Leelo's Last Month

Leelo's Last Month

Jo and I took our kids to the Trampoline Arena today. Probably it would have been better to go earlier in the day before all the big kids took over the place, but Leelo and Mali (oh, and Iz) had a fantastic time. I think Leelo would benefit from his very own big trampoline.

Anyhow. Below is a bunch of Leelo incidentals, both good and bad, from the last four or five weeks.

Leelo has transitioned to a big boy bed, in his very own room (our office/guest room now coexist with the living room). He loves his new setup. It took about two weeks of him starting out in the new bed and then deciding that no, he preferred sleeping in the toddler bed he no longer really fit into before he consented to spend the night in the new room. The toddler bed (Mali's eventual nesting spot) went into the garage the morning after his first successful night in the new bed, and he's never asked for it back.

When there are few kids at Ford Madox Ford park, Leelo is capable of enjoying himself immensely and even playing in a self-directed manner even if he does create rather stimmy circuits. But they're his spontaneous stimmy circuits! He has been having me help him do the monkey bars a lot. This will not continue if we can't get his eating under control; neither he nor I will be able to hold him up.

Supervisor M prodded me to investigate whether or not Leelo has seasonal allergies seeing as his behavior reliably goes in the shitter every winter, and stays there until late Spring. I ask Leelo's pediatrician whether or not she thought seasonal allergies could be a factor. She gave him an exam and said that he had a lot of the symptoms. She also said that a lot of ADHD kids find that their symptoms are reduced or eliminated by seasonal allergy diagnosis and treatment, and that we should try a course of Claritin and see if that helps Leelo.

He's been on Claritin for a month. It seems to really be improving his language; his language usage exploded right around the two week mark at which Claritin is supposed to fully take effect (e.g., saying "Straws in the trash" "Stop the swing," etc., instead of just crying or hitting). Ideally if this works we won't even have to start Stratifera, but if we do Dr. M says that as both are CNS suppressants the primary potential side effect would be drowsiness (which, Ep pointed out, in Leelo's case will mean a more typical energy level).

Other good language examples in the past couple of weeks, post-Claritin: he asked to go to "Burger King" when I asked him what he wanted to do for lunch. Lots of good following instructions (cleaning straws up off floor, etc.). Also when asked what Pat our cat was, replied, "Pat is an animal." Later on when asked again, he said "Pat is a kitty." (Aside: Mali now introduces Pat by declaring, "This is my best friend Pat-Pat.") He has been asking in rather stimmy fashion: "Do you like carrots? I like carrots. Do you like grapes? I like grapes." Also when asked if wanted to read book A or book B, declared, "I want to read The Cat in the Hat Comes Back" instead. And he's starting to describe what we're doing again! He'll say "going up the hill" when we drive up a slope such as our driveway. All very good.

He was such a good boy for Dr. M, during the seasonal allergies exam; he let her look in his eyes and mouth and nose and throat and take his axial temperature. It was not all that long ago that any exam required an announcement of "battle stations." Also he is now taking cod liver oil by mouth from a measuring spoon (our dropper got garbage disposaled) which has been amazing and unexpected. He even saw me coming at him with it, and declared, "Mommy's got oil!" I haven't had to wash any stinky cod liver oil-smeared or -sprayed clothes for at least a month!

I enjoy watching him make logical decisions, seeing him thing things through. For instance, if I give him an empty french fry container while we're in the car, and then hand him a single french fry, he'll ignore the container and pop that salty morsel directly into his mouth. If I give him a handful of fries, he'll put them in the container and then remove them one by one. This is basic, but is not a coping skill I'd seen him demonstrate previously.

He was very good at the Monterey Bay Aquarium a few weeks ago. It turned out that he did not have any problem being around other people and kids even though the place was slightly crowded; he did not make any warning noises or behaviors when other kids crowded around him on play structures. Not one incident of aggression excepting towards himself or Seymour when denied letting him run away or lie on the floor.

He can now spontaneously seat himself on a swing, is sort of starting to pump himself, and most important of all is enjoying swinging as an interactive, social activity. He especially enjoys it when we push him really high from behind and then run under his feet, emerging in front of him. Peals of laughter.

He has been very good (no aggression) about grocery shopping with me and his two sisters even though he no longer fits in cart and has to walk with us. He is a good helper in putting non-breakable grocery items in the cart. Also he is sometimes capable of sitting at a nearby table and waiting for me while I check out as long as he gets ongoing verbal prompts (!). He is getting bigger and older and smarter and easier to get along with every day.

Although, I must say, he does not perform so well for poor Seymour, currently. Leelo was pissed as hell when I took the girls to visit my parents and brothers in San Diego this past weekend, and spent four days taking it out on his dad and his noggin. Seymour said that Leelo was hitting and banging his head so frequently that he was contemplating a safety helmet. Thankfully he calmed down when I returned, and has been very sweet for the past three days. Perplexing boy. Wonderful boy.

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