Thursday, November 30, 2006
Reece did much better at ballet this afternoon as well! She went right in (had a little trouble in the line when she wasn't line leader) and she participated better than she ever has! She was distressed once by some loud music and singing but she just put her hands over her ears and kept moving! That's a good improvement!
All in all, she's had a really good day!
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Easy Grammar is going well, so far. He has memorized the preposition list, or rather refreshed it from when he learned them in 2nd grade with First Language Lessons. He intuitively understood what a prepositional phrase is. Next week we'll see if he can identify them in sentences! :) That's usually where we get tripped up --- application!
Is it Christmas break yet? LOL
Saturday, November 25, 2006
However, there has been a problem this last 6-9 months or so. Reece has drawn this same picture over and over. It's called "perseveration" in autism terms. Here is a scan of the picture, which I literally have hundreds of. The colors don't change. The order of the people don't change. She would draw 5-10 of these a day (I believe this one she drew at preschool):
Yesterday, my dh took the kids down to visit his mother while I worked on getting things cleared out of the kids' rooms for donating or giving away or throwing away! We just had to make room for the upcoming onslaught of Christmas toys! They were gone nearly all day long, but they were all very wound up! And in this time, Reece drew me the following 3 pictures, one after the other:
And this last picture (above again) is a picture of the flower before it went into the pot. You'll notice the dirt is brown and the grass is on top of it. Notice the black dot at the bottom of the stem? That is the seed! She told me she planted the seed in the ground and the flower grew up from the seed to make the flower. I asked her what flowers needed to grow and she said, "Sunshine and the rain!" Smart girl!
Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway) I am utterly tickled about these pictures! She put such thought into each one! Her brain, for however long it lasts, isn't stuck on the same picture! This alone gives me a very big reason to be Thankful! :)
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Here is her first completed X! The ones you see above it (closer to her) are the ones I did while I was teaching her!
She is concentrating very hard and really seems to enjoy it! :) She took to it very quickly, as she does most things! Maybe I'll get a new cross-stitch kit and we'll work on something cool side by side! :)
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
One thing that keeps striking me is how smoothly and easily the child and parent interact with each other! And how the child seems so relaxed and ready to have fun! There is so much that is wonderful to experience in the world and so often my kids who have the ASDs are too anxious to even realize it! One before/after video really hit home with me: in the before the mom was trying to engage the child and the child was smearing his spit on the two-way mirror. On Thursday when Reece had been asked to sit out of ballet, she spent the remaining time smearing her spit into the mirror. She didn't even care that she was missing the class. She didn't even seem to realize that anything had happened. The after portion of the video showed the dad and child playing a game together where the child had to look at the parent for non-verbal instruction before doing his part, and together they came to an understanding on when the action could happen, and then the last step was them doing it together. They were having SO much fun and they looked at each other with such engagement! Excuse me while I pout here a moment: I WANT THAT!!!! ::stomping and sticking my lower lip out::
My kids are smart and they talk well (Reece does now anyway, when she wants to lol) and they are overall really great kids! But Austin progressively becomes more anxious and controlling of his world so as to avoid anything 'different' and 'unexpected'. And Reece seems to be quickly following the same pattern. And I find myself working my butt off trying to keep their world controlled and 'same'. But that is nearly impossible, so when faced with the unexpected and different, they melt down. It's just not supposed to be this hard, and I see it now! It's been such a part of our everyday life forever, that I didn't fully appreciate how life is meant to be.
Well, I'll keep posting more about about the DVD as I continue to watch it... and Russ and I are going to be watching it together next week as well! I am so excited for him to see this stuff now! :)
this will help to refresh your memory!
Well, here we are towards the middle/end of November, and Riley informed me last Wednesday that she is starting her last book on the list. Didn't she get the memo that this list was for the entire year? Apparently not! LOL Now I have to search for more books for her! Oh the calamity! ;) (Also, she's going to finish her 2nd regular Pathways reading book for this year right before Christmas! Not sure what I'll do after that!)
Also, Austin only has 3 books left on his list, and then there are 2 more that he has requested to be added to the list after reading excerpts in his Bob Jones reading book! That is really impressive! His list is long, and the books are not short at all! :) So I guess I'll need to start looking for books for him as well!
And this has absolutely nothing to do with reading, but while I was looking for the reading list post I came across the post where we were deciding about choir for Riley. I really should say that I'm SO glad we chose to do this church choir instead! She has enjoyed herself SO much, and it's free! LOL I'm not sure she would have enjoyed herself as much if she had done the Atlanta Youth Choir at this age! :) It's nice to know we make the right decision now and then! LOL
Where the last thought before bed isn't about autism?
Where I don't spend the wee hours of the morning reliving the day and chastizing myself for opportunities I missed?
Will a day ever come where I don't regret the way I reacted to some meltdown or other behavior of the children that they really can't control?
Will a day ever come where I can carry on a conversation with someone without talking about autism?
Friday, November 17, 2006
I got out the Spin Art machine and we got busy with creation! Hands On Art! :) Imagine that!
We also finished reading our latest read-aloud, and we cleaned up (but the post hands-on art stuff pretty much took care of the cleaned up parts of the house! LOL).
So there you go, Fun Friday! LOL
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Our HIGH today was 48. Low was 46. It's windy, which makes it feel like 41 degrees at the most! Reece had her Thanksgiving Feast at preschool (which I had promised to help with) and then she had ballet.
Well, come to find out this morning at preschool she spat in the face of another child, because he messed up her line of puppets.
Then at ballet, she was asked to sit out because she was being uncooperative and disruptive.
So, I repeat... I left the house for THIS?!
Time to light a fire. I need chocolate! And a Pibb.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Grammar- Over the weekend, I purchased Easy Grammar for Austin. He was struggling so much with Rod & Staff that it just wasn't worth all the time we were spending on grammar anymore. R&S only gets harder, and I just couldn't see him ever really understanding and applying it. He's now into the 'memorizing the prepositions' part, which is fairly easy because he memorized them in 2nd grade for FLL. We just have to do a refresher course. Now, will he be able to understand what a prepositional phrase is, and be able to identify it in a sentence as to eliminate them? Well, that remains to be seen. If not? Then I think we'll be taking a break from formal grammar for a few years and see if he's ready for it when he's older.
Academics in General- Taking WAY longer every day that I would prefer. I'm not sure what can go, in order to make the day shorter and leave more time for reflection and spontaneity. Still working that out, but due to the way my children's brains work, it just may be that our days are long and there's nothing to change that. Riley is doing very well, still! Austin is struggling in some areas, but his attitude is generally much better than it has been previously. Reece is taking a break from formal academics right now.
Autim stuff- I went to a meeting of a support group in another county and enjoyed myself greatly. Their topic was "Working with Siblings of Children with Autism" and it was excellent. The speaker has a sibling with autism, so she was able to speak to us from the perspective of both a professional in the field of autism, and also as a NT sibling of an autistic individual. We're on the right track in how we deal with Riley and her needs, but we have a long way to go. She also gave me several really great ideas for the spectrum kids in our family. She emphasized how much the social functioning of an adult determines their success, not necessarily their academic performance (hmmm, whether they could master grammar in the 4th grade? LOL). So if my goals are fixed on academics, without regard to social functioning, I will not be doing my children justice. Side note: I did NOT agree with their training methods on working towards those social goals, but that's a topic for another blog.
That's about it for now! I can't believe it's nearly Thanksgiving already! Where has this year gone? It is flying by! Only 20 days until Dead Man's Chest comes out on DVD!
Look for my review of "Stranger Than Fiction" coming hopefully tonight! It's been ages since I've done any movie reviews! Well, it's hard to when I keep seeing POTC2 over again! :)
Friday, November 10, 2006
Here we are this year! We arranged everyone by age, so my Austin is the first one (he's third from the left on the top). Riley is the 3rd one in the picture below (she's the 2nd from the left in the above picture). The two little girls were sling babies when the 2002 picture was taken (Reece is 6th from the left in this picture below), and the little guy at the end was not even a thought yet!
My word, how everyone has grown so much! I know I talk about how fast everyone is growing up, but this is just picture perfect evidence! Five short years ago, these kids were so little and look at them now! It's amazing! We can't even fit everyone on the bench anymore! LOL
We had a wonderful time, as we always do, and afterward we went to the park to play and explore. It's near 80 day! What a way to spend Fun Friday! :)
Thursday, November 09, 2006
The original poster in the thread was complaining about her son's lack of ability to remember to do things like take his lunch money to school, or to remember to wash himself when he showers, or how he is now falling behind academically. He is mainstreamed and she didn't mention if he has any special supports or anything.
The reply that really caught my attention came from a mom who has a 16 year old son who has HFA. This is part of the reply that just made me stop in my tracks:
"The more I adjusted my expectations of him to something that I knew that he could handle and then praised him to death with that (and his teachers at school did as well) then he became more acceptable to learn new things and adjust to new situations.
But let me blunt here. If your child has highfunctioning autism he is NEVER going to act like a neurotypical child/teen/adult. Period."
It just hit me like a bolt of lightning. I'm trying to act like Austin doesn't have HFA. Or maybe I'm just forgetting that that is a HUGE part of who is he and how he processes things. She went on to add:
"It has nothing to do with really with his being defiant or something like that. It is just that he has a different way of processing information than other individuals. Not good or bad,.... different."
I guess there is a part of me that thinks that just because we homeschool, that eliminates ALL of the interferences that the HFA/Aspergers presents with learning. Sure, we can eliminate the noisy, chaotic environment (somewhat lol). I can present information at the pace he needs. Well, I guess that doesn't always get through to my brain. I'm still very fixated on what level he is at. And I sometimes push him through things forgetting that it just takes him longer. He gets things, it just takes him longer. The neuropsych emphasized as much.
I don't even know if I'm making sense here! LOL I've been so very focused on the fact that I'm not going to let autism/Aspergers stop him from doing what everyone else does, that I've forgotten that he's not like everyone else. But that doesn't have to be a negative thing.
Hmmm, lots to think about now.