We started receiving services from an organization called "Early Steps". Unfortunately the coordinator assigned to our case wasn't much use. We did get a therapist to come to our home once a week. But later on we learned that P.J. could have been attending Discovery Learning Center, getting speech & language therapy, occupational therapy, and socialization in a school setting that dealt with developmentally delayed children, 8:30am to 2:30pm, 5 days a week! As soon as we heard about that, we signed him up. This is an amazing school. The teachers and aides are dedicated to the needs of each individual child.

From the time P.J. could crawl, he would climb into and on top of EVERYTHING. And it never stopped. Once he started walking and could reach higher places, he climbed even higher. We would find him under sinks, standing on end tables, the coffee table, dining room table, and eventually he was able to climb onto the kitchen counters. He would also get into the dishwasher and onto the stovetop. He was even found IN the oven and IN the fireplace! Talk about some scary stuff! Thank goodness I don't cook very much!


A few times he pulled a stool up to the microwave, climbed up, put a "C" cell battery in, pressed the numbers 1 through 9 (which ends up being 78 minutes 90 seconds!) and pressed start! Some of the less scary stuff he did was going into the bathroom and stuffing anything and everything into the toilet; diapers, toilet paper rolls, panty liners, tooth brushes, tooth paste... the list is endless. He would also squirt liquid soap over and over onto the counter. Needless to say I had a lot of cleaning up to do! He got into the bedroom, turned the iron on and placed it down on the carpet (nice burn mark there now). He was also obsessed with turning the TV on and off, on and off. Some of the stuff we just learned to live with. Obviously, some of the stuff had to be addressed. Most of these issues were resolved with baby gates. At one point in time, we had 9 gates in a 300 sq ft area just to keep P.J. safe (and less mess for me to deal with!). We also moved the microwave. As for the oven, for a while I had to move our table in front of it, but eventually I found a baby lock that works very well. We also had to bungie cord the stools under the dining room table!
The absolute scariest thing that happened was on March 11, 2009. Adam was getting ready to go to play drums, Kerri and Danny were playing or watching TV. PJ was running around, happy as usual. I was in the kitchen packing lunches. It was about 7:15. Adam went to the door and realized that the gate to keep P.J. in the house was wide open. His first words were "WHERE'S P.J.!!" We both flew out of the house screaming for P.J. We looked in the usual hiding places, the neighbor's front door, her back yard, and the other neighbor's back yard; NO P.J. We ran back into the house to make sure he wasn't in there somewhere. Nowhere to be found. I called 911 and told them I had a three year old autistic child that had gotten out of my house. She connected me with the sheriff's dept. As they were asking me questions I saw P.J. run up to another neighbor's door. I started screaming "P.J., P.J., P.J.!" The officer on the phone asked if he was OK, I said yes. Then she asked me if I was OK. I was shaken and scared, but OK. I broke down and bawled. I cannot believe this happened. Not only that it did happen, but what COULD have happened. I had caught P.J. running toward me five houses away from ours. That means he had gotten further away! The rest of the night I was a zombie.
This is how we solved the fireplace problem.
This is where the microwave USED to be. It's now behind a gate. You can also see the latch that we finally found for the oven.
To keep him from climbing onto the kitchen counters, the stove top and dishwasher, we put in a gate. The burgundy "box" is filled with BRICKS to block him from the small portion of counter that the gate didn't cover!
Two of the nine gates.
Two more of the nine gates.
One of the only things we had foresight on was his climbing out of bed. We bought this crib tent before he was able to climb out! As of January, 2011, we are still using it!
The very next day, we took out the gate and installed this large door. You had to pull on it really hard to get it shut, but once it was shut there was NO WAY P.J. could open it!
Our stools bungee corded under the table.