Sunday, November 9, 2014

Orioles Park at Camden Yards Tour

Yesterday, we took a tour of Orioles Park at Camden Yards with a MD Chapter of the NFB. It was incredibly fun! 

Pictured above is the Babe Ruth statue and Max is on top of the base next to the baseball bat. 
Max moved to the front of the base by Babe's knee and it reaching to touch it. 
Max is being held on the base and is reaching low to touch Babe's right shoe and laces. 
Right next to us the Orioles had a dj for their annual employee family party. The Cha-cha slide came on so people broke out dancing. 
Feeling Cal Ripken Jr's #8 monument. 
This is the warehouse and the brick is over 100 years old. 
4th floor from the warehouse. 
Bridge crossing over to stadium.
Two World Series trophies (because they weren't making them in '66). 
Everyone was invited to touch the Cy Young award. Max was held up so he could feel the baseball in the hand on the plaque. 
In the press hallway we found this gem from Game 2 in the ALCS champ series. 
After touring the press box we walked through the facility to the basement and then out to touch the grass. Can I get whoever takes care of this to advise on my home? Please. Pretty please. 
Group shot of my sister, nephew, Me, and Max in front of home plate. 
My nephew and Max sitting in the dugout. 
We walked out to left field by the foul pole and wall. Max loved how soft it was and kept asking to be knocked into it. Each time he said "BONK!" 
He told me after the tour that his favorite part was touching the foul pole and hitting the wall. Haha
The double doors to the Orioles locker room, etc has a big Baltimore Orioles "O" split across them. 
And on the wall to the right was a metal sign with "Orioles" stenciled out and light up in Orange. 

The tour was a great time. It was exciting to see, touch, and experience different things about the park. I can't wait to go back with Max for a game next. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Max's Poster for White Cane Day

Last week, I posted a certificate Max received for his White Cane Day poster that was submitted to MSB. He placed second for all sorts of judging criteria and I am very proud his tiny poster had won some recognition. His poster is made out of yellow cardstock and at the top center is his picture that was taken by the Frederick Running Festival. In the picture, Max is wearing his superman shirt with a red cape and his cane is in his right hand while his left hand in the air. He had just crossed the finish line of the kid's fun run and this was his ending picture. Below the picture along the edge of the bottom are his two hands traced in marker and along the left edge in both braille and print are the words "Max", "brave", "hand", "tap", "sweep". Along the bottom edge slightly overlapping the tracing of his hands is the phrase "I like my cane".

It's true--Max likes his cane. I would even say he loves his cane. Before he had it Max used an AMD but he didn't like how it felt so it was tough to motivate him to move. At one point Max even had a little walker (yes, like older individuals use) and it was still a fight to get to him move. So without consulting anyone I used the NFB Early Explorers program to secure a white cane for Max and everything changed. It was as if he was waiting for it before he was willing to move independently. Two years later, this boy is unstoppable and I can't wait to see how he continues to grow and move.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Our Halloween

Happy Halloween! I hope you had a fun day full of candy, laughs and lots of love. This year Max was a dog. He loves to bark and it just seemed fitting to let him be a dog on Halloween so he could bark anytime he wanted too. His costume was to resemble a beagle and I was unsuccessful in adding the bits of brown color to his costume but to him it didn't matter. He was a dog. 

This was the first year where we went trick or treating and Max walked by himself (not carried by me) and greeted everyone with "Trick or treat?!" It was a fun time to see how much he has grown to understand it and how much he was willing to participate. Of course he ate some candy since he is eating solid food and a few times he told me, "candy...yum!" I think he's hooked. 

We even went to Chipotle for "booritos" and Max had his first chicken burrito bowl. It was quite the day and by 7pm he was whining to go to bed until the next sugar rush hit. 

P.S. Max loves to sing "who stole the cookie?" So I felt inspired to be a robber caught red handed stealing cookies. It was a fun night. : )

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sol Yoga "Ohm-mazing Kids" Yoga

I have been looking for a way to include Max into my yoga practice and this seems like a great introduction. If you're in the Frederick area and you have a child on the spectrum or just with special needs check out Sol Yoga

Saturday, 11/22/14, 12 noon - 12:45 pm, at the Frederick Location in the Little SOLs room.

Designed for children on the autism spectrum and a parent/guardian, this adult-child series will incorporate exercises and use of yoga props that help with grounding and healthy breathing. By learning and practicing these exercises along with and for their child, parents may become empowered with extra tools they can use to help their child manage difficult behaviors and experiences encountered in daily life and build confidence in themselves, their child, and the relationship shared by both. Series will be taught by a licensed Occupational Therapist, who is certified in sensory integration and is a Child Light Yoga ® Instructor. $2

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

White Cane Day Poster Contest - 2nd Place

The Maryland School for the Blind hosted a poster contest this year for White Cane Day on October 15th, 2014 and today was the celebration... : ) It was a great afternoon!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Tactile Discriminaton

This week in a Facebook group for parents with children that have ONH a mother was concerned about how to make her child a dual reader. Since Max is totally blind I really don't have to fight the system to get him to learn braille because without a doubt he will need it be literate. Anyway, this mother's concern got me thinking and I want to share what Max is learning in school and how I model that at home.

The first major step in Max's braille learning was getting him to understand differences in shapes. One teacher in school put together a box of different shaped prisms and she would ask him for whatever shape and he would need to find it. Eventually, this led to Max having to recognize the face of the shapes in foam stickers stuck on braille paper. They would be smaller stickers (not much larger than his fingertip) and there would be a row of about 8 or 10 stickers in a non-discriminatory pattern times 4 rows. He would have to use his left hand to hold the paper, and his right hand to recognize the shapes.

At home, we don't have prisms for him to search through but we do have a game called "3D Feel & Find" that I ordered off of Amazon. While Max wasn't able to recognize all the shapes in the bag, he was able to recognize enough that helped encourage and reinforce some of what he was doing in school. Once he started to "read" the lines of shapes on the braille paper, I made my own sheets at home that we would read through a few times a week.

Eventually this evolved into Max using a brailler to create lines of full cells, reading the lines of full cells before moving on to letters.

Make your own tactile discrimination reading sheets:
mini foam stickers
braille paper

When starting off pick maybe 3 or 4 shapes to work with and make 4 rows of whatever pattern--be creative! Then introduce it to your child. When I work with Max at home, he sits at his toddler table so he understands we concentrating on the task. At first he was really fussy when I started to mimic school but eventually he learned "first we work, then we play." Max has since advanced to reading/understanding the difference between letters in a similar fashion but that's another post.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Marshmallows & Kip Moore

Since we have successfully tackled the solid food hurdle, Max has been going for the potty trained hurdle. Yesterday was one of his most successful days using the potty. He didn't have school and daycare was able to get him to use the potty 3 times! He did have a meltdown at one point because he sat on the potty a 4th time but didn't go and still wanted a reward...I guess such is life for everyone sometimes, we want a treat just for the effort without the success. Anyway, once we got home he went once more on the potty and was rewarded.

Want to know what his rewards are???? They are his choice rewards--marshmallows and Kip Moore songs. Both, maybe aren't the most appropriate (especially some of Kip Moore's song lyrics) but they encourage Max. Besides, I think Max mostly enjoys the guitar in Kip's music. We recently took him to a concert and the little guy was screaming and crying during the break between Charlie Worsham and Kip Moore because he thought it was over and he didn't want it to be over.

Anyway, this weekend we are going to try one of those intensive potty training weekends...wish us luck!