I have been absent from the blogosphere for about 3 weeks now . Too much work .And too much life happening. Promise to visit all my dear bloggy friends this week and catch up
I did take pictures on my phone this month and so I am writing about it month while I still remember, for the sake of reminiscing later.
We had an IEP meeting at school. His overall plan is good
- Half regular ed with shared aide and
- Half day special ed with two teachers - both of whom we really like
DH and I think this makes sense
The most important accommodation we are hoping to work out - is that he come to school late to he can do his speech therapy in the morning. We think we will be able to arrange this
This has been VERY painful as he tests HORRIBLY
His teacher showed us some test results - painful to read
Example he did not answer questions like _6_ .. as in what comes before and after 6 ( he has known numbers since he was 3 !!)
Glad his teacher sees his strengths
She said rightly that there is an intelligent child in there - but that academic success is about how well you present. And not what is in your head
Much as it is painful - she is absolutely and completely right
In terms of just reading - R reads at the 2nd grade level - but his comprehension of sentences and concepts is poor.
I talked to some of my friends and Reading Comprehension is really one of the biggest problems ( whole post coming up later on Reading comprehension )
We reminded our whole team that R has only understood language for the past one year and so to think of his comprehension issues as a 3 year old and not a 6 year old
Once reminded, they were all amazed at how far he has come. Its amazing how quickly we forget the challenges we have already overcome and get fixated on the challenges yet to come.
Its his ability to travel that we need to demonstrate.
I think everyone - even educators custom their approach on perceived capacity to learn and that is why we need to always show that his ability is great
DH "spontaneously" decides to get his tonsils out . His doctor has an opening that week and the schedule it right away
I read about tonsil surgery recovery on message boards and hear about how painful and horrible it is .
I plead and plead with DH to not have this surgery but DH claims those people are "wimps and pansies
" and have "milk running through their veins
That all I need to do "drop him back home on Friday after surgery and just go back to the office after that".
However after the surgery - we realise that those people were not wimps and pansies after all and that their describing this surgery as the "worst torture anyone could go through
" is actually rather an understatement.
We have a difficult week as DH is in a lot of pain and I have to do a lot of things that DH does ( like grocery shopping, carrying laundry here and there, getting R ready for school etc )
Though its difficult there are many funny moments too. Like one morning, when I forget to call in the day to check on how he is as I am running from meeting to meeting, I get a voicemail from DH which goes like this "
"if you are done putting the man on the moon, maybe you could find a few minutes to call to check on your husband".
My big strong DH is not usually prone to self pity( that along with a tendency to martyrdom is usually my thing) and this voicemail makes me laugh till I cry
The start of summer vacation
How can I describe the glow on R as soon as school is over?
I think being home with DH is one of the most therapeutic things for R.
DH is one of those people who carry a very calm, soothing and accepting atmosphere.
The thing that worries me is what will happen when school starts - its an even longer day and I just wonder if it will wring out R
Though I love his teacher, school is becoming a great source of anxiety for me .
I wish there was more flexibility - that we could do school for 3 days and a kind of homeschool with therapists for 2
Its difficult to leave home everyday as he watches from the garage door dolefully - can you see him standing on his toes watching me leave sadly ?
One of R's therapists gets him to make a Mother's Day card - she writes down a social story about Mother's day
I adore this card and stick it on the wall and R beams with pleasure
Play and Language
His spontaneous language is coming along great
The other day his PT was stern with him and he told me later when I asked him mean and mad
When I asked him how that made him feel , he said "worried
This is really great language expression for him
His pretend play skills have increased a lot
He goes around finding spider webs and singing "Little Miss Muffet " to them
He plays out his version of "The wonderpets Save the Dinosaur
" by trying to get me to rescue bugs of all sorts who are "trapped " in spider webs . We must sing the wonderpets song and rescue them
One of the "Little Einsteins" story he loves right now is about a little totem pole that gets "build upon" and becomes a big totem tale thanks to the shenanigans of the and he replicates this with megablocks
This is his version of the "Tall Totem Tale "
One of the things R loves most is music and song
Earlier it used to be me
who would make up songs for him and now its he who is always adapting
His current obsession is "Coke and Sprite" ( no idea why )
There are also some super geeky parodies on youtube that R watches regularly ( the guy who put up that video must be wondering at the great increase in views :-) )
He also takes basic songs that he will sing to the different words
For instance if I take the tune of "There was a farmer had a dog , bingo was his name o
and take it to "there was a green bottle with sprite.. sprite was its name o
he will quickly make the same song about Coke and Fanta
His music interest is burgeoning as this week he goes to his teacher and play a tune ( Mary had a little lamb
) that she has never taught him but he learned from Nick Jr
The other thing I am pretty impressed ( but I am easily impressed by R ) by is how he notices the patterns of music. He keeps organising songs by tunes.
While a sing to him all the time - I have never noticed this until he points them out ( like the ABC song, Twinkle twinkle little star, Baa baa black sheep - all have the same tune )
His general engagement in life is great right now. The other day DH and I are bickering in Walmart ( stupid AT& T has bad coverage and we cannot find each other ) .
R for the first time ever - takes my hand in one hand and DH's in the other and puts our hands together -
He is constantly dragging me everywhere with him ( another reason why I cannot blog ) to do experiments like learn about shadows by looking at the shadows of numbers
( I really love this )
He still expands in breadth
and not in length
like if he has a theme going on - where all the Little einsteins get into the rocket to fly away in a mission - that is where the story ends .
If I introduce an idea - like get a bunch of "umbrellas
" from DH's bar ( very enticing I think- colorful perfect replicas of umbrellas ) and say that The Little Einsteins have landed on a rainy island and need umbrellas - he will promptly reject my idea
This is the crux of Floortime - to have a long unpredictable
You start with their interest - but the idea is to take the exchange down unpredictable
paths and have the child come along
What I am noticing however is that while he rejects my idea at the time
- he will try it on a little later .
So later that afternoon he takes the Little Einsteins with unbrellas .
And this morning he informs me that "rain and umbrellas go together"
I think Autistic children have many ideas and thoughts and its us that are not usually able to see
I think if one has an NT child or has had spend a lot of time thinking of and longing for an NT child - its hard to see the beauty of the special needs child .
Its like the son and the moon.
And how you cannot see the moon when the sun is out bright and shining
But for DH and me who have only known our autistic son .
For us there is no longing for the sun , we revel in the beauty and magic of moon light
I wake up in the morning with my head on DH's shoulder and hear a small doleful voice at my side
"Mama is hug Papa .. papa is hug mama"
The child hates being left out
DH pulls him up between us and he says "mama and papa hug R
My little family
My circle of love