This morning we went to the HOPE Run, organized by Isaac's Foundation to go towards research at the U of M Children's Cancer Center. It was supposed to be very hot, but thankfully it was overcast with a slight breeze. Tyler had been chosen to be 1 of 7 honored children. Some had lost their battle, some still in the hospital. We did meet many cancer families and it was nice to talk and share experiences. There were a couple I'd been following on Caringbridge and hadn't gotten a chance to meet yet. Our stop was 2 miles up the trail. I had posters and a slideshow, plus the granola bars and ice pops to give out. It was great sharing his story and educating people about cancer and how it affects families. I learned quite a bit too.
We had someone come help who is s a Pediatric nurse. It was great talking to her. She has experience with Autisic kids too, so we talked some about that also. She brought her small dog, which Dawson loved. He held the leash and followed it around. He was petting the dog and after about 20 minutes he was leading it around, saying "Dawson's doggie!". It was so cute. I wish we could have a dog, but between me and Dawson's allergies and Tyler's restrictions, I just don't see it happening anytime soon. Dawson did great, he greeted people and opened coolers for them to get drinks. The only issue I had with him was the bikes. When people stopped, especially young children, he wanted to get on their bikes. He went from looking at them, to suddenly hopping on and riding one several feet as I ran to catch up! I hadn't expected that at all, the last time I worked with him on it, in April, he wasn't able to pedal! So exciting, I'll have to get him one once we're out. Everyone thought Gabriel was so adorable all sprawled out taking a nap on a blanket on the grass. He kept smiling in his sleep, I think he was enjoying the fresh air.
After the run we drove back to the park and talked to more families and had some snacks. They had a bouncy house, which Dawson loved. He was good to watch out for the other children. He's really improving on that. He used to not acklowledge them at all, stepping right over people's toys, taking things, etc. Now he'll actually play next to them. There was a big hand water pump there that the kids were playing with. He went and stuck his head right under it! Shocked me, he hates water on his head! He was laughing and looking right at the other kids as they played and stood around the water. I just watched in amazement, not even caring how wet he gets, if he's playing with other kids! I had extra shirts with, thankfully!
We went home and got Dan, went out to eat at Subway. I was probably pushing my luck, but it'd been such a great day with so many break-throughs, I just had to try! Dawson did very good sitting next to me, though he did climb over the booth once. There's rarely anyone else at the subway by our place since we're on the edge of town, so if we're going to try eating out, we go there! Afterward we went to Lake George and walked around the lake. We did that the night before we had to bring Tyler to the hospital after his relapse too, so it brought back some memories, but we had a good time. Dawson liked seeing the ducks. Then we played at the park there and Dawson surprised me once again! He went over to the splash pad, which he's always been very afraid of. He doesn't mind water if it's a standing puddle, but he doesn't like showers or other spraying water. It's just too unpredictable for him or something. So he went over and splashed in the water on the ground, then he went over and let some spray hit him and before we knew it, he was stepping on the water sprays to get them to stop, and standing under the spraying water. He kept saying "owie!" "wet!" I had told him before that the rain was just wet and it's ok to be wet, but he's still a bit confused between the 2, which is a pretty common sensory issue.
We got him a treat at DQ also. He doesn't get much ice cream, there really isn't a point in an air conditioned hospital! So he loved that. He finished the day learning some math on Starfall.com. We discovered new areas on there and he loves the bowling, which works on beginning subtraction.
I got a lot done at home! I got more forms filled out, just to get yet another packet in the mail from Children's Psychology. I got the entire kitchen and dining room cleaned and unpacked, plus a couple boxes in the living room. It's looking so much better! Dan did some work on the car. I was excited to get some emails back from different Autism and therapy places. The one thought our situation was pretty intense and said they had no clue how I would make it to the amount of therapy they suggest. Apparently ABA therapy is usually about 40 hours per week, and they only do clinic hours. Another place said because of our situation, they'd try to get us services ASAP and they'd come to us. YAY! They also do the full Autism diagnosis process, which we've been on the list for quite a while in St. Cloud. So hopefully that will be done so we can move on. With each year that passes, the window of opportunity for re-learning behaviors gets smaller, so I really want to do this soon to give him the best chance possible.