Monthly Archives: June 2014

Special Needs Kickball

Today we had special needs kickball. Before I signed up the boys for it, I spoke with the community education coordinator, to explain that my kids had very different needs. So far every kid there has been able to kick, but today a child came who needs someone to kick his foot for him, and then run on his behalf. He seems a friendly boy, he gave my boys high fives and was introduced. All differently abled children.

The other children listen better than my boys do. The therapists are very patient with my children, even when they are pushing limits and intentionally giving them a hard time. It is so nice to see people work with them, rather than throw up their hands or insist that I beat them. So far the people who are the best with my kids are the professionals, or very young daycare workers with oodles of patience and smiles.

Somehow I still haven’t met anyone here for my kids to play with, though I have invited a few families over. I don’t know if we don’t know anyone else because I am wary, if we don’t know anyone because they are wary, if we don’t know anyone because I am too busy with my kids and don’t socialize, I don’t know if it is because I don’t get the culture (surely I must, by now)… and it all seems a Catch 22. Yesterday we ran into a family I like from our daycare at the park, and the mother offered to get me the card for her church. I am sure she meant well. But it felt suspiciously as if she could not socialize outside of her church. It’s a very Christian area, that I live in. They couldn’t possibly know how I felt about religion, and if they did, they would probably fail to see how my experiences could apply to theirs.

I thought this kickball would be a nice way to get to know some of the other parents who understand children who are a bit different, but unlike other community sports, the parents drop the children off and leave. Last year we did T-ball, and the parents brought chairs and hung out until all their kids were done. I was trying to do the same, but I had kids on the playground and kids on the field and I could hardly sit still. 

Sometimes I get tired. Today I was relieved. People were helping my kids learn how to behave appropriately, with patience. Not judging them or myself.

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Making the Day Work

Today at bedtime the final recipe for taming middle child was:
3 trips to parks
1 donut
1 timeout with small, short tantrum
2 beginning tantrums that were defused by piggyback rides or tickling
4 tantrum prone moments that were met with tickling and never developed
3 meals + 2 snacks
2 showers, 1 bath
2 books
 
I never lost my temper, though I did have to physically carry him to his timeout for pushing his sister in the face during a debate by the children on which park to attend. Which, compared to last week, is a huge improvement in his impulses towards violence. 
 
My trade off was no relaxation, a lot of vigilance, a much needed nap, too many conversations about card collecting, twenty dollars extra spent in the store on card devices that emit light and the required batteries, and having to listen to much grumbling over spending one’s allowance and having to work to make more money.
Oh, and I had to pay for some cheap toy filled with candy that he broke at checkout after being told to put it back. I paid for it, and I threw it away, in his sight. I will not be bullied into a purchase. I can be reasoned with, only. His frustration with me over that resulted in a waterbottle being thrown at my head. He missed. Maybe on purpose. He is paying me back the cash in chores, over half the amount already worked off.
 
He did not stop moving until after his last shower, shortly before bed, at which time he sat at the computer and then watched the Muppets until bedtime, about forty five minutes, and since he was still, I got him to brush his teeth and I clipped his nails. 
 
I feel like calling the pharmacy on Monday, just to confirm that his medicine will be ready for pickup before Friday. I hope that day brings some relief. The Tenex is definitely leaving his system, five days to go. 

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Good Day

Today my children did not fight with me. No one told me that they hated me. No one tried to break anything we own, or anything anyone else owns. No one hit me. Every single kid told me at different times that they loved me, and I hadn’t given them anything to prompt such a statement. There were some close calls, but no tantrums.

Daycare staff made a point to tell me each child had a good day. Each of them.

But most important, most appreciated, they left me alone in another room, for an hour. I didn’t even ask them to. I am going to tell them, now that it is bedtime, how wonderfully behaved they were. 

This is a very special day. 

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First Year

Oldest Child brought home a “journal” from kindergarten, in which he wrote and drew on one page per month.

You can see the legible beginning handwriting get far worse. As if he had gone to reverse kindergarten, where you forget what you know, and by the end of the year, cannot write at all.

However. His pictures of himself became much more recognizably human, and a bit less robotic and scribbly. 

There is always the silver lining.

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Father’s Day

For Father’s Day the children and I made the road trip to visit my father. Where I had the big announcement to make. This is how it went down:

¨Big Son was thoroughly tested by the school district and has been diagnosed with autism. I informed his doctor and he has referred him for further evaluation to see if a medical diagnosis concurs.¨

My father’s brilliant response:

¨I guess every kid I know has autism then, because he seems like any other kid to me. They try to pigeonhole everyone into something these days.¨

My rebuttal:

¨You have told me my oldest children are not normal every time you see them, for years. I don’t think this is sudden.¨ 

The man tells me for five years that I had better do something about my kids, even drove hours especially to see me alone without the kids last year so he could voice his concerns about their behaviors, and now that they are getting help, he says they don’t need it. How supportive.

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Conversation With My Daughter About Her Father On Father’s Day

Over cereal my daughter says: ¨Everyone has a Mommy! Some people have Daddies!¨

¨You have a daddy.¨ I remind her.

¨Yes, my daddy is sick!¨ She says with enthusiasm. ¨Let’s get him some medicine!¨

¨I tried to get him medicine, sweetie, many times. He would not go to the doctor, so I could not get him any medicine. If you are sick you need to see a doctor.¨

¨Daddy needs a doctor!¨ She announces to her brothers. 

Her brothers pay little attention, but one does start grumbling words pertaining to passing wind and one’s rear end. I tell her to finish her cereal.

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PTSD In a Five Year Old

The psychologist has seen middle child twice since he regressed. The dose has been doubled, he is tired, and she says she cannot see any difference between his behaviour today, last week, and while unmedicated. The cause of this, however, in her opinion, is more ominous than what I thought it to be. I had assumed it was an acclimation to the medication, but his doctor believes it to be triggers. We have had some anniversaries lately, and she believes there is another cause, as well. My son does not like to talk about what upsets him, and I do not blame him. So I have started tapping the sides of his knees when he is upset, and next session with her we will try EMDR, in my presence, since he will still not allow her to do it with him, and he no longer allows her to tap him, either. 

The only thing I can think it to be is that his friend at daycare has either stopped going, or has rejected him. I want him to tell me himself, as he is upset by suggestions. I am patient. I am deflecting all his attempts to fight with me (it took a half hour to get him to drop the issue of not eating donuts before dinner), I refuse to be his instrument of punishment, I will not contribute to his pain, nor give it flesh. His harsh words and his temper fits are met with humor, consequences if necessary, and set discussion times if I cannot avoid it. I am going to read him books about sharing secrets, being upset, friendships, and see if I get any insight this week.

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