THE NUMBERS ARE IN.

Riot’s ONE Year Early Intervention

Re-Evaluation

 

©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

 

damn.

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 UNDERSTOOD.org 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.

HARD WORK PAYS OFF.

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

 

Driving Me Insane & Breaking My Heart


As much as I’ve wanted to write up something new every day to share on RRRIOTmama, there are only so many posts you can write about “oh, ya, more progress!”.. Not only does it take away from the excitement, but unless it’s your kid it’s happening to.. It’s obviously not all that exciting to keep hearing about. And then the past two days happened.

I think I’ve mentioned this before – I obviously never forget that Riot is autistic, BUT where he is considered “high functioning autistic” and made so much progress over this past year, we don’t experience nearly as many symptoms as a lot of autism families do. Because of that, when out of nowhere there are two consecutive incredibly difficult days with Riot, it has me feeling so emotionally and physically drained.

I feel horrible saying this (and I’m sure other autism mums can relate), but he drove me insane the past few days. As soon as he went to his dad’s this evening I instantly missed him, but at the same time felt like “oh, thank god!” But these two consecutive days were polar opposites. Yesterday he was up my ass and needed constant sensory input. Not only was he being a typical toddler wanting me to play with him every second of the day, but he was SO clingy, wanted me to squeeze him, wrestle with him, touch touch touch! There was NO personal space. He came into the bathroom and sat on my lap while I was peeing. He bit me 5 times and then instantly said sorry and kissed where he bit because he knows that’s absolutely not cool and that it hurts me.. But in that very moment it was something that he needed to do for whatever reason for him to self-regulate. I was short and snappy with him all day and then at the same time felt so bad because I knew he was just having a day where he was feeling more of his autism symptoms than he normally does.

And then there was today. Today was so draining. At all times I was constantly feeling annoyed, frustrated, heartbroken, sad, defeated, then frustrated all over again. Today was nothing like yesterday. He absolutely did not want to be touched. There were many things that he wanted, but couldn’t tell me what they were. He was hungry, but shot down all of his favorites. I finally got him to eat a popscicle.. But then he decided to touch it with his finger and when the tip of his finger then had purple popsicle he lost his shit and wanted nothing to do with it anymore.

How dare that popsicle?! So rude!

Then he unwrapped his second One Week Until Christmas Countdown book. He loved it! (mom win!) Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse Christmas. But then I did something out of line and offered to read it to him. All hell broke loose.

Uhhhh sorry for trying to be an okay’ish mom by asking you if you’d like me to read you a Christmas story? A simple “no” would’ve been just fine, but instead you would’ve thought I took the book away, told him I gave all of his Christmas presents away and threw out all of the toys he owns. And that I was never going to feed him again. And he had to sleep on the tile floor from now on. And he was never allowed to use the iPad or watch TV again.
He looked at me so offended and then instantaneous hysterical crying combined with dramatically running away from me into our bedroom. But then also running back out periodically to make sure I was still the asshole mom that offered to read a new book to her son. Yup. I still existed. So he’d burst into tears again and run off, closing the door behind him. This went on for just over an hour and then it was silence. I walked to the bedroom to find him in bed, lights off, watching something on YouTube. I hated that I needed to interrupt this peaceful moment, but his dad was en route to pick him up and we needed to get him ready.

It’s not abnormal for Riot to fight me on changing his diaper. It’s actually hit or miss.. He will either lay down on the floor for me to change it with no questions or it’s like chasing/capturing a rabid animal. Sounds like an exciting gamble, huh? But, like everything today, this particular diaper change and needing to get dressed war was amplified by 12. Like a bandit, I got the dirty off fairly quickly. Then he transformed into a crazy, hysterical, naked, screaming toddler running away from me whenever I got within 5 ft of him. He was sobbing. Normally reminding him that he’s getting ready to go out or telling him it’s because daddy is on his way to get him is enough to to reel him back into being as rational as a toddler can be so he can be okay with the diaper change/picking out a shirt/getting dressed/shoes/socks/jacket/hat.

At one point he darted away from me and I found him “hiding” from me in the farthest corner of the pitch black bedroom while he continued to sob. This was a first. It broke my heart. As downright infuriating as it can be dealing with a defiant, angry toddler, it brings me to tears not knowing or being able to figure out what my boy needs when he’s this kind of distressed all day. Just one meltdown after another. It makes me feel so defeated. Ugh. Damn. I know there’s not much more I can do other than give him his space so he can figure out what he needs to do in order to calm down, but there’s nothing worse as a mom than seeing your kid bawling their eyes out, trying to catch their breath, and not being able to give them a hug or even kneel down next to him without making the situation way worse.

The end of that story is when dad arrived he had to come inside for backup. Riot never stopped crying, but daddy was able to get him dressed and out. When I closed the door behind them I heard Riot continue to cry and say “mummy.. mummy.. mummy” even though he had just spent the past hour not allowing me to be near him. Then I cried for a few minutes, obviously.

 

WOW. Okay. Let’s wrap this post up on a happier note! For 3 Christmas seasons now we’ve instilled the tradition that each night the week leading up to Christmas Riot get’s to unwrap one new book. Yesterday was the first day this year for him to unwrap a One Week Until Christmas Countdown book and he got Elmo’s 12 Days Of Christmas. Huge hit. He thought it was dying laughing at me as I was tripping all over the words by the last page. Today he got Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse Christmas. He was loving flipping through it and pointing out all of the characters. (Obviously we still haven’t read it yet.)

©2016 RRRIOTmama

RRRIOTmama is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This post contains affiliate links.. which just means if you make a purchase through one of my links, you won’t get charged any extra, but Riot and I will make a couple of dollars to save up for take-out at the end of the week!Every penny counts.. thanks for helping us out!💙

 

THE SENSORY SEEKER’S ULTIMATE WISHLIST

45 THOROUGHLY TESTED AND HAND PICKED TOYS, BY MY VERY FAVORITE, HIGHLY RESPECTED, PROFESSIONAL SENSORY SEEKER HIMSELF. RIOT.

With today being the biggest contact sport shopping day of the year.. dun dun dun..  Black Friday.. The official countdown to whatever holiday(s) you buy presents for has started. I only participated in said event once in my life and then determined it was absolutely not for me. Some family members and close friends have already started asking me for gift suggestions for Riot this Christmas.. Other than his obsession with Thomas, he really loves just about anything that gives him the sensory input he craves. He’s a Sensory Seeker. There are many children like him.. Some that are autistic, some with SPD, and some that are neurotypical. They come in all shapes and sizes.

This is the most simplified way to determine what flavor of sensory processor you’re working with and what they need to self-regulate (and to have fun, duh!):

©2016 RRRIOTmama

Everyone knows a kid that’s a sensory seeker.. So, instead of really taking a shot in the dark when picking out a gift for them, I compiled a pretty kickass list to guide you straight to the top of Best Christmas Present Ever status. You literally can’t go wrong with anything on here. I’ve included everything from indoor trampolines and platform swings for outside, to play dough, foam soap, and little stocking stuffers that these kiddos can’t get enough of. Trust me. Well.. trust Riot – he’s my inside sourceAHEM.

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..AHEM..DRUM ROLL PLEASE..

THE SENSORY SEEKER’S ULTIMATE WISHLIST

©2016 RRRIOTmama
Like it? Share it! Pin it! Just tell somebody!

This post contains affiliate links.. which just means if you make a purchase through a link found on RRRIOTmama, you won’t get charged any extra, but Riot and I will make a couple of dollars to save up for take-out at the end of the week. Every penny counts.. thanks for helping us out!

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If you’re trying to figure out WTF all of this sensory jargon means, I’ve put some links at the bottom of this post that helped me *get* it a bit more. I think..

Have suggestions that have been a major hit at your house? PLEASE comment below or shoot me an email and fill me in so I can add it to the list and run the idea past Riot!

If you found any of this helpful or know someone that will, share share share! The more people that understand the plight of sensory seekers, the less unhappy, unraveling, rabid, wild children we’ll have on the streets!

And of course I can’t go an entire post without any mention of the boy! I’m so pumped to have some juicy, goal stuffed post by the end of next week! We have his one year Early Intervention re-evaluation on Wednesday morning to recap the past year’s off the charts progress and line up what the next plans will be!

Perfect the ABCs? Learn code? Fly to the moon?

SPOILER ALERT: All of the above.

Have a successful Black Friday! May the odds be ever in your favor!

share, share, SHARE!


©2016 RRRIOTmama
45 SENSORY SEEKING FAVORITES!



RRRIOTmama is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Please read my FULL DISCLOSURE policy if you have any questions or concerns.

A little Throwback Thursday? Sure, why not.

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

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IT’S BECAUSE TWO YEARS AGO I HAD THE COOLEST BABY JACK-O-LANTERN!?

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).

 

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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!

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