Wednesday, October 17, 2012

His happy place

A few years ago, we decided to begin Therapeutic Riding with Nathan.  Therapeutic Riding, is a program developed for children and adults with special needs.  The program is designed to help improve a variety of skills such as core strengthening, communication, building trust, improving motor and social skills, and decreasing sensory overload.

When Nathan started his Therapeutic Riding Program at Rocky River Stables, he instantly fell in love with horses and horseback riding.  He would "ask" when it was time for riding and both Matt and I knew it was something he looked forward to on a weekly basis.

During his 45 minute riding session, the instructors work on both gross and fine motor skills while on the horse.  The riders perform activities like arm and leg circles, puzzles, putting rings onto cones, and controlling the horse.  They do many of these activities inside the riding ring, and also go out on trail rides if the weather permits.

Nathan has come so far in the past 2 1/2 years of riding.  He always did a great job with the puzzles (he's always been interested in puzzles), but struggled with other things.  When he first started, he needed help getting on the horse.  Nate wasn't able to do the arm, wrist or leg circles without help from his side walker.  He also didn't always want to hold onto the reigns of the horse.

Last night, I stood in the entrance of the ring/riding arena, and watched Nate in awe.  He quietly and calmly walked over to his horse, and got on with minimal assistance.  He grabbed the reigns and was ready to go.  During the short exercise part of the program, he did the arm and leg circles with a small amount of prompting.  Nathan looks and acts so comfortable on the horse, and is truly at a happy place when he's up there.

I am so glad that we have been given the opportunity to participate in Therapeutic Riding.  We have found an activity that he absolutely adores.  I hope that being up on a horse will always be one of his happy places.

For more information on Therapeutic Riding at Rocky River Stables please visit

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Nate's Mates

Most of our team- minus Nate since we couldn't get him to stand still!

I am completely overwhelmed.  I'm overwhelmed by all of the love and support I felt on Sunday at the CASANA walk for Nathan and children with Apraxia. It took everything I had to not burst into tears multiple times during the course of the day.

I'm sure most of you who follow my blog (or are friends with me on Facebook) know that Sunday was the Apraxia walk/5K at Osborne Park in Huron.  This is the second year that we participated in the 5K/Walk for Apraxia.  Last year, we decided to keep it small since Nathan had just received his diagnosis, but this year we decided to go all out and make it huge.  And HUGE it was!  We had 61 people officially registered on our team for Nate's Mates.  Due to some extenuating circumstances a few people weren't able to make it to the actual race (that's OK!), and I believe we had about 55 people there to support Nathan.  Our team, Nate's Mates raised $3,075 for CASANA.

The generosity that people showed during my fundraising efforts was unbelievable.  Donations to CASANA and Nate's Mates came from people I see on a daily basis, people I haven't seen in years,  people I have met only once in my life, and people I've never met at all.  Matt and I appreciate every one's willingness to support a cause that is so near and dear to our hearts.

The day of the walk/5K was so moving.  There were about 250 people there to support loved ones who are battling Apraxia.  Our team of 50-some people was a huge presence at the park.  It is so obvious that people care about and love Nathan and our family, and I am so thankful for all the love and support that my friends and family have given us over the past 7 years.

Here are some pictures taken at the event :

Nathan- all for you buddy :-)

Sara, (Uncle) Nick, (Aunt) Kristen, & Nate

The Kanengeiser Family

Proud parents
Nate's biggest fans

Nate's favorite teachers- Mr. Frederick (and his girls) & Mr. E

Grandpa, Oma, Karen, & Doug

Denise and Evan

Some of our team members

Monday, October 1, 2012

Peppers for lunch

I have to share this because its too funny not to. 

This afternoon, right around lunchtime, I received a text from Nate's aide at school.  Here's how our conversation went:

A:      Did you pack Nate an entire green pepper?

ME:    WHAT?!?!?!
         OMG, he was messing with his lunch- I bet he put it in there
         You can send that back home

A:      Lol, I figured

So, apparently when Nate was pushing me out of the kitchen and living room, he was smuggling a green pepper into his lunch bag.  

A green pepper???  My kid is so strange.  Most kids would try to sneak in a pack of M&Ms, some cookies, or fruit snacks. Mine chooses a green pepper.  

I seriously can't stop laughing.