Friday, March 9, 2012

Sixth-sense, Mommy-sense.

A while ago I was at the homeopath and I was talking about Brian and his lack of sleep at the time (he goes through cycles).  I told her that I use to wake up every time he made a noise but lately I will wake up and he's downstairs watching a movie and I panic realizing I have no clue how long he's been up for.

I was probably even tearing up a little bit while I was telling her this.  I love to put guilt trips on myself.  She looked at me calmly and said, "Heather, you are so connected to those two boys that I have no doubt that you would wake up if either of them were in danger.  Your body needs sleep, don't feel guilty about it."

She made me feel better but I still had doubts.

Last night Brian was up around three.  I heard him get up and put on a movie but then I fell back asleep.  I woke up around four, out of no where, knowing something was wrong.  I sprung out of bed and ran into the laundry room because for some reason I knew that was where Brian was.

There he was on shelf four of a five-shelf unit I have.  It's probably about six feet tall.  He was trying to get to some candy I had stashed up on the fifth shelf.

Holy shit.  That's all I can say.  I have no clue how he get up there and I don't think he would've made it down safely if I had not woken up.  I'm so thankful for that sixth sense, mommy-sense.

There's no doubt about it, that little boy and I are connected.  My homeopath knows what she's talking about.

Monday, March 5, 2012

They Get It From Me.

It's no secret that I'm a strong believer that both genetics and environmental factors play a role in Brian's autism.

Sometimes, it's blatant that there has to be some sort of genetics.  At least when it comes to the sensory-processing pieces.

Like, when I absolutely have to wear noise-cancelling headphones to do homework (oh yeah, did I mention that I went back to school this semester because I had such a firm handle on my already busy-enough life?) because I can not, for the life of me, filter out the noises in our home.

Thank goodness I have a small enough head to wear the boys'.  Now that's a style I'm not sure will pick up anytime soon.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Photo Shoots & Autism

Every once in a while I get it in my head that I want to attempt a photo shoot again with the boys.  I buy them new outfits, I get so very excited thinking about how cute the pictures will be, and I deliberately plan on how to keep Brian well-rested and happy leading right up to the moment.

Of course the reality of it is that the new shirts turned out to be too scratchy and last minute have to be traded for black t-shirts.  Brian's stitches won't dissolve so even though I planned the shoot for six weeks after the incident they are still there.  And nothing, not even a lollipop, a train ride, and swimming, will make Brian smile.

The results:

Why the *$%@ are you  making me do this?

Oh, you're going to try to bribe me with a lollipop?  I could roll with that.
"I hate this hat!!!"
(Wish we got a picture of him when he tried to bite his vest off.  Yes, I said, bite it off.)

My favorite pic of Brian.  Corbin on the other hand looks like a goofball.

They're both looking at the camera.  Hallelujah. 

How perfect would this be if Brian was looking at the camera.
Instead he just noticed that Colin came into the room with lollipops.

Not too shabby.  Could be worse.

I am too damn cool to be doing this photo shoot.

Who loves being in front of the camera?

What a ham.

Who needs smiles?  This picture is PERFECT.
Love these boys, just the way they are.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

IEPs: My favorite subject.

Dani at I'm Just That Way decided to tag me in a meme this week that is all about IEPs.  Her reasoning was that I'm super tough when it comes to IEPs.  I haven't always been that way, I don't always feel that way, but I'm glad it comes across that way!

Today is the perfect day for me to post about this as I was busy reorganizing the boys' folders.  Multiple folders. This is an example of what I pack to IEPs:

Special Ed regs, binders full of evals/reports, copies of communication, etc.
 So this is the rules from the original meme about what I'm suppose to share:


Brian has quite the list of aids, services, modifications, and supports.  He needs to be provided with a visual schedule, regular gross motor breaks, sensory breaks every half hour, 1:1 adult support at all times of the day, a quiet work space within the classroom as needed, visual communication board (his alternative to PECs that we are seeing great progress with), home/school communication book that is filled out each day in 15 minute increments so I know exactly what he is working on, and weekly behavioral consultation notes from the behavior specialist.

In school he receives specially designed instruction at 3.5 hours a day, 90 minutes a week of speech, 60 minutes a week of OT, and 60 minutes a week with the behavior consultant.  He also gets consultation from speech, OT, behavior consultant, and augmentative communication consultant on a monthly basis. Once a week the entire team meets to discuss Brian and to make sure they are all on the same page.  


Corbin has in his IEP that he is to be able to use a word processor for writing and visual aids for all aspects of the classroom (he needs a step-by-step visual schedule for most things).  Though Corbin has as much, if not more, sensory-processing difficulties than his brother it has been hard to get them included in his IEP.  However, we have implemented a ton of sensory stuff this year which have helped immensely!  He is now allowed to chew gum in the classroom and he is no longer coming home with shirts soaked from the cuff of the sleeve to his shoulder.  He had noise-cancelling headphones that he wears during all independent work.  He has fidget toys at his desk and theraband attached to his chair.

He gets 300 minutes a week of specially designed instruction that includes his extra help for reading and writing AND his time working in his accelerated math program which is in addition to his classroom's math curriculum, 60 minutes a week of OT, and 60 minutes a week of speech.

Another important thing that I have worked out with Corbin's classroom and resource room teacher is allowing Corbin to do most of his reading work on non-fiction texts.  Corbin loves non-fiction and will only check out books such as almanacs from the library.  He gets it.  He does not get fiction.  I know, he needs to get it at some point, but I also feel like he needs to be able to enjoy reading for him to be able to make any gains in it.  So right now he is doing about 75% of his work on non-fiction texts and the rest on fiction.

I am happy, for now, with both boys' services.  Could they be better? Yes.  I am still dying for them to take into account their dominance profiles and put them into their IEPs.  I'd also love for their OT to do some manual reflex integration rather than concentrating on goddamn handwriting.  I'd prefer a different behavioral consultant.  But compared to where we were in September, I have to say I'm very pleased.


Not autism-related, but it needs to be shared.

Corbin has been bugging for karate lessons for a long time.

I finally got him into a class.

He went to his first lesson yesterday.

I didn't get to go with him, so he was anxious to show me his moves when we got home.

This is what happened five seconds later.

He is now convinced he is a deadly weapon.  That he deserves a black belt.  And he is going to be the next ninja master.

Hide your furniture!