A Quick Update

It has been a while since I have written a post. We have successfully moved to our new home, and Jimmy is enjoying his  time with Grandma. I have had to transfer all the kids services to the local office. I am just in the beginning stages of this. I know the organization and know it well however, I have to meet a whole new group of professionals. (Maybe I should go re-read my article Choose your Professionals Wisely.)  I have just about a month to get all services in place for Jimmy before he returns from his time with Grandma. This is all overwhelming for me. I feel as though I don’t have enough time to get everything done. I know I will get it all done before Jimmy gets home. I will demand it from the professionals. That may sound overbearing, but hey it’s my children I am talking about and they are my world. I want to make sure Jimmy will have as smooth of a transition as possible when he returns home.

Jimmy is doing very well with Grandma. In fact, due to the lack of demands, stress, and anxiety of school, less triggers, and not having the siblings around, amongst other things, we have had to cut back on his medication. It was making him way to drowsy. All he wanted to do was sleep. Thank God we have a wonderful doctor in place who really listens, the only person who will not change with our move.

On a different note, I am in the process of writing an article about the changes to the new DSM. It profoundly affects AD and the Autism Spectrum in general.

Big Changes in the Horizon

I apologize for the time in-between my last post and now. I have been very sick, Jimmy has been sick as well. My posts for the next month or so will be few. We have big changes ahead.

My family is moving. I will not say where to protect our privacy. We are all very excited, in just three weeks we will be in our new home. Jimmy has been acting out lately. I am pretty sure this is due to the unexpected. I have been preparing him. We talk about it on a daily basis. It is still hard for him. He needs to have a strict routine so he knows what happens next. If something unexpected happens he ends up in a meltdown. His melt downs are not fun to say the least and can become very bad very quick.

He will not be with me during this move. I just couldn’t do it with him here. He is going to be with my mother for about a month and a half or so. I am hoping that my mom will be a guest author and put up some posts during the time that Jimmy is with her. They are going to be doing some very cool things. However I will leave that up to her as to what she wants to share, pictures included.

Jimmy will continue with his mental health help. Just transferring from the office here to the office where we will be living. Everything will be in place when he returns to our new home. The professionals will be in place and already working with Chrissy and Lee. I will have already interviewed them to make sure they are a good fit.

The house will be unpacked and his room will be set up. Oh, I must mention we are going from a three bed room to a four bedroom. This makes everyone happy. Especially Jimmy and Lee as they have never shared a room before. Cleaning rooms for them will be different. They always say the other made the whole mess. Once we move that will not happen.

I plan on making some changes in routine as summer will be here. All kids are getting passed on to the next grade and will not need to enroll in school where we will be moving to. So summer starts early for them.

I guess that is all for now. I need to get packing. It is slow going since I am sick, and having the kids help is almost impossible. Maybe if I bribe them……. lol

Two Children in my Home With Special Needs Today

Having a child with special needs is hard. Having a Chrissy doing a school project with a child with special needs proves harder. Chrissy has done all the work, while this other child just sits back and does nothing. I sent a note into the teacher today asking her to call me. We tried having this other child come over the other day and he and Jimmy clashed…. Very badly. We are going to try this again today. I told Chrissy to see if this child can come over today after school and if so; Chrissy, this other child and myself will be in my room doing to the report that goes along with this project. Well I will be supervising the other child while doing it. I don’t even know if the child’s parents know about the project and if they do that he has done nothing. I have seen Chrissy stay up till almost midnight doing his parts on the project just so she doesn’t get a bad grade.

Both Jimmy and Lee say its fine that this child comes over today. However I know Jimmy, and what happens when the Lee or Chrissy have a friend over. Jimmy try’s to take control of everything. Then there are three kids ganging up on Jimmy. Jimmy gets angry, then takes retaliation. This is how it always turns out. There are no support workers coming today, so I have to do this on my own. I agreed to have the other child spend the night due to the fact that report for this project has not been started. Chrissy has taken notes, but I don’t think the other child has.

I have to figure out how to get this report done, which is due today, keep Jimmy and Lee busy while keeping Chrissy and the other child on task of the report. Wish me luck. I have a tough afternoon and evening ahead of me. I better make a pot of coffee.

Individule Education Plan (IEP)

Spring break is over, has been all week. Surprisingly spring break went well, very well. Only a couple meltdowns from Jimmy. That is saying a lot, considering his whole schedule was screwed up and lacking here at home. But that is not the purpose of this post. I want to talk about IEPs (Individual Education Plan).

I have been fighting tooth and nail to get my son Jimmy on an IEP. The school bucks my every move. The first two so called IEP meetings this year were a joke. They didn’t even involve every one that was supposed to be there. This time every one and then some were at the meeting. It was an actual IEP meeting. Nothing was decided upon yet except that more assessments are needed. The speech therapist is going to do a few assessments herself. This woman specializes in Asperger’s Disorder. This is a plus for me.

Just having the diagnoses of Asperger’s Disorder, (In May it will officially be part of the Autism Spectrum Disorders) makes it so Jimmy is automatically eligible for and IEP. Not to mention that having ADHD and a mood disorder make him eligible as well. Also Since he has multiple emotional disabilities, that makes him automatically eligible to be on an IEP.

You see schools try and not do IEPs as anything such as, speech therapy, Occupational therapy, all accommodations comes out of the schools budget. I don’t know how your school district is where their budget, but my school district is very tight on their budget. They don’t want to put out any money they don’t have to.

If the school decides Jimmy is not eligible I will request an Individual Education Evaluation (IEE). This is where some on outside the school district, who is not affiliated with the school in any way, comes in and does an evaluation. The school must pay for this as well. Plus they cannot put a cap on the price. The parent is not supposed to pay for this evaluation at all, not even a portion of it.

With all this said, I have another meeting the beginning of May. I will keep you updated on what happens.

Sensory Integration

Trying to do research, write an article, write a blog post, watch TV, keep track of the kids all at once proves to be difficult. My desk is trashed and apparently not large enough for all my books and papers. My mind is spinning, I have so much I need to do, with so little time. There needs to be more hours in the day, but I know there will never be enough hours in the day even if some were added. It is still early in our house and still semi quiet, not including the puppy Freckles. I am going to be writing a series of articles on Sensory Integration. I have found a lot of information on this topic, yet it seems not enough. I feel like I am going in circles with what I find. My mom sent me a very good book that has loads of information on what the child is doing and then describing what the sensory category it falls into and an explanation of it, then best of all, ways to help.

I know for a fact that Jimmy has some sensory integration issues. Textures, smells, and light are the major ones. He is very sensitive in these areas. He will eat a raw onion, but he will pick out every last bit of the tiniest cooked onion, or anything that looks like one. Smells, he smells stuff no one else does. Sometimes the reaction to a smell is bad depending on what it is, and sometimes the reaction is good. Take “smelly candles” for example, these can calm Jimmy down. He loves the air fresheners that up clip into your cars heater vents. Jimmy takes these and clips them onto his shirt and will smell them periodically as he feels needed. Light isn’t as bad, but it is still there. Bright sunny days are the hardest, the bright light hurts his eyes. I try and get dark sunglasses for him. And of course they get lost, just like coats, and backpacks and shoes.

Then there are the trickier sensory issues. Touch, or tactile, some days you can’t even bump into Jimmy lightly without a major meltdown. Yet other days he craves bear hugs and deep pressure touch. I have yet to figure out what type of touch to use with him, if any at all, on any given day. For now it is a trial and error. A journal I will start keeping to look for patterns should help me figure this one out, I hope. Sound works the way. Sometimes sounds don’t bother him and sometimes it does. Today, sounds bother Jimmy. He was laying in my bed with nothing to cause a sound. He heard the heater running, asked what it was and once I told him he told me to turn it off. That means no loud music for me today, just a single ear bud to listen to music from my ipod.

I have learned that most of the stuff Jimmy does pertaining to sensory integration is for self- regulation. He is either over stimulated, or not stimulated enough. I am learning quickly to recognize which is which, but helping him through these times proves very difficult for me. In time and learning I will figure it out.

A Rough Day

Yesterday was a very hard day. Jimmy was in crisis mode all day, Chrissy tried to run away (she didn’t), and Lee, well he was ok. Jimmy bucked me on everything I said or asked him to do. He would just flat out tell me no. At one point he beat me up, literally. He was punching, kicking, shoving and biting me. I just took it. I will not hit/spank any of my children. This was very hard for me. Later in the day I ended up having to put him in a control hold. At one point he head butted me so hard I saw stars. I held strong though. He fights the control hold, and he is one strong little boy. It tires him out and tires me out. Finally he worked his way out of the hold and he seemed a touch calmer. The Support worker who was with us got everyone somewhat calm and took them to the store to grab an afternoon snack and dinner. They came home happy and very hyper. I can handle that. Me, I was just exhausted. I had nothing left in me. Jimmy fell asleep around 7:00 p.m., I was asleep shortly after that. Chrissy and Lee were calm and watching a movie. My whole body hurt, I am surprised I was able to sleep at all. I was beat up emotionally as well. I was drained. Today I am still very sore, bruises are appearing. But I am a mom, I have 3 children to care for. We went to the grocery store today…. All of us. That went well, just three hyper children following me around getting in every ones way. However they all listened to me well. Now Jimmy is out playing with his respite worker for a few hours, Lee is cleaning his bedroom and Chrissy is playing on the computer. I have to end this now. Having calm children in the house allows me to get things done. So, have a great rest of your day!