Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Anxiety by Proxy?

Just a quickie's beautiful outside and I need to get out and enjoy it (before the weather changes, again)!

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
Anger/anxiety issues

Some of these I headed off at the pass by getting some professional assessments done through 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 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 am I!!!!!

Off to the next the drivers ed company and get him signed up for some ROAD time. YIKES! *should I start getting anxious....again?*


Friday, October 19, 2007

The Evil OCD monster moved in...

We've always had a bit of it going on here...but as my youngest moved into Puberty this has reared it's ugly head tenfold. I personally distinguish the OCD behaviors vs the 'quirks' of his Autism by the thought that these are even more difficult to shake off (or redirect). Take the above picture...for some reason...these had to be lined up by color, balls matching and in order of the color on the pole (wicket?) Now, how functional this made choosing your color...but do MOST ppl need this? No...and it became a 'sore spot' when it came to the activity itself. His 'peers' like to play the game 'off the record'....NOT the book only.
Since September we've started some meds with him to help with the OCD, anxiety and some of the ADD problems. This past year is the first time he's ever been on meds......I just felt it was time. Parts of his life were out of up till after 2am 'thinking thoughts'. Mr M admitted to his Dr that 'there isn't ONE minute my mind is quiet'. How maddening that must be for someone.
Mr R has started a job. Bagging groceries at a local market. Well....I thought this was going ok......but just recently learned there are problems. He's now on a 2 week 'trial' to see if he can pick up the pace...and keep his job. I had RISE (a company helping disabled individuals in the job field) go with him to discuss this with his boss (this is how I found out there is a problem). Mr R doesn't discuss it...he tells me everything is just 'fine'. Today he admitted that his OCD is causing issues. The way they want them to bag....and the way things come down the belt are 2 different stories. He keeps going over in his mind the 'training video' they watch about the PERFECT BAG.....he gets stuck and starts unpacking and repacking the bags (much to the delay and dismay of the customers). *sighs* He's got 2 weeks to improve his technique.
Still haven't gotten to the DMV to get his permit. Time is flying by with no slow downs. Am hoping next week to get him in there so he can take some over the road lessons with the company that provided the course.
Well...I'm done with Physical therapy....I've resigned my position at the Nursing home. I'm officially unemployed. *nother big sigh* I have to find a job that doesn't require such repetitive lifting...and within the hours I can manage (with the boys needs involved). Right now, that would be like 8:30am to about 2:30pm. No luck so far....called 3 different places that had ads.....all wanted evening hours. NO can do!
I've also 'given in' and went for PCA services for Mr M....he needs alot of cares (due to severe sensory issues) and my back is just not up for it by evening most days. We'll see how it goes....I hate having staff in my home. I've been doing this crap for over 19 years now (my eldest had staff at age 3).
On a positive note...Mr R is doing very well with his classes this year. Beings he's a Senior....I'm real proud of his keeping up with his studies. Mr M is struggling a bit....but much better than last year (he's half reg ed, half spec ed this year). Math seems to be his...tough subject this year. Its a matter of pace...not the math itself. But I'm hopeful!
Autumn has arrived....quite soggy too! The mentioned on the weather that we broke a Century old record for August, Sept, Oct rainfall. The record was back in 1900...and we surpassed it last night. Oh well...if the pond fills up...we'll try ice skating this year!
Again...I'm still catching up with all my webstuff...and friends. Hope to get to everyone's blogs soon!