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Friday, April 29, 2011

Kid's Creek


SO, we are going to Atlanta for the day for 2 FABULOUS reasons~

#1 We will be checking out Kid's Creek in Suwanee, Georgia  :)

http://www.kidscreektherapy.com/index.html

Kid’s Creek, Inc. began as the vision of two friends and Speech Therapists, Melanie McGriff and Joanna Conroy. Together with their husbands, the two families launched the company in November 2003. In October, 2008 Melanie and her husband Shane completed the transaction to assume full ownership of Kid’s Creek.


During its first five years, Kid’s Creek has carefully recruited some of the most experienced and respected therapists in the Atlanta metro area, placing special emphasis on the people who demonstrated an innate ability to work effectively with small children. Growing steadily since 2003, Kid’s Creek has developed a reputation for responsiveness and professionalism among local pediatricians and families.

Melanie is a mother to small children, so there has always been a true understanding for the juggling act that parents of special needs children face day-to-day. The clinic tries to be as flexible and accommodating to parents as much as possible. It is the desire of Melanie’s heart as well as a mission of Kid’s Creek to be a place where not only your child’s therapy needs are met, but where your family’s needs are met.
Today, Kid’s Creek is investing back into the community and is continually adding and expanding current services like Hippotherapy, Interactive Metronome and other innovative approaches to pediatric treatment. The clinic at Johns Creek now employs four speech therapists, five occupational therapists, and two physical therapists.

Check out the services that they offer~
http://www.kidscreektherapy.com/info/services.html

Check out their amazing staff~(I would LOVE to be on their team!)
http://www.kidscreektherapy.com/info/employees.html

Check out their sensory integration information~
http://www.kidscreektherapy.com/info/integration.html

Check out their awesome list of resources~
http://www.kidscreektherapy.com/info/resources.html

#2  Dinner with LOUD MOMMY ;)  and our families!!! 
http://www.loudmommy.com/

Can't wait to see Tara (and meet Grady) and have them put that iPad 2 into Luke's hands. 
I promise to capture the experience on film~and will definitely share it here and maybe even on the Loud Mommy blog....stay tuned!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

POOL Time!!!


Probably not what you were expecting...our little pool~redneck, for sure~but oh how happy it makes my boy ;) 


He loves to help me fill it.


He loves to splash and play in it.


Ahhhh, the joys of being two and the joys of being his mama~

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Georgia's Early Intervention Program~

Georgia's Early Intervention Program for children with developmental delays or disabilities ages birth to three years old invites public comment until May 10, 2011.

Follow the link below to submit your comments to Chase Bolds, Babies Can't Wait Program Manager~

                                                       I know I did ;) 


Because this BABY couldn't wait!!!


And what would have happened, if he had waited...

http://health.state.ga.us/pdfs/bcw/Public%20Hearing%20Announcement%202011.pdf

Facebook~Status Update


Some people make fun of facebook and the people who post on it~
and I will admit that I am one of those people who probably posts TMI;

But my point of this post, isn't to rag on those people that post what they ate, what they did, where they went and who they went with~

It is to talk about the connections that can be made through facebook and what those connections have meant to me~
and ultimately to Luke and to Unlocking Luke's Voice~



I have found numerous grants and non profits through facebook, some that I wouldn't have found without this interaction.

I have met and gotten to know many mothers and their children through this social networking that I would NEVER have met without it. 

Friends that have shared information.  Valuable information.  Information that has helped me as a mother and as an advocate.  Information that I have been able to pass on to others and hopefully help them and their children.

Friends that have lifted me up, when I felt like I was defeated. 
Friends that have cheered us on. 
Friends that have celebrated our triumphs and pitched hissy fits right along with me.  Friends that would put up their dukes and fight anyone that crossed us.
Friends that have supported me through comments, emails, posts and likes. 
Friends that have prayed for us, prayed over us and prayed with us. 

Bonds that could never have been forged~
And for that I am grateful~so grateful!



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wild Adventures


Wondering how to spend some quality time with family and friends?  Try a visit to Wild Adventures!  Prices are extremely reasonable and there are hardly any lines, like at other parks. 



We are thrilled to live so close to such an awesome place~a place where we often have a "stay" cation.

Here are some pics of one of my daughter's favorite rides~





And here's a pic of all us from Wild Adventures~


When you visit, make sure you take advantage of the pictures that are available for purchase.
(of course, that would be my favorite part)




For more information about Wild Adventures go to http://www.wildadventures.net/





Easter Seals


I just read a STAGGERING statistic! 

It was that less than 1 in 5 children is diagnosed with their developmental delay within their first five years

This is COMPLETELY unacceptable to me as a mother, an educator, an advocate and as a human being. 
If you are as outraged as I am, please read on to see how you can change this statistic.

I just signed a petition to support the millions of young children with undiagnosed learning and health issues who never receive desperately needed treatment and therapies. I believe all kids deserve a chance to start school ready and able learn alongside other children their age.

Will you add your name to the Easter Seals petition and support our country's most vulnerable kids?  (Just click on the link and it literally takes less than a minute)


http://www.makethefirstfivecount.org/

When kids with disabilities or at risk of developmental delays get the treatment and therapy they need before the age of five therapies that work to strengthen their physical, social, emotional and intellectual abilities they can succeed in school and achieve their full potential. However, we as a nation don't invest nearly enough in these vital programs.

If you believe, as I do, that all kids deserve a chance to learn alongside their peers, build lifelong skills, and achieve their dreams, please speak out today!

Luke, a Champions for Children grant recipient from Easter Seals ;)
For more information about Champions for Children
http://www.championsforchildrenga.org/
For more information about Easter Seals (Southern Georgia)
http://southerngeorgia.easterseals.com/site/PageServer?pagename=GADR03_homepage
For more information about Easter Seals (North Georgia
http://northgeorgia.easterseals.com/site/PageServer?pagename=GADR01_homepage

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Big Mouth ;)

A while back I shared about LoudMommy.com and Loud Mommy on facebook. 
This is a one woman show~led by Tara (loud mommy to Grady). 

Read more about Tara here~

When I blogged about Loud Mommy, I didn't know that one day 
Tara and I would have the opportunity to really meet. 



That our family would be brought together by our advocacy for our kiddos~


And that is exactly what will happen this weekend in Atlanta, Georgia. 

2 Loud Mommies will be brought together because of their non verbal little boys.

Luke will be receiving an iPad from Loud Mommy and an Otterbox case to protect it, along with giftcards for apps that will help him communicate, grow and learn. 

We are OVER THE MOON with what doors will be opened because of this blessing. 

 Again, we have been blessed beyond measure~
sometimes by complete strangers~
that end up becoming some of our best friends and biggest cheerleaders!

So, Brad thought that it was funny when I stumbled upon Loud Mommy~
joking that it was the perfect site for me...

And he was right!

From this Loud Mommy to others~
Be a Loud Voice in a Silent World!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The DL on Sippy Cups

The Recessed Lid Cup has two handles to help keep hands at midline,
and the recessed lid encourages tongue retraction and improved lip closure.


So, here is the DOWN LOW on the sippy cup saga~

Since going to the Kaufman Children's Center, we learned that Luke has jaw instability

(which may be the cause of him wanting to bite, among other oral motor issues) This can be helped with oral motor therapy.

(We purchased specialized bite blocks, chewy tubes, blow kits, straw kits, and even special sippy cups, etc. to remedy the instability and provide practice)

bite blocks

cut out cup

bubble kit

grabbers

bear sippy

horn kit

tubes

apraxia kit

Now, we completely have Luke off of his bottle (which we can actually thank an illness for helping us with this daunting task).  Luke really loved his bah-bah, and it was one of the only "words" that he had, we are those parents that just didn't see what the big deal was...I mean it is not like he will be driving at 16 and still drinking from his bottle.  I could go off on a tangent about how we are rushing our children along, but will save it for another post. 

Back to the story~Luke is using sippy cups or special training cups to drink from
(sippy cups without the mechanism that keeps the liquid inside).


They claim that the mechanism causes harm to Luke because of the increased amount of sucking and pressure that occurs to get the liquid out.

As soon as I heard this...it made sense.

So, we immediately started using the special cups and then looked for the "old fashioned" type of sippy cups or at least ones where we could remove the mechanism.

Using these cups is a pain, because everything spills so easily~but we have gotten used to it now.



We have also gotten used to incorporating oral motor therapy as much as we can into our daily routines, even in the bathtub!

For information and ordering go to http://www.talktools.com/
(and NO, I am getting no compensation for mentioning their products~I would love to be able to tell you that they gave them to us, or that I wrote a grant for them~but NO, not this time!)  LOL!!!

Chugga Chugga Choo Choo~!


Down by the Station, early in the morning~

Here is another one of Luke's favorites.
He will go through all of our books looking for the "too-too" one.


I like it because it is an easy read and you can also sing it. 
I also like the cut outs~
I have always been a sucker for cut outs in books and in this one the cut outs
frame the words that are the sounds ;)


As you can see, it is high interest and singing it keeps it fast paced.


So, sit back and grab your favorite beverage~
in a sippy cup, if you must.  (LOL)


Kick your feet up and enjoy this read~Chugga, Chugga...CHOO CHOO!!!


PS~seeing this sippy cup makes me think that I didn't share about
sippy cups with everyone.  Be looking for my next blog about sippy cups
and why we use the ones that we do.

Georgia Department of Education Seeks Parents...

The Georgia Department of Education Seeks Parents for Focused Monitoring Teams~

Qualifications:
Be a parent of a child who receives or has received public school special education services in Georgia.
Have basic knowledge of special education procedures and terminology.
Have exemplary communications skills.
Possess a high school diploma or its equivalent.  A college degree is preferred.

For more information and an application~
http://www.p2pga.org/images/stories/pdf/FM_Parent_Application_Form_FY_12.pdf

And NO~I am not applying!  ;)  I don't have the qualifications, (yet) and
I do know when to say when!

I know that is hard to believe, but I do know my limits.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Palm Sunday Pics


Couldn't help but share these pics from Palm Sunday...






Awww, this makes my heart smile. ;)




Blessings to you and yours~

Quiet, LOUD!



Another book to share~this one is named Quiet, LOUD
and it is an absolute favorite for the entire family!


Here they are doing the thinking part~and what is so funny is that Luke actually puts his finger on his cheek when he is thinking about something, exactly the way that Brad and Maggie are doing in the picture.

This must be one of the LOUD parts.


A reading teacher's dream ;)


Think this book is eliciting a little language??? 


And LOTS of repetition  !!!




A couple of Luke's favorite pages~


Milk and books~they do the body good


and seeing him reread the books we read together
makes this mama beam with pride!

Keep reading to your bunny and your bunny will read to you~