Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pickles Anyone!!

We all know that idioms are very difficult for our kids on the spectrum.  They live in such a black and white world, how can it rain cats and dogs or how can someone die laughing?  James has spent a loooooong time working on this particular linguistic conundrum.  I judge his success by when he first uses the idiom seamlessly in his language.  It happened tonight during math.  The problem was  $17.98 X 8
He kept getting the wrong answer and try as he often as he did, he just couldn't figure this one out.  He kept at it and eventually, rubbed his head, took a deep breath, and stated, "This problem has me in a pickle!"  He eventually figured out what he did and math was finally over.  Just thought I would share before I go to bed.  Good night all!!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Good Feeling's Gone

I love shopping with just my husband!  Not that I don't love my kids but it is SOOOO much easier to get what I want when I don't have to worry about where James is!  Brian and I had such a wonderful time and we were super productive and I was beaming with the good feelings of being successful.  Just keep shopping, Just keep shopping, Just keep shopping, shopping, shopping.  We're going home with food, Yeah!  We're going home with food, Yeah!  Turned the corner and BAM!  Good Feeling's gone!  We were faced with the almost full moon that on 10/29 will turn James into the kid from, well, you know what I am talking about!!!!  Catch me on Monday, I will be the mom under the table clutching the magic weapon of pizza and chicken that I can throw at the beast until 10/30 finally arrives.  Scared of my kid, ah, maybe just a little, especially on those full moon afternoons and evenings.  Oh yea, and the frosting on this horrific cake is on Monday I am in charge of all of James's homework!  I may not make it to 10/30: it all depends on him ~ the One Who Must Not Be Named!

Friday, October 26, 2012

15 Words That is All It Took!!!

We have been having a lot of difficulty with spelling lately. James has either taken the wrong spelling test or he has misunderstood the word and his test scores have shown that. So we are always working very hard on spelling and this week I knew for sure he could get 100%. I e-mailed his teacher after I knew that he had taken the spelling test to see how he had done. His teacher told me that James had gotten 14 out of 14 which was odd because there are 15 spelling words. His teacher indicated that James had forgotten a word, that he would figure out which one, and ask him later.  When James got in the car after school I asked him about his spelling. James was very excited to tell me that he had gotten 100% and the word that he'd forgotten, "grassy," he had later spelled correctly.
James rattled on about his day, and how excited he had been to get the 100% on his spelling. I decided at that moment to put a reward system in place. I told him for every 100% he gets on his spelling we would be able to go to his favorite restaurant to get lunch. As I looked in the mirror at him I could see how excited he was. He wanted to know if EVERY time he got 100% he would be able to get his favorite lunch. I very quickly put a cap on it. I told him it needed to be 100% on the FRIDAY test at school. James has consistently been getting 100% on the spelling tests at home, so he thought that EVERY day he would be able to go to his favorite restaurant for lunch. THAT finally taken care of, I again looked back in the rearview mirror, and James had his hands locked behind his head, and he sighed and said "Ah, those were good times."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sometime People are just RAELLY Horrible Spellers

get it and without spell check I would probably be considered a bad speller.  I may be better than some but worse than others.  James just got his report card, and it is peppered appropriately with 3's ( grade level) a few 4's (above grade level~in Math) and one 2 (below grade level in~SPELLING).   I have tried to get him modifications for Spelling but the day he was observed, the little stinker got 100% so no modifications were recommended.
I was reading some of my favorite blogs this morning and saw one from Homestyle Mama (with a side of Autism) >>click here<<.  She is fighting with a much bigger problem than the tiddly spelling problem I am having.  But is sparked the desire in me to think about this again.  Do I fight for James to get the modifications he seems to need to do as well with spelling at school as he is doing at home?  Do I just let this one go and rejoiced that he is still on the baby honor roll with a 2 in spelling?  I think this one needs to simmer a little more.  I will see how he does on his test this Friday and then make the decision to put back on the gloves or not.

Friday, October 19, 2012

See, Grammar is Super Important!

James isn't a good eater at school.  And by that I really mean, HE DOESN'T EAT AT SCHOOL!!  I don't know how he keeps his energy up and focuses but he does.  We absolutely make sure he has a hearty breakfast every morning.  This morning he was very bouncy and excited and not very interested in food but finally started to eat.  I pulled a Jamesism on him and said, "hey James, do mom a solid and eat lunch today okay?" His response was, "mom, I AM eating." "Ah buddy, this is breakfast." "Okay I WILL eat then."
Okay, our tax dollars are really working hard in the public schools.  Verb tenses ROCK!!!!
Just in case you wanted to brush up on them, here you go...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

MOM!!! What are You doing in the CAR!!!!

It has been long enough since my surgery to voyage out to collect my kids from school.  The swelling on my eyelids is down and my eyes are opening up.  I felt confident enough for my husband to go to work after dropping the kids at school this morning.  I felt confident all morning even making a trip to Jamesie's school to drop off some paperwork.  I felt confident as I got into the car to go and get the kids.  As I drove, I felt less confident.  I couldn't tell movement in the shadows and it scared me.  I got to James's school fine and the first thing he shouted at me as he crossed the grass was, "Mom, you are supposed to be at home because you are BLIND!!"  Awesome confidence booster little man!! I got the kids home safely if you wanted to know!! Back to the ice mask!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Paging Dr. James

The past two days have been difficult for me medically.  On Monday, I had a repeat nerve biopsy because the first one that was done a week ago didn't have any nerve in the sample.  The one I had on Monday has left most of the top of my left foot without any feeling so I know we got the nerve this time.  Best part of the biopsy was when the surgeon took a step back and said, "Mrs. K... I don't find any nerve where I have made the incision."  I was devastated because I was done.  This was the last time I was doing this and it was going to be a failure.  As he started to close the incision, I let out a loud "OW!" "Found it!!" Glad to have that surgery out of the way!  Don't like the recovery  because instead of hurting, it burns like crazy!!!!!!
Yesterday, I had my much awaited eyelid lift surgery.  I had cataract surgery a few months ago on my right eye but haven't been able to see out of the eye because the lid on that eye is almost closed.  I was born with a droopy lid, but over the years it has gotten progressively worse.  In order to fix the the right lid, they also have to fix the left lid because once the brain gets the message that it doesn't have to work as hard to lift the droopy lid, it will stop working to keep the left one up.  I was awake for the surgery YUCK but made it through.  I was discharged a swollen mess full of stitches with a "beautiful" post boxing look (ah, I didn't win if you were wondering).  I was worried about what James would think when he saw me.  Brian caught him upstairs and gave him the rundown.  Mommy looks different, she is in pain, but okay.  when he saw me ~~~~ no reaction.  Good, mission accomplished   
Finishing homework last night he finally got a good look at me.  He stepped back and covered his mouth and gasped.  "OW Mom, what happened?" I told him.  He prescribed for me to stay in bed for 20 hours.  Sounds good to me. This morning he got up and I was already up and he said, "Mom, you were supposed to stay in bed for 20 hours and you are already up.  You said "OW" last night and when you say "OW" you need to stay in bed." Love my Doctor James!!!! 
I am ready for a day of icing my eyes and hopefully getting the swelling down and getting to see better.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

I Think He is Finally Is Starting to Understand!

Starting to understand difficult emotions
is tricky but he is making it happen in his way!
I was in a Johnny Depp mood yesterday (come on admit it... you have those days also!)  Score!!!! I found my favorite Johnny Depp movie of all times, What's Eating Gilbert Grape? on Netflix.  I settled in and started and then my daughter and husband came home so I had to start again, poor me!!
Anyway, back to the movie.  Great stuff, several similarities to our family, again, it is really great!  We made it to almost the end of the movie and James decided to join us for good.  He had been in and out for most of the movie but for some reason, this time he stayed.  He watched the mum labor to walk up the stairs, much like he has seen me do a thousand times, he watched her climb into bed and get comfy, just like he has seen me do every night.  He watched her sleep.  He watched her autistic son greet her in the morning with the exuberance James has when he greets me when I am still sleeping.  He watched the son try several times to rouse her without success.  He watched him cry.
Brian, Charlotte and I were all in tears and James just watched as they moved their personal belongings out of the house and lit it on fire to save their mum from the final humiliation of having to have the roof removed to get her out of the house with a crane.   James watched and finally said....."Mom, she died twice.  I will be so sad when you die one time." And then he was gone.  Back to the busy world he lives in.  I sat there for a moment and thought, He gets it.  He is starting to understand the fragility of life as he crashes through it.  
One day, he will face mortality and the finality of a dear one, and even though he may experience it differently than we would expect, he will still experience it.  And that is a good thing because it is typical and that is always our hope, that he will be typical.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

So Sorry in Advance!! Couldn't Help Myself

This little man had no language at all~ Our fondest
dream was for him to talk.  Wish granted!!
So it is Saturday and I was happily dozing on the couch listening to the Il Divo Pandora station on the TV.  James was quietly playing his 3DS on the chair across the room.  All of a sudden James screamed, "MOM, you can't have any erections!!!!"  I jolted awake from my peaceful place where I was listening to Sarah Brightman sing something from the Phantom.  "What James?" "Mom, you can't have any erections!!" Okay, I know my little man is only 8 and basic biology, not to mention human sexuality, is not part of his world yet so I didn't go down that road.  "What James?" "ERECTIONS.... ERUPTIONS MOM!"  Oh INTERRUPTIONS!! Got it. We have had many wifi issues during the past few days and his 3DS is still picking up interference I guess.  Oh the stuff this kid says!  Love him and will miss these little nuances as we help him with his language.

Guest Blogger!! James --- Don't Run!!!!!!

From Sarah's husband:

Meals in our house have settled into a sadly simple routine of late. Sarah had foot surgery recently and has to keep the limb elevated, so no more family meals around the table. Instead we have gone to Plan B, eating in the living room in front of the TV. TV meals used to mean watching one of James's favorites, "Phineas and Ferb," maybe, or a G-rated movie.
But lately his tastes have moved on to cartoons of less universal appeal, while the rest of us prefer more sophisticated fare. So the older family members eat in the living room with their thriller, or Food or Gameshow Network program, and James is up in his room with Pokemon, Spongebob or Ninjago. 
His limited tastes make planning his meal easy. Cook or reheat a pizza, microwave some chicken strips or corndogs, bake up some orange chicken -- those are the majors, with lemonade to wash it down and maybe some fruit if we can sneak it in. We used to mix lemonade by the half gallon and pour it into a straw-cup for him -- now we just combine small water bottles with single serving pouches of mix.

Lately I've prepared his meals before everyone else's to be ready for him when he comes down famished and demanding food RIGHT NOW. When he appears I just load him up with the booty, and dismiss him with it to his room. And off he'll go with his platter in his hands and his lemonade bottle stuffed in the pocket of his shorts. 
This morning I guess the bottle was a bit too heavy or the pants a bit too loose. "My pants are coming down!" he wailed. "Better walk fast, then," was my unsympathetic response. Exit James, chugging rapidly through the family room past Mommy's chair. "No running, James!" she admonished.
James's response: "I'm not running, Mom! I'm power walking!"
I want to give a big shout out to my loving husband for taking this one on today and living with the knowledge that this isn't over yet.  Unfortunately, I need to redo the surgery on Monday and then have another surgery scheduled on Tuesday so the Dynamic Daddy may need to fill in more than he wants as far as cooking etc... 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Homework Heaven!!!!

It has been a while since I have blogged about homework and for once this one will be positive and not me rambling about the horrors of having to have James do the small amount of homework sent home daily.  I am so thankful for his amazing team that helped us come up with the solution!  James now goes to the resource room 3 afternoons a week to do homework.  I prepare the homework packets but that is all I need to do.  At home we practice the weekly spelling list on the computer do the reading and writing.  James doesn't like to do the writing but he did it tonight!!

James insisted that we record his reading tonight (I insisted on at least a shirt!)

I am sooooo proud of my little man!! Oral reading is sooooo difficult for him but he just plugs along! He has also seen the amazing reason for doing his homework at school.  That means limited homework at home!!  He is very happy with his new afternoon schedule too.
Today as he left school, he was told that he didn't need to go to the resource room after school tomorrow if he went straight home and did his homework there.  He thought for a minute and stated, "I think I will go to Mrs. **'s room tomorrow to do my work because then I won't have to do it at home!" 
What an amazing change in my little man!! I am so happy that my happy James is back because now as he goes upstairs when we get home, he isn't stomping, he is saying "Mom... I love you!!!"  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I Never Thought I Would Recycle a Post...... But I Really Got Nothing!!!

If you have a viable dragon egg in your purse (back pocket for guys)............ you must be an Autism parent!  Ever have nightmares about Bob Barker (now Drew Carey)?  Does your heart stop the second you hear, "Let's Make a....."? It doesn't matter if the rest of that sentence is cake, reservation, dress, or voodoo doll, we always seem to go immediately to the dreaded DEAL!! Kids with Autism are genetically programmed with the "Let's Make a Deal" gene.

When they are little, thankfully it doesn't take much to seal the deal.  "OHHHHH, if you sit quietly in the shopping cart prison while mommy shops for the one food you will eat, you can hold my  (sigh) expired, useless gym card!  DEAL??" (you always need to preface each deal with the exaggerated parental, "OHHHHH" so they know how "special" the deal is) As they get older the deals naturally get bigger.  The trick is not to dig yourself into a hole that you don't want to be in with an out of control child!

If you sit at the table for 1 minute during supper, then you can have chocolate pudding for dessert.  DEAL?? (Please sit at the table for 1 minute because without your nightly chocolate pudding the rest of the night will be HELL!!) 

If you pee in the potty (or at least the potted plant, potty and potted at least have the same root!) instead of  in the dog bowl (thanks Bacon and Juice Boxes for that gem!) then you can have 15 extra minutes of watching the 16 second commercial that you like to watch over and over! DEAL?? (Please pee in the potty because I need to see the Mayhem guy pretend to be a toddler 60 more times to make my day complete! (to be completely honest ~ this one is my absolute favorite!!  you either will laugh or cry)

If you get to school on the bus without opening the back emergency door and jumping out (yes, my son actually did this more than once!  He was a Houdini with 5 point harness bus seat belt) then you can have a day free of an emergency room visit!  DEAL?? (please stay in your seat, the emergency room is going to start charging me rent)

And so it continues, day in and day out. The daily task of "I'll see your extra bag of chips in my lunch and raise you a new freakishly expensive power ranger toy that comes with 99 tiny parts~ that will immediately be scattered to all corners of the house~ that will end up inside the cat~ that be thrown up by said cat~ that you will slip on~ that will make you fall~ that will mean that you can't fix some "nasty" thing for supper that you know I won't eat so you will order my favorite take out! It is a win-win (well for me)  DEAL??"  

So the next time you are faced with the need to "Let's Make a Deal" to get your child to... well do just about anything, and you see their chubby little hand outstretched to seal the deal............. RUN for the nearest exit and don't look back  They likely would have done it eventually without the Porsche anyway!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

BIG SHOUT OUT to the EAGLES Girls Volleyball Team!!!!!!

James started cardio kickboxing today after school and he had a great time until he determined that he wanted to just have the music on and have free dance.  Anyway, while he was having the class, the girls volleyball team from his school started filing in for their game.  James decided that he needed to stay to "help" them play.  Okay, I was willing to see how this would go so I stayed put.  James was as happy as a puppy in the park chasing after every ball that went out of bounds.
The girls on the Eagles team "adopted" him (I'm not sure they had much of a choice, he was very persuasive) and volleyed with him as they were able.  My little man was so happy I thought he was going to bust!  He got super excited as the time got closer for the game to start.  As the other team started filing in, James decided to go up to their coach and talk to her about their practice techniques.  In his black and white ways of seeing the world, he told her up front that the Eagles were going to win because THEY were practicing with balls!  The visitor coach quickly got out the balls to even the field.
I don't know what team won (I had to leave to get my daughter), but I do know that James had an amazing time and he has a future in sports broadcasting!!
"Did you see that mom? That ball landed like an asteroid!"
"Come on visitors, you need to get the ball!"
I think we still have some work to do on sportsmanship!! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Stutttering Emergency

Okay, I know that James has a stutter, but this was too cute not to share.  Apparently there was an incident at school that was completely accidental.  James was very concerned that his friend got hurt and he told his friend that if he needed to he would call 9991 to get help!  I think we still have come work to do on emergency preparedness.  We also need to know what is an emergency and what can be solved with a bandage and a high-five.