Monday, December 22, 2008

Still snowing

It's Monday, and school was cancelled again.

Considering how many times AJ has been in this school since he started, we might as well homeschool. He's been at home more than at school, anyway.

Weekends are always difficult with AJ. Without routine, he just falls apart. School cancelled on Friday. We just hung out and had a relaxing day. On Saturday, we had to run all our errands, because we were nervous that the roads would be even worse on Sunday. So, grocery shopping (which he hates more than anything) and runs to Target. So, by the end of the day, he was just completely overwhelmed.

At around 10:00, he came into our room, and said he just couldn't sleep. Insomnia is pretty normal to him, but he seemed really freaked out. I rubbed his head for a little while. He asked if we could make a compromise. I know what that means. I asked if he wanted to do "slumber party". That means sleeping on the floor in our room. I didn't even finish asking, and he was gathering his "supplies" - which to him is a pillow and a blanket. He was asleep in about 10 minutes. I, on the other hand, was up till 4:30. I often have insomnia too, so on Sunday morning, not feeling my cheerful best.

Sunday was fudge baking day for us. We make fudge every once in a while. AJ and Lisa do it, actually. I just watch. They did a great job. AJ wanted fudge before dinner. He asked if he could have it. Lisa immediately answered "no". She is much more strict than I am. He just looked at her and said "Mamu, you were NEVER a child!" Come on, how can you not laugh. How cute is that???

Today is Monday, and still no school. Maybe this is the universe's way of giving me practice for home schooling. AJ and I dug my car out of the snow and ice and headed for Border's. We had a 40% off coupon. Had to use it. AJ picked out a book on hieroglyphics. He said we could "home school it". We just spent about an hour learning hieroglyphics, and he wrote "I LOVE YOU" in it. How do you not love this kid? I can't understand why the Public Schools can't educate him, but it seems that they can't. We start in January. Can't wait.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Well, It Snowed

We definitely got some snow. It started at around 2:00, and by 2:30, there was already about an inch of snow on the ground. It is coming down so fast, I'm glad we're home and safe. I even called my sister to make sure she and my neice were home too. There is probably 6" one the ground right now. Insane. I hate the winter. But, it sure is pretty out there. It's so cold, though. I got spoiled from living in Seattle for 10 years. It hardly ever snows there, just endless rain. Maybe tomorrow we can go outside and play in the snow. The little man is just itching to have a snow ball fight.

Right now he and my wife are working on her work. She's showing how to download code, and debug code. She's also explaining the hardware to him. He is asking remarkably intelligent and insightful questions about both the hardware and software. He is amazing. This is why we need to home school. He is so bright and so loves learning. But he just can't function in that environment, for whatever reason. Even the most well-intentioned school personnel can't change the basic environment of the school. But, we can. And that's the point.

Snow Daze

Well, I have no idea how yesterday went. No phone calls, no notes home, nothing. So much for the promise of increased communication. Whatever. I guess it won't matter now. Home school here we come.

Today was a snow day. Mind you, it's 12:30 and not even a flake has fallen. But, I guess it's coming. I had a bunch of errands to run, so I wanted to do it before the snow. We went to the post office. The little guy was asking about why it was so crowded. I explained that lots of people were mailing Christmas presents. I was nervous about him holding it together in the long wait. We HAD to wait because I was mailing the "Letter of Intent to Homeschool", and I needed to send it with a return receipt. I promised him that the Post Office always has the fastest people they have to work this time of year (if only that were true). His response: "Yeah, otherwise people would see the long lines and just say, Screw This, and leave." I laughed and told him that he couldn't say bad words. But, come on, how could you not laugh. He never swears, and it caught me off guard. The woman in front of us was not amused. When I saw the face she made, I almost laughed again. She looked like she swallowed some bad meat. Truly amusing. Maybe I need to get out more. I am very easily amused.

I got my digital camera in the mail today. I am self employed so my company bought it for me. I figure I deserve a Christmas present. I've been taking pictures and erasing them all day. I need lots of practice. I'm not exactly a good photographer. Last year my company bought me a Flip Video camera. Best thing I've ever bought. If you ever wished you had a small digital video camera, check out the Flip. It's so tiny, and so easy to use. My little guy uses it all the time. It's really only got one button. And it attaches directly to the computer to download the videos. Yeah a great buy. I'm hoping I enjoy and use the camera as much as I do my Flip.

Right now, the little man is having "alone time". I guess he's sick of me already. :-)

Peace out.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Never Ending Yuck

Well yesterday at the little guys's school was more of the same. He is still hitting and being violent. I just don't get it. He won't work, he won't listen. He just refuses to work, and if they insist, he hits someone. Even the other kids. I am so distressed. I don't know if home schooling will help him to stop being so defiant and oppositonal.

Today, we made the decision to definitely home school. I am already second guessing that decision. Maybe I'm just nervous that I don't have the temperment, or that I can't help him the way he needs to be helped.

I guess he needs to see a professional. I'm thinking that therapy can't hurt. We have to do something. Fast.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bad days and weird dreams

The Little Man's teacher called after school yesterday to give me the daily update. Apparently, things did not go well. He was hitting, screaming, running, etc. I don't know why he can't seem to deal with being at school. This is a kiddo who loves to learn. But, he just can't seem to do it while he is in school. Too loud? Maybe. Too bright? Maybe. He can't/won't say. He says he is trying, but I'm not sure. He hit a kid yesterday because the kid was flapping!!! That is so surprising, because he loves to flap. And he will defend his right to do so to the death. He hit the principal, he hit the teachers, just non-stop.

He wanted to lay in a beanbag chair with his desk chair on top of him. The teacher was concerned about safety. She offered him weighted blankets, but it had to be the chair. Clearly that couldn't happen - another meltd0wn.

When everything is going the way he wants, and he is not challenged, he is the sweetest, most polite kid you ever saw. But, when something doesn't go the way he wants, look out!! I'm just at a loss for what to do next.

Of course, homeschooling is still being heavily considered. I'm not sure that goes to the root of the problem though. His violent reactions concern me greatly. We are looking into finding a psychiatrist to help him through this. Maybe there is something besides autism at play here. Maybe Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD), maybe something else. We have to get to the root of these issues.

Onto the dream issue.

Last night I had a dream that I just kept running. Someone was chasing me. Everytime he caught me, he told me that I had no choice, I just had to do it. I kept telling him that I couldn't do it. He would say that I could, and that I was meant to. This went on all night until I woke up. Hmmmm..... Interesting, no?

Peace out.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Where have I been???

OK, life has been toooooo much!!!! The little man stayed at that placement for the rest of his school year. It was actually not too bad. Sometimes it was actually good. There were problems, but they were small, and were fairly easily resolved.

And then the other shoe fell. And hit me in the head. Twice.

At the end of the school year, we were working on the plans for next year. Reworking the IEP, etc. As we were heading out the door, the school officials casually mentions that he does not qualify for a summer program, he is too "bright" for a self contained classroom, and he may be attending another school next year. WHAT????!!!!?????

O. K. WHAT!?!?!?!?!

They wanted to pull all services from him, but they said they would do it slowly. Um.... NO!!!! We agreed to mainstream with a lot of support from an aide, a full time aide. They agreed to a summer program, kinda. They agreed to keep him in that school. BUT, to get there, we had to hire a lawyer, and spend a butt load of money. A big honking butt load.

Wait, it gets better.

He loved his summer program. Score 1.

But, in September, school started again. One more shoe. OWWW!!! This is getting painful. He is getting NO support. None. His full time aide turned into a floating aide. Someone who would show up once the little guy was in full melt down mode. He was spending every day in the principal's office. WHAT??? It just kept getting worse. I was at the school every day, getting phone calls three times a day on some days. It was at the end of my rope. I was desperate, and getting more so.

Then, we got a phone call from the assistant director of special ed for our district. She said that someone from a different program saw our guy, and felt that they were the perfect program for him. Would we be interested in seeing the program. Um, yeah. We checked it out. We loved the sped teacher, loved the aides, loved the principal, loved the program. Loved it.

We described it for the little guy. He resisted at first, and then said he would try it. He was getting desperate, too.

The first day at the new program was difficult. Lots of changes, lots of new stuff. So it went well, considering. The second day. BIG GIANT SHOE FELL!! OWWWWW!!!!

I got a call at 1:30. They said to come in, because he is out of control. I got there, and it was BAD!! There were cops everywhere. And ambulances. WHAT THE HELL??? I walked in and he was sitting on a little chair. He looked freaked out. Just freaked out. A cop got in my face and said "Do you know what happened?" I said "No, I just got here." He proceeded to tell me that the teachers (3 of them) were restraining him and he head butted one of them. He is NEVER supposed to be restrained, because he is VERY sensitive to touch. It scares him and hurts him. He was just trying to get out. The teacher got hurt. The police called my son a criminal, questioned him without me there, and said he would be charged with assault. When I told the police that he was autistic, not to mention 8 years old, and all of 65 pounds, the officer said "So what, he's still a criminal." WHAT????? Needless to say, I took my son out of there.

I got a call later from some higher power in the district saying that my son would be suspended for three days so they could figure out what to do. He said that as far as he knew, no charges were being filed. I asked him why our son was being suspended for defending himself while 3 adults pinned him to the floor. What about the teachers who were in violation of his IEP? No response other than "Give us three days. Someone will be in touch"

Wait, there's more. When we got home, my little guy crawled into my lap and cried for three hours. Then he fell asleep, woke up, cried some more, and fell asleep again. Later that night, I got a call from the lawyer mentioned earlier, who helped with his summer program. She said that the school department lawyer called us and said that our son was "facing serious charges". I spend the whole next day on the phone trying to contact someone at the school. I was finally told that "as far as he knew, there would be no charges, and someone would be in touch."

On the third day of his suspension, I kept calling the school to find out what was happening. Finally, at almost 3:00, I got in touch with the same person I'd been speaking with who said "Of course you know that's there will be a meeting Monday morning to welcome him back to school, and discuss what will happen moving forward". No, I did not know that, thank you very much, because I have been calling and leaving messages for you all day.

So, Monday morning comes, which brings us to yesterday. I got my point across that we COULD sue them for violation of his IEP, and that he could have been seriously hurt. They were being very nice. I assume that their lawyer told them that they better play nice. They apparently will be doing everything short of washing our feet to keep us happy at this point. There will be an IEP meeting on Friday. But, at this point, I have lost all trust in them, and the public school system as a whole. Too little, too late.

My little guy has been asking to be homeschooled. We had a practice run while he was suspended. That is probably what will happen right after Christmas. What follows is his list of reasons for homeschooling.

1. Work gets done
2. Extra work gets done
3. No bullies
4. The room is quiet
5. Mama gets company
6. I have good behavior
7. No issues with the bus
8. Really good field trips
9. No backpacks to carry
10. Great learners
11. Great teachers
12. Nice classroom
13. I'm comfortable here
14. Mama gets extra hugs
15. PLEASE!!!

And his speech:

These past three days have been the best school days of my life because of you. You are the best teacher I've ever met. You take me on the best field trips. For the first time, I like school.

OK, anyone out there have homeschooling resources, curriculum, any idea how the heck I should get started???

Peace out

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Getting back on track...

...slowly. The little man had a much better first day at school than we expected. His aide said he had a rocky start, but he pulled him together for the rest of the day. He did his homework without protest, and did a great job. It was actually neat enough to read. We had a little problem at bed time. Could have been just regular 7-year old stuff - we never really know. He was just soooo obnoxious. Good thing he is so cute!! :-) We just love our little guy.

Peace out - peace in. Remember to breathe.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

How do we spell relief?

H-O-L-I-D-A-Y-S O-V-E-R!!! Geez, I used to love the holiday season, but it's just so hard now. The lack of structure, the family things, the chaos, etc. It's all so much. The little man loves it and hates it at the same time. He's tense, stressed, and so excited. As a result, he's very cranky and short tempered. He's yelling at everyone, and tantruming almost non-stop. He's back at school now, and I expect it to be a difficult day. I'm dreading the report I'm going to get when I pick him up.

We are looking forward to getting back to normal ASAP!!!

Happy New Year everyone.

Peace out - peace in.