Monday, December 21, 2009

MIA for a while

Mom-in-love is over for a week or so? By the end of the week I may be calling her something else though. lol

To everyone: Have a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Terrible Thursday???

Was it Monday again yesterday? I woke up at 4:30 and every half hour after that because my mind wouldn't stop racing with thoughts of Christmas preparations. I gave up and got up half an hour early. I guess since Billy-bob had extra time he figured he would go in his brothers room and turn on the light to find games when his bro was sleeping. He pushed me several times because I removed him from John-boys room. Billy-bob then proceeded to scream and he stomp and he woke up the downstairs neighbors. The neighbors opened the door that leads from the laundry room door to our upper suite and yelled don't you realize it is before 7?(twice) I hope we don't get kicked out. I feel sorry for our neighbors but Billy-bob hates school and likes to make a ruckus when I tell him it is time to get ready. I have tried rewards for not screaming and consequences but it doesn't seem to help. Usually it is worse Monday. My son got banned off his game for a week. He must have been loud. The neighbor doesn't usually scream twice at us.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My mish-mash post!

Everything seems to be going good with Billy bob. No long  DT's lately and if he has too much homework we only do 1/2 hour and I write him a note.  John-boy has strep throat though but he is very mellow right now and watching TV.  We have all got the H1N1 flu shot now. I can't sleep on my left shoulder right now which is the one I usually sleep on but my shoulder only hurts if they is presure on it so its not too bad.  Next Friday is the last day of school which means shortly after boredom sets in.  Hubbies mom is coming down and cooking Christmas dinner for us. Mmmmm... I dont like to cook very much so I don't mind at all.  I am trying to catch up on piles of laundy. I have been lazy busy lately.  Well, off to do some baking now and I hope you all have a merry Christmas. Oh and by the way it is nice and sunny but cold here. Arent you all so...jealous lol.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Just in Case you Needed Something to Read!(lol)

Both of my monkeys go to therapeutic riding on saturday at (gasp) 9 am we have to leave shortly after 8am to get their early.  I have to get up at 6:30 (cry). Just kidding, its worth it. Horseback riding helps with balance and muscle-tone and self-esteem.  I guess controlling and bonding with a large animal can make you feel good?  I have never had the opportunity to ride horses so I am only guessing why it helps the self-esteem.  Tomorrow evening we are going to a Christmas dinner at my parents church plus Christmas caroling etc. Free turkey and the fact that I have friends that attend my parents church make it fun for me. Oh, yeah and the fact that their wonderful uncle will run off with them after dinner is a definite bonus.
Unlike a lot of autistic children my kids deal pretty well with crowded situations and being out. They do get restless and want to run around after a short time and don't like it if it is REALLY noisy.  I don't like to brag but I think it is largely due to the fact that I always took them out and didn't avoid those hard situations.  Granted sometimes they would meltdown when they got home but they slowly got acclimatized and seemed to enjoy the fairs, parades etc while we were there . There was some meltdown out in public but you deal with it and go home.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not an ogre if my kids got overwhelmed I would leave the area.  Also my kids were 6 almost 7(child #1) and 8(child #2) when they were diagnosed so I didn't know I wasn't "supposed" to take them out in those type of situations. lol 
My children have sensory issues. Child #1 has all of them although they are not as apparent anymore and I don't know exactly how many child #2 has but I know he is sensitive to loud noises and touch.
Oh, yeah, now that I've got my own blogspot child #1 shall be called Billy bob and child #2 shall be called Johnboy. Not kidding they really need nicknames lol.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Trying not to BANG MY HEAD!

Oh, looks like I am going to be on their case again. Here it comes, last week was the IEP meeting. Yesterday, they kept him after school for an hour doing math (home)work. Tonight, he was kept for 1/2 an hour after school for not finishing the math (home)work at school yesterday plus he has 1/2 hour of homework today. That adds up to an hour extra schoolwork yesterday and today.  As far as Im concerned they are trying to get around my 1/2 hour worth of homework policy by keeping him after school. What do you think? Advice and comments welcome!
(Please excuse me, this is my first day of blogging on this blog, I promise not to post 3 blogs everyday :)

The IEP meeting that I dreaded

My oldest child, I will call him child#1, just started middle school this year which starts at grade six. He is eleven years old and has a diagnosis of autism and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder).

Before our upcoming IEP meeting, I got this note from my child’s SEA, after I informed her that my son hadn't completed his homework during our busy weekend (the underlining is the SEA's):

I got your note and informed the teacher. However, I have to remind you that the "videogame time" in the morning heavily interferes with child#1’s school work. His mind is so greatly under the influence of the game that he can’t/won’t try to focus on Math. I've already mentioned this to you. I only reiterate what I've said.

Game time needs to be replaced with something else such as quiet time in bed or whatever is not going to set up child#1’s mind in the morning.
Otherwise, his school accomplishments are going to further suffer. If you need help let me know. I know lots of good replacement activities.
I was so mad. She should know that, having autism, child#1 perserverates on interests -- which is another way of saying he obsesses about his video games. Cutting them out in the morning is not going to stop child#1 from wanting to talk about them. Also, I think she was very rude and has no right to tell me what to do in my own house, Suggestions, fine; orders I don't do well with.

After venting about it, I wrote her a note that said, “I suggest you let him talk about his video games to get it out of his system and then child#1 will be more focused on his work.” No response on that note. Hmmmm...

I talked to the support worker (who is supposed to co-ordinate everyone) because child #1 was getting one-and-one-half hours of homework every night. I found her to be inflexible, and she actually told me that the homework is only going to increase. My son is so frustrated by the end of the school day that he is only capable of doing a half-hour of homework. She wasn't getting that.

Needless to say I was very nervous and feeling stressed about the upcoming IEP meeting. As far as I could tell from questioning child #1, they were not following his IEP at all. ARGG....

There were a lot of topics to discuss. I got information about what his elementary school was doing with child#1 last year, from his former SEA ( who is so good we kept her as a behavior interventionist) I researched perservative interests and had that printed out. I made a list of the topics I needed to bring up, and notes for my eyes only lol. Then I wrote a point form agenda and handed this and the information on perservative interests out to the teachers, SEA, councillor, support worker, and principal (whom I had asked to be at the meeting).

Now you may think I had it all together, but I was so stressed I hardly slept the night before.

The day of the meeting arrived, and I was still a bit stressed but feeling more prepared. I went to the meeting and everyone introduced themselves for the sake of my husband (child#1's stepdad,
my support at the meeting.). Then I handed out my sheets and asked if I they minded if I started the meeting. The general answer was “No, of course not.”

I wasn't ganged up on like I feared. We talked about all my agenda topics and either compromised or they saw my point. The only thing they don't want to do is give rewards because it’s middle school, and it makes child#1 stand out. Well, I am going to keep tabs on that, and also I am thinking of just rewarding child#1 myself at the end of the day if he has a good day with no homework.

I also discussed my son not focusing on math and told them he is simply not a morning person The former school had this problem last year. Also, child#1 sometimes wakes up early in the morning or at night and starts playing on his games. He doesn’t always realize what time it is.

We talked about homework, and I made it clear that I really don't mind doing some homework with him. Child#1 is just too frustrated and stressed at the end of the day to do that much homework. We also talked about giving him fewer questions, which they were not doing in math. It would help him finish his work in class time so he wouldn’t have any homework, eliminating some of his frustration. Like a lot of our kids he is very bright and doesn’t need to do all the questions to get the concept. They are going to start adapting more, especially in math.

I didn’t single out the SEA, although it was tempting. I just said “I’m not sure if everyone knows about perseveration of interests.” Then I suggested that they give him certain times to discuss his video games, and they could even put it into his visual schedule. The SEA told me she already lets child #1 talk about his games at certain times. I told her I know it can be frustrating at times because it’s hard to get him off the topic.

I don't think the meeting would have gone as well as it did if I hadn't prepared and went armed to the meeting with information and an agenda. This was the first meeting I chaired, but I felt confident, and I was well received. :)
 BTW, readers, go here and here to see the information I provided at the IEP regarding perseveration on interests and activities.

SEA's and other mosquitos

My sons needs things explained to him then he needs time to process it. Apparently his SEA hasn't figured that out yet.  She apparently talked his ear off two days ago causing child #1 to have a meltdown. Maybe I am being over critical but dont you think she would have figured that out at this point in the year? Kudos to the school though, they held a meeting the same day and told the SEA she needs to back off a bit. I talked to his math teacher and she said The SEA backed off completely the day after and I told her that we need to find a middle ground. Giving him help but not overwhelming him.
Argh, does it never end?