{on the airplane...he did sooo good on the 5 hour flights}

We flew to New Haven, Connecticut on Sunday morning the 24th and came home Wednesday night the 27th...We had a very busy couple of days, it was a very long, short trip if that makes sense to you. So our schedule went like this:

Day 1: Monday starts at 9:00 am

       {basically we just went over paperwork and signed a ton of parental consent forms, saying that we dont mind that they use recker's results in national studies and the videos of his testing and observations for the purpose of teaching and learning more about ASD.}

2. Eye Tracking Session #1- with research assistants...10-20 mins
       {the eye tracking session is conducted in a small dark room. they strap in a car seat to a computer chair and put Recker in front of a TV screen. There are cameras that are eye level to him zoomed in on his eye. They show him a video that they made where there are two different things moving on the screen, it tracks where his eyes are looking and moving. We could sit at the back of the room with the assistants and on THEIR screens it showed 3 different things: The first screen showed a close up of his eye so you could see it moving and dilating in and out. the second screen showed his face and his reactions to what he was seeing, it took EVERYTHING in me to keep from bursting out laughing he looked like he was thinking "what the heck am i watching?!". The third screen showed what Recker was watching, the video, and there was a little red dot that moved showing where he was looking on the screen. It was very detailed and intense, it pretty much showed us what Recker sees when he watches movies or TV, and how he sees it.}

3. Developmental Assessment- With Justin Roberry M.D. ......45 mins
       {Recker's motor, language and non verbal problem solving skills were assessed with the Mullen Scales of Early Learning. Basically they gave him tasks to copy/imitate like for example: gave him two shoe boxes and a pile of spoons and blocks, they wanted him to separate them into the boxes, spoons in one box, blocks in the other. Some other examples were: puzzles, hiding toys under washcloths to see if he was watching where it was and if he could find it, stacking cups from small to large, stacking blocks, using a hair brush correctly etc....We went into this little square room that had a tiny table like nursery size and a chair for him to sit in. He sat almost the entire time in that chair, and for anyone that knows recker, this is HUUUGE, we cant get him to sit still for 2 minutes straight, so 45 minutes was seriously a miracle. I kept telling them, "He usually isn't this good, i swear!" He just kept suprising us left and right, he was able to pick up pennies off of a flat table surface and put them into a small piggy bank slot. That may not sound like a big deal, but we were absolutely FLOORED. Anyways there were cameras at all angles in this room so they could record the entire session, and my mom, jeremy, and a couple other doctors and assistants were sitting on the other side of the two way mirror watching.}

4. Social Communicative Play Assessment- With Amanda Mossman Steiner, Ph.D. ......45mins-1hr
         {The doctors assessed his social communication and play skills with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale-Generic (ADOS-G). During this session, i sat behind the mirror and Jeremy went into the room with Recker. The doctor just pretty much played with Recker, she wanted to see how he socialized with her and Jeremy. She played with a ton of toys, books and bubbles which he LOVES! }

5. Puppet Show- With Research Assistants...5 mins
        {It is exactly what it says, just a puppet show. It was about two bunnies and a frog, one bunny was mean to the frog and the other was nice. After it was over they asked him to choose which bunny he wanted to play with....he chose both hahaha}

So after the puppet show we were done for the day at the Yale Medical Center and were free to walk around New Haven. I cant begin to explain how gorgeous and green New Haven is!! We walked down through the Campus and it was STUNNING! The old brick and vines and moss growing on the building, we were in love! 

We walked downtown to the Broadway District to do a little shopping. We ate downtown at the Educated Burgher  it was sooooooooo good!! WE stopped into the Yale bookstore and bought some merch....

(check out that piggy bank haha we love it!)

We took a cab to the mall later that night and did more shopping..., i swear even when we're out of town we still shop at the same places haha. We went to JCrew, Urban Outfitters, Target, Gap, and H&M, F21, its just so much more fun when you're out of town!!

Day 2: Tuesday Starts at 8:30 am

1. Eye Tracking Session #2....Research Assistants.....10-20 mins
        {same as the day before}

2. Parent Child Interaction....with just Recker and I....10 mins
        {Reck and i just played with toys and books in the little square room (we did almost everything in that room) while they observed how we played}

3. Motor Imitation- With Research Assistant...10 mins
        {During this session, they just would demonstrate a specific action or sound and ask recker to try to imitate it so they could see where his imitation skills were.}

4. Listening Preference Task- with Research Assistants....10 mins
        { in this experiment they played a variety of recorded sounds and they assessed Recker's preference for one sound over another.}

5. Parent Interview- with Karyn Bailey, MSW .....1 hour
        {I met with Karyn (social worker) and she and i did something called the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales assessment. She talked to me and asked me questions about recker's everyday skills like listening, eating and dressing. We also talked about goals that i have for recker and him going to school NEXT YEAR! (AHH I CANT BELIEVE IT!) She just answered soooo many questions that i had and put to ease many worries. I absolutely loved her and she was just sooo positive and made everything feel like it was actually going to be fine.}

6. Speech-Language Assessment- with Liz Schoen, M.S., CCC-SLP .....45 mins 
         { I was in the interview with Karyn Bailey like i said above, when this assessment was going on, Jeremy attended it with him. He met with Liz the speech path and she evaluated him during a semi-structured play session with the Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales (CSBS). They wanted to see how he communicates all around and especially how he asks for things he wants.}

7. Play Tasks- with Research Assistants.....10 mins
        {This is just pretty basic, they wanted to see how he played with a variety of common objects}

8.  Eye Tracking Session #3- with Research Assistants....10 mins
      {just like the other ones, except recker kept falling asleep during this one, we were at one point physically opening his eyes and trying to keep him awake, he was just completely dead tired.}

        {So we finally got to meet with all the doctors (well most of them) and they answered any and all questions that we had. They also gave us a quick overview of what they thought and how they thought Recker did through out all of the assessments and experiments. They mostly just put a lot of emphasis on how important it is for us to find an expierenced SLP. They also told us that we HAVE to work on his imitation skills, without them he will not be able to learn or advance further than he is. We will be recieving an extensive report within a month or two that will be much more in depth and helpful.

10. Genetic Screening- James McGrath, M.D., Ph.D., Erin Loring, M.S.......30 mins
      {I cant explain how lucky we were to have them offer this to us, it normall costs between $2,000-$3,000 and they did it for free for us! They took blood from recker for a genetic test and a fragil x test. They also drew Jeremy and I's blood for research purposes. We should hear back about the results in a week or two.}

We had such a blast on our trip, we cut out the New York trip this year because of the Blood work that recker was going to be getting done, it makes him sick sometimes. And also because of the record breaking heat in New York this year! Ive done New York in the summer and as fun as it is, its pretty miserable walking around in the hot mugginess all day. We are going to be going back again in a year and a half, it will be spring time and we'll stay longer and take a trip down to NYC next time. 

1 comment:

  1. Your time at Yale was definitely busy! I am glad you are able to do this for your darling little Recker!