There was no Wordless Wednesday this week because, well, it’s hot.  My office, where my computer and photo hard drive are located, is in the attic, which also happens to be the hottest room in the house.  We’re in the middle of a hot spell at the moment and I couldn’t bear to go sit in the sauna to find a picture.  It’s still hot so I don’t have access to pictures today, either.  It’s ok.  You all know Nate is wicked cute.

Nate’s had a pretty awesome week.  He’s thrown some major surprises our way that made us all jump for joy.  For the past few weeks, Nate’s been completing a test (I can’t remember the acronym for it and Nate’s BCBA took the test to score it so I can’t look it up) that measures the skills for children ages 0 – 18 months of age.  You read right: 0 – 18 months.  Nate’s over 2 but we’re starting with the most basic test to really know what he’s mastered and what he needs to continue to work on.  There are some portions of the test we can’t complete, namely the speech portions that require him to repeat back sounds.  Anyway, last week Friday, Nate took the portion of the speech test that he can complete.  For one hour, his speech therapist just let Nate play and counted the number and types of sounds that Nate made while playing.  When he’s concentrating in therapy, Nate doesn’t make many sounds because he’s thinking awful hard but, when he’s playing, he can be a chatterbox.  He made a ton of sounds, including difficult consonants like “r,” and his speech therapist was quite pleased as she didn’t know he had the ability to be that chatty!

During therapy at school on Tuesday, Nate signed “open,” a sign we’ve been working on for three months.  He then proceeded to say the word “open” three times!!!  Nate practiced distal pointing with his snack, a cup of strawberries and blueberries.  At home, we refer to these by their names but Miss Lisa, apparently, generalizes them as fruit.  How do I know this?  Because Nate said FRUIT.  It sounded like “ute” but he got credit for it!  And, at dinner that night, Chad and I had paninis and chips.  Nate?  He wanted a chip.  So we gave him a chip.  Then he wanted another chip.  So we gave him another.  Then he wanted a third, so I said, “I want chip!” when Nate pointed for it.  His response? “CHIP!”  Yeah!  He had a really chatty Tuesday.  And on Wednesday, Nate’s BCBA deemed that he has officially mastered the one-step command of throwing things away.  So his four mastered skills are pointing to make a choice; giving “high five;” identifying Mom, Dad, and himself in photographs; and following the one-step command to throw something away.  He is a few trials away from also mastering the one-step command of “sit down,” which he understands only if a chair is present.

Nate’s also sporting some real toddler wounds.  Normally, a parent wouldn’t be happy or proud about that but, to date, all of Nate’s bumps and bruises have been self-inflicted.  Nate has a bruise (it’s clearing up now) on his forehead that was a gigantic goose egg.  He was being goofy and ran into the corner of the wall, which has a metal casing.   True to his autistic nature, Nate didn’t feel a thing.  Not a tear.  He just sort of looked befuddled and then was ready to move on.  The pediatrician explained the bump was pooling blood (gross) and Nate might get a black eye from the blood when it drains.  He suggested we slap an ice pack on there, which was successfully administered with bribes of singular chocolate chips.  No black eye appeared but he had the bruise for a while–a bruise just from being a kid!   He also has a mosquito bite on his eye and bruised the middle of his nose (between his eyes) in a Nate vs. Block Tower incident during therapy.  Again, all injuries were sustained while playing like a kid.  That, my friends, is pretty awesome.

That is all from the land of Nate….for now.  Once I can get back into my office, there’s a distal pointing entry coming your way.  Hint: it involves Nate, an aquarium, and a seal.


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