Well, we took a long break from blogging and it was my fault. I am happy to think that we will be back to it more regularly in 2020. My goal is to get two blog posts up a month and anything above that would be great. So let’s catch you up on what has been going on here.
Ryan is now a teenager. We are in the middle of our fifth year of homeschooling and it has been going well. Ryan’s favorite subject is Math this year. He loves solving algebraic equations and word problems. It has been challenging for me to keep up with this but it is fun to watch his brain work.
Ryan is still typing up a storm. We take the bluetooth keyboard everywhere and people are entranced by the technology. Ryan feels like he has a real voice now and we have even started programming it so that he can recite the Pledge of Allegiance, the Boy Scout Oath and the Scout Law during the Boy Scout meetings along with everyone else.
When I asked Ryan what he wanted to blog about, he typed the following:
In addition to typing, we have also started bringing a Boogie Board everywhere with us. This is a portable blackboard/erase board that Ryan can use to hand write answers on. This comes in handy for one word answers or choices. His handwriting has improved tremendously. Anyone can read it now.
Which leads to another one of the things that Ryan wanted to talk about on the blog, his drawings. Ryan has gotten into art lately and has been doing some drawing with pastels at home. What we have done is that we try to think of a subject to draw and then I look it up on the computer. I let Ryan scroll through all of the images and he picks which one he wants to emulate, but can still put his own personal spin on it. These are some of his recent works that he wanted to share with everyone.
Again, I am not sure how to convey how amazing this is. Ryan could not even replicate a line just 3 years ago. Now he looks at the image and then attempts to replicate it and does it! He chooses the colors and I hold up a clipboard with the paper attached to it and he draws the image. I am very proud of him. This is a great creative outlet for him.
Another creative outlet continues to be the piano. Ryan is still taking weekly lessons at School of Rock with Melissa. The main gift that Ryan wanted for Christmas was A LASTING PIANO.
Ryan has made a lot of improvement during piano lessons as well. He is improving his independence with the keys. He has also been playing some songs with just chords, so he needs to use both hands to do this. I love watching him practice because music does not come naturally to me, but it does to him.
As most of you know, 2019 was a challenging health year for Ryan as he was diagnosed with epilepsy. It took a long time, but we seem to have gotten it under control. The medications that Ryan is on have really taken a toll on his body and his energy level. Almost daily, from February until November of this year, Ryan would spell/type I AM POOPED or I AM TOO TIRED. He was. It was hard for me to watch my energetic son be so tired every day. His body adjusted to the medications but he still had no energy to do simple things that he used to do. In November, with his doctor’s recommendation, we added in a supplement to support mitochondrial dysfunction, Ubiquinol, and the difference was dramatic. Ryan has not once said that he is TOO TIRED since beginning it. Now there are still days where sleep is challenging or he stays up later and is tired the next day, but those things are normal for anyone. I am so happy that Ryan is feeling so much better and that we plan to do more physical activities in the future.
So now I will talk about the new year! Ryan made four resolutions that he wanted to share on the blog.
- To do more art and create 50 pieces of original art this year.
- To get back into running/walking and to try and participate in a few races this year (he would not commit to a number because he is not sure if he can wake up for 8 am starting times for races–this is being a teenager and wanting to sleep in–not because of overall extreme fatigue.)
- Continue piano and learn more songs.
- To get to the Tenderfoot rank in 2020.
So we have our work cut out for us! If you are still here and following us, thanks for staying around! We hope to produce a lot more quality content in 2020!
13 thoughts on “Curry-ent Events”
Ryan…I am blown away by your artwork! You’re really good. Keep up the great work.
(I miss your mom on connect!) 💝
You make me feel honored to be your friend Ryan and the entire family . Susan Vasquez
Ryan, I enjoyed seeing your 4 goals for the new year. I am a big fan of walking – for its physical and mental positive impacts. I wish you good luck for working more walking into your life.
Ryan… You are an amazing young man. I am impressed by the goals you set for the New Year!
Ryan’s spirit is whole in the Lord. Whatever he endeavors in will be a powerful testimony to his diligent attitude toward all his goals for 2020. His communication skills will increase with more stimulation by his family & friends . I will pray that Ryan will feel the power of his spirit as he understands where life comes from. I don’t know Ryan personally, but Mark tells me things about him all the time & through FB . I think he shows lots of promise!
Hi, really enjoy reading your blog. Thankful to have stumbled onto it. We are currently searching for an RPM provider, and interestingly, we have been in contact with the ones you have used (ACE, HEED). Today, we learned about Adriana at RPM of TX. She would be closest to us logistics wise. Crazy to ask this through your blog, but wondered if you would be open to us emailing you about your experiences with the different RPM providers. We are willing to travel to any of these (UT and WI would be the farthest away for us by far, but would if we had to). Thank you for any help. no pressure obviously, just thought we would ask. God Bless.
James, we are so glad to hear that you found our blog! We love Adriana. Ryan still works with her two times a week because she is local to us. If you decide to see her, please let us know as maybe we can meet up.
My general feedback would be that all of the providers are great and I would just doublecheck with the HALO organization to make sure that anyone that you go to see is an actual certified RPM provider. They will have had extensive training from Soma herself.
Best of luck and please keep us updated!
Thank you for the reply! I really appreciate it.
Hello again! We reached out to you last year through your blog about RP providers. Despite the pandemic, we managed get to see Adriana at RPM of TX last June, and had a great three day camp with her and our 11 year old son. He is verbal but has unreliable speech. Lots of echolalia, unreliable demonstration of learned concepts in the tradition learning sense, etc. Progress on our own with him using RPM has been slow, but we are trying to press forward. It’s a huge learning curve for all of us. This week I found myself going back to your blog for any insights and found it very uplifting and informative once again. I was wondering if you could recall how you worked in words that are not “fun” or particularly interesting, but part of grammar, such as: pronouns, prepositions, etc. Did you just do a typical grammar lesson describing what these are, and did choices somehow with these? How did he then understand how to work them into his writing. Maybe I’m thinking to far ahead, but still confused on how to work these building blocks into his learning plans with RPM. Also, you write that you started doing choices for awhile with him in the beginning. You then moved to choices and letting him mirror the choices with the letter boards. When you did that, did you let him see the written choice/word as he spelled it on the letter board? My son would definitely look at the word if I leave it there, and just spell it by looking at it (not saying that is all bad either). Wondering if that is ok, or if I should take the choice away from view after he’s selected it. I know your not a provider, but I like the way you outlined how you progressed along and thought I’d see if I could get your input on these couple of things. thank you so much! Matt
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Hi, Matt! I am so glad to hear this update! Let me try to answer your questions. If Ryan spelled something incorrectly or used a word that didn’t fit, I would allow him to finish his thought, and then explain to him the correct way going forward. If it was something that he consistently got incorrect, I would likely do a grammar lesson with him about the rule (this only happened one or two times–usually if I explained it, he got it and wouldn’t make the mistake again.)
Ryan doesn’t always use correct grammar when he is pointing or typing. If we are in a lesson, I usually allow him to get his thought out and then say something like, “I know that you know this, but that’s not a complete sentence. How can we make it a complete sentence?” Usually this is enough to get him to rephrase what he has said.
If this is during a conversation with someone else, I usually just leave it be and talk to him about it later so that he doesn’t get self conscious or embarrassed.
As far as your question about seeing the word or answer, this is tricky. Ryan has trouble focusing his vision, so he would not necessarily look at the paper in order to find the write answer or spelling. I would certainly ask Adriana about this as she would likely be able to give you some strategies about this. I am sorry that I can’t be more helpful with that one.
It is definitely a process. Some days might be two steps ahead, and then the next might be a step back. The important thing to do is to keep practicing as consistently as you can.
Will you please keep me updated on your progress? I wish you all the best.
Thank you so much for the reply! Yes, we will definitely keep you updated. FYI, your post “our journey with RPM” really helped level set me on how you progressed with RPM from when you first started out. Gave me a lot of encouragement and confidence. Not sure I’ve read anyone outline it that clearly/concisely so far, and I’ve read a lot lol. I am believing that consistency is key, having a better week this week by just staying at it and not getting discouraged. I bought Lenae Crandall’s 50 lessons book one, and that worked out great today. Helps give me examples of lesson structure also. Have a great weekend! Thank you and Ryan both :-). Matt
It is so nice to catch up with Ryan! Just amazed at his creativity! Wow! Love the drawings and to hear that the piano brings joy to your heart! Many Blessings in 2020 friend!