Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Yesterday we took another small step forward with Mr R....I pulled him out of school early to go and take his Written test to get his Learners permit. This whole thing has been a long, slow but very calculated process for us. I have GREAT concerns about him driving.....but as with all things with our kids...we have to let them try. My greatest concerns for him are:
His attention/delayed response level
His low-resting muscle tone/ motor skills
Some of these I headed off at the pass by getting some professional assessments done through http://www.courage.org/. They have a wonderful Driver Assessment and Training program available. They did an initial test of his motor speeds, attention level, and memory skills. He PASSED these with no problem. This summer I signed him up for the Drivers Ed class....through a local company. He took the classroom part...and finished just as school started. Since then....I've been trying to fit in the trip to the DMV to get the written test done so he can get his Provisional license (Learners).
Guess what....HE PASSED it yesterday.
I was a wreck. He seemed quiet before the test...but not as nervous as I. Crazy how we get, isn't it? I left him in the room and waited in the hallway (huge glass windows so I could see when he finished). Thoughts racing through my mind went from...I wonder how many you can get wrong and still pass... to how am I going to convince him to TRY again when he fails? All my anxious thoughts came to a head as I saw him approach the testing desk with the completed paper in hand. I swear I heard SWEAT coming out my pores. Mr R was pale...and watched the CRABBY test administrator start circling in red wrong answers. I felt woozy...Mr R's eyes were beginning to close....as if to brace himself for the WORD.
So the tester began shuffling papers...looking at his proof of identity, getting out a three carbon slip....blah blah blah. I broke!
Me: 'Excuse me?????? DID HE PASS *almost shouted*?'
Tester: *looks over the top of his glasses and shoves the test towards us* "yea."
Don't know whether I wanted to scream, faint or strangle the bugger for his attitude. I just looked at Rob (who now had SOME color coming back) and nudged him with my arm. *whispered to him...AWESOME!*
Course all this...then the guy tells us we have to go to another building clear across town to get the rest of the process done (pay and picture). What a system! Mr R and I zip across town just as schools are letting out. We get there and fill out more paperwork. The lady there was sweet and polite. He stood for the mugshot...he looked like he wanted to eat someone....we took another picture...he grinned. Now we wait....picture permit comes in the mail (when?). *shrugs* But we have a piece of paper says he's an official LEARNER!
All in all....I have worries...I have fears. But without a Drivers permit here where we live his job options will be minimal. I think he can do it....only time will tell.
Mr R is very proud....so am I!!!!!
Off to the next step...call the drivers ed company and get him signed up for some ROAD time. YIKES! *should I start getting anxious....again?*
Friday, October 19, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
I looked on the last post made here and said, "OH tsk tsk!" Summer has a way of getting lost....and so does my brain. I've had lots to do this summer....and like others am feeling summer has slipped away.
Things we DID do...
Took the Princes in a car (rental) and drove back East (home!) to see Grandma! (been over 7 years since we left the east) They were amazing on this lil 'jaunt'! With all the changes, new faces and diversity....they held up famously. I was concerned for a bit over Mr M's eating (which changed drastically)...but he began eating again regularly when we arrived home in July. HOME.....has a whole new meaning when you are away from it, doesn't it?
Mr R has started Drivers ED....*gulp*
Since that time...we've had some 'guests' staying at our homestead. This is suppose to be temporary until they get back on their feet.....which I suppose has no timeline? *sighs* It's difficult....I miss my privacy even though they are not 'staying' in the house but on the property. Kids have been tested with a visit from our guests 'children'.....social skills were out the window! Those extra kiddos just left a week ago *TG* Mr M and Mr R are now enjoying some peace.
Health issues....Not been feeling well lately due to back problems that started just after I got home from vacation. To me, this makes NO sense. To drive over 3200 miles, sleep on different mattresses and not have back issues until you return? GO FIGURE! Its nagging, painful but most annoying (cause I can't do what I NEED to do). Going for an MRI today....open one (cause I'm a big chicken!). LOL!
Hoping to be able to sit for more than 10 minutes without pain soon.......then I can spend more time updating (and wasting time on the internet!) :P
Friday, May 4, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Off to appts today....thanks for the welcome to Blogger!
ps...my guys in size are more like Laurel and Hardy. One weighs in at 230 and the other...90lbs. One loves food...other has food issues. Go figure!
Monday, April 23, 2007
His dx includes Aspergers, Tourette Syndrome and Severe Anxiety. His typical response to anxiety or pressure now days....total disrespect and foul language. On the positive side....its rare he bolts! Many, many days I spent chasing this kiddo....glad I had some track and field background to help with this. It's been about 5 months since he last took off on me.......and that was thankfully out back in the fields. Living on a 40 acre farm has its advantages...lots of room to get rid of stress.
Recently at school when he becomes 'overloaded' or stressed...he mouths off at teachers and his para. Horribly. Cussing is something that is rare in our house....I cannot say it never happens...but we DO have rules! In our home quiet and calm is the norm....for Mr M (younger bro) seems to need this atmosphere. Mr R has anger issues. His anger response is off the wall comments, cussing, threatening remarks....and sometimes throwing things. At school...his recent behaviors are more verbal...and we have not found a way for him to come up with other solutions to deal with his stress. My concern is....we are about to enter the workforce phase....how is this going to fly with ANY employer. Yes, he will have a job coach and any job he gets will most likely be through disability employment services. He cannot take redirection...he gets extremely angry when asked to do 'more' or anything that he feels is done.
Part of his 'coping' skill at the moment is not only verbally lashing out....but also to put his head down and fall asleep. We cannot 'process' anything for at least 2 days to let things die down......or it will immediately explode...again.
Mr R also has a fairly significant 'delay' in his response time....meaning he takes a few extra seconds to respond be it verbally or physically. At school, we've told them over and over again to give him that 'time lapse'....and NOT to push. Not being there at school I cannot say if this is part of what is going wrong recently....or if its just a overall 'school work' thing where he is feeling that the work is stressing him. He DOES say that his para and the teacher (sp.ed coordinator) PUSH. But I too have 'waited'....and some of it seems that he's defying a direction even here at home.
He has consequences to face today for another incident on Friday at school. Am hoping he does well with this (detention). Last time he admitted he was wrong, apologized and took noon detention. Not feeling confident today....I'm not sure why.
I guess I'm trying to figure out if there are direct methods of teaching other coping skills to deal with redirection, stress....even critical opinions. We've given 'tools' for him to use....but in the heat of the moment...he still is not able to grasp the concept.
In contrast to Mr R's response.....Mr M (14 HFA) cries....and often curls up in a ball. Just recently....he has begun to throw things and get mouthy. Ahhh...in a way....isn't some of this typical teen garbage??? LOL! *thrilled with that thought*
Long week coming...I've got my boxing gloves on too!
Sunday, April 22, 2007
I suppose any parent would celebrate the idea that a young boy at 14 yrs would CHOOSE to eat an apple....but this is more significant than that!~
Mr M has eaten apples before (last 3 years or so) but recently I was informed *by him* that he LIKES eating apples....with the peel on! For about 3 years, I've cleaned, peeled and quartered apples so that he could eat them at home. This wasn't something he could take to school due to the fact that they would turn 'dark and mushy' by the time lunch hour would come (another sensory demon....visual).
Mr M announced proudly that he traded a recent food add....Chocolate Fudge Striped cookies for his friends apple. I was shocked....and amused. His story was adorable in its telling (if you know Mr M)....the fact that a friend asked to trade her apple. Mr M said yes....Mr M did NOT tell her ALL his cookies....and the poor girl got ONE cookie for her apple! LOL! I did speak to him about the 'fairness' rules of trading....he did admit he 'missed that one'.
I suggested we go to the market and choose some apples to put in his lunch. He looked distressed. I wondered if I made a mistake in his 'liking' them....until he explained the thrill of trading! *duh me* But....I had further discussions and he is willing to take BOTH cookies and an apple......and merely share his cookies with his friend.
I never considered lunch time such a social scene for him.......but I am seeing now that there is much more to his interactions with his 'friends'. btw....all the kids he sits with are special needs. They have known each other for years from different summer programs.
Mr M asked the other afternoon for an apple from the basket to take outside while he plays. He said, "I would like an apple as my supplies" <>
Happily, I report....I think we've found a nice healthy new food choice to add to his list (which is about 5 foods at this point).
Come celebrate an apple a day with us!
Sunday, March 11, 2007
I am the child who cannot talk.You often pity me. I see it in your eyes.You wonder how much I am aware of...I see that as well.I am aware of much...whether you are happy or sad or fearful,patient or impatient, full of love and desire, or if you are just doing your duty to me.I marvel at your frustration, knowing mine to be far greater, for I cannot express myself nor my needs as you do.You cannot conceive my isolation, so complete it is at times.I do not gift you with clever conversation, cute remarks to be laughed over and repeated.I do not give you answers to your everyday questions,responses over my well-being, sharing my needs,or comments about the world around me.I do not give you rewards as defined by the world's standards...great strides in development that you can credit yourself.I do not give you understanding as you know it.What I give you is so much more valuable...I give you instead opportunities.Opportunities to discover the depth of your character, not mine;the depth of your love, your commitment, your patience,your abilities; the opportunity to explore your spiritmore deeply than you imagined possible.I drive you further than you ever go on your own,working harder, seeking answers to your many questions,creating questions with no answers.I am the child who cannot talk.
I am the child who cannot walk.The world sometimes seems to pass me by.You see the longing in my eyes to get out of this chair,to run and play like other children.There is much you take for granted.I want the toys on the top shelf.I need to go to the bathroom...oh...I've dropped my spoon again!I am dependent on you in these ways.My gift to you is to make you aware of your great fortune,your healthy back and legs, your ability to do for yourself.Sometimes people appear not to notice me; I always notice them.I feel not so much envy as desire, desire to stand upright, to put one foot in front of the other, to be independent.I give you awareness.I am the child who cannot walk.
I am the child who is mentally impaired.I don't learn easily, if you judge me by the world's measuring stick.What I do know is infinite joy in the simple things.I am not burdened as you are with the strifes and conflicts or a more complicated life.My gift to you is to grant you the freedom to enjoy things as a child,to teach you how much your arms around me mean, to give you love.I give you the gift of simplicity.I am the child who is mentally impaired.
I am the disabled child.
I am your teacher.If you allow me, I will teach you what is really important in life.I will give you and teach you unconditional love.I give you my innocent trust, my dependency upon you.I teach you respect for others and their uniqueness.I teach you about the sanctity of life.I teach you about how very precious life is and aboutnot taking things for granted.I teach you about forgetting your own needs and desires and dreams.I teach you giving.Most of all, I teach you Hope and Faith.
I am the Disabled Child
***I have this poem on my wall in the office....I think it something I need to look at once in a while as a reminder of how blessed I am***
Saturday, March 10, 2007
*from other blog* Was entitled: "Beating Invisible Meat"
As I've described before, Mr M's eating issues are probably the one thing we still struggle with advancements in (as far as his Autism). The rest are fairly 'functional'.
A bit of background:
Mr M eats about 3 foods a month...3 different kinds. He rarely strays from this....unless he's ill....then we usually 'switch back' to an old favorite and drop one of the "foods of the month".
I've struggled with Drs, Psychologists even Nutritionists on this topic and how it relates to his Autism. There are many co-morbid issues involved....OCD type behaviors, oral motor issues, sensory defensiveness and of course; Autistic Tendencies. (think Rainman with his fish sticks and eating with toothpicks!)
Anyway....about 2 years ago I got him to start eating bread. Just plain sliced white bread (then we threw in the 'good stuff' made with added Calcium due to low calcium levels). So, twice a week....he took a slice of bread to eat for 'lunch'....as well as his usual cracker thing (what ever he was eating that month). Then we moved to asking him to eat 2 slices....which ended up very 'close' to normal (the ideal sandwich). Kids asked him, "what kinda sandwich is THAT?" His reply....."Invisible meat!" *gotta love his comebacks*
I figured it was time for some REAL meat and introduced 'Carl Budding' lunchmeat over that summer. Ham only. One for its texture that resembled the Arby's Roast beef (which he DID eat at the time) and the fact that it was fairly consistant in its packaging. *** we've had issues with product packaging too****
So last year (7th grade) he then took a REAL half a sandwich to school twice a week. This took all summer to get him to that level. He bulked, but agreed. It was a rough start....due to my 'stupid' idea of cutting the half sandwich into half again. Remember those little triangle things Mom's did? Well...this was WRONG! That made it '2' sandwiches...not one half! *yea, you wonder why I have math issues????*
Now (8th grade) we are up to a half sandwich EVERY day for lunch. Always Carl Budding ham....always on thin white bread, crusts cut off.....and lunch meat trimmed exactly to fit the triangle bread.
Wonder what this is all about....don't you?
Point is...every day I make this 'artful' sandwich at 5:30 am. Mr R *the older brother* walks by today and says......"Kinda Monkish aren't ya mom?????" *gasp*
My only reply to the sarcasm *must be catching* that Mr R flung at me......
"Least we beat the invisible meat"
which of course.....got peels of laughter from this street smart teen.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Let me clear this....I am all for diagnosis including what people often call labels. Why? In today's medical, social, and scholastic communities, its the only way the children manage to get the appropriate services for conditions that require intervention. Without it, insurance companies do not pay for treatments and medications...kids do not 'qualify' for extended services such as camps, organizational rec and in-home services. Schools base their 'education plans' on the diagnostic coding in order to receive Federal money to offset the cost of their special education. That being said....I have a big issue with the attachment of sequential labels in order to further 'describe' conditions/behaviors. Sometimes it seems the ideal of comorbitity or 'symptoms that encompass' has gone out of style.
Reason I'm blogging about this? I just came across some very old files on my eldest son. I was amazed in the 17 years how many additional 'labels' he received and when I thought about it....how most of those are simply a manifestation of his behaviors. Being familiar with many of these terms...I thought..."that one was a given considering the original dx". I broke the thought into a 'mom' perspective and comparatively thought of a recipe *lol* Think of your favorite casserole: many ingredients mixed together to form ONE DISH. Each ingredient is not considered a 'dish' in itself. Right?
Here are the 'labels' that my family has dealt with.....with no names involved:
Minimal Brain Dysfunction (early term for ADHD)
Auditory Sensory Disorder
Sensory Integration Dysfunction
Parent Child relationship dysfunction *I think someone made this one UP!*
Non-verbal Communication Disorder
Mental Health Issues
I'm sure there are a few more stuck in various reports (which currently are piling up in a file cabinet). My point is......these diagnosis (as similar as some of them are) can be often times be a manifestation of behavioral symptoms vs actual 'bottom line' diagnosis for treatment purposes. Then you have the Dr's/Psychologists that request previous records and copy/paste dx's from another report as part of the 'history'. My eldest....ended up with over 8 of these labels. It came to define 'who he was' and not what he was as a person. This is the biggest injustice to children when trying to work your way through the system to try and get appropriate services. Just run them over the scanner.....*bleep bleep* and the diagnostic picture is printed out on a ticker tape.
Thanks to research, sifting through thousands of articles/opinions and medical research....I've come to one strange conclusion. The labels are needed for services....the rest is just ink. As a parent.....DISAGREE if you feel that something is 'not appropriate' and file a written statement saying you disagree with their assessments. It is your right as a patient, consumer and yes... a "MOM".
Shame our labels can't read like this....
*and so much more*
*bleep bleep* Scan that!
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Anyway...just a few thoughts today.
BTW...I'm noticing I'm 'inspecting' Mr M's bread for defects everyday. Wondering if others have such FOODIE issues at 5am in the morning! *g*