Math Class

Today the school taught my son how to count by tens.

So he forgot how to count by fives.

He also cannot count by ones any longer. I tried with him, for a long time tonight. He has forgotten completely, only tens come out, even on his fingers. He felt badly enough to start goofing off.

I wrote a note to his teacher instead of losing my cool. He is going to have enough trouble, I need to be his cheerleader and not his taskmaster. I can make him do his homework, but I cannot magically make him understand it.

No wonder he would rather read a book. So would I!

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Wings

I bought my daughter some fairy wings for next to nothing at a thrift store, black and glittery. She was really excited to try them on. She put them on, walked in some tight circles and glanced back at them.
¨They don’t work.¨ She said, with a frown.
I crouched down to her height, concerned.
¨What’s wrong, baby, what do you mean that they don’t work?¨
¨Mommy, why am I not flying?¨
I was so very sorry for her in that moment.
She took them off, but she did not cry.

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Saturday Morning Tantrums

Middle son was a good boy all day yesterday, and then lost it at dinner. This is his second week without naps, which might have something to do with it, and today he had his first session of EMDR.
I do not know if aggravated symptoms are normal after EMDR. I have read very little on the typical experiences of children other than reports of immediate or gradual relief.

He usually has his tantrums on Saturday morning. For throwing shoes at me, being rude in front of his grandmother, and then pushing his poor sister into a door knob he lost his computer privileges for Saturday. Which makes Saturday more difficult for me, because the computer would keep him occupied and out of his siblings hair. So I knew, when I went to bed, that I could have a rough time.

I did.

But not as bad as it has been, no one got hurt. He did be generally unpleasant for about two hours, and it was evident that he was exhausted, as he was unpleasant from a reclining position on the floor. I kept my focus on the housework and the laundry and gave him a timeout for kicking out at his brother, or pushing. The rest of the time I tried to ignore what he was saying. It was borderline, not directly punishable. Annoying borderline bullying, definitely not nice, but not a zero tolerance issue, either. So after a few hours of continuous laundry and cleaning I succumbed to the backache and I sat down on the couch in front of my middle child.

The baby crawled up with me and told me her brother was not being nice and that she needed a huggie (her word for hug). I didn’t mean to, I just started sobbing. My eldest son got on the couch and hugged me while I cried and tried to tell me his brother was bad, so I wouldn’t feel so sad. But I told him I was sad about his brother’s choices, that his brother was good, and I knew he could do it differently.

When I dried my tears I saw the culprit creeping down the hallway to put away his blanket, something I had asked him to do hours before and he had refused and complained bitterly about on and off since. When he came back out of the bedroom after a few minutes he was back to his normal self.

This means he has empathy. This is huge. I have so much more hope now than I did last year.

Despite the triggering today I did not lose my cool. I never hit fight or flight. I cried, and who wouldn’t? I don’t want any abuse in my home and it was there, being felt by the smallest of us, years later. I was tired and in pain. But I never lost it. I am getting better, too.

I can see, in how he and I handle the stresses, how our PTSD is doing. Today it is doing well. Yesterday the psychologist said the meds are helping him so much, that she started his EMDR. He wouldn’t let her do it before, not for the past year.

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This Is The Best I Can Do For Them

Today.
Wake up
Breakfast
Vitamins
Clean clothing
Outerwear
Daycare dropoff
Work full day
Get car fixed while working
Go to Social Services, sign paper for case advocacy for ASD son
Post office to pick up packages
Shopping for baby’s friend who is moving daycares (sad, sad day for her)
Daycare pickup
Take kids home
Dinner
Laundry
Special one on one talk with daughter to explain that her friend is moving away
Cleanup
Clean clothes
Outerware
Go to sign up for Cub Scouts in the next town (repeated shushing, sugar rush, boat construction, pee on floor, clean floor, all go back to van to change, clean clothes, back at meeting, greet friends, crack jokes, ask about special needs cubs, get contact info, shush!)
Persuade children to leave while repairing boat
Home
Brush teeth x three
Bathroom visits x three
Book time
Book time (yes, I did two books)
Bathroom visit (yes, I… you get it)
Laundry
Cupcakes
Talk to friend..
Post on WP

If everyday is like this, then I win. None of that was my stuff. I left that out.

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Saturday, Please Repeat

Today was another good day. Which is very fortunate after ASD son was lost at the town fair for fifteen minutes. I have never squinted so hard into a crowd or yelled for him so loud. Thank you, local police and ladies who escorted him to the police! Thank you, ASD son, for memorizing my phone number! I hope he doesn’t sprint off anymore!

So. Middle child has some decent medication. Not as great as the Tenex was for that three months or so, but still decent stuff, this Clonidine. His weekend tantrums, which could last well over an hour, have become five minutes of stamping around with a side of mouthing off. Twenty minutes after the last of it I have been getting apologies. Apologies!

So Saturdays have been relaxing. Not nightmarish. I hardly know what to do, when I can cook and clean and even read a book- and suffer no injuries at all that day. Today no one got hit. Not a single one of us. I hope I can get all my Saturdays like this, forever.

Today I put the baby down for her nap. I laid with her a minute at her request, and when she got sleepy she told me to get to my own bed, as hers was small. So I went to mine. Each son wandered in eventually and fell asleep beside me, I became sandwiched and fell asleep myself. In heaven.

I don’t know what will happen. I don’t know if we will be found and if we will have to run again. I am hoarding pay, and I have been looking at houses and talking myself out of it, daily. I don’t want to go. I love my job and I like the area and I love the medical staff.

I just want them to be safe, so they can reach more potential. They are so much better than they used to be, and their treatment team is good enough that I am not looking for any other.

I want the stability to last on all fronts. I want to buy them a house. A fenced yard. Some place to dig and plant and swing and be children.

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Getting Lost At The Fair

Last spring, at eldest son’s IEP, the school district told me they thought I should get a personal aide for him because he is considered to be socially vulnerable. They told me I should have one for when we go out.
I registered him with the county and they told me that I could get respite care for him, meaning he goes to a host family’s house for the evening or something, but that they do not provide any aides or attendants.
Yesterday we spotted a bouncy house at the fair, and he couldn’t wait. After being told to stay with me, after being reminded to stay with me, he left a position immediately behind me while walking to an attraction and took off to the bouncy house. He was behind me, so I didn’t see him go. I called his name, went over to the bouncy house, and could not find him. He had already realized I was not with him and gone walkabout. Some nice ladies brought him to the police, and he called me from their phone.
I think it was less than fifteen minutes. He was sobbing when he got back together with us.
This is a boy who cannot be in a room away from me, who is afraid in the bathroom and in the mornings when he wakes up alone in his bedroom.
This is a small town. During the time he was gone we saw a half dozen people we knew, even at a busy fair, and all of them had an eye out for him.
I couldn’t help it. I just kept telling everyone I was told to get an aide for him.
My neighbor volunteered for the next event. I will pay her. I think I will cave and get those BuddyTags before spring, too.

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Symptoms Fade

Both boys saw the psychologist last week. She took them in for a joint session for a little while, with myself present. She was amazed at the amount of activity in her office. They are busy little kids, who cannot even sit down. Anyway.

She asked Eldest Son about his nightmares, which he said he still has. I told her our last session was the first I had heard about his nightmares. She went back through notes and found one from last year, when he was initially screened for her care and found to be recovered from PTSD. The note was about his nightmares, he used to wake up screaming. I provided her with this information a year ago.

I forgot this. Completely.

So here my kid still has all these fears, and still has nightmares, and because he does not verbalize in the night, I am clueless. Even worse, I cannot remember it from before. Eldest Son has stopped hitting people, stopped throwing major tantrums, stopped repeating phrases three times, and will wear all of his wardrobe instead of two yellow shirts and one pair of soft pants. So many of his autistic symptoms have faded.

He can no longer stand being in a room alone. I tap on the outside of bathroom doors so that he does not freak out and open the door, unclothed, to escape the torment of being left alone in there. He will scream at you if you tell him something untrue, even if in jest, especially if it is about himself. He will call you a liar, if you insist chameleons change color or something fantastic but true like that. What is from ASD, and what is PTSD?

So if his fears are present, even amplified, does that mean he has learned to pass, and is just stuffing his issues down? This is my fear. Are his symptoms just internalized, manifesting in fears and bad dreams? Is he in fact not happier, but less, because he is overwhelmed, because we demand too much from him?

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