Cutest Blog

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I don't understand the teachers

At the end of the public school year we had a meething where we decided to place ds5 in the YCAP program next year. YCAP(young children's autism program) would be a good placement until the school got his behavior under control. His behavior at the end of the year deteriorated to the point that school called me to take him home. He had run down the hall so much that he wore out two teachers. I told them that they really didn't want to teach him that running down the hall allowed him to go home, so I stayed with him the rest of the day and then shadowed him the next day. He was an angle of course. The teacher's told me he behaved better that day then he had all year. I noticed he was constantly checking to see if I was still there. I am his safety blanket. Yes, I know he needs to be weaned off of me, but I wish they wouldn't just tear it away. It is awfully traumatic.

I have had several teachers tell me that I need to stop pampering ds5. He has trouble at school. He runs from them. He refuses to do the work. At home, he is helpful. He asks to help me do this or that. He picks up things for me, and throws things away. He puts things away for me. He gets dressed. I force him to take baths/showers and use the rest room and go to school. I am at a loss as to why they think I am babying him. I don't understand why they think I don't make him do things. Yes, he has a lot of freedom to do as he pleases, but he is also asked to do things. We do not allow him to hit and throw tantrums. We do not allow him to run from us. He does what he is told when it is necessary and he understands that I will make him do it. He trusts me and understands that I will not allow him to get away with stuff even if he screams and yells and throws a fit. In the end, when it is important, he will do what I insist on and all I have to say is, "You will do this and you know I will make you if I have too. I don't want too, but you will do it and you know you will!" He may fuss and he may say he doesn't want to but he does do it. I will admit to only resorting to that on the most important things and as a last resort. I try every other parenting technique I know first. Usually I can figure out something he wants enough that I can withhold it until what I need done is done. For example, no I will not give you back the gameboy until you use the restroom. Or, First change your clothes, then you may watch tv. Or you may have the cookies on the way too_____, but you have to put your seatbelt on. Or, would you like to listen to this song or that song on the way to _____? He may respond that he does not want to go but I respond that that is not an option. You have to go to school but you may do this or that on the way or when we get back.

I have to put up with screaming, hitting (although if he hits me, I spank back. I'm trying to teach him that when you hit someone they hit back.) tantrums, fighting, sitting down (when I am trying to get him to go somewhere) Jumping out of the car, (so far only at home, before the car moves) wet and/or stinky clothes/house, and they want me to make him do pencil work as well. This is the biggest problem he has. His grip strength is weak, but they continue to insist on assesing him by writing. He needs to do writing to increase the stamina of his hand, but one of the reasons he doesn't want to do it is his hand cramps up. I am so frustrated!!! That is why I want to open a Montessori school.

I enrolled him in a Montessori school for the summer. I wanted to see how he would do in a different environment. This particular school I felt led too. They hired a teacher who is experienced with children with autism. She says he has a lot of excaping behavior. NO DUH!!! It has taken him a long time to get him to the point where he understands that Mom will not intervene, but he seems to be calming down. I have to decide whether I continue this, which is costing me money, or let him return to public school in the YCAP program. It also depends on what the directress determines. Right now, the teacher is working one on one with him in an ABA manner. This may not be sustainable once the summer is over. The teacher told me that ds5 is her "project" and she wants to continue, but a do not know what the directress is going to do.

The problems I see is that the school seems to lean more to the public school teaches then the montessori method. It was the only school that was even willing to try. His escaping behavior scared off all of the other schools I have asked. Maybe by working with him, they may have to change to a more montessori style of teaching. We will have to wait and see. I won't really know until the beginning of August. That is when the accademic school year starts in the montessori school. I just don't know what to do. He seems a lot happier, but at the same time, he has not made the progress I had hoped for. I know the teacher of the YCAP program he will be in. I am told she is very, very good. I am praying and praying of course and I have to admit, free public education is very attractive. DS5 is only at school for 1 hour, which is great in his mind, but I could sure use the extra hours to myself that public school would allow. But then again, it would make him a lot more angry. What is best for everyone, not just him and not just me? I will have to make a decision soon.

Monday, March 31, 2008

My friend

My friend me to keep on blogging my life. She thinks it will be of help to someone else. If what I go through could help even one other person besides me it will be a life well spent.

My first issue at the moment is dealing with the public school about ds5. He refuses to do any of the work presented to him. He sits in class picking his fingers. (His form of calming himself down.) He picks his fingers until they are raw. I put liquid bandage on them to keep them from getting infected. He hit another student and a teacher last week. We got his 3 weeks progress report home, it was all I (incomplete). His teacher can't grade him because he refuses to do any of the work. We all know he is very intelligent. To quote his speech teacher, "He can read anything put in front of him." He can add and subtract, and along with the rest of the class, is learning the facts by memorization. The only place where he could even begin to have difficulty is in science and social studies which we have no way of knowing what he is getting and what is being misunderstood. They don't send home a lot of that kind of homework so I rarely know what they are learning in this area. Oh, yeah, He cannot tell stories without some sort of pictures or promptings. That would be an area of trouble. That is a part of the autism disability.

My second issue I have been struggling with for the last year and a half. I started trying to potty train ds6 not last September, but the September before that and have yet to be successful with a bm. I am blessed that I can still put him in pullups because the messy underwear is really annoying. I have given up with underwear at home. He does great at school, but no bms there. He waits till he gets home. We have been working with ds5 on the same issue since not last Christmas but the Christmas before. He had to go through a lot of desensitization to bathroom sounds and running water. We had a great success last week. He started going to the restroom on his own at school. WoHoo!!!! Once again, he waits till he gets home before bms occur and to get that in the toilet I have to literally be looking at his face at the exact moment that he can no longer hold it. We have had 18 successes in the last year and a half. We talk about it a lot and I work really hard at it but....To have two having these issues is really really hard! I am changing 4 messy underwear/diapers every evening. It frustrating beyond reasoning. Sometimes I think it would be easier to believe they were incapable of learning this. They are not, they are just resistant. On top of that ds5 still has a lot of trouble with urinating in the toilet. He fights us tooth and nail about half the time. It is easy to tell when he needs to go, he starts running around and jumping up and down. You can hear his potty dance from all over the house. The problem is when we are all too tired to take care of it. i.e. 4 am, or 11 pm. Plus, ds6 doesn't show any signs of needing to go. If he doesn't go on his own, which sometimes he does, he will just spread his legs and go. My house is one big toilet!!! I put up with this when I potty trained my older boys, but it only took at the most a month or two. A year and a half is a really long time to be potty training these two. I have potty trained 4 other boys and know how to do it. I just can't seem to figure out these two with their special needs. I cannot figure out what will make it worth their while.

My third issue has to do with my ds1. He is in college. His grades are not up to what we told him we would accept to pay his way. I hate the idea of cutting him off, but he obviously is not putting the time and energy in the school that is needed. I suspect he is spending to much time playing an online game. He has never been that great at managing his time. We are also trying to get all the paperwork completed so that he can go on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This is our religion. He has had more health issues in the last year then he has had his entire life. It has been an interesting year for him. We have discovered he has an irregular heartbeat, which after discovering our insurance didn't cover him in another state, we figured out how to get him to a cardiologist. It is benign. Phew! That was about five months of background stress. He finally was able to have his wisdom teeth pulled, but that did not heal properly. Because we had his teeth pulled over Christmas break, he had to find another oral surgeon to fix that. We are blessed that his grandmother and aunt live about thirty minutes away and could help him with all the arrangements. I suspect he has high function PDD as well as my younger boys. He seems very dependant for this kind of stuff. I tried to teach him how to take care of doctor's appointments on his own before he left home, but after he would visit a doctor or dentist he could never convey to me what they said so I would still know what was going on. There are some other things that I know about now that I did not know about when he was a baby that make me wonder. Anyway, as the end of the spring semester approaches, dh gets more and more uptight with this son. The tension in our house grows.

I have to go take ds5 to occupational therapy now. I hope he will be cooperative in going. I don't want to spend the next half hour in the car with a screaming kid.