Friday, May 11, 2012

The Beginning of Summer

Lovely lovely summer is here

Slacker mom 

I have been SUCH a slacker mom - work has been frightfully busy and I have done so little floortime

A lot of snuggling and relaxing and being a couch potato

Even though R's idea of relaxation is really all of us on the couch - he will often insist "watching TV "and he will also veg out with his computer


Honestly overall I feel a much greater satisfaction and happiness and connected-ness when I am more active with him

But someday I just don't get around to doing it

I get busy with springcleaning and with watching TV !!

Outside Time

But because the weather has been mostly good - we are having a simply lovely time being outside



Surely no one provides more sensory opportunities than Mother Nature


The Olfactory


One  thing we have often noticed about R, is his great ability with smell and more importantly the pleasure he gets from it

DH and I are trying to discourage him from smelling people as it may seem rude but for everything else he can smell away !!!

"Only smelling Things and Family " is what we tell him.

I just want to thank the autistic woman who wrote "Quiet Hands" and made me feel okay about our practice of never discouraging R's unique way of experiencing the world  ( have you read this article ? if not please do !)

When I come back from a work trip, he will often smell my hair and say "Marriott " and in fact he will often be correct
I have taken to never using the Hilton shampoo.

It makes him feel betrayed as Hilton is a favorite

There is always the bad side of being hypersensitive of course and I wonder if his food-anxiety has to also do with smell

A tomato leaf - which he is equally fascinated by-  and insists I pluck and get from the garden -will make him cower( with hands over his ears )  like this

How interesting that a strong smell is like a shout !







His own developmental trajectory 


R is developing in his own way

5 years ago I would have thought that development would be moving closer to typical - but its not the case

R is autistic AND R is blossoming

Usually when we take R somewhere, we come armed with ipad etc - this weekend we had a hectic social calendar ( very unusual for us ) and we decided to go sans electronics to one of them

While it was not as easy for us as it usually is - it was interesting to see that R is more and more able to find other things to do- like play on the piano

Or make number patterns

Like this on my phone -

 here he is making a number pattern like he always did - but now he is using addition and subtraction - rather than just the numbers themselves ...

0+0=0
1+1=2
2+2=4
3+3=6
4+4=8
5+5=10
6+6=12
7+7=14
8+8=16
9+9=18
10+10=20
2-1=1
4-2=2
6-3=3
8-4=4
10-5=5
12-6=6
14-7=7
16-8=8
18-9=9
20-10=10


Or write out the Wii Menu in French ( I think)


Wii
Menu de
Wii
Wii
Menu
Canel
Tipemo
And
Camel
Noticas



Or make silly rhymes and giggle uncontrollably ( the fat rat pats the hat )



or making observations about how

"mom loves to read and eat chocolate and how lad loves baseball and soccer"( mighty accurate if I may say so )


A weekend trip 

We went to one of my good friends house- they have a river in their backyard which is so beautiful





We noticed with amusement how he would find areas of rest for himself - in this case the dog crate :-)
IEP 

We have a good IEP meeting - we are continuing with half special ed class and half mainstream.

I like our school - they are sweet and positive and try hard - like many schools in our area our resources are severely limited

We looked at some psych testing on his intellectual abilities - and the re-diagnosis that needs to happen every 3 years ( this is essential to continue with his support for autism

 How different this feels than the diagnosis at 3 - we are so much more aware now

This would have been hard to listen to , but the psychologist was really great and talked about how the tests are not very good

He also made many observations on identifying patterns that R has outstanding gifts in - while in reasoning he scored very poorly  and in math and reading he scored averagely

He observed that in one set of tests he just went down the list doing a yes-no-yes-no pattern- since he was bored with the test

He also said that he really enjoyed working with R and that the challenge will really lie in us accessing his gifts - because of all the problems of language

( DH and I made a mental note to write a social story on why trying your best in tests is important )

Whenever I write a positive post about school - someone will write to tell me how I need to take my rose colored glasses off - and the school will actually really be mean to you if you try to ask for anything

The thing is that I dont think we have rose colored glasses on - there really are very limited resources in our school district ( in one of the districts they thought that they would need to cut the school bus !!)

Our special ed teacher that we are leaving this year is AMAZING - I have seen her on a pumpkin patch trip literally carrying a child who had anxiety ( a tall heavy child too- not a baby  ) and was being clingy

Just the fact that R goes to school in a place that welcomes him, is something that DH and I  really appreciate

We all know he is bright and has many gifts ( like all children ) - though DH and I wonder how he will get through school

Still the trick of raising a child like R, is to remember that its his life and that our job is to help him lead his best life -( not our best life )

And to always wrap him in our love and approval

For to walk in the glow of your mother and father's approval is a lovely thing

Its to walk in light

12 comments:

Lizbeth said...

I think that is one of the hardest things as a parent--to realize he is leading his life and not an extension of ours. My own parents put so much pressure on us to succeed it's a trying lesson indeed to just let my own child be...just let him be and become who he wants to be, not what I want him to become.

As always, lovely.

Anonymous said...

It is very good as usual. I always forget my jobs as a mother but I remember it when I read your blog. for e.g. My daughter has a party and I magnanimously suggested house as the place of randesvous.. instead of a mall as the kids generally do...

but now the guest list is increasing and I am regretting... making me more and more grumpy. Reading your blog makes me appreciated that we should be with the kids so that they can do their own thing and learn from their mistakes

I will try to be less grumpy. Make my best with my resources, and let her choose the menu.. . .

God help me

Shovona

Deb said...

This is lovely, as always. Your posts often lift my spirits. I love your gentle and accepting spirit, and you admitting those times when you aren't so accepting. Ethan has a thing about smell too and whenever I come in from running outside in the mornings he has to smell me because I smell "like outdoors."

Yuji said...

Very good that you can see that "R is autistic and R is blossoming." It is nice to see what he likes to do... he is a smart boy.

It is too bad that schools don't have more resources, but your son is making progress, and I trust that he will continue to.

I love the natural beauty of your area, and the beauty of the thoughts you express in your writing.

robin said...

I'm so glad that R's school experience has been a positive one!

I love that pier! Gorgeous!!

I absolutely love the smell of tomato plants (especially the leaves) although I don't like to eat them (unless they're cooked in something.) My family has always said that they observe me smell something before I eat it (I don't catch myself doing it but have noticed it from time to time.) My olfactory system is always being used!!!! I even nodded to myself as I read how R noticed the differences of shampoo you used as I find myself doing similar things, lol!

Glad it's almost summer!

Þorgerður said...

I love it that he writes down your interests...theory of mind, noticing caring what others like. :)

Barbara TherExtras said...

Your post(s) - like a whiff of pleasant rosemary!

The Bright Side of Life said...

K, such a beautiful post, so light, accepting and thankful for all that you have. I love that you celebrate R's school. Happy Mother's Day. xx

Looking for Blue Sky said...

Once again I feel calm and more able to cope after reading one of your blogs and a great reminder that giving love and enabling our children to live their lives is the most important thing. Happy Mother's Day, you're one of the best xx

danette said...

I love reading about R's interests, his writing is great :).

So happy that his school is supportive, having teachers and staff that care so much for the kids they teach makes such a difference.

Rachel said...

So happy that his school welcomes him and is so supportive! It makes all the difference in the world! (Echoing the last comment!)

And that tomato leaf... I can empathize in some ways with having texture/smell issues. Being deaf makes those other senses a bit too acute at times!

Kim said...

As always, you are anything but a slacker mom! I love reading about your days, and all the funny and bright things R does. Bright because he IS bright and bright because he is such a bright light.

Floortime Lite Mama

On my life as the mother of an adorable 5 year old with Autism and Apraxia