieved (briefly) by eating. An exam for Leelo was definitely recommended.
Seymour took him into the pediatrician while I was away. As we suspected, he has eczema, so it's lotion time. Also he has indeed gained a ton of weight in the last few months and at 63 lbs is 125th percentile for weight in his height category. Dr. M. wants to do some blood and urine tests to rule out anything obvious.

And oh, The Morgana Center. I did like it. Very structured, which Leelo would love. But it's far away, and doesn't include any social time with typical kids. I think Leelo does really need to be around typical kids eventually. They emphasized that we should focus on sight reading for Leelo (as they said that is how all their kids learn, being visual thinkers), should consider a program like Rosetta Stone, and should also consider getting Leelo a Scuut bike as an intermediate stage between his tricycle and a two-wheeler. In their experience it is better for autistic kids than using a bike with training wheels, since the extra wheels can make the bike jiggle and jog with anxiety-provoking unpredictability, especially for sensory kids.

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