Friday, August 31, 2012

Blue Moon Celebration


There is evidence that kids on the spectrum are affected by the moon. I read a article in Scientific American about this and there is a correlation between the brain being the moistest organ in our body and the tidal patterns during the full moon.  A full moon brings on behaviors that may seem unusual and huge.  James has been up since before 4AM today starting the celebration.  He had a great morning and I hope he gets through the school day without his behaviors take a turn for the worse.
Hope everyone has a wonderful Blue Moon day!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

He Said What? Did I Hear that Correctly??

James' language sometimes amazes even me.  A few snip-its from today:

When we came home and he saw his sister (she stayed home sick today)  "Charlotte, mom told me you were sick.  I hope you are feeling better.  Is there anything I can do for you?"
And then at supper, we generally eat in the living room so I can put my feet up.  James likes to eat upstairs and watch his own TV. He came down, handed his plate to his dad and said, "Hey dad, do me a solid and get me more pizza." Dad waited for the please but more pizza was given.

Boy do I love this kid!!! And by the way, homework is getting better!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Apparently, He Quit School Today!

I picked up my little man this afternoon and he announced that he quit school today.  Hmmm... what could have caused that drastic decision?  His teacher confirmed it in his daily email.  Yup, James is done with school, at least in his mind.  While I was trying to get information from him about why he quit, a lot of reasons came out but one in particular.  "Well mom, I can't go to school because I will be singing." James is adamant about joining the school chorus that is allowing 3rd graders in this year.  "James, if you don't go to school, you can't be in the school chorus." "Okay, I quit because I have homework." "James, if you don't go to school I will have to teach you at home and all of the work will be homework." Never did get anywhere on this conversation and homework was the usual horrible experience.  I did receive a very funny email from James' teacher relaying a very JAMES conversation.    I was a little later picking him up so his teacher stayed with him until he saw the van and this what said to his teacher as he walked away,  “Well, I guess this is the last time I’ll see you.” When asked why, he responded, “Remember, I told you, I quit school today.”  Hope I am able to drop him off tomorrow!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Who is This Kid Anyway??

James often surprises me.  He does something or says something that I would never have expected.  This evening was one of those moments.  We were sitting downstairs and he was busy petting the cat. Without looking at me he said, "Mom, I have two things to discuss with you.  First, you disappeared and I had to run after you.  And second, I was cold." May sound cryptic unless you have the back story.
This morning, I pulled up to James school as usual and he got out.  Before shutting the door and heading to class, he said bye.  I pulled out of the driveway but for some reason pulled to the side of the road to quickly email his teacher.  I was about to pull away and I looked towards the school and there was James, at the curb.  I quickly got over to him and he was requesting a sweater because it was a little cool.  I told him that I didn't have a sweater and it would be very warm today.  He seemed okay with the conversation because he headed back to class and had a good day.  I guess I need to find a sweater for him for tomorrow.  Hard to imagine the need for one when it is going to be 90 degrees!
Wearing one of his sisters sweaters many
years ago.  OMG those curls!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Back Where it all Began!!

Today, we were looking through boxes.  It seems like we are always looking through boxes! Anyway, today our goal was to look through toy boxes to find materials for Charlotte's physics assignment.  She and her partner need to make an accurate water clock using materials from around the house.  Charlotte's partner hit the jackpot because literally we have everything..... if we can find the right box!  We found lots of great things for the physics and then something small caught my eye.  A sweet, tiny, blue baby cap that James wore in the hospital!  I grabbed it and wouldn't let it go back in a box.  But it made me remember the amazing feeling I had when I got to hold that amazing little man for the first time!

So today I choose to find my bliss in remembrance.  Here are pictures from his first month or so.... the first one is in the hospital and he has wriggled out of the hat.  Enjoy, I know I do when I have time to look back!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

He Loves Me Anyway!!!

Yesterday was not one of my best days with my little man!  >here< Actually it started on Thursday afternoon >here< which was the beginning of my sour mood.  I am a very positive and happy person, but yesterday and Thursday were way too much for me!  My "angel child" at school (yes, he has had two perfect weeks at school one of which he didn't have an aide!) somehow turns into "devil child" as soon as homework is mentioned or he is asked to put down his DS and get out of the car and go to school.  I don't know why it happens but it does and I am left with a child who is vehemently opposed to being.............. well, civil.   I was so upset yesterday morning that I decided to go and see a movie before picking the kids up at school.
I chose Hope Springs because it was dubbed as a romantic comedy and I love Meryl Streep.  Of the 100 minutes of the movie, truly the first 197 minutes were depressing and the last 3 were "feel good".  There were very brief moments of comedy but I was really looking for something that had a much more upbeat feel.  Anyway, the afternoon and evening went pretty well as James didn't have any homework and Charlotte and I got caught up on or DVRed shows from the past week (GRIMM, ALPHAS, Master Chef, Perception).  Supper was simple and no one pushed anyone's buttons.
Score one for the Home Team!!!!
James slept through the night last night and just a few minutes ago, woke up and greeted me with his usual "Good Morning Mom!" and happy smile.  Gonna be a good day for sure!  James wanted to go on the computer which is a typical way to welcome in the weekend.  I told him that we had to talk about yesterday morning first.  "Okay mom, what happened yesterday morning?" "Well, you were very angry at me when you got out of the car at school and you told me that you hated me and I was a horrible mom.  Sometimes words can really hurt people." "Yeahbut mom, no matter what I say to you, I always love you!"


Friday, August 24, 2012

WOW!!! Over 10,000 Page Views! AWESOME!!

Wow!  I have had over 10,000 page views from my blog followers!  Thank you so much for helping me feel better about the day.  I was grumbling to my husband after a horrible drop off with James that was punctuated by him screaming, "I HATE YOU MOM!!" as he slammed the car door this morning.  Nice way to start the day!  So I pulled over and quickly emailed his teacher to give him a heads up of the mood that was coming into his classroom.  I got an email back saying that James seemed a little flustered as he entered the room but re-organized very quickly and was having a great day!  Okay....  I get it... James loves me so much he is comfortable dragging me through the mud.  I have just over 4 hours to pull myself together and get in a better mood before I pick him up and present him with one of his favorite foods as a reward for another amazing week at school!  Home has been, not so amazing but...
French Fries are on the way buddy!! Glad
you had a great week at school!!
Today, I choose to find my bliss knowing that James has the ability to be wonderful for 6 consecutive hours at school.  That is Awesome!!! I also choose to forget that as his favorite mum, I am a dumping ground for anxiety and anger.  Maybe next week we can work on having a great week at school and matching it at home.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


There is some debate over which sadistic scientist or ancient teacher first came up with the idea of homework.  At this point I really don't care who it was but, they are seriously on my LIST! I get it.  There isn't enough time in the day for kids to learn and practice skills they will need as adults in school.  I get that the teachers who have our kids for 6 hours a day want us to truly understand what they have to go through day in and day out with our children.  I get that our country is no longer #1 in education and the competitor in us drives us to push.  I get, I get, I get...................... It is only day 9 of the new school year and I am already exhausted!  Do I sound a little bitter?  What I am bitter about is with homework I get Angry Negotiating James (I am never gonna do it unless......... (you can fill in the blank with whatever unrealistic, ridiculous thought you can think of)) , Screaming James, Stomping James, the James who I told my husband just today, I could handle as long as the sweet personality James and exceptional student James was still attending the third grade.  I LIED!!!!!!!!!!!! I want my sweet James back.  Anyone seen him outside of room 10?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Only Black and White.... That is James' World... and it can be CONFUSING!!!

I love those sweet chubby cheeks!!
Those of us who are familiar with Autism are aware that black and white thinking is a huge part of who they are.  James is very strict with how things are done.  If his teacher teaches one way, I had better be privy to his methods.  If I tell him something, his dad had better say the same thing in the same way I did or James' world will fall apart.
He is also exceptionally literal and morally driven!  Last year he got in trouble in school for picking up a pencil for a friend during a testing situation.  His teacher had told the kids they were not allowed to get out of their seats.  James overrode that rule with his understanding of what it means to be a friend.  He was helping out this other child and that is never wrong, right?  He remembers this to this day and is still confused by it.
I even love them in black and
Last night, when I put him to bed, I told him that I didn't want him to get out of bed in the hour of 5 again like the morning before.  He said "okay" and drifted off to sleep.  This morning I was on the computer checking my email around 5:45.  I started to hear things happening down the hall but didn't think much about it because today is one of Charlotte's' early days.  Anyway, I started to hear two voices and giggling.  I looked up and saw my little man peeking around the corner.  I said good morning and he giggled.  "Mom, I am up in the hour of 5!" "Yes, you are, but at least it is close to 6 and not close to 4 like yesterday." "Can I be up?" "Sure little man, good morning."  I LOVE early morning giggling huggers!!!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's All in the Definition...

So today, the three older members of our family were finishing up the movie that we had started last night.  As I have said before, our house is very open concept. The living room is two stories tall and opens up to the loft. James was upstairs in the loft on the computer playing games, so we decided we could finish.  We were watching the Hunger Games and in the arena scene.  James looked over the loft and told us to turn it off because it was too violent.  I asked him what he was playing on the computer, and he said " I don't know something called 'One Man Doom' or something like that."  It turns out that this was some kind of the Ninjago game. But it's all in the definition.  To him our movie was way too violent, his wasn't because he knows that it's fantasy. The movie has real people, and so that must be real. Reality and fantasy something that we are still trying to help him with.  Just another fun morning in our house. I hope everyone has a wonderful day.
We are heading back into the second week of school tomorrow we hope it is another smashing one!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I'm Soooooo Itchy!

Today on the way to school James begged me not to take him to "that place." "Why not buddy?" "Because I get so itchy!" "What do you mean?" "Well, when I got to recess and lunch and I run, I get itchy." "Where do you get itchy?" "I just told you, on the playground!" "I mean, what part of your body?" "All over mom and it is horrible!" "Well James, when you run, you sweat.  The sweat is made up of water and other things such as salt." "NOOOOOOOO, I don't want salt on my body!!"
Poor guy, even the fun times of his day are difficult!
We pass the salt evaporation ponds frequently.  Did you know that most of your table salt comes from the Pacific
Ocean?  The evaporation ponds are located in the San Francisco Bay.  Next time you sprinkle salt on you food,
think of poor James and his itchy skin because of salt being an ingredient in his sweat.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Are You Smarter Than a Third Grader?

Homework.  In the third grade this year, homework started on the first day.  No easing in.  No lets see how things go.  No break for the exhausted parents from the long summer.  Homework...
Not only homework, but homework done exactly the same way, with the same words the teacher said at school when the homework was being assigned.  I can't just look at the assignment and make an assumption of how to do it.  NOOOOOOO, I need to channel the teacher in mannerisms and abilities to get James to even contemplate completing the assignments.  James told me today when I tried to help him that I know nothing about the third grade.  You think I was counting down the days until summer was over and James would go back to school?  Now I am counting down until I can just be mom and not the homework troll. BTW... that would be 177 days until summer vacation not counting weekends, holidays and vacations!
Oh, and as a side note, James inadvertently forgot (RIGHT!!) to bring home his folder with the Rowley math to be done as part of homework tonight.  His response was, "Well, I guess I don't have to do it then." Good thing we are going to open house tonight and we can get the folder.  Guess what the little man is doing after open house.  Could be a looooooong night.
Summer is over little man and it is time to face the music!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Who is Behind the Blog Anyway?

It is about time that I introduce myself.  I tend to like to hide behind my family because they are way cuter than I am.  I hate to have my picture taken!  Let me say that again, I HATE TO HAVE MY PICTURE TAKEN!! I love being behind the scenes.  I am what you might call a control freak.  I am a professional perfectionist.  I have a masters degree in Young Children with Special Needs ages 3-7 (from a college in Massachusetts).  I adore babies, toddlers, kids in general.  I am scared of teens but love my daughter so much that I squelch that fear as much as I can.
I am all for marriage for everyone not just traditional couples.  My husband and I have been married for almost 18 years after being pen pals for 2 years.  We knew everything but nothing about the other person when we got married.  It has been quite a journey!  We have two wonderful kids, 4 cats, 1 beta, 3 guppies and one aquatic frog.
I adore Broadway!  Not just sweet Broadway, but controversial Broadway.  My favorite Broadway date is my daughter.  We saw Avenue Q together last spring and will see Spring Awakening in September.  I am a singer and so is she so we have a great time together.  She is a soprano and I am an alto so I generally have to do the guy's part but I am not complaining.  Not sure what I will do when she goes to college in a couple years.
I have a chronic autoimmune inflammatory condition that has kept me on medical disability for over a year.  I go to doctor's appointments all the time and still have no answers.  I have been on a steroid for over a year that has given me cataracts and put almost 100 pounds on my already super-sized body.  It is hard to be invisible when you weigh as much as I do. I have had one cataract surgery and will likely have the other eye done soon. (I am seeing the doctor today because I think I have pink eye!  YIKES, not what you want when you have just had eye surgery!!)
Me with baby Charlotte
Me with toddler James
I have a few favorite pictures that I generally pull out when people want to know what I look like.  This is how I see myself.  My kids and my husband are used to the way I look so I don't mind being myself with them.  My family, the one I grew up in, doesn't get to see me everyday, so I don't know how they see me.  I hope they see me through the eyes of unconditional love.  People who don't know what I look like and only know me from my blog or writing likely have a preconceived vision of what I look like.  I know I do it even though I try not to.
I feel guilty that my kids will not have lots of pictures to remember me by when they are away at college or when when I am no longer around.  James is so visual that pictures will be important.  I don't have pictures of me doing fun family things with the kids.  I do hate having pictures taken.  My kids are way more photogenic!! This is probably the last picture taken of me with my husband and James during his Halloween parade last year.  And so I am no longer invisible.  My secret identity has been reveled. I am a wife, mom of two, master's level college graduate, severely morbidly obese, professional protectionist  control freak who loves to laugh.  Nice to meet you!!
We fight for acceptance for our kids with Autism
I ask nothing less for myself.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Zombies, Anxiety and First Day of School, OH MY!!

Well, we finally did it!  We made it through the summer and have arrived at the first day of school!!  Charlotte had set her alarm for 5:45AM to make sure she would be ready for her 7AM class.  At 5:37, my husband somehow turned the alarm for the car on and woke up the sleeping beauty.  'Twas not pretty because said princess is NOTTTTTTT a morning person!  James slept though that fiasco.  He woke up around 6:10 and the first thing he said was "Phew, woke up just in time and missed that nightmare!" "Ah, a little more information, please." "Well, the zombies were coming after me and the game said that in order to survive you need to bake a cake and feed the zombies." (As a nice little back story, anyone who knows me well knows that I LOVE the show Castle.  My favorite episode from last season was the zombie one.)
James hasn't seen this episode because Castle is a little too much for him, but he knows that bullets won't stop them, just cake!!
Anyway, made it through the zombie time of the morning and got in the car to go to school.  Welcome ANXIETY.  The most unwelcome visitor (more than zombies because nothing seems to stop it).  The whole way to school we got a string of "What Ifs" and "Yeahbuts".  Got to the line, and there came the face... This is the face of sheer dread and anxiety.  Little man has such a hard time with anything new.  When we met with the teacher last Wednesday, James was personality plus! Charming and smiley.  Not today.  Talk about the walking dead!  Maybe the zombies did get him even though he was sure he got the cake to them in time.  Poor guy, my heart goes out to him.
We got into the classroom and he pleaded with me to stay.  I pointed out that his aide was there but when this type of anxiety takes over, apparently only Mom has the cure.  I hope his day goes well!  We will find out at 1:15, as it is an early release day.

Happy first day of school to everyone!

***Update (12:00 noon) Just got back from giving James his medication and he LOVES his teacher, LOVES the classroom and there is a boy who has a comet on his head and he is the coolest kid ever!  So a very special thank you to James' third grade teacher for being wonderful and setting up a great class.  And a big shout out to "I don't know his name mom, but he is the coolest kid" random student for having a comet on your head.  It certainly made James's first day of third grade super special!!***

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wishing on a Star

The big news lately been about the Mars rover (and it's findings) >here< and the meteor showers >here< that started last night . Okay that may be great space news but in our little corner of the universe the big news is ~ school starts tomorrow!!  Letter to teacher (done), high school registration (done), pay for school supplies (done), permission to dispense medication at school form signed by doctor (done), new shoes bought (done), everything I haven't thought about that needs to get done (DONE)!  Last thing to do on my list happens tomorrow morning, get the kids up at an awful time stuff them into the car and open the door at their respective depositories.  Glad my husband is home so he can help with the little one!
Just a little something to make you giddy and giggle like a girl (in case school isn't starting for you tomorrow), yesterday James was drinking lemonade (no surprise there). At one point, when my husband was pouring more into his cup, James started to screech (in a happy way).  "Mom, look... there is an iceberg in my cup!" 
So today, on the last day of summer, I choose to find my bliss knowing that I am likely the only one in the house who is happy that tomorrow is 8/13.  I also choose to find happiness that James has a unique way of looking at the world and the result is often wonderful!!
If I think hard enough, maybe I can figure out how to make it 6/2 again!! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sometimes my Friend James Makes me HAPPY/ Sometimes my Friend James Makes me SAD

In my never ending attempt to create a good environment for James at school, this year in addition to the every popular teachers letters >here< and >here<, I am also tackling the kids in his class.  Last year we took a, "Let's wait and see how it goes without anyone being told about his Autism" approach.  We let the cat out of the bag on the last day of school >here<.  Needless to say, this year we are approaching it from a different angle to empower the kids to know how to be friends with a child with Autism. 
I found this nice write up on the Autism Speaks website (I know that there is a lot of controversy around this site but there is a lot of great information there too!)

How To Be a Friend to Someone With Autism 
> Take the Initiative to Include Him or Her - Your friend may desperately
want to be included and may not know how to ask.  Be specific about what
you want him to do.
> Find Common Interests - It will be much easier to talk about or share
something you both like to do (movies, sports, music, books, TV shows, etc.).
> Be Persistent and Patient - Remember that your friend with autism may take
more time to respond than other people.  It doesn’t necessarily mean he or
she isn’t interested.
> Communicate Clearly - Speak at a reasonable speed and volume.  It might
be helpful to use short sentences.  Use gestures, pictures, and facial
expressions to help communicate.  Speak literally – do not use confusing
figures of speech (He may truthfully tell you, “the sky” if you ask “What’s up?”)
> Stand Up For Him or Her - If you see someone teasing or bullying a friend
with autism, take a stand and tell the person that it’s not cool.
> Remember Sensory Sensitivity - Your friend may be very uncomfortable in
certain situations or places (crowds, noisy areas, etc.).  Ask if he or she is
OK.  Sometimes your friend may need a break.
> Give Feedback - If your friend with autism is doing something inappropriate,
it’s OK to tell him nicely.  Just be sure to also tell him what the right thing to
do is because he may not know.
> Don’t Be Afraid - Your friend is just a kid like you who needs a little help.
Accept his or her differences and respect strengths just as you would for any
Adapted, Peter Faustino
Here are some of my additions...
Sometimes my Friend James Makes me HAPPY
I like James and sometimes he makes me happy 
because of something he says or does.  
Let me tell you about what makes me happy.

Sometimes my Friend James Makes me SAD
I like James and sometimes he makes me sad 
because of something he says or does.  
What should I do when he makes me sad?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

More Prep for Third Grade

Our intention as parents is to prepare and not scare the teachers of our children.  James has scary moments when his passion takes over.  Passion is his emotion for defiance!  In his own way it is a way of handling anxiety.  Here is my additional write up for the teacher to get a clearer understanding of who James is.

When “Angry, Defiant” James takes over…
James wears his emotions on his sleeve.  He can go from happy to really upset and angry in less than a heartbeat.  When the angry James appears, there are a few things you can do to help him through this.

Ø  Remain calm and do not verbally engage him; don’t listen to his rants and angry words.  He will be pulling out all of his strongest words to try to get you to engage. 
Ø  Don’t try to negotiate with him when he is angry as he can’t hear you or process anything when he is this upset  
Ø  Remind him that he can take a break to calm down.  He still needs to comply with your request when he is calm again.
Ø  James is an “all or nothing” kid.  He feels that if he has a few difficult moments during the day, the entire day is horrible.  The classroom behavior color chart is a good reminder for James about how his day is going.  However, if he ends up on red before the second bell rings at the beginning of the day, the rest of the day will likely be awful as well.  It helps for James to work in shorter behavior increments.  The “behavior clock” can get reset every 30 minutes or hour to give James chances to redeem himself. 
Ø  After James recovers he will likely spend time talking about how upset his family will be with him and they will not like him (he will use stronger words).  Just remind him that everyone has hard times and now he is making good choices.  Try not to engage in his “pity party”.  Just simply state, “James, your family loves you” and leave it at that. 
Ø  James will stomp his foot or pound on the desk when he is upset.  You will have to decide if this behavior will be acceptable in your classroom.  (For me, this is a huge improvement from kindergarten and first grade where chairs were thrown when he was upset!)  This behavior can have more than one benefit.  First, it punctuates his anger and helps him recover quicker.  Second, the jarring effect of banging or stomping helps to regulate his sensory system.  (you can have him jump if you don’t like the stomping feet) And finally, this is far better than some choice words that could come out.
Ø  Follow through on both natural and classroom consequences.  If he has to finish work at recess or take home to do with homework he will learn very quickly that it isn’t worth losing his free time. 
Ø  When “in control James” returns, it is best to get a case of selective amnesia.  For your records you can keep a log of his behaviors, but as far as James is concerned the incident is over and he has a fresh start to make good choices.
Ø  For James’ privacy, it may be better for him to leave the room if he is really upset.  He doesn’t need spectators and some of the kids in the class may get upset.  (I added the contact information here for his Autism program and the school psychologist)

I am a no nonsense mom and I don't sugar coat things.  James is amazing and he is also difficult.  It is what makes him uniquely him!! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Lot of Learning has to Happen in the Next Week!

There has been a lot about school starting on most of my frequented blogs.  For us, here in our little corner of Cali, school starts on August 13th!  That is very soon (8 days if you include today but it is almost supper so the day is essentially gone)!  I have spent the summer preparing James for the school year ahead - teaching him how to work independently and without fighting every step of the way.  One thing I haven't been able to get him comfortable with is dressing for the day before the day is over.  He has become very comfy in his vacation uniform.
August 13th, at 6:20AM, is gonna hit the little man like a brick!  Anyone out there dress their kids in their day clothes the night before?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

My Version of a Letter to the Teacher

There have been a lot of post lately about letter to teachers now that school will be starting soon.  (9 more days, I think I can, I think I can, I hope I can make it!!)  I created a small booklet called, Surviving the Thriving in the Experience... Teaching James and Loving it... A Practical Guide.  In it, there is a snapshot of James and then some words of wisdom from the previous years teacher to the new teacher.  Here is the snapshot...

Snapshot of James…
James thrives on structure and schedules.  He likes to know when things are happening and if there is a change in the schedule, he likes to be warned so he can process the information before it happens.
He is very intelligent but doesn’t like the actual learning and doing aspect of school or homework at home.  He likes games that are played even if it means that he is learning while he is playing.  His favorite thing to do at school is to use the “clickers” as it replicates his video games at home. 

James is very social.  He thrives on connecting with those who are important to him in the classroom.   If he doesn’t feel like he has had enough talking time he will often disrupt the learning of others to get what he needs.  IT is all about him!!

He is very black and white as a thinker.  He needs reminders that there are other answers that could be correct and he requires visual verification to make it a reality for him.  This is one of the most difficult things for him because it really limits his ability to be a creative thinker. 

He tends to follow the “fight or flight” way of dealing with things he doesn’t want to do.  Usually he will attempt to leave the environment of refuse to do the activity.  He will generally come back and finish the activity after a break but not always. 

James is generally distracted by activity in the classroom and may not finish work in the time allowed.  He gets caught up in conversations that are not relevant to him or what others are doing even if they are across the room.  If he is in the middle of doing something, he may not be able to get back to it and finish or he may forget what he was asked to do.  He is very visual so some kind of visual reminder is often very helpful.

James LOVES to argue.  He can get very loud and passionate about his position.  He loves the challenge of seeing if he can frustrate the other person and he will just win.  Standing your ground, taking yourself out of the equation and keeping calm is the best way to temper the temper. If the schedule says it is time to write, point to the schedule.  He may stomp his foot or bang the table before he complies, (it is much better than what he used to do... throwing chairs across the room!)

James is all about choices!  Sometimes just giving him a choice between two pages can solve the problem of him not wanting to do whatever he's being asked to do. Sometimes when he's being more difficult, it may be a choice between doing the work in class, during recess, and taking it home to complete with his homework. This final option would be his least favorite because of all the fun things that he has at home to do after homework is finished.

I love James, he is my son, but the little man is LAZY!  If he can get someone else to do things for him, he will.  Naturally, I think we all have this tendency but James can take it to the extreme! 

James says almost everything he is thinking.  He doesn’t think before he talks and so may say something that is hurtful or inappropriate without meaning to vocalize it.  He can be reminded to not say “red words”.  “Red words” are words that hurt others or James.  He can also be reminded to use nice words.  If reminders are given, he is fully capable of not getting in verbal trouble with friends or teachers.   He can also get fixated on words and repeat them over and over again.   If he is allowed to continue it may never end but if he is told that he can say the word 1 more time, and follow through happens, he will stop.

Finally, just when you think you have figured James out, he changes things up.  The challenge is to treat him like any other kid in your class and enjoy the ride.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Not for the Squeamish!! We're Talking About Poop!!

Anyone who lives in the ASD world is very used to poop conversations.  We talk about it a lot because so many of our kids have issues with it.  We are very lucky in our house that James is regular and has very little difficulty with tummy and poop related problems.  Except for one.  Being a very sensory kid, the whole cleaning issue comes up very frequently.  At 8 and 1/2 he is fully capable of cleaning himself independently.  He has done it before he just doesn't like to because it is gross.  I guess he doesn't remember the amazing diapers his dad and I changed the first 4 years of his life!  Not high on my list either but it is a necessary skill for independent toileting.
Tonight, as I was making supper, I heard James scream from the hall bathroom upstairs for me to call his daddy.  I knew why, daddy is the official potty guy.  I told him that daddy was two hours away and I was making supper.  I walked him through it again.  I got wipe updates yelled down to me, "still some poop" "not as much but still some."  All the way until, "I am finally done!" "Good job buddy!  Please flush and wash your hands." "What do I do about the poop that is on the floor?" "Just leave it and I will clean it up later." "Don't forget to dry your hands after you wash them." "Can't, because I used the towel on the pee that got on the floor!"
need to paint a bulls eye inside all of my toilets because that little man still can't aim!   Just another day in my crazy house.  Daddy is home all next week and I have already told him that he isn't leaving the house at all next week without James.  What a looooooong summer it has been!  9 more days and then school begins again!!
Good thing this kid is loved as much as he is!! Boy do I love this picture!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Post number 100

I can't believe, that 99 posts have already come and gone!  Today is a treat, I finally got my Dragon NaturallySpeaking program for the computer. This blog was done without touching the keyboard. James says " it works awesome!" It will take some doing to figure out all of the nuances but I am hopeful that this will help me in my endeavors to continue to bring fascinating blogs to everybody on Laughter, Could be the Missing Piece!
I hope that in the blogs to come there will be a sense of peace and bliss to those who read it. Autism, and all that it brings into the family, certainly brings challenges to our lives. Using the Dragon NaturallySpeaking program, instead of thinking and typing at the same time, is certainly going to be a new challenge and take some getting used to! I guess, when I type, it activates my brain.
Here's to another hundred bliss filled blogs.  I have a confession to make, as I've been dictating, I have been correcting the dictation.  As punctuation is not my forte, I can't guarantee that any of it is right.  Both of my editors are not at home so today it is just a punctuation party!  I hope everybody hasa wonderful night with your family and tomorrow brings more reasons for being happy and blissful!
"Hey James. Do you want to say hi?"
"Hi my name is James.  So are you happy?  Do you like pizza?  it's fun I'm going to sing.  I'll sing a right song right now will fly I wired a rare doughboy idea Gary will be my wife. I was a bull frog."

As you can tell this is going to take some work as the program is calibrated to my voice.  James had a great time doing this!  By the way, the cute little face scrunch towards the middle of the video, was because after he said period, it actually appeared!  Have a wonderful day!!  I am off to go play some more with my toy. Catch you on the flip side of the night.