Friday, August 31, 2012

One of those days

Today has been one of those days for Landen. He's battling allergies so he spends a lot of the night coughing. Then was really "tired" this morning and didn't want to go to school. But we got through it, got to school in a good mood AND on time (BONUS!!!) I get a phone call at about 3pm today saying that Landen got into an argument with another student in his class. He got angry and left. *First thought was PHEW! Glad he didn't hit them! Well after he left, he ran around the building (inside) 10 times (according to him) and he ended up on the playground. The resource teacher was with him, thank goodness! They talked, he came back in and finished the day on a good note. We talked about what happened, as much as he would talk to me about it and I got the rest of the information from the teacher about what happened.
He was "moody" when I picked him up and continued that pattern all night. There was a neighborhood game of touch football going on and everyone was playing well together until Landen is screaming and crying and destroying the house. Someone stripped the ball from him. He had a horrible meltdown. So in order to distract him from them still outside playing, I asked him if he wanted to go get ice cream. He said yes so we left to go to Burger King. While we are in the drive through he starts crying again and saying that he's not good at sports. Then it turned into that he's not good at anything and he's dumb and stupid.
It hurts more than I can ever express to hear my child call himself dumb and not be able to "fix it" immediately. There is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing your child in so much pain and not being able to do anything about it.
We had ice cream and he sat on the porch and watched the guys finish playing. When he came inside, he apologized for throwing things. He's asleep now and I hope has a good night of sleep. I love him dearly and I made sure that I told him that he is great at a lot of things. He's good at making people laugh and he's great at  Math. He is a great kid. If he only realized that..

Friday, August 24, 2012

A blip on the radar

On Wednesday, 7 days into the school year, I got the first dreaded phone call from school. (Insert sigh here). The teacher leader proceeds to tell me what was going on. Landen has a lunch box that has an attached water bottle (wonderful for getting him to drink water!). Well apparently the lid came open and it spilled all over his lunch box. None of his food got wet but it was enough to completely shut down his world. He refused to eat his lunch (which, honestly, isn't uncommon) and when going back to his class, he "collapsed" in the hallway. I have this in quotes because he did it on purpose. He had been laying in the middle of the 3rd grade floor for about 45 minutes when they called me.
This was different than all the other times he had shut down at school. This time he wasn't violent. He wasn't physical, loud or destroying things! He was just laying there. He was responsive to their questions and being polite. He just didn't want to go back to class.
That may not sound good to you but that is HUGE in my world. He had a non-violent meltdown!!! I LOVE it!!! That is the best news I've heard in a while. Although, I'd much rather not have the dreaded call from school BUT if it had to be anything, I'd choose this.
It was an unforeseen issue that happened..A bump in the road, a blip on the radar but we survived. We decided that the best thing to do is tell him that the resource officer (police officer) would be coming to help him if he didn't get up himself. The staff at the school is not allowed by law to touch him unless he becomes a danger to himself or others (frustrating for me because I'm fine if they want to move my son). So as soon as they told him that he was going to be visited by the officer, he changed his mind and went back to class.
That ended that. It could've been worse. I'm glad it wasn't..I'm glad that was it. Now, on to the next challenge of the day!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Simplicity

I got to witness the true meaning of happiness in life tonight. This picture was taken at our city's children's museum Autism Night. The children's museum is not usually someplace that we go because of the noise and crowd factor. But tonight, it was all awesome kids like my own. Its wasn't too busy at all. Landen was completely enthralled with the "water bubble" and spent countless minutes trying to figure it out. Then he found a toy in the water that captivated him. This picture is what childhood bliss looks like in our world. He tuned out everything around him and played in the water with that penguin for at least 20 minutes, if not longer. I sat back on a bench and watched him play. He was so happy and carefree. That is not a side of Landen that I get to see very often. As I sat then and watched him, I just smiled. That is what life is all about. Taking time to enjoy the little things..Enjoying them with your children. Taking time to stop and look at water bubbles. Trying to figure out how it works.
I was entranced by watching him play. That is another thing, he doesn't do much playing like that on his own, ever. So to see that was amazing. It's times like these that make me completely thankful for my life.
I love him. I love that he can teach me such beautiful things like simplicity and happiness.
I never knew that a tub full of water, a water bubble and  a plastic penguin could make someone so happy. This was one lesson that I was extremely grateful to learn.

Name Change

So yeah, I 'm a few months behind on noting this one..But obviously, I changed the name of my blog..Although Beautiful Bipolar Nightmare flows so much better, I didn't want to leave the Asperger's out of it as it seems to have "taken over" for now. So I decided to give it  its due and put it in the Title. When people come to my blog I want them to know what I am talking about (not that I get people visiting my blog very often but one can be hopeful).

*Update..Because the DSM will be changing and getting rid of the "Asperger" title, I am changing the name of my blog again..look for it soon..

Autism and Asperger Conference

I had an opportunity to go to an Autism and Asperger Conference put on by Future Horizons (click here). The Keynote speaker was Temple Grandin. She was amazing! If you do not know about Temple, please take a few moments to look her up. Temple Grandin Website  She is amazing and honestly, a hero to everyone affected by autism. She IS autistic and has a Ph.D. She is brilliant, funny and passionate. She spoke for an hour and a half straight and it was amazing. I wish she could have talked longer. It's like having an inside look into the world of Landen. She had such good advice. And I learned a few thing too! (Go figure).

The second speaker was Beth Aune, OTR/L. She's an occupational therapist and so much more. She talked about all the different sensory systems in our body and how they all work together. When one or more of those systems isn't functioning how it should be, it causes problems. She talked about how sounds, smells, touches can all affect our spectrum kids differently. One of the "big" points that she made was "Not all children with a sensory processing disorder has autism but all children with autism have sensory issues." Then she talked about "what" they are doing, why they are doing it and if it's bothering anybody else. We need to think about why they are doing certain things. They may be trying to keep themselves engaged in what the class is doing, they may have some anxiety or they might just need to move. It's not going to hurt them to let them get up walk around the room and then sit back down. As long as they are getting their work done, it's okay. I think that taking on this way of thinking is extremely important. It happens so much that I am bothered by what Landen is doing but no one else is. I need to realize that he just might be trying to stay engaged and with me. I bought a couple of books about behaviors and classroom solutions. I'm excited to read it and to give ideas to his teachers! Read about Beth here.

The 3rd speaker was Dr. Jim Ball. He has a book called "Early Intervention & Autism". I almost passed up this book because of its title. Another good reason to not judge a book by its cover!!! It's all about different learning techniques and strategies that can help teach children the social skills and skills that they will need in life. These stragaties are not just for kids on the Spectrum. They are wonderful for teaching ALL kids. I'm excited to get started on his book as well. Here is his website http://www.jbautismconsulting.com/

This was 6 hours of intense information. I learned so much I was swimming. I'm excited to help Landen move to the next level. I've learned that some of the things that I do are not helping him but hindering him in the long run. I will be changing that. I will be helping him grow instead if making him stay in the same place.

Friday, August 17, 2012

4 days down, 276 left to go!!

FIRST WEEK SUCCESS!!!! He had a great week! Not any problems and they are already learning cursive letters!! He actually seems to be enjoying that part of it. I got a email from his teacher about how he is doing well, always working and staying on task.
He's brought home homework 2 days this week already also! They just jump right back into it!
 I can't help but be excited for this. I sit on the edge of enjoying this and waiting for the cookie to crumble. I KNOW it will, I'm pretty sure that at some point it will. I just don't know when. It's all a waiting game.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

3rd Grade Success!!! Well at least the first day anyways..

I can't say that I "forgot" the feeling of sitting on the edge of my seat all day and jumping every time the phone rang, we will just call it selective memory blocking. I had an unsettling feeling in the pit of my stomach all day yesterday and I know it was because it was the first day of school for the boy. He was in a great mood when he woke up, ate breakfast, got dressed. Not a problem! When we got to school, he didn't want me to go in with him, which is fine. He's a big boy now and it saved me the tears.
All day went by, no phone call. Get to school to pick him up and he is all smiles, got a Popsicle and his teacher said he was great! He was busy all day long!
I hope it continues all year (one can be VERY hopeful right?).
Now, on to day two!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Almost time for 3rd grade!

On Friday, we went for a special visit to meet Landen's 3rd grade teacher.  She seems super duper nice and was really open to the suggestions that I had and his 2nd grade teacher who was nice enough to join us also. I'm still nervous for 3rd grade, as I always am and always will be. After the Sneek a Peek night, I'll know who is in his class and hopefully it is someone that he knows.
I'm very thankful that we are in a district that is so proactive about his school success. I love it! I'm so glad that I changed districts!
Now, I don't even want to get started on what he will be learning in 3rd grade...cursive..oy...That's a blog for another day!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Countdown to Back to School

12 days. In 12days, he goes back to school. I'm nervous. I'm not sure how he feels yet, we haven't really talked about it. This week we are starting to get back in a routine and by next week, he will be in the routine full swing. Tomorrow, we are going to school to meet his new teacher. We all decided in his IEP meeting that getting to meet the teacher 1 on 1 before the sneak a peek night would be best, that way we have no distractions.
I'm very nervous about this school year. I'm not completely sure why. I'm worried about who will be in his class and what is going to happen. I know that I need to focus on today and not anything passed that but sometimes it hard to not look at the big picture when it comes to school.
We will take it one day at a time and be proactive, just as we were last year and see what happens. Until then, 12 more days..