Autism Spectrum — 5 Minutes for Special Needs

Autism Spectrum



                               

Jennifer Donovan is here to share about a home organizational system aimed to help kids become more independent and self-reliant. This is a sponsored post, but her opinions are her own.

30daymomchallenge

I’ve outlined some of the features about the M.O.M. Method that I love, over in my post at 5 Minutes for Mom about how to teach your kids self-reliance.

This is universal product that all families can benefit from, although the creators have found a particular niche use as well for kids with special needs including attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome or executive functioning challenges.

The time management and task management programs give kids the stability and consistency they seek, and what’s even better, it puts them in the responsible role, removing you from the tough taskmaster position.

Find out more information about the M.O.M. method 30 Day Challenge in my post at 5 Minutes for Mom.



                               

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Now She Knows She’s Different

When Zoe was little I spent a lot of time thinking  ( and writing) about about how different she was. Then she grew, and through her grade school years blossomed with the encouragement to try and do her best as I made sure she was always included, and treated just like everyone else.

Zoe will be starting sixth grade next year, and growing into who she is meant to be. She is quick to laugh and smile, full of pre-teen sass.

I have always maintained my own set of rules for Mothering Zoe. Many of them involve not making a big deal about her disabilities, within our family ..

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Testing….

Hi there! Remember me?

(don’t answer that…I’m beginning to feel a foreigner in my own land!)

 

So, here’s the current score. School District: 5, Jack: 3.

It’s looking rough out there.

His IEP was completed a few weeks ago. Because he turned 6, he has to be “transitioned” from the developmental delay label to something else. So you know what that means?

Testing.

Lots, and Lots, And LOTS of testing.

We’ve had 3 speech tests, an intelligence test, and today we’re going to the psychologist to have another battery of tests. Add to it physical and occupational therapy evaluations, and you have…

One.

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Being the Parent

I sat in the developmental psychologist’s waiting room just simply observing the behavior of the parents. Some were busy filling out paperwork, one was reading a book, another was totally in to playing Angry Birds. Not a single one was watching their child.

I watched these children, who were obviously there for a reason, as they screamed, hit one another, and ransacked the poor bookshelves—while the parents were oblivious. You know, because Angry Birds is more important…

One mother (the one filling out paperwork) finally looked at me, who was staring at the child who had a hold of another child’s ponytail, and said, “You know, I try hard.”

I gave her a nod and a smile and continued reading to Jack to keep him calm.

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Hospital Homebound

School.

It’s happening around here. Some of the counties near where we live have already returned to recess, brown bag lunch, and smiling teachers. We…start Monday.

Well, my daughter starts Monday. My friend’s children start Monday.

Jack. Not so much.

See, we qualified for Hospital Homebound (HH). Basically, this is a school within a school. It has its own principal, teachers, guidance counselors, etc. Three times a week a teacher comes to my house and hangs out with Jack. Speech therapy and Physical therapy will visit him at home as well. However, it’s under the confines of the MotherSchool, which is the elementary that we are zoned for.

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Always Sad to Say Goodbye

The child reminded me of a poignant moment from her babyhood the other day. She was maybe three years old at the time, and still very much a baby with her speech  and social delays. I was with her at our church for some reason – going to a meeting or something and she was holding her favorite little super ball. It was clear rubber and had a bright pink sphere with a happy face on it. It was one of her favorite toys to carry around. It took me a few seconds too long to open the door and she got frustrated and threw her ball.

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The Bubble Bursts…

Sometimes, I lose my words.

Like someone popped my beautiful bubble that I worked so hard to get right.

Or I feel like the sky is closing in on me.

Actually, I feel like I’m the kid with the black cloud that only rains on me.

(Pity party, table for 1?)

So many times, on this journey, I have these huge highs….that are followed by the lowest lows. I fight hard, I play hard, I love hard…and then I get kicked in the teeth.

 

YAY: the insurance approved the wheelchair!

BOO: they’re not sure when we can actually have it (4-12 weeks is the estimate).

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I’m back…

Sorry I disappeared for a couple of posts there. We were traveling on the days that I was supposed to post, and although I had great intentions of writing something ahead of time…well, you understand.

We took care of my mother-in-law for a couple of weeks. It was easier in some ways, and harder in others. I see her declining ever so slightly. The good news is she is too confused to fight with us as much as she used to. The bad news is, she is very confused. First she was visiting at our house and she kept thinking that her things were missing because her brain was spending some portion of time telling her she was at her house.

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Jack met with the developmental psychologist on Tuesday for a few hours. We have been noticing some hard-core aggression along with some other really disturbing “new habits” that have come up in the past few months (for example, he’s taken to not sleeping again, and he’s picked all the nails off his fingers and toes). It was time.

She is amazing.

The office is amazing.

They have an education advocate who comes in to introduce herself and she calls you to make sure you’re getting everything you should from the county (school wise). I nearly wept with joy.

After two hours of pouring our hearts out and her seeing Jack at his absolute worst, I felt like we were actually in the right place, with the right provider for Jack.

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Interdependence

Nope. Not a typo. I know it is the Fourth of July. Happy Independence Day, everyone, and special thanks to our troops and veterans!

Grandma (my dear Mother-In-Law) is coming to visit us today, which means we’ll soon be having fireworks of our own. Everyone aged four to eighty-four in our house will be claiming “independence.”

I can do it myself! I don’t need your help! I’m in charge!

fireworks over a bright cityscape

fireworks by bayasaa via flickr

I think I’m starting to see that this isn’t really true for any of us, however. Even the most strong-willed and able-bodied among us need a little help now and then.

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