Musings from an Orthodox Jewish work at home mom of twins with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Archive for December, 2011

Two Week Winter Break

I was busy obsessing over thinking about the fact that my kids will have a two week break.  This Friday will be their last day of school until January 10th.  I physically and mentally CANNOT take them by myself most places (we have a system down pat for walmart and target— my kids LOVE CARTS).  The library?  Nope.  Playground?  Nope.  Restaurants?  SOMETIMES but I’d better be prepared for a mini meltdown.  (If you’ve ever seen us at the library or the playground, you’ve seen a MEGA meltdown.  A restaurant is usually a mini meltdown which is the worst meltdown ever for a neurotypical kid— for my kids, it’s a regular day.)  So I CAN take them to restaurants, though I don’t love it.

My husband has to work.  I have to work too, but hey, as long as I can make a full time income after the kiddos go to bed, then my daytime has to be the autism battle zone.  Forget the laundry and the cooking.

SSI denied us so we don’t have play money to get respite.  Respite denied us “extra” funds even though in the board of developmental disabilities paperwork are all the reports from our early childhood intervention specialist stating that taking them places by myself is my biggest problem.  I have ZERO issues taking either kid with me anywhere— yes, there are meltdowns, but no safety issues and nobody except me gets bitten— I use my strategies and I can get out the door without anyone getting hurt.  But put me with both kids and as soon as Wilma decides to flop and refuse to move, Fred turns into a tazmanian devil and bites anyone near him—- I don’t have enough hands to keep Wilma from deciding to run off while I pry Fred off an unsuspecting library patron.  I need both of my hands on both children at that moment.  I’m actually the only person I know who took a rep from the board of developmental disabilities to the playground with me, and Fred’s special ed teacher to the library with me— SO THAT we could come up with strategies SO THAT eventually I can go places without hiring a babysitter for one or both of my children.

Other families during winter break travel or go to museums or special events or parties.  Yeah, we’ll be home.  Want to come over for a play date?

This post sums it up SO nicely— THIS is why you don’t see me and my children out and about so often.

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IEPs are done!

We did IEPs on Monday!  I was in and out in two hours for both kids (since I had already had a three hour PRE IEP meeting).  Five goals with subgoals for Wilma, Three goals with subgoals for Fred, enough OT, PT, and speech to satisfy me but not so much that switching them to the therapy center is out of the question (I just love their school so darn much though…..).  I’m satisfied.

Potty training goals for both twins.

Kindergarten placement?  To be decided at the end of February when ETR results are back.  ETR testing started this week.  PLEASEEEEEEE  let there be the right program for both of them at ONE school with similar hours this next year.  PLEASE.

But here’s a funny poem because this nice Jewish family loves Xmas poems.  — about the IEP process—- for most fellow autism moms, it will garner some chuckles!

 

We Have a New Dentist

I have a happy post.

Our dentist whom we LOVE can’t handle my kids anymore.  He doesn’t offer sedation for children.  At all.  Take my two autistic four year olds, put them in his small office with no laughing gas, and the whole building is in for a rude awakening.  My husband and I will still go to him- he’s wonderful.  But my kids need to be knocked over the head with a frying pan sedation.

So I called every dental office listed in our local autism directory— most of them DO have experience with patients with autism, but put them all completely under in a surgical atmosphere.  My kids don’t have cavities or dental issues— they just need cleanings— a little sedation is fine, thanks.

This was a disaster waiting to happen…..

1)  I couldn’t get the twins their cleanings right away— they needed us to have a first appointment (consult) first so I have to take them AND take them back…..

2)  It’s in a ridiculous campus of buildings — had I not studied the campus map on the internet I would have been ridiculously lost.

3)  Parking is a nightmare– not for normal people, but for a mom with two behaviorally challenged four year olds?  ugh.

4)  I don’t have a double stroller big enough for these people that fits in my car.  These people were going to HAVE to walk.  Or at least one of them— I brought a single stroller with me.

5)  It’s the dentist.  Nuff said.

 

But……. dance with joy with me please.

1)  I found the building without driving around and around and around.

2)  Valet parking, usually reserved for labor and delivery patients, agreed to valet my car.  Worth every penny.

3)  Both kids eagerly walked to the bathroom where Wilma and I went potty and Fred got a diaper change and then eagerly walked with me to the office.

4)  While I filled out 15 minutes worth of paperwork (no joke), both kids quietly and happily watched Spongebob on the tv.  Totally amazing in and of itself.

5)  When we walked back and Fred screamed “oh no!”  he got over it very quickly and walked to a corner and pooped.  If he’s comfy enough in the office to poop immediately, it’s a good sign.

6)  They patiently made it through the teeth counting and poking around and all my questions.  A Bit of screaming, but that’s to be expected.

7)  They will give us FREE sedation at each appointment.  Our insurance doesn’t cover it but they won’t charge us.  No kidding?

8)  We left with toothbrushes, stickers, and appointments for cleaning for two separate Mondays in Jan and Feb (I’ll leave the opposite twin home with a sitter).

9)  They went back with me to the bathroom where Fred got another diaper change.

10) They WALKED to the lobby— I never unfolded the stroller— Wilma did NOT flop down, refuse to move, scream, whine, or cry.

11)  The valet drove the car up, I paid and tipped, and he STAYED with me while I got both kids in carseats and HE put the stroller in the trunk.

 

SpongeBob SquarePants (character)

Image via Wikipedia

12)  Nobody was crying or screaming, so we went to target next. Wilma picked out more panties.  Why?  Because starting next Friday the 23rd NO MORE PULLUPS except at night.  Her teachers agree that over winter break we should do panties all the time and then when she comes back to school just send lots of panties and changes of clothes and let’s hope for the best— she’s about 80% trained now—– NO #2 in the potty yet, and NO #1 in the potty unless I tell her to (she never tells me), but I’m telling her enough that she’s staying dry ENOUGH.

 

I’m in shock!  This was the first time in ages that I’ve had a successful trip out with BOTH kids that wasn’t at walmart or target (where I can throw them in the cart).  Not only was it successful, it was the DENTIST– which could have been soooooo horrific.  He remembered past dentist appointments and freaked a little, but calmed down so incredibly quickly.  GO FRED AND WILMA!

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