My netbook is having issues. The keys A S D F J K L and ENTER do nothing, 90% of the time. When they DO do something, they issue a long string of characters. So, if I type the sentence 'We wanted pizza for dinner, but I was cheap and cooked instead' I get either 'We wnte pizz or innr, but i w chep n cooe inte' or 'We waaaaaaantedddddddd pizzaaaaaaaaa ffffffffffffor ddddddddddddinneeeeeeeeeer, but i waaaaaaaaasssssss cheaaaaaaaaap aaaaaaaanddd cookkkkkkedddddddd insteaaaaaaaaaddddddd.'
Or some combination of the two. And sometimes, no amount of pressing down for a long time makes a letter appear and so I type out the frame of my sentence, find the letters somewhere else, then copy/paste them into the space.
As a result, a basic sentence takes about two minutes. Logging into my bank account is grueling. Typing a facebook status is marginally doable, except that the enter key is pretty well needed to get my words out there into the ether. An email response has to be a dedicated cause and a blog entry is herculean.
Except that, well, some days the whole thing works perfectly fine.
I assure you that we are all still alive and well. With nine days of school left, it feels like we're on a big roller coaster ride to the finish.
The only major change we've got going is that we've reintroduced gluten into Charlie's diet. We were finding diminished returns from the effort and it was costing as much to feed one child as the rest of the family. I hate to say we gave up a child's therapy because we could not afford it, but that's it in a nutshell. We could afford either continued diet or continued speech/OT and we were getting so much more out of the others.
Not to mention that the kid is a peanut to begin with (He's almost 5 and only weighs 30 lbs, even less than Melody weighed at this age) and had begun refusing many of the GF alternatives available. It had gotten to the point that the kid was clearly hungry, but would not eat the food that was there.
We have had some resurgence in repetitive behaviors and impulses. It's not as drastic as I'd feared--remember that he did not become effectively communicative until the diet was introduced--but we have had to go back and refocus on some things that we thought were behind us, such as potty training.
I'm not entirely comfortable with the decision, but am keeping in mind that we can always go back at some future date when we're no longer faced with the Sophie's Choice of who to feed or which bill to pay.
That said, Dowlan's been hitting the job hunt pretty hard lately. He couldn't really work while Charlie only had 3 hours of school a day, but now I'm home for the summer and next year is full time school. Keep him in your prayers. Something's gotta breakthrough before we break.
Let's end on a positive note--a friend attended the recent walk for Autism Speaks and bought Charlie a fetching blue satin cape that he now wears with great dignity.