Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Maryland 2015 Regional Braille Challenge Info

The Maryland State Department of Education and
 The Maryland School for the Blind
will be hosting the Maryland 2015 Regional Braille Challenge on
Saturday, February 7, 2015

Braille is an important key to literacy!  It allows for the enjoyment of reading, leads to school success, and opens the doors to future employment.  Come celebrate braille literacy with a day filled with fun, competition, learning, prizes, and enjoyment! In addition, bring in Braille books you no longer read for our first ever Braille book exchange!

Students who read braille in grades Prekindergarten through Grade 12 are invited to participate in the Maryland Regional Braille Challenge reading and writing contests. Parents are invited to participate in workshops while students are taking the tests.  Teachers and school staff are invited to assist with test proctoring and scoring and helping to facilitate the day.

WHEN:     Saturday, February 7, 2015 (Snow date:  February 21, 2015)


TIME:        8:30 AM to 4:00 PM (Lunch will be provided)

WHERE:   The Maryland School for the Blind
                3501 Taylor Avenue

                Baltimore, MD  21236

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Great Frederick Fair

Last week Max went to the Great Frederick Fair. I didn't hold back on anything. This boy walked the entire fair with his cane, ate a hot dog, rode on some rides, and finished it all with a brownie. We stayed up past his bed time, heard the tractor pull event, and I scared the heck out him by putting him on a kiddie roller coaster probably meant for 6 year olds and up. All in all though, he survived and went on a bunch of other rides like a champ. Note to self: next time do not put Max on the kiddie roller coaster first or even at all...think more about it. Hah!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Max and his Scooter

Max has started to ride his scooter on his own. You can tell he is whining about it all but he is willing to do it. Awhile ago, his daycare mentioned that another parent taught him to kick a soccer ball. While he can kick a ball around he does so with mostly a straight leg (he also runs with straighter-than-they-should-be legs). I figured a scooter would help him understand the functionality and range-of-motion of his legs and how it can hinge at the knee and he can push. Here's to hoping this works!

Untitled from Amber Elia on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

And just like that...Max is eating solids!

After years and a lot of work and some struggle, it's like everything just "clicked"! Max is eating solid food. It will be 1 week tomorrow that Max's meals have consisted of solid food items broken into bite-size pieces at the most. None of his food touched a blender!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Progress with Eating

It's been a while since I really shared information as it relates to Max, his blindness, and some of our challenges. Eating/feeding has always been a challenge because chewing is a visually learned skilled. After years of struggling trying to move Max past a pureed texture, numerous feeding workshops, and trying to visit a feeding clinic I think we have turned a corner.

A friend has pointed out to me how I give in to Max too quickly. Here I thought I was one tough momma, he couldn't manipulate me but then during feeding sessions I fold like a bad poker hand. So, after paying attention to how I act and react over the past two/three weeks, Max has been challenged with bits of solid food every night. He has eaten ground beef (from tacos), chocolate chips, bits of kiwi, bits of cookies, lots of pieces of chicken, and puffs.

When we first started this little experiment I kept our normal routine at feeding. It consisted of me having the music going in the house and getting through his normal pureed meal then introducing a solid piece of whatever for as long as he'd tolerate. After a couple nights of struggling and Max being preoccupied by a full stomach and music, we shut the music off and Max had to work for the music or toys he wanted afterwards. This brought on a change in his behavior and his willingness to try solid foods. He was willing to take more bites of solid pieces (usually no more than 4 bites) and while there was a lot of gagging at the beginning after a couple of weeks the gagging has started to subside.

This week while I have been making Max's dinner I started giving him piles of puffs while he waits. There's no music, no cup, nothing but the pile of puffs. At the beginning of the week, he wasn't too interested in taking the puffs without being prompted. However, by Thursday evening I sat the pile of puffs in front of him while I made his dinner and when he received his dinner he took a few bites and then pushed his bowl away to finish the pile of puffs! Max willingly went for the solid food! : )

I don't think there's anything left to say but...WOOHOO!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dog Sitting

Max and I are dog sitting for a close friend this week. It's been an experience! While I have been challenging Max with more texture in his food (he's doing great with it!!!) both Max and the dog are challenging every bit of my stamina and patience.

Max has been getting progressively whiny, and the dog has been getting progressively jealous of the attention given to Max. Needless to say, I am exhausted! Not to mention, I gave up coffee almost two weeks ago because of migraines due to medicine and too much caffeine. I have been feeling better but I have definitely been jonesin' for some joe--luckily, decaf (not quite the same but good enough) has calmed my cravings. So, lots have been going on and it's been a bit crazy 'round here.

: )