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

Archive for the ‘Fred’ Category

Public School Goodies Coming to a Behavioral Charter School?

After a zillion really terrible IEP meetings as my son was getting kicked out of public school a couple of years ago, I’ve been content with his new school— not THRILLED mind you, but content. A lot less aggression as he has very few students in his class and there are maybe 40 students in the whole school with an amazing student:staff ratio. Everyone is trained in TCI, everyone knows what to do in case of meltdown, and there are plans for dealing with aggression stemming from autism. But I’ve had two problems with this school— the lack of gifted services, and the gym curriculum or lack thereof. As far as the latter goes, there is NO adapted phys ed and therefore there are no gross motor skills on the IEPs for this school’s students. It doesn’t matter that he’s always had gross motor goals and adapted phys ed at his previous school. Furthermore, gym class is simply run by the intervention specialists— they do kickball, dodgeball, defend the castle and that’s about it—- VERY different from the diverse phys ed curriculum of public school. I asked about how we can get one of the public school adapted phys ed teachers down to his school if not to see him once a week and get gross motor goals on the IEP, then at least evaluate him and tell me how to focus his gross motor for the next while because I’m no phys ed teacher and there is very little this boy needs more than gross motor work. Last year I got a lukewarm apology— sorry, that’s not done, no gross motor goals on IEP, oh well. This year…… success! Fred’s first gross motor eval at this school is coming up and it looks like he’ll be able to have one of the adapted phys ed teachers (ironically… his twin sister’s!) come down to his school to work with him! All I had to do was ask nicely two years in a row. More info about the gifted stuff to come— basically they HAD been individualizing his math and science work but they had reason to stop doing that. In my next post I’ll tell you what’s up there.

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Pajama Time

#youmightbeanautismparentif you ask your son with a genius level IQ to put on his pajamas. Because you’re downstairs chatting with your dinner guest instead of upstairs telling him what to do next he thinks that means bring the jammies downstairs to put them on. We sent him back up before it happened but…. I know *MY* IQ went down a few points.

What Is ABA?

Some of you know that both of my kids do “ABA” for multiple hours a week but have no idea what that means. I like this video because it shows a real life example of a child being prompted to put his shoes away, put away groceries, pack his lunch, and walk the dog.

In our house, real life examples are different than this and include playing a game by the rules from beginning to end, having a conversation that starts, flows nicely, and stops, doing math homework with minimal screaming (Wilma), practicing piano with minimal screaming (Fred), riding a bike while paying attention to cars coming out of driveways, going to the store and paying for items, appropriately greeting visitors who come to the door, clearing the table, putting away laundry, sweeping, changing trash bags, etc etc etc. Wilma likes to help me cook. Both kids worked very hard on shoe tying and mastered it. Wilma worked very hard on the dinnertime skill of not interrupting. Fred worked very hard on the dinnertime skill of using utensils and not hands. Many of these things are what neurotypical kids pick up naturally but our kids need extra support. For us, ABA is a structured way to give them that extra support. Fred likes to work for candy. Wilma most recently worked for a little purse from Justice. Both earn money— Fred likes to spend his on hotwheels and Wilma likes to spend hers on virtual currency in the “Roblox” game.

Hope that was a good explanation!

 

https://blog.theautismsite.com/overcoming-struggles-of-down-syndrome-and-autism/?utm_source=aut-autaware&utm_medium=social-fb&utm_content=link&utm_campaign=overcoming-struggles-of-down-syndrome-and-autism&utm_term=5876822&origin=aut-autaware_social_fb_link_overcoming-struggles-of-down-syndrome-and-autism

 

 

Playing Catch Up

Trying to catch up on this here bloggity thang.  Looks like I never updated y’all about the school situation?  Wowza.  Was too busy living it to blog it.

Fred was kicked out of public school.  Suspension after suspension after suspension— multiple emergency IEP meetings where they granted us a 1:1 aide just for 30 days even when I warned them it should be an rBT supervised by a BCBA and it should be the same aide…..  suspension was not a deterrent, his impulse control got weaker and weaker, and his desire to GET to stay home from school got stronger so he would punch teachers on purpose to GET suspended.  “Our policy is” are my least favorite words.  The district now spends thousands to send him to a behavioral school.  I LOVE his new (not so new anymore!) school.  THEY NEVER SUSPEND.  THEY WORK WITH BEHAVIORS.  I’m thrilled.  This school goes through 12th, but they’ll attempt to pull him back into public much sooner.  Momma bear will be ready to fight again for no suspensions for autism related behaviors.  Suspend a kid in a wheelchair for not trying harder to walk, why don’t you?

Wilma is doing great in public school.  So great that we tried to put her in a Jewish school with just a 1:1 aide.  Medicaid would have had to pay for at least 20 hours a week of the ABA aide— they weren’t willing.  Our state’s autism scholarship can’t cover a full time rBT and she can’t handle just ANY aide— she needed a behavioral aide if she was going to be in a school with no trained intervention specialists.  So— she stays in public.  GREAT, but her new middle school will be 1200 kids.  Already had the transition meeting and I’m cautiously optimistic.

Fred is on depakote and straterra currently.  Wilma is on adderral, geodon, all the junk through her C tube, and……..  birth control.  We had to stop the heavy periods.  On depo-provera she gets a normal period every 3 months instead of a heavy one once a month— it’s working fine and now she can wear underwear and pads during her periods and go to school and camp instead of stay home and fill pull ups with bowel movements that go completely whacko during heavy periods.

They’re in camp for six weeks— the ONE daycamp on this side of town that takes their medicaid waiver, works with kids like them, and is right for them.  He was suspended today and I had to have THE TALK with the director.  PLEASE PLEASE don’t get suspended again, kid.

 

ABA Update

One of Wilma’s therapists is off our case for good and it’s a welcome relief.  Already have someone else in place a week later.

If you want to work with kids with autism and you’re asked to give 2 weeks notice of an occasional absence, and your job with us is 4 hours a week, you can’t be absent at least once every other week and give less than a week’s notice about two week absences over and over AND complain to your family about our family. (HIPPA anyone?) Don’t screw with my kid’s’ mental health.

Wilma’s other therapist is growing on us and Freds’s therapist is really quite good. Their supervisor is EXCELLENT—- so I think with this change we’re in a good place.

Summer. Autism Doesn’t Take a Break

There are far too many families dealing with similar crapola….. 9:30 pm, both kids are sleeping, and I’m cooking Shabbos because I’m out all day tomorrow. (I wrote this Thursday night).  All of a sudden I hear a sweet “can I come downstairs and tell you something very quickly?” I say sure, but then please go back to sleep. She tells me she has a loose tooth and she wants me to look in her mouth— I had no idea she’d start screaming her head off. She’s terrified it’s an adult tooth. I have no idea whether it’s a kid tooth or adult tooth— I can BARELY get in there— I got a half second peek before she started screaming her head off, waking her brother and then I was treated to another lovely double meltdown right as I’m supposed to be making Shabbos and my husband is out at daf. yay. Full physical prompting up the stairs with a kid who weighs 110 pounds isn’t fun. Guaranteed that when my husband is in charge of getting them on the camp van tomorrow she’ll scream at him that she’s not going to camp and she demands an emergency dentist appointment. If she’ll calmly simply let me LOOK…… but nothing ever happens calmly around here. Autism, thanks for striking again– hadn’t seen ya in a couple of hours.

And…. Well we made it almost to week 4 without getting suspended from camp. Fred will be home with us Monday without his sister. Not. A. Deterrent.

And….

Wilma: “can I call the police department and let them know that fireworks can’t go off tonight because I have daycamp in the morning and I need to sleep?” Me: “put on your fan and let’s hope for the best.”

Every year I say that noise free fireworks need to become a thing. Autism, PTSD, veterans, pets….. there are a lot of reasons not to have big loud bangs after bedtime, yo.

And…. Why is the guy who gets ticked off at my husband that he doesn’t bring our son to synagogue in the evenings (after he likes to be asleep) the same guy who’d be royally pissed off at our son’s behavior if he did?

Catching You Up On The Hilarity Around Here

#youmightbeanautismparentif your ten year old, at 6:45 am, is working on memorizing all the counties of Texas.

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Me rushing Fred through the bath time process…. “ok strip and get in the tub”. Fred: “but I don’t want to become a stripper….”

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Me to Wilma: “I’m not going to want you in my bed watching the news tonight at 10:30— sleep, please.” My smartass ten year old: “I don’t think the news is on tonight– it’s going to be football.”

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#youmightbeanautismparentif your ten year old can calculate sin cos and tan but still manage to put his underwear on backwards.

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one thing we’re working on in ABA is dinnertime conversation—- instead just yammering about whatever is on our own mind, we are supposed to ask each other questions. How was your day? (for example) and ask questions about what someone just said, etc.

So Wilma just came home and with no prompting asked “how was your day?” I started to answer and she said “I asked you now so I won’t need to ask you during dinner…..” HAH!

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#youmightbeanautismparentif you’re woken up on Shabbos to a ten year old perfectly singing an Irish drinking song in your ear.

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In discussing with Miss thang that her cecostomy flushes haven’t been effective for the past couple of days, she said and I quote…. “my colon is on a coffee break”.

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#youmightbeanautismparentif your kid goes to mincha with Abba, davens nicely, then waits till the end to announce that the prayers are about loving HaShem….. breaking into Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” in front of all the kollel guys.

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Me: “when are you going to start bringing home homework this year?” Fred: “I don’t give a monkey’s gluteus maximus”.

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“Mommy, can I play with the computer?” “No, sorry.” “Why not?” “You were hitting and screaming”. “But mommy, aren’t you used to it by now?”

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