Sunday, January 29, 2012

December adventures (better late than never)

The last month of 2011 was a blur, but here's my best effort to remember the highlights (probably not in order, but close enough).


Little Bitty got into a fight with a wall and lost. Ok, really he was running one direction and looking in another direction (as he often does, despite continual reminders not to run in the house at all), and cut his head when he ran right into a corner on the wall. So we spent one chilly Friday night at the urgent care clinic and Bitty had to get two staples in his head (they couldn't use the glue since the cut was in his hair). It was a little traumatic, but he calmed down pretty quick once it was over.

When Bitty and I got home from the doctor that night, Cuddlebug took one look at Bitty's head and said, "ewww, can't you make him wear a hat?" Bearhug asked me how long he'd have to have the staples in, and when I told him two weeks he groaned and said, "aww man! now I have to be nice to him for two whole weeks!" LOL, brotherly love :).

For the most part, Bitty handled it well over the two weeks he had the staples in, although at one point he got tired of feeling them there when he touched his head and asked me where the staple remover was... I made sure it was somewhere he couldn't find it, just in case.


Cuddlebug and Bearhug discovered Chuck Norris jokes. You've probably heard some of them:

Superman wears Chuck Norris pajamas.
All men are created equal, except Chuck Norris.
When Chuck Norris cuts onions, the onions cry.
The GPS asks Chuck Norris for directions.
The boogeyman checks his closet and under his bed for Chuck Norris every night.

You get the idea :). I love that the boys find these so funny, and even downloaded an app full of these jokes so I could tell the boys. We've had a lot of fun trying to come up with new ones to make them laugh too :).

On Christmas Eve when I was trying to get them to go to sleep, I told them Santa can't deliver anything until they are asleep. They told me "Santa doesn't deliver presents, Chuck Norris does!" Well, Chuck Norris can't deliver anything until they are asleep either! ;)


The last few years Bearhug and Cuddlebug have made a tradition of bringing their blankets and pillows downstairs to have a "sleepover" by the Christmas tree, but this year we had to talk them out of it because we got them a computer and a desk that we needed to bring in and set up for them and we didn't want to risk them waking up and seeing it. We had it at our neighbor's house (he doesn't have kids and offered to let us store presents there so they wouldn't find them) and would have to walk right by them if they were in front of the tree. So we made them a deal, if they would agree to sleep in their bedroom, we'd agree to get up as soon as they woke us up in the morning, without the usual stalling ;).

They agreed. And we were prepared to wake up at the crack of dawn.

So we were surprised when Christmas morning came and Bitty was the only one up (he's always the first one up). We slept in a little, and then finally decided to get up and take a shower, figuring CB and BH would be up any minute. But as it turned out, we had plenty of time and were hanging out downstairs waiting when they finally came downstairs. Lucky for us, Bitty was content to go about his usual vacation morning routine (he likes to play games on the computer before his brothers wake up when he can play without being bothered) and he didn't make a fuss about opening the presents or trying to wake his brothers up (if he had, we would have let him wake them up... after all I don't think they would have minded). I guess that's what happens when you stay up almost all night waiting for Santa (er, Chuck Norris).


It was a Lego Christmas at our house. In fact there was one particular train that Bitty asked for (at the last minute of course) that we had to jump through flaming hoops to actually get (long story) but we did manage to pull it off just in time. :)

The Lego instruction books are great - no words, just pictures that show step by step what goes on next. Bitty was able to follow them pretty well by himself, although all of us (including Cuddlebug and Bearhug) were more than willing to help :). It was like a Lego party, with everyone building together. Very fun :).


We made cookies :)


Bearhug and Cuddlebug made a time machine for school. It was part of a group project on persuasive writing where they wrote and filmed a commercial to sell an item (they chose to sell a time machine).


Sunday, January 8, 2012

School / IEP update for Bitty

A while back I posted about some of the difficulties Bitty has been having in school.

Shortly before Thanksgiving, we had a meeting with the school to review his IEP and discuss changes to help better meet his needs. We learned that he was basically requiring almost constant one-on-one support from the resource teacher / parapros in his class which isn't really what they are set up to do. The challenge comes down to communication - if the subject is straightforward and doesn't require much verbal explanation he does great. Spelling, for example. He is a spelling kung fu master :). On the other hand, any subjects or new topics that require verbal explanation are quite difficult, not because he can't understand the subject matter, but because he struggles with language. He's a fast learner and that has helped him to keep up as well as he has, but the whole situation was really stressing him out because he recognized that most of his classmates did not share his struggle to understand what was being said, or what was being asked when the teacher would ask questions.

His teachers suggested he might do better in a smaller class setting, at least for the core subjects, and we agreed to put him in a self-contained ASD class for part of the day (almost half the day when you add up the hours) for math, reading, and writing. For the rest of the subjects he is still in his regular ed class with resource support. It's a much smaller class where all the kids have similar issues and the teachers have the flexibility to tailor to the kids' pace and individual needs much more than in the larger classroom. They also do activities like morning yoga since the physical activity helps the kids focus for learning (honestly, I think all kids would probably benefit from something like that, not just kids on the spectrum). We'll reassess later this year when we update his IEP for next year.

He started in his new class after the Thanksgiving break and so far it is really working out well. His anxiety level is considerably less, he no longer cries about having to go to school and he is doing well academically. He's back to getting all 1's on his daily reports (they have a scale from 1-4 for how he does at staying on task and following instructions with minimal reminders, etc.). It's been hard to see him struggle so much, and although I wish it wasn't so hard for him I'm grateful he's getting the support he needs and relieved that he's back to feeling positive about school.

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I'm a mom of three boys on the autism spectrum, 11-yr-old identical twins and a 7-yr-old. My husband is a SAHD.


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