Taking the Scenic Route

Monday April 30, 2007

30th April 2007

Monday April 30, 2007

I hate my period.  Seriously.  Hate it.  I know it is much, much better than it used to be, but it still sucks.  I feel like crap.  I am cranky.  I am lethargic.  I can’t get anything done and not having stuff done gets under my skin a lot more than normal.  Blah.  I hope I feel better tomorrow. 

Zach has his appointment with the oral surgeon this week, which is adding to the stress and anxiety load that normally hits us this time of the semester.  Pray that he is able to cope with his anxiety and can follow through with the appointment even though it scares the crap out of him.  I totally understand why, but he really needs to get this done for his own health and so he can start interviewing for jobs without missing his front teeth. 

In an interesting note, I was talking to his SLP and mentioned what was happening and she instantly gave a knowing chuckle and asked if he had been head butted too many times.  I told her that although Zane’s headbutting probably didn’t help the situation, it was Zora’s headbutting and arm swing that finished off his front teeth.  It sounds like like there is a higher than average incidence of front teeth missing in parents and therapists who work with kids on the spectrum because of the headbutting and such.  She also lost her teeth to a kid smashing her in the face, and knows of a lot of other SLPs and quite a few parents in the same situation.  It would be an amusing study topic.

On a similar note, I would also guess that parents of sn kids struggle with weight a lot more than parents of more typical kids.  On an antidotal level I have noticed that to seem to be the case.  It is just really hard to find the time and the energy to work out and eat healthy.  Plus, if they have oral adversions you have so much leftover food some times.  When it is just me and the kids, I have started just making them food and waiting until everybody is done eating to see how much is left over before I make myself something so I don’t just have piles of leftovers in the fridge.  The nature of life also means that I am unable to eat at all for long stretches, and by the time I get to have something (which, every once in a while isn’t until the kids are in bed) I am doing a major binge because I am just starving.  It is work everyday to try and balance it all.  I am very gradually getting better at it, but dang, I wish it wasn’t so hard.

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29th April 2007

Friend’s birthday party

Robert’s oldest turned 9 and they had a birthday party at a park near their place.  It was fun, with the exception of one kid who was sort of a bully.  Zane enjoyed himself a lot and participated as much as he could.  Zora, who is very much in the stranger anxiety stage, clung to me for quite a while.  It was sort of amusing to me to see Zane run off to play and Zora stuck to me.  Seemed backwards.  lol.

The group is typically really loud and rowdy, and today was no exception.  (plus, it is a group of 7-10yo boys and one girl, except for my two and the birthday boy’s little sister).  Since Zane isn’t into games like “push the other kid off the playground equipment”, he mostly just gave them wide berth on the playground and had a lot of fun hanging with dad instead. 

He did want to hit the pinata and was mildly upset when the second kid up there broke it (as were a number of other kids).  Once the candy was gathered (which Zane did participate in, despite the pushing) I suggested we put the pinata back up and let the kids take turns hitting it some more.  After a chorus of “yes” from the kids upon hearing the idea, the pinata was strung back up and a bunch of other kids had fun pounding it to confetti.  The kid that had been making rather mean comments to Zane all afternoon tried to grab the stick out of Zane’s hand and I made it clear that it was Zane’s turn and he would get a chance in a minute.  I was getting a little tired of this kid frankly.  Zane had a ball batting at the pinata (apparently, the kid I made wait for his turn whined the whole time, to nobody in particular, about “why does he even get a turn, he isn’t even hitting it hard” and such.)  He is lucky I didn’t hear him after the mean comments he made about Zane not getting the sticker in the ‘right’ place on “stick the squid on the spongebob” (pin the tail on the donkey with stickers and cartoon character). 

Zane sat with his bag of candy and watched the presents being opened, even going up to somebody to verbally ask for help opening one of his pieces of candy he couldn’t get open.  Unfortunately, the person he picked was Robert’s sister, who is severely delayed and she either didn’t understand what he wanted, or just didn’t feel like helping.  Dori caught what was going on and called him over and helped him open his candy.  It figures, he finally asks for help from a stranger and he happens to choose somebody who looks like an adult, but has her own set of issues so she was unable to respond well.  Before Dori called him over he was really confused as to why this person was not helping him and was actually trying to repair the breakdown in communication by asking in different ways.  I hope it doesn’t prevent him from asking for help in the future because it was really a good thing to see.

Some pictures from the gathering.

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and within ten minutes of returning home….

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28th April 2007

Saturday April 28, 2007

This is so sad and funny.  Snort-worthy even.  Local Craiglist ad:  Google Serch Engine Help

You just have to shake your head at the title alone, but the contents…oh, boy, there is just so much wrong there I don’t know where to start.  lol.

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27th April 2007

Friday April 27, 2007

The last set of photos was taken before Zach took her to the store.  Zach made a stop at the video store and was looking through the discount $3 videos with Zora standing next to him.  All of a sudden Zach hears an excited, manic giggle and Zora grabs a video off the shelf, takes it to daddy, and points at it as she babbles excitedly, pointing to it emphatically saying “dat! dat! dat!” as she giggled and grinned.  Well, Zach, naturally, couldn’t say no.  She giggled with glee when he took it out of the sack after returning home too.  It was so cute.

What would cause a 16 month’s old heart to go pitter patter?…this piece of cinematic genius.  Ugh.  Not exactly what I was wanting, especially at this age, but hey, it isn’t like it’s heroin either.    lol 

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Just try and say no. 

(ok, it will probably get a lot easier to say no in short order, but we are not accustomed to a child being *that* excited over something in a store yet, so it makes us go all wishy-washy at the knees right now)

 

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27th April 2007

Friday April 27, 2007

For some reason, I keep finding random socks and shoes around the house.

Hmmmm.

I wonder why?

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27th April 2007

Friday April 27, 2007

Autism

Joy is not an outcome  just an incredibly good, well written essay.  I highlighted it for myself a while ago and have read it a few times. 

I think living in the moment is truly the best way to parent any child, but I think it is especially true when you are the parent of a special needs child.  I see student therapist struggle with this…they are so focused on doing a task ‘right’, and getting to a particular result that they can lose sight of what is happening in the moment.  I have caught myself doing this too, and have had to learn yet again to slow it down and just let it be.  It is a tangible struggle at times, and I can almost feel myself

Social Issues
The Opt Out Myth

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27th April 2007

Friday April 27, 2007

http://momnos.blogspot.com/2007/04/give-till-it-hurts.html

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27th April 2007

Friday April 27, 2007

Like Father, Like Son

(In order to understand why this is funny, you need to understand the concept of delayed echolalia.)

We are being interviewed by the communications/media person from his main therapy place because they are wanting to do an article on Zane for their newsletter.  Over the last few weeks she has been sitting down (or walking around) and talking to us about Zane.  One of the days I was not able to come and she tried to interview just Zach.  Now, Zach isn’t exactly Mr. Talkative as a rule, and this time she was asking more abstract questions than she had been.  One in particular is a few variations of “What would you tell somebody who is where you were a year ago (before we started therapies)”.  Zach said he asked what she meant, and after a while, just said something to the effect of “I don’t know”.  Now, the funny part:  Today he relayed to me that the reason he was having such a difficult time answering the question is because all the phrases running through his head as he searched for how to say what he wanted to say were ad slogans (like “just do it”, or “try it for 30 days and if you aren’t completely pleased, ask for your money back”) and movie lines.  He didn’t have the time/energy to chop those phrases up and translate them into a more novel language.  Yeah….wonder where Zane gets it from?  hmmm.   lol. 

Along those same lines, today at preschool Zane started getting really upset when they were putting together little booklets from the story Who Sank the Boat.  As the main clinical educator came over to help navigate the problem, after some investigation, she discovered the student had put the animals in a slightly different order and the student wondered whether or not that might be the problem. Um. Ya-think?  Anyway, the main teacher helped give Zane words and fix the problem and all was well in the end, but it was used as a teaching moment at the end of the day for the students working in the preschool.  As she was explaining how important it is to maintain sequences and patterns for kids like Zane…that kids with that level of intelligence and pattern perception are going to see patterns where the rest of us totally miss and for young kids, it is really important to recognize that they see something you don’t.  She used her conversation with Zach that morning to illustrate her point.  Apparently, when she was talking to him this morning when he dropped off Zane, he made an offhand remark that “thats a cool pattern”.  She was looking all over the room to try and figure out what he was talking about as she asked him what he meant.  He said “the kids”, and she still couldn’t figure out what he was talking about and asked again.  He said “look..the kids are sitting on the benches 1 per bench, 2 per bench, 1 per bench, 2 per bench…all around the semicircle.”  The point is that Zach, like Zane, lives in a world where his brain automatically sees patterns that just zip on by the rest of us.

On a serious note, it is the similarities in how Zach and Zane think that make me know it is all going to be ok.  Zane is, in many ways, just an exaggerated version of Zach.  He has some of my sensory things thrown in there to make things interesting, but at his core, he is very much like Zach.  It is things like the extremely high visual perception, intelligence, and pattern recognition that makes Zach so incredibly good at what he does.  Because of this gift, he is able to hold entire large scale programs in his head and navigate around in them when others get lost.  It is that gift that allows him to be introduced to a new programming language one day, and hyper-learn it to the point he can teach it, and teach it very, very well, within a week.  It that skill that lets him make connections between things that almost nobody else can see, and to make leaps that seem impossible for others, but effortless for him.  He has the most amazing mind and spirit of any person I have ever had the privilege to know, and my son is, thankfully, very much like him.  I am so blessed. 

Now, a few pictures.

Sometimes it is good to be behind on cleaning up.  The box got destroyed in the rain and I was going to pull it and put it in the trash.  Glad I didn’t get to it yet.

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He made this “Safari Vest” in his Literacy playgroup today and wanted to wear it around the yard.

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Zane had been in the backyard for a while, and after I read Zora a dozen or so books, I was up and getting laundry.  I heard giggling and popped my head around the corner to see this. 

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That was a mess to clean up, but it was really cool to see them interacting through the window.  So worth the few minutes with a hose later.

 

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25th April 2007

Wednesday April 25, 2007

Firsts

Her first ponytail that lasted more than 3 seconds

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This picture may look a bit odd, but it was taken because it was the first time he went to get his coat and put it on all by himself.  He wanted to go outside in the rain, and how could we say no after all the work he did. 

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Not a first, but a wistful shot we got of Zora wanting to go outside during her brother’s therapy today

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25th April 2007

Wednesday April 25, 2007

April 2003

Zane, the same age as Zora

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Birthday party for Robert’s boys

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Hindsight is 20/20.   At Robert’s kid’s birthday party his favorite thing to do, other than the bubbles, was lining up these rocks that were part of the Easter display that year.

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He was carrying around his shoe because he wanted to go outside.  Zora does the same thing.

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  • Zane's age

  • Zane is 15 years, 9 months, and 21 days old
  • Zora's age

  • Zora is 11 years, 9 months, and 25 days old
  • Random Quote

  • Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people. — Fred Rogers

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