Monday, March 18, 2013

Response To Recent Comments

I am always appreciative of any comments, but when people take time to comment like Anonymous did on the last post about Michael, I really, really appreciate it.  I will try to answer some of the questions posed in the comments.

First, Michael has been on an IEP since he was 3 for his significant speech delay.  He was only in EI for 6 month because we had hoped that he was just a little slow in talking, like my husband was.  He started in an integrated classroom, but after a couple of months, it was felt like he needed more support. We got together and revamped his IEP to include an extended year program as well as a much higher teacher to student ratio.  I believe that this has been a great help.

We finally decided to have him evaluated for Autism and ultimately, he was diagnosed May of 2012.  We had another IEP meeting and asked that he be evaluated for OT since he was also given a sensory integration diagnosis along with his PDD NOS.  OT felt that he did not have any OT needs that impacted his school day.  Speech on the other hand continues to be involved.  He is being seen for speech, both individually and in a small group setting, as well as in the integrated classroom.

I love the idea of seeing him in the classroom, but I think I may be more of a distraction.  I have been in to see him, but very informally.  He tends to stay with me and not do classroom things.  He also doesn't transition well after I leave (though it is only for a short time).

I think he is probably doing better than I am thinking, but I am still a little apprehensive.  He isn't fully potty trained and still wears pull ups at school.

We have a transition meeting set up for April 2nd.  His current teacher, his speech teacher, the integrated kindergarten teacher (who has observed him in both his classroom and the integrated classroom), and my husband and myself will be there.  I think that this meeting will help.  I think having the kindergarten teacher there will help.  I guess I don't do well with transitions like Michael.

I need to look at the kindergarten standards.  I think that he is doing well, but is probably a little behind.

As for sleep, I think this is where his sensory stuff really comes into play.  He just can't seem to settle on his own.  With out Melatonin, he will stay awake and have a ton of energy, just like the energizer bunny!

I am also noticing that he is getting more fearful of sounds than he used to be.  He was literally in tears when the fire alarm went off at the mall.  That meant I was literally in tears too.  He is starting to comment about the dryers in the bathroom making sure that I am not going to put them on when we go in.  He is also fearful of those squishy balls with hair, almost koosh like, but different.  He's not a fan of Koosh balls either.

As for music, it was where he shined with his verbal skills.  Even when he couldn't talk, he would attempt to sing and dance just like in music videos.  He loves acting out his TV shows now, sometimes in a repetitive way and sometimes in a way that just amazes me how much he remembers of the shows that he loves.  Sometimes, it's things like this that make me think he should be in music/theater groups instead of soccer.  If he were to go into a sport, I think swimming would be where he would shine.  Again, probably his sensory issues and inability to slow down are more relaxed in the water.  

As I look this over, I think it make be a little disjointed, like most of my writing.  I am not a writer and I am not great at grammar, but writing my blogs are something I love to do.  Please, if anyone has thoughts on Autism, feel free to share.  I will start sharing some things from my other 2 kids days too.  This blog is supposed to be about my crazy but amazing life as a married mom of 3 trying to work and enjoy life and all it's craziness!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013


This is Michael's last year in pre-school.  In September, he will move on to a new teacher, a new school, and a new "regular class (I believe).  Now this transition is hard for most parents of
"neuro-typical" children, but Michael has autism.  He doesn't always deal well with change (tough that is improving a little), he doesn't socialize with others very much (or at least he doesn't without someone guiding and modeling what to do), he has repetitive behaviors and can sometimes go into his own world when it comes to imaginary play.  His speech has come so far, yet his volleying back and forth with communication still needs a lot of work.  He doesn't answer questions reliably or at all sometimes. He will ask for things, which he was delayed doing.  He is also not potty trained with poop.  I am not sure what his IEP will look like.  I don't know if he will have someone in the class giving him extra attention so that his socialization skills continue to improve.  We are having a transition meeting in the next couple of weeks, so I'm sure that this will help with some of my anxiety, but I won't feel better until I actually see how he does in school.  Right now, he is in a class of 7 or 8 students and has 3 teachers in the room.  He does go to a regular pre-school class 3 times a week for lunch and circle time. This has been going well, but it is a more structured time, so I don't know how he would do in a less structured situation.

The one good area that I have been really happy with is his sleep.  We have been doing Melatonin for the last 2 1/2 months and have had to up the dose from 1 MG to 2 MG.  It still takes a good 45 minutes to kick in, but it does kick in.  He has been sleeping through the night and has been getting up a a reasonable time.  No more waking his up for school.  No more sleeping til 10:00 if we let him.  He is now asleep by 8:30 and is usually awake by 7:30 at the latest.  This morning he was actually up at 6:00.  I am hopeful that his improved sleep pattern, like all of us, is helping his overall.  He used to fall asleep closer to 10 or even 11 and then not want to wake up the next morning til 9 or 10.  We tried to do a sensory diet which helped somewhat, but it really didn't make a huge difference.  I am hoping that once spring is here and we are outside more, things will be even better.

Michael finally has something that he loves.  He had been really focused on Caillou to the point of reciting lines and acting out episodes sometimes at inappropriate times and often repetitive ways such as bedtime routine.  He now loves Wall-e and Mickey Mouse.  He doesn't seem to act out these shows as much, though he can recite the lines to them as he watches them.  In wall-e, the is a part from Hello Dolly and we watched it a couple of weeks ago.  He wasn't interested in it until that scene came on and he ran into the  room and sang with the song.We probably watch too much TV in this house and I am working on changing that.  He does love music and the Polar Express sound track right now is his favorite!

One thing that is bothering me right now is a family member who is trying to pressure us into signing him up for kindergarten soccer.  he has shown little interest in  soccer or anything like that.  He tends to enjoy digging in the dirt, running around, riding his bike, climbing,  and swimming.  Personally, I would rather see him in swimming lessons where he would thrive not in an organized team sport where he doesn't like to play with other kids.  The problem I have is that this person keeps pushing and pushing and pushing.  I just want to say "STOP TELLING ME WHAT I NEED TO DO FOR MY CHILD".  Yes that was meant to be yelling.  She always tells people what they need to do, not suggest an option that is available.  She then goes on to push her agenda.  With regards to soccer, she was a soccer coach for her kids and they still play soccer in high school and college.  I totally feel like this is her agenda and not mine.  Yesterday, we took Michael to spend $20 of his birthday money at the book store.  I posted it on Facebook (and maybe that's my problem, I open myself up for criticism by putting it out there), and she responded that I should be putting his money away for college.  He will have some go in his bank account, but I think it is important to let him spend some money on a gift.  Again, it is my child, and my decision.  No one else's, except my husband.  Again, I just want to yell, "stop telling me what to do!"

Thanks for listening to my rant!  I am so happy that I have some where to get out things both good and bad instead of only unloading on my husband!