And I still haven't decided whether Kaiden will attend another year of preschool, or attend kindergarten. Right now it's set at another year of preschool, but they all know I may change my mind.
Kaiden is doing FANTASTIC with the LAMP (loaner) unit at school - last session he spontaneously used it to say what HE wanted to say. It was . . . one of the best sessions ever!!! Kaiden had already selected which activity he wanted to do (have a book read to him), and as the SLP and I were chatting, Kaiden kept looking at me and used the unit to repeatedly say "Mama, read" to get me to shut up with the chatting and get on with the reading. Later we changed activities to blowing bubbles (he has to say "bubbles" or "more bubbles" to get the SLP to blow bubbles), and HE said "Mama bubbles" and giggled when I blew bubbles instead of the SLP. Then as he grabbed at the bubbles to purposely pop them, he kept saying "my" and "my turn" - the closest he could come to saying "hey, look at what *I* did" because we don't have a lot of the buttons activated. Slow going to build up his vocabulary when you only get two speech therapy sessions per week and there's been a lot of missed sessions in there due to either sickness or scheduling issues - both on ours and the SLP's end.
We are currently at almost 74% of our fundraising goal - how awesome is that??? SO MANY caring people have generously donated to help Kaiden get his own device!!! We are still waiting on the insurance company, after 4 rounds of submitting paperwork and having the case escalated . . . still no answer.
On to the cortisol testing - had to collect his drool/spit at 4 specific times over the course of 1 day. The first one had to be within 1/2 hr of waking. He's just not very drooly that early - so we tried to do the gauze in the mouth part . . . not fun. The other collections were easy - he loves to chew on his hands while holding a MegaBlock upside down, which makes a fantastic drool collector! Just pour into the test tube and there you go. The results took awhile to come in, and it was really neat to see the graph that came with it showing his levels for the 24 hours. Definitely correlated with his activity. He's restless at night, not getting anywhere good enough sleep, and does NOT sleep during the day. Our current thought (medical team included) is that he's basically stressed all the time, like PTSD, so that's why he eats like mad - since his body is stressed from not getting any good sleep, his metabolism is thru the roof - he just burns right through food, which doesn't leave much nutrition left for growing. Having the adrenals off balance will affect the thyroid (see the whole kelp issue a couple posts back), so we are opting to see if we can adjust his sleeping pattern. We adjusted his supplements a bit - found his tolerance for the new Cellular Energy supplement - he slept even less with this supplement, so I thought, since the Cellular Energy introduces more amino acids, let's try removing the Theanine. THAT worked. He finally slept thru the night for a few nights in a row! YAY!!!
Since we now had a system that worked, then I thought, okay, this is the PERFECT time to reintroduce the GABA. We'd tried GABA a couple years earlier - it made him frustrated, angry, and sleepless, but for some reason it cured a food-related diaper rash we'd been fighting for months. It stopped the diaper rash for a year and a half, and slowly crept back. I had been wanting to reintroduce it to see if it would kill off the rash again. (His team says the GABA can push out histamines, so it's possible Kaiden had a histamine buildup, and the GABA pushed it out, thereby killing off that rash.) I thought it might take 3 days or so, like last time, and I could deal with a frustrated angry child for a few days. I tried it at a lower dosage though - about 1/4 capsule. When we first tried it last time, we started at a full capsule and went lower and lower and lower to see if that would help with the anger, frustration, & sleeplessness, which at that time, it didn't.
And . . . instead of having an angry frustrated sleepless child, Kaiden became even more connected! He didn't sleep as well though, so I tried lowering the dosage to between 1/16th and 1/8th capsule. THAT worked! He's so connected it's like having a completely different child, than Kaiden when he was off the kelp. Total 180. It's as my best friend says about typical 5yr olds, it's like at age 5 they grow a brain and start to behave! He is just . . .amazing. At that low dose however, the diaper rash is less but not gone. Hoping that continued use of GABA will eventually do the job.
Before starting the GABA, but after starting the Cellular Energy - Kaiden gave me the BEST Mother's Day present EVER!! He started saying "Mama" with intention!!! It sounds more like "ah-ma-ma", and he can't seem to do it loud, it's very soft, but he's saying it appropriately to get my attention! The tradeoff though, seems to be that he's lost all other consonant sounds for the time being. Now, the only thing he says is "Mama" (or some version thereof) and very few vowel sounds. Nothing else. But, hell, I'll take it. :) I don't know how long he'll be able to keep saying it - he has spontaneously said a few words here and there, one for about a month, then gone, not repeated in years. I keep encouraging him though, telling him how much I love to hear him say "Mama". Going back to the last post with Raun Kaufman's book - the Son Rise program approach really DOES work! Kaiden's eye contact and social interaction is sooooo much better! I can't say it was only the approach, or only the supplement change, I think it's all of it combined. Either way, this Mama's a pretty happy camper!!