Cutest Blog

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ew Indeed

Two funny Johnny stories.

1. I grabbed John and kissed him on the forward. He went to Paul and said, "Mom kissed me on the forehead!" Paul answered, "eeww!" John said, "ew indeed."

2. Later on John was sitting next to Paul on the couch. Paul said in an irritated voice, "John, did you fart." John said, "No," pause, "I just popped out gas." We all cracked up laughing and I explained that it was the same thing.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

December 12, 2011 Daniel's Singing

Daniel was Falcon of the Week so of course he was very proud of himself
John is playing his DS and Daniel is watching PBS Kids and QUBO.  All in all, it is a normal vacation.

Daniel is really looking forward to Christmas.  He has this big grin on his face all the time.  Wait, he always has a big grin on his face, but there is something extra now.  We sang “Angels We Have Heard on High” at church yesterday.  I heard him humming a little next to me but he wasn’t singing because he was eating his snack.  Last night I heard him singing, “Glo------ria, in eggs mm day o” over and over.  I don’t blame him for not really getting the words.  I had someone tell me how to say them.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Daniel probably has infantigo

John has been sick. He's been running a fever and has a sore throat.  Even so, he has been doing fantastically using the toilet for the past month. I am worried about Christmas break but if he keeps this up….well Hurrah!!!

Daniel's been getting these red dots around his mouth for the last couple of weeks. I thought it was because he hadn't washed until they started turning in to sores. I took him to the doctor and he said it was probably infantigo. He said the amoxicillin that Daniel was already on would probably clear it up eventually. He gave me a prescription for a cream to help it clear up quicker. He said if it isn't gone by next Wednesday to call again. He doesn’t like the cream at all. He says it burns. He is putting up with the chewable amoxicillin although they smell horrible and I am glad I don’t have to take them.

Daniel took his DS to the doctor’s appointment. They have a new cool office now. It has separate areas for well and sick children. Anyway, the doctor asked him what he was playing. Daniel rattled off a big long name which I didn’t understand and the doctor obviously didn’t either so I had him repeat. It was Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games. I think I heard Mario and Olympic and figured out what he said. I had to translate for the doctor. It is a good thing he knows we are doing everything we can to help Daniel with his speech.

Monday, November 28, 2011

all that worry for nothing

John did really well this last week other than elbowing Daniel during church and stomping out after I moved him away from Daniel.  He came back in though and we enjoyed a nice sacrament meeting on miracles.  The first thing he said when sacrament meeting was over was, “Where is (Michelle’s mom)?” He really likes her.  He sat with her but her husband's partner for teaching didn’t show up so he got her out of Sunday School.  John went with her to class.  It is kind of funny that he would go to that class but not to his own.  Whatever John.

The stuff with John and the school and the investigation doesn’t seem to be affecting much.  I got a call this morning from the investigating officer.  He is coming over to have me sign a paper so he can close out the case.  WooHoo!!! I had all that worry for nothing.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

November 21, 2011 when life gets this insane laughter is the best way to handle it.

This last couple of weeks has been more crazy than usual. We got the results from Daniel’s neuropsych review, which turned out to be pretty much the same as what his autism testing a couple of years ago. In other words, the surgeries have not affected him at all, Yeah! What is really cool is that it gives some really good information for his teachers. It reinforces how important it is to teach visually and kinesthetically. His intelligence still drops in about half when you use language.

Daniel made the cutest little video about Saturn with his new friend Kaisei (k-say). I’ll try to attach it but I am not sure it will work. I am supposed to get another little video tonight about Daniel teaching his class a song about the solar system that he made up, (I think). It is to Jingle Bells and very cute. Daniel is the one who talks first in the Saturn video.

This last week the washing machine broke. I put John and Daniel’s smelly clothes in to wash and walked away as I usually do. A few minutes later your dad heard John yell the first load right now. It is like Deanna’s washer, the front loader. “Stop it! Stop it!” Rob thought he was yelling at Daniel. So Rob asked John what was going on. John told him there was water all over the floor in the dining room. That is how we discovered the machine was broken. We had a big mess to clean up quickly. Water and wood floors don’t go together very well. Since I had put ALL of Daniel’s pants in the wash and the all smelled of urine and the washing machine hadn’t even gotten water onto the clothes and it was about 10:30 pm, I ran to Wal-Mart and searched out some pants for John and Daniel to wear to school for the next few days. I hate washing clothes by hand and I was going to be too busy for it anyway. Thank goodness Wal-Mart is open 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, when I took one of the pair of shorts I got Daniel, it was more their dad’s size then Daniel’s size, so Daniel has been wearing the same pants too school the last few days. Luckily, he could wear PJ’s on Saturday. The next day we ordered a new washer, which came today. Yeah! Your dad is putting in

I had to be a Texas Children’s at 6 on Friday for Daniel’s MRI. It came back as no change, Yeah! That is what we want. I had been up a little late getting things ready for the morning, laying out clothes, getting stuff for me to do and for Daniel to do and I had to go shopping for milk on the way home so I took a nap that afternoon. The phone woke me up. And things went crazy for us.

On Thursday, John had hit another student on the playground, so one of his assistant teachers made him walk the track. This is part of his discipline plan. John didn’t like it of course so he hit the teacher a few times. She let go, he ran toward the door, she grabbed him and pulled him back to the track and a “community member” saw her pull him and thought the actions were inappropriate. So he took a picture of the teacher. I forgot to ask one question, who was in trouble, John or the teacher. I stressed all night long until I called the CAP supervisor and she told me it was the teacher. We all feel bad for her because she didn’t do anything wrong. What do you do with a two year old who runs from you? You grab them and pick them up. Well, we can’t pick up John anymore and he is emotionally about a two year old. So anyway, that is all being investigated, and hopefully no one goes to the media because explaining John is not easy.

So, now it is Monday and life is sort of back to normal, whatever that is. We’ve got thanksgiving and Mark’s birthday coming up and of course Christmas so of course it still busy and crazy. one touchdown. In the last seconds, the Cinco quarterback threw for a touchdown and it was intercepted in the endzone. Oh, well. It was an exciting game.

When life gets this insane laughter is the best way to handle it.

October 31, 2011 “Can we do that again?”

Happy Halloween

Your dad and I switched cars so Mark could drive mine to church and Eric could practice the stick shift. 
Eric did okay with the stick shift yesterday.  He only stalled out twice. It was a little rough taking off but once he got going he did all right.  John and Daniel loved it.  They were laughing at the jerky ride all the way.  Daniel said, “Can we do that again?”  Eric was embarrassed, but the first few times can be hard.  He did much better than I did at first.

John did really well last week at school.  I wonder what changed.  He still had some refusals and a little yelling but had two whole days without those.  That is fabulous for him.  He is giving me a little trouble with bus from time to time so he is late for school regularly, but by the time I take him he is cooperative and I haven’t had to fight him to the car.  Unfortunately, Daniel’s bus arrives somewhere between 8:20 and 8:30.  There is no way I can get John to school on time since it starts at 8:20.  Luckily, John's school isn’t very far away.  An article came out recently that the teachers in the autism program at another school were using aversives like running on the treadmill too fast and too long or vinegar on a cotton ball in the mouth.  I’m glad John isn’t at that school anymore. But, last week another article came out.  A teacher from Daniel's school was arrested for drugs in her car.  I’m glad it wasn’t Daniel’s teacher and feel for the parents of her students.  What a mess for the fifth graders!  I’m pretty sure that Daniel is unaware of that kind of stuff.  How do you teach DARE, when one of the teachers is using?

October 24, 2011 I’ll take a little

John had a fairly good week this last week. He had 2 good days in a row, and the other days didn’t have a ton of bad stuff, just a little. I’ll take a little. Yesterday was the primary program. John started off sitting with his class but then he wanted to sit next to another teacher who he discovered during the practices had and IPad. They wouldn’t let him change seats so he came down to us, which I pretty much expected anyway. He told me he was too crowded. The he said he was hungry and was upset that we hadn’t brought a snack. He stomped out of the chapel in the middle of the sacrament and of course I had to follow. In the foyer I discovered he hadn’t eaten anything except his medicine that morning. I figured I would let him feel the consequences until the primary program was over and then take him home to eat, but he kept bugging me. I finally mentioned that dad might have something in his car so I went in and asked him. Of course, we had the backup sacrament bread. So John had some bread. While he was eating, Daniel did his part, “My favorite scripture story to read with my family is Noah Ark”. I did have the possessive written down but “s” at the end of some words is difficult for him to say. He was very understandable. Everyone was really happy for him.
Back to John, He sat with us through the rest of the meeting playing his DS. I decided if he could sit through the sacrament, I would let him use the DS. He wanted to sit with Michelle’s mom but because he had given me a hard time, I wouldn’t let him. Once Sunday school started we went in search of her. He was pretty upset when we couldn’t find her. He went back to sit with his dad and I went to look for her some more and found her in the primary room. She and John have one of those connections some people make with him. She was happy to have him sit with her through Sunday school once her daughter was done with her prayer or something in primary. Then it was sharing time, and somebody told him they were having cookies in primary. He had planned on coming with me to Relief Society, but when he heard about the cookies, he took off to the primary room and told me to go ahead and go to class that he would be fine. Somehow, everything worked. We had a few minutes of bad behavior (he ran out to the car), but most of the time he was great.

Besides the primary program, Daniel went to the Brazos Bend pack meeting with his dad. He had a great time, but he got eaten alive even though he wore bug spray. Mosquitos love him. He has a bite on his ear, three on his face, three or four on each arm, and one knee that has seven or eight. He had long pants on, but you know how big those mosquitos can be. I asked Daniel if there were crocodiles on the hike. He said yes, but when I asked him how many he saw, he said zero. He was at the back of the pack of boys so they were probably hiding by the time he walked by. I couldn’t go with him because it was senior day for the band. Eric used the arm rests from the van and taped them on either side of a baseball cap. He said it was heavy, but it was a big hit with everyone trying to guess what it was. It was all his idea. I had completely forgotten about silly hat day.

October 17, 2011 John and Daniel’s grade are great

I received my Montessori training materials and have been busy reading and answering questions so that eventually, maybe, I will be able to show Daniel some hands on materials so he might retain a little of what is being taught.  He is doing pretty well in school with his modified curriculum though.  We got report cards recently and John and Daniel’s grade are great, of course, (how can they not be when you tailor the curriculum to their level?). 

North American Montessori Training Center

John is still working on his anger issues. Each day I hope for a better daily report from school. More often than not, I am disappointed. I realized last night that his behavior goals in his IEP probably need revamped. The teachers don’t have control over whether John refuses work or throws a fit so goals for John to have “fewer than 3 refusals a week” aren’t going to be achieved unless John buys into it. (Which he won’t.) I think I’ll suggest changing them to things like, we’ll teach John ways of handling anger this often a day or week. Those are reachable. So it is more like the vision is to have John not refuse more than 3 times a week but the goal isn’t dependent on his choices. I suppose this doesn’t make much sense. I’m still working on it in my head.

Daniel is a bit more emotional then he used to be. He gets a lot more upset when he can’t do something, like make a basket or remember how to say a dinner prayers. He told us the other day, “It’s blank!” He was upset about not being able to pray by himself. We are just too impatient to wait for him to come up with the words himself and the more uptight he gets the less his is able to recall and speak words. I’m hoping this is a leap in understanding for him. It is good that he is able to recognize that he is different from others, although it is heart breaking at the same time. We all need to recognize our strengths and weaknesses, but seeing Daniel upset at himself is really hard. He has always been so happy no matter what. He is growing up, I guess. I am excited about his new understanding of the world.

October 3, 2011 I just remember in my head

I just realized this morning that John is learning a new social skill, joint attention. That is when a toddler points at something, looks at you and says, “wook” (spelling intended). Because John is so much older and speaks better it is coming out differently. He is sitting next to me trying to get my attention to show me the game he is interested in and trying to teach me how to use it. I have been pretty much ignoring him, mostly because of the headaches I often get. I tend to forget that he tries things out with me first and then begins generalizing to the rest of the family and then to everyone else, kind of, sort of. I doubt he has done it much with anyone else. If he does, Eric, Mark and Rob, try to pay attention so that he can learn this important skill. This means he is beginning to understand that other people see things differently than he does. Hopefully, in time, he will begin to wonder about how other people see things which means he will be a little less self-centered. Considering most people learn joint attention as toddlers, and John is learning it at 10, it may take a really long time for him to progress to the next step. The great news is that it is possible and that he is still growing in his social skills.

Daniel Story (yeah)

At school Daniel is learning about map skills. Stuff like what continents and countries are as well as the equator and globe. I got the definitions that would be on the test, two days before the test. ARGH! He needs so much more time to learn the words! At least they only gave him half the words to learn, although I would rather they gave him more time to learn the words and allow him to learn them all. When I saw the study sheet they sent home I was completely frustrated. They did have pictures for everything but I have no idea how they expected him to learn from the paper they sent home, so I made up some 3 part cards for him to match up. He had a lot of trouble the first time, but the next day he did much better. When I asked him to read the words, he didn’t know what they were, so I pronounced them for him and that was pretty much enough. He still pronounced compass phonetically which sounded kind of funny and hemisphere wasn’t even close which was okay because that wasn’t a required word. After the test on Thursday I asked him how he did. He said, “Good,” as he always does. Then I asked him if it was easy or hard. He said easy. Then I asked him why it was easy and he said, “I just remember…I just remember in my head.”

Three Part Cards

September 26, 2011 He cracks me up sometimes

John is being wonderful and causing trouble all at the same time. He is doing his school work, but he is also hitting teachers and throwing chairs. (I doubt he threw it hard or I would have heard more about it.) It is a good thing he is in YCAP. He told me this morning he didn’t want to go to school. (What else is new?) I asked him what the worst thing about school was. He said the kids make fun of him and call him names. He said they called him an egomaniac. Really? 4th graders came up with the word egomaniac? I talked to his teacher. She said that isn’t happening. I’m wondering if Mark has been calling him that. I am pretty sure the teachers wouldn’t tell me if they were teasing him. They always tell me things are fine until they want to send him to another school. The thing is, where does he go after YCAP?

That is the bad stuff….now for funny church story. Yesterday John's DS ran out of power so I didn’t have a way to bribe him to go to class for even a short time, but he decided to sit with his teachers during sacrament meeting and went to class with them. Unfortunately, there was a table set up in the room. John wanted it to stay up, the teachers didn’t. The teachers got their way of course, and John left to come to us. I met him in the hall as I was taking the scriptures he left behind. I needed a drink so I told him to go sit with his dad until I got back. I did not know that Rob had been grabbed to be set apart for his choir calling. When I got back to the chapel, I couldn’t find either one of them, so I went back in the foyer kind of looking around. A few second later John comes out whining that I didn’t see him. He was a bit upset with me for not noticing him sitting with a friend but I gave him a hug and said I was sorry and we went back to sit with the friend, only she wasn’t there anymore. So we sat down and waited for quite a while as John slowly got more and more uptight. We decided to go for a walk to see if our friend was in the primary room playing the piano. We met her, talking with Michelle’s (a girl in his primary class) mom. John and Michelle's mom have a kind of connection. John says to her, “You’re wearing a brown shirt.” Michelle's mom said, “Yes.” John said, “Do I know you?” She smiles really big and says, “Yes, you have sat with me some times.” (She has and I pad) I tell John it is Michelle’s mom and she tells him that she usually where’s a pink shirt. John says to the ladies, “You should be in the chapel.” They answer with a laugh, “Yes we should.” (Too bad none of us thought to tell John he should be in his class) John tells our friend, “(your husband) is waiting for you.” our friend says, “Oh, I can talk to him any time, I only see (Michelle's mom) occasionally.” Then John puts out his hand. Our friend gave him 5 then Michelle's mom tries to give him 5 but he takes her hand and starts pulling (not hard she went easily) into the chapel. So, what I find funny is, John wouldn’t go to his class but he made these two go to their class. He cracks me up sometimes.

Daniel is his happy self. He seems to have his bounce back. It is good to see. He earned some skittles at school and brought them home. I asked him where they came from. He said, “Desks”. I couldn’t really get any more out of him. Later I found a note in his backpack from the Desk Fairy. He had a neat desk so he got some skittles. Go Daniel.

September 12, 2011 “Mom, I’m mad all the time.”

I needed get Daniel’s forms for medication to the nurses.  Daniel has an epi pen in case he reacts to tree nuts.  So far we haven’t had any major reactions.  I don’t want to see one though so we try to keep stuff with tree nuts out of the house.  It doesn’t work really well though.  I bought some ranger cookies from the bakery the other day not knowing what ranger cookies were.  They have coconut in them, so I had to warn Daniel not to eat them. He has been really good about not eating stuff that we say will make him sick.  Somehow, he gets that.

Mark and Eric are bright red right now. They didn’t use sunscreen for the one o-clock football game on Saturday. Mark’s nose is a little blistery and they both look ridiculous but they both know better as well. I tried to teach John how he could learn from Mark and Eric’s mistake. We talked about what we could learn from their sunburn. He understood, but if Mark and Eric can’t learn to use sunscreen when they have both been burnt multiple times, I doubt John can learn from them.

John has been up and down. We have been giving him allowance to help him learn the value of money. He wants everything under the sun. It is good to be able to say, “So you want the blanket (that he saw on tv) or do you want the game? Which game do you want? You don’t have enough money for both. No, you don’t have enough money yet, there is shipping and handling. Are you sure you want to spend your money on a ds game that we already have on Wii?” He actually decided he didn’t want to save up for an Ipad because it cost too much. We are happy about that at least. He has quit bugging us about that.

About a week ago, John plopped down on my bed next to me sighed and said, “Mom, I’m mad all the time.” I agreed with him and we talked about being patient and waiting. I’ve been talking to my therapist about how to help him deal with his feelings. It isn’t easy, but I think John will get it eventually. It just takes a lot longer to sink in then it does for most people.

Daniel is doing as well as he can. He is enjoying school, I think. It is hard to know because he doesn’t talk about it. He hates his spelling homework. We didn’t get the spelling counts books this year so he has the same thing to do every week. He has to put them in abc order and on another day write a sentence for each word. Daniel come up with sentence for 15 words, not all of which he understands what are. NOT!  I don’t blame him for not liking spelling. I try to give him several different sentences for each word and let him choose, or I’ll start the sentences and let him finish. It works okay, but not great.

Relief Society is are doing an autism awareness night, that because I am the committee member with autistic kids, is keeping me on my toes. Hopefully next week, things will slow down…no, wait, it’s Eric’s birthday. I have to figure out what to get him. Maybe the week after…

Autism Awareness Activities

Friday, November 25, 2011

August 22, 2011 John has conquered yet another lady

It is finally the 22nd and school started today!  Wohoo!!!  It is quiet here.  The TV is off, the video games are off, no screaming John or whistling Daniel or fighting with John and this is the only computer that is on  It is so peaceful and I can actually concentrate on something…anything. Tomorrow is when all the telephone calls begin.  I don’t really understand why everyone calls on Tuesdays but they do.

John did pretty well at church yesterday considering he went to bed way past midnight and got up at about 9. I have been worried about school starting because he has been staying up so late, but that fixed it nicely for today. More and more sisters at church are becoming attached to John. Michelle’s mom took him to primary yesterday. She said she somehow feels this attachment to John. John has conquered yet another lady. I don’t know what it is about him that brings out Mama Bear in ladies. Any lady he spends any amount of time with gets really attached and sometimes even guys like Brother Long. He may have a huge temper but he seems so vulnerable that you just want to protect him. I’ve felt it since he was born so I know how it feels, I just never expected so many other people to feel it to.

Anyway, on to Daniel. He is getting better and better at whistling. He is making different pitches now but hasn’t quite been able to whistle a tune. It will come. We have been working hard with him to finish up his wolf badge. He has been willing to go for it. Unfortunately a lot of it is over his head but your dad is trying really hard. They did the safety check on Saturday while Mark and I were at Eric’s performance. When we got home your dad tried to get him to tell me the things they talked about. Where do we meet if there is a fire? After much prompting, “in the mailbox”. Mark said he might fit in the package part of the mailbox. I told them you couldn’t even fit a baby inside our mailboxes let alone Daniel and the rest of us. Then your dad asked him what we keep away from the stove. Daniel didn’t know what the stove or the burner was. We had to point it out. Then he said, “paper”. As cute as he is, I am worried about school. There will come a time when they will pass him just because he has a language issue, not because he learned anything. He loves going anyway and it is good for his social schools.

August 9, 2011 Daniel creamed us in Apples to Apples

John is struggling through the last week before school starts. He is grumpy and having “accidents” and just plain causing problems. I let him and Daniel skip church yesterday because it was stake conference and your dad was going to be home because of his foot. He can hardly walk around the house let alone with a bunch of people trying to step on your feet.

Daniel is as cute as ever. He creamed us last night in Apples to Apples. Mark chose that game for FHE. I tried to talk him into using the Jr. Version so Daniel and John could understand it better. He refused so we played the regular game. Normally we just draw a card out of Daniel’s hand but last night we let him pick his own. He shut us out! We play to three wins and he got the first three. I think he understands more than I give him credit for.

John wants to create a game on RPG maker 1 like his mom. I keep trying to explain that he needs a story but I don’t think he understands. He did make himself and Laban and one other monster and got them fighting. He wants to do more but really doesn’t know how.

August 8, 2011 “That baby understood what I said.”

Daniel isn’t doing much. Still watching a lot of TV and taking 4 hour baths. He sure loves the water. The last few days he has started playing video games upstairs. I’m a bit relieved. I am really tired of the reruns of kid’s shows. Cute language story…Daniel does a lot of echolalia where he repeats a 3 or 4 word phrase over and over. Often I can’t understand what he is saying but every couple of days I will repeat what I am hearing and he will say, “Mom, will you please stop it,” and I usually do. The other day it was so cute I said it a couple of more times. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the phrase but what he said after I repeated it a couple of more times cracked me up. “Mom, will you please stop copying at me.” I couldn’t help repeating that one kind of laughing. Daniel just kind of rolled his eyes. I did try to correct his language as well but he just says the oddest things.

John is well John…being wonderful and horrible at the same time. A few years ago he wouldn’t talk to or have anything to do with anyone outside our immediate family. Now he talks to everybody and anybody. He will go with anyone who has and ipad, ipod, smart phone or e-reader. It’s a little scary actually. He also loves talking to babies. No one in primary sharing time had and Ipad to play with so he came to relief society with me hoping to bug someone in there, but when we walked in they were in a huge circle. Some people moved over so we could have 2 seats together. Of course there was a toddler in there who was totally fascinated with John and vice versa. I didn’t hear much of the lesson. I was too busy watching them. The little boy kept hitting John in the nose. It wasn’t hard and John just kept making funny faces at him. Then another lady came in with a baby in a car seat. This was near the end so while the little boy went back across the room to his mother John went to the baby. She was only a couple of seats away. RS ended and John kept making faces at the baby. It was kind of noisy so I couldn’t hear what he was saying but when he came to me he said, “That baby understood what I said.” I asked what that was and he said he had asked how the baby played with toys. She started hitting the toy hanging on the handle of the car seat. John was totally excited. Did she really understand? Maybe, maybe not. Some children learn language really early on. None of mine, but some.

I know this is long but I need some advice. I’ve talked to several people, including your dad, but…getting advice from people who no John is helpful in making decisions. We have been pondering about what to do with John and church. He won’t go to class and won’t go to sharing time unless someone has an Ipad to play with. He bugs us asking to go sit with people who have ipads during sacrament meeting and Sunday school. Part of me likes that he is socializing sort of but most of me hates that he is bugging people. Everyone in our ward has been totally happy and willing to accommodate him. Even one lady I didn’t know was letting him look at her Ipad. She even acted sad when I made him stop and come with me somewhere else. I don’t remember where I was taking him. So…with my birthday coming up, we are considering getting an ipad, iPhone, smart phone something…I kind of want it for myself for some stuff and would help keep John with us but at the same time I am worried it will be too much of a distraction at church and he will be a nightmare of begging at home. Would it be just like bringing a DS to church? Why spend money when we already have a bunch of DSs. I’ve been praying for a couple of months but I still would like your opinions.

August 2, 2011 He isn’t really trying to hurt anyone

John is out of school again and throwing fits and having “accidents” even though I tell him to use the rest room. Same ol’ same ol’. He is always wanting to take over whatever someone else is doing so he is always frustrated which is annoying to the rest of us because when he is frustrated he screams and yells and of course hits poor Daniel. Then we have a big fight sending him to his room. I look forward to school starting on the 22nd. He is so much nicer when he is in school. Actually, it is just so much nicer not having him yelling and screaming all the time. He is still hitting his teacher almost every day. I told the YCAP leader how frustrating it was for me to see that on his behavior chart every day. She said, “Yeah, but he isn’t putting any power behind it. He isn’t really trying to hurt anyone.” So, I guess I’ll just keep letting them deal with it. I suppose it is “their problem” like they and my therapist says it is.

Daniel is more than ready to be back at school. He is bored out of his mind watching PBS and QUBO all the time and of course being bossed around by John. He is happy and taking it well though.

July 11, 2011 One day at a time

Daniel is doing nothing. Well, watching TV, emptying the dishwasher and sometimes filling it. He loves washing the dishes. I am sure that won’t last. But I am enjoying the break for now.

John is back to school for a couple of weeks. It will be quiet around here in the morning with just Daniel and Eric. John actually went to primary this week. Wohoo!!! Sister Leyton talked him into it. John complained that the room was messy. Sister Leyton said that there was a nursery class in there before them so there wasn’t much she could do about it. John really doesn’t care about the mess. He is just looking for excuses. Anyway, he went and stayed. A huge difference from the past two months. We’ll have to wait and see how next week goes. One day at a time with him. You never know what he will do. One of the sisters in Relief Society asked me what I did different. (John has been in RS for the past couple of months.) I told her I had no idea. I just keep talking about it and encouraging it. John is just so unpredictable!

July 11, 2011 One less thing I have to do for him

Now for the funny Daniel stories…Always good ones

I was playing Zuma on the computer on Saturday. Everyone was kind of keeping an eye on how I was doing when the advertisements came on during cartoons. At one point Daniel was standing behind me watching and he said, “Focus, Mom!” I never expect stuff like that from him. A little bit later Sister McClain called about the symphony. I was ignoring the game and forgot to pause. When I turned around to check with your dad and brothers about going everyone was like, “Pause it! Pause it!” I told them I didn’t care about the game and I really didn’t want to be playing it anyway. I was just wasting and wanted to run out of lives anyway. Yeah, I know, I can turn it off any time I want but I didn’t really have anything else I wanted to do at the time. Anyway, when I lost the life Daniel yells at me, “Mom!” With that up and down tone people do, “You didn’t pause!” He and John a really good at stating the obvious. He was really upset with me. I don’t think he understands that I don’t mind losing video games. I just don’t care that much. Maybe that is why all of you are so much better at it then I am.

I guess this one isn’t funny but I sure am happy about it.  This week Daniel has been spending A LOT of time in my bathroom playing in the sink.  I told him that if he wanted to play in the water to just take a bath.  On Saturday, I came home from shopping; needing to get ready for the Symphony, and found him in my tub half full of water.  As you know, that is a big tub so it was a lot of water.  I asked him who had run the water for him.  He just looked at me puzzled by the questions so I restated it.  “Did your run the water or did Dad?”  He said that he had.  I am thrilled that he can run his own bath.  One less thing I have to do for him.  As I was running out the door, Mark and Eric told me he had taken a bath the night before as well.  Good for him!  Now we just need to teach him a little modesty and it can actually be successful because he can finally wash his own hair and body and even run his own bath.  Go Daniel!  Maybe John will follow suit soon.  He can wash himself but I still have to undress him and drag him to the shower and shove him in to get him going.  The funny thing is…once he is in the shower, he loves it.  I guess years and years of hating the sound of running water and refusing showers and baths and making the whole process miserable for us is a hard habit to break.  Especially at 10 when being clean just isn’t important.

So, we are making progress and growing up and old. 

July 4, 2011 I’m glad Daniel’s brain is working to figure things out

Summer school is over for Eric and on break for John. They are both enjoying staying up late and sleeping in. Mark and Daniel are just plain getting bored.

There isn’t much going on. Yesterday during sacrament meeting I was whispering to Daniel. He was telling me the color of our eyes and hair. Eric, John and I have blond eyes and Dad’s hair color is none. I went on to asking about Eric and he pointed him out at the sacrament table. I asked him what Eric was doing and he said, “I don’t know!” So I said, “Standing?” He nodded. When the deacons arrived I asked what Eric was doing now. He said, “Drinking water.” A couple of minutes later I asked Daniel again what Eric was doing. He said in a surprised voice, “Put it in the blanket!” Then he told me Eric was coming to sit with us. He has such an interesting take on things.

John has to stop and look at everyone’s smart phones and Ipads. It is a good thing our ward so understands. Having a 10 year old boy in Relief Society is a little odd, but it is where John wants to be.

Daniel has been really excited about the 4th of July and fireworks. They have been banned because it has been so hot and dry this year. Even the sale of fireworks is band. The only fireworks that should be going off are the professional ones. Around here, people would have had to drive to Galveston to get fireworks. I am sure some have but I think there won’t be as many as there have been in past years. I tried to explain to Daniel that we couldn’t do fireworks because it was too dry. He said, “We have hose.” I tried to explain that that wasn’t enough. Eric said that standing on the roof with a hose might be an option. I asked him if he really wanted to stand on the roof with fireworks shooting at him. He realized he didn’t want to be up there. Then Daniel said, “We have sink.” Once again I tried to explain it wasn’t enough and that it was against the law but he didn’t really understand. I tried to explain that the grass and the trees and the houses were too dry and it was dangerous. This morning after we got home from the breakfast he says, “Brick”. I was a bit puzzled because we were talking about fireworks last night or the night before. He noticed I didn’t understand so he expounded, “house brick”. Somehow I understood. I just laughed and told him it wasn’t good enough. I think I need to explain that we can’t buy them. Galveston banned the sale a few days ago. We would have to go north to another state to get fireworks.

I’m glad Daniel’s brain is working to figure things out even if I would be happy to never hear another firework. We’ll watch the displays on TV and maybe we can see a little of the ones in that shopping center. Hopefully that will be enough for him.

June 21, 2011 You’re sitting on it! You’re breaking it

Funny John story…

John is totally into pretending computer and IPods and Ipads and stuff like that. The other day he came and sat by me on the couch pretending to carry a “windows 7 laptop”. The next thing I knew he gave one to me as well so we were both pretending to have a laptop. I needed to get up and do something so I pretended to hand John my laptop. John put it on the arm of the couch. I hadn’t quite gotten up when Mark came over and sat on the arm. John yells, “You’re sitting on it! You’re breaking it!” Mark jumped up (after a few seconds while we registered what John was talking about) saying, “I’m sorry John, I couldn’t see it. It is invisible!” John picks up the “broken” lap top and sighs, “I have to fix it now.” He makes a computer beeping noise, moves his hands around and says, “There, it is working now.” Can you really fix a computer that has been sat on?

Cute Daniel story…

I was tired after church on Sunday. I always am after fighting John and dealing with the headache it always gives me. I was trying to read a church book, but I was just too tired. Daniel came in and was cuddling with me. I told him I was really tired from church. He said knowingly, “I tired church…people talk and talk.” He gets sleepy during sacrament meeting and cuddles a lot.

June 13, 2011 It’s gonna taste like…soup!

Other than dentist appointments it has been a quiet week.  Mark, John and Daniel all had checkups and believe it or not no cavities!!!!  Those are the worst three for cavities.  I can’t get them to brush regularly.  It is unheard of for none of them to have a cavity.  Actually, there are a couple on John and Daniel’s baby teeth, but the teeth are about to fall out anyway so the dentist said to not worry about them unless they actually start hurting.  Daniel is the one to watch and I am working hard on reminding him to brush. 

John has been kind of quiet as well. He lost his computer privileges last week so no fights about computer time. He is still struggling with church though. He has discovered that adults have Ipads and Ipods and smart phones. They let him play during the adult classes, so he has decided to join me in Sunday school and Relief Society. Yesterday no one in Relief Society had their stuff out. He got upset so we had kind of a rough third hour.

Daniel is enjoying his break from school. He is engrossed with PBS kids and QUBO. You think he would get tired of it after a couple of weeks. He went on my walk with me this morning. He seemed to enjoy it. I tried to teach him a few different kinds of trees but he calls everything an oak tree. Everything makes acorns even though we can see the pinecones in the pine trees. Funny Daniel story, we had bean and bacon soup for dinner. Daniel came down to dinner a looked at it and said disgustedly, “It’s gonna taste like…soup!” Daniel has a gift for stating the obvious. Things like, “Mom, you home!” or “You awake!”

May 30, 2011 Daniel was the only one who was called by his character

I went to Daniel’s end of year certificate party.  The teacher showed a slide show of the kids during the year.  She showed a picture of Daniel as George Washington.  He was really cute.  When she called him up she called him Daniel George Washington.  All of the kids did that living museum thing but Daniel was the only one who was called by his character. 

May 21, 2011 some of the stuff you do with John is counterintuitive

John is doing okay. We ran out of abilify for him and the pharmacy had it on back order so he didn’t get it for about 5 days. I did have a half dose that I gave him in the middle of it, so we got through all right. We had yet another ARD meeting to go over his assistive technology evaluation. He will be using a word processor next year that predicts what you are trying to type…kind of like word only more annoying. He really liked it. Maybe we will get more work done. Actually, they showed me the stack of papers he has done since moving to the YCAP program. It is impressive. It baffles me why general education has such a hard time with him. His teacher did tell me that some of the stuff you do with John is counterintuitive. The two examples she gave were #1 say he starts screaming in the cafeteria because he doesn’t want to wait in line…the most natural response is to get his lunch quickly and get out of there. That just rewards him for bad behavior. What she did was take him back to the room and didn’t let him get lunch for another 45 minutes. So now he understands the choice is, wait quietly in line for a few minutes or scream and wait 45 minutes. #2 She said that when he is refusing work what she does is start rewarding for small things like he is sitting in his seat, reward, then not screaming for a certain amount of time, reward, then do one problem maybe hand over hand, reward, she said it only takes a little while but he usually just starts working on his own and finishes up. It is counter intuitive to reward for stuff like that, but for John, it works. Actually, from what I have read, for a lot of autistic kids it works.

Okay on to Daniel. Last week they did the basketball belt loop at cub scouts. When he got home he kept saying, “I want to play basketball.” I told him it was kind of late and he needed to finish his homework and stuff like that. I told him he could play outside tomorrow with our basketball hoop. He kind of shook his head looking disappointed. I asked him if he wanted to talk about basketball. He nodded. This is set up for the conversation we had. He said, “Two teams”, I said, “There were two teams playing tonight?” He nodded. I asked, “How many were on each team?” He said, “Three”. I asked him who was on his team. He answered, “Me, Jaron and (made the “t” sound several times) I don’t know.” I said, “Tyler?” knowing he had been there. Daniel nodded. Then he said, “One team make point. Another team make point. Lose.” He shook his head. I asked, “Did you make a basket?” He said, “No, too high.” “Did you win?” “No.” “Oh, Daniel, did your team lose?” He nodded. “Do you need a hug?” He nodded. So we cuddled and hugged for a few minutes. I haven’t heard a word about wanting to play basketball since. He was just having a hard time telling me he wanted to talk. That, btw, was a really long conversation for him. He was so-o-o cute this morning. He said, “I bug bite.” I gave him the words, “I have a bug bite” or “I got a bug bite” but I doubt he will remember the verb next time. I put some Benadryl on it and off to school he went.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

May 3, 2011 Daniel is George Washington

Daniel’s MRI came out the same as last time so no growth. Yeah!!!! We go through it again at the end of October. We went to the oncologist yesterday. He invited Daniel to a camp for kids with cancer. It would be an all week overnight camp. The forms were due yesterday also. We decided to wait a while. I don’t think he is really ready to be away from family for a whole week. He doesn’t even get babysitters that aren’t family very often. He is so funny. Whenever we are talking about doing something, he is right in the middle of it asking, “What about me?” Oh, and he is George Washington for the elementary's Living Museum this Friday so we are busy trying to get him to memorize a speech. I had to shorten a bunch of sentences for him. He was struggling with words like, consider, and famous. He can’t remember words he doesn’t know the meaning of.

John is his same old defiant but totally sweet self. He is really hard to explain to people. Yes, he is throwing fits at least 3 times a week (that is a very good week) up to 3 times a day (a very bad week) but that is only an hour or so a day. That is funny to write. Most people would freak at that. Eric really made that easy with his day long temper tantrums. An hour (usually about 20 minutes) is nothing in comparison. Your persistence helped inured me to his constant, I want, I want and Mark’s OCD (you know the just right bowl with the just right spoon or the just right shirt) helps with John’s and Daniel’s need for sameness. God really prepared me for John.

April 18, 2011 John is so intense when he is obsessed

John is the same. He did much better at church this week although he didn’t want to get ready to go, but when it was time to leave, he came quietly. He is doing pretty well in YCAP as well. They are trying to slowly assimilate him into a third grade classroom again. John really likes YCAP so I don’t know how that will go. He is echolaliaing(sp?) all over the place. It is all from PBS and Brainpop so he sounds really intelligent. I don’t know if he understands any of it. He starts, “Did you know…?” It is pretty cute. Yesterday the people sitting next to us had an IPad so now, instead of drawing DSs, Computers, or laptops, he is drawing IPads. He gave everyone he could find a picture of an IPad. He is so intense when he is obsessed.

Daniel got to go to the Butterfly Museum on Thursday. He enjoyed but he told me that none of the butterflies landed on him. I told him before he left that they might come to him if he was still enough. After, I told him there was probably too many kids and too much noise. He is doing great. I’m stressing though because the MRI is on Friday. I always stress before that. I won’t know the results for another full week after that so don’t expect any news soon.

April 11, 2011 “I have no idea what you said.”

John has been doing okay. Last week was General Conference so getting him to church yesterday was a challenge. My back is sore because I had to keep taking him back to his room while he was screaming, yelling, and fighting. He didn’t hit, just collapsed on the floor. He and Daniel are about 100 lbs. now. It is really hard on my back when I have to fight him. I sure hope he learns some obedience by the time he is taller than me. That isn’t very far away. Now for the Funny John stories…When we finally arrived at church, it turned out to be right on time, we were walking by the primary room. There was a lady from Memorial Ward standing at the corner. She kind of patted John’s head as we tried to squeeze by the people standing outside the primary room. John leaned into her for a hug. She was quite surprised and said, “Oh, you’re giving me a hug!” So she hugged him and we went on our way. I just kind of giggled and shook my head. Then, because of it being the Sunday after General Conference, when we got to the chapel John refused to enter. We sat on the couch in the foyer until the sacrament was over. Or I should say, I tried to get John to set on the couch in the foyer. He introduced himself to everyone who came in. He loves to say hi to the babies. Anyway, a lady from Memorial Ward put her stuff on the couch beside us and looked like she was in pain. I asked if she was alright. She said it was a back spasm, probably caused by the rowdy boys in her primary class. I listened sympathetically. Then John returned from introducing himself to a baby and said, “Hi, what’s your name?” She told him, but I don’t remember what it was. Then he said, “My name is John. What’s your last name?” She said a really weird last name so John asked a couple of times more then said, “I have no idea what you said.” She kind of laughed. I asked her where she was from and she told me Houston and then I asked about her name. I don’t remember the answer because just after that John said, “Where is your house?” The lady told him but John didn’t understand where it was. He also asked about living next door to us. I explained that it was a long way from us. Then John asked what her house looked like inside and she told him a little, and then he asked about the colors of her house. He ended by asking if he could come over. I told him no and tried to explain a little about not doing that. I don’t think he understood though. The lady really understood and was amused with him. I explained he had autism and she said her daughter at A&M also had it and that she figured out pretty quick that something wasn’t quite right with John. I was amused, not embarrassed by the whole interchange. John is so funny. I have to keep reminding myself that just a couple of years ago he wouldn’t talk to anyone outside the family. Now he is inviting himself over to anyone and everyone’s house. I think the pendulum swung a little too far. Lol

What do I say about Daniel? He is the same as ever. Happy, loving, kind, cuddly, and totally addicted to PBS and QUBO. I can’t think of any funny stories this week. He has really enjoyed the 72 hour kit meals and snacks but I have to be careful not to let him have the trail mix. They have tree nuts in them. It is a good thing he doesn’t really like nuts. I don’t have to hide the stuff.

April 4, 2011 Daniel was totally oblivious

Rob and Daniel have both been pretty sick.  Rob had bronchitis and Daniel had ear infections (of course).  They are both still very stuffed up but are ever so slowly getting better.  Poor Daniel had night where his ear was hurting really bad.  He had already had antibiotics for 5 days so it should have been better but I think the ear problems come with whatever is making him sick so the antibiotics aren’t working very well.  I had also given him his prescription decongestant and ibuprofin but he still hurt.  The only thing I had left to do was cuddle with him on the couch.  He fell asleep after about an hour and then I went back to bed.  It was kind of a long night.

Eric had the State DI tournament.  When he got home, Mark said, “Hi Paul.”  We were all looking at him like, “What?”  We had mentioned a Paul a little so I guess that is why.  John and Daniel totally missed Eric and kept asking all weekend long where Eric was.  A week ago Friday or Saturday, Eric was out with friends kind of late.  I was trying to get Daniel to go to bed but he said, “I can’t sleep without Eric.”  I don’t know why.  Eric isn’t even in his room.  John wouldn’t go to bed until Eric got home.  He did sleep over this last weekend though.  I should have put on John and Daniel’s calendar, Eric leave, and Eric return.  They might not have bugged us so much about when Eric was getting home.

John is doing well in the YCAP program. He is still throwing fits at school, but they are handling it a lot better than his former teachers. He wants an allowance and a new video game so we put up a chore chart for him. It has 6 things for him to do. There’s nothing terribly hard, just things like, use the toilet, straighten the rug upstairs, and brush your teeth. It has been up for 3 or 4 days and he won’t do it. He’ll get there though. Now for a story. John came into my room the other day while I was watching TV and said, “I saw Daniel in the hospital.” I asked if he was looking at the pictures we put up of Daniel on the wall. It was what he wanted for Christmas. “Yes,” he says. “Is he dead?” John looked kind of worried. “No,” I said, “He’s upstairs. Dead people don’t come back to life like they do on video games.” Now I’m wondering how to explain the resurrection and coming back but not soon. So I tried but I don’t think I did very well. Then he asks me, “What happened to him?” The picture has Daniel’s head all wrapped up. Then I helped to remember last year’s operation and about cells in Daniel’s brain that aren’t growing right. I don’t think he understands very well. But somehow I calmed his fears and he was happy when we were done. It actually was a pretty good conversation for John.

I don’t think I have any more to say about Daniel. I kind of wrote the stories earlier in this letter. FYI his next MRI is at the end of April. I probably won’t know anything until early May. Oh, that reminds me of a funny Daniel story that happened a few weeks ago. I was sitting on the couch and Daniel comes and flops down beside me. “My head hurt,” he says holding on to his head. My heart skips a beat. “Your head hurts?” I always have to check to make sure I got it right. You know how hard he can be to understand. I’m holding my breath. “Yes.” My heart is beginning to race. “Did you hit it or hurt it?” I ask. “No, spin around,” he answers. “Ohh, you were spinning and you are dizzy?” My heart slows down and I can breathe again. “Yes,” he answers. My reaction was phew. Mark was in the room with us. Later I asked him he understood why I was panicking. I’m sure he noticed. He did notice and understood. Daniel was totally oblivious of course.

March 28, 2011 “Adios. That’s goodbye in Spanish.”

John is being himself. Sometimes driving us crazy, sometimes not. Yesterday, as he and I left for church, he stopped at the door, turned around, looked at his dad for a second and said, “Adios. That’s goodbye in Spanish.” Robert and I grinned at each other. He also informed Daniel’s new primary teacher that there are over 50,000 characters in the Chinese alphabet. The teacher was really impressed. He was wearing one of those ties with Chinese characters on them like Eric has.

Daniel is sweet as ever. Daniel’s other teacher (they team teach) was loving on him during primary. He is such a cuddle bug. Today he is hopping and bouncing and talking all over the house. The Sudafed has him pretty hyped up.

March 21, 2011 Sea World Stories

John and Daniel have been as cute and annoying as ever. John is very volatile and is screaming or laughing all the time. I’ve got a couple of John and Daniel stories.

1st-I’ve had a headache for days, One time I went into my room and lay down and put my earplugs in to get away from the noise. John followed me in and climbed in bed with me bringing the SP. I sighed and told him I wasn’t feeling very well and that I needed quiet and dark. I use your dad’s pillow over my face for dark. He smiled and said, “I have it on mute” he said and put the pillow over my head. “I can use my own pillow.” He ran upstairs and got his pillow pet. Then he was totally quiet and didn’t bounce around in the bed for an hour and a half while we waited for the exedrin to kick in. He said, “Are you feeling better?” I did, a lot better. He was very sweet.

2nd-We went to SeaWorld for spring break. We stayed overnight in a hotel and believe it or not, John and Daniel did great! We had a good time at SeaWorld, John and Daniel both loved the shows we went to see and the kiddie rides we allowed them to go on, but they both wanted to go on a really big rollercoaster so I told them we would try the log thing to see how they liked it, assuming it was a little tamer then the other rollercoasters. When we finally got there, a friend who recognized us from our stake (go figure) told us it had been a two hour wait but John insisted so I got in line with John and Daniel. Mark, your dad, and Eric all chose to not wait. That was a recipe for disaster. After about a half hour of waiting John changed his mind and immediately freaked out. I grabbed the radio and tried to call your dad while hanging on to screaming John. Daniel wanted to stay. John hit and kicked Daniel so I finally gave up and took them out. By now John was totally out of control and trying to run away. It was a good thing we all had on our Autism shirts (the one with Frame Fighters knock out autism) on it. People were kind of staring at us and shaking their heads or looking sympathetic. After a long battle, we made it out of the park.

#3-On the way home from SeaWorld we were starting to get a little hungry even though we packed a ton of food so Rob and I were watching the food signs looking for somewhere to stop and take a rest and eat. After seeing and passing up, Robert’s Steakhouse and Frank’s Steakhouse, we stopped at Nancy’s Steakhouse. We were glad to pile out of the car and stretch their cramped legs. We ordered and I think your dad told the waiter to bring John and Daniel’s food as soon as it was ready so they wouldn’t freak. He brought John’s Mac n Cheese and John said, “Thank you, I owe you one”, giving the waiter a thumbs up. We all giggled a little, including the couple sitting in a booth behind us. Daniel’s food was brought with the rest of ours. He said, “Finally” with a big sigh, “What took you so long?!” Once again we all giggled a little. I find it hilarious that our waiter got a thumbs up and a finally. Living with autism (and little kids) gives lots of laughs.

February 8, 2011 Daniel has his own mind

John is doing all right. I got a message from the school nurse yesterday saying John had a bad morning. It was a Monday after an unexpected snow day so of course he was having a hard time. She said he finally plopped on the floor crying and saying his leg was broken. She said she looked at it and it was fine but for me to keep an eye on it. When he got off the bus I asked him about it. He said, “Its okay. It healed.” Lol

Daniel is really excited about his performance tonight. It is called ARF. I have no idea what that means. He brought home the shirt we had to order. He was totally pumped up about his new shirt. He has been break dancing (sort of) and doing the John Travolta move (point at the ceiling). He is too cute. Daniel has a huge red mustache and beard at the moment. He must be concentrating really hard on school and video games. He looks like a clown. It is that bad. Silly kid. He just thinks it’s funny.

The nurse called me about Daniel yesterday as well. She said he had been pulling at his ear and to use some ear wax drops to clear it out. When Daniel got home he went to get the drops and wanted me to do it but I told him to have Dad do it. So, when your dad got home, Daniel told him something like, ear…in…. Somehow your dad figured out he wanted eardrops. He is getting better at communicating with words. He is starting to use “a” and “the” a lot more and he comments on stuff like, that was cool, or it is high or something along those lines. He and John talk a lot. They get each other in a way we don’t get them. John is still trying to control Daniel though and of course Daniel has his own mind a lot of the time.

January 31, 2011 John surprised me yesterday by doing great at church

John  surprised me yesterday by doing great at church. I forgot to give him his medicine on Saturday so I expected a rough day. I even considered having him stay home with your dad and Eric so I wouldn’t have to deal with him. There were so few of us that we sat on the side behind the Leytons. Brother and Sister Leyton or John’s new primary teachers. John sat with them through sacrament, then happily went to class and just as happily went to sharing time. It was a little warm in the primary room so he kind of fell asleep. He didn’t even have a hard time waiting for Mark to clean up the chairs. No screaming, no fighting, no yelling. I was stunned. As for school…we have another ARD coming up. They need to tweak his behavior plan. They finally realized that they needed to take John out whenever he is being a pill. (Just like I have been telling them.) They finally decided I was right and found a place to take him to do his work. I wish people would listen to me. They would save a lot of fuss and trouble. I hate the beginning of each year because it is all new people. It takes until now for them to figure out I am right. We finally get what he needs by the end of the year and then boom, we are back at the beginning again. It is soooo frustrating!

Daniel is his happy go lucky self. He is practicing for the 2nd grade performance on the 8th. They are apparently doing a little break dancing and then the 70s point because Daniel has been doing that for the last few days. He is really cute. We’ll have to get a video of it. Daniel took the 2nd grade OLSAT and SAT10 tests. He did really poorly compared to the rest of 2nd graders. You guys got in the 80-90th percentile ranges. Daniel got in the 10-50th percentile. On verbal stuff, average is 50-5, Daniel got 1-1. I’m not sure you can get lower then 1-1. It is hard to explain how it works, but I think you can see he is struggling. He is doing as well as he is able though. All I can do is laugh. I knew he wouldn’t do well. That kind of test doesn’t really reflect what he is capable of. BTW, math was what was in the 50th percentile. Everything else was in the 10s and 20s. He got regrouping and barrowing really quickly! We are all surprised at how easily he understood it. John is still struggling with barrowing.

January 17, 2011 John is being a missionary

Rob and Daniel are busy in the garage making a pinewood derby car.  Daniel is totally excited about his car!
While your dad and Eric cleaned out part of the garage, Daniel was outside with them, but they weren’t keeping a good eye on him. I decided it was a good day to try and teach him how to ride a bike. I found a three step process on the internet and thought I might try it. Anyway, when I got outside, Daniel was nowhere in sight. We started searching and yelling and worrying of course. John’s kindergarten teacher, Ms. Swick (who lives nearby) was out walking a neighbor’s dog and she was like…”I just saw him in the drive way a second ago,” and I was like…”Yeah, me too…” (I’d seen him out the kitchen window). So we all kept searching when Daniel comes around that corner on our street. He was just taking a walk. I take him on long walks from time to time and I guess we hadn’t made it clear that he needed to be with someone. He couldn’t explain where he had been but at least he was all right. The most amazing was afterwards I was talking with Ms. Swick about how far John had come and how he always says hi and gives her a hug. Then she said, “He said to me the other day…what was it…oh, yeah, did you know that God is our Heavenly Father?” She said she answered yes. So, the moral of the story is, even John is being a missionary. Cool, huh.

Daniel has been really cute today. He put on your dad’s wide brim hat and the hiking boots Mark and Eric have out for Robotics and told me, “I am a cowboy!” He is so cute! He was pretending! Something to rejoice at with kids with autism.

January 10, 2011 A weird thing just happened

John saw the picture of Chris sitting in a restaurant or something and said, “Who is that?” I enlarged the picture so he could see it better. He said, “Oh, that’s my brother Chris. Where is he now?” I said, “In Santa Marta, Colombia on his mission.” John said, “I miss him really much.” So, I told him I would tell Chris when I wrote him today what he said. He smiled. He is really excited about his birthday today. He has been asking for Warioware (mumble mumble) and DDR. I asked him this morning which one he wants today. Warioware something, something, something. Mark and Eric are going to give him the Wii points they got for Christmas so he can have it. I have DDR extreme 2 for him as well so he will have a great birthday. He has a science project thing due tomorrow. I have no idea how I am going to get him to do the tri-fold board on his birthday but the Science fair is tomorrow night so it has to be done. I think I will skip spelling.

Daniel has his bright red mustache, again, and now his hands are getting red as well. I have no idea what to do with him and the licking. Winter is really bad for dry skin as well and he sounds pretty stuffed up. I don’t actually know if it is a cold and/or allergies. He is just having a hard time with the nose thing. Other than that, he is great. The exercise trampoline we got him for Christmas has been great. He and John jump on it all the time. It is good for them.

A weird thing just happened.  John decided he didn’t want to take his medicine.  I explained what his medicine was for and he said, “I won’t be afraid of water.  I promise.”  I tried to explain that that was the most obvious but that a lot of things make him nervous and that he gets it from my dad and me.  I don’t think he understood.  I ended up just shoving it in his mouth.  I think he doesn’t want to drink the chocolate milk I make to get rid of the bad taste.  I guess I will have to switch to juice or something healthy.  He sort of gets the nutrition thing, but not quite.  He is so funny.

January 3, 2011 Everyone is enjoying their new games except John

Everyone is enjoying their new games except John. We got Wii points and he has been begging for some Wario thing ever since Christmas. He is driving everyone crazy. I’m thinking maybe for his birthday so he’ll stop bugging us. That is if we can stand it that long.

Daniel is really beginning to hold conversations, sort of. We got a new bed, (I think you may know that) but it will take about six months to really break it in. Once Paul left, your dad brought down the pillow top mattress and put it on our bed. It added three more inches on top of an already too high bed. Daniel said, “That bed is so-o-o big! It is too high!” He carried on a conversation for a while with your dad about his vegie tales game, which he loves and has been playing almost non-stop for a couple of days now.