I finally updated Punkin's photo wall. When I first put this up he was maybe 18 months old. I don't think it took him long to catch on to the idea that 1) each picture represented an actual desired item and 2) if he gave me the picture, he would be rewarded with the item. I think the second part was more difficult. For a while I had to initiate the process by asking,"What do you want? Find the picture." It saved us both many times when he was on the brink of a meltdown and his limited speech frustrated the situation.
He mostly uses it now when he has respite workers or babysitters who can't understand him. And I am going to start using the potty and work time pictures to help him transition. The behavioral psychologist we saw suggested a schedule where he pretty much switched from work to play every few minutes. It involved setting a timer and manipulating a row of Boardmaker pictures or PECS. And while I think it's a good concept and I understand that the short times are to accomodate his short attention span (and are to be increased gradually up to about 20 minutes), it just isn't realistic for us right now. First because our respite workers change all of the time and second because he needs more time to transition. I feel like he needs at least two minutes to settle into an activity, much less start one, stop it, and start a new one. So I'm going to try giving him the generic work picture and then have him choose from two actual photos of toys -- for example a puzzle or nesting cups. (Can I make a prediction here? He will NEVER choose the puzzle.) I just think including a choice may help soften the blow of being pulled away from Elmo and Peter Pan. In a perfect world, the photos would probably show him performing the actions --eating and sleeping, ect. But it is not a perfect world. And maybe he's ready for something a little more representative? Time will tell, I suppose.
As for the no meds situation, I have only a little pain in my hands and the pain everywhere else has definitely lessened. However, I am very sleepy and feeling feverish. I imagine by tomorrow that my hands will be shaking and I will generally feel like an addict. Since I know I will always need medication for anxiety and depression, I feel very much in a hurry to find something that works. I've loved the way these past two meds have helped me emotionally -- far better than the two I tried before them -- so it's frustrating to have this side effect again. Argh. For now I am keeping comfy in my jammies and cleaning until I get too hot and have to stand in front of the fan for a while. Punkin, bless his little heart, slept until 6:15am and then took a 3.5 hour nap (I had to wake him up). Maybe he's growing?