Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall break... vacation time and back to school

Boy were we ready for fall break.  Boyd needed a break from all the anxiety he endures going to school.  We went to the lake for a few days with family.  Boyd had such a great time.  That boy of mine absolutely LOVES fishing.  He also LOVES playing games.  He had an endless supply of people to take him fishing or to play games with him.  Let me tell you, the break was nice.  I didn't have to continually try to find a way to keep him occupied.  We are blessed that he has a family that for the most part understands his quirks and try to help him deal with whatever has him anxious.  Of course he is absolutely obsessed with learning everything he can about bass fishing now.

When he got back to school, we found out he made PEAK with some of the highest scores to come out of that school.  He gets pulled out at least once a week and they do something stimulating.  Last week, they did a debate.  If anyone can argue to the point that you just give up and say, yeah you are absolutely right, it is my son :) 

long time no blog... get on the bus

I'm gonna go back a little while... time got away from me.

Boyd got approved for the special services bus.  Boy did that make me smile in relief.  We were informed on the day before fall break so the poor kid stressed about it for 5 days.  Monday morning came and he said he didn't want to do it, he wasn't going to do it and I wasn't going to make him do it.  The bus pulled in and he just wouldn't budge.  Finally James had to physically put him on the bus.  He said you could see all these heads under the seats watching the commotion.  He got on the bus.  That was a major accomplishment.  All in all it took 3 or 4 minutes, not bad considering.  He got home and said it wasn't tooooo bad.  It has continued to be a struggle.  Some days he will get right on the bus, others, like today, I have to pull his leg up onto the step and keep going until he is on the bus.  Of course, on Friday he told me there was a little boy on the bus who called him a baby and has been pushing him around.  I told him he was going to have to do something about it because he HAS to ride the bus.  We talked about telling the bus driver and telling the principal about what is going on so they can help. 

Seriously, though... this is a special services bus.  There has to be something different about you in order for you to get approved to ride it.  Wouldn't you think that they would be just a little more sensitive and less likely to do that crap?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

the school meeting

Yesterday was our IEP meeting at school.   We came home with a huge stack of papers.  

He was given intelligence tests and an IQ test.  His IQ is hovering just under 140.  Typical is 100.... wow!  He did much better on the nonverbal portion because sometimes his brain and his mouth don't cooperate with each other.  Most things he knows are on par with a 6th grader or above.

According to the paperwork everyone had to fill out and the school psychologists observations, he is hyperactive (duh!), aggressive, anxious, depressed, inattentive, atypical, withdrawn, unable to adapt, has poor social skills, poor leadership skills and poor functional communication.  He also has poor study skills.

Now onto the sensory profile report.  He was observed by the districts occupational therapist throughout an entire school day. 

He has a definite difference than his "normal" peers in:

Auditory Processing

Touch - processing tactile information

Behavior- appropriately responding to differences in sensory processing

He has a difference in:

Visual- processing visual information

Movement- processing vestibular information

She said that these areas will definitely provide challenges for Boyd.  Sensory input for him is confusing, upsetting or just not meaningful to him.

In other testing she did he has definite difference in

Avoiding- basically he has low neurological thresholds for sensory input so to avoid it he will either engage in disruptive behavior, emotional outbursts or withdrawing.  He also creates rituals for his life.  He can also be stubborn or controlling to keep from situations that will cause him to be bombarded with stimuli.

He also has a difference  in:
Registration- this is why he tends to be uninterested and has dull and flat expressions.  He appears apathetic and self absorbed.  It is also why he seems to be tired all the time.

Seeking- he makes noises while working, fidgets, rubs and explores objects with his skin, chews on things, and wraps his body around things.

Sensitivity- this is when he checks out and when he gets upset if you interrupt him or talk to him while he is doing something.

She said the difficulty is going to be finding the right amount of sensory input without giving him too much.  She is going to work with him and the teacher.  They do have a room he can go to if he gets overwhelmed.

Hearing... they are installing a tower system in the classroom to amplify the teachers voice AND they are getting him an FM system.  The FM system is an attachment for his hearing aides that are connected to a microphone that the teacher wears around her neck.  It puts her voice directly into his ears and it cuts back on a lot of the background noise.  That should be in place sometime this week.

Speech.. he didn't qualify for "formal" help, but she is going to pull him out of class once a month and give him informal help with the few sounds he has trouble pronouncing.

As for getting him to school, I asked if they have someone outside who could make sure he doesn't run off if I tried to just put him on the bus.  They don't.  However, the school psychologist was going to call and see if she could get him on the special services bus.  They are curb to curb and there is an aide who would walk him into school.  He has gone into school without as much fight 4 days in a row. 

They did say that for the purpose of school services, he is disabled.  I hate that word.  My brain knew that all of his problems are disabilities, but hearing someone call your child disabled is heartbreaking. 

I will say that all of this has helped me to understand him and why he is the way he is a lot better.  The occupational therapists report, especially.  The meeting in general pulled me back a little bit further from the edge. 

They hadn't heard how he did on his PEAK testing yet, but the teacher won't be there until Wednesday, so probably sometime at the end of the week.  They don't see how he could NOT be in. 

They told me over and over again that he was very diligent and would not give up.  That makes me so proud and happy.  Persistence is something he is going to need to make it through his alphabet ridden life.

As of right now, I am relieved and hopeful.  As long as they hold up their end, he just might make it through the year.

Friday, September 28, 2012

mama's (and daddy's) don't let your children grow up to be incompassionate jerkwads or what is wrong with our society

I sit here with tears in my eyes.  Why, you ask?  I'll tell you why.... I just had to explain to my son what a retard is and why a bunch of kids were bullying him and calling him a stupid retard on the toy at McDonald's.  He was playing, sometimes with someone, but mostly alone, hurting nobody at all.  I hear him yell stop it and look up.  There were 6 or 7 kids surrounding him, not letting him go down the slide, or back down the climbing thing.  They finally move and he comes down and sits for a minute.  He tells me he is ok when I ask so I let it go and just keep an eye on him.  A few minutes later I hear him yell again for someone to shut up.  I look up and can't see him so I grab Reilly and go look.  A lady comes up to me and asks if the kid in the perry the platypus shirt is my son and tells me that he is yelling at her son and tried to hit him.  I finally locate him and hear her son and the same 6 or 7 kids surrounding him, keeping him from going anywhere laughing at him and calling him a stupid retard.  Yes, my son was swinging and yelling for them to shut up.  I turned to her and asked if THAT was HER son, she said "yeah, the one your kid is swinging at"  then she had the audacity to ask me what was wrong with my kid.  I turned to her and said, the only thing wrong with my son is that your son is bullying him and calling him a stupid retard, which I am assuming he learned from you.  She called me a bitch, I told Boyd to push his way down so we could leave.

So here we sit after having a discussion about compassion that he didn't really understand. 

It is a parents job to be a role model for proper behavior to their children.  They learn from you.  It doesn't matter whether you are talking bad about someone because of their skin color, their orientation, the way they look or their mental capacity, your kid is a sponge.  They pick things up.  You call they person walking down the street a retard, your child calls some other kid a retard, they grow up and teach their child to call someone who is different a retard.  Eventually there will be no compassion left.  Teach your child that different doesn't mean bad.  Teach them that love is love.  Teach them to get to know the person underneath.  Just because a kid runs around the playground by himself pretending to be an x-wing fighter doesn't mean he is not worth the 5 minutes it takes to say hi and ask how they are doing?  Just because they sit on the floor in the corner rocking back and forth with hands over their ears doesn't mean they are a retard.  Maybe they are scared and overwhelmed.  Teach your children to treat others the way they would like to be treated.  As an adult, if you see a mom struggling every day to get her child into school, don't roll your eyes and make a judgement that she must be a horrible mother.  You don't know what goes on in her home.  You don't know what she is dealing with.  If she was a horrible mother, she wouldn't try so hard to get him to school.

I am not saying I am perfect, I'm not.  I've been known to make snap judgements.  Keep trying to get better.  That is all I ask.  Try to raise compassionate children.  If you see your child being a bully and using hateful language, tell them they are wrong, and why they are wrong.  It's  not ok that I had to explain to my child what a retard is and why your kid was saying that to him.  Not okay at all.  How would you feel if it was YOUR child?  How would you feel if your child was in the middle of a bunch of kids being taunted and not allowed to leave?  Think about that next time you hear your kid call another kid a name.  I have told Boyd since he was little that everyone is different and if everyone was the same, the world would be boring.  I've also told him not to say something to someone that you wouldn't want said you to.  Even if he doesn't understand all the time it is still important to tell him.

Nobody should be punished for being different..... ever. 

He's a freakin genius... parent teacher conferences

Over and over again the teacher told us how smart Boyd is.  Like really smart.  It was a great conference.  I love that his teacher hasn't labeled him as trouble and decided to write him off.  She seems to "get" him and his quirks.  She understands that he says whatever is on  his mind without a filter.  She told us he does same some socially inappropriate things, such as threatening to kick some kids butt at recess.  Instead of getting on to Boyd and sending him to the office she talked to the other kid and said, what do you see Boyd doing at recess?  His answer, running around swinging his arms, laughing and chasing people.  The teacher asked him if he really thought Boyd would kick his butt,  he said no.  There was just a little "Boyd you don't say that kind of stuff, ok" and it was over.  She just gets him and knows how to deal with him.  She hasn't yet heard how he did on his PEAK testing, we are all curious.  She said she knows he is smart enough, she is just not quite sure if he can focus long enough to do well on the written test to get in. 

On a side note, Reilly figured out how to get his clothes off, so I guess that Friday is naked time at the Robertson abode... woot!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

The tunnel to school is long, but I think I may see a light...

The last 2 days have been... AWESOME!  Tuesday night was rough.  Boyd didn't eat all of his dinner and was having a meltdown about being hungry at bedtime.  It ended with him ordering me to make him a big breakfast.  Uh huh, sure.  That's how it works.  Wednesday morning I made him his normal breakfast and he grumbled a little bit and told me he was going to eat breakfast at school, then.  We took him to school and after some discussion about how it would go and we decided that, if he promised not to make a scene or yell and grab things when I had to leave, I would walk him to the cafeteria.  We got to the cafeteria and he looked a little tentative but I guess his need for food overruled when I told him I couldn't go in with him and he had to go by himself.  He just walked in and ate breakfast.  I was so happy and proud!  I went to the office and we had a little celebration dance.  We were all so happy and proud.  These poor ladies in the office are the ones who have to "deal" with him every morning.  I was left hoping that maybe things are getting better, maybe his meds are finally starting to work, but completely realistic that it was probably just a fluke by an aspy on a mission for breakfast.

Fast forward to this morning.  Tonight are parent teacher conferences and the family night at the book fair.  Boyd wasn't hungry so we had to find a new "motivation".  We told him if he went to school "yesterday style" and didn't throw a fit he would have more money to spend at the book fair. (Don't tell me you never bribe your kids)......


He talked to me about Pokemon (his new obsession) the whole way to school and all the way into the building.  He went into the office, no fighting.  Told Ms. Sandy he was ready to go in his spot (an office supply type room where he waits for the bell).  She told him to check and see if the door was unlocked.  It was, so he smiled at me and waved goodbye, then just walked in and sit down.  Nobody had to fight him.  Just writing about it brings tears of happiness to my eyes.  It's hard to not get my hopes up that it is going to start being easier.  I am so proud of him!  He was nervous, anxious, but he fought through it and did it!

On another note... our IEP for wednesday was rescheduled to Monday.  The school psychologist did say that he woud qualify first for his hearing impairment because sensory impairments always come first.  She also said his IQ and intelligence testing was through the roof (she wouldn't give me numbers or anything until the meeting).  She had them test him for PEAK and is pretty sure he will be in that.  PEAK is like an honors club, I don't know much about it right now, they are going to fill me in later. 

Tonight are our conferences with the teacher.... I'm sure I will have more to write tomorrow.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Reilly is crazy, too

Reilly has a bit of a speech delay.  It is likely due to his prematurity.  I understand most of what he says in the way moms do, but he only says a few words really clearly.  Today, we were out running errands.  We drove by a little caesars pizza.  In the back seat I hear "peeya" over and over again.  After the fifth time of him not getting the response he wanted, I hear, very clearly, "MOMMY I HUNGY I EAT PEEYA NOW" !!  I guess the boy wanted some pizza for lunch.