Riot’s ONE Year Early Intervention



©2016 RRRIOTmama


I’m just going to get this out of the way now: This post is crammed with stuff you should know if you have a spawn under 3. Click on the images and infographics to expand them in a separate window and read what each has to offer.

okay.. AHEM.. so, last Wednesday was Riot’s one year re-evaluation with his early intervention provider. I hardly knew what E.I. was pre-motherhood so I’m guessing if you’re new to the game you’re in that same boat. Here’s the quickest, dumbed down summary..

Every state has an early intervention program. Their services are 100% not paid for by you. Early intervention provides IN-HOME (yes! you don’t even have to leave your house!) therapists/teachers for children 0-3 years old that are even slightly delayed hitting their milestones. Or if they have a birth defect. Or if they have a genetic disorder. Or if they’re preemies. Long story short, nearly all kids are eligible unless you’ve birthed an overachiever. You arrange having them come to your home  for an evaluation and if your kiddo qualifies, they get tons of free help. CLICK HERE for more legit info.

Free. Help. Two words every new mom loves to hear.


©2016 RRRIOTmama



©2016 RRRIOTmama



©2016 RRRIOTmama


When Riot was 6 months old we had an elective E.I. evaluation done so we could make sure he was ahead of the game.. and sure enough, he was. At 6 months old, when a baby cant talk, walk, or fend for themselves, its pretty hard for them to score so high that theyre ineligible for E.I., but..

bla, bla, bla, bragging, bragging, more bragging.


©2016 RRRIOTmama



©2016 RRRIOTmama


Fast forward a year to an 18 month old Riot days before he received his ASD diagnosis.. His SLP suggested we have an E.I. evaluation done again, so we did. Keep in mind that up until talking Riot had hit all milestones way way ahead of time. He had a few words around a year old and then we slowly realized not only did he stop saying those words, but he was no longer trying to learn new words. At all. Just 12 months after his first E.I. evaluation and the numbers show a huge developmental regression. His numbers dropped in each of the categories they test, but the biggest loss was dropping 29 points in expressive and receptive communication. And then down 20 points in personal/social interaction.


©2016 RRRIOTmama


At some point during those last 12 months, he had lost his voice.


©2016 RRRIOTmama



©2016 RRRIOTmama



reading over that 18 month eval brings on all of the emotions.

Once a child qualifies for early intervention, you have an IFSP meeting with their team coordinator.. and some other people that I can’t remember what they do. You decide on goals for your kiddo to work toward and then sign a million papers and get two million yellow copies of them. The two infographics below will tell you exactly what makes up an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) and the different types of specialists that will make up your Early Intervention All Star Dream Team. Shoutout to for compiling all of this info together in a way that isn’t too overwhelming. How did I not find their website when I was in over my head right when Riot was getting started? insert all the eyerolls.


©2016 RRRIOTmama



©2016 RRRIOTmama


Riot’s entire IFSP was communication oriented. Forget anything else he could improve on, there was only one goal.. For Riot to learn how his brain worked, and in turn, be able to communicate his wants and needs to me or whoever else he was around. I wanted him to be able to giggle with other kids while they played together. Or, even to be able to connect with another human over a toy enough to yell, “no! mine!”. At that time there was no interacting and playing with anyone else, whether it be another toddler or an adult. He wanted to do his own thing, play on his own, uninterrupted. I thought it was great that he was so independent.. but, he was TOO independent.

All I really wanted was for one day to hear him say, “I love you, mumma”. I’m still waiting on that one. He tells me he loves me every day, but not with that exact sentence and how I’ve always imagined it sounding in my head.

Goals were on paper. A weekly schedule was set and off we started! Just in time too since days later we got word of his autism diagnosis.. and that diagnosis meant more in-home therapy.. 20-25 hours a week of “intense autism specialty services” therapy, aka ABA. It took about two months to get all that set up and running.. and that was just enough time for early intervention to build a solid foundation for them to work off of. E.I. wasted no time. First, the bare essentials of signing – more, open, for me, eat, drink. While constantly drilling him on those signs, they paired it with forcing him to look at our mouths to see the shapes they made when saying the word itself. While that became nonstop background noise during his sessions and everyday life, they worked on teaching him that he had to sit when they initiated play with him. This was a big thing. He never sat, always squatted.. because within seconds he’d remember that he didn’t want to play with you and he’d be off doing his own thing. So, ya, sitting – whether he wanted to play whatever was in front of them or not. Once he came to terms with the fact that life was going to be a lot easier if he just bit the bullet and sat down instead of fighting everyone, he had to learn how to transition smoothly from one toy to the next.. and cleaning up whatever they’d been playing with before choosing a new toy to play with. This was hell. Because this was something he definitely needed to learn how to do, play time was always being manipulated into a learning opportunity.. So, it was like he finally stopped getting angry/annoyed from them taking his hands to practice signing, got the sitting thing squared away, he’d pick out a toy interesting enough to play with (and even let them play along too), and then, wait!.. learning opportunity!.. Riot time to clean up this toy you were having fun with and pick out something new from this handful of things you don’t really like at all. It was horrible to watch. Don’t get me wrong, I fully understood why it was being done, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t regularly excuse myself to the bathroom to cry for a minute. A year later and there are still times every once in a while where I see Riot struggling and getting angry at his teacher when learning a new skill and my eyes start to water, I get a knot in my throat, and just want to yell, “give him a break today! don’t go so hard on him!”.. but, I don’t because cutting some slack when things get tough and letting Mama Bear’s emotions interfere with the game plan.. giving in and doing that kind of shit.. even if it’s only once in a while.. doesn’t get you the unbelievable results and off the charts progress that MY kid has accomplished in just 12 short months.



This is the section where you can sub in every past post on rrriotmama. tons of updates. bla,bla,bla, progress, bla, bla, bla. tons of bragging. et cetera.




©2016 RRRIOTmama


now, i’m just going to leave that deviation iq chart there for you guys to reference..

Every year that your child receives  early intervention they’re required to do an annual re-evaluation to make sure that they are still scoring below a 77 in at least one section of the Battelle, making them eligible to continue E.I. services.

If the numbers are too high, the only way to bypass this eligibility qualification rule is if your child has a clinical diagnosis of a developmental delay.

*Remember, no matter your score, diagnosis, or favorite band, ALL children age out of early intervention at 3 years old. Period. The end.

©2016 RRRIOTmamaSo, last Wednesday was the big re-eval day. Riot’s early intervention main office hired extra security and at 9AM his dad and I met there to cheer our boy on from the sidelines. (I kid, I kid.) (..but, for real, I wonder if they did..) I wish I could think of something that wasn’t so clichée, but.. just.. wow.


For 12 months my boy busted his ass every single day.. 20+ hours a week with developmental specialists, an SLP, and a handful of ABA teachers.. focused on learning everything he possibly could and didn’t allow any of his parent’s bullshit affect him or slow him down.. He learned basic sign language then traded that in to be able to say all the words he could store in his brain.. and sentences! He’s made friends! He says hi to them and remembers their names when we show up for playgroup each week! Sometimes he’s a total asshole to other kids! He has the ability to connect with other kids enough to be a “typical” asshole toddler and scream, “MINE!” when it’s totally not! I can’t blow dry my hair for 10 minutes without him at the bathroom door begging me to sit in the living room and play with him. Pretend play! That was a thing that didn’t exist in his world before!

He talks! And talks and talks and talks. It’s 11PM and I can hear him in bed talking to his Owl! And I can understand what he’s saying. He talks.

I have never been so proud of another person in my life. Riot is one of the few.. He is only still eligible for Early Intervention because of his ASD diagnosis.. He scored so high in every section of the evaluation that, judging by the numbers alone, he would no longer be eligible to receive any more services from early intervention.

©2016 RRRIOTmama

These numbers are just.. unbelievable.

Since his evaluation at 18 months old, he went ⬆️6 POINTS in cognition, ⬆️12 in motor development,

⬆️27 in personal/social interaction,

and here’s the big one…

⬆️33 in expressive and receptive communication.

Not only did he score high enough across the board to no longer qualify for E.I., he didn’t even come close to that 77 mark in any category. And let me be clear when I say this – we have never strived for neurotypical. Neurotypical has never been a goal and Riot will never be neurotypical no matter what the numbers say. He will always be someone with autism AND while being on the spectrum, was also able to learn an incredible amount about himself, the world around him, and how to connect, interact, and communicate with anyone he came into contact with.

Proud Mama Moment #987632459:

In comparison to where he had regressed to one year ago, Riot is back at it, currently screaming from the top of his lungs and developing right alongside the rest of you 2.5 year old norms.

©2016 RRRIOTmama

I am his biggest fan.




©2016 RRRIOTmama



©2016 RRRIOTmama



©2016 RRRIOTmama


A little Throwback Thursday? Sure, why not.

I dont usually participate in the whole Throwback Thursday thing, but when I do..



Don’t try to beat it. You can’t. I’ll just go ahead aned stick with my exact quote that Facebook told me I wrote..

Sorry, but none of your kids are ever going to be cuter/funnier/cooler than [mine]. It’s okay – don’t get down on yourself about it – you did the best you could.

How did 2 years happen so fast? This was round 1 of our pumpkin decorating the other night (we still have at least 1 more session before they’ll be done).






Rumor has it that when we go to his best friend Rocco’s birthday party this weekend we’ll be CARVING pumpkins! This will be a FIRST for BOTH of us! Thankfully there will be some real adults there to supervise since this mama has no idea what she’s doing!



oh, ya, and this

mercari_fixed_imageIf you have the pleasure (?) of knowing me IRL then there’s no doubt you aware of my hoarder tendencies. I’d love to hold onto every piece of Riot’s clothing forever and ever, but I’ve come to terms with knowing he’ll be my only child..  there’s no reason for me to keep these kickass outfits any longer so if you digg our style now you’re just a few clicks away from having it. It’s really a win/win.. your kiddo gets to look way cool and in turn I get to buy homeboy some new gear because he’s growing faster than I can type this post. Real talk.

For a while I was doing great with selling what the boy had outgrown on TotSpot, but they’ve now been taken over by Poshmark and I just can’t get down with it. They charge sellers significantly more so you’re making nothing if you want to cash out and their selection of kids clothes simply sucks. Anyways, we’re up and selling on Mercari now! I have tons to sort through, photograph and post so keep checking back if you don’t see anything you love the first time you look. If you click on the image above it should redirect you right to our online closet to browse (and shop!!) Whether or not you end up buying something from me personally, use the code KXHMGH and you’ll get a $2 discount. I’m going to put a link for our closet on the sidebar too so you guys won’t have to look for this post after it’s buried under more of my stories.


Smell ya later!


Well, well, well, check out who else is AUTASTIC!

Just a little while ago I got a msg from my awesome friend Mr. Matt Kenney. Before even continuing with what his Facebook message revealed, I’m going going to give him a huge shoutout and thank you from the bottom of my heart and the depths of my soul that I likely do not have because way back in February when I first shared our flier for Team RIOT GEAR raising money for the Autism Speaks walk (hey! there’s still 31 days left to donate, you guys!) Matt was beyond generous and gave us our largest donation to date. So. Rad. I can’t even begin to express how kickass it was and how Riot and I appreciate it so much.

Ah, yes, so the Facebook message! This was the screenshot he sent me.

Satoshi Tajiri – Totally Austastic. Rock on, nerds!

SHUT UP! Who knew?! I mean, I didn’t, obviously. But, pretty cool, right?? Yup. Share that fun fact of the day with your friends while you’re out on the Pokemon hunt because.. Ugh I hate this phrase.. So cliche.. So bandwagon.. #AutismAwareness, punks!!

Eff you, autism.

Newly diagnosed family? Everyone is going to say how they knew someone that knew a boy that was autistic and he was literally the smartest, 100% most creative, musically and artistically inclined child they had EVER met and that "it's okay" (wtf?) bla bla bla bla bla.... No. It is totally okay to have the "Well, this wasn't in the plan! This totally sucks!" feeling.. Because it's the truth.
Newly diagnosed family? Everyone is going to say how they knew someone that knew a boy that was autistic and he was literally the smartest, 100% most creative, musically and artistically inclined child they had EVER met and that “it’s okay” (wtf?) bla bla bla bla bla…. No. It is totally okay to have the “Well, this wasn’t in the plan! This totally sucks!” feeling.. Because it’s the truth.

Sat down late last night to open the mail and had this big envelope from Autism Speaks.. And all by myself, out loud, in the most monotone voice I yelled, “ooooh, fuck you, autism”, because that’s how I really feel all of the time. I make the best of it and laugh as much as possible, but, really now.. Can I just get a big “fuck you”? ‘Cause no one ever dreams, “aw man, someday I want a kid with autism!” Nope. Nope. Nope. No one. 

With that being said, my kid is still cooler than yours. Hands down. Last week at his playgroup I witnessed the most comical thing that the other littles were doing. Out of 6 or so kids, Riot is the only one on the spectrum. He’s made unbelievable progress when it comes to playing and interacting with other children.. but for whatever reason, last week he just wasn’t feeling it and wanted to play on his own. This made him stand out a bit, at least to me because I know he’s the only autastic one in the bunch. I had a moment of sadness dreading the future kids in school being assholes, (I hate using this word, but..) bullies, and just all around jerks not including autistic kids in their cliques. And then I snapped out of it and realized that the funniest, best thing was happening.. Riot was coming off as playing hard-to-get, ha! The rest of the kids were now trying to get his attention, trying to get him to play with them, and chasing him around the classroom like chicks that never got a call back after that first date. Man. It was amazing. My boy being a bit of a loner, anti-social, and not wanting to get down with the peer interaction was giving off the vibe that he was the cool kid instead of the stereotypical standoffish, “weird”, quiet, “different”, _____ insert-every-word-from-an-anti-bullying-campaign-here _____. aaah, proud, proud mama moment. That vibe, my fellow mamas, is not a learned behavior, but an inherited trait, a rare gene, that can only be passed down from the illest, dopest parents. You see, it’d take way more than a touch of autism to throw Riot off of his playground game.


We've made it a goal to hit up all of the coolest playgrounds in the world. We can cross off the new playground in Dolores Park, SF from the list! Pretty rad.
We’ve made it a goal to hit up all of the coolest playgrounds in the world. We can cross off the new playground in Dolores Park, SF from the list! Pretty rad.

I’ve been so wrapped up in birthday party planning that I’ve been slacking on shoving Team Riot Gear’s fundraising down your internet throats. We’re at $2,945! We have 90 more days until the Autism Speaks walk to continue raising money! If we’ve been able to raise that much in under 3 months, I’m shooting for at least $5k by the walk on August 20th. I’m so competitive that every time I log in and check Riot Gear’s fundraising page, I always wish there were a Smack Talk section like in fantasy football so I could talk shit to the other teams that are clearly no where near as good as I am when it comes to convincing people to empty their pockets.. for a damn good cause, of course! Ahem, and I’m not even counting “Christian’s Crusaders” as beating us because they’re totally using the fame card to get dough. And, you know what? I’m gonna say it.. I don’t care.. “Christian’s Crusaders” is a horribly generic, totally NOT creative fundraising team name! I give it a D (at best) for effort. I hope they at least have some amazing t-shirts the day of the walk to make up for their bla team name that I have to watch blow Riot Gear out of the water by several hundred thousand dollars. eye roll eye roll eye roll.

If you haven’t already – or even if you have – click on our flyer at the bottom of this post (or on the sidebar on any of the RRRIOTmama pages) and send a few dollars our way.. It’ll help you sleep better at night, I promise.rrriotmama_dark