Monday, April 30, 2007

The Meeting

Bubba's IEP meeting was today. I get all worked up about these this point I don't know why. Lots of great ideas are talked about, but the IEP is watered down in the end. I've learned that the follow up letter, documenting all of the "great ideas" and other topics in writing, is more important than the IEP. Not how it should be, but for us that's how it is.

Today they suggested that since Bubba's behavior has drastically improved in the educational setting, that we no longer need a behavior intervention plan. (Only a year ago they felt he was so out of control they were throwing him in a seclusion room!) I guess that means we should just take him off the medication that corresponds to his behavior change then, huh? I mean since his behavior is better and all? (For those of you who didn't know, we made the difficult decision to put him on medication, which I will post about some day.)

Anyhow, I pushed my issue of developing self-regulation and self-determination skills. He'll have a behavior intervention plan. We are in that pickle that many families seem to get into...child doing well at school, child flipping out at home. At least we figured out why he's flipping out about some of the homework they send home...apparently he struggles during 'morning work' and then the work is sent home for him to complete. Already feeling like a failure, he certainly doesn't want to attempt the work again.

I tried to stress that when Bubba is home, he is not on medication, so all is not well. We chose to use medication to keep him regulated enough to allow the self-regulation strategies to be absorbed and learned. It is working, but there is much more to be taught. It was never about gaining compliance and then leaving it at that. Well at least not for us, his parents.

He also does very well with modeling from peers so he doesn't need the at-home strategies like listing steps of homework--he just looks to see what other kids are doing and runs with that visual prompt.

I'm pretty wiped out now, thanks to the half of a Xanax I took before the meeting. Sorry for the jumbled post, but that's all you're getting tonight.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lessons Learned

Today we played a water balloon game. It was quite complicated actually, but mostly just complicated for me. In order to get a water balloon, Bubba had to answer a math expression (we are working on addition right now with numbers under 10) and Moosie had to say/sign the color of the balloon. They then had to tell me what color the balloon was and I'd put a tally mark under the correct color.

After the end of the throwing, Bubba had to figure out the category with the greatest/least number of balloons and [sort of] graph the results (since this was at the end and difficult, I only had him do 3 colors). We spread it out with lots of fun, and we only had some frustration.

For the final 'prize' (waterguns), I told Bubba he would find the prize by answering a clue. This is the first time I've tried this, and as you can tell, I realized, as usual, that I was too wordy.

Me: The clue is: The mailman puts the mail here.

Bubba: Mail truck?

Me: He keeps the mail in the mail truck, but delivers the mail where?

Bubba: The mail truck?

Me: Where does the mailman put letters?

Bubba: Uh...the mail truck?

Me: Letters go in a ... ?

Bubba: Uh...a mailbox!

Me: You're right! The mailman puts letters in the mailbox.

Bubba: Mom? What do I do now?

Me: Go get your prize.

Bubba: Where is it?

Me: *sigh*

Monday, April 23, 2007

This Girl is Poison

To borrow some lyrics from Bell Biv Devoe:
That girl is poison
Never trust a big butt and smile

Hubby woke up with Poison Ivy in a bad place...a bad place for both of us. Of course Hubby blamed me because of my earlier generosity. But I don't have poison ivy anywhere. And I'd like to keep it that way thank you very much. So we are both on the strictest of restrictions for at least 2 weeks if not longer. We do not wish to reclassify Poison Ivy as an STD.

This does not make me happy. At all. But Hubby with his ever-present optimistic attitude (who seems to have forgotten that he required steroid shots to clear up the poison ivy on his arm) says that we learned a few things from this incident.

1) I am blamed for Hubby's each and every woe regardless of fact or truth.

2) When changing Moosie's diaper, one should not hold his ankles since he has poison ivy there.

3) One must also wash his hands before peeing.

4) There are worse places to get poison ivy. And since I am of the female type, I do not wish to realize this first hand (I'm sure there is a pun here somewhere).

Update on Child Complaints

My first Child Complaint process is over.

1) The school was found noncompliant in terminating Bubba's language services and must meet to discuss compensatory services. (The schools reasoning was that they made a procedural error because their caseload was too heavy--though the person that did it was the acting LEA and it was clear it was orchestrated...but whatever.) Since it was never about getting Bubba more services, but specifically about recording the underhanded sneakiness, I don't know what to do. I don't want Bubba pulled out of class to go to language therapy, which at this point probably won't make a bit of difference. But part of me wants them to "learn their lesson."

2) The school was found noncompliant in providing me quarterly progress reports (for the language goal) and have to supply a letter of assurance to the state department of education. (They couldn't prove they did give them to me and I had enough requests in writing saying they didn't give them to me.)

3) The one that I just don't get is that they were NOT found out of compliance for not giving me access to Bubba's related service records. According to the state department of education, those records fall under the "personal note" clause. I finally did get access to the records, which contained data collection towards Bubba's goals (and data that indicated goals he was not reaching I might add even though I was told he met the goals). So this appears to mean that we have no right to access data collection records and therefore can't see proof as to what progress our children are [not] making? So as long as the IEP looks clean and they give progress reports (I need to start asking for percentages!), they don't even have to support the end result with data? This makes me feel like I have no control at all. I guess at the next IEP meeting I'll request it be put in his IEP that we have access to Bubba's data collection records, and if they refuse, get a notice of action refused to add to my collection.

Really the only lesson learned for the school, in my opinion, is how to cover their butts on paper. This will not stop them from telling another family whose child qualifies for special education services that their child doesn't 'qualify' for specific related services based solely on IQ. That frustrates me.... better bet that this information is shared with all parents that I know and anyone I help as a parent mentor.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Bubba and Moose both have favorite interests. While Moosie seems to be into something for quite a long time (his repertoire has expanded from pads of paper and trains to also Dora, cars, Bob the Builder, and puppies), Bubba rapidly cycles through many (specific video game, specific movie, various modes of transportation, dinosaurs, and specific songs).

We tend to go with whatever the interest may be, and work it into whatever we are doing be it homework, dinner, playing, activities, etc.). Not normally a problem, but lately it has been a problem since Bubba wants to play Lego Star Wars at the nextdoor neighbor's house. I've tried explaining to him that he can't play over there every day, that showing up at someones house and requesting to play their game isn't a nice thing to do, that running out of the house or climbing out the window to get to the neighbor's house isn't safe...

From the expression on Bubba's face , I'm pretty sure Bubba has no idea what I'm trying to get across to him when it comes to the social rules, but I don't know what else to do really. He will sit on our porch or watch out his window and wait until he can play nextdoor. And yes, if it was up to him, he'd wait for 5 hours or even 5 days, asking me every minute if he can go nextdoor (or taking it upon himself to go)and repeatedly asking me "Why" questions until I get frustrated and say "We are not going over there today. Not today when it is sunny. Not today when it is dark." Of course that sends him into a tailspin. And then it's only a matter of time before he asks when he can go over there again.

Of course when I tell Bubba he can see if Neighbor Boy can play, Bubba knocks on the door and says "Can I play Lego Star Wars" to whomever answers. I suppose it appears rude, but Bubba has progressed from just bursting through their door and go for whatever piqued his interest.

Honestly Bubba likes playing the game with the neighbor's little boy. It is something they can do together, and Bubba doesn't have to worry about his self-control as much as he does when they are playing outside. So what if he doesn't add "...with Neighbor Boy" to his question.

Bubba is my social boy, the one who always wants to be around kids but doesn't know what to do exactly, who doesn't quite get the social exchanges correct, and who sometimes hurts others usually because of his self-regulation/sensory issues (running too fast, swinging without looking, playing "too rough," throwing toys, etc.).

How do I teach this to my child who wants nothing more than to be with the neighborhood kids but is already being called "weird" and is avoided unless no one else is home? How do I teach him that he can't be around kids jut because he wants to, that they might reject playing with him or simply that playing with them isn't an option at a give time?

Moosie could care less about any other kids as long as his brother is nearby or he has objects to happily tote around. But Bubba. Bubba who lives in the present and doesn't do so well with delaying gratification. Bubba is a different story.


Somber, shocked, sullen are words that come to mind today. I did not hear about the shooting at Virginia Tech until a friend who has family in the area called me late yesterday afternoon. This morning I watched some of the news coverage, but I learned years ago that I have to shelter myself from news coverage when it goes from being informative to being hellishly descriptive and intrusive. They are at the point now of playing cell-phone footage of gunshots on top of the images and graphic accounts of the shooting. It appears the media is alternating this with interviewing stunned friends, relatives, and survivors. It is time to turn off the news so as not to slip into the darkness. I have many images and sounds weaving through my obsessive mind. For those experiencing what I only have to think about, I send my sincere condolences and deepest sympathy.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Picky Picky Picky

Today I decided to go through the piles of hand-me-down children's clothes filling the blue room. Hubby and I were supposed to clear the boxes from the closet a year ago as we were converting Moosie's bedroom into a safe sensory/decompression/escape room complete with safety glass on the window, a swing, foam blocks to throw, minitramp, and (Bubba's favorite) a Jumpolene filled with heavy pillows and beanbags. Well, Moosie and Bubba broke into the closet and the someday-these-will-be-Moosie's clothes were strewn everywhere.

As I was sorting through the clothes, I found myself at one point lost in my own thoughts steadily picking at my elbow. I'm not sure how long I was sitting there picking, but judging by my elbow, it was for a good bit of time. Even though I couldn't recall what I had been thinking about previously, at that point I thought to myself "Why would the good Lord give someone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder psoriasis?" And then it was clear to me, if I didn't have psoriasis, what would I pick? There are not too many socially appropriate options that I can think of, and dead skin has to be the least harmful, right? So today I think I am actually thankful for having psoriasis. Go figure.

Note: I doubt that my husband or former college roommate are happy that I have psoriasis. I thought it was my dirty little secret until recently, but apparently many a time they witnessed much elbow and head picking whenever I was deep in thought.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Captain Itchy Pants

Whenever something irritates Bubba, it irritates him to the extreme. When it interrupts him while he is sleeping, it irritates him to the extreme tenfold. Such is what happened Friday night.

I was blissfully dreaming of chocolate waterfalls or some similar nonsense when I was jolted awake by Bubba screaming in terror.


I knew we were in trouble when his frantic cries for help irritated me rather than call to my maternal compassion. The first thought that came to my mind was pinworms. Ugh.

I coaxed a deliriously screaming Bubba into the bathroom. Bend over so I can wipe your butt.

Bubba continued to jump and scream. Why's my BUTT ITCHY?!?!? IT'S ITCHY!!!! MY BUTT IS ITCHY!!!

This conversation repeated several times, both of our anxiety levels rising. I felt no sympathy for Bubba even though he was redfaced, blotchy, and covered with snot and tears. I was just plain crabby.

Since Bubba has bowel retention issues, there have been many a time where I have had to trick him to insert a suppository or smear petroleum jelly on his rear. So his lack of eagerness for me to be anywhere near his bottom is understandable. Evenso, when I tried to come close to him once he bent over, I was perturbed when he thrashed around and yelled uncontrollably, Mom, is there Vaseline on there? Mom, NO Vaseline! NO VASELINE!!!!

By that point I forgot I was a mother, and felt Satan emerging from my chest. I tried to breathe through the rapid heat spreading below my sternum. Bend over so I can check your butt for worms.

I knew right after the words seethed out of my mouth that I had just destroyed any hope of getting through this itchy incident anytime soon. I imagine now that poor Bubba was envisioning earthworms crawling around his bottom, so the ear-piercing screaming that followed made sense.

Finally, once I realized that my only urge was to scream back at Bubba, I called for reinforcements. Yes, Daddy had been sleeping through all of this.

Once common sense entered the picture, Bubba's butt was wiped with a soft wipie and his underwear was changed. We couldn't think of anything else to do. Daddy convinced him that his butt did not in fact itch, and we tucked him back into bed. After the 45-minute ordeal, Bubba fell asleep swiftly. Moosie thankfully never woke up. Daddy and I were not so took another 30 minutes or so to get Captain itchy pant's screaming out of our minds.

Bubba didn't remember a thing in the morning and has not had an itchy attack since. I will, however, feel more than a tad guilty each time he screams when approached by an earthworm.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Bye Bye Boobs

Last night Moosie woke up crying around 1:00am. As he entered our room, he was signing his version of "water" (index finger pulling away from chin) and repeatedly saying "Waaa-aaa." Once he finished his water, he pointed to his chin saying "uhm" (his sign and word for "mom") and then pointed to our bed.

Wow. He didn't even ask to nurse. He used to do his modified sign for "drink" (looks like a wave) and scream "EEEEEEEEEE" to indicate he wanted to nurse. Last night, all he needed was a drink of water and to snuggle next to mom, and all was right with the world.

This morning when he awoke in our bed, his hand shot up in reflex as his eyes opened. He half-heartedly waved and then pointed at my chest. He only cried for a second when I reminded him that they were broken. Then he crawled out of bed and left me pondering.

I've had a nursing relationship with Moosie for over 3 years and do not plan on any future nurslings. I pumped exclusively for over 3 months because Moosie couldn't figure out how to nurse when he was a newborn. I pumped in the crappy first-aid room when I was working fulltime, but was able to nurse Moosie at daycare each day at lunch.

There was a period of over a year when Moosie was so sick, the only nourishment or hydration of any form we could get into him was breastmilk. While we never had eye contact during nursing sessions, we had contact nonetheless. It didn't matter that Moosie would rather stare into my armpit and not gaze into my eyes, I had his warmth, his scent, his trust, his life right there nestled in my lap.

With one nip of the nip, it is over. I've been bitten before, but not to this extent. The pain alone is enough to keep me from caving into Moosie's sweet smiles and habitual requests. But I am realizing what we have ended. I think I was ready as was he, but the finality of it all is bittersweet. There was no last time holding him thinking "this is the last time." But never before have I been able to lay next to Moosie and just lay next to Moosie, never until last night.

I am also left pondering what in the heck is going to happen to my boobs? I shudder just thinking about it. And now I have you dear reader shuddering too. Sorry.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A few of life's lessons

Just a few of life's lessons learned this week:

1) Do not put a band aid on your nipple, even if it's bleeding. Or if you do, don't take it off...just wait until it falls off.

2) Wipe the toilet seat before you sit down in our hallway bathroom. It's better to be safe than sorry. Just trust me on this one.

3) Don't collect all of your pending paper work in a big box in the kitchen. It is not a convenient container, but rather a procrastination pot.

4) Houses don't clean themselves.

Since this afternoon I have nearly FOUR HOURS without children and husband and no doomed freelance projects, I am off to clean. Just maybe part of my house will be clean for more than 5 minutes. And then I can go back to writing "I am putting this in writing so you can't say it never happened" letters to Bubba's school and preparing for his IEP meeting at the end of the month.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Are you sure it's not Monday?

Although I spent the day convincing myself that it was indeed Tuesday, the day's events and mishaps clearly pointed to it being a Monday.

The following incidents drew blood.

Incident 1
Bubba's school sent home homework where Bubba was required to 1) cut out puzzle pieces, 2) paste the puzzle pieces to the corresponding matching definitions, and 3) color the picture. So I wrote on the board the three simplified steps (bold) so that Bubba would not be frustrated about remembering the steps or the sequence. A lot of good that did.

Bubba immediately flipped out when he realized he had to cut out something. Granted the puzzle pieces had enough corners and curves to frustrate even the most adept scrapbooking queen. We were finally making progress with me helping him rotate the paper as he maneuvered the scissors.

In hindsight, I suppose that wasn't the smartest accommodation. He hit a straight line and was snipping out of control and caught part of my index finger. Of course he was fascinated by the blood. We eventually got through step 2 and then I didn't even remind him about the coloring bit.

What was the purpose of this homework I wonder? Let's give a kid who struggles with self-regulation and motor planning a tedious task to do with scissors! I scribbled a note to the teacher regarding the issues with the assignment, complete with my bloody fingerprint.

Incident 2
Moosie has been weaning for the past few months; he has been attempting to nurse for two seconds and then goes on with his life. I've been letting the weaning process happen naturally because it is easier. (Hey before you judge me, it really wasn't that weird. And if you had that one magic thing that could calm any storm and prevent World War III, wouldn't you think twice about giving it up?)

Well today Moosie bit the tip of my nipple and it hurt like hell. So as I was crying and trying to assess the damage to my bleeding nipple, I decided that he is officially weaned. I showed Moosie the damaged goods and told him, "You broke it. No more nursies." He was pretty pissed, but now maybe he has something concrete and visual to help him go through boob withdrawal. I'm sure Freud would have something to say about the way I handled things, but whatever.

Meanwhile Bubba is laying in bed anxiously questioning Daddy: "Why did [Moosie] bite mommy's private parts?" [He learned the term 'private parts' from school, we use anatomically correct terms at home.] "Is mommy only going to have one private part?" Can't wait to hear what Bubba says at school tomorrow. Last year there was a big ordeal because Bubba drew breasts on his snow person. He said it was "a girl snowman." I don't see the issue. I've probably screwed him up too somehow. Oh well. I'm the one bleeding.

Today is Tuesday

It's Tuesday, NOT Monday. I thought maybe if I typed it out, I'd remember. The boys were off school for a 4-day weekend, which has apparently thrown me for a loop. Funny how my concept of "days" has changed since I stopped working outside of my home.

There are school days and nonschool days and Hubby's days off (he works retail so one week he may be off Tuesday and Thursday, the next week Sunday and Tuesday, it's anyone's guess really, but usually he's off on rainy days. *shrug*). I am beginning to see that I need to bring "days" back into my life, because time literally seems to be slipping away from me. The thing about working from home and being a mom and being a wife is that everything just runs together, a big fluid mess. I've tried for over a year to convince myself that flexibility is good, but I have learned for me that too much is bad. My brain craves beginnings and endings. This overlapping crap does not compute!

Maybe if I have something to attend to every Monday or something every Tuesday, I'll have something to anchor me back into existence. Of course I told Moosie's teacher I'd volunteer in his class every Tuesday. Of course now I realize that means today. Ugh. I shall not disappoint.

Child Complaint Continued

In February, I filed two child complaints with the state department of education. I was pretty sure nothing would come of them, but thought the issues to be serious and valid enough to take the time to fill out the paperwork. My complaints are moving through the process, and I was contacted by a state official. She made it sound like FERPA didn't cover the 'informal' language service records (which I got last week - 1 year after requesting them and contained the data used to calculate the percentages of progress [or lack of] of Bubba's language goals [that doesn't sound 'informal' to me.]) She's going to check on it as she says that is a 'grey area' of the law. And she's telling me although she feels the school was noncompliant, since they are now taking corrective actions (giving me the records and reevaluating him in language [again, over a year later]), that they may not officially be found noncompliant.

So it doesn't matter that they broke the law over a year ago since NOW after I filed the complaint, they are doing the minimum to cover their butts? So if I go steal a car, get caught by the owners, and hurry up and put it back in their driveway before the police come, I can get off the hook for the actual illegal act? Cool.

Anyhow, the person understood that it was about the school's noncompliance [and sneakiness] with procedure than what my child wasn't getting. I'm not sure if this was all a waste of time, but it's pretty much what I was expecting [though I was still hopeful to a point.]

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Tossing One's Easter Goodies

Easter was just like any other holiday. Not a decoration in the house. (To be fair, it doesn't feel like Spring, so the whole bunnies and eggs mojo just didn't happen.) Mom too tired to put the holiday goodies out the night before. (I forgot that we used the baskets earlier in the year to aid Moosie's hoarding habit.) Mom oversleeping. (Hey, I have a cold!) Mom hurriedly stashing goodies in bags and secretly placing them on the porch and ringing the doorbell. (Yes, by now, our children think all mythical gifts are left on the front porch in reused birthday gift bags.)

Then you have cutting out two families and attending the remaining two gatherings, which are social nightmares for me. (I just don't like a lot of people. I do the best I can, but I am a social flunky.)

Moosie decided to stuff his mouth full of various foodbits as he is prone to do, though with a congested nose, he was unable to breathe. So from across the room I saw a purple and confused Moose and somehow navigated through various relatives and chairs to encourage Moosie to dispel of his unchewed plate of food by turning him upside down and thrusting his back. Of course after the choking, there was gagging and vomiting. Lots of vomiting. (So much for the short-lived excitement of him finally tripling his birth weight.)

Then later Moosie held a $5 bill in his basket and screamed when anyone tried to put candy in there. Of course the screaming caused other people to feel sorry for him, so they put more candy in his basket to appease him. This lead to more screaming and angry rapid firing of the rejected candies.

Bubba did well. Nothing funny or disturbing to report. (Much better than that year where he dropped the deep freeze door on someone's head, but had no clue that such an act would actually hurt someone.) He tolerated Moosie following him everywhere. And of course Bubba played more with the toddlers than he did with the kids his own age. But that is to be expected. The toddlers celebrated him. The other kids seemed irritated by him. But he was happy, so I am reminded that most of my friends are either younger or older, and friendship has nothing to do with age. (Note to self. Stop worrying about the age of Bubba's friends. Still slightly worry about whether or not he can hurt them.)

I won't get into the conversation I was having with my sisters about discipline when I shrugged and said that I wasn't really that bad of a kid. My stepmom gasped and dramatically exclaimed "Yeah, maybe compared to pyromaniacs." Disturbed, alone, lost, maybe. Bad, no. Thankfully, I was too high on chocolate and vomit fumes to care.

So that's our Easter in an eggshell.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

A Better Person

Earlier today I read a blog entry that touches on the cliche of "I am a better person because of [insert any difficult, challenging experience or person]." I struggled with what was written because many times I feel I am in fact better from who and what I have experienced. I too get sick of hearing such trite phrases as "God won't give you what you can't handle." or "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." But I also understand the human need to rationalize difficult, challenging, or unsettling experiences in order to persevere.

So, with that on my mind, as I sat teary-eyed watching a movie on TBS--feeling silly about the way I was shuddering and sniffling at a movie about intense, spiritual love--one of the characters said something to the effect that the couple had shared more love in that summer than many people do in a lifetime. And I remember the words "I have" popping into my head--unscripted, uncalled for, words just there in truth. Not that I have any idea how other people experience or internalize love, but I knew that how I was experiencing it through the eyes of the characters is how I've experienced it my own life.

Anyhow, it was then that I realized that I don't know if I am a better person than I was last year or the year before or years before that. I know I am somehow different because of my children, my husband, and the struggles and triumphs through out my life. I know I am a different person because of the thousands of people--some close and some only whispers--who have entered my realm to comfort, guide, manipulate, or hurt me...or just those who just passed through as they navigated their lives.

I know that I am who I am because of it all and to try to separate the experience from the person is ridiculous. Some of me has grown, some of who I thought I was has perished to be replaced by parts of me that I had previously refused to recognize. I know many of my faults and many of my strengths...and on any given day they may switch categories, but they still shape me and guide me.

So maybe I am not a better person. I still get anxious over silly things I can't control like Bubba wanting to touch every squeaky dog toy and wind chime at the grocery store or Moose screaming uncontrollably when we are giving him a breathing treatment that is supposed to help him. I am easily irritated and have hot-flushed reactions when my husband can't stop pestering and teasing my friends even when it's not "appropriate." I still fret over goofy things like finding money to pay the gas bill and time to go exercise, when I just spent $20 and 20 minutes on burgers and ice cream earlier in the day. I still participate in petty gossip and have internal debates over things that most people wouldn't even give 2 seconds to. But I am sure that every experience I have had from this point back, from each gentle nudge of my husband to the look of innocence in my children's eyes, to the vulnerability and courage I hear in my sister's voice each time we talk, to all of life's irritations and challenges that push me inside myself and pull me back out create a new version of me second by second.

It is this that reminds me that if each slight shrug of a person and each breath of the wind has made me who I am, then I have more purpose than I could've ever dreamed. To think just one word, one glance, or the lack of any acknowledgement can shape one second of one person. To some that second is just a tick of time, to others it may be a pivoting point. The thing is you just don't know, do you? So it is not because of the people and experiences in my life that I am a better person it is because of the people and experiences in my life that I strive to be a better person. I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

Friday, April 6, 2007


I was going to post something well thought out and organized regarding the Oprah show, but I don't have the energy. Here's the e-mail I sent to a few of my friends after the show. I was expecting the show to be entirely Autism Speaks driven, but was pleasantly surprised. I was only irritated by Katie Wright.


So... opinions on Oprah? I'm curious what everyone else thought!

I was a little disappointed the panel failed to show the "spectrum" or a range of the "faces of autism" since they represented pretty specifically the "regression"-type of autism and only children. I am concerned the disjoint between the pediatrician and the panel might add to the confusion.... Even Oprah was confused regarding early intervention before the age of two when the folks just said their kids "were normal" until after 2. I was glad suicide lady (allison, who stated in the movie that she almost drove off a bridge because of her daughter) spoke up.

And I think the vaccine thing needed to be addressed (big white elephant in the room), but it seemed out of place since no other causes or treatments were specifically addressed...that would be Katie (daughter of Autism Speaks founders) who vehemently believes vaccination is the cause of her son's autism.

I liked the pleas for compassion and understanding and the sharing of positive parts to balance things out.

I hope Oprah does a follow up show. She seemed uncomfortable like she didn't know what to think, do, or say (judging by her body language)....she seemed very scripted and stoic in a way. But it is a new topic to her, so that is understandable!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Spring Sickies

Moosie has been coughing quite a bit today. The preschool nurse said that his chest sounded tight like she would expect in a child who has had asthma. Before the age of 2 Moosie had numerous stacked respiratory infections. He was never diagnosed with asthma, but with bronchio-something, which basically meant asthma.

Eventually we didn't need to do the preventative medication and such and haven't used the nebulizer in over a year even though Moosie has had some chest colds. Fast forward to March. Moosie was waking up once a night with one horrendous coughing fit. Once I got him settled down, he'd go back to sleep and not cough again until the next night. I thought he was choking or something since he had no other symptoms and sleeps in upside down positions underneath 5 pillows and stuffed animals...but no, apparently it is asthma and I am supposed to be doing something about it.

So today we gave him an albuterol treatment, which caused more coughing due to his intense screaming. Then an hour later he was vomiting. And then there was Bubba jumping up and down and clapping excitedly, saying "Yeah, I gotta see this" and then all of a sudden "[Moosie] don't throw up, I miss you."

Fun times. Happy Easter!

I'm Tired

So I finally finished the big project I have been working on since mid2006. In the past 2 weeks I worked over 45 hours, some of which was done while I was attending an autism conference. 45 hours is a far cry from the 10 hours a week I was planning on working once we decided I should stay home and focus on life. "The best laid plans of mice and men will often go awry" is pretty much my life story.

In any case, my house, my person, my children, and my husband all show signs of neglect. We have eaten fastfood more times than I can count because my kitchen is a mess. I cannot cook when my kitchen is a mess. I just can't. And the boys have been left to their own devices way more than I'd like to admit, because I have such difficulty switching between "work-life brain" and "home-life brain." So when I have 15 minutes when I am not working, I can't switch gears, I just waste time until I can work again (or vice verse with home-related things).

I am slowly pulling myself out of the trenches to go clean my house, sift through paperwork, start exercising, go to the grocery store, get that blood test I was supposed to get done last get the idea.....I'm in a little bit of a funk because we had an evaluation meeting for Bubba today. Nothing earth shattering--his receptive is lower than his expressive language; he has difficulty with directions; he is socially awkward with peers, but not with adults; he has attention issues, etc. Then you have "he is just like any other 1st grader" but then "he needs supports to help him in [this] area in order to be successful." The teachers latch on to "just another 1st grader" and I latch on to "he needs support."

I'm just so tired with all of this. When Bubba was 2 we heard over and over again "he's 2, temper tantrums are normal." Then when he was 5 and magically didn't stop throwing temper tantrums, all of a sudden his explosive behavior was a problem. I just foresee the same thing happening with social issues and receptive language. "He's in 1st grade. ALL first graders do this." Then all of a sudden he's in 4th grade or 5th grade, and it's not OK...