Thursday, October 29, 2009

You know your kid's an aspie, part 3

Xbox 360 Wireless ControllerImage via Wikipedia

"Mom, if we cut out Nutrisoda, switch our Direct TV from Choice to Family Package, take one week's allowance and one month's incentive, we can get Xbox 360 live."

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mom, trust me.

The New SchoolImage via Wikipedia

He's off.
To the new school,
in the dark,
ahead of schedule.
He catapulted.
Just took off on his bike in the dark.
"Mom, for once, trust me."
I do.

Update: Email from New School ASD person to me:

He’s here, walking with a swagger and acting like he’s done this every day of his life!

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lost in transition

We are transitioning. Formally. Because its not as if we've been static since the first day of school. But we've decided on a school placement, a timeline, and Elmer's first visit to the new site is right now. He is there for the afternoon with his beloved teacher.

We (well, I) visited school after school; private, public, charters. The only place that looked a perfect fit was full and Elmer had to move yesterday. So all the grand poo-bahs (a team of 13, including the District Sped Director) gathered round a table, discussed the options, and decided. He is moving to a custom-tailored program at our neighborhood Jr.High. And it will be customized unlike anything they've done before.

As the principal of his Magnet School told the poo-bahs, "There is no ready-made setting that works for Elmer. Even special ed settings must be tailored. Elmer will challenge you. He challenged me. And he made me a better principal."

"Anonymom," said the Sped Director, turning to face me, "What can we do to win back your trust?"

"The proof is in the pudding,"
I told her, "He needs to succeed."

Elmer, meanwhile, is entirely appropriate. Last night, when I asked if were nervous about the move, he shrugged and said, "I'm happy."

Before he got on the bus this morning he asked me to tell him jokes, which I did. Then he muttered, "I don't want to go to neighborhood jr. high this afternoon."

Then the bus pulled up and off he went.

But I, ladies and gentlemen, am even better than a girl scout. I am an auti-mom, so I am preparing a Plan B.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

You know your kid's an aspie

When he glances at the TV shot of the runaway balloon, he says, "I know how to grab that balloon,' then proceeds to bring up this on YouTube.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

You know your kid's an aspie....

BiohazardImage by Totoro! via Flickr

Two inches of snow on the ground this crazy morning meant letting the dog out instead of walking him. When we finally got home from the loco day of meetings, school visits, consultations, appointments, we found the poor dog had had an accident on the floor. Elmer nodded toward his backpack, and muttered, "Bio hazard bags, second pocket."

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Response from Elmer's teacher

If I would have known what I know now the first week of school, I would have suggested pulling him then.
On the second week of school, I did suggest to leadership that we move Elmer into the high school classroom, but was told it was full and was reminded that there is a student in the class who does have a history of aggression. Again, in retrospect, I should have pushed harder. I am sorry!

I know Elmer will receive TLC in the older classroom. Elmer knows most of the students in the older
classroom, and knowing the boys, they will talk among themselves
about the struggles and that in itself will be healing for Elmer.
I will check in with Elmer on a regular basis and I know others will continue to be there for him.
If you have ideas of other ways in which I can help Elmer, please let me know. I do believe that it is important for us to affirm with Elmer that he demonstrated great strength and skill in not only using his coping stratagies at school; that we help him see how strong he is, and that we (as a team) acknowledge we asked more of him than we should have - that his stress is a reflection of the team's mistake (not a reflection of Elmer).
Anonymom, we remain a team and we remain there for Elmer as a team with added knowledge and wisdom.
Please try to care for yourself too as finding a program with a good fit may be a process.
Take care.

Moving forward

Email to Elmer's IEP Team:
Elmer is going to need considerable help to recover from this month. While his team observed him coping with the chaos at school, at home he has been stimming, depressed, overeating, irritable and moody. While these have not been in large quantities, they are behaviors I haven't seen for years. This is painful, scary, and frankly, heartbreaking and infuriating.
I think we erred by maintaining the status quo for even this month. I wish I had pulled him sooner.
I know we can't go back in time but we must devote whatever resources are needed to reverse this.
Elmer must be nourished so that he is once again the boy who showed up ready to soar on the first day of school: confident, even-tempered, easy-going, charming, curious, optimistic, and a happy leader. That's the boy I sent to school and that's the boy I want back.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Good evening

Our lives have been as gloomy as the weather, as our outgrown school situation stretches on. Both Elmer (The Aspie formerly known as Diver) and I are stress-eating, cranky and depressed.

And yet.

Last night offered a glimmer -- more than a glimmer -- of hope that we will weather this; that Elmer has maintained his mighty growth; that he will be a competent adult among adults.

He had wondered outside with his poi balls and begun practicing, throwing a teen-aged "Mom, what are you looking at? I'm just hanging out" my way.

So I crossed the street and joined neighbors accompanying their toddlers on a bike ride. I returned to warm up at their fire pit, when Elmer joined us with kettle corn, six pack of soda and chair. That's a good guest; someone who BYOB, food and chair.

He gracefully entered the conversation and spent the evening socializing around the fire, discussing kayaking, WWII, Hitler, Stalin, Minnesota resorts; always polite, always appropriate, navigating run-on adult talking, adding interesting information even I didn't know.

I did not have to manage, monitor or worry. Miracle. Miracle!

I could tell that neighbors,who once feared him, not only enjoyed him, but respected him.

So maybe his team is right; learning to deal with the chaos at school will prepare him for anything that comes his way.