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As most of you already know, my 12 year old son Austin has had a difficult time in school.  He has been kicked out of two schools and was made to go to a behavioral specialty school before being mainstreamed back into his old school. 

 At the age of six, he was diagnosed with ADHD.  I’ve always known that there was something more to his behaviors than just ADHD.  Over the past year I have been researching Sensory Perception Disorder (also known as Sensory Integration Disorder), Autism, and Asperger’s Syndrome.  I know that he has Sensory Perception Disorder (SPD). But, I also believe that goes hand in hand with Asperger’s Syndrome.

I spent the last four months trying to find a family doctor for my children.  I finally found one and got Austin in to the doctor yesterday.  The doctor agreed to sign an outpatient prescription for Austin to be evaluated for SPD.  Yeah!  I couldn’t be happier!  After what seems like an eternity, he is finally going to get some help.  I filled out the intake form for the Children’s Development Center, enclosed the outpatient prescription, and mailed it this morning!

I called the Children’s Development Center and spoke to the intake receptionist.  She told me that the Occupational Therapists usually schedule their own evaluations.  She also told me that it should only take a week or two to get him in for his evaluation.  I will keep you all updated on Austin’s progress.  Please keep your fingers, toes, and everything else crossed.

Thanks,

Erica

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Well, it’s that time of year again.  Time to do your back-to-school shopping.  With three children still in school, it’s not an easy task.   My youngest son Austin, as most of you know, has Sensory Perception Disorder (also known as Sensory Integration Disorder).  So, it’s not easy finding clothing that he will wear without having a major meltdown.  Tags, seams, and the fit of some clothing is just too much for him to handle.  Thanks to a wonderful company called Soft Clothing for all children, I can now find clothes that my son will wear. 

Soft Clothing for all children is having a wonderful giveaway co-sponsored by a wonderfully insightful blog called Hartley’s Life With 3 boys.   I’m so excited about this giveaway that I just had to tell everyone.  One Grand Prize winner will get the following:

1 Grand Prize worth over $250 will be given:               Soft, seamless socks.

3 pack of Soft Sensory Tees in color/size of your choice
6 pairs of Soft Seamless Socks
“This is Gabriel Making Sense of School” by Hartley Steiner
Lands End Uniform Backpack
Classpack of Crayola Colored Pencils
Tactile Fidget
Desk Buddy Sensory Bar
6-Pack of Mead Sprial Wide Ruled Notebooks
4-BG Flash Drive
12-Pack of Crayola Washable Fine-Tip Markers
Peltor Junior Noise Proctector Headphones
Classic Pencil Grip Pencil Sharpener
4-Pack of Sharpie Highlighter Pens
3-Pack of Pink Paper-Mate Rubber Erasers
2 Mead Classic Composition Books
Plastic Hinged School Tool Box
Max’s Mud-Natural Sculpting Dough
Pocket Stixx Oral Motor Tubes

Enough said?

CLICK HERE TO ENTER GIVEAWAY

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First and foremost, I would like to start off by saying that tantrums and meltdowns are two totally separate things.  How can you tell the difference? 

Typically, a tantrum starts with the child begging for an item, food, or toy.  If the parent refuses the child this item, the child begins to cry, stomp their feet, or scream.  If the parent gives in and allows the child said item, the tantrum comes to an end and the child has learned how to get what he/she wants.

If you have ever seen a child have a meltdown, you know the difference between a meltdown and a tantrum.  With a meltdown, the child has become either over stimulated or under stimulated by his/her surroundings.  It may be flickering lights, too many people, multiple sounds, someone touching him/her, or some other stimuli.  When the child goes into a meltdown, there is nothing that you can do or give the child that will make the meltdown end as you might with a tantrum.   A child or an adult, for that matter, going through a meltdown may not be able to tell you what the problem is while they are going through the meltdown.  The only thing you can do is to wait it out and ensure that they are safe and not going to injure themselves. 

With that being said, I’m sure that you can see the difference between a tantrum and a meltdown.  The latter is exactly what my son, Austin, experienced yesterday.  I think that Austin may have caused his own meltdown.  It was early on in his first class.  The kids were on a bathroom break.  As he walked into the bathroom at school, the lights were off.  So, naturally, he flicked the lights on.  As he dropped his hand from the light switch, he inadvertently shut the lights off again.  So, he turned them back on again. 

The children in his class told the teacher that Austin was flickering the lights in the bathroom.  When the teacher confronted him, he said that he didn’t do it.   He instantly became angry and started throwing his books, screaming, and banging his head on the wall.  There was nothing that anyone could do to get him to calm down.  The principal finally got him into the office and immediately called me at home.  When I got to the school, Austin was in the principal’s office crying and talking angrily to himself, as he usually does towards the end of a meltdown.  He was still at the point where he couldn’t talk to me and tell me exactly what happened.  I told the principal that he was not going to be productive at all for the rest of the day.  He allowed me to take Austin home.  It took Austin another hour before he could tell me what had happened.

I’m not sure if the flickering lights are what set him off or not.  But, it could stand to reason that that might be the cause of yesterday’s meltdown.  I can only hope and pray that today is going to be a better day.  I truly need to get some professional help soon.  Waiting for our insurance to come through is frustrating.  Especially when I see him getting worse and nobody understands him.  Yes, he may appear to be a normal neruo typical boy.  But, he’s not and he needs a little understanding!

I welcome any and all comments or advice.  If you have had a similar experience with your child, I would love to hear from you.

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Austin and Kiwi (3 y/o Pacific Parrotlet)

See, he can be still for more than 5 minutes.

Today was very frustrating.  My son, Austin, came home from school with yet another detention.  This poor child has undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome.  He is not a neuro-typical child.  Yet, he is being treated like one.  When too much is expected from him he acts out and gets frustrated. And, his teachers don’t understand why he is doing this. 

 I am not trying to make excuses for my son.  Nor, am I excusing his behaviors.  I will be the first one to dole out proper discipline and I require that of other authority figures in regards to my son.  However, Austin is not a neuro-typical child.  He has a neurological disorder that requires some accommodations.  Yes, he should be treated as much like a neuro-typical child but, he needs to be given certain accommodations as discretely as possible.

Here is a prime example of what I’m talking about…

Austin had a spelling packet that was due today.  The whole class had a week in which to finish this packet.  With him forgetting to bring it home, not enough time during school, and becoming distracted; he still managed to finish the packet.  Or, so he thought.  When it was time to hand in the packet, a student that sits next to him was kind enough to tell him to check it over to make sure that it was done.  So, that’s exactly what he did.  While going through the packet, he realized that he had missed two questions.  It only makes sense that he would answer those two questions.  However, as he did this, his teacher came around to check on each student and ask if they had their packet done.  When asked, the student must tell the teacher whether their packet is done or not done.

When the teacher got to Austin, he was finishing the two questions that he had overlooked.  And the operative word here is overlooked.  In his mind, he had finished the packet and he was very proud of himself.  Unfortunately, that pride was shot down immediately.  His teacher emailed me later that day and told me that she saw him write two answers but Austin still insisted that he had finished the packet.  In his mind, not a neuro-typical mind, he had finished the packet.  And, on top of that, he had finished it on time.  This was an amazing feat for him.  He believed that he had finished the packet.  But he had merely overlooked two questions.  It wasn’t done on purpose.  It wasn’t done out of spite.  He had simply overlooked two questions.  I explained this to him and told him how proud I am of him.  That made him smile and I got a big hug from him too!  That, in turn, made me smile.

Needless to say, but I’m going to say it anyway, I’m headed to school first thing in the morning and try to work this thing out.  Austin needs an IEP (individualized education plan).  He needs to have sensory breaks.  He needs to be treated like everyone else as much as possible.  But, when it comes to him having to take a sensory break, it needs to be treated as discreetly as possible.  He never asked to be born with this disorder.  He’s dealing with it the best he knows how to and I’m very proud of him!  I’m proud of all my children and I love them unconditionally!

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Raising children today means setting boundaries. With the ever-changing world, not everyone has the same morals. Some parents aren’t concerned with their childs’ welfare. As long as their child “stays out of their hair”, they couldn’t care less what their child is doing or where he or she is going. Other parents, on the other hand, are concerned with what their child is doing and will read this and take this information to heart. Those parents who don’t use discipline or aren’t worried about their children most likely will not read this.


I have found that setting boundaries can help ease some of the problems that most parents face. I’m a mom of four children; two boys ages 11 & 12 and two girls ages 17 & 19. No child is perfect. In the same respect, no parent is perfect. The parent/child relationship is always changing and growing. Each child is different. Therefore, it is very important to set boundaries for each child according to his/her age and maturity. For example, my 17 year-old daughter has a 10:00 curfew on school nights. She actually set this boundary for herself. She knows that she must get up early to prepare for school. In setting this boundary for herself, she shows her maturity level. My boys, on the other hand, would stay up until the wee hours of the morning. Ergo, their bedtime boundaries must be set for them.


Here are some simple rules to go by when setting boundaries for your children.
1. Listen and compromise: Listen to your children. Find out what they want. Your child may want to do their homework at a later time in the day because they are so overwhelmed right after school that they just need a break. I did this with my boys. I used to make them do their homework right after school. I used to fight tooth and nail with them on this issue. One day, I sat down and actually listened to what they wanted. To my surprise, they made sense! After listening to them, we compromised. Now, when they come home from school, they have play time or TV time for two hours. Every day at 4:30 they know to sit down and do their homework. No fights, no tantrums (from them or myself), and no excuses! NO PROBLEM! It’s wonderful.

2. Set specific rules: There are some rules that you can’t or won’t compromise with them. Therefore, you need to be specific. If you tell your daughter to be home by 10:00, then she should be home by 10:00 right? Okay, what if she’s “home” but hanging outside with friends until 11:00? You weren’t specific. Make sure that you tell her, “be home and in the house by 10:00 tonight. What happens, God forbid, if you find drugs in your teenagers’ room? What do you tell him/her? “I don’t ever want to see drugs in this house again.” That is just telling your child to go ahead and do drugs just don’t bring into the house. This subject definitely needs more attention from professionals. This was only used as an example of being specific.

3. Trust them: From an early age, your children need to learn that they can trust you. In the same manner, you need to learn to trust your child(ren). Allow them room to make mistakes and then learn from them. Let them show you that they can be home at a certain hour. If they earn that trust from you, reward them. I can’t stress how important it is to reward your children for good behavior! Most children hear the negative side. Don’t say, “You made it home on time but…” Make sure that you thank them for being home on time. If there is another issue at hand, wait until later to deal with the issue. Give them time to bask in the glory of doing something right and gaining your trust.

4. Be consistent: If you tell your child(ren) that they are grounded, stick to it! Don’t let them cajole you into releasing them from being grounded early.

• No, means no!
• Don’t give in!
• Stick with it!
• Let them learn!


If you are always letting them talk you into going somewhere when they’re grounded or you’ve already said no, then you lose! Chalk one up for your child and zero for you. It can be a long, hard mountain to climb when you stick with your first answer. Your child will try to make you feel guilty or give you the silent treatment as punishment for sticking it out. Please, please, please DO NOT give in. This is the only way that your child will understand that your word is golden.


The same goes for your positive words and deeds. If you promise to take your child to the movies, then do it! If something so totally unavoidable comes up, I’m sure that they’ll understand. Be honest with them and explain the problem. Then work out a compromise to follow through with your promise. If you’re inconsistent all the time, your child will know this. He/she will use this against you to get what they want.

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