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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

End of Year IEP

Today was the IEP meeting to determine what will happen to Aidan next year.  He's done great so far this year (at least since he got moved to Johnson), and we are happy with the progress he's made.  Thankfully, they didn't want to try to move him back to Creekside (I'd have had a come-apart if that had even been mentioned as a possibility) yet.  I wanted him to move on to first grade, but it was decided that he didn't do well enough in the reading portion of testing to move on.  They think he'll do better repeating kindergarten and really solidifying the skills and knowledge offered there, rather than moving on to first grade which is significantly more difficult.  Plus, it requires him to work independently and he's not really ready for that yet.

They're going to work on keeping him in the mainstream class for a longer portion of the day, and in order to do that they're going to try to make at least a part of the classroom more sensory friendly for him.  He'll keep an aide with him for as long as he needs one, and then will transition to a peer partner if possible.

I'm not sure how I feel about any of this.  Maybe I'll write more later once I have had more time to process it... and am not sick.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

From "Love That Max" : Top 20 Reasons Moms of Kids with Special Needs ROCK!

Love That Max: Top 20 Reasons Moms of Kids with Special Needs ROCK!
Top 20 Reasons Moms of Kids With Special Needs ROCK

1. Because we never thought that “doing it all” would mean doing this much. But we do it all, and then some.
2. Because we’ve discovered patience we never knew we had.
3. Because we are willing to do something 10 times, 100 times, 1,000 times if that’s what it takes for our kids to learn something new.
4. Because we have heard doctors tell us the worst, and we've refused to believe them. TAKE THAT, nay-saying doctors of the world.
5. Because we have bad days and breakdowns and bawl-fests, and then we pick ourselves up and keep right on going.
6. Because we gracefully handle the stares, the comments, the rude remarks. Well, mostly gracefully.
7. Because we manage to get ourselves together and get out the door looking pretty damn good. Heck, we even make sweatpants look good.
8. Because we are strong. Man, are we strong. Who knew we could be this strong?
9. Because we aren’t just moms, wives, cooks, cleaners, chauffeurs, women who work. We are moms, wives, cooks, cleaners, chauffeurs, women who work, physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, teachers, researchers, nurses, coaches, and cheerleaders. Whew.
10. Because we work overtime every single day.
11. Because we also worry overtime, but we work it through. Or we eat chocolate or Pirate's Booty or gourmet cheese, which aren't reimbursable by insurance as mental-health necessities but should be.
12. Because we are more selfless than other moms. Our kids need us more.
13. Because we give our kids with special needs endless love, and then we still have so much love left for our other kids, our husbands, our family. And our hairstylist, of course.
14. Because we inspire one another in this crazy blogosphere every single day.
15. Because we understand our kids better than anyone else—even if they can’t talk, even if they can’t gesture, even if they can't look us in the eye. We know. We just know.
16. Because we never stop pushing for our kids.
17. Because we never stop hoping for them, either.
18. Because just when it seems like things are going OK, they're suddenly not OK, but we deal. Somehow, we always deal, even when it seems like our heads or hearts might explode.
19. Because when we look at our kids we just see great kids. Not "kids with cerebral palsy/autism/Down syndrome/developmental delays/whatever label."
20. Because, well, you tell me.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Melt Downs

Last week Aidan had a huge meltdown on Wednesday and another the next day.  He had gone so long before that without having a meltdown - probably at least 6 months, maybe more.  I don't know what was different or what had been bothering him that made it so easy to set him off, but one simple little thing didn't go the way he expected it to and he fell apart. 

Wednesday (which was when the full moon was - could this have been the underlying cause?) the trigger was as simple as taking a lego toy away from him because he took it outside.  It wasn't a punishment, and he could still have it inside.  I explained to him that if he took it outside to play with it with his friend, that he could drop it and break it and even lose pieces.  He threw a mini fit and so I told him that he could come inside (it was bordering on a meltdown at this point, but I didn't recognize the signs).  He dried it up and went back to playing with Robby (the next door neighbor), so I thought everything was alright.  Not five minutes later, I heard him in the garage screaming his head off.  I went out there and he was crying and screaming about his lego toy.  He wouldn't tell me what was wrong, but he was obviously mad about something.  Once again, I told him he could come inside if he couldn't dry it up.  This time he didn't though, he only became more enraged.  Because of that I attempted to take his hand and lead him inside - of course, that didn't work.  His self-control completely dissolved at this point, and as I tried to pick him up to carry him inside he began to shriek and to hit and kick me.  It took me a couple of minutes to even manage to pick him up.  Stupid me, I still didn't recognize that this was a meltdown at this point. 

Once I got him inside, I put him in his room and closed the door.  Usually he calms himself down and cries for a little while and then is perfectly fine.  Not this time.  He began hitting the door, throwing things (trash can, toys, toy boxes, tried to throw the television), and screaming.  I went in and he started hitting and kicking me, so I held him - I finally recognized that this was a meltdown, but of course that didn't really matter at this point.  Once I got him to stop hitting and trying to throw things, I sat in the floor and he laid with his head in my lap and allowed me to rub his back.  He was still screaming and crying "mamamamamamamamamama" - not anything to do with me, this is just a noise he makes when he's extremely stressed or overstimulated.

This whole meltdown lasted around 30 minutes, and afterward he wouldn't talk or look at me.  He had calmed down enough that I felt it was safe to leave him in his room.  A little while later he came out and ate dinner and was talking and making eye contact again.  When I put him in bed, he apologized for being unhappy and throwing a fit, telling me he couldn't get control.  He was aware it was a meltdown, even if I wasn't.

The next day at school he had a meltdown as well, this one only last about 15 minutes according to the aide.  Apparently he couldn't sit down (he told me he couldn't), and when he melted down he told her (or rather screamed to her) that he couldn't get control.

I don't know what sparked this behavior.  He's been perfectly fine since then.  I have no idea what happened to be able to prevent it in the future.  Maybe it was my stress over school and planning a bridal shower. Maybe it was the full moon.  Maybe it was a string of events over the previous several days that none of us could have known would lead to a meltdown.  Whatever it was, hopefully I'll recognize earlier in the meltdown next time, that it IS a meltdown instead of fueling it into a bigger meltdown.