Catching up – Summer got away

I know it’s been a long while since my last post. I should have updated this on a more regular basis and I probably had more opportunities to do it, but really could never settle myself down to focus.

Since the Race Away Domestic Violence 5k, life, as you can expect, has been quite hectic. Ryan and Micah continue to go to Brain Balance and we have updated levels and new exercises and therapies which are beginning to apply. Andrew and Wendy went to Cincinnati for a week in June as Andrew competed in the National Bible Bowl Tournament. His team placed 15th in the nation. Hard to believe that was June. The new practice sessions began for the 2015-16 season last week. The team had it’s usual Boot Camp yesterday. Luke has moved up to Andrew’s level this season, which makes things a lot easier because now instead of having Bible Bowl competitions on both Saturday and Sunday we now only have Saturdays. If the fundraising goes well throughout the year Andrew, Luke and Wendy will head to Anaheim for nationals next summer.

Ryan and I have parlayed the performance at the Race Away Domestic 5k into a solid summer of training for the Mill Race Half Marathon Sept. 26. When we started I promised Wendy I would not train Ryan as insane as I did for my last half marathon and I have been true my word. We definitely have gotten the miles in as I did back in 2013, but we have not done any specific workouts – ie speed workouts or hill repeats. Some runs we have done fast and some we felt like we struggled to get through it.

Since the beginning of August, we broke through and began having double-digit-mile-long runs. After last Saturday’s 12.25-mile run, I decided with 27 days until the Mill Race Half Marathon it was time for us to run the full distance to see exactly where we were heading into the final month of training and the “don’t fear it but embrace it” taper of the training To keep things short I will probably write more about Saturday’s run in a separate post.

The education reporter for the Kokomo Tribune Lauren Slagter wrote a post about Ryan and I running last week. She writes a blog about running called Extra Mile. Here’s the link to her blog – http://www.extramilerunning.com/blog/2015/8/24/father-autistic-son-bond-over-half-marathon-training. It has received a lot of positive feedback. Ryan and I appreciate Slagter writing it. She’s running the marathon at Mill Race and we look forward to meeting her.

Micah also continues to train for his fun run the night before Ryan and I run the half down in Columbus. His runs are a little more sporadic. We probably get out two to three times a week compared to the five times a week Ryan runs. It also depends on what we have going on that day and what kind of day I have had at “The World on Time.” I’m sure he’ll be ready regardless on Sept. 25.

As for Brain Balance and Micah and Ryan’s progress in a way I guess you can say they have plateaued some. There could be a lot of reasons. Once July hit it seemed like we were going in many directions. Our renters moved out of our first house and we spent a lot of time repainting and cleaning that house to get it ready to sell. Our “school year” began July 20 and it took a couple of weeks to get everyone’s schedules coordinated. Being able to fit in the prescribed three sets of exercises a day has become quite the challenge compared to what it was prior to June.

Visual Stimulation

Micah has moved up two points in eye movement and coordination but still has trouble with eye movement in the ability to perform slow and fast eye movement. He has shown a slight improvement with his eye reflex. He showed no change with convergence and divergence from his May 22 review.

Ryan has really progressed well in eye movement and coordination and eye reflex, but his convergence and divergence has not improved at all. We took him to our eye doctor, Dr. Warner, and he referred us to Dr. Erin Buck. Ryan will begin more eye therapy with Dr. Buck and her team this week.

Auditory

Both have reached where they can go in regard to stimulation. Micha still needs work on auditory processing – ability to process spoken word, but he did move up a point between review periods. Ryan also has reached the max for stimulation and remained the same from last review with processing. So we got some more work to do.

Tactile Stimulation

Both made have reached the max level for the sense of touch. The work now is to keep it that way.

Core Stimulation

Micah has reached the middle of levels. This is probably an area where if he wouldn’t try to get the mat work exercises done as fast he can he would be close to maxing out. Ryan continues to build up as well. We have actually added some planks to help and also bridges with leg raises.

Motor Skills

Micah has a slight improvement from May, but could still use some work with his body awareness and equilibrium. Ryan continues to struggle in this regard. His numbers didn’t change. We have added some other ways he spell words and added exercises whee he stands on his left leg while doing the movements.

Synchronizations

A slight improvement for Micah not quite to the midway point in either gait and aerobic or interactive metronome. Thanks to Ryan’s running his gait has made great strides again. He’s up three levels. His metronome though showed no change. Again we have added work with various claps and steps with a metronome to hopefully get those numbers up.

Overall

Micah continues to make improvements across the board with significant differences in his math skills from when he first began Brain Balance back in March. Actually there are some aspects where Micah’s right side has caught up and surpassed his left. This now means some exercises and even the music for Micah will change to now bring the left side up to the right. It also means instead of doing the exercises together as we have been, Ryan and Micah will do them separate because of needing the different music. Ryan continues to work hard and is doing better with counting, but still needs work on drawing conclusions as it gets difficult as the grade level increases. They want him to work on more story problems and solving that way.

Dr. Buck showed us the book Outsmarting Autism by Patricia Lemer. Guess my search for new reading material didn’t take long.

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