Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Thanks you guys! Honestly, I wasn't fishing for comments when I posted that last post, but I appreciate those of you who wrote in (and I totally understand about those of you who read but DON'T comment -- I don't typically comment on anyone's blog either). In fact, you guys managed to push my all-time high number of comments above the number I got on that sticker chart post that bothered me, so I guess I can put that little irksome feeling to rest.

Speaking of the sticker charts, I've continued to do them. Since the first chart, Jacob's not had any poop accidents -- not sure if I have the charts to thank for that, or just natural development. We've still got occassional pee accidents first thing in the morning (just not making it to the toilet in time after waking up), often enough that I don't dare let him sleep without the pull-up on, which also is probably related to development and will come along in time. I DO want to keep him motivated to TRY to make it there first thing in the morning (as soon as I'm hearing him in the morning, I remind him to go to the bathroom -- sometimes he makes it, sometimes not), so I'm going to stay with the sticker charts for now, but we're switching the criteria a bit to eliminate rewards for poop (he seems to have that mastered now) and just awarding stickers for a dry pull-up in the morning. I'm also planning on giving him surprise "bonus" stickers if/when he requests to use the potty on his own while we're out and about -- he still needs to be prompted to go, and we did have one accident this past weekend while hiking (he had to finish one hike back to the car bottomless, as his pull-up leaked and soaked his pants). And I'm on the verge of eliminating the day-time pull-up again.

So anyway, we're getting there. The fact that he's not in school certainly makes this more manageable and takes the outside pressure to get him trained out of the equation, which is very good for my sanity and is bound to be good for our potty training program in general.

And that's enough potty talk for today! :-)

Monday, May 28, 2007


Here's a photo of Jacob on the trails this weekend. You can read more about our adventures this weekend over at my other blog by clicking here or here.

I was reading yet another comment on my post from a few weeks ago about using sticker charts for potty training. I can't believe I'm still getting comments on that one entry. In fact, it's the entry that's generated the most comments from any of my blogging history (which is only about a year long, so I supposed not THAT long). And it got me thinking about the whole blogging and commenting thing.

I don't get a lot of comments compared to other blogs that I've peeked in on. I think that has a lot to do with what I'm writing about, and the way it's presented. I'm not here spilling my guts or asking opinions. I don't provide any thought-provoking fodder, and I don't try to open discussions on controversial topics. I'm not trying to get anyone to think deeper about issues, or probe their hearts and souls for their own inner truths. In fact, I'd be really surprised if my entries promoted more than an "oh, that's interesting" or "maybe I'll try that" type of response. Bascially I'm just writing about what we're doing about remediating Autism for our particular son -- not making suggestions about what other should do (though I'm thrilled when people tell me I've given them ideas for their own RDI programs), not stimulating discussions, not trying to be particularly entertaining. I don't think it's a place that anyone who's not specifically interested in Jacob (as in, some of our relatives) or in RDI is going to bother to read.

So what was it about that sticker chart post that made so many people respond? I'm not talking about overwhelming numbers, by the way -- you've got to understand that most of my posts get NO feedback -- I'm sure there are people reading, as I'm told all the time by other RDIing familes and consultants that they read my blog -- these folks just don't have the time to respond! They're too busy with their own remediation programs or helping other families. Heck, I totally GET that -- there's only a couple other blogs I read with any regularity, and another one or two I drop in on occassionally, and that's it -- I just don't have time for any more than that. If I read my blog (well, you know what I mean), I wouldn't leave comments either.

But, regardless, of the one (if that) responses I've gotten on my other posts, the sticker chart post generated 6 comments. That's a large number for my blog. Are people searching around for potty training or sticker chart posts specifically? Is there something particularly stirring about that post? (I'm joking -- believe me, there's not!) Or is it that potty training posts rally the troops, since so many of us parents of ASD kids are fighting the bathroom battle?

In any case, I have to say that it bugs me a little bit. Of all the things I've written about over the last year, that is one of the things I'm least proud of. Not the post itself (which reads pretty much like any other post of mine), but reverting to using a sticker chart. I think a lot of the stuff I've tried with Jacob has been highly successful and potentially helpful for other families to read. The sticker chart, tho, is something I'm somewhat ashamed of. To the point that I considered removing the post from the blog. But in the spirit of sharing both the good and the bad (I do try to keep the ugly private, however!), I decided to leave it. But of all the things I've done to work on remediating Jacob's autism, this was the least RDI-ish, and the most behaviorally modifying and manipulative thing I've tried. And the least beneficial to Autism remediation. Oh, yeah, he's using the potty more. (More than he would be without the sticker chart? Maybe.) So I've sort of achieved the goal I wanted to with it (well, it would be nicer if he made it there ALL the time, but all in due time I'm sure). But has it worked even one fraction of an iota to remediate his Autism? Absolutely not.

So I guess I just wanted to officially say that those sorts of things -- the things we do to manage our way through life -- the gimicks -- are not the things we should be taking note of. It's the subtler, more meaningful changes that should be recognized and commented on.

And that's about as deeply insightful as I get.

Friday, May 25, 2007

more on SOS

Due to popular demand (well, OK, so one person asked!), I wanted to give an update on our SOS progress. By the end of last week we'd had our first success with the kids touching and sniffing the extra foods we were putting out at mealtime.

This week we continued to increase the variety of foods, and I also had the idea of occassionally providing foods that they actually LIKE already on the extra plates. I figured that might build positive memories of taking stuff off the extra plates to try. So one day a plate of cookies appeared at dinner time (in addition to veggies, chicken, etc). I know, I know, there's nothing healthy about cookies, but trust me, ANY variety in their diet at this point would be a good one, we'd HAPPILY take increasing even their junk food acceptance! We put out two kinds of cookies they don't like and one kind that I knew that they had eaten in the past but don't get regularly. Jacob's eyes immediately brightened up when we announced "cookies -- sugar, chocolate chip, and oatmeal raisin". (As we place the "new" foods on the table, we announce what they are -- sometimes this produces some conversation about them, which I figure is a good thing too -- ANY interest in food is a good thing!) Jacob eyed the plate and said, thoughtfully, "When I finish my supper, I'm going to eat that sugar cookie." I said "that's what it's there for!". He mentioned the cookie several more times, then ate it with great relish after he finished his meal. This was the first time that either kid has actually eat something off the extra plates, so we were pretty excited. So excited that a few days later, we repeated the same experiement. That time, Jacob took the cookie, but only nibbled at it and didn't really eat it. Oh well, it's the idea that counts.

Yesterday one of the items on the plates was a piece of raisin bread. This is something that the kids have both loved in the past, but have since stopped eating (Zoo Boy more recently than Jacob, I don't think Jacob's touched anything with a raisin in it in about 3 years). When I put the plate down, I didn't even have time to announce what was on it, Zoo Boy immediately said "Oh, I like those!" After they'd finished eating, though, the cinnamon bread was still there. Clearing the table, I asked the kids "is it Ok if I eat these apple slices?" (That's another thing I do, I point out WHAT I'm eating off the extra plates, to show that these are real foods that get eaten, they're not just there for torture value . And I ask their permission to eat it, to emphasize that these are THEIR foods, they've got the first option of whether or not to eat them before I hone in and hog it all.) Zoo Boy looked up from what he was doing and said "yes", but then jumped up and ran to the table and said "Oh, I forgot to eat this!", and picked up the piece of raisin bread and ate it. I turned to Jacob and said "would you like some apple?" and he said "well, yes, I want an apple, but I don't like it peeled" (he meant cut up). So I offered him a whole apple and he munched on it for awhile (he already eats apples, so that's nothing new in itself, but the fact that he related to me that the "horrifying" apple slices on the table are the same thing as the apples he does like in a different form is a bit of progress, I think).

So overall good progress. We had a few less attractive issues -- at one point, in placing something with peanut butter on it down, Jacob scurried away from the table crying. I asked him what was wrong and he told me he wanted to get as far away from that as possible because he didn't like it. I asked him what he didn't like about it, and he said the taste. I pondered out loud the fact that he couldn't know that since he's never tasted it, and then wondered if perhaps he meant he didn't like the smell. He agreed with that, so I took the plate and moved it further away from him. He relaxed a bit and sat back down at his place, although he didn't eat much more of his meal after that and kept eyeing that plate suspiciously. Peanut butter really DOES have a strong smell, so I'm going to back off of that for awhile and get some other successes under our belts first before I ask him to sit next to something so strongly insulting to his senses. It seems like most of our negative moments with SOS have been when there is peanut butter on the table, and historically he's had problems when there's peanut butter or other strong smelling foods around. So hopefully eliminating that for now will help build some more positive memories of what we're doing before we try challenging him that much again.

Friday, May 18, 2007

SOS update

It's been exactly one week since I began the SOS feeding program, and I figured it was time for an update. Two days ago, I figured the update would read something like this (based on this photo from that day): Jacob is absolutely horrified by new foods, we're never going to get beyond this desensitization phase, I may as well just buy stock in Froot Loops and McDonalds as that's all he's going to eat for the rest of his life. I mean, just LOOK at that body posture. Three times that morning, he tried sneaking away from the table with his beloved Froot Loops to get away from all that "nasty" food sitting near him. (Apple slices, strawberries, and raisin bread -- highly offensive foods all -- NOT!)

But we've come a long way in just a couple of days. Look at what happened at breakfast this morning! While discussing the fact that I thought both kids might like cinnamon bread (without implying they should actually TRY it), Zoo Boy voluntarily suggested that he could touch the cinnamon bread. I scrambled for my camera and captured this bold attempt.

Then, half jokingly, I suggested that Jacob could SNIFF the cinnamon bread. Well, darned if he didn't do it! Took me completely by surprise, so much so that I wasn't prepared to take a photo. However, he graciously agreed to repeat the performance for the camera.

So, go figure! Maybe this thing is doable after all! Ok ok, so touching and sniffing, it's not exactly TASTING, but just the fact that they are not screaming when I put the new food down is progress. In fact, Jacob was giggling with each new plate I produced, like the thought of all this novel food was actually funny. We'll get there, one micro-step at a time.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

SOS feeding program

We did it! We launched our offensive on the food issue. We're armed and ready for battle!

For those of you who don't want to go read about Jacob's food issues in detail, I'll give you a quick summary here. Jacob finds food extremely aversive. For many years, he couldn't even be in the same room with food (other than the dozen plus things he'll eat). This all has to do with his Sensory Processing Disorder (and a little bit with his Autism, but I think we can blame the vast majority of this issue on SID). His extremely limited diet and severe food aversion was reason enough for his Sensory Integration Therapist to want to make a feeding program a top priority. At the time (more than a year ago), I just didn't have the energy to invest in undertaking yet another thing. Jacob's diet was balanced, despite being quite limited, and I felt that this could wait.

Of course, as a result of his brother's poor eating habits, Zoo Boy has developed a pretty limited food repertoir himself. Despite having his own sensory issues, Zoo Boy's eating habits seem to be mostly a learned behavior rather than a sensory issue in and of themselves. I'll use an example below to demonstrate what I mean. But in any case, both boys will be involved in the feeding program that we have just started using.

The program is called the SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) approach, and a concise description of it (and why it would be used) can be found here. Basically, it takes the understanding that these kids' feeding problems are based on sensory issues, and works on slowly desensitizing them to the overwhelming effect that food has on their senses. In a nutshell, you start by getting them to tolerate being near food, then progress to getting them to touch it, smell it, and eventually taste it. From looking at it to taste is a pretty long road, taken at micro-steps, but in the end should result in a child without an eating disorder, and without any trauma induced by the method. I've long known that this would be our feeding program of choice, I've just been lacking in energy to undertake it. But given that I'm feeling comfortable at the moment with our RDI program, and that the food thing is our last battle to surmount, I decided that the time was ripe to get moving with it. My hope is that by fall, we'll actually be able to concentrate on homeschooling and leave the therapies in the dust of our memories.

So above is a photo of our very first SOS session. I served lunch -- cheese and crackers -- as usual. Then I brought over a plate with a few of the same crackers, but with peanut butter on them. And a bowl with a few baby carrots in it. And a bowl with a small handful of raisins in it. As I set the bowls between the kids, I explained that they do not have to try them, but that I was setting them there in case they wanted to. Both kids panicked upon seeing me set the food down. I reiterated that they did NOT have to try them. Zoo Boy immediately settled down, with a happy sigh, repeating happily "we don't have to try them". Jacob burst into tears and told me to take them away. I explained again, patiently, that he did not have to try them. He moved to the edge of his seat to get as far away from them as possible, and he kept throwing nervous glances at them, but he eventually settled down and started eating his food. (A year ago he would have ran screaming for his room and refused to eat the rest of the day, so I'm REALLY glad I waited to start this program until now, when he's actually ready to accept more difficult things!) Eventually he ate everything on his plate and asked for more, but quickly followed it up with "but not those!" pointing anxiously in the direction of the peanut butter and crackers. I just smiled and made him some more cheese and crackers. When both boys were done eating and had left the table (with the new items entirely untouched), I put the food on my plate and ate it without making mention of it again.

Step one. Of one million, maybe, but at least we've begun. We'll continue at this level, presenting a variety of foods at meal and snack times in close proximity to where they are seated, until they are no longer stressed about the extra foods. Then the next step will be to actually put them on the same plate with the foods they WILL eat. I don't anticipate getting beyond that step anytime soon!

Friday, May 11, 2007

update on everything else

Also known as, "Where we're at now". Or maybe "So, what's left?"

(At left, Jacob checks on our baby Rhode Island Red chicks.)

I just posted about where we're at with the RDI program. Which is, to put it frankly, pretty far along. At least in my mind. Jacob is 6 1/2 years old and has all the social and developmental abilities of at least a typical 4 year old (with scattered skills to a much higher age, of course). Which is pretty darned good considering a typical 4 year old is a pretty socially savvy individual. And considering that at age 3, when he got his Autism diagnosis, he had social and developmental abilities ranging anywhere from a newborn (or less!) to an 18 month old (with scattered strengths well beyond that), and that didn't improve much in the 9 months that it took us to find out about and start using RDI. So, in a nutshell, he gained about 4 years worth of abilities in the past 2 1/2 years. Pretty cool! Rah rah for RDI! And Sensory Integration Therapy -- I don't want to underplay the role that SIT has played in getting us to the point where we are today.

So: what exactly does that all mean?

Well, very breifly, it means that in a group of typical 4 years old, the only way he'd be picked out as being any different is because he's much too large to be a 4 year old. Even in a group of 6 year olds he looks pretty good, but there are subtle difference in maturity and sophistication of skills that can be picked out if you look carefully enough. But you DO have look carefully to find them. And even so, nobody would ever for a minute suspect he has Autism. All, and I mean ALL of the core deficits of Autism are no longer discernable in Jacob. Poof! Gone! Just like that! Well, ok, not quite, more like, after 2 1/2 years of hard work, they've dissolved away like a pyramid of sugar cubes in the rain. But to me, in comparison to what I had come to expect/accept about Autism, it's been in the blink of an eye.

Is it a miracle? No, it's RDI. And determination. And commitment. And hard work. And a good dosage of luck -- we're lucky in that Jacob's Autism has always been pretty uncomplicated -- he apparently does not have food sensitivities or allergies, he does not have heavy metal poisonings, he did not have vaccine damage (having not been vaccinated until later in his childhood), he does not have speech or language issues beyond those directly caused by his Autism, he does not have physical disabilities. He did have some pretty severe Sensory Processing Disorder and motor planning problems, but not really beyond the scope of what you would "normally" expect with Autism. We were lucky to find a wonderful Occupational Therapist trained in Sensory Integration Therapy, so that took care of the Sensory problems, which in turn (along with RDI) has taken care of the motor planning problems. We were lucky to find RDI, and a wonderful RDI Certified Program Consultant, and an amazing internet support system where I developed some true, real-life friends. We were lucky to not have started any contrary therapies that had to be un-done when we finally started RDI. All in all, we were pretty much a textbook example of a family ready to embrace RDI fully, without reservation or second-guessing. If that's not luck, I don't know what is.

So, the real question on everyone's mind: where does that leave us now?

Well, for starters, we need to keep paying attention to those RDI objectives to make sure Jacob continues down a typical developmental path. He may or may not be able to do so on his own from this point forward -- that's yet to be determined. But I'll be diligently cheering from the sidelines and giving him a bump here and a check there to make sure he follows the right roads, ever ready to jump in and help him if he stalls out.

Next, I'll keep up with the Sensory Integration stuff too. He's very nearly to the point where he's processing the world at the same level as typical kids. VERY nearly. Not quite there. We'll keep on working to maintain the gains we've made, especially since his little brother, though by no means on the autism spectrum, is in need of SIT too. In fact, at this point, our focus is more on Zoo Boy with therapy than with Jacob.

We'll focus more and more on homeschooling goals and activities than on therapies in the coming months and years. Our RDI objectives will blend nicely into our Enki Education curriculum to support us on his educational path.

We'll keep on fighting the potty training battle. We're almost there. He's got the basic concepts and abilities, he's just got 6 1/2 years of habit to overcome. All in due time.

The "final frontier" for us to conquer is the food thing. We have a plan, and we're finally ready to deploy it. The plan is a program called the SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) program (described here), and I'll be blogging about it and our initial attempts to get Jacob over his food phobia soon.

All in all, the future is a bright place, and we're skipping towards it down the yellow brick road!

RDI update

Here's a photo of Jacob pretending to, well, actually, I have no idea what he's pretending to be. It's something he came up with entirely on his own, from his own imagination, not from a video or movie or book or anything else recognizable. To be honest, I'm kind of enjoying the mystery!

In any case, I wanted to give everyone an update of where we're at with RDI and the new objectives. The past couple of months have been very trying on my patience, undertaking the tedious task of reading each and every objective in the first 5 stages of the new version of RDI, which they are calling RDI 5.0. These objectives are detailed and specific, and I've wanted to make sure I had a complete understanding of them before I put a check mark next to them, indicating that Jacob has mastered them. I want no holes left behind!

So last month I drove out to meet with our RDI Program Certified Consultant for a face-to-face meeting and chat about the objectives, and this week I set up a phone consultation with her. We have an RDA (Relationship Development Assessment -- the assessment tool used in RDI Program Planning) schedule for the end of this month, and we've been frantically (well, I've been somewhat frantic anyway, I don't think our consultant is all that flustered about it!) trying to determine where Jacob's "edge of competency" is. That edge is the place where we need to work on objectives, and is the place she'll want to be looking for and defining during our RDA.

I think we've finally found a resting place, though. During our phone consult this week, we determined a handful of Stage 5 (equivalent to typical development between 3 and 4 yrs of age) objectives to look at with Jacob over the next several weeks. Most of them he probably has mastered, but are things I've not thought to look at, so I'll test them out and see where we're at. We may or may not have one or two objectives that need a bit of work -- if so, we'll work on them.

So after we spoke, she went ahead and sent me the Stage 6 objectives to look at. The new objectives are grouped in "Foundation" (abilities/understandings they need to have coming into the stage, in order for any stage work to get accomplished), "Discovery" (new abilities/understandings that would naturally develop in a typical child at this age), and "Elaborations" (which are the continued development of abilities/understandings discovered during preivous stages).

I read through the Foundation objectives for Stage 6, and, after giving each a bit of thought, checked them all off.

Then I read through the Discovery objectives, and while I did check off about half of them, the other half I put question marks next to, which means that either I'm not sure if he has it (I need more clarification about the objective, or I haven't seen Jacob demonstrate it), or I'm sure he does NOT have it.

I didn't even bother reading any of the Elaborations. Reading the Discovery objectives was enough for me to realize that there is plenty for us to work on in this stage. This is the edge of his competence. Stage 6 is equivalent to the development of typical 4-5 year olds, which jives with my own observations and interpretations of Jacob's abilities.

I'm very much looking forward to our RDA to further define where he's at and what we'll be working on in the coming months!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

sticker chart

I feel a little like I've treaded over into the dark side. Me, a mom very opposed to behavioral modification unless absolutely neccessary, decided to use a reward-based system to try to further Jacob's potty training progress.

I guess I thought it was absolutely neccessary. I'm not so sure now. But I'm in the thick of it now, so onward we go. And as of today, I'm sort of even liking it.

My motivation for starting this method was because we seemed to have hit an impass in his potty training. He COULD get to the potty in the morning (and any other time of day) before peeing or pooping in his pullup/pants. He was CHOOSING not to if he was too tired, or busy with something more interesting. I very carefully studied the situation for a couple weeks before coming to the conclussion that it was a purposeful choice rather than just an accident (lack of control). He was pretty convincing that it was by choice, consistantly claiming "I was reading that book" or "I was resting".

First I appealed to his inner sense of competency, claiming things like "I know you know how to do this" to which he'd respond, cheerfully "ok, maybe tomorrow!". Hm. Strike one.

Next I tried food bribery. Candy in exchange for potty usage. Problem was, if he felt like candy, he'd use it. If not, why bother. Strike two.

I even went so far as to try to shame him (gasp!) into using the potty (like that in a million years would work, and I well understand why). What can I say, I was desperate. I refused to let him wear underwear, insisting he keep pullups on "like a baby" until he could prove to me that he could put all his pee and poop in the toilet. And Jacob refused to feel ashamed, cheerfully stating "ok, maybe tomorrow". Strike three.

So, in sheer desperation, I grasped onto the sticker chart straw while we were in Target shopping for a birthday gift for his cousin. He was standing in the Lego isle, oogling all the various lego sets. Having recently been rewarded with a lego set for the first time he ever pooped on the potty, the precedent had been set, and an idea sprang to mind. And as I often do, due to general enthusiasm and lack of a proper self-control mechanism, I blurted out, before I even knew what I was saying "Hey, Jacob, I've got an idea! How about if we set up a chart for you, and then every time you use the potty, you can earn a sticker, and when you have enough stickers, you can come back and pick out a lego set." Of course, he jumped all over that idea, eyeing an enormous Star Wars Jabba The Hut Transport Set with an outrageous price tag. I wondered what wheels I had just set carelessly into motion.

First of all, those lego sets are DANGED expensive. At least the ones he found appealing. I had been naively studying the smaller $10 sets. I hadn't looked as far as the bottom shelf with the large, involved, collector's edition sized sets.

Second, there are a million and one tiny pieces, and those pieces like to migrate all over my house and hide in unsuspecting places with the express intention of jabbing me in my barefoot in the middle of the night while I'm stumbling down the hall towards the bathroom.

Third, have I mentioned that I'm really quite opposed to behavioral modification methods? Sticker charts in particular? (True, I bribed Jacob with Marshmallow peeps for his intial potty training attempts, but somehow that seems like a more pure, quid pro quo sort of reward system. This sticker chart deal, it's pre-conceived and intimately planned. It's first degree bribery at it's finest.)

I backpedaled a bit, mumbling, "well, ok, we'll see" and rushed him out of the store.

Too late -- upon arriving home, Jacob promptly dribbled several drops into the toilet and said "so, how about that sticker chart?".

Time for damage control. I gave him two choices -- he could either earn a sticker for every time he used the potty, but he would need 100 stickers to earn a lego set, OR he could earn a sticker for every day he made it to the toilet before peeing in his diaper in the morning, and he would only need 10 stickers to earn a lego set. He chose door number 2.

The next morning, he ran for the toilet and earned himself a sticker.

The following morning, he was too late. He was pretty upset about not getting that sticker. Same thing the next day. And the next. I was starting to regret this whole sticker thing, thinking that maybe he wasn't really ready for that sort of control and I'd just misjudged the situation (although I could hear him talking to himself in his room for a good half hour before he actually got up to use the bathroom). It felt to me more like punishment than positive reinforcement, and that wasn't setting well with me at all. Worse that that, he was still pooping in his pullup during rest time in the afternoon, even though I assured him that he could leave his room to use the potty (his usual answer was "but I was reading a book"). He was discouraged, I was discouraged, we were both disgruntled.

So I decided to make it easier to earn a sticker -- I added on the fact that if he pooped on the potty, he could earn a sticker too (in addition to a quid pro quo marshmallow peep). And I started trying to listen for him in the morning so that as soon as I heard him, I could remind him to get up and use the potty. It didn't always work, he was sometimes still too late, but slowly he started earning stickers for his chart. Trying to take any undue pressure off, I stopped talking about the sticker chart other than to award him a sticker when it was appropriate.

We had a major breakthrough this week with the sticker thing. About the time he earned his 7th sticker, he suddenly took more of an interest in it. One reason is because I went out and bought a bunch of lego sets (realizing that if I let him into the store to choose, he was going to go right for an $100 set rather than a $10 set), and he caught sight of some of the possible choices, in particular a Spongebob set he REALLY wanted. I set out that set, along with a couple others, on the counter of the bathroom, and he spent a lot of time going in to read the backs of the boxes and talk about building the sets. He talked about how many more stickers he needed to earn before he got to pick a set. He got up two days in a row (yesterday and today) and RAN to the bathroom to pee in the toilet and wave his dry pullup in front of me and award himself a sticker.

This morning he earned his 10th sticker, and triumphantly paraded through the house with his new Spongebob lego set. He spent the morning building the Krusty Krab, alternating between serious construction and occassional time-outs to play with some of the characters with Zoo Boy. I took pictures of him holding the box and then playing with the set after he finished setting it up, and glued the pics to the sticker chart, then hung it in a prominant place in the bathroom. I replaced the Spongebob set with another set. Zoo Boy has requested that Jacob select a star wars set next time. (Happy fallout from all this is that Zoo Boy has FINALLY taken an interest in using the potty himself, something that had been totally lacking to this point, and is making rapid progress towards his own potty competence -- fortunately for me, he's all about the m&ms and instant gratification, so hasn't asked for a sticker chart of his own. Yet.)