Sunday, November 30, 2008

That long forgotten Thanksgiving Thankful Post

So I had these huge plans... I would write a lot, sentimental, sap filled account of all the things I'm thankful for, rather than bitching about the things that are not going so well in my life. But you know... those are a dime a dozen, and they're boring as heck to read. Besides, I think these sum it up pretty well. Here is what this mommy is thankful for:
























































Saturday, November 29, 2008

Jenny McCarthy Parody- hilarious. "Is Jenny McCarthy a Danger to the World?"

I know, I've been slacking on the blogging. I've been busy with the holiday crap and MIL visiting... among other things Sorry, I'll be better.

In the meantime, here's something worth watching. I cannot seem to get it to embed, so you'll have to click the link. Beware, anti-vaxxers, you'll be offended.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Goosie Cards Part One

I've never done a product review before (Ok, maybe back in high school in some class...) but I got an email from Tom over at Goosie Cards. He apparently found me through Google, and long story short, I offered to do a review. I got a gift certificate for a ten card custom set to do the review on. You can choose from ten, twenty, and twenty six card sets. Price varies. My set was a $28 value.

You start off here at their site, where you can create an account to start making your own personalized flashcards. They also offer games and pre-made sets of cards with themes like "favorite foods" or "animals". Basically, you upload your own photos, add the text you'd like, and voila! Nifty, unique cards in your mailbox a few days later. The site is gorgeous. Awesome graphics and colors, and extremely user friendly. Always a necessity for me, as I confuse easily! A useful extra is the fact that every set you make is saved in your account, so you can buy a new copy of a previously purchased set if you lose the original, without needing to re-make them.

The process of making the cards was a little confusing at first, but after about 2 minutes of experimentation, I was a pro. I think the creation process is very much something even a child could do (or my mother-in-law, who has issues turning her own computer on!) and it's a blast. I was a little disappointed that there was a photo size requirement, however it makes sense. Too small a photo would look silly. You need nice, big, bright photos for this, and luckily my digital camera makes the photos gigantic. No resizing was necessary!

Once the photos were uploaded, it was time to add text to each of my cards. One thing that I loved is that there is a spot for you to label your card set. This label shows up just above each photo on the cards. I chose mine as "Jaymes Goes..." because I was making cards to help Jaymes transition from place to place. Since the "Jaymes goes..." part was on every card, it meant more text could be devoted to whatever I wanted each card to say.

My only complaint, really, is the limited number of text characters. It made it kind of hard to decide what to write, particularly on my "Children's Museum" card. I ended up just putting "Kid's museum" instead and it worked out fine. I'd love to see them add in the ability to change text size in order to get more letters in there for longer descriptions. Text color/font would be a fun feature too. It would also be neat if the grey colored square that each photo is sitting on top of could be changed to the creator's choice of color. A bright orange or blue would draw Jaymes attention, while the grey probably will not. However, the beautifully printed, high quality, vividly colored photos will catch his eye.

Anyway, having created my cards, I forgot all about it. I think I made the cards last Thursday, got them today. Pretty impressive mailing time, if you ask me! Shipping is extremely reasonable, and you really won't have a long wait. The cards arrived in a sturdy envelope in a cardboard box. They pack foam to make sure your cards don't bend and get ruined, and my cards showed up in all their straight, glossy, waterproof glory.

I'm thoroughly impressed. The cards are the perfect size, and are nearly indestructible. How do I know this, you ask? The gift card I got in the mail to order the actual set was a Goosie card itself, and Jaymes has played with it, chewed on it, bent it, and fought with Sierra over it for over a week now. It's still like it was when it got here. I expected laminated cards. These go above and beyond, and really are more like the cases you put valuable baseball cards in. These are NOT flimsy or cheaply made, and are the most impressive cards I've seen... We've used a LOT of flashcards in the last few years, so that's saying something! The cards are big, bright, and beautiful. Glossy and durable, waterproof and Jaymes proof. The ultimate flashcard for an autistic child. And being waterproof, they can be used anywhere- by the pool, the bath, and for potty time. Just wipe them off if they get dirty.

I made cards to represent the places Jaymes most frequently goes: The car, the bath, the playground, in his swing, the childrens museum, the wal mart shopping cart, to watch Elmo, outside (our home) for a walk, and to the doctor. They each have a simple sentence below. For example, the car card says "Jaymes goes... In the car, he sits in his carseat." This card will hopefully prepare Jaymes to go get into his carseat without getting horribly upset. Another card has a photo of Jaymes sitting in a shopping cart, and says "Jaymes goes... To the store, and sits in the cart." This way he'll know we're heading to Walmart and he'll have to sit in the cart. I have punched holes in the cards and put them together with a ring into a sort of mini book, so we can flip through to the card we need without losing any. It's HARD to punch holes in the cards, I'm telling you they are seriously durable little suckers.

I have not gotten a chance to try the cards out yet, Jaymes is not home from school yet.. But tonight we'll start with them and in a week I'll let you all know how Jaymes is doing with his Goosie Cards.

All in all, I'm very pleased with the quality of the cards, the ease of making them, and the quick delivery. GoosieCards.com is quite possibly the most user friendly, child friendly site I've encountered. Jaymes loved looking at the colors while I made his cards. Another nice little extra was the fancy little envelope that comes with the cards. Colorful and well made, it provides a safe home for your cards. We also got a bunch of stickers, temporary tattoos, and a magnet with the GC logo. Jaymes covered himself in stickers, and Sierra thought the tattoos were pretty darn cool. The logo is adorable, too!

I highly recommend Goosie Cards. I think these will be a godsend for us at home, and I plan on ordering more once finances permit. If you're wanting to start a pecs program that you can take on the go, you can't go wrong here.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A child-free day!










Today is my birthday, but I celebrated it with my mother yesterday. We went to Blowing Rock, NC, which is up in the mountains. It was 16*, and snowy and icy up there. We went for a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which was terrifying to say the least... SO much ice and snow on the road. All over you could see where other cars and spun out and run off the road. I'm glad I wasn't driving. At various intervals along the drive were areas right next to the road that were like.. sheer drops. Like, death if you were to slip off the road. DEATH. It was pretty cool. The mountains were incredible, but it was very painful on the ears to go up and down them.





We went to Linville Caverns, which was very cool. When I was a kid I went to some cave in PA with my mom, and I really wanted to do that again. The tour was neat, although I could not understand a lot of the guide's voice. He had that mountain man, southern hick kinda accent. Nice guy though. He referred to the cave bats a "chicken nuggets."




Got to see all kinds of cool limestone formations, an underground river, and at one point they herded us all into this narrow, narrow crack in the cave and told us to look down. Turns out we were standing on a very thin metal grate over what they call the Endless Pool. I forget the estimated depth, but apparenly they have never been able to find the bottom because th cave narrows so much even a diver can't fit through. It's perfectly clear, stagnant water. So clear you almost can't tell it's water and not just a glass piece. Very creepy.
Got some cool stuff at the gift shop... A fossilized squid, some shiny rocks for Jaymes, and a rock candy stick for both kids.
Then we went out to eat at the place called Louises, which was pretty good. The original place we were going to eat would have been better, but I'm not complaining. The food was good. My mom didn't like hers though.
Drove around awhile on the scary ice, then headed into Blowing Rock and then Boone for shopping. There were some cool antique type shops, but they were way overpriced. Went to the Mast General Store, an old timey store that was 2 huge floors. I got a soda in a glass bottle, and we wandered around awhile. My mom got me this awesome travel bag, it's blue with purple sequins and an artsy painted set of horses in different colors. Hard to describe, but awesome.
We got tired at this point and headed the 2 hours home. It was a lot of fun, and nice to be away from kids for a little bit. I missed them, but I needed some peace. Jaymes was very snuggly and clingy when I got home, he missed me a lot.
All in all, a good birthday out on the town even though TODAY is my real birthday. Today has been more of a relaxed, lay around, work with Batty, etc kinda day.
So.. I'm 23 today. I hate odd numbers. Jaymes can't tell the difference between 22 y/o mommy and 23 y/o mommy, so I guess I'm not getting old and wrinkled just yet.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Snow day!

Well who knew it would snow so early in the year! It's very, very light. So light in fact, that at 6:00am it was starting to melt off. So imagine my surprise when I discover the school bus is not coming! Seriously, the snow was so light you could still see the grass underneath. It would seem that the school system is tossed into total chaos if there is a flake of snow in sight.

If we had TV, it might have been less of a drag...I got up in the cold early-ness for nothing because I did not know about the delay thing. I heard it on the radio later, of course. Jaymes thought it was pretty darn awesome. he came inside, got a cup of Alpha-Bits cereal, and plopped on the couch (my bed!). Wrapped himself in my blanket and his, with his ten foot long stuffed snake, and demanded (in no uncertain terms) to watch Elmo.

And so here we sit, The Boy buried in blankets and Snakie, watching Elmo in Grouchland. He is in heaven. Stinkin' boy.

In other bus related news, I forgot to mention that on Wednesday, they LOST him. The bus broke down, so they moved all the little kids to another bus (223) who had stopped to help our bus (777). When the replacement bus had arrived, the kids were put on it, and (223) headed off to wait for the high school kids to get out in an hour or so. As the bus driver was leaving her parked bus, she heard a little voice say something... Guess who it was? Yeah. So she freaked out, not knowing who he was, and called the driver of 777. Then they ID'd Jaymes and 223 headed out to the bus stop to deliver him to me, but not before the 'new' 777 arrived and I was all "WTF where's my kid?" The driver of 777 talked too fast and was in a hurry and kinda left me hanging with "He's on another bus on his way as we speak."

Uh. Ok.

So I waited another 15 mins. A little panicked. Not nearly so much as i would have been if I had known what had happened though. When 223 arrived, she had only Jaymes so she had time to tell me the whole story and I was like.. Geeze.

Apparently the excuse for this is that Jaymes is tiny and quiet and was crouching down. But he was sitting behind the driver! And anyway, Jaymes is rather memorable, isn't he? And why didn't the other kids from his stop say "Jaymes isn't here, where's Jaymes?!"

Thank god he spoke up and didn't get left ALONE in a HIGH SCHOOL PARKING LOT.

Why do these weird things happen to us? Poor Jaymseypuff.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Swings and things

So a few days ago, Jaymes' wonderful case worker was able to get us one of these awesome swings from Triad First In Families. They are a family support type program that helps families with special needs get the various things that they need to improve their quality of life. We got the swing, and well, that swing is awesome. It's just like what he uses in therapy, and he loooooves it!




It was hard to put up at first, mainly because I am fairly inept at reading instructions and doing them right. I tend to end up with extra parts when there shouldn't be extra parts... Plus, this installation involved heights. Yes, standing on a chair is high enough to make me queasy. I do not do heights well! So I managed to stand on the chair, twitching with panic at the height and trying not to fall off. Of course Sierra -had- to help, by pushing my already wobbly chair back and forth. Despite the fear of death, I did survive, got the support bar up, and it looks awesome. I did get to use my beloved power drill, too!



Amusingly, the only doorway I felt would really work is the bathroom. So when Jaymes is swinging, no one can go to the bathroom unless they want to do it with Jaymes watching, and with the door propped open. The other downside is if he pushes himself too hard, he whacks into the wall. If he fools around, he whacks into the door frame. But he seems to have realized that, and the whacking has been kept to a minimum.



I've been swinging Jaymes at night, after bath and before bed. I put him in, his blanket, and his 10 ft long stuffed snake, "Snakie", plus the elmo doll he stole from Sierra. I put on music (he likes Rascal Flatts, LOL) He lies there and just giggles and giggles, and after awhile totally relaxes. It is really amazing the effect a swing can have on an autistic kid. It's been so easy to get him down for the night, after getting him all quiet and relaxed he just flops into bed without protest.




The swing is awesome.

I cannot thank Triad First in Families and our case worker, Julie enough. Jaymes' little eyes light up when he sees his swing, he asks for it by name (this from an almost non-verbal child), and he never ever fusses when he's in it or when it's time to come out. Every night Jaymes swings, and every night he goes to bed peacefully and happily. He sleeps through the night. It provides exactly the sensory input Jaymes needs to relax, calm down, and go to sleep. My life has been made a billion times easier by this wonderful swing. Yay!






Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A cop-out post

Read this on one some blog.. someplace... gives me the shivers.

Thoughts of a Mom

By Maureen K. Higgins

Many of you I have never even met face to face, but I've searched you out every day. I've looked for you on the Internet, on playgrounds and in grocery stores. I've become an expert at identifying you. You are well worn. You are stronger than you ever wanted to be. Your words ring experience, experience you culled with your very heart and soul. You are compassionate beyond the expectations of this world. You are my "sisters."

Yes, you and I, my friend, are sisters in a sorority. A very elite sorority. We are special. Just like any other sorority, we were chosen to be members. Some of us were invited to join immediately, some not for months or even years. Some of us even tried to refuse membership, but to no avail.

We were initiated in neurologist' s offices and NICU units, in obstetrician' s offices, in emergency rooms, and during ultrasounds. We were initiated with somber telephone calls, consultations, evaluations, blood tests, x-rays, MRI films, and heart surgeries.

All of us have one thing in common. One day things were fine. We were pregnant, or we had just given birth, or we were nursing our newborn, or we were playing with our toddler. Yes, one minute everything was fine. Then, whether it happened in an instant, as it often does, or over the course of a few weeks or months, our entire lives changed. Something wasn't quite right. Then we found ourselves mothers of children with special needs.

We are united, we sisters, regardless of the diversity of our children's special needs. Some of our children undergo chemotherapy. Some need respirators and ventilators. Some are unable to talk, some are unable to walk. Some eat through feeding tubes. Some live in a different world.

We do not discriminate against those mothers whose children's needs are not as "special" as our child's. We have mutual respect and empathy for all the women who walk in our shoes.

We are knowledgeable. We have educated ourselves with whatever materials we could find. We know "the" specialists in the field. We know "the" neurologists, "the" hospitals, "the" wonder drugs, "the" treatments. We know "the" tests that need to be done, we know "the" degenerative and progressive diseases and we hold our breath while our children are tested for them. Without formal education, we could become board certified in neurology, endocrinology, and psychiatry.

We have taken on our insurance companies and school boards to get what our children need to survive, and to flourish. We have prevailed upon the State to include augmentative communication devices in special education classes and mainstream schools for our children with cerebral palsy. We have labored to prove to insurance companies the medical necessity of gait trainers and other adaptive equipment for our children with spinal cord defects. We have sued municipalities to have our children properly classified so they could receive education and evaluation commensurate with their diagnosis.

We have learned to deal with the rest of the world, even if that means walking away from it.

We have tolerated scorn in supermarkets during "tantrums" and gritted our teeth while discipline was advocated by the person behind us on line.

We have tolerated inane suggestions and home remedies from well-meaning strangers.

We have tolerated mothers of children without special needs complaining about chicken pox and ear infections.

We have learned that many of our closest friends can't understand what it's like to be in our sorority, and don't even want to try.

We have our own personal copies of Emily Perl Kingsley's "A Trip To Holland" and Erma Bombeck's "The Special Mother." We keep them by our bedside and read and reread them during our toughest hours.

We have coped with holidays. We have found ways to get our physically handicapped children to the neighbors' front doors on Halloween, and we have found ways to help our deaf children form the words, "trick or treat." We have accepted that our children with sensory dysfunction will never wear velvet or lace on Christmas. We have painted a canvas of lights and a blazing Yule log with our words for our blind children. We have pureed turkey on Thanksgiving. We have bought white chocolate bunnies for Easter. And all the while, we have tried to create a festive atmosphere for the rest of our family.

We've gotten up every morning since our journey began wondering how we'd make it through another day, and gone to bed every evening not sure how we did it.

We've mourned the fact that we never got to relax and sip red wine in Italy. We've mourned the fact that our trip to Holland has required much more baggage than we ever imagined when we first visited the travel agent. And we've mourned because we left for the airport without most of the things we needed for the trip.

But we, sisters, we keep the faith always. We never stop believing. Our love for our special children and our belief in all that they will achieve in life knows no bounds. We dream of them scoring touchdowns and extra points and home runs. We visualize them running sprints and marathons. We dream of them planting vegetable seeds, riding horses and chopping down trees. We hear their angelic voices singing Christmas carols. We see their palettes smeared with watercolors, and their fingers flying over ivory keys in a concert hall. We are amazed at the grace of their pirouettes. We never, never stop believing in all they will accomplish as they pass through this world.

But in the meantime, my sisters, the most important thing we do, is hold tight to their little hands as together, we special mothers and our special children, reach for the stars.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Outdoor fun

I will start my saying that I really wish I had thought to bring my camera... My cell phone camera is too pathetic to bother with.

Took Jaymes and Sierra to the Arboretum, which is basically a long hiking trail (paved) with all kinds of trees and gardens. It goes along a stream, and you can cross bridges to get to the other side and walk in the Vine arbor thing and rose gardens. Very cool place. Fall isn't the best time to come if you want to see flowers though.

Jaymes loved it because he could run ahead safely, and Sierra just demanded to be carried. It was nice, not cold, but not warm either, with a nice breeze. The playground was very mucky though, from the previous night's rain.

All in all, a fun Saturday.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More search term fun!

I love reading the assorted search terms people looked up to get to my blogs. They're funny, and often they give me ideas of things to blog about when I'm stuck. Such is the case today. One Googler wanted to know "do autistic toddlers understand when parent is angry." Good question. I can't tell you about any other autistic kids, but I can tell you about Jaymes.

Jaymes understands when I am angry, but only as it relates to him. He understands that mommy is strugging not to duct tape him to the ceiling fan and watch him spin, when he's rummaging through the fridge, tossing eggs over his shoulder. He knows that when he leaves the house without mommy, mommy is not pleased. He knows that these things will result in some consequence for him, and thus he tried to be sneaky and hide his wrongdoings.

Now, let's say I'm having a fight with Jason. Jaymes doesn't understand that we're fighting, or what about, or any of that... He doesn't choose sides or anything, or run away. He does become very agitated and starts screaming at us both. (Hence my refusal to fight in front of him, if we're going to fight it has to wait until after Jaymes and Si-Si are sleeping).

Jaymes understands a couple core concepts with emotions: He knows when I'm happy, everything is fun. He knows that when I'm angry at him, he needs to stop or hide what he is doing.

He has no understanding of parents being sad. When either of us cry, Jaymes tends to laugh at us. He doesn't get it. Same with being injured. He can't make that connection. Interestingly, when Sierra cries, Jaymes gets very upset. He'll bellow "S'OK! S'OK!" at her in a menacing tone, but to some extent he is trying to soothe her I guess. Or shut her up.

Awhile back when Sierra was at the hospital, Jaymes had to be removed from the room in order to let the nurses do anything medical to Sierra. We discovered this during Sierra having her IV and catheter done. Jaymes attacked, literally attacked, the nurse nearest him and was punching and kicking away trying to save his baby sister.

Interesting.

This next search makes me very sad, and I wonder what the person who Googled it was going through. "giving autistic toddler up for adoption." I wonder if it was their child. How old was he or she? What behaviors did the child have? What was their situation that they had to look up information on such a difficult thing? I wonder what they decided, I wonder where that child is now. Just makes you think, you know?

This one makes me want to put my research hat on and look into it. "how to do a deep pressure massage on toddler." Hmm, I do not know. I know how to do joint compressions and brushing, and do the deep pressure hugging thing, but is there really a massage type thing for toddlers? It does not specify if the toddler in question is typical, or has autism or some other special need. Would a typical toddler appreciate a massage? I always thought those deep pressure massages kinda hurt.

"don't bite the dog book." I have a book? Wow, must have gotten all ambitious one of those late nights. Hmm.

"when toddlers don't mind." There are lots of things Jaymes doesn't mind.... Candy, destruction, licking every cookie in the box then putting them back... nope, doesn't mind any of these things. LOL.

Anyway, happy saturday to you all. We're off to go to the playground if I ever get dressed.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A mixed bag

Well... Life's a mixed bag, a lot like the Halloween candy we stole from our kids diligently collected stash in those cute little pumpkin baskets. Some days are awesome, like Twix bars. Some days suck, like Tootsie rolls. Ok, I'll spare you the really poorly done similies here. Some days are great, some suck. 'Nuff said.

Yesterday Jaymes and Sierra and I went to the Children's Museum. Jaymes did very well. He played with the trains for about an hour, while Sierra played in the sand box. Then we all went to the baby/toddler area. Jaymes made the transition without screams or crying, and settled into bulding a long line of those snap together bead things. Sierra was her usual well behaved little self. It was a good visit to the museum, for sure, until the end. I set the timer and told Jaymes that he had 5 minutes. When it went off, I reminded him it was time to go because the timer went off. He threw himself down, so I carried him out to the main area. Had to put him down to get his coat on, and he made a huge loud scene in front of the staff, but they're getting to know us and there really wasn't anyone else there anyway. I was proud of him.

He also had an ENT visit to check his ear tubes and evaluate the severe ear infections(one in each ear, yum!) that have been plaguing him for a month now. We had to wait a long time, and the other kids weren't letting Jaymes play with toys, so he had a meltdown and had to be held on my lap to avoid him hurting himself. By this time I had explained why Jaymes was having a fit to the nice people who asked if we were ok... Then this old man comes in, and starts in on me.

"Well young man, those tantrums won't get you anything."
"In my day, children got a spanking for behaving that way."
"Tantrums like THAT just were not tolerated in my day."

I was too furious to speak, but amazingly, the nice couple across the row did. They told him that Jaymes was NOT having a tantrum, that he is autistic and he doesn't feel well. the nurse called us back, which is good because I was getting mad enough to make a scene. The nurse felt terrible about that guys behavior so she gave lollipops and stickers to my two little spawnlets. The doctor is wonderful and understands Jaymes and respects Jaymes' limits... Said the tubes look good and we'll try a new antibiotic to kill off this infection. New ear drops too.

Today was not as good as yesterday. Had to take Sierra to her appointment this morning, which you can read about on her blog, here. Jaymes got home about an hour after I did, and we watched Elmo for a bit. Then we played with the awesome new swing our wonderful caseworker got for Jaymes. Here is the video, see how happy, calm, and focused he is?


When we were done, I put away the swing and got the kids ready for a bath. Jaymes went ballistic, probably one of the most angry, violent meltdowns I have ever seen him have. He was hitting and kicking the floor so hard his arms were turning red. He ripped off his diaper and ripped at it with his teeth, thrashed around, screamed, and beat his head against the wall.

I have a lot of stuff I need to do... I have to do the paperwork for Sierra and Jaymes Medicaid, it's re-enrollment time. I have to finish up the food stamps thing. I have to organize the bills. I have to send proof of income to all of the above, plus to the agency the caseworker got the swing from. I have to have the house clean every day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Food for thought...

I read the comment below on the Fugly Forum, posted by member Habanero in regards to a thread about kids getting lost. She said it so eloquently, and it applies to so mjch more than lost kids... It pretty much sums up how I feel about my little Jaymes, about why I feel like my soul has been crushed when people make fun of him, about the terror I feel when something is wrong... Interestingly, her post could also be applied to the feeling we as autism parents had upon the diagnosis of our kids.

"Don't remember where I initally heard this, but it's so true... "Having a child is like giving your heart legs and allowing it to walk around outside of your body". That's exactly right. It's terrifying to love something so much, to have such raw emotions, every pain and anguish of theirs is visited upon you tenfold... there no way to explain the hurt that YOU feel when others are cruel to your child. There's no way to explain the panic, the fear, when you can't find them. Anyone whose child has been deathly sick or seriously injured will struggle to explain that absolutely crushed feeling, like a panic attack mixed with your most intense grief mixed with the greatest fear you have ever known TIMES ONE HUNDRED... no word for that emotion exists."

Addition to the Site

I added in the Evolution of an IEP section to the main site, it still needs some work, aesthetically, but otherwise looks decent. Hope it helps others out a bit.

Furious

Due to Jason always having the car for work, we've been having to use a van service provided by Jaymes Medicaid office to get him to his appointments. It's a pain, they're never on time and sometimes they just don't show up, or they forget to come back and pick us up. Either way, it was a pain, but it got Jaymes where he needed to be.

Now suddenly, they've decided (they being Medicaid, not the van service) that only Jaymes and I are allowed. And for Sierra appointments, only me and her.

-If you realllly want to read my uncensored, foulmouthed hate spewing anger, highlight the almost invisible text below. I made it this way so it wouldn't bother anyone who did not wish to be exposed to a full fledged Squishy meltdown-

What the fuck is wrong with this picture? Yeah, I'll leave my 2 fucking year old TODDLER home alone since clearly one other child in the vehicle would be the end of the world. And for Sierra'
s appointments, yes, lets leave my AUTISTIC 4 year old home alone. Maybe he'll burn the fucking house down and you won't have to pay for any more goddamned appointments. They have always let me take both kids. The people who utilize this service have to be screened, so we QUALIFY. They also tend to not have a lot of money. So apparently, if you have one kid, you're set. More than one? Fuck you. Leave it at home.

Then the lady hung up on me (and no, I did not curse at her, I was very polite), which is just another big FUCK YOU. Who cares that you have a child whose future is fucking DEPENDENT on those appointments? Who give a shit that you can't get your kid to his therapy sessions?

I wish i could sit on my fat ass making idiotic decisions about other peoples children and rake in the bucks and the fucking health benefits. This just disgusts me.

-end cursing and ranting-

I'm so mad I'm shaking. If it were a free service that anyone could have, I'd be like, ok, need to follow their rules etc. But we had to fill out a ton of paperwork for this, they KNEW I had to bring both kids and told me it was fine. I've been nice through all their mistakes, and she hangs up on ME? Idiots.

So my only thought is to make Jaymes' appts so late that Jason will have to be home to pick us up and take us. I don't know what else to do. I can borrow my mom's car some of the time, but I can't afford to put gas in her car and ours...

It's like... everything is going fine, and you're past a hard stretch, and then some asshole at Social Services has to mess it all up again. If she'd have just been pleasant about it and explained why things suddently changed and offered up some sort of solution or idea, I'd have been upset, but ok. But no, she talked down to me, rudely, and fucking HUNG UP on me. Who the hell does that? that's beyond unprofessional.

I need to just stop now... i'm so mad I'm just rambling on and on and on and on.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

All time funniest search terms...

My stat counter tells me what words people search for, that land them here on the blog... Here are some gems I found today:

  • Pet vaccination bullshit
  • Chicken kachatori
  • Bong store in Ithaca, NY
  • Did you vaccinate my toddler
  • preschoolers don't bite social story
  • What kind of dog does Dr. Laura have
  • Murder occupational therapist
Excuse me while I roll around on the dog hair covered floor cracking up. Sorry folks! No bong store info, no free chicken, i did not vaccinate your toddler, Dr. Laura's dog doesn't interest me, and I like our occupational therapist and have no plans to murder her.

LOL.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

MomDot

"MomDot is a mom blog listing site that is run by mommy bloggers, trisha, alicia, and bridgette.They run contests weekly, reviews on awesome (and not so awesome) products for family and kids, and talk about their lives. But more importantly, they feature bloggers and mom boutiques to give them an avenue to get thier name out there, also assisting in google links! You can head out and list your blog for free and talk to them about doing an interview about you. Head on over and see what MomDot is about!"


Go check it out!

Autumn Photo Shoot

I love the fall. I love the leaves, the colors, the cool air. I love the smell of falling leaves and damp earth, and that holiday feeling in the air. I love the bright, quiet comfort that is the woods this time of year.

We went out Saturday to the playground at Fourth of July Park, and it was just soooo beautiful. Got some really nice pictures of the kids playing!


Here is the path that leads up to the playground, isn't it just gorgeous?!


Jaymes liked the stream underneath the bridge...

But Sierra couldn't get to the playground fast enough!

Sierra went on the swings...



And whacked distracted mommy. I did not drop my prized digital camera, however. Go me!


Jaymes loved the slides

Si-Si kept watch from above, to be sure mommy did not wander off

Jaymes wore his mystical sun goggles in this photo!

I just love this pic..She's concentrating so hard on climbing that rock wall!

Jaymes was fast!

Having a blast...

What a smile!

And a rare, seldom done, photo of mommy with the spawnlets!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Life Challenges and Fun

I have a stat counter thing on this and my other sites/blogs, because I like seeing what people search, which posts are the most read, and where my readers come from. I'm continually amazed at the many countries that you guys are reading from, and honestly just at the sheer number of people who read my ramblings!

Anyway, today, when I looked at the Keyword activity (what phrases people searched for that turned them to my site) and I see this (highlighted part.)


I don't know why, but it made me smile. Because you know, our lives have been so very challenging for the last few months. Ok, the last few years. I do my fair share of whining and wallowing in self pity, then I snap out of it and get it together and kick ass. It's just how we roll here in my crazy family.

Though the challenges push me to the brink, and make me insane at times... We still manage to have fun and joke through it all.

All in all, that is an excellent way to describe our lives: Life challenges and fun. Thank you random googler, for googling that phrase.

An awesome post on other blogs...

I just read this over at Kelley's blog. Sad, happy, funny, and beautiful. She really has a way with words. On her blog, I find she rarely discusses Autism, or her son's therapy. I admire the way she has been able to avoid having her life turned into this one big thig: Autism. It seems to come up for me constantly, I can't let it go and forget about it... It's in my mind all the time, the good and the bad, and it seems to be the foremost thought in my head at all times. Don't know why, just is.

Anyway, I very highly recommend her blog to anyone who likes to laugh, hear about explosive diarrhea, see some incredible birthday cakes, and get to know a truly fabulous woman and her family.

This post, on Squid's blog, also touched me. The video is incredible to me, because Leelo is so much like Jaymes, in the little quirks, the way they move, the hesitations before speaking... He just really reminds me of my little guy. I love the toy in the video, too, but it's $209.00 and I just cannot see that happening anytime in the near future. I think Jaymes would wet himself with joy if we ever do get him one though!

This story, on Age of Autism, will really get you thinking even if you don't agree with the general point, and you will come away with a slightly different take on how these parents are feeling and how they are treated by physicians. Despite disagreeing with a huge majority of what is posted on AOA, I find it is an interesting read every day, and an excellent source of information. It's great to be educated on both sides of the Autism treatment rift, and it's a good way to pass nap time!

Happy reading!

If my head weren't firmly attached...

I'd lose it.

In writing that last blog entry, I forgot my point. Yesterday's therapy sessions would have had us leaving home at 1:15 and leaving the therapy place around 4:00. But, because the van service thing fell through, Jason had to drop us off then come back at 6:15. We sat and sat and sat and sat. Jaymes was incredibly good, with the exception of trying to turn the lights off repeatedly. He was so patient, played the the other kids and the toys, and snacked on the various crunchy stuff I brought with me. Sierra was great too. I have amazing kids.

Toward the end of our long wait, I took this video of The Boy doing what he does best- wreaking havoc with chairs. Hooray Jaymes. I was too tired to argue with him, and there were only 2 people there anyway!

Transportation Woes

I hate that Jason's job means I have no way to get to anything. It's bad enough to be trapped at home, not even able to do errands or take the kids to the playground(or to have shelter when it's pouring rain and you have to stand at the bus stop after the looooong walk down there!). those things are part of being a stay at home mom, with one vehicle and a husband with a job that takes him from client home to client home. It's not like he can just be dropped off places.

What makes me crazy is not being able to get the kids to appointments. I thought I have solved this dilemma, by setting up transportation via van through the kid's Medicaid. We give them dates and places ahead of time, they set up our ride.

You would think that "medical transport" would be clean, safe, and courteous. Or I did. First service we used was called Cape Fear Regional Transport. Beautiful vans, immaculate and clean, awesome drivers. Always on time. Medicaid stopped using them, but didn't see the need to tell me, so we missed the appointment day...

Next we were assigned to Bluebird Cab company. Again, "medical transport." Was it clean? No. There were cigarette butts in the little compartments on the doors. The guy (who was smelly, unshaven, had nails a good 3 inches long, and hair longer than mine...) was smoking IN the car. He did not want me to put in my car seats, saying that "cops never fine taxi drivers for kids not in car seats." He finally did stop smoking, I got my car seats in, and we headed off. The guy struck me as the type who would peel the skin off a woman and wear her skin Hannibal style, while singing this song:



In between swerving into opposing lanes, he told me about his 7 children and his teenage wife. Needless to say, he did not drive us back home. I waited for my mom to pick us up.

After that, we started with Here2There Van Service. Relatively clean vehiclesin good repair, nice folks. 60% on time. Most of the time I got picked up on time, often waited an hour or more afterward though, and sometimes was never picked up again at all. A few times I got picked up for a 4:30 appointment at 4:25. By the time we got there, we had less than 20 minutes left of therapy session time. Not even an apology. I was beyond furious. I don't yell at people though, it's not in my nature. I just smile and say "it's ok, but we need to start being on time" and leave it at that.

For the most part, H2T was excellent. Very nice people, we got where we needed to go, and they were the most reliable of any of the van services we had tried.

Problem is, none are reliable or organized enough. I'm sorry, but a company that specializes in getting people to appointments simply HAVE to be:

  • Punctual
  • Organized
  • Clean- These are MEDICAL appointments
  • Reliable
Bleh.

Anyway, somehow, this last week, the list of appointments for the next however long did not find their way into the right places. Zero communication between Medicaid and the van service, they each blame the other. The absolutely wonderful receptionist, Sherry, at the therapy place, fixed that for me by faxing 13 pages of appointments. The Medicaid lady was not happy with me. Oh well, this is what she's getting paid the big bucks and the state offered health benefits for.

At this point, I've given it up. I'm going to borrow my mom's car every Tuesday and Thursday and drive myself. I'll let them know I need gas vouchers rather than a van service (should be cheaper for them anyway!) and just deal with having to get to Greensboro to pick the car up early, and dropping it back off late. I'm glad my mom agreed to that, hopefully it doesn't end up being problematic.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

IEP is over... Yay!

I am SO happy with how the IEP went. Seriously, this is the first one that wasn't painfully awkward, strained, and confrontational. My ideas were taken seriously, my goals incorporated into little man's IEP, and things were explained very clearly. Both his OT and ST were there, and I love them both- they are excellent. So much better than the ones in the old school.

I'll go into more detail later, but I really couldn't be happier. Even the ABA mention didn't upset anyone- they actually are looking into a DTT(Discrete trial training) software for Jaymes to use in
the classroom.

What a wonderful experience, and an awesome team. Yay for good IEP's.

More detailed info later! I do not have my copy yet, so I can't post the goals up just yet.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Even more IEP...

I spoke to Jaymes' teacher today, and I guess they went ahead and made a draft of the IEP ahead of time... Which is fine as long as they're aware I might want things changed around a bit. a lot of their goals are fine, but some I don't see the point of, some things he can do but chooses not to (behavioral), and some things are pointless in my mind. Obviously I'll have them explain the reasoning for the goals I don't really love, then make a decision everyone is happy with...

One thing I'm unsure about.. On the IEP there is a yes/no check box that asks "Does student have behaviors that impede his learning or that of others." If that were put to me, I would wholeheartedly say YES. They are telling me he won't hold a marker for more than a few seconds... That is a behavior, and it is impeding his learning. I think I'm going to ask for the Functional Behavior Assessment.

They state he does not understand to put items in/on/under. This is considered mastered (or at the very least, close to mastered) in therapy and he does it just fine at home. Another behavioral thing? Maybe.

There is a check box that asks if the student requires assistive devices or services and is checked "no." He wasapproved for one of those augmentative communication device speech board things (Can't remember what they're called) and might benefit from the use of the Picture Exchange System. So I will suggest these things, I guess.

They say he needs hand over hand assistance to draw a line. This is totally wrong. he even draws lines for ME, and that's saying something!

Their goals are as follow, my thoughts in red:

  • Jaymes will answer yes/no questions to indicate preference for an activity or object with 80% accuracy- Good goal, I like this one.
  • Jaymes will answer who/what/where doing questions during classroom and therapy activities with 80% accuracy- This one seems a little advanced for Jaymes, but i don't know.
  • Jaymes will point to the correct picture or person to show understanding of the pronouns me/you with 80% accuracy
  • Jaymes will follow directions to place an item on/under/in without prompts or repititions with 80% accuracy- He does this consistantly at home and in therapy. I don't think this goal should be on the IEP. His not doing this is purely behavioral.
  • Jaymes will imitate a variety of 2-3 word utterances such as "I want" "noun+ verb" etc- This was one of my own goals, so I'm all over it!
  • Jaymes will spontaneously use a variety if 2-3 word utterances such as those stated above with 80% accuracy-Goes along with the other one, a little repetitive in my opinion, but still appropriate.
  • Jaymes will identify numbers to ten and increase his print awareness- Not sure about the print awareness part, but he's getting there on his numbers. This is an easily attainable short term goal.
  • Jaymes will identify the descriptive concepts big/little, empty/full, open/closed, wet/dry, hot/cold with 80% accuracy- I'm not sure Jaymes is ready for this yet.
  • Jaymes will rote count to ten 4/5 times- Good goal
  • Jaymes will count using 1:1 correspondence with 80% accuracy-What does this mean?
  • Jaymes will identify his name in print 4/5 times- He used to do this consistantly, it's a skill he lost. Good goal.
  • Jaymes will identify numbers up to ten 4/5 times-Good goal, he's well on his way to accomplishing it.
  • Jaymes will participate in functional fine motor classroom activities- Such as what? I think this should be more specific.
  • Jaymes will use a name stamp with prompts to mark his classwork by 3/27/09- Wouldn't it be better to work toward drawing the letters in his name?
  • Jaymes will use a name stamp with prompts in a designated space on classwork by 11/06/09- Same as above.
  • Jaymes will complete a 2-3 step fine motor task with less than 85% assistance by 6/10/09
  • Jaymes will complete a 2-3 step fine motor task with less than 60% assistance by 11/06/09- Such as what? How will this be accomplished?
  • Jaymes will hold and use a variety of classroom tools for more than 30 seconds by 1/23/09
  • Jaymes will hold and use a variety of classroom tools for more than 60 seconds by 11/06/09- These are ridiculous unless they are thinking of them in a purely behavioral way, in which case they should not be arguing with me over the FBA... He can, but he chooses not to a gets away with it.

FYI...


This image, so sweetly hot-linked from Kelley's blog, applies to this blog. I will not waste my time, and my readers time by making silly fluff posts about nothing, that I really didn't feel like writing. So NaBloMo, not so much. Whether you get 2 posts in the week, or 25 posts in the week is up to my evil little muse. NahBloMe!

The IEP goals continue to evolve

I emailed my goals posted earlier to both Jaymes' speech therapist, and a friend I met on the Fugly Forum, who happens to be a special education teacher. This is what the teacher sent me back, the red are her comments:

  • Jaymes will engage in back and forth conversation with peers (even if that conversation is mostly Jaymes babbling) How many turns? The difficult thing may be getting peers to engage, also. I would say maybe just two turns. Perhaps, peer initiating, Jaymes’ response, peer reply, Jaymes’ response. This way a teacher could “prompt” at the beginning.
  • Jaymes will be able to answer personal questions: "What is your name, how old are you, how are you today?" “How are you?” is a very difficult question for even typical preschoolers to answer because it is abstract for kids. (Heck, even some adults don’t even know how to answer that appropriately.) I think definitely being able to give his name when asked, and his age.
  • Jaymes will be able to ask questions to engage peers:"What is your name, do you want to play" Is your goal here speech related or play skill related? Since from what I read, Jaymes’ social skills are also delayed, you may want to make this about play. In that case, verbal may not be the way to go. First, he will need to learn “join in” skills such as choosing to play close to another child with similar toys. Then engaging with that child. This will need to be facilitated by the teacher at first.
  • Jaymes will communicate his needs (need to go potty, need to eat, need new diaper) Do you want this to be verbal or are picture exchange cards or other augmentative communication devices acceptable to you?
  • Jaymes will request things using "I want ____" Once again, you may want to start with pictures to help this. Prompt with the words, “I want” and then give Jaymes pictures to use so he can work on mastering the concept of “want” and asking without resorting to tantrums without having to worry about finding the word for what he wants.
  • Jaymes will use possessives (identify other's belongings as "his or hers", identify his own possessions as "my or mine")
  • Jaymes will demonstrate how objects work (rather than "explaining" per original goal)
  • Jaymes will be able to express emotions verbally (sad, angry, happy) Again, I’m not sure what they have been working on with him, but probably he should start with pictures or social stories before working on verbal expression. Once he has the concept, the words for it will come much easier.
  • Jaymes will identify 6 shapes Do you want this to be naming them (expressively) or pointing to them when given the name (receptively). I would think that pointing at them would be good for now – just being able to demonstrate that he has this knowledge even if he doesn’t have the words.
  • Jaymes will use a tripod grasp on a crayon/marker
  • Jaymes will snip paper independently
  • Jaymes will imitate at least 5 letters of the alphabet using a crayon/marker Has he mastered writing his name? I think copying his name would be a more appropriate goal than 5 random letters. It will have meaning to him. Along this line, can he identify his written name? If not, that should be an objective prior to this one.
  • Jaymes will imitate at least 5 numbers using a crayon/marker I would leave this one out for now. Understanding the concepts of what numbers are is far more important for Jaymes right now than knowing numerals. Numerals are actually one of the last things we teach.
  • Jaymes will participate in group activites, rather than just tolerating them (singing, dancing, hand motions etc...) This sounds like a good next step. Now that he is sitting at circle time (or whatever they call it) actually participating will be good. In order to get him to do that, the teacher may have to make a concession to let him choose a song they sing each day until he begins to participate more. I use picture cards that represent the songs and the children get to choose a song we sing each day.
  • Jaymes will recognize verbs that he does on a regular basis, (picture of eating, picture of bathing, picture of sleeping) How do you want him to recognize these? Do you want him to point to a picture when prompted such as, “Show me the picture of the boy who is eating?” or do you want him to point to a picture and say, “Eating.”
  • Jaymes will follow two step directions, Jaymes will attempt to follow three step directions Make these two separate objectives. Jaymes will follow two step directions independently 2/3 tries. Jaymes will follow three-step directions with physical or verbal prompts 2/3 tries. (or something like that).
  • Jaymes will learn a potty routine (pants down, sit on potty, flush potty, pants up, wash hands) I would add something in here about using a picture schedule to teach the potty routine. One year, I had a boy with autism who we had been trying to potty train for months. I finally got the bright idea to make a picture schedule. He took one look at that schedule, followed each step and was potty trained that day. Now, I’m not saying this will happen for Jaymes, but it definitely is a step in the right direction.
  • Jaymes will alert an adult when he needs his diaper changed Do you want this to be verbally, or can he use a picture or other sign?

And my revised goals:

  • Jaymes will engage in back and forth conversation with a peer at least 2 turns, either initiated by peer or teacher, and with necessary prompting, once per day.
  • Jaymes will be able to answer personal questions: "What is your name, how old are you"
  • Jaymes will initiate play with a peer once per day.
  • Jaymes will communicate his needs (need to go potty, need to eat, need new diaper) verbally OR using PECS or other augmentative communication devices, while working toward doing so verbally.
  • Jaymes will request familiar items (blanket, a cookie, juice) using "I want ____"
  • Jaymes will use possessives (identify other's belongings as "his or hers", identify his own possessions as "my or mine")
  • Jaymes will demonstrate how objects work (rather than "explaining" per original goal)
  • Jaymes will be able to identify emotions in a picture or social story (sad, angry, happy)
  • Jaymes will identify 6 shapes receptively.
  • Jaymes will use a tripod grasp on a crayon/marker
  • Jaymes will snip paper independently
  • Jaymes will imitate the letters in his name using a crayon/marker, working toward writing his name.
  • Jaymes will count to 10 (without mixing up numbers) 2/3 times
  • Jaymes will participate in group activites, rather than just tolerating them (singing, dancing, hand motions etc...)
  • Jaymes will follow two step directions 2/3 times
  • Jaymes will attempt to follow three step directions with physical and verbal prompts 2/3 tries
  • Jaymes will learn a potty routine (pants down, sit on potty, flush potty, pants up, wash hands) using a picture schedule.
  • Jaymes will alert an adult when he needs his diaper changed, either verbally or using signs or pictures.

Happy Birthday to my best friend in FL




We will call her "Helga." Happy birthday Helga, hope it's a good one!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

IEP Prep Continues...

So I got a copy of Jaymes soon to be outdated IEP this morning, after much waiting and frustration. it's my own fault for losing the first copy I got last February, but geeze, why are these so hard to get additional copies of?

Here are his goals:

  • Jaymes will increase his expressive vocabulary by 50 words-He's getting there, but I don't think this one is met.
  • Jaymes will ask questions with 80% accuracy- Not met, he doesn't ask questions period.
  • Jaymes will put two and three words together with 80% accuracy- They say not met, I say in progress. He says "I eat" "eat horsies" "Want watch Elmo".
  • Jaymes will use "ing" words with 80% accuracy- Not met. He doesn't use any "ing" words at all.
  • Jaymes will use descriptive words with 80% accuracy- He uses color as a decription, but beyond that, nothing. Not met.
  • Jaymes will use pronouns with 80% accuracy- Not met. He uses "I" and "Me" but nothing else.
  • Jaymes will use possessives with 80% accuracy- In progress- he says "Mine" sometimes.
  • Jaymes will tell how objects are used with 80% accuracy- This is unrealistic, in my opinion and has no place on his IEP.
  • Jaymes will use a fingertip grasp on a pencil/crayon to participate in visual motor activities by 5/5/08 and will use a tripod grasp by 1/29/09- He got the fingertip grasp, but not by the goal date set and they do not consider it mastered. His OT outside of the school does, however. He is working on the tripod grasp and can do it some of the time.
  • Jaymes will imitate lines, circles, and other shapes using a variety of media by 1/29/09- He can draw circles on request, sometimes will do lines. No other shapes. Sort of met? Not quite? Bear in mind he has until the end of January to get that one, so he could (though I can't see it happening) meet that goal in time.
  • Jaymes will snip paper with scissors with assistance by 9/1/08- Goal met, very recently.
  • Jaymes will snip paper with scissors independently by 1/29/09- Not met.
  • Jaymes will follow all one step teacher commands 4/5 times- Mastered, per school. I agree.
  • Jaymes will follow related two step commands 4/5 times- Sometimes
  • Jaymes will participate in a large group activity for at least 10 minutes 4/5 times- Don't know. School doesn't say it's mastered, but they're always telling me how good he is in group so it's probably close to met.
  • Jaymes will participate in a small group activity for at least 5 minutes 4/5 times-Don't know. School doesn't say it's mastered, but they're always telling me how good he is in group so it's probably close to met.
  • Jaymes will remain on task for a nonpreferred activity until completion 4/5 times- School says mastered, I say in progress.
  • Jaymes will play appropriately with at least six novel closed ended toys 4/5 times- Met.
  • Jaymes will engage in simple pretend play at least once per day 4/5 times- He pretends to talk on the phone, does this count?
  • Jaymes will engage in turn taking activities with a peer for at least 6 turns 4/5 times- No way.
  • Jaymes will engage in cooperativeplay (ie. blocks/dressup) with a peer for at least 5 minutes 4/5 times-Nooooo way.
  • Jaymes will initiate interaction or play with a peer at least once per day 4/5 times- He always runs up, says hi, and wants to hold hands. Does this count?
  • Jaymes will understand verbs in context with 80% accuracy- He knows eat/go/sit/color
  • Jaymes will increase his receptive vocabulary by at least 50 words- Not met
  • Jaymes will recognize actions in pictures with 80% accuracy-In progress
  • Jaymes will understand several pronouns with 80% accuracy- Not met
  • Jaymes will understand the use of objects with 80% accuracy- He knows how to use everything!
  • Jaymes will understand part-whole relationships with 80% accuracy- I don't understand what this one means.
  • Jaymes will understand descriptive concepts with 80% accuracy- Not really...
  • Jaymes will understand quantity concepts with 80% accuracy- Not met.
  • Jaymes will identify colors with 80% accuracy- Met at home, apparently not at school
  • Jaymes will understand negatives in a sentence with 80% accuracy- Not met
  • Jaymes will identify big/little, empty/full, open/closed, wet/dry, hot/cold 4/5 times- He knows "open door/close door" does this count?
  • Jaymes will follow commands with and without objects that include the spatial concepts in/on/off/out/under/behind 4/5 times- In progress at Therapy, maybe not at school?
  • Jaymes will receptively identify at least 6 colors 4/5times- Met.
  • Jaymes will receptively identify at least 4 shapes 4/5times- He knows circle and star
  • Jaymes will attend to pictures in a book with teacher assistance 4/5 times- School says met, Jaymes tolerates this at therapy, not at home. Pretty well met.
  • Jaymes will rote count 1-10 4/5 times- He can't do that at home... He counts to 5 then the numbers get all mixed around.
  • Jaymes will count using 1:1 correspondence up to 5 objects 4/5 times- Not sure what this one means?
Now, I'm going to make some more appropriate goals to present to the folks at the IEP meeting. Hopefully we can make goals that are appropriate for Jaymes, and are attainable.

New goal ideas:

  • Jaymes will engage in back and forth conversation with peers (even if that conversation is mostly Jaymes babbling)
  • Jaymes will be able to answer personal questions: "What is your name, how old are you, how are you today?"
  • Jaymes will be able to ask questions to engage peers:"What is your name, do you want to play"
  • Jaymes will communicate his needs (need to go potty, need to eat, need new diaper)
  • Jaymes will request things using "I want ____"
  • Jaymes will use possessives (identify other's belongings as "his or hers", identify his own possessions as "my or mine")
  • Jaymes will demonstrate how objects work (rather than "explaining" per original goal)
  • Jaymes will be able to express emotions verbally (sad, angry, happy)
  • Jaymes will identify 6 shapes
  • Jaymes will use a tripod grasp on a crayon/marker
  • Jaymes will snip paper independently
  • Jaymes will imitate at least 5 letters of the alphabet using a crayon/marker
  • Jaymes will imitate at least 5 numbers using a crayon/marker
  • Jaymes will participate in group activites, rather than just tolerating them (singing, dancing, hand motions etc...)
  • Jaymes will recognize verbs that he does on a regular basis, (picture of eating, picture of bathing, picture of sleeping)
  • Jaymes will follow two step directions, Jaymes will attempt to follow three step directions
  • Jaymes will learn a potty routine (pants down, sit on potty, flush potty, pants up, wash hands)
  • Jaymes will alert an adult when he needs his diaper changed
Well, what do you guys think? Are any of these too stupid? would you re-word any of it? Is it too much, too little, just right?

Monday, November 3, 2008

I need IEP help.

I am in need of someone experienced with asking for an aide, and for ABA services of the school during IEP meetings. Someone who has done this and gotten the services, who KNOWS Autism and can give me the right things to say. This is something that needs done on the phone, so please email me alesovoy@yahoo.com and let me know if you can help me. The IEP is on Thursday, and I need some help, please.

I'm tempted to go post on Squid's blog and beg her, but I'll look moronic and probably scare her away with my stalkerishness. I just don't want yet another shitty, worthless IEP meeting.