Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"they" are often wrong

My friend's son, Bob, is over. He has a rare there-is-only-one other-person-in-the-world type of syndrome. I believe "they" initially told Bob's parent's that it was very likely he may never walk or communicate. Well "they" hadn't met Bob before. Or his fabulous Mom.
So Bob is over hanging out for awhile as his school is out this week. In the past I have seen him for speech therapy. At age 7 he has been walking for years and talks up a storm. His speech is dysarthric, but very understandable.
Everytime I see him I am amzed by how much language he has and how his speech intelligibility continues to improve. His favorite part of visiting here is seeing the dogs and Granny. I rank a disticnt third place.
Today he is amussing me with his ongoing chatter and belting of commands to our 2 labs.
"Jaba (for Java)where are you?"
"Jaba, go get the cat."
"Jaba, don't drink the toilet! Drink outta the sink! Not in the bathroom!"
"Jaba, come here."
"Hey guys! Go get the cat!" (this results in the dog running in circles around the yard)
"Jaba sit!"
"Mama J. they are fighting again!" (dogs playing)
"GUUYS, don't fight. Guys, hold still!"
"Be Nice!!"
"Sisi can follow me, too!"
I just love the joy he gets from playing with the dogs.

Happy Halloween

We had a nice time on Sunday. Ki has always wanted to have a Halloween Party. So I agreed. We have been planning for a long time. She and I cut and glued pumpkin invitations. (Until I finally resorted to email for some of the invites.) We shopped and bought decorations, crafts, and all foods "orange". We made fabulous caramel apples. Actually, the whole thing took a village as jennyalice baked a million Halloween sugar cookies and Sandrini baked orange and black cupcakes. We had craft and frosting stations throughout the house and yard.
This time I let the guest list reflect Ki's peers versus my selection of fun special needs families that I enjoy, though she did invite jennyalice and family. It was a good opportunity for Pops, myself and Ki (and AJ) to get to know more "typical families". Whatever a typical family is...
Ki was dressed in her SWAT officer costume. Which she describes as, "someone who helps the police." She has been calling her costume "scott", as that seems to be easier to remember than SWAT. Per her demonstrations, SWAT officers are responsible for directing traffic. But I digress..
All other girls wore something involving a dress. Ki spent the majority of time playing with Darth Vador and Transformer-both boys. Then she was glued to her God mother, Sandrini, who donned a Mrs. Pott tea pot outfit.
I am glad we pulled off this party with 50 or so guests of kids and adults. I am getting to know more families in Ki's grade, and some in AJ's grade also. Should be a fun tradition.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Omnipresent First Grade Teacher

I sent an email to Ki's classmates and invited them to her party. Evidently one of the two teachers are also on the email group. Her teacher, Ms M, said she lived near by and would try and stop by. But she didn't tell the kids, incase she couldn't make it. Sure enough, she showed up and stayed just long enough to say a quick hello and take the caramel apple I forced on her. Ki stood by the gate and watched her leave, sending her off with a wave and a look of amazement.
Later I asked Ki, "That was pretty cool that Ms. M came over."
"Yeah! But, Mommy, how did she know there was a party and where we lived?"
I couldn't resist adding to the mystique of a first grade teacher. "Well, she is a very smart teacher. She knows ALL KINDS of things."
Ki paused, "Like she knows where all the kids in our class live?"
"Yeah, I guess she does."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More on AJ and Tim the aide

Last week AJ's aide told me that he himself had received Resource services (type of special ed services)for years while he was in school. This was not a surprise given the basic grammar and simple spelling errors that characterize his daily notes summarizing AJ's day. But AJ is responding well to this sweet-faced 18 year old fellow. And who am I to criticize a person who has learning differences. The classroom teacher reports AJ is doing better at staying on task, Tim is doing a good job at that.
But somehow the simplicity of his notes to home adds to the wacky humor necessary to cope. Yesterday's note was:
"Today in the library AJ picked his scab and ate it. Then when I told him to go to wash up he told me he always eats his scabs."
Well atleast he wasn't telling lies.

AJ Update

Just this year AJ has begun to complain that he felt sick and needed to stay home from school. This is likely a reflection on the more difficult third grade, a hard-ass teacher and some good problem solving on his part!
I have gotten 2 mails from school that AJ was "caught" eating erasers. Of course he has been an oral-sensory-seeking type of guy for a long time. So it doesn't impress me much. Oh, and you can forget about germs. Between my kid and others in the quirky tribe, they have ingested things that would make most loose their lunch just at the mention of it. If these kids haven't gotten seriously ill yet from drinking toilet water, licking the ground, eating gum stuck under public tables, then it is not going to happen. Though informal, my longitudinal, multi-subject study to proves it.

Monday's not home from AJ's aide said,
"Today Alex said he ate an eraser. Later he said his stomach hurt and he wanted to go to the nurse. We stayed there awhile and then came back to class. Later he told me he had tricked me and he thought it was funny."

Well, if you aren't aware, lying takes a certain cognitive ability, or problem solving skill to do. So after I got over snickering to myself, I asked AJ,
"What were you doing when you asked to go to the nurse?"
"Writing a thank you letter to XYZ store." (They had gone there on a field trip)
Ah, a perfect time to fake illness, as he has difficulty with writing, and hence, hates it.

So later Pops and I sat down with him and asked him how thought Tim (his aide) felt when AJ lied to him. He said "sad". we encouraged him to ask about taking a break but that it wasn't okay to lie. We then told him he would have to write a letter to Tim apologizing.
"AJ, what do you think you should say in the letter?"
"That I am sorry I fake sicked Tim?"
Well, that was a good start. We helped him clean up his grammar.
Later, when he was sleeping, we patted him on the back for using some great thinking skills.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bla Bla

Notes, thoughts and happenings in no particular order:

-dinner out Fri evening for Squid's b-day. SOOO fun!
-I rear-ended someone at a light the other day. No one hurt. I have been a flighty driver lately
-I am slowly taking on a few new clients
-I am getting more clients that are also involved physically. I am really enjoying it.
-I want to take pediatric feeding courses and specialize in that.
-I want to look into pediatric NDT certification
-seriously starting to work on stabilizing and expanding business. Working to develop policies, website content, clarify services to provide etc.
-swapping services w/ a woman who is an interior decorator. Yahoo!
-bought new couch and chair for family room-they are on order
-have part 2 of IEP tomorrow, going alone - a bit anxious. I always need to take a drink with me. Makes me feel better. Love clutching my caffeine.
- Took Mom and the kids out for Vietnamese food tonight. So nice to step outside burgers and fries on a kids menu. Chicken pho, vermicelli bowl with shrimp, orange chicken, pan fried noodles with beef and veggies, Vietnamese coffee. All SO good.
-AJ's b-day coming up. I don't know what to do for a party. I have always done spec needs kids only. I asked him who he wanted to invite to b-day party and he said "Andrew and Baby G", my friends we went to Tahoe with. Andrew is 3. I've asked a few times and I don't really get much of an answer. I'm not sure if it is because he has trouble generating ideas, he doesn't care or he doesn't want anything. He does love parties, I thought he did. He does keep telling me he wants to go to the Lobsterrrr SHackk for dinner out. Thoughts anyone????
-Pops is out of town, hunting. Slept with both kids and a lab last night. Not the best sleep ever. Then I woke up at 3 am and couldn't go back to sleep. Life thoughts swirling in my head like a broken auto-flush toilet.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Wow dude.

I am a previously confessed techno dork. I just don't resonate with computer stuff. Leave me alone with a person or child with a neuro difference and I am good to go. Jennyalice and I hung out on Fri and she fixed up my blog site! See??!!! I now have a list of links to whom I read most often. AND, if you you are feeling philanthropic, you can go to the link to donate $$$ to SEPTAR ( Spec Ed PTA, Redwood City)!!
She also fixed me up with a stat counter for this site. Very fun to look at the endless amounts of data that can spit out. Where people are from that are reading, how they got there. The fact that people can pull up and read my very humble complaints and writings and be sitting on the other side of the world, still blows my mind.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I, Bitch

It is 1:30 pm.
My fuze is already pretty much gone.
AJ raging, then raging more
me saying the same thing again and again and again
Ki crying, whining (often appropriately so, as AJ as just thumped her)
Granny asking the same thing again and again
Pops is at the club today working (not for money)
He leaves town for a week, in a week
Then when he is back hunting season starts and he is gone every Sat am
I dread these winter months when it comes to SAt's

Today this lady in Taco Bell said, "You are very patient". Obviously, I had kids and Granny in tow. I thought I should be honest and told her that I was trying to breathe deep, and then I thanked her

It is such a blessing that I can't drink alcohol

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ta Da! out my buddies blog site. All proceeds go to the special ed PTA we are involved with.
I just sent in my piece. Here it is for your viewing now:

A Reflection on Junior High

For many, Junior High was a time characterized by gawky looks, lanky extremities, braced teeth and questionable skin clarity. Even for those fortunate enough to have a proportionate body, naturally straight teeth and even skin tone, no one could escape the Big P.
A time in life when hormones invade and ones body begins to morph and alienate its owner. Adding injury to the hormonal insult is the obsessive desire by girls to be carbon copies of their peers. Well, that’s the way it was for me. Every moment was spent certain that everyone was looking at me. I just knew the eyes of the world watched and were interested in the exact length of my pants, if my hair was brushed and if my lips were glossed. When one lives in a perpetual state of self-absorbance, the most embarrassing horrors are often caused by ones self.
With a November birthday, I was older than most of my peers. In addition, I was an “early bloomer”. So I experienced PUBERTY earlier than most. My breast buds were an AA size at best. But no matter, I was sure my voluptuous tata’s turned the corner and entered a room an hour before the rest of my body. The embarrassment of my body embracing its early spring was further fueled by my mother’s insistence on using appropriate and anatomically correct terms. Three and four syllable words were stretched and articulated nearly beyond recognition.

“Oh that’s great! You are MENS-TRU-A-TING!”
“Do you need any more SAN-I-TAR-Y NAP-KINS?”
“Are your BREASTS tender?”
“Are your NIP-PLES feeling sensitive?”
“Is your VA-GIN-A bothering you?”

In my junior high era, girls didn’t carry purses. Or I certainly didn’t. Kids also didn’t haul back packs from class to class. So this made it difficult to safely secure and hide a SAN-I-TARY NAP-KIN. Now of course, I called them “pads”, not nearly as offensive a word. No one used a tampon back then. And no one admitted to having crossed over to womanhood.
Following lunch one day, I decided to change my pad in the girls’ locker room bathroom just before P.E. But how could I carry a pad from my out-door locker to the locker room? There were no pockets in my light blue Ditto jeans. No matter that it was 95 F, I donned my lemon-yellow wind breaker and slipped the contraband into the pocket. I stepped into the swarm of moving students and headed to P.E. I can still picture it. I was ten feet from the entrance to the girl’s locker room. Suddenly, my not-so-mini pad dove out from under the lemon yellow hem. It was then that I remembered the fist-sized rip in my pocket. It was a slow motion event. After escaping, the pad jumped on a current created by all the moving bodies. It dashed left, glided right, swirled above a light-brown Wallaby and finally dipped down and came to rest on the sizzling concrete. I couldn’t breathe. I wanted to run, but I was fixated like a moth on a bulb. Should I pick it up? Should I kick it under the bush? Should I just ignore it and RUN? I decided to go with ignoring it entirely. I regrouped and cloaked my self in my best casual saunter and slipped into the girl’s locker room. But I was certain that from that moment on, everyone in the entire school knew, and cared, that I was MENS-TRU-A-TING.