Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hello to all you Sam fans! :)

Just a brief update, Sam is doing great! He loves his new program (and second home) Spectrum of Hope. It is 30 miles from where we live/work, so we're clocking in about 120+ miles per day going back and forth, which in Houston that means about 5 hours of driving time (2.5 of that with Sam in the car). It's been a difficult routine for me to get used to, but Sam loves it. He reads or plays Ant Smasher, watching the crazy Houstonians drive in their crazy huge trucks.



Check out Spectrum of Hope's website if you are interested in seeing some photos of the environment Sam is working in now. He plays outside a lot, and has a handwriting (Handwriting without Tears), math, and reading program. According to his VB-MAPP and ABLES assessment, his strength is in reading. He's repeating lots of word approximations and uses the iPad like a pro when he is unable to say what he wants verbally. His verbal communication has improved dramatically over the last month - we are very excited! And Spectrum is doing a marvelous job making learning fun again for Sam! His appetite is back! He's eating everything! And his interest in interacting with people is growing as well. All of these improvements are because of how comfortable he is with his new friends and in the positive environment created by Spectrum of Hope! It's so nice to find a provider that sees Sam's potential and makes him happy to be himself. A big thanks goes to CARD as well - if we didn't have a baseline to reach for, we would have settled like so many other parents we have met along the way. CARD always had a positive outlook and saw Sam for who he is, not for who society would want him to be. I didn't realize how difficult it would be to find that again.



Since we are driving all over Houston, we have decided to pick up a few new hobbies. Hiking is one of them. We've been using a second hand 60 hikes within 60 miles hikers guide (thank you Ian!) and are working our way through all of the wooded bayou trails Houston has to offer. Sam's favorite is the Arboretum. It is on our way home (about 1 hour into Houston from Cypress during rush hour), so it's a great place to take a break from our commute and walk around for an hour before driving another two on our way to get Ryan from work - I really wish this was an exaggeration. I've signed up for a flying lesson at the Cypress airport (I have a coupon - I'm terrified really, but flight is one of man's greatest achievements - it'd be so totally lame of me to pass this opportunity). On December 2, Sam will be joining all of his friends at Spectrum of Hope to play games, do crafts, get pictures with Santa and eat treats from Mrs. Claus - while mom and dad enjoy a date night (we haven't had one since Nancy came to visit us!).



We're excited to see everyone in Phoenix this Christmas!!



Thanks everyone for your love and support! Big hugs from Sam and the family!



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