Saturday, December 26, 2015

Too Attached to Material Things is BAD, or is it?

I worry a lot about James and his attachment to material things instead of spending his time forging friendships around experiences that are not his obsessions.  He would much rather spend all of his awake hours at the computer playing Minecraft or playing on his tablet or Game Boy. Sometimes it is like pulling teeth to get him to come out of his sanctum to have supper with the family.  We do insist most nights a week but as soon as he is finished, hand goes up and he is asking to "please be excused." He is my little wannabe capitalist.  He LOVES stuff.  So much stuff, he can't keep track of it.  Every year, I pledge to limit how much comes in to the house during the holidays.
This year I decided to make memory pillows for both of the kids out of shirts that were my father-in-law's.  Their beloved Papa passed away on 9/18/15 and it hasn't been easy for them.  My daughter understands the finality of it but James, well, being so black and white, he has a different take on it.  The shirt I chose for him was worn by Papa for the first picture of him holding a very tiny James. It is completely faded from wear but still recognizable. When James got it on Christmas morning, he looked at it and then me and simply said, "I love it."  Praise indeed!  In the pocket of the shirt I had a card with the above picture on one side and on the other, I had written,


The brightness of this shirt may have faded, but Papa’s love for you never will. When you hold this pillow remember all of the wonderful time you two shared.
Christmas 2015

James got many other gifts for Christmas and he had a wonderful day.  We did the usual prompting on how to graciously receive a gift as there have been many mishaps in past years.  He did great and the day went off without one single sign of a tantrum!  This morning, the day after Christmas, James came into my room with the pillow in his arms.  He is such a sensitive soul and with a slight grin, asked me to kiss the pillow.  I did and he did and away he went with this the simplest gift made of faded, well loved material.  I guess sometimes material objects can be the best gift ever.

Happiest of Holidays, Merry Everything, Peace Everywhere, and to all, the joy of loved ones with us and gone before us, from the Laughter House. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

What is Your Definition of Responsibility?

James is in the 6th grade this year.  He is without an aide.  He made the high honor roll first term.  He has a very strong team.  We all know that the hidden team behind our kids are the heroes that often go unrewarded. As James succeeds, he gets public recognition for a job well done and those of us who are in the rafters negotiating the infinite strings get the satisfaction. He often doesn't know how much is being done around him to make it possible to do as well as he is doing in the mainstream.  The school that James is going to is a charter school and the motto is, "A personalized education where success is the ONLY option."  Every student gets the education they need to succeed.  What a beautiful thing!
Well, yesterday I was able to witness it again.  James was up for another award.  This time a character award for one of the school's pillars of character.  November's pillar was "Responsibility".  His teacher had let us know, and I was thrilled, because the last time I remember him getting a character award was in Kindergarten. All kids in Kindergarten get a character award. He finally got his in the last month of the year. He had finally stopped throwing chairs so I guess they felt he was ready.  Anyway... back to yesterday. When I think of responsibility, I think of the classic definition: "the state of fact of being responsible, answerable, or accountable for something within one's power, control or management." (Dictionary.com) When I think of James, I don't necessarily see those traits in the forefront of his actions. This is a kid who forgets to bring things home, doesn't write things down so they get forgotten when asked about, forgets to pass in work, ... As his mum, I could certainly go on.  He is an amazing kid but I'm the one at home worrying about the three missed assignments in Science and one in English.
His 6th grade teacher had the wisdom to see through all of the muck to find the glimmer of James that shines every day in her class.  She doesn't need him to be like all the other kids. Let's face it, he isn't, but that is why I searched for a school that allows the kids to get a "personalized education where success is the ONLY option."  James succeeded at being responsible to the best of his personal ability!  Here is what she had to say on the occasion, "and this last student, really, really, really wanted to get the responsibility award. He has been working hard every day. Sometimes I have to remind him a few times but he's improving and this is a day to day activity for James..."

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Fear vs FEAR!!!


We have all been in situations that make us uncomfortable.  That queasy feeling in our tummies is usually a good barometer for sensibility.  For me, one of my biggest fears is heights.   I can get the vertigo going in under one second.  It isn't pretty but it is a protection from putting myself in a position of danger. What do you do when your fear is SO BIG that it keeps you from doing new things?  Or having experiences that are new?

Yesterday was the second memorial for James' beloved Papa, my husband's father.  James loved him so much because he accepted James always.  No changes necessary, James was perfect in Papa's eyes.  They were best friends. Papa would do anything for and with James. Unconditional love for James is often difficult.  As his parents, we are constantly trying to tweak, mold and modify. It is the same with his teachers and therapists.  Papa just accepted and loved. There was never an angry word. He never raised his voice, only love and peace.  My father-in-law was a pharmacist in his professional career. When he retired he studied and became a Reiki Master.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this Eastern Healing technique, it is basically the transference of healing power from one to another.  >>here<<  He shared this healing with elders in the community, nurses at a well respected hospital and those in the hospice program through another hospital.  When visiting those in Hospice, he would often provide Reiki to the caregivers as well as the patients.  That was just who this man was.  Always giving and caring for others.  
Papa loved his grandchildren intensely!    He went to concerts, award ceremonies, graduations, birthday parties... He will be greatly missed!  On the last day we visited him before his passing, I shared the video of James playing Smoke on the Water.  >>HERE<<  Papa was so thrilled to see and hear this, so we told him the next time we visited, we would make sure to bring his guitar and James would play it for him.  Papa passed away 2 days before we were scheduled to see him again.  So James performed it at the first memorial service.  
Back to yesterday, second memorial service.  Tons of people James doesn't know, long drive, new environment, I'm sure you can see where this is going.  Simply playing a song on his electric guitar for Papa's memorial service made his fear debilitating and viscerally primal.    He withdrew, left the service with me in tow, and for the next 45 minutes negotiated the crap out of a simple 54 second experience to get the best deal possible.  Here is my blog on the constant Autism Negotiation that goes on in my house every day.  Don't worry, I'll wait. (Cue Jeopardy Music) >>HERE<<  James is black belt in negotiations and as he has aged he has gotten better at crafting the best deal out of his exhausted parents.  So here was the deal that was finally agreed upon, a new Game-Boy (we were already going to get him one), supper at Denny's (we had already planned to go), I would sit with him and tell him the notes as he played (common practice in our practice sessions so no biggie), not having to go shopping with us on Sunday (love having him along but again, no biggie) and staying up until 12AM to get in some Minecraft time (this one was done as a final ditch and I hoped he had forgotten, but no).  You decide who won this one.


Here is the song (recorded this morning after a few hours of sleep).  ENJOY... >>HERE<<  As soon as he finished this song at the memorial, the fear lifted, the James we know arrived.  He continued with the slide presentation I had created for the grand kids to do (I needed to step in for our daughter who is away at college). James joked, read his pages with clarity and he was amazingly proud of his accomplishment!  He prevailed!  He put fear in its place.  There is a big difference between healthy fear and "stage fright." James had stage fright, he faced it head on and came out the other side healthier and wonderfully transformed.  Encouraging our kids to face things that are scary can be a balancing act. We don't want to push them so hard that we break them, but we do want to give them the opportunity (and a strong enough deal) to accomplish and shine.   Walk through the fear with your head high little man, don't worry, I am with you every step of the way!!




Tuesday, November 17, 2015

So Mom... Are you Gay?

Simple enough question but let me go back and paint the history of this very innocent question from my inquiring 12 year old son.  Picture this...

James and I were in the car and I had the movie Mama Mia playing. James was sitting in the front seat so couldn’t see the movie which makes the listener pay attention more.  He was asking why there were three men who Sophie believed to be her father.  I told him that sometimes the woman doesn’t know who the father is because she has loved more than one man around the time she got pregnant.  Then he got concerned, “Well who did she marry because he has to be the father.” I went on to explain that sometimes men and women don’t get married but they still have children and are considered the baby’s mother and father.  This rocked his “strict rule world”.  Women and men get married and that is the only way they can be a mother and a father.  Okay, I couldn’t shake his world up too much.  Again he asked, “Who does she marry?” “Well, Donna gets married to Sam but that is at the very end of the movie.” “Well then, Sam has to be the father.” “Not necessarily, Harry and Bill still could be Sophie’s father technically and they all want to have her as their daughter. But James, it turns out that Harry is Gay.  He loves men and he wants to marry a man.”  “Mom are you Gay?  You love a man and married him.” “Ah… yes I did but a woman who marries a man isn’t usually Gay. A man who loves a man is Gay and a woman who loves a woman is Gay.”  “Well, I know that I am not Gay.”  “Your choice and you will continue to learn about who you are as you get older.”  

The conversation continued for a few more exchanges but you get the gist.  Classification continues to be tricky for James and because he is sooooo black and white it can lead to interesting and colorful conversations.

Toddlers spend a lot of time figuring out classification. They find out that all cows have four legs.  So all animals with four legs must be cows.  Until they get more experiences and they find out about horses, giraffes, elephants, cats, dogs, goats, sheep etc... and don't forget the duck billed platypus.  It has four legs but the feet and bill of a duck and it lays eggs.  It is a never ending conundrum of  classifying until everything is in the right pile or black and white logical spot. 

   
Is it popcorn if it is eaten off the cob like corn on the cob?

Classifying Monty Python Style


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Where are Reid, Baby Girl and Eyebrows When You Need Them?

I LOVE Criminal Minds.  For some reason I am drawn to the story lines of these horrible incidents happening to everyday people.  The hardest ones for me are the episodes involving kids.  Anyway, on to the blog.
James has wanted a phone for a really long time.  We have continually told him that he will get one when he is twelve like his sister did.  For years we have worked with him on learning my cell number and 911 for emergencies.  He finally learned the latter one a few years ago 911... I need a new Babysitter  Okay, I might be a horrible mum for saying this but I danced a little jig when he FINALLY got the number correct.  
Fast forward a few years to the present.  James has FINALLY learned my cell number and thank goodness for that!  He rides the bus to and from school on most days.  They had reworked the bus stops and James forgot to give me the new assigned stop he was to get off at, (typical!) Anyway, yesterday, I got a text from someone who somehow got my number.  "Hi, I'm ---. I provide security at the --- library on --- Ave. Your son James says that the bus dropped him off at the wrong location.  Please call me back or text me. Thank you"  PANIC!!!! The girls were waiting at the stop where he always gets off.  I called my daughter and broke down trying to explain that James was at the library with the security guard and please go and get him.  Call me when you have him in the car.  I held my breath and somehow called my husband to get him updated. The girls called me after a short period of time and James got on the phone.  "Hi Mom, I heard you are crying.  Why are you crying?"  Well, let's see... I am crying because James remembered my phone number and found a person in authority when he needed help.  I am crying because my sweet child was concerned about me being sad.  I am crying because I get scared when James is not with a designated adult.  "I was crying because I was scared when I got the text from the security guard but glad that you knew just what to do!"  "Well Mom, I did try to call you two times but you didn't answer."  "I am sorry James. I was at work and my ringer was off."  Actually thank goodness that I didn't answer those calls because all I could think about was that conversation.  "Hi Mom, the man has me at the library."  Again, cue PANIC.  All is well in the Laughter Home.  James will be getting his phone for his 12th birthday in a few months.  He remembered all that we taught him about when he is lost or simply misplaced.  Phone Home Baby... Phone Home!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

On the Road to One's Fullest Potential

With every diagnosis comes lots of question mark.  Will he be able to ...?  What will —— diagnosis do to me wanting her to go to college; drive a car; get married; have children; ....? There are always a lot of unknowns.  To be honest, there are always unknowns even for a child without a diagnosis as as these charming little critters don't come with an instruction manual and they, heaven forbid, have free will!  Anyway, it became my mission after James received his diagnosis of Autism on 12/20/06, that I would give him the tools to help reach his fullest potential.

Fast forward 3161 days and here we are, in the present, well yesterday to be exact.  James has progressed amazingly well through ABA and is currently in the 6th grade so he is certainly moving in the right direction.  Now, independence in daily living is a completely different thing.  If you missed it, here is James's view of perfect independence Independence perfected, James style For those of you who missed the updates on Facebook, James forgot his morning medicine so needed to be reminded and only ate a small bowl of pretzels for breakfast, forgot to pee all day and at supper (Hometown Buffet) ate enough for 3 hungry adults.  The independence I am talking about is independent living skills; cleaning, so when his future friends come to visit his apartment they won't need to use the bathroom in the restaurant down the street. 
Just a little back information, I work as a case manager for adults with disabilities.  I have lost count on the number of them who are capable of completing many cleaning tasks independently or with verbal reminders of steps, who still have their parents or support workers do all of it.  Oh No. This was not going to happen for MY kid!  So, about a year ago, I started small with James wiping down the counter in his bathroom.  It doesn't matter "high or low functioning" (I really hate these labels but let's go with it); all kids with Autism can do something every week to contribute to keeping the house clean.  We all know that kids with Autism love repetition!  How many time have you had to suffer through (fill in the blank) movie or commercial just to keep you child from losing control?  We all have stories about this.  Well from the little seed of wiping down his bathroom counter a mighty tree of independence has grown!  Currently this is his list:
  1. wipe down the bathroom counter
  2. wipe the two sink basins in his bathroom and around the faucets 
  3. cleaning the toilet inside and out
  4. vacuum and wash his bedroom and bathroom floors (for those of you who might have missed this blog, here it is: vacuuming fun)
  5. filling and starting washing machine
  6. switching over the wash to the dryer (don't forget to do the lint trap in the dryer)
  7. fold and put away clothes, hanging school shirts on hangers for the closet and matching socks (still working on the matching and rolling socks)
  8. and this week, we added folding towels!
                                     Next week... helping to load and unload the dishwasher!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Day Before 6th Grade.... Silence Please

So, the 100 days of summer are coming to a screeching halt and James has asked for an unusual request.  He wants to make a deal with all of the adults who live in our house, 4 to be exact.  Before we get to his request, let's just ponder and see what making a deal with him in the past has looked like.  Let's make a Deal don't worry... I'll wait (da da da da,da da da-- da da da da ^da dadadadada, da da da da, da da da, da da da da da da da.  For those of you who didn't catch the tune, it was the timing music for Jeopardy)
The current deal of this very savvy 11 year old is this... for one day, Sunday, he wants no one to be able to ask or tell him to do anything.  NOTHING!  We can't ask him questions, can't ask him to flush the toilet, did he wash his hands, NOTHING!! Okay, I'm game; only I had one stipulation.  Well really two, but whose counting?  First, if he forgets to take his medicine, an adult can ask him to get it.  Second, the deal is up at 6:00PM when he needs to be dressed because the adults in the house are taking him out to his favorite restaurant for a celebratory, I mean, last supper before the beginning of 6th grade!  If said child, isn't independently ready by 6 PM sharp, the supper out goes away (like all of Cinderella's niceties at the stroke of midnight.  6PM Pacific time, it must be midnight somewhere in the world) and he will have to eat at the table in our house with no special restaurant.  
Okay... I am looking at this as an interesting social experiment... After all... one of the main deficits in individuals with Autism is their social interactions.  So here we go...

Sunday, July 26, 2015

When Computer Time is Halted for Not Listening

James loves his computer above all of his other electronics. This is mostly due to him being able to play Minecraft on it.  In two weeks he may have a different view of the machine because he will be back to school and homework will take over as the main reason for having a computer in his room. Anyway... today his mouse was taken away for excessive not listening when asked to come to breakfast.  He was told that he would need to vacuum and wash his bedroom and bathroom floors before getting it back. He was disgruntled but while he was waiting,  all of a sudden this happened:   BOY do I love this kid!!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bottles and Clocks

I ask James to do a lot of short tasks to pull him away from his computer for a few minutes.  I ask him to put his laundry away (I have everything ready in piles and all he has to do is hang them up or put them in drawers.)  I ask him to get me things that technically I could get myself, but he needs a short break from Minecraft.

Easy task I asked of James today as we were cleaning up around the house.  "Please put the refill bottles in the hall under the clocks."... We have 3 clocks on our wall as you enter the house. They signify three magical moments when time stood still in our married life.  The time we got married (2:00PM), the time our daughter was born (6:50 PM), and the time James was born (9:12 PM).  Okay... Easy right... I guess we are lucky that there are three clocks and three empty bottles.  I shudder to think what would have happened if there were only two clocks and three bottles, or three clocks and only two bottles.  I know James well enough to know that he would likely have still been standing there trying to figure it out if there weren't exactly enough of each component to make his world perfect!  But as the fates would have it, there were exactly the correct number of bottles and clocks!  Phew...

Sunday, July 12, 2015

ABA Works for Moms? James Seems to Think I Need Some Drills!


We were out today to see the new Minions movie, super cute and adfreakinorable!!!!!!  Anyway, after that we took James to lunch.  We went to Ono Hawaiian BBQ.  He didn't want to go because it was new and he was determined not to have a good time or like the food.  He did like most of the food and ate but when finished he wanted to go outside to "Get some air."  His father told him that there was plenty of air in the restaurant.  James turned to me and asked me and I told him that he needed to stay inside because we need to be able to take care of him.  He looked me straight in the eye and said, "Wow... looks like we need a drill for that to help you be less protective!"  Then he went on... "You know I have a purple belt in karate and that is only 5 away from black belt and I can protect myself." Ah... Okay... the conversation then went in the direction all conversations always go with James... back to Minecraft.  "You know mom, the distance from here to outside is really only eight blocks and that isn't too far."  By that time I was done and we got to leave. I guess conversational diversion got me through him wanting to go out to "get some air."

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Summer Learning

Well, poor James! He thought that summer vacation meant nothing but James stuff.  Hours on the computer, watching TV in his underwear, staying up all hours of the night.  You know, vacation stuff.  Not with this mom!  Everyday I send an email to him with his academic activity to be done before supper and each night at supper, I grill him on things I believe he should know as an 11 year old kid.  Where do your ancestors come from, how many aunts and uncles do you have, what is my phone number... You know, important stuff that might fit in his head if it wasn't already crammed full of Minecraft stuff.  James has been working on the ancestors question for the better part of a week and I have made it easier for him, asking only for the 4 most predominant from each side (England, Scotland, Germany and Italy). We give him tons of hints, what language do you speak?  what other county speaks ENGLISH? what is the one is shaped like a boot? which one is on the same island as England? what language is your last name?  I know some of these may not seem very helpful but stay with me.  James loves maps and at one point in the interrogation, I mean conversation,  he looked into the living room and stated, "I can't find it on that map."  His sister looked at him and stated, "James, that isn't a map, that is a painting dad did."  Oh well, we still have four more weeks until he starts sixth grade.  Hopefully he will go there prepared to tell others of his heritage or at least be able to say, "looks like a boot, speaks English, shares an island and last name."

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Therapy!!!

I LOVE libraries.  Books, books, books, therapy dogs, more books and... therapy dogs?  Yup, I just found out that our local libraries have therapy dogs visit on some Saturdays to have the kids practice their oral reading. It is brilliant. The dogs don't care what you read they are just there to listen.  After all of James's years in therapy this is probably one of my favorite pictures. Thank you Lady for helping James practice his reading.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Magic of Music

really has nothing to do with this particular post
but James was promoted from 5th grade a week ago
and he is so doggone cute!!!
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I ADORE music!  I love to listen to music that is melodic, tells a story, shares something or simply makes me smile.  I am glad that this is a gift that I have passed to both of my kids. My daughter and I have shared many experiences going to or watching Broadway musicals old and new.  James also loves musicals.  One of his secret guilty pleasures is the old time State Fair musical from 1945.  State Fair 1945 Trailer He also loves the more recent ones and one that I adore is CHESS.  I love the music and the concert has some of my favorite voices in lead rolls. James knows the music and knows it well. He can sing all of the songs. CHESS  (Anthem is at 1 hour 12 minutes on this video)
Yesterday, after a very long day in the car, James was in his world of Minecraft Youtube movies.  I had the new Josh Groban CD playing and Anthem started playing.  Without coming out of his world, James asked to have the video screen to be put down in the car because he couldn't see the movie.  He is always listening even when you don't think he is, he hears and understands everything!!  Glad music means so much to him because it is another place we can share interests.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Diagnosis Day

A while ago, I was asked by one of James clinical staff at his Autism program to write what it felt like when we got the news that James had Autism.  My response follows here...

Diagnosis Day, 12/20/06
I should have known… But I didn’t want to know… he was perfect!  Sweet!  Quiet!  Beautiful!  I should have known… 10 month old babies shouldn’t know where all of the continents on the planet are… But I loved my brilliant little explorer! … 13 month olds are not supposed to lose the sweet words they used to get their favorite treats… But I loved my silent little man!  I should have known… I had dedicated my life since my graduation from college in 1987 to children with Autism.  I had seen all of this before but I was blindsided on 12/20/2006 when the developmental pediatrician looked at me and my husband and uttered the word for the first time in the presence of my beautiful boy.  The word Autism lingered in the air and permeated all available space.  I couldn’t swallow or speak.  I just stared at my son, barely 3, driving his favorite car on the wall and not bothering to see if mommy was okay.  He was James… Just James… He is not Autism but somehow Autism changed form and when James turned to look towards me… I saw it for the first time and in that moment… I knew… And I embraced him… All of him!!!  He is love and loved and yes… he has Autism.  
same day







Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Power of Karate

James has been taking Karate for just over a year now and to be sure, he has grown immensely over the past year. At the beginning, he was sullen, would often not participate, couldn't tie his belt, was confrontational, was stripped of his belt twice.... Pretty much he was a walking disaster in a white/yellow belt.  Fast forward 12 short months... James was awarded his Purple belt today!  (White, white/yellow, yellow, orange, purple).  James is now disciplined, respectful and cooperative (well most of the time).  And apparently Karate has given him super powers. After his seizure a week or so ago, I was over vigilant in checking on him.  He looked at me and stated, "Mom, I'm fine. You know I have an Orange belt with 5 stripes in Karate."  And then today, when he was picked up at school he came out in a wheelchair. Apparently he hurt his foot and one of his resource teachers said something and all he could remember was he now had some kind of "itus".  After much deliberation, he decided to go to Karate to get his new belt.  He even remembered to limp a little when he felt us watching him, otherwise he was bouncing and happy in his class.  Karate certainly has powers beyond the ordinary!!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

We all know that there are good times and bad times in the land of Autism.  There are up and downs.  Moments we want to treasure and relive and moments we want to erase from our memories.  Friday had some of the best times and Saturday, well not so much.
Friday was our family's day to appeal the regional center's decision not to cover the co-pays for James's ABA. We presented a strong case and have succeeded on part of the decision. They will be paying for the services that were rendered during the time we understood that they would be paying.  One point for the Laughter home!  The other piece of it is whether of not James continues to need such an intensive service given his current behavioral needs.  We should hear something by the end of this week.  After the meeting we went to Hometown Buffet, James's favorite restaurant because they make the best soft crust pizza!  James filled his plate with pizza and french fries, a typical meal for my little man.  He saw my husband was eating some orange chicken, another favorite of James's but he likes the one from Costco more.  He took a bite of my husband's and decided that he liked it, so he went to get some.  The orange chicken had sliced green onions on it and I was sure James would wipe them off of spit them out.  He astonished me by actually eating a piece with the forbidden green on it and stated that the ones with the green were the best.  He then stated that maybe he should add vegetables to his diet and he would start with corn.  UMMMM... not really sure how to respond to this except to say to him that there was corn available here and he could try  it.  He did and after a few seconds, spit it out declaring that corn was not going to be on the list!  Okay, things are going back to the normal we are familiar with!
Saturday started out like any other. Early morning shopping, working on the house, trying to pull James away from his wonderful computer Mine-craft game.  We finally succeeded and went out for more errands.  James fell asleep on the way to Costco, weird but it is the weekend and little man is entitled to extra sleep. He woke up when we asked him to get out of the car. Got into Costco and James and I sat at the cafe area and waited for our lunches to arrive.  One bite into his pizza while waiting for his drink to arrive, something happened.  My husband had gone to get the drinks and came back and asked what was going on. I must have been in shock and simply stated, "James is having a seizure." I must have snapped out of it at that point and went into epilepsy mode.  Make sure ... this and it is best if he is ... that.  The seizure was relatively short, about a minute but seemed like it lasted forever.  As James came out of it, he sat back up. During the seizure his head went quickly towards the table, good thing his plate of pizza was there to soften the fall!    IF James had been standing he would have went head first onto the concrete floor in Costco!  Anyway... James reported generally feeling unwell and shaking on the inside after he recovered.  He was as white as a sheet including his lips.  I started to feel better as his color returned. Lots of conversations about seizures and epilepsy.     His sister was contacted via texting and his nanny was also updated. The whole family is a little (by "a little" I mean a freakin' ton!!) freaked out.  James is fine and his neurologist and classroom teacher have been updated. Medication will be increased and he will have an appointment with the neurologist when school lets out in four weeks. Seizure log will be created and follow him to and from school.  It is a whole new way of looking at our little man now. Frequent checks on his status will be conducted while he is in his room.  We call his name every ten minutes or so, if he is quiet, and if he answers, great, if not... we do a walk by.  This is just another step to understanding James. He was diagnosed with Epilepsy when he was four, but seven years later it is a slap in the face reality.

I Have Epilepsy What is Your Story?

PEACE    

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Triennial Done and Separation of Church and State

It has been a very busy month so far!  I have spent a large amount of my time when not at work, preparing for James's triennial IEP.  With the transition into 6th grade next year there was much to do.  James is doing well and made the honor roll again this grading period.  He missed the Principal's honor roll by a smidge due to his writing.  A simple Google search brought me to this gem... I Hate to Write Huh... someone I know resembles this.  Book will be added to our shelf soon.  Hopefully the resource teacher will add it to her arsenal as well. Another program James has been using with his speech teacher is the Superflex program, check it out... it really is wonderful!! Superflex Anyway, triennial done, James doing well, aide systematically being faded, new school district actually excited about getting James for sixth grade; all in all, it has been a great year, and looking forward to the future, finally.
James was doing homework on Monday, and got concerned when I asked him to finish. He still had definitions to complete on his spelling words. I asked him what the trouble was, and he said he didn't know how to do it. Definitions has been something he has done since the beginning of the school year, so I didn't see what the trouble was. James looked at me and said "But Mom, now I'm being asked to find the religion of the words!" It took very little time to understand what he meant, but his comment made me giggle. I asked him if he meant origin, and he said "Yes, I don't know how to find it." I showed him how to locate the origin of the words and homework was finally done. Just another giggly homework session at the Laughter House.






Monday, March 2, 2015

I know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Cat... Imagine That She Swallowed a CAT!!

Kiefer
Ninja
Literal thinking has it's place.  There are times when it is needed.  7:00 AM on a Monday morning may not be the place or time.  James was surprised that I was the one who woke him up this morning.  I thought I had told him that I would be home in the morning last night but maybe not.  Anyway, I was telling him why I needed to stay home.  I needed to go in for a Cat Scan.  This perplexed him.  First question, "what is a Cat Scan mom?" Well it is a way for doctors to see things that are in our bodies to see what is wrong.  "Are they looking for cats?" Before I could answer, James looked around, did a head count and said, "Nope, they are all here!"  Off he went onto the next topic.  Just another morning I guess.
Hobbit

Astra and Abracadabra Crackadoo