Friday, December 31, 2010

A look back at 2010

Some of son's success's this year:

Successfully finished 6th grade and started 7th

Went away for 5 days/4 nights with his classmates to Natures Classroom

Found a great best friend at school and even invited him over to "hang out"

Started talking about how he has autism and what it means, unprompted by any adult!

Fewer meltdowns and very few tantrums that included physically acting out

Successfully started orthodontia work without sensory overload and allergy shots too!

We've had a year full of changes -a new job that meant the end of hubs telecommuting/working from home, a new budget to go along with the new job, changing my work schedule to accommodate hubs new job and a lot more but we ended up stronger and better for it all. Son has really matured and calmed down this year, daughter continues to read everything in sight, sing in chorus and make beautiful music in orchestra, and work on ways to save the Earth and everything on it...and hubs and I learned not underestimate our kids and ourselves so much.  Its been a good year and I'm looking forward to another great year in 2011.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Why of why does son have so much energy and noise first thing in the morning?  I should add that its only the on weekends and breaks.  On school days, he grunts, moans and will lie down on any flat surface because he's "soooooooo tired".  He talked non-stop this am (and I paid how much for private speech therapy for this verbal ability?) and wouldn't sit still while I desperately tried to chug my coffee and clear my head.  At least he slept until 7 again.  Many weekends, he will be up at 6am and full of energy despite me having to literally drag him out of bed on weekdays at 6:30. 
He's finally settling down now to his computer and "Free Realms" until its time to read.  We haven't planned anything today although we tossed around the idea of a movie - which means trying to get son and his sister to compromise on which movie to see, lucky me.  I'm going to try to get the daughter to pick 2 acceptable choices and then have son choose between the 2 so this way, she gets to see something she wants and he feels like he had control and chose.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Big Brother

Too often, my daughter gets the short end of the stick, especially when choosing something to do.  Activities are too often planned around my son's sensory and other needs to avoid meltdowns which makes for miserable times for all. He's more flexible then some on the spectrum but put him in a situation or place he doesn't want to be and its torture for all of us.
Daughter, who is 2 years younger, is very understanding and and we do try to schedule  time without her brother so she can do her thing but breaks and vacations always make that challenging.  Today, she wanted to go skating with a friend and son did not want to skate. Well, he was a wonderful big brother and sat quietly for almost 2 hours so his sister and her friend could have a great time.  Little successes like this make me jump with joy because it means a better time for the whole family.  Hopefully (fingers and toes crossed) it lasts and all the positive feedback and praise we heaped on him sticks in his mind.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Today is our first "regular" day post-Christmas.  We had snow Sunday and spent yesterday digging out of the foot and a half of snow we received.

I'm going to try to institute some sort of loose schedule today, written on the frig for both kids to see, to help organize the day.  The biggest challenge will be to get son to read.   Reading is his biggest academic challenge - his speed and comprehension are very poor which ofcourse effects everything else in school since each subject (including home ec) requires reading.  Its also the area that the school has disappointed me the most in.  Despite IEP goals about reading, I've seen no improvement in his overall ability to read and how is he supposed to write a paper about a current event in science if they don't provide appropriate material for him to read/use?  The vast majority of information we find in our own research is above his reading level and he's had 4 assignments where he is supposed to do his own research and write a paper this year (and yeah, being taught how to research would be helpful too!).   I can't wait until school starts next week so I can meet with this team about these issues again.

Success already!  I told him at 8:30 that I wanted him to read for 20 minutes this morning but told him he could play on the computer first while I finished up some stuff.  When reading time came, he went upstairs without argument and read for more then 20 minutes, finishing up his Whimpy Kid book - and I got all the vacuuming on the first floor done while he read!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Last full day of school before the winter holiday break and I'm using every second of it!  I did some last minute errands, a quick work out at the gym and now I'm doing a major house cleaning so we can at least start the break with a clean house. I'm sure it will look like a disaster area by Christmas eve.

My biggest problem now is that we've got nothing planned for Christmas Eve.  Everything but the stores are closed, it will probably be too cold to do much of anything outside (oh how I envy people who live in warmer climates right now) and I'm sure son will be on edge.  Maybe a movie to fill up a few hours...some cookie baking with him doing a lot of the mixing and measuring? And we definitely need to work on practicing our manners when opening up gifts (especially if its something he already has or doesn't want).

Hopefully son will love his presents from Santa.  Most of them revolve around a central theme of spy stuff, his latest obsession.  At least he made a list this year.  I remember years where he couldn't make one and everyone would be asking what he wanted and not understanding that he didn't have a list.  then we had a few years where he put made-up toys on it since "Santa can make anything".

Happy Happy, Merry Merry!

Monday, December 20, 2010


So why start a blog about parenting a child on the Spectrum? Because if I don't get the words and feelings out, I might explode and the toughest week of the year is about to arrive.
I love my son but there are days where the challenges get the best of me.  There are also wonderful days where I want to sing with joy and share his latest accomplishments and success.  I know I'm not alone but I often feel isolated and misunderstood. 
The holidays are almost here and as always, they bring out the best and worst in all of us.  There is mad dash to finish school assignments before break, the ever changing wish lists for gifts, the anxiety and stress of Christmas day and then the daunting week after when our calendar shows days of nothing to do.  Nothing to do sounds like Heaven to most but its Hades to a parent of a child who needs structure to survive, especially in winter when bad weather makes it hard to spend lots of time outdoors burning off a lot of excess energy.
Hopefully Santa will bring me patience, peace and tolerance this Christmas so I can be at my best to help my son have a great Christmas and break.