Hard to believe the little monster will be 8 years old tomorrow. Where has the time gone? It was yesterday she was sitting in the grass trying not to touch the grass. (She is still trying to eat her foot...)
Looking back, it's been a good year for Kate. Early on she got an iPad to help her to communicate better. Later in the year, with help from many of you, we upgraded her AAC app to Proloquo2.
Not too long ago, Kris had said that she heard "popcorn" coming from the backseat on the way home from school one day. She'd follow up the use of the iPad with both hands pointing up and saying "pop pop." I sort of forced her to do this video, so it's not organic, but you get the point. A big win in my book.
One of the unintended consequences of the iPad is that Kate is now able to have independent play. She trolls YouTube for Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob, and other videos. This is important not only for her, but for her parents, who desperately needed a break. (We'd sit there with her watching Dora, and if it ended, she'd kinda lose her cool...not fun for any of us. Now we can watch normal TV, football, the Science Channel, etc.)
Word of caution about Dora and YouTube. Apparently a lot of people have way too much time on their hands...there's Ghetto Dora, Dora the ExploraChola, and a host of others that aren't fit for young children.
8 years old.
After a brief stall, we're moving forward again with Kate's care. By stall I don't mean she wasn't receiving therapy or anything, just that we felt kind of stuck in terms of her progress and getting her the right therapy.
On Monday we met with someone from CARD, the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University of South Florida. One place that we have struggled is managing Kate's care: What should she get? How can we do better? What's her future like? I think the people at CARD will be able to help us with that aspect.
Now she's lying 8. (Really hard for me to believe). Fun times ahead I'm sure.
Now the sappy stuff...at OOW I had a number of conversations about Kate. I even filmed a video segment with OTN on the origins of this site (the name really) and by the end it was all about Kate. If you look real close, you can see a tear. I'm sure the adult beverages consumed prior had nothing to do with it.
At the Pythian party, I ran into Martin and Jason. (Jason was the one, in 2010, who when I first met him, asked how Kate was doing). They told me how much they enjoyed reading about Kate, about how it affected them in their lives. (I'm sure I cried there too...what can you do?). Bjoern and I talked about her too. Actually, just about everyone asked about Kate. I think that is pretty cool.
So thank you from the Justice/ORACLENERD family for all of your support over the years and Happy Birthday to katezilla!