Liam's Journey

1-24-12: We were given Liam's Chromosome Disorder test result today. It came back normal!

1-26-12: We were told that Liam will have to be in his brace for another three months. C'mon April!

2-4-12: Liam started picking up sign language. He signs "more", "please", "off", "up", "down", "open", and "all done". We are still working on more signs. He has also invented his own signs for "eat" and "down" and stepped out of his world of stubbornness on occasion to wave bye-bye and blow kisses.

2-09-12: PT has begun. We are working on new PT techniques to strengthen Liam's legs and to help straighten them out.

2-10-12: Liam started signing "music", "milk", and "mama". We are working on "thank you", "water", and "daddy" at the moment.

2-11-12: Liam is showing us his body parts (some of these he has been doing for a while now). So far, he will show us his belly, feet, nose, hair, ears, hands, and eyes. He also knows shoes, shirt, diaper, pants, socks, and hat, as well as a ton of other objects (ball, bottle, car, etc.). He understands a lot of words and phrases, and follows one and two-step directions (depending on what they are).

2-14-12: Liam learned to sign, "thank you", "ball", and "water".

2-19-12: Liam learned to sign, "baby". We are working on signing, "help".

2-20-12: Liam will have cookies put in his shoes to help straighten out his legs and feet. Liam is now signing "help". Update: He has his cookies in place and is walking better.
The cookies will help Liam walk on the outer part of his foot (he was walking on the inside) as well as build a bigger arch.

2-22-12: Liam started signing, "dog".

2-24-12: Liam started signing, "turn" and "go".

3-12-12: We are getting a little lazy with teaching Liam signs lately. But, since we will be hitting the potty fairly soon, we have started using "dirty" and "wet". He's doing very well.

3-15-12:  Liam can name ALL of his body parts, even the small ones (eyelashes, eyebrows, lips, etc.)

4-13-12: I started teaching Liam "I love you" in sign (using the one hand), "bird", "plane", "swing", "sit", and "car".

4-24-12: Liam had another Ortho appointment. He will have his brace on for another two months. Doctor is thinking the brace will come off then and only use it to sleep in for a little while. The hip bone is burrowing like it's supposed to and doing fabulous. Better safe than sorry, I guess.

5-3-12: Liam tinkled a little on the potty for the first time. We still have a long way to go with this. He appears to be pretty cooperative, so we'll see.

5-7-12: Liam peed, like really peed, on the potty this time. For the most part he has been sitting there and dribbling. I am still working on him telling me when it's time to go. I have a feeling that will take awhile for him to put two and two together.

5-20-12: Liam started signing "stuck" on his own.

5-31-12: Liam was discharged from PT.

6-25-12: Liam will be given an MRI on his head.

6-27-12: Liam will make a quick stop at the Ortho's office for an  x-ray. From there, the doctor will give the word as to whether his brace will stay on or not. We're hoping and praying that it comes off!

6-27-12: Brain scan was normal and the brace came off! He will only wear a brace at bedtime for a couple months for extra precaution. Great day!

8-6-12: Liam learned to sign, "cookie" and "hotdog".

8-12-12: Liam turned three!!

8-13-12: Liam started preschool. He will not only be in a class learning new things with other preschoolers, he will also continue on with PT, OT, and Speech. He has been doing very and getting on more of a potty-training schedule. Fingers crossed!

8-17-12: Liam started wearing pull-ups. He looks so cute.

8-22-12: Liam is signing, "want".

9-13-12:  Liam said "Mama" on command when he wanted something.  I told him to say "Mama" first before he could have the item that he wanted.  He did, twice, but nothing with purpose at this point.  He continues to use sign to communicate. He is also making more sounds using his tongue (as in flicking his tongue in and out of his mouth).

9-26-12:  Liam waved bye-bye while saying the word!  I about died.  Truth is, I almost wrecked my car when he said it.  Great job, Liam!  He is also making letter sounds (some in school).  So far we have heard the sounds "H", "T", "B", "M", "G", "K" , "P" , "N" and "D".  He's getting there.

10-5-12:  Liam is saying "mama", "dada", and bye-bye.  Still working on it.

10-21-12:  Liam called out "mama" (twice) on his own and with purpose.  He doesn't do it consistently, but he's coming along.

11-2-12:  Liam started saying "bubba" for Bubby (Landon) and "papa" for papaw.

11-19-12:  Liam attempted to say "ball" for the first time.  He's better at mimicking tone than sounds, but coming along. 

11-23-12:  Liam showed us "down, set, hut" after watching his brother play football for several months.  I was able to capture that on video.  Very cute.

12-3-12:  Liam attempted to say the word "light".

12-7-12:  Liam attempted to say the word "dog".  He is also trying to say our dog's name, Peyton.  It's a hit and miss, but we love that he's trying.

12-9-12:  Liam is attempting to say "light" (almost sounds like lion), "bus", "bath", "hot dog", and several letter sounds.  He's not very good about completing a word, especially if it ends with a consonant.  He's trying to put two words together, but no such luck.

12-17-12:  Liam attempted to say "Santa".  It's more like "Anta".  Just in time for Christmas!!

12-28-12:  Project Potty was put into place while he was on Christmas break from school.  Since he still has issues with communication, it has been a challenge.  He can't tell me if he has to go.  He will point to the front or back of the diaper after he has already gone.  So far, peeing on the potty isn't a big deal, and he's is wearing big boy pants, which he loves.  We haven't pushed using a public restroom (or any potty outside of the home).  Baby steps, I suppose.

1-10-13:  Liam went poop on the potty for the first time!  He gave me some problems about pooping, but once he pooped he did great!  I think he was hesitant, and maybe a tad bit uncomfortable because it was unfamiliar to him.  I don't know if it will be worse next time or if we have crashed through a stubborn barrier.  We shall see.

2-27-13:  Liam said "up".  The word "down" is a challenge.  He can also blow.

3-1-13:  Liam's preschool teacher told me he said "puppy" as they were going through a picture book of dogs.

3-6-13:  Liam's preschool teacher sent a note home that read, "Liam said apple today"!  Coming along very slowly.

3-18-13:  Liam put two words together!  "Bye-bye, Daddy" (dada), "Bye-bye, Mama", and "Bye-Bye, Bubba".  Yay!

4-1-13:  Liam's hitting/smacking has appeared to have subsided, but he only hits certain people (not sure why).  I also noticed that if he gets worked up from playing, he'll do it more out of excitement.  I'm going to chalk the hitting up to age and timing.  Still working on it, though. Thank you, Lord!

4-8-13:  Liam can drink through a straw!  Does he like it?  No.  He prefers to drink from a nipple or spout of some sort.  Not sure if it is medical or stubbornness  at this point.

4-11-13:  The bottle is gonzo!  We had such a difficult time with Liam letting go of his bottle.  We're still unsure why he was so insanely addicted to it.  Now he is taking a sippy cup (the closest thing to a sippy cup he would take, which looks a little bottle-ish) and we couldn't be happier!!  Now we just need to get this potty-training business underway (he regressed on us months ago after doing so well)!

6-2-13:  Liam is attempting to say "dark", "my mommy", "daddy" (instead of dada),  "potty", "water", "cow", "bathroom", "hot", "book", "block", "Peyton" (our dog), "poop", "pee pee", and probably a few others.  Most of which aren't clear just yet.

 7-28-13:  As a recap, these are all the words he is saying or attempting to say now (again, most of which aren't clear):  potty, dark, light, bed, bathroom, ni-night, bye-bye/bye, hi, mama/mommy, dada/daddy, bubba/bubby, plane, happy, eye, no, yes, chair, baby, outside, inside, dog/doggy, Peyton (our dog), Papaw, cup, poop, pee/pee-pee, Liam, please, up, down, belly, ball, eat, bite, car, bike, apple, moo, pop, balloon, pants, hand, toy, plate, snack, out, in, off, home, chalk, bubbles, ouch, water, hot dog, hot, walk, boo-boo, TV, house, cat, pig, uh oh, and a few others that I can't think of at the moment.  He has come a long way!  He is still stubborn in the potty-training department.  Definitely no pooping on the potty, but he's just now saying "poppy" when he wants to pee.  Rough road, but we're getting there.

9-20-13:  A lot of changes have occured in our house over the last few months.  When Liam was home from school for summer break, he really took off on speech.  He repeats EVERYTHING you say (or tries to).  Some words that he has picked up along the way are becoming clearer.   No full sentences yet, but we're coming along.  Still no pottying, though.  He will, however, go when asked, but he doesn't communicate well enough to become "potty-trained".  Meaning, he won't go on his own when he feels the urge and I don't feel confident enough to take him places in underwear.  That's probably my biggest frustration right now.  It will come when he is ready to be consistent, but I am crossing my fingers that it's soon.  I've never known a kid his age to still be in pull-ups.

10-5-13:  I am sensing something more in Liam than just delays or laziness.  He falls into the SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) category.  I am looking into getting him evaluated soon.  Liam is on a roll with communication.  Still slow, but getting there.

12-14-13:  We tried more potty-training, but still nothing.  He just tells me no, grunts at me or runs away when I ask him to sit on the potty.  I'm wondering if we will go from pull-ups to adult depends at this stage.  Ha!  He is really excited about Christmas and starting to "get" what Santa is all about.

1-3-14:  Project Potty is underway again.  This time last year we had a little success but he regressed on us and hasn't been much of a potty guy since.  Hopefully 2014 will be our magic year!

2-20-14:  Liam sang his ABCs for the first time all by himself!  Liam can also write his name and the alphabet all by himself and talking a lot more.  Some things are mumbled or run together but he is doing wonderful.  Liam enjoys singing and dancing.  His favorite song is "Radioactive" at the moment.

3-24-14:  Today is the first official day of Spring Break for our kids.  I have decided that I am going to do everything in my power to get Liam potty-trained before he heads back to school.  Fingers crossed.  So far, it's going very well.  He has gone three-four hours without any accidents, but this time I undressed him and have him running naked around the house.  He has been asking demanding that I put his pull-up on.  I think having it on is a comfort zone and a crutch to keep from going to the bathroom.  The asking/begging/pleading with a pull-up on thing didn't work.  The big boy underwear thing didn't work, so now I am stripping him all the way down.  This way he has no other choice but to go to the toilet.  That, or pee and poo all over everything.  I wish I would have stripped him down long before now.  Before this all started, we had a communication barrier, then a stubborn streak, then a lazy streak, and we were told he just flat out wasn't ready.  I kept wondering if he ever would be.  So this is what we are doing now.  And, since we get two full weeks of Spring Break, this is a great time to start a "project" without interruptions.  Liam and I are also working on writing and drawing.  He's doing very well.  So proud.  We are also lined up for an evaluation through SIR and Edelson.  Hopefully they will be able to give us some answers.

3-26-14: Liam and I worked on potty-training again, but this time we had a more consistent time at home to do so.  He is going pee on his own, but still needs to be reminded in stimulating environments.  I think he just gets so involved with having fun and playing, or just being in new surroundings, he can get distracted from being an independent potty-goer.

4-8-14:  The first day he wore underwear to school and did great!  The teachers were so proud.  They still have to coax him, but they believe it's because it's a new place to potty.  He has only had a few accidents since we started Project Potty again, so this is a good sign he is ready to be take on "big boy" status.  We're working on leaving the house with underwear on, and he still wears night time pants to avoid accidents in the middle of the night.  He seems to be doing great and we are so proud!!

5-16-14:  Still doing great with pottying.   He's had just a handful of accidents since we hit it hard.  He even made the effort to say that he had to go poop and plopped down on the potty today.  Liam is talking more every day.  He says things like, "I wub you" and "behabe".  Anything will an "L" is a "w" sound and anything that has a "V" has a "b" sound.  It's pretty cute when he says it.  Yewwow is one of my favorites.  Landon used to say lellow.  It's funny how the pronunciation is different between the two.

7-21-14: Liam is trying more and more to speak in full sentences.  His speech is coming along!  We are working on How, When, and Why, counting, writing numbers, building. and sight words.

8-29-14:  Liam had his evaluation with Edelson.

9-16-14:  We received results from the evaluation and found out that Liam has Autism Spectrum Disorder (mild to moderate) and mild ADHD.  We will be contacting his pediatrician for what to do next.

12-10-14:  We teamed up with the CAPS program to help guide us through finding the proper care for Liam.  They have been wonderful and very resourceful.  We should have animal and ABA therapy services starting in our near future!  CAPS should be coming to an end soon.

01-13-15:  After being evaluated through the boys' school, they have come to the conclusion that on top of the ASD and ADHD Liam also has an Emotional Disorder.  Poor kid.  He is also back to a Monday-Thursday preschool schedule again.

02-12-15:  We received a call to pick Liam up from school.  Apparently he threw an object across the room and hit a teacher in the face.  She was fine, just tender.  The aggression seems to be getting progressively worse.  Liam won't be able to go back to school until a meeting is in place.  We will hopefully find a solution soon!

02-24-15:  We had a meeting with the school about finding tools to help Liam.  They had mentioned taking him out of class Monday-Thursday and putting him on Fridays only.  So, he will be a Friday preschooler from here on out until something better happens, and keep the students and staff safe in the process.  His school is working on getting him in to see a Psychiatrist.  He will still do one therapy through OG.  This may not even be an issue with this crazy weather we've been having!

3-18-15:  I had a phone conversation with the Child Psychiatrist today.  Normally she doesn't see patients until all paperwork is filled out and insurance is verified, but she made an exception for us.  Liam will be seen by her on March 27th.  We are hoping she is the answer to our prayers.  I'm not sure what to expect, but I hear they can do wonders.  Praying that all goes well.

6-29-15:  Update:  Liam has seen Dr. Mire several times and tweaked his meds.  We are just being patient.  Liam is also becoming more self sufficient.  He will make his own drinks and has been drinking from a cup (sometimes with a straw).  He is doing great, but we're ready to find the right mix of meds to help him transition into kindergarten a little better.  He will be going to kindergarten for two hours a day/five days a week unless something changes.  If he shows progression, they will increase his time in class.  Fingers crossed.

8-24-15:  Liam had his first IEP while in kindergarten.  We were given awesome news!  He is behaving by keeping his hands and feet to himself and listening to directions.  He has also calmed down in the verbal (cursing) department.  They have mentioned meeting again in September to change his time plan in school if all goes well from now until then.  Fingers crossed again.  Also, Dr. Mire has put him on a mixture of medications that seem to be working, but she will still tweak as she goes.  I'm loving this new and improved Liam!  We are rewarding him like crazy.

9-28-15: Liam's meds were tweaked again.  He keeps improving, so whatever the doctor is doing, it's really working!

9-28-15 to 10-2-15:  Liam had an amazing week at school!!  This was the very first time since starting kindergarten that he has had all positive feedback from the teacher (no timeouts or SCMs).  Most of the time it was a couple of smileys, then maybe an okay day, then a timeout (for doing something bad such as running out the room or throwing a toy), and maybe another smiley or an okay day.  It's been hit and miss since the beginning of the school year, but we are getting on track!!  This is a huge change for him.  I am so so proud of the progress he is making.  He even made Student of the Month for September and got his picture taken!  Way to go, buddy!!!!

11-3-15:  I met with Liam's kindergarten teacher for our conference and went over his IEP.  He will now be extending his day from 8:55 - 11am to 8:55 - 12:15pm.  Yay!  She even mentioned that she wouldn't be shocked if he is a full day student closer to the end of the school year!  She has said nothing but good things about him since he has added a medicine to his daily dosage.  Everything seems to be working great!  I'm so happy!

1-11-16: Liam is still on the same dose of medications and doing great.  I met with his teacher and she has arranged for him to extend his day once again!  I am so proud of our little guy.  He was even presented with an A-B Honor Roll ribbon!  So, now he will be attending school from 8:55am to 1:10pm!

1-19-16: Liam had his first day with the extended time today. He is doing wonderful!  He really loves sitting with his teacher and his friends at lunch and can't wait to do it again!  He's still working toward attending a full day of school.  Coming along!

2-12-16: Liam stayed all day at school for the first time (just one day) for his Valentine Party.  He did really well!!  I have a feeling that all day kindergarten will be coming sooner rather than later.  Yay!

3-11-16: Liam's teacher sent home a note that we were to meet after Spring Break to arrange for Liam to stay all day at school.  So exciting!  I know that Liam will be thrilled to stay all day with his friends!

3-24-16: Liam had an appointment with Dr. Mire.  It went really well, but she is wanting to add an organic type of medication to the other three he is taking daily.  She said this will/could help with the aggression and doesn't have any side effects whatsoever.  The only downfall is that it could take a few months to get in his system.  I think it might be worth a try.

4-13-16: Liam starts his first full day of kindergarten!!  We're trying to figure out how to give him his mid day medication, but we are so proud and excited.  Go, Liam!  Good luck, sweetie!

4-21-16:  Just a little update on full day of school.  He is doing very well.  Right now, we are working on sounding out words and going over site words at home.   Doing great!

7-28-16:  Liam started first grade!!  He showed so much excitement about going back to school.  He couldn't wait to meet new kids and make new friends!

8-11-16:  Liam has been getting good reports from his teacher.  We are just waiting on an IEP to be scheduled to see what goals they have set for him, how he's doing overall, what we need to work on at home, and what's to be expected in and out of the classroom.

9-2-16:  Liam has been riding the struggle bus lately, in and out of school.  We are all confused as to why this is happening.  For the last two weeks or so he has been having issues.  The teachers tricks at school aren't working anymore and I am having a hard time controlling him at home.  His diet hasn't changed, nor has his sleeping pattern (or his dosage of meds).  I have talked to his doctor and she has decided to add more medication to his daily intake.  We are all thinking that because he is so active and his metabolism is so incredibly high (I'm a little jealous) that he is burning right through all of his medication.  Not to mention that he could possibly be getting immune to them since he's been on them for a long time now.  I will be picking up a script from his doctor soon.  We'll see how it goes.

10-1-16: Liam extra dose of one of his medications seems to be working a little better.  Not where I would like for it to be, but we have to take little steps at a time because it could be dangerous.  After getting the extra dose, his school planner had more positive than negative things to say, so I knew it was making a difference.  Liam is still using inappropriate language.  We are trying so hard to get him to stop and thinking of different words to use to replace the bad ones.  This is not helping.  We're still unsure how or why this continues to happen.  I've talked to the doctor, but it's difficult for her to tell us how to handle it other than discipline.  Gee, why didn't I think of that?!  Pfffft.  Thanks, doc!  [insert eye roll]  I think I'm convinced at this point that Liam does in fact have a touch of Tourette's Syndrome.  What else could it be?  I've never seen anything like it!

7-31-17:  We moved to a new place this past spring so that put us in a new school district.  He was supposed to go to GES, but come to find out they didn't have an ED program in place so they moved him to another school, out of district, that could help him and work on the specific issues that he has.

8-17-17:  Liam appears to be handling his brand new school well.  The teachers are very nice and helpful.  Liam loves his new surroundings and eager to get the year started.

9-6-17:  Liam has had a few incidents with being touchy and language, but found out that he was tired and overly stimulated.  There were a couple of days he didn't have one of his medications due to a discrepancy at the pharmacy.

10-9-17:  Liam went to the doctor and had his medication changed since she thought he was burning through them so fast with him being high energy.  So far, the medication seems to be making a difference.  Only time will tell.  His doctor is a Godsend!

10-17-17: Liam started full day of school (until the end of the day, not really full day).  The teacher thought he was ready to extend his day.  Of course, everything with Liam is trial and error, so we just have to see how things play out.

12-2-17: Liam got a brand new pair of glasses!  They are similar to what Landon used to wear while he was active in sports.  They are initially meant for sports, but having an autistic child is quite challenging when it comes to how things feel.  His old pair tickled his ears, he said.  He would wear them for about 15 minutes and take them off and wouldn't wear them for a couple of months, and so on and so on.  Trust me, I tried, but it was exhausting and I didn't want to take the chance of him throwing a fit and breaking the glasses.  I don't want to jinx it but he seems to really like them!  Maybe because he picked them out, who knows.  Hopefully this will stick and we can control the headaches/vision a little better.  Fingers crossed!  Oh, and the change in medication still seems to be doing great.  In the evening (after 4:30 pm) I notice he gets a little out of sorts (probably because he's tired and overstimulated), but hanging in there.  I'm learning just like him!

3-2-18:  Liam is now back to 1:00 pm at school.  He was struggling with his behavior so we agreed that it's better for him for right now.  This will only be a temporary adjustment. We'll get there!

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