I looked back over my posts and realized I need to write an update. A lot has happened that didn't get written. Daniel had his MRI in January. It showed that the tumor is growing and changing shape. If you compare the January 2013 MRI with the June 2012 MRI you can't tell the difference but if you go back to the MRI taken right after Daniel's surgery and compare it to the January 2013 MRI there is definitely a change. I was pretty upset about that at first. I was hoping to go the MRIs once a year instead of every 6 months. Instead I get to anticipate MRIs getting closer together and more often. I've pretty much come to terms with it now. The only problem is I feel this looming weight that is going to be dropped on me sometime in the future. I am trying to ignore it as much as possible but it isn't completely possible.
We also get to go twice a year to a Texas Children's opthamologist. The tumor is a hair's breadth from his optic nerves, so we have to keep an eye on his vision. I am not really worried about it because the tumor has never grown that direction. It is just more doctors appointments. I hate doctor's appointments.
On to another subject...my friend Jana came up with a great lesson for autistic people. One of the deficits people with autism have is the ability to see things from another persons point of view. They cannot get outside themselves and understand other people's feelings or that other people experience things differently. So what Jana did was make labels, one with John's name, and one with Joseph Smith's name, any other person's name would work like mom or dad. Then she asked John what his "work" is. He has been wanting to make a lemonade stand, so they drew one with John working at it. They put that picture under John's name. Then she took out a picture of Joseph Smith farming and put it under Joseph Smith's name. The she switched the pictures. She said at first John freaked out, yelling and climbing under the table because he wanted to do the lemonade stand and not be a farmer. She explained that being able to pretend to switch points of view with someone else is something people without autism do all the time. So John gave it a try and they had a little fun pretending to farm. The next week she did the same thing and John got right into it and enjoyed it. One of the things I've noticed about John and Daniel and that Jana has mentioned about other children with autism that she has worked with is that it takes time for autistic children to process what is being taught. It might take a day or a week or sometime longer. Sometimes it has to be retaught several times and allow time in between for the ideas or actions to ferment. With John it usually takes about a day but sometimes a week. So the week between lessons allowed John to think about what they did. I do not know if this is conscious or unconscious. I thought taking the pictures and switching them was a great way to teach John how to put himself in another persons shoes.
Funny Daniel Story-
During STAAR testing, parents were asked to send lunches to school. The school would provide sack lunches if the parents didn't send a lunch. I have no idea why the kids couldn't go to the cafeteria, but whatever. After school, Daniel came running off the bus yelling "MILK!" I started laughing. Normally when I make his lunch, I put water in an opaque bottle. This time, I put milk in it. I keep giggling every time I think of Daniel taking a sip from his water bottle and getting milk. In order for him to remember until he got home it must of made quite an impression.
Speaking (or is it writing) of STAAR testing...Daniel passed though about half of it was modified. He got a 2 out of 10 on writing. The statement on that was "extremely limited". Duh.
John on the other hand, didn't pass in science and math. Funny thing is he did in language. John is really good at math and science so I have no idea why he didn't pass. He took the test again at the end of the school year. I haven't got the results of that. I asked what would happen if he didn't pass that one. They said he would have to go to summer school, which he is already doing the extended year program for autism so it doesn't change anything for us. If he doesn't pass after summer school we get to have another ARD and decide what to do with him. At least no child left behind has now taken into account that not all children are capable of not being left behind and allowed the ARD team or IEP team in other places decide what to do with the child. We really don't want 18 year old in preschool just because they are disabled and can't learn more than a 2 year old can.