Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Things. in. Their. Places.

James has not really lined up toys in order, the way some kids on the spectrum do, but he has a very definite idea of what things go where and can obsess over things out of place.


Like tonight, when I made him change his seat on the way home, because there were bags in the back, where he's been sitting for the last few months (ever since he and his sister got too big to share a row in the car).

Oh. My. Goodness.

Twenty minutes of "I don't like _insert everything under the sun_" and "let me out Right Now!"

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall the way home.

And then he was fine. I am working on that myself.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Holiday Talking, Brought To You By the Letter "I"

Trying something a little new this year - talking about Thanksgiving and being thankful. A bit of a challenge when he's found the VHS tape of Sesame Street episodes I taped when he was a baby. He's focused on the subway scene at the end credits and why Big Bird has long legs.

We did manage to establish that Thanksgiving is when people give things like turkeys and chicken!

I explained that I am thankful for things like ... his smile, our family, a nice house, and good friends.

With a little prompting, James shared he's thankful for I Spy Treasure Hunt at the library.

Of course.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

CSI Elementary: The Case of the Missing Underwear

The time: Last Thursday. The place: school campus. The call: More clean underwear mom, STAT.


I delivered the goods in a manilla envelope, clearly labeled, for delicacy's sake. The front desk took them. The aide confirms receipt. Since then: poof. They have disappeared. About half the underwear in his wardrobe is now gone. We have confirmed they are not hiding out at home. Hoping the name on the envelope helps locate it at school.

Otherwise, I need to go shopping. Maybe these will keep this from happening again?
They are even Hanes, his favourite brand.

Epilogue: The perps were nabbed at a relative's house.  Case closed! 
                *cue the electronic gavel sound*

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Planning the Holiday Avalanche Campaign, 2014

Thanks to The Peaceful Mom for inspiration
Well, the IEP, Walkathon, Book Fair, School Photos, Halloween and first report cards are now behind us. Time to seriously get thinking about the holidays. Yes, I have become that person out of necessity. Especially now that I working full time again, and have to deal with Winter Break coverage for the kids.

Who collectively have birthdays right before and after Christmas and New Years. Well planned ...not!!

I have counted my PTO and booked it all away ... praying no one gets sick before then. I should be able to spend a good chunk of time with the kids over the hols this year. Trying to figure out childcare that last week between  the time our wonderful regular care person goes home for the holidays and the kids are off and I can start taking time to be with them is going to be a bit tricky.

I have started research for holiday and birthday gifts. It's looking like they've way outgrown their older bikes, so it might be time for some bigger ones. I have lots of ideas for James' older sister. For James, however, it can be a challenge to find something fun that he will enjoy that is NOT an electronic game or device.

So far, I am looking at all things I Spy, as it's high on his interest radar, helps his vocabulary and interpersonal play/communication, and has gift-worthy items that are not limited to books or electronic games.

James likes music so much that I'd like to get him some kind of music player ... preferably one that does not involve too much money and survive his inquisitive nature (he likes to disassemble things).

While James did love building and playing with the marble run a few years back, it was difficult to keep set up and the pieces started disappearing, so no LEGOS or little do-hickey play kits. Although these Squiz tempt me into thinking this might be something he'd enjoy playing with, and help his finger fine motor skills. Likewise, the Squap, which he could play with family or friends, even indoors.

I dunno .. open to suggestions here!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

When Meltdowns Destroy The World

Thanks to Defying the Spectrum for this infographic
We've been up, down, and all around. We skirted a head cold just before Halloween. James has had good days, and ones where self care issues are still interfering with school. He's decided food is evil and refuses to eat foods he's enjoyed for years. I've resorted to constant snacks and calls to get help from a nutritionist.

I've found out that James has not been receiving his 2x weekly speech sessions at school over the past 3 weeks, as the therapist has been out on medical leave. I had to ask if he was getting them to find this out. Now I am asking what the make-up plan is. Communication and speech continue to be struggles for James. Sources of frustration.

There's been a run of healthcare issues that involve more angst and cleaning labor than illness. My eczema is having a fine time and is currently well on its way to splitting open the skin on all my right fingertips.

I am helping my daughter work out that the badly worded math word problems are asking for. Oh the irony. I long to answer "who cares?" for many of said word problems. James and I are working on his reading log. There is not a lot of free time in the day. At night, James has been waking up regularly at 11pm, crying. I help him to the bathroom and he starts hicupping, which makes him furious. I coax him back into bed and he crashes. I am wrung out.

Through it all we've been hanging in there. Discouraged and tired at times, but plugging along. Until this afternoon. When James decided to bug his sister while she was finishing her homework. He ignored requests and warnings to stop. He earned a time out. A meltdown ensued over the next 90 minutes.

Oh. No. All the plans I had for the afternoon (write a letter, bake some breakfast muffins, do some cleaning) went right out the window. Everything narrowed down to helping my daughter finish her math and staying calm while trying to get James to calm down. Both eventually happened. By the time James calmed down, homework was finished and he'd lost iPad privileges for the rest of the day. Most of the afternoon had gone.

I am sapped. And worried. James is going to be a big guy. He gets very upset when people attempt the shush him or restrict him. I am worried about his teenage years and beyond. I want James to have words and tools to express how he's feeling and try and get what he needs  ... not have meltdowns.

I finally figured out James needed to eat. His mood improved quite a bit after he ate something. I am still worried. Hoping we have a good night's sleep, and tomorrow is a better day, with no meltdowns in it.

Monday, October 27, 2014

This IEP Is Beginning to Feel a Lot Like ...

On Friday after school, the Services Coordinator gave to me: a big manilla envelope - 12 pages of a pre-IEP.
                                                      image borrowed from specialneeds.com

On Saturday I opened an envelope addressed to me; it contained results from James' CAPA test (the first to me I believe I have seen).

On Monday, while at work, two phone calls rang through to me:
 - The Behaviourist with clarification questions so she could bring recommendations to the table.
 - James' OT Therapist, full of encouragement for the tasks of which James was able.
    Who also notified me of his notes and the student OT respresentative, who'd take his place at
    the IEP and keep the meeting stable.

At pickup time on Monday, James' aide did share with me: funds were needed for a party; he was short on milk money; and he loved his music class and listened to Vivaldi.

Paperwork, money, presents, stress, get togethers, anticipation, trying to hold on to messages of hope ... this meeting is reminding me a lot of the holidays.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Weekend Summary

James loves driving around town with us to look at Halloween decorations. He has a new favourite decoration to supplant the Splatty Witch: big black Halloween cats, preferably inflated.

James, his Dad, and I lay siege to his room today. Out came 2 large garbage bags of trash, a bag of outgrown clothing & shoes, and 2 bags of outgrown toys and books (to be donated to his preschool). Oh, and a rocking chair. In came another book shelf for all the books that had been tumbled about on the floor, precariously perched on some things and buried under others. James now has room to play. And get dressed. This only took the entire afternoon ...

Realization: eating french fries together with milk will now almost aways trigger an upchuck episode with James. Milk alone is not the trigger. French fries are tricky but he has eaten them solo and not been sick. Adios to this duo for a while.