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Old 07-30-2010, 11:13 AM   #2121
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What a wonderful moment... I look forward to the day my Son can show Empathy, right now I can just looking forward to the day he can use his words to tell what is wrong and how he is feeling. instead of screaming and hitting something/someone.

Sheena
Hi Sheena,
The empathy moments are slowly becoming a weekly occurrence around here. It's been a huge focus at therapy for almost two years and it is lovely to see all the efforts on all our parts starting to pay off even just intermittently! One moment at a time, that's my motto!

My son is very verbal: "I hate you!" "You are stupid!" "You are the worst mommy in the whole entire world" "I hate you!" "I hate this stupid dinner/toy/moment!" "I'm going to hit you!" "I'm leaving!" "I hate this!" LOL I actually put more stock in his gentle hands on my face because words are just a stim for him sometimes.

Ah, autism, you are kicking my butt and I am weary and I grow tired of my whining heart and I grow tired of feeling guilty that it could be worse but isn't.

Today I have dropped the two youngest boys (autism and typical) to Grandma's so I can attempt to get the bzillion errands run. Do you think the universe would tell on me if I just went back to bed and hid under the covers for a few hours?

Kristin
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:42 AM   #2122
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Hello to our American friends! Wishing you a happy "Back to School"!!!
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Old 08-13-2010, 11:49 AM   #2123
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Hello right back at our Canadian friends!!

Yes, some schools are back in session. DS goes back on 09/07.

I'm STILL on the hunt for a new after-school care place for DS. It's been such a challenge

I've made at least 20 phone calls and have visited 5 home daycares. Four of them were completely unacceptable. The one that I returned to for a second look (and took DS with me) was sheer chaos when I got there and poor DS was completely overwhelmed by all the noise. What really bothered me though was the care provider made no effort to interact with DS. She obviously was having a crazy day and that showed through in her lack of engagement with either me or DS. So, she's off the short list.

I have an appointment today with another home daycare provider who currently has a 4 1/2 year old autistic child in her care in addition to the other kids there. I'm hoping I will get a bit more empathy with this one.

Wish us luck and keep your fingers crossed! I'm running out of time to find a new provider and try to get DS transitioned before Sept. 7th.

OK - done venting - thanks for listening
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:32 PM   #2124
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Good luck, Lorraine!

Kristin, hugs to you. I hope you got your time back in bed with the covers over your head, even for just a little while. Some days just kick our butts.

I am counting down to Aug 24th for the first day of school. I think I'll break down in tears of relief!
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Old 08-14-2010, 09:14 AM   #2125
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Hi Sheena,
The empathy moments are slowly becoming a weekly occurrence around here. It's been a huge focus at therapy for almost two years and it is lovely to see all the efforts on all our parts starting to pay off even just intermittently! One moment at a time, that's my motto!


Ah, autism, you are kicking my butt and I am weary and I grow tired of my whining heart and I grow tired of feeling guilty that it could be worse but isn't.

Do you think the universe would tell on me if I just went back to bed and hid under the covers for a few hours?

Kristin
If I was you- I would have probably went and crawled under the covers... instead of running errands. I am starting to have a difficult time when I have someone watch DS, getting the stuff done I am suppose to be doing because I am so Tired, usually frustrated, and just want to be left alone for a couple hours but truthfully I am lucky to get a couple hour break 1X a month. DH works so many hours - he is always gone before DS wakes up in the AM- sometimes walks in the door 30 min before bedtime for DS - so it is just "Me" taking care of him.

Your Ah, Autism saying is sooo true. I always tell myself no matter how crazy it gets that it could always be worse...heck I am lucky to have adopted such a beautiful, intelligent, child but I sometimes blame myself for his problems even though it wasn't me doing drugs and drinking during the pregnancy, it wasn't me that choose drugs over my beautiful newborn Son, but then I think Maybe I am being too hard on him, Maybe I expect too much, maybe I didn't nouture him enough, even though he was in my home since he was 4 days old. Will the guilt ever go away, even if it just a little bit??

Sheena
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:30 PM   #2126
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Sheena - your son is lucky to have such a caring mommy

Update on my daycare search: We have found one!! Hooray!

The home I went to on Friday turned out to be a winner! She was super nice and she has a great set-up in her house and backyard for the kids. I'm lucky to have found her right before she left for a 2-week vacation.

So, the plan is to transition DS the week of August 30th to her daycare. I know he's not going to like it but then again, he's not going to like any place so this too shall pass.
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:27 AM   #2127
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CONGRATULATIONS LORRAINE!!!!!
I am so pleased for you and your family that you have found "the one"! Finding the right daycare is huge for the Momma and I'll bet you feel a huge weight lifted off your shoulders!!!!! So happy for you!!!
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:31 AM   #2128
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Hang in there, Sheena! Sounds like the season you are in has given you and extra dose of "weary". You can do it, Momma. You ARE doing it!!!! I am only slightly ahead of you in seeing the light at the end of the tunnel... well, really, it's not "the end of the tunnel" so much as I've finally found some of the lightbulbs in the tunnel are working and providing a whole lotta hope and re-energize for my family!
Live for the moment and by the moment, just *this* moment. Look for the joy, even the tiniest piece can get you through the harder moments!!!!!
{{hugs}}
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:40 AM   #2129
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Thanks Kristin! Yes, it was a huge relief off of my mind.....

Sheena - check back in and let us know how you are doing
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:13 PM   #2130
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Transitioning DS to the new daycare is going well - thank goodness!

Today I get an email from his special ed teacher telling me that Transportation is pushing back on her saying that the new daycare is "not in their servicing area" for bussing him to/from school......

I can't even believe this!!!

Here we go with this glitch...........

Why do they have to make it so hard to help our kids??!!!
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:49 AM   #2131
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Two things:

1. Lorraine, has the bus situation been worked out yet? I hope it has!!!!

2. Jack's special ed teacher has asked me to give a talk to the second grade class about autism. Jack, who had lots of friends in first grade (well, kids who accepted him for himself and liked being around him), is having trouble making friends this year and the teacher thinks having me talk about autism will help them understand why he ignores their questions sometimes or obsesses about Thomas or always wants to hold a pencil like it's a wand. Have you ever done something like this? What sort of things did you say? I've never had to give a presentation to kids this young, and I don't want to talk over or under their heads.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give!
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Old 09-11-2010, 04:03 PM   #2132
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Susan -

How about starting with a story? My Brother Charlie, by Holly Robinson Peete and her daughter Ryan (Charlie's twin), is a wonderful story. It is well-written, nicely illustrated, and does a nice job of helping kids understand more about autism without it being too scary. Also, on the very last page, Ryan writes about why she helped write the book and gives great ideas for kids at school to be more accepting of kids with autism.

I have twin 2nd graders and I will ask them what they would tell their classmates about their brother with autism. They won't be home until tomorrow night, but will check back in when I have had a chance to talk with them.

What a great opportunity for you, your son, and those in his classroom!
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Old 09-11-2010, 04:11 PM   #2133
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Andrea,

Great idea! I'll check out that book when I get home. I'd love your second graders' perspective on it, too. You also gave me the idea to talk to a friend's third grader who has a big brother with autism. He might help as well.
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:08 AM   #2134
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I'm back to check in:

We finally have all the orders for Therapy to start... OT/ST/Behavior Management Therapist....Easter Seals are sooo slow, but at least now I can start Therapies with my Son. In all true honestly- I feel so overwhelmed, frustrated and dead tired. I wouldn't know how to live without my son but would love a break every once in a while. I am almost to the point of not wanting to take my Son out in public except for therapy and Dr. Appts. becasue I hate the dirty looks and rude comments when my Son melts-down and gets violent with me in stores. He is only 21/2 so when he gets violent- I can handle him but it is everyone else I can't. Last week at the grocery store- I had a woman in line behind me with her 3 perfect children (all appeared to be under the age of 4) make rude comments at me and my Son and I ended up saying something I am not proud of but I was literally at my wits end with DS's screaming/hitting- but I had a wonderful Man walk up to me and tell me "Its all gonna be OK, breathe sweetie, its OK!" I had tears in my eyes out of frustration but this man helped me calm down.
Thank God for kind and gentle people that don't assume my DS's behavior is because of me. I try so hard but most of the time- I see no relief in my situation. My DS starts special needs pre-school in Jan, and now we have Therapy 5 days a week. Having Therapy 5 days a week- driving 1 hour each way- has totally screwed up his schedule which makes everything 250 X's worse.

No-One in my family understands DS needs, DH is still in denial, even though he refuses to spend anytime with our Son alone becasue he says he can't handle his outbursts. He doesn't seem to care that I am only human and need a break sometimes. I have days when ... I think I am going to go insane.

Has anyone here had therapists want to place their Autistic child on medication at age 2? I hate the idea- so far I am refusing becasue he is only 21/2 years old. They want him on sedatives. I feel it is wrong to drug a young child, even though when I am at my wits end- I think - would it be such a bad idea - at least then I could maybe relax since DS doesn't take naps any-longer. I won't be agreeing to medication anytime soon, at least that is my current plan.

I have had several friends tell me that I have such great patience in regard to my Son and his behavior but I don't see it or feel it. I have days I wonder if I can handle this, but I have no choice and what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right? LOL! I have been told the reason I have my son is becasue I can handle this but I have days when I think this is Gods way of teaching me to stop wanting things I can't have, since I was unable to have children and decided at the age of 33 to adopt my Son.

I know this probably sounds like I hate being a Mother to my Autistic Son and that isn't true... I love my DS more then anything in the world and would die tomorrow to save him (like any mother) but I am soo alone in this. I live in a tiny village of appox 500 people- the closest city and it is a small city is 35M away. Everyone is so close minded and just assumes that if your child doesn't listen it is becasue of the parents not doing their job. My Son still doesn't respond to his name yet, has a vocabulary of appox 10 words, maybe a couple more. Can't tell when he is hungry/thirsty/wet or soiled. I have such guilt in regard to him...

Sorry I know this post is more venting then anything...I'm just tired!!!!

Sheena
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:40 PM   #2135
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Oh Sheena - a big HUG to you!! We all know how you feel!!

You are doing the best that you can and that just has to be good enough for now. I can totally relate to getting dirty looks and rude comments; it happened to me this weekend while getting DS a haircut. He completely melted down and it was the worst time there yet. I was in tears outside of the place telling my sister how much I hate it when everybody stares and whispers things as you walk by and you're just trying to calm your child down.

I have no experience with medicating a child with autism. Maybe someone else can help with that?

Susan - no, the bus situation is still on-going. I have a call in to one of the Transportation schedulers to see what can be done. I was sent to this person by one of the school district's special ed ombudsman who frankly loves to listen to himself talk. Thanks for asking and I'll keep the thread updated as to what happens.

I've heard great things about that book by Ryan Peete and her mommy.

One nice side note: the childcare center where DS went to up until Sept. 3 sent a nice email telling me that the kids in the room miss DS and have been asking where he is.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:54 AM   #2136
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Sheena - hang in there. Many of us are dealing with the same issues you are and truly empathize because we are there, too. We haven't taken our son out other than therapy appointments and school for over a year now. He plays outside in our yard and things like that, but we don't take him to other places. It just isn't worth it. Once we get his overwhelming sensory issues a little more under control and more emotional regulation, then we'll try. It's not fair to anyone, really, to do any different.

My son just turned 3 - is pre-verbal, still uses tantruming and hand-banging as a means of communication, and would rather eat plastic than food . . . I DO know how you feel. There are still some very dark times, but keep searching and reaching for something better. It is difficult, and you will feel like you are alone, but know that you truly are not. TRY TO FIND THE MOST JOY in whatever situation you find yourself in. That can be very, very difficult at times, but it's good advice when you find yourself "on the edge". For the longest time I would hate it when people would say that I'm my son's mommy for a reason. I hated it because I didn't want my son to have autism. But I'm slowly realizing that it really is truth - I am his mom for a reason - and he has as much to teach me and the world as I do to teach him.

I've yet to purchase one yet, buy my cousin purchased a shirt for her autistic son when he was young that read something like, "I'm not naughty, I have autism." And "I have autism, what's your excuse?" And "Your staring hurts worse than my autism". And "I have autism, be nice to my mom." If you find that you must travel a lot with your son, maybe a shirt like this could help. Whenever I do have my son out in public and he's acting poorly, I always feel like I have to explain his behavior. With a shirt like this, hopefully it would help everyone.

One last thing - Once people know that your child has a neurological disorder, it's really up to them to CHANGE THEIR BEHAVIORS and THEIR ATTITUDES - it's not our child's responsbility to change to fit others' preconceived notions of how he/she is supposed to act. I know, I know, easier said that believed, but I truly don't think it's up to our special children to change for the sake of other people's comfortability.

Best of luck - vent here anytime. I hope you find the right mix of therapy for your son. I would also keep asking for other opinions on the medication.
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:10 AM   #2137
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Andrea - well said!!!

I have a shirt for my son that says "Please be patient with me. I have Autism and I'm doing the best that I can." It has a puzzle piece taken out of a heart. The shirt works wonders in public when I can get him to wear it. Right now we are in the phase of all he wants to wear for shirts are plain white tshirts

I also have a shirt that says "Proud Mom of Someone with Autism" with the Autism ribbon on it. Maybe I should wear that the next time I take him to the hair cut place....

Great advice and support you posted - thanks!!
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:20 AM   #2138
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Sheena, I was going to give the same advice as Andrea...get a t-shirt. My favorite is the "I have autism, what's your excuse" simply because it takes a poke at rude people who stare and judge. Not very grown-up of me, perhaps, but still.... You ARE doing a great job and you are definitely NOT alone. It might help for you to read my essay here.

Also, I don't know where you are, but most states have some sort of respite care program. These provide trained sitters to stay with your special-needs child to give you a break periodically. You might want to see if such a service is available in your area. EVERYBODY needs a break. Even God took a day off after creating the world!

You're in the thick of it now. Things WILL get better. I think watching Temple Grandin, the recent movie, really helped me put the childhood experience into perspective. When you consider how severe Temple was when she was little and how far she's come now, it helps. Well, it helped me.

Big cyber-hugs to you!
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:17 PM   #2139
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Still haggling with the school district about reinstating the bus service for DS but there is light at the end of the tunnel and I will post again next week....
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:51 AM   #2140
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Andrea- Thanks for all the advice, it is really nice to hear from someone in almost the same place as me- refering to our DS's being about the same age.
Lorraine & Susan- Thanks also...

I Love the idea of the tee-shirt but I am afraid DH will flip-out he is still in denial and doesn't want anyone to know about our Son- He doesn't want our Son Labeled but I try to explain we are not placing a label on him, it is his diagnosis. It is a disorder.

Even though I feel totally alone- I know I am not, this is the reason I joined in this forum/support group. Anyone that wants to speak in PM- feel free, even though I am not on everyday, I will respond as time allows.

Thanks Everyone.....Gotta go, DS is screaming and banging his head and DH is yelling at him - making everything worse.

Sheena
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Old 09-20-2010, 10:48 AM   #2141
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Hi Sheena -

My DH is still coming to terms with DS and his autism; DS turned 7 this month. I think it's sometimes harder for men than women to deal with autism when it involves a son. It's that whole "mini-me" thing and to know that our children are not neuro-typical is a hard pill to swallow sometimes.

Maybe DH would be OK with the shirt if he could realize how much it would help you in dealing with people who truly don't know any better about your son. Once you put it out there, most people respond with compassion and patience.

Hugs to you......hope things calmed down at home!
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:28 PM   #2142
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Hi, ladies!

What sort of questions would you ask a district special education coordinator if you were considering moving to that area? DH is looking at jobs in Wisconsin (Waterloo) and DC (Poolesville area).

Thanks in advance!

Susan
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:05 PM   #2143
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I need a little help. DS is 8 and diagnosed ASD for about 3 years now, high functioning but speech problems. School is awesome, aides are great.

The problem is he has started to hurt himself again. If he is reminded something is inappropriate (another huge issue) he is so hard on himself he starts puching himself in the face/head/body. Hard enough to really hurt himself. I usually have to hold him down to get him to stop. It has been happening more and more and I am not sure what steps we can take to get him to stop again. He has also taken a few swings at me that did not go over so well. We have had a few changes around the home front ( I started a dayhome) but his schedule is for the most part the same. Any ideas would be great. Thanks.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:43 AM   #2144
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I am going to lose my mind it feels like sometimes, even though everyone comments on my patience, I don't feel very patient after the weekend we had. My DS was as well behaved as I can except but my niece had me babysit for well about 36 hours her 6 week old newborn and WOW...that was hard. I have done this in the past but never for more then 12 hours. I will admit part of it is me since DS is our 1 and only child- since it was thru adoption and we won't be going down that stressful- overwhelming- and expensive situation again. DS is as gentle as he can be towards the newborn but I can't allow the 2 in the same room together alone even for 1 minute. DS actually did feed the baby a bottle and would try to comfort the baby when he cried until he was tired of the crying then all H*LL broke out. DS became so difficult- overwhelmed, sensory overload bad and I could do nothing to calm him. Everytime I would try to calm him he would push me, yell at me or kick me and those behaviors are not allowed. Today has been a difficult day becasue he wants the baby to come back but that isn't going to happen- He says "Baby is Mine, Now Plez" I tried to explain without satisfaction- so I have decided I will babysit for a few hours here and there but no overnight visits for a while. In some ways (very few) he is a typical 21/2 year old but in other ways like communication, speech, anger is nothing like the norm. He banged his head 4 times in a row Saturday before I could grab him and now he has a split forehead - yet no tears (he doesn't feel pain in a norm way). I get asked why my legs stay so bruised and I try to explain it just happens during one of DS's fits, I try to stop him from injuring himself so I get bruised up in the process. The past 3 days have been very difficult but tomorrow will be better, I try to allows keep that mindset. Now I need to catch up on sleep since we are going thru 2-3 year old nightmares, then the newborn waking up every 3 hours..... Thank goodness the baby is gone for a few days maybe a week and we can try to get some sort of schedule back- but we need rain-rain go away- so my lil man can go outside and burn up extra energy before mommy goes insane, LOL!!

Sheena

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Old 09-30-2010, 08:24 AM   #2145
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Hi, ladies!

What sort of questions would you ask a district special education coordinator if you were considering moving to that area? DH is looking at jobs in Wisconsin (Waterloo) and DC (Poolesville area).

Thanks in advance!

Susan
Susan - From reading your previous posts, it seems that your son is receiving pretty great services from your existing school district. I would make a spreadsheet of the specific services he is receiving - on a day-to-day basis - complete with student to teacher ratios, time spent on speech, OT, PT, etc., discipline procedures, types of support offered throughout the day, etc. You have your IEP, but there are so many great things that happen that aren't included in an IEP that you will want to compare.

I would ask if the special ed teachers have specifically been trained in teaching autistic children. I would also ask if there are any families with autistic children in their program who would be willing to talk with you about their experiences.

Lastly, I would definitely ask to see their program in action and ask to see what a typical day would be like for your son.

Good luck!
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:29 AM   #2146
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I need a little help. DS is 8 and diagnosed ASD for about 3 years now, high functioning but speech problems. School is awesome, aides are great.

The problem is he has started to hurt himself again. If he is reminded something is inappropriate (another huge issue) he is so hard on himself he starts puching himself in the face/head/body. Hard enough to really hurt himself. I usually have to hold him down to get him to stop. It has been happening more and more and I am not sure what steps we can take to get him to stop again. He has also taken a few swings at me that did not go over so well. We have had a few changes around the home front ( I started a dayhome) but his schedule is for the most part the same. Any ideas would be great. Thanks.
Hi -

I'm sorry you are dealing with this. My son self-injures too, and it is difficult to say the least. It sounds like whatever you did in the past was successful to stop the behavior for a while. I would go back to whomever or whatever agency/teacher/etc. who helped you the first time and let them know what is happening. I'm sure they've dealt with this before and can offer you new and further suggestions. I'd also go right to his teachers and ask for help.

If your son is in therapy of any kind, you should definitely talk to his therapist. Even if the therapist isn't a behavioralist, he/she could also help point you in the right direction.

Best of luck - hang in there.
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:41 AM   #2147
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I am going to lose my mind it feels like sometimes, even though everyone comments on my patience, I don't feel very patient after the weekend we had. My DS was as well behaved as I can except but my niece had me babysit for well about 36 hours her 6 week old newborn and WOW...that was hard. I have done this in the past but never for more then 12 hours. I will admit part of it is me since DS is our 1 and only child- since it was thru adoption and we won't be going down that stressful- overwhelming- and expensive situation again. DS is as gentle as he can be towards the newborn but I can't allow the 2 in the same room together alone even for 1 minute. DS actually did feed the baby a bottle and would try to comfort the baby when he cried until he was tired of the crying then all H*LL broke out. DS became so difficult- overwhelmed, sensory overload bad and I could do nothing to calm him. Everytime I would try to calm him he would push me, yell at me or kick me and those behaviors are not allowed. Today has been a difficult day becasue he wants the baby to come back but that isn't going to happen- He says "Baby is Mine, Now Plez" I tried to explain without satisfaction- so I have decided I will babysit for a few hours here and there but no overnight visits for a while. In some ways (very few) he is a typical 21/2 year old but in other ways like communication, speech, anger is nothing like the norm. He banged his head 4 times in a row Saturday before I could grab him and now he has a split forehead - yet no tears (he doesn't feel pain in a norm way). I get asked why my legs stay so bruised and I try to explain it just happens during one of DS's fits, I try to stop him from injuring himself so I get bruised up in the process. The past 3 days have been very difficult but tomorrow will be better, I try to allows keep that mindset. Now I need to catch up on sleep since we are going thru 2-3 year old nightmares, then the newborn waking up every 3 hours..... Thank goodness the baby is gone for a few days maybe a week and we can try to get some sort of schedule back- but we need rain-rain go away- so my lil man can go outside and burn up extra energy before mommy goes insane, LOL!!

Sheena

Sheena
Sheena - I'm sorry you are feeling this way - but am glad you are able to vent here. I'm going to suggest that you have your niece find another babysitter for her newborn. You and your little guy are in a difficult place emotionally right now and disrupting his and your routines in such a dramatic way is probably overload for all of you. Perhaps there are other ways you can help her.

In the beginning of your post you wrote that people comment on your patience, even though you don't feel you have any. I think many of us who are raising special needs children feel like we have to put on a brave face to everyone, when in reality, we are truly sinking and really need help. Don't be afraid to let it show that what you are doing is difficult and that you do need help and that you are doing the best you can to be the best parent you can be.

Best of luck - hang in there.
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:08 PM   #2148
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Andrea -

Your posts are wonderful! Great advice all the way around.

Just an update on my hassling to get transportation re-established for DS. To make a VERY long story short. it's just not going to happen.

Due to the lovely California 141 million dollar budget shortfall, the school district is unable to add a new route to help DS. There is no existing route close enough to add him to.

Their solution was to have him change schools. Yeah right.......

We are totally happy with his school and he's doing great so moving him is not an option at this point.

So, we are exploring paid transportation and also looking at finding a friend who can take him the 6 short miles from his school to his after-school care provider each school day when school is done.

It's more financially feasible for us to pay someone to help with this rather than me losing time from work every day with no pay to do the drop-off myself.

I'm so over worrying and haggling about all of this....I want to go to Sacramento and slap Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger myself and tell him thanks a lot for messing up the budget so bad.

Susan - thank you so much for the advice with this. You're a gem
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Old 10-08-2010, 01:25 PM   #2149
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God answered one of my prayers and sent me an angel that will be taking DS to his after school care center each school day. She is one of the teacher's aides at DS's school. She works with the special needs kids and is majoring in Occupational Therapy. Because she is putting herself through college to get her Master's, she works 2 jobs and is also looking for any extra cash to help with tuition. So.......she's happy to help us and we are happy to pay her! DS already knows her from school so he's not skittish about riding with her. Hooray!

I took DS to a screening for music therapy last night. Very reluctant at first but then started responding. The therapist got out a marimba and played patterns for him to mimic. OMGosh!!! He mimicked her almost note for note - I sat there with my mouth hanging open She even did soft and hard notes and he followed along with that too! At the end of the session, she told me that she has never had a child follow her that well during a first screening

Of course, once again, due to California's heinous state budget, the chance of adding music therapy to his IEP just isn't an option. So, here we go with looking at Mr. Budget and figuring out how we can implement some music therapy classes for him. Hmmmmmm.......

One cool thing his school is doing for them is bringing a pumpkin patch to the campus! They are setting up a pumpkin patch with a friendly looking scarecrow and will be taking pictures of the kids with their pumpkins (for a small donation). I think it's great - DS struggles with going to public pumpkin patches and since he is comfortable at school, we actually stand a chance of getting an autumn picture of him
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Old 10-08-2010, 05:12 PM   #2150
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What great news, Lorraine!!!!!!!!! I'm so glad something so ideal worked out!
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Old 10-11-2010, 02:17 PM   #2151
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Thanks Susan - I knew you would be happy to hear the good news

We will start transitioning him with Ms. Kate this week and I'll report back in with how things go.

Happy Thanksgiving to CanadianKristin!
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:52 PM   #2152
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Susan - From reading your previous posts, it seems that your son is receiving pretty great services from your existing school district. I would make a spreadsheet of the specific services he is receiving - on a day-to-day basis - complete with student to teacher ratios, time spent on speech, OT, PT, etc., discipline procedures, types of support offered throughout the day, etc. You have your IEP, but there are so many great things that happen that aren't included in an IEP that you will want to compare.

I would ask if the special ed teachers have specifically been trained in teaching autistic children. I would also ask if there are any families with autistic children in their program who would be willing to talk with you about their experiences.

Lastly, I would definitely ask to see their program in action and ask to see what a typical day would be like for your son.

Good luck!
Thanks so much, Andrea. This sounds like EXCELLENT advice. (((hugs)))
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Old 10-29-2010, 02:02 PM   #2153
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Happy Halloween to everyone!

We know that this can be a challenging holiday for our kiddos......

Have a safe and fun Trick or Treat Day
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:35 PM   #2154
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Lorraine, a lady at our bus stop was talking about how her kids keep changing their minds about halloween costumes. I commented that Jack has been Thomas the Tank Engine for the past six years--he's now 8. She said, "How in the world did you get so lucky!?!?" I replied cheerfully, "I have a son with autism!"

Hee, hee! Sure have saved a LOT on costumes, LOL!

On the good news front, Jack was released from private OT this week, after four years. YEAH!!!! Now he only has speech privately. He still gets OT/PT/ST through school. His dev ped was blown away by his progress in the past six months. Expressive language has EXPLODED.

It's funny that Jack still has such a long way to go, but these victories are so very sweet and such a vindication of all we've done in the last four years. For those of you who find this thread and are just starting this journey in autism, I hope Jack's story gives you a boost.

Happy Halloween, everyone!
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:50 AM   #2155
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Susan -

Thanks for the funny about the Halloween costume

Jake actually did want to go trick-or-treating this year and he did a great job! The only thing that spooked him were all the dogs at people's houses. He's still afraid of dogs right now. But he handled it well and we went to about 20 houses before he was ready to head home.

GREAT NEWS about Jack - hooray! All of the hard work is paying off!

We've just finished Jake's triennial assessment through the school district and I'm waiting for the results. I think I freaked the school psychologist out when I told her that I was anxious for the diagnosis of Autism to be put on his IEP instead of continuing with the existing diagnosis of speech/language impairment. She said she's used to parents arguing about putting the "big A" on the paperwork or some of them are in denial about it. I assured her that we knew at least 2 years ago that this time was coming and we need that diagnosis to qualify him for some other services. She seemed relieved that I was totally open for it. Go figure......

Two quick updates: Ms. Kate is working out wonderfully with taking Jake to his after-school care center and the pumpkin patch coming to Jake's school was a success and we got a cute picture of him with a bunch of pumpkins. Now if I can ever figure out how to post pictures online, I will put it up here.....

Hope everyone is doing well.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:58 AM   #2156
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Lorraine,

How wonderful that things are working out and even Halloween was not so bad!

Uploading pics isn't hard...I want to see! I totally forgot to take pictures this year, but Jack looked the same as last year anyway, LOL!

Hugs to all!
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:18 AM   #2157
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Susan - you're making me laugh again!
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Old 11-04-2010, 11:49 AM   #2158
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Lorraine, I forgot to mention that the teachers weren't exactly openly surprised by my willingness to put the autism label on Jack, but they were very CAREFUL when they brought the subject up, like they had been burned many times before. I feel sorry for the school folks who get dumped on by parents in denial or who get angry because they don't realize that the label can get your child services. I'm a big fan of the label!

Of course, I also feel sorry for the parents who get dumped on by insensitive and uncooperative and ignorant schools, as well as for the parents who are just beginning this journey and for whom denial is soooo much easier than facing reality. I really DO get where they are coming from!
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:36 AM   #2159
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Well said Susan!

I too feel for the parents who are in denial or are struggling to accept the autism diagnosis.

My heart really goes out to the ones who also have a language barrier. My sister and I went to a parents symposium for special needs children and there was a wonderful Vietnamese couple who was struggling with understanding all of the English handouts and also all of the acronyms that we get used to using. I can't even imagine the difficulty parents encounter dealing with schools and therapists when English is not their first language.
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Old 11-13-2010, 12:12 PM   #2160
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I am not a parent of a child with autism. I work with children with special needs. They are all 3 & 4 yrs. of age. Many have autism. One year in the classroom I was working in, we had 12 out of 17 kids with autism.
I only had those children 5 hrs. a day. I cannot even begin to imagine what all of the parents go through for their children. Just getting diagnosed to having people understand to getting services must be tiring. I know with my job it is tiring, physically and mentally.
However, the reward at the end of the day that I get is worth it. May it only be a smile, a word, a new sign being taught or finally peeing in the toilet, it's all worth it.
Just want all the parents out there to know that while there are many people out there that don't understand there are just as many that are there for you. I believe God gave me my job for a reason.
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