Category: Parenting Special Needs Children


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Training with Rocky continues. We’ve been redirecting him by when he starts heading his way down Meltdown Boulevard, finding out what it is that is upsetting him, and what he needs/wants to calm him down. Then we make him pet Rocky’s head 10 times then helping him achieve his goal.

For example today he was on his way to a meltdown due to his playing Lego city on the computer.  We made him pet Rocky 10 times which calmed him down and then I helped him on the pc. (Little known fact: petting dogs releases Seratonin into your system, which is like an anti-depressant, and makes you feel calmer.)

Tommy is really bonding with Rocky, and today he said I love my Rocky…and went into the kitchen to pet him and snuggle him spontaneously.

Also Rocky is so soft that my wife is really enjoying sitting there rubbing him…poor dog…he is soft and fluffy….so he doesn’t stand a chance in this house!

MB turned 10 today!  I made him toast with jelly for breakfast,  and I told him Happy Birthday bud,  and he goes Double digits baby,  I’m a man!  To which I replied,  Great! Now go get a job!  To which he replied,  A job? ! Ppph! Yeah like that’s going to happen! !!!
LMAO!

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Happy birthday kiddo!

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Yesterday started out good,  went sideways really quick,  started turning around again,  ran into today,  and I’m not liking where it’s heading so far today.

If you read my last post,  yesterday started out being a good day.  Then we actually had to leave the house with Tantrum Tot and the day went to crap.

I’m sorry,  I love the Tot to death, but quite honestly he is not ready to be out in public for extended periods yet.  Despite the vast increase in his vocabulary,  and the marked improvement overall that IS visible since he started 3K in the new autism school, he still has violent meltdowns at the flip of a switch for mininal provocations.

He went from happily running around the store and hiding in the fridges (see pic),

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To him running up front trying to leave the store,  and me chasing him. Attempts at redirects failed miserably.  The end result was my parking a fully loaded grocery cart, picking him up and strapping a violently melting down Tot into the minivan,  driving home and picking up a very indignant Aspie Teen to come help with the Tot. (Who of course calmed down right after we got back and then Chunky started in). Grrrrrr!

When we got home,  and we were trying to put stuff away,  he continued with the meltdown,  even threw a cup of chocolate milk in the kitchen.  By this time my patience was completely done. Public meltdowns really get to me.  I can’t help it.  I feel like everyone is looking at me and wondering why I can’t control my kid.  I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs “He’s autistic ok? !”  Which makes me feel like crap and send my frustration levels through the roof, so by the time I got home I lost it,  and unfortunately even yelled at my wife,  who luckily didn’t kill me on the spot. (She SO deserves better than me).

Both the Tot and Chunky passed out at 6:30 p.m. due to all the screaming wearing them out. So since we knew we were now officially screwed, we did what any other set of special needs parents do when faced with a similar situation,  we started installing laminate floor in kitchen!

We were up till midnight doing the floor,  didn’t get too far,  and by 12:30 a.m. I was unconscious.  But the Tot and Chunky were still awake with their mom.  I have no idea what time they passed out.  I feel horrible about leaving her up alone like that,  but I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore.

This morning I am in incredible pain in my legs and back (I’m old,  sue me,  my 21 year old body has been replaced with a dysfunctional model) Chunky behaved so well,  this morning

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and he went down for a nap so I pulled another box of flooring down,  figuring I could do some while wifey was sleeping and the second I get the box down,  the Tot comes out!  SO not funny!

Bang Head Here

That stone wall would be the South Carolina Public School System District One. Today we went for our first IEP meeting with Monkey Boy’s school. And yes FINALLY Monkey Boy has an official diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome/Autism Spectrum Disorder!!! (Insert cheer!)

Now first let me just say that the district people themselves have been very helpful. They gave him one of the most comprehensive evaluations I’ve ever seen, sending 3 people out independently to observe him in his classroom setting without telling him who they were and why they were there. They met with me, my wife, they recorded everything we said as evidenced in the summaries they provided us.

The DISTRICT people were very sympathetic and helpful. The autism specialist and the district psychologist were WONDERFUL….the SCHOOL staff…especially the principal, let’s just say I had to put my hand on my wife several times to make sure she didn’t attack them. Several times people at that table almost got an award winning book thrown at their heads!! (Let me say that the Occupational Therapist and the Resource Teacher were very sympathetic and really seemed interested in helping Monkey Boy, it was the two higher up representatives which were completely dead set against us).

The gist of it is that Monkey Boy is struggling in areas of organization, completing tasks, and the largest battle…he can’t seem to bring his daily agenda and homework sheets home on a regular basis, and when he does and we sign the damn things, he loses them or leaves them home or we the parents forgot to sign something and they (the school/his two teachers) take away his recess and ice cream privledges as punishment.

Instead he has to sit inside and complete missing homework, even if he did it, brought it in and the only thing missing is our signature! This has happened often enough that they have destroyed his desire to go to school. The kid comes comes home, flings his book bag across the room and screams in frustration EVERY DAY!!! Which of course prompts my wife to email/call me at work about it, which completely destroys any hope of me getting anything done.

Today, we went armed with a 7 page document of possible accommodations to discuss with them. They however wanted to only implement the things they wanted to implement. They adamantly refused to even consider removing the taking away of recess as a punishment. Saying, “Well we have to teach every child the same and we don’t want him using his disability as a  crutch, and contribute to creating uselessness/helplessness in him. He has to be accountable the same as every other child.”

Which of course beggars the question “WHY THE F*** WERE WE THERE FOR IN THE FIRST PLACE ANYWAY? Isn’t the whole purpose of the IEP that measures be put into place because he CAN’T function like everyone else? They insisted that his organizational skills can be improved on, without addressing WHY he has organizational challenges…basically they don’t want to acknowledge that his disability is DISABLING….and the source of his disorganization!

They all want to say that we understand he has Asperger’s…but don’t want to acknowledge that his difficulties are stemming from it.  Most likely because then they’ll have to actually do something about it. They did put some things in action which give me hope for some measure of success, but they barely touched the tip of the iceberg. Needless to say that  my wife will begin the research for an advocate tomorrow.

They don’t know the fight they just started. I only hope we can survive long enough to win it. We are also looking at  putting Monkey Boy into a school which actually has an autism/Asperger’s class in it. We are reluctant to pull him out in the middle of the school year, but we may end up having to.

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As you all know I HATE going to the mall with Tantrum Tot. Not for any other reason except that the screaming, hitting, clawing and assaulting he does when he can’t have his way is difficult to go through in public. It’s bad enough that it has to be endured, and it does, I get that, I do….but it’s difficult to have to endure it in public. That’s the simple truth of it.

Well yesterday, because we have no viable babysitters who can handle Tantrum Tot, we had to load him, Aspie Teen, Aspie Teen’s new friend (I forgot to blog about that but I will soon I promise), and my 15 year old niece in the van along with wifey, and head to the mall to finish some shopping.

Well it went pretty damn well for the most part!! First we went to get the Tot a MUCH needed haircut…he actually endured most of it pretty well but wouldn’t let the girl finish his bangs and I had to hold his head straight to let her get as much as she got done, done and then calm him down afterwards…with the judicious use of lollipop bribes….that being done, we headed into the actual mall and of course the first stop was the American Train Company ride so he could get his train addiction satisfied.

Tot B4 haircut

Tot B4 haircut

 

Tot After Haircut

Tot After Haircut

Tantrum Tot has developed a weird fascination (Special Interest?) in trains. And it’s not just Thomas the Train anymore…any train will do!!! He’s is to the point where he now where he watches YouTube videos of kids playing with train sets!!! (As well as other toys in general). He is actually watching videos of kids playing with toys!!! Well we got him to the train ride and he waited SO patiently for the train to come around and let the kids out…about 15 minutes…and he sat still in the carriage waiting so well..this is virtually unheard of for the Tot!!!

Tot in the Train

Tot in the Train

Well he got on the ride and did his minimum 2 rides around.  Then we head over to Barnes & Nobles so that Tot can play with the trains. I had Tot and Chunk A Monk with me, while wifey took my niece shopping and Aspie Teen and his new friend just went to hang. Well I gotta tell you, no lie, we were in B&N playing for at least 5 hours!!!  And the whole time Tantrum Tot had NOT ONE tantrum or meltdown!!! He played on the Thomas the Train table, then at one point he wanted to go to the other side of the kids section, and he spent 20 minutes running from one side to the other…then went back to the table for the rest of the night…

Chunk A Monk behaved like an angel too!! At one point I took him out fo the stroller/car seat and layed him on his changing mat in the corner and gave him some back time…he ate 3 times, I changed his pamper and he took 2 naps. He was awake the whole time, just gooing and gah-ing being happy and flirting with anyone who would look at him!! My wife didn’t come get us till 9:30 and that is when he happy place dissolved of course…

I gotta tell you Tot didn’t flip out till he realized we were leaving the mall and then he flipped out so bad it’s a wonder a cop didn’t tackle me while I was trying to get him out of the store and then strapping him down in the car seat in the parking lot. He threw a fit of EPIC proportions and I swear it must have looked like I was trying to kidnap a kid (if not for the fact that he looks JUST like me! LOL) AND he stopped very soon…and after we got home he went RIGHT TO SLEEP!!!!

This is my Christmas Miracle story. In about 30 minutes we have to take him to Wal-Mart and I’m praying for a repeat of the same.

I gave Tantrum Tot a stuffed Snoopy doll this week to snuggle in place of his mommy who’s gone on a trip. Well Monkey Boy has a stuffed animal too though he hasn’t really used it in a while, but it was down in my room on the dresser.

Well as I’m sitting FINALLY trying to have my coffee…the yelling from my room starts…Tantrum Tot wants Monkey Boys stuffy. Monkey Boy will NOT relinquish it. He cannot understand or learn (and believe me I’ve tried to teach him numerous times), just give the item to Tot who will lose interest in it in 5 minutes, and walk away from it, then he can go get it again. No instead, Monkey Boy’s screaming cause Tot now has him by the hair in one hand, and nails dug into his chin with the other!!!

It’s not even 8 a.m. yet. Is it too early to put Baileys in my coffee? It’s got to be happy hour SOMEWHERE on this planet right?

Aspie Teen has received his official diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder!!!!

Now we can pursue an IEP with his online school and get some much needed accommodations. He’s not doing that good according to his mother, and he failed two subjects this quarter.

Unfortunately, Monkey Boy’s diagnosis did not go so well. He’s just too damn social to receive a diagnosis.

Everyone keeps looking at how verbal he is and how interactive and they automatically rule it out…I’m starting to doubt myself. Maybe he’s an NT incognito and just displaying Aspie traits….a lot of them…I just don’t know anymore.

You remember that Tantrum Tot was screened and it was decided he was eligible for support services through a local program?

Well they sent us for a STAT screening and of course he failed that one again. But at least they acknowledged that the STAT screening as it stands does not allow for high functioning autism and they are going to have him undergo a full autism screening again.

And he still qualifies for services with their program due to his severe speech delay.

So their is still hope on the horizon.

I will go into more detail later but right now HOW MANY TIMES does Monkey Boy have to be yelled at for the SAME thing????

Tantrum Tot has gone into full behavior has gone to shit mode…and it takes massive amounts of focused energy by his mother and I to move him out of anger/rage/hitting mode to a place where he is calm like again…and of course that is when Monkey Boy will go over to him and innocently try to engage him…which leads to his INSTANT return to monster mode!!!!

I swear to you he has been yelled at least 5 times TODAY since 10 a.m.!!!!

OK rant over…I’ll try to post more later. I miss posting!

Fuck you, Autism...

I was trolling the blogoshpere, and came across this post…I loved it. It moved me. It was amazing in it’s eloquence and POWER. I felt the pain the emotion, the frustration and the determination to keep on.

I relate to this article so much. BRAVO

PLEASE share this amazing post with everyone!

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