Friday, February 21, 2014
An IEP Meeting In Which I Am Actually Offered Real, Honest to Goodness Help. Seriously. I'm Not Making This Up.
Here's the thing. Apparently, this happens ALL THE TIME. At school. Not at home.
In yesterday's IEP meeting, I was asked right off the bat how he was eating at home. My response, "same as always. He doesn't eat anything for me at home."
His sensory/life skills teacher was stunned speechless for only a moment and then said, "I'm coming to your house."
I kind of giggled and was like, yeah, sure, good idea. Whatevs.
On 6 more occasions in this meeting, I had 2 teachers, 1 therapist, and the director of the school tell me that Miss Christie would be coming to my home.
Apparently, Bryon can also wash dishes, vacuum, sweep, mop, make his bed, brush his own teeth and bathe himself appropriately. It was my turn to be stunned speechless.
You know what else they said? They're gonna make me a chore chart. I never thought I would get a chore chart. My kids are going to start helping me clean my house.
Because!! I feel guilty when I feel overwhelmed and inadequate while trying to do it all. And according to a team of professionals, I'm not supposed to be doing it all.
Posted by Tenille at 3:26 PM
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
My boys go to the same private autism academy. They are in completely different classes and don't really see each other much during the day.
Bryon has a little sticker chart on his desk. When he does his work and shows good behavior, he earns a sticker. When he earns 5 stickers, he receives a prize.
A trip to Timothy's classroom.
This trip is maybe less than a minute long. Bryon walks across the hall and gives Timothy a hug, they exchange a few pleasantries, Timothy goes back to his work and Bryon returns to his classroom.
When Bryon is having an especially bad day, Timothy is brought to him to give him love and reassurance.
The public schools do not allow siblings to be in the same class. So, when Timothy finished Kindergarten and the boys would have overlapped by a year in the same classroom (classes tend to be 1-3 in the public schools), Timothy was sent away to a completely different school.
Maybe they should take note of how much brothers can help each other instead of focusing on how they might be disruptive or distracting to one another.
Thankful that my boys love each other.
Posted by Tenille at 8:26 PM
Thursday, December 12, 2013
I was looking for a way to help a family this Christmas. I really wanted to do something nice for someone else because my life was going so great I couldn't believe my good fortune.
Then we bought a used couch from a consignment site on Facebook and I got bed bugs. Not exactly the Christmas present I wanted. :)
Bed bugs are invasive and very expensive to get rid of. Yay me.
As you do, you start to freak out about how you are exactly going to pay for such an expensive thing 2 weeks before Christmas. Forget the Grinch, the bed bugs are trying to steal Christmas!
So I did what I always do when I start to freak out and consider the merits of drinking. I prayed. I prayed to find a way to pay for this.
Someone is looking out for me because not only is the exterminator giving us a screaming deal, but my work has picked up and Scott signed 4 new jobs yesterday. Woo Hoo.
Other people are looking out for me too. I know too many amazing people. (Is there such a thing?) People that bring you lunch and dinner and laundry soap because you somehow went through 2 bottles while washing EVERY SINGLE ITEM in your house and still ended up short. Or, they send you a ham that will be delivered 5 days before Christmas. Mama loves her ham!
Not quite sure how or why I deserved all these great people, but I am super thankful to have them in my life.
So, I am doing what I can to see the best in this situation.
1. Have you ever taken the time to wash everything in your house? You should. Sure it's a lot of work, but you find yourself thinking "do my boys really NEED 40 shirts?". Time to purge!
2. The kids mattresses probably needed to be replaced anyway. This was just the kick in the pants that I needed.
3. I always wanted to be one of those people that is obsessively cleaning their house all the time. This has forced me to become that person. It's kind of nice. Exhausting, but nice.
4. I took the time to empty every drawer and every closet and vacuum/wipe them down. Keep in mind that I have owned the boys' dresser for about 9 years. I don't think I have ever done this. It was gross. I put clean laundry in there? Yuck.
5. I always wanted to live a minimalist life. I kind of like my bedroom with next to nothing in it. I think I will keep it that way.
6. I swept and mopped under all the beds. There were some monster dust bunnies under mine. Eek!
7. I have been meaning to put our "permanent storage items" ie: Scott's baseball cards in a better, sturdier, plastic container. Like, I have been meaning to for about 12 years now. Just imagine how tidy my closet will look when everything is in clear plastic containers that are tightly sealed instead of cardboard boxes with tons of writing a loose tape on the sides.
8. I have been meaning to clean out the garage. But, hey, it's the garage. No one cares. I care!
9. I ate a root beer float yesterday. When's the last time you had a root beer float? If the answer is more than "last week" you are missing out. Eat one. So good.
10. I finally broke the 30 pound mark. I sat at 29 for so long. Nothing like stress cleaning and laundry to help shed another 3 pounds and break the barrier!
As Martha Stewart would say, "It's a good thing."
Posted by Tenille at 12:48 PM
Monday, December 9, 2013
Ah the elusive "someday".
Someday, Bryon won't poop in the bathtub.
Someday, Bryon won't splash all the water out of the tub. Especially when it's poop water.
Someday, my kids will say please without prompts.
Someday, my kids will sleep through the night.
Someday, Timothy will find a new obsession and I won't have to hear about the characters form "inanimate insanity" and their "tiny loser chamber". (I hope this someday comes soon because I am about to gouge my eyes out.)
Someday, my kids won't have a panic attack because I cut their grilled cheese the wrong direction. (Have you ever stood over a grilled cheese sandwich and panicked because you are trying to remember if there is mustard on it because if there's mustard it's Timothy's and he likes 4 triangles, not squares and if there is no mustard, it's for Alyson and if you do anything but cut it straight down the middle, the sounds that come out of her mouth rival those of the torture chambers in Medieval England?)
Someday, I won't feel like a short order cook. (apparently, the world will end if my children eat the same thing at the same time.)
Someday, Alyson won't wear every item in her closet every day. Seriously, every day.
Someday, my kids won't use every single dish in my home. No matter how many spoons I buy.
Until that elusive "someday", I have a bathtub to scrub, a floor to mop, dishes to wash, and laundry to rotate so I can do it all again tomorrow.
Posted by Tenille at 8:05 PM
Saturday, October 12, 2013
This is probably the first of many posts regarding this topic.
How do I do it? Who knows.
How so I cope? That's easier to answer.
My life is stressful and I will admit, kind of sucky.
But, you can make it less sucky by not obsessing and freaking out over things you cannot control.
For example: Bryon just dumped half of a bottle of an aromatherapy bubble bath from Bath and Body Works that I got for Mother's Day into his bath.
I can be mad. I can be frustrated. I can yell. But none of those things will bring back my bubble bath.
So, I will choose to be glad that he smells good, my bathroom smells good, and a lot of the water hit the floor so when I dry it, it will also smell good.
And, I still have a bottle of the bath crystals.
Pick your battles. Find your silver linings.
If I freaked out over everything that was already done that I can't control, I wouldn't have time for anything else. Just buy a lot of magic erasers and air freshener.
Posted by Tenille at 1:36 PM
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Well, it's official.
All 3 of my children are autistic.
Is there a prize? because I think I should win a prize.
In the grand scheme of things, Alyson is mild. The new rating system is ASD level 1-3.
Alyson is a level 1 and the boys would both rate a level 3.
She also has an attention problem which the doctor thinks is really only noticeable because of the autism.
In any case, I get to start that long, tedious process of acquiring services a 3rd time.
Here's the frustrating thing:
I was expecting the doc to ask me to have my kids all genetically tested. My boys already were, so I brushed him off.
Turns out there is a new test. A better test. And I could help future generations.
What could I help future generations do you might ask??
Abort their children if it appears they are autistic.
Because there's no hope for me. I'm stuck with the life I have. But other people won't have to deal with what I am dealing with now.
Because apparently, my life sucks and other people shouldn't have to suffer the way I am.
Um, no. No you cannot have my kids DNA. I'll keep it all to myself thank you very much.
Posted by Tenille at 10:31 AM
Friday, September 13, 2013
When you have not 1 but 2 kids on the autism spectrum, you will inevitably hear "do you think my son, daughter, grandchild, etc is autistic?"
Or, "well I think they have some sort of problem because of xyz..."
Sometimes they will tell me that they think their kid has some sort of "condition" that I have never heard of and I have to give them my "I think you are making that up" face.
In my head I am screaming "Why are you looking for a problem? do you want there to be a problem? don't you want a happy, normal child? what is wrong with you?"
I don't wish this life on anyone. It's not an easy one. It's the "climbing up hill both ways in the snow" kind of difficult, and I mourn the loss of the future I had planned for my baby boys.
Sometimes a sneeze is just a sneeze and sometimes, your kid is just ignoring you. They are kids. They do that. They are testing you. We all did it to our parents and now they get to sit back and laugh at us as we muddle through this thing called parenthood.
But I think I finally understand why people are looking for a problem. Why they are so hell bent on putting a name to what most people would refer to as brattiness.
2 weeks ago I was in a meeting with Alyson's 1st grade teacher. I knew she could hear the apprehension in my voice when she called and asked to meet. I went into the meeting very wary because, as we all know, it couldn't be good.
Long story short, Aly is "off task" 58% of the time. With 1 on 1 teacher instruction, she is off task 52% of the time. This is more than half her education that she is losing.
The teacher tried to stress that she seems to have the skills, just not the focus.
I was told to see my pediatrician.
Unfortunately, this wasn't really a huge surprise to me. But I am really good as excusing her behavior as "mimicking the boys".
My pediatrician is amazing, but does not like to diagnose anything. (I get it, but it's frustrating)
We were referred to a neurologist and a psychologist due to our family history. (No one overlooks 2 autistic children in 1 family. No one.)
Well, neuro won't make an appointment without a diagnosis, so my pediatrician offered me a temporary diagnosis of "ADHD with autistic tendencies."
BOOM. That was a kick in the gut.
But here's the real issue...
What is a preferred resolution? You automatically think you want your kid to be ok and "normal", but think about it.
I can clearly handle autism. I can probably handle ADHD. But if my doc said she was fine and just acting out (or being a brat as I so lovingly put it) I draw a blank. I don't have any clue where to start with that.
Bribery? Sell her to the circus?
I wanted a name put to our problem so I could handle it. I wanted something to attack. When you have a name, you can work on a plan of action. What do I do if she is just acting out from lack of attention? (the real answer is curl into a ball and cry because you are a terrible mother that can't take proper care of ALL her children)
See, bridging the gap between typical and autism has always been where I struggle. How do you explain to a 6 year old that I have higher expectations of her because she is normal and her brothers are not?
How do I make her not hate me? Right around this time I saw a study that said 60% of all teen girls admitted to "sexting". So of course I automatically think "how do I help her know that I am not being hard on her? that she will have to work harder than her brothers because she's normal? without her seeking love and attention from some pervy teenage boy and next thing you know there are naked pictures of her on every boy's phone and we have to move??" My mind goes there people. It just does.
We have an appointment on Monday morning which is some kind of record that I am pretty sure has to do with the fact that my 2 boys have been diagnosed. They started saying the appt would be in December, then magically, I skipped to the head of the cancellation list. I think I should get this one free since I paid for 2 already.
When the diagnosis comes in, I will do what I always do. I will hide in my room and cry for what I feel is an appropriate amount of time, then hopefully come out swinging.
I really needed her to be okay. As selfish as I know that sounds, I really needed 1 of my kids to be okay.
Posted by Tenille at 2:51 PM