The Secret Phone Friend

Do you remember, a long time ago, I posted about my friend, my friend with the secret phone? The doctor gave me her number, said she was all alone and in a bad situation, no support. Would I text her?
Of course I did. I have been. She went quiet at the start of the school year. I did not think much of it, we all get overwhelmed at the start of a new school year. I heard from her a few weeks ago, nothing new.
Today I got a text telling me she was in a shelter, filing a protection order next week.
Good for her. I was elated.
I wish her all the best. Today I have been looking up phone numbers for her, offering advice. Maybe someday I will get to meet her. I only know her first name, and that she does not spell properly when sending long texts.
I think it has been a year since I started speaking to her via text on the secret phone. It has been twenty since she found herself in this situation. Now she is free.

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neli

threekidsandi:

ASD people require services, not solitary.

Originally posted on a diary of a mom:

Capture

Image is a photo of Neli Latson before his arrest – credit Washington Post

He had committed no crime before he encountered the deputy that fateful day.

He was waiting for the library to open, sitting alone on the grass.

An autistic teenager in a hoodie sitting alone on the grass .. waiting for the library to open.

In the call to the police he was a “suspicious black male, possibly with a gun.”

No one had seen a gun because there was no gun. There was never a reason to think there was. But the call was enough to lock down a nearby elementary school and send the school resource officer, deputy Thomas Calverley, over to check him out.

According to the report, “Calverley said he asked the teenager his name several times and, after the teen refused to give it, he grabbed him, told him that he was under arrest, and…

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November Notes for the Psychologist

We have started a tally sheet, at my son’s request. When I catch them doing good, they get a mark under their name. I have added descriptions, too, because I want to reinforce those behaviours. I read them off to the kids from time to time. On the side is a list of rewards for tallies, but I have yet to put up a price sheet for those rewards. I intend to do family rewards, rather than individual rewards, because I am trying to teach them to celebrate one win as a family win. The tally sheet that they have at daycare is set up so that they can have a tally mark erased over bad behaviour. I am not doing that.

The children have become more affectionate since I quit coffee, as I have become more attentive, less distracted, less irritable. Of course they are responding, they are sensitive and smart children. I get told that I am loved, every hour, by one or the other of the youngest two.

Changes in schedule still upset middle child. Having a class on Saturday morning last week and this week has made it all more manageable for him. Last weekend he did still have a bit of a tantrum and even said, during it, ¨Why can’t every day be the same, I hate this!¨ So at least he is recognizing some of the problem. I did tell him I understood. It was hard, and suggested some alternatives to tantrums, and he requested some alone time. What a huge improvement. I am so glad he is putting up boundaries and asking for what he needs.

Middle child has been showing self control and self regulation, even at daycare. He was punched and did not punch the other child back. He went to his favorite teacher and with tears streaming down his face related the incident and how he controlled himself and she responded appropriately. I am still deeply in love with this daycare and the staff. I do need to make sure that he understands to report bullying, though. His older brother is now reporting teasing and abuse, which is good. I don’t care about tattling, I want to know when children are hurting each other, so I can redirect them to separate activities and take action if necessary. I do not agree with ignoring tattling. It is absolutely criminal to be left on your own to handle abuse when you are smaller or less able than the abuser.

When the children do not clean up after themselves, things that are directly their responsibility (like dropped food or coats thrown on the floor), I do it for them after a few failed reminders and then announce they have lost a quarter from their allowance. I then take the quarter from their allowance cup in front of them and put it into my change holder. Huge messes, like intentionally thrown boxes of Legos get a dollar charge, but thankfully those are rare, because the children ask for help if they are overwhelmed.

I have started a family calendar, doubling the calendar they use as a sticker rewards chart for brushing teeth and doing homework to also announce days off of school or days they have activities. Now that they can read, we can coordinate better, there are less surprises.

Middle Child’s meds do still seem to be working. Next week I have to show Oldest Son’s referral to the psychiatrist to have an evaluation done per the county’s request.

The children have asked about their father a little bit last month, we hit an anniversary and they got thoughtful. They know he is not safe to be around, but they worry about his health, as he is sick, and so I did reassure them that the kind of sick he has is not usually fatal and it is treatable if their father chooses to treat it. I did share with them some things that their father liked, like foods and so on, and the Oldest said ¨You mean before he got mean?¨, and I just said ¨Yes, before then.¨ I never said their father was mean. Not once. But they are capable of interpreting what they remember, so I did not correct him. I am not going to take the tact of insisting that their father is so disabled by illness that he is not responsible in any way for his choices. They remember.

That is a lot of stuff. I am glad to be able to report mostly good things this time. So glad that I could cry. None of them are hitting me anymore. It is incredible. Well, the baby did try a few days ago. I did dare to put her in her car seat when she wanted to run around in circles in the parking lot.

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Infanticide

I cannot believe people are killing their children and blaming their child’s special needs for the act. Many more neurotypical children are murdered by their parents than are special needs kids, and no one is calling for parent respite in those cases. Shame on everyone.
Killing your children is wrong. No matter if the child is sixteen or a newborn, that is still an undeveloped human in your care.
Even if that child is trying to beat the shit out of you, you cannot kill them.
I have no idea why there is any sympathy at all for these murderers.

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Growth

Children have absolutely no right to outgrow their school clothes two months after said clothes were purchased.

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Halloween

Halloween is the biggest day of the year for my kids. We were not allowed to have Halloween in our old life. They had no idea there was so much kindness and celebration of children in any place, and it shocked them at first. They did not believe the pageantry, the generosity. Now they ask me all year how long it is until Halloween.
Life is so much better when you can interact with other people. It really is. Thank you to all the people celebrating Halloween and giving compliments, candy, or both to kids in or out of costumes. You give a gift to your community, every year.
American holidays are awesome. So are the people who celebrate them. I am grateful for both.

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Washing a Toddler’s Hair

¨I want to see the shampoo, Mommy.¨

¨It’s on your head, sweetie, you cannot see it now.¨

¨I could see it if I had a ladder.¨

¨I don’t think even a ladder would help you to see the top of your head, honey.¨

¨If I had a really, really, really big ladder- then I could.¨

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