Sunday, December 21, 2014

Things They Didn't Teach Me In School....

"Mom, I think my friend Dustin at school has autism too."

"You do?"

"Yes, but I think it might be a different kind of autism."

"What do you mean by a different kind?"

"Well, in some ways he is a lot like me, and in some ways he is different than me, but the ways he is like me I think are things that are special to autism."

He proceeded to tell me about how his friend Dustin perseverates on things like Mario & Luigi, the planets, and Sam (from Green Eggs & Ham).  I talked to the Boy about how we are all different ie: boys/girls, different ages, likes/dislikes, etc. so that he could understand that whether one is autistic or neurotypical, we have ways that we are alike & ways we are different.

"But Mom, I don't think he knows he is autistic; he doesn't talk about it like we do in our house."

"Well honey, some parents wait to share this information with their kids.  Some families aren't as open about it as we are.  Some people, even adults, don't even know that they are on the autism spectrum."


"Whoa...why are you yelling at me?"

"If the doctor tells you that you have something, & you are a kid, you NEED to know about it--it's your body and your RIGHT to know!!!"

"Okay, I get it, but we can't judge others for whether or not they choose to share; they may have different struggles in their house.  They may not have fantastic doctors, teachers, OT's, SLP's, & PT's on their team. We can support & love our friends.  We can share our experiences if it will help others.  Okay?"

"Okay.  But Mom??"

"If it's your body, you have a right to know so that you know why things happen, tight?"

"I agree with you, son, but we are not going to judge someone if they do things differently."



"Sometimes I don't like my autism; like when I get into the bad realm, then have a meltdown."

"Me too honey, but we are working on things so you can control it when you get overloaded."

"Would you take it away from me if you could?"

"Well honey, that isn't possible."

"I know, but IF you could, would you?"



"Because if the autism was gone, I don't know if other awesome parts of your personality would be gone too.  I love you for you, no matter what."

"Thanks Mom."

So....that is how I discovered just how my son is waayyy more observant than I ever knew.  He sees autism in his classmate. He thinks that we all have a right to know things about our bodies.  He asked a question I didn't think he would ask until he was older.

He's a keeper.....

Monday, December 15, 2014

Trust Your Gut...

I realized that I haven't done a blog post since August, right before school started.  If you go back & reread that post, you are about to learn how things have changed so so very much in 4 months. For those of you who do not follow Sassy Pants Lives Here on Facebook, I will try to sum it up for you.  Not in a nutshell because, as you know, I take the long way home every time I should be sprinting the shortcut. 

the Boy started showing signs of wanting to go back to school towards the end of September.  I thought I was imagining things, so I held back & watched his behaviors.  He finally came right out & asked if he could go back to school to be with "friends I haven't met yet."  He then asked me if I would find a teacher who will "follow my IEP the way a teacher is suppose to do."  Yep, it was time to start the search.  So, we did.  We found what I was certain was going to be the perfect fit for him.  He started back to school half days on December 1st.  After Christmas Vacation in January, he will go full days.  We have a wonderful IEP mapped out.  He was super excited to go back to school.  YAY!!

Day 2 was not good.  He had a substitute teacher.  Guess what??  When his teacher, Mr. R returned the next day, everything was ironed out.  Again, YAY!!

Last week, I got a call while I was at work.  Mr. R asked if he could keep the Boy all day, as my child was shutting down, & refusing to work.  Mr. R needed to stand his ground, be consistent, and show the Boy that this one task needed to get done, AND they needed to find out just what it was that caused the refusal to work.  My heart about leaped out of my chest; he wasn't calling to send my child home, he wanted to keep him there & work on the issue at hand!!! 
We agreed that the Boy could stay all day, but if the issue could be resolved, he could hop on that bus at his usual dismissal time.

The issue at hand was dealt with, and the Boy came home at his usual time.  I expected to have to deal with a meltdown of epic proportions when he got home.  Guess what???  NO MELTDOWN HAPPENED!!!  He was smiling when he got off of the bus!!  I told him I was so proud of him for pulling it together & working things through with Mr. R.  He smiled & said, "I know."

Fast forward to today:
I decided to get a mani/pedi this morning.  Listen, this is a luxury I haven't afforded myself since the end of April, so I got a special coffee & treated myself.  Try it sometime if you can~~it's peaceful & quiet.

Until the school calls.....

Mr. R called to ask if the Boy could stay at school longer, as he was refusing to work, then decided he wasn't going to answer any questions when spoken to.  Sure Mr. R, do what you need to do just don't call back in the next 20 minutes because my nails are about to be tacky.  Seriously though, I am impressed at the communication skills this man has.  Please know, he HAS to call me if the Boy is to stay later, since my son is enrolled for partial days.  I told him to remember to offer a break to the Boy, as he needs to know his options for turning the situation around, and to let me know if things get worked out or not.

So, my nails were dry & I was on my way home.
Mr. R called....

The cause of everything?? Shellfish.
Yep, they were having shrimp poppers for lunch today.
My child is severely  allergic to shellfish.
My child packed a lunch today, but that wasn't enough.  He is in a new lunchroom, & doesn't want to be in the same room as shellfish.  He told Mr. R that all his brain could think about is the noisy lunchroom, and what if someone touched him after they had the shrimp poppers.  During the lesson in the classroom, his brain started perseverating on how he was going to make it through lunch.

Believe me, meals are a favorite time of the day for the Boy.  He shouldn't be stressed about his allergy; we take all precautions for his safety, but he was bothered.  Guess what???  Mr. R found him a quiet place to eat his lunch whenever the lunch being served is shellfish!! 

No meltdown.  Communication was two-way.  Coping skills were used.  My child came home happy.  No trips to the Principal's office.  No suspension from school. 

Any doubt that may have been in the back of my brain about sending the Boy back to school is gone.  I trusted my gut, & did what he needed & wanted. Now if you will excuse me, I'm going to go & cry some  super happy tears....