So one of the goals that I referred to in my first post was that I wanted to get Joshua back into general education, and out of a center based program. (If you are a parent new to this click here please!) Well, I have some great news on that front. I'm happy to report that I spoke with the school social worker for our home district. (Josh is currently in a county wide program so he is bused to a neighboring district to the center.) We had an IEP (Individualized Education Program) meeting back in February and I told the staff that I would like for Joshua to be moved to an ASD program if there was an appropriate program available for him. So 2 of the people who will be helping me in picking the right program and reintegrating him to general ed have already been in to observe him in his current class, and they also think that he is ready to move. Yay! I can't tell you how happy I am to hear that! So the next step is to meet with a couple of teachers for one of the programs, and have Joshua visit the class room and participate in some of the activities. This meeting has been set up for early next week and I am excited to post about that next week because I'm expecting great news!!
***If you are a parent of an autistic child and are new to this kind of information DO NOT take this statement at face value!! You need to understand the school system where you live. We lived in a county with little resource, but also fewer special ed children to serve. They had some special ed support in the general ed school, which was where Joshua spent most of his time. But then he needed more support and the ASD program was in a center based school that he would have to be moved to. Only special needs children there. Lots of severe mental and physical handicaps. We moved to a new county, more people, more special needs and more services. Here the center based schools don't have ASD programs, the general ed schools handle that. So that's a better placement for him. However... the IEP (Individualized Education Program) we had done from the previous county stated that he was to be placed in a center based school. He had regressed badly by that time and I did allow him to be placed in a more intensive intervention program. Now that we have stabilized from the regression from that year, and have even regained many skills, I think it's best for him to be reintroduced to general ed, with the support of the local ASD program. I hope this helps you, and if you have more questions by all means, leave a comment.
As I said in my last post, Joshua really needs structure and he gets very agitated after having several days off of school. Unfortunately he's also recently started talking about killing or being killed, when he's upset about something. So when I get mad at him for something his response is "Are you gonna kill me?" Or he gets mad at me and the phrase changes to "I'm gonna kill you?" No, that's not a typo, he really poses most of his sentences in the form of questions. It's kind of like being on Jeopardy for eternity. Yesterday though it came out different, he said that the doors were locked at school and that monsters must have killed all the kids! This kind of thing has only been showing up in his speech for about 4 or 5 months now but I have to say, I've had enough of it. I really don't like this, and my tolerance for it is wearing thin. I wonder if anyone else has had this kind of issue and if anyone has some suggestions. On a more pleasant note though, we were more than ready for school to start this morning, and we are back in full swing. Even though we had plenty of tantrums because Josh just couldn't handle the fact that there was no school for the weekend, we did also have some fun time too. They got their Easter candy of course, we had a couple of really tasty meals (well.....the adults did. The kids refused to eat it and were given the alternate Spaghettios. Really?!?!) and of course the wonderful Easter egg hunt. All in all, a really good weekend.
Posted by Full Heart at 4:56 PM
It's been busy this week with spring break. All 3 kids at home all day and family visits along with all the other things we do each week. Overall we had a good week. He did well but but he's getting to the end of his rope right now. He loves school but sometimes you can't tell. He doesn't always have very good days but he has to have the structure of school. It's not just the structure though he really likes going. He likes the rooms and the other kids. He really loves the bus ride. It's great visual stimulation for him. He does understand calendars, the days, weeks and all that but it's just really hard to tell him he has so much time off of school. I don't know if it's because he still can't really grasp how much time that is or if it's because he knows how much time it is but he just can't handle it. If he has more than 3 or 4 days off of school he starts looking out the window crying that his bus must have run out of gas or has a flat tire. When he gets upset like that about something that he can't do or have he gets really detached and can't respond to you anymore. Then he's very touchy too and gets set off again by smaller events (ex. can't have chocolate milk) and will have a tantrum. I mean falling on the floor, throwing things, biting, hitting, kicking, screaming....I know it sounds like a normal terrible 2's type thing, and maybe I'm just a bad mom who didn't teach her kid to grow up, but I promise it's very different than just the words listed here. If you don't have an autistic child you've probably never seen this. So those can get to be some horribly long days. Anyway, this week has been okay, but he's been getting more touchy each day. He's ready to get back to school. We will be going away to a family get together for the weekend, like so many others. Ours will be a pretty small affair though. It's very over stimulating for him to be in the middle of so much activity and he falls apart after just so long. We have been working with him a lot on this and he's finally starting to be able to handle longer periods of time before he falls apart. My hope is that I can find some way to help him cope that will carry him through the whole event. I probably won't be finding that this weekend but maybe I will be one step closer. Here's hoping that all other special needs families survive the holiday weekend with their sanity. I know how hard these times can be. I know it can be painful but it's well worth the fight.
Posted by Full Heart at 8:03 PM
For those who don't already know, Light It Up Blue is an autism awareness campaign. The idea is to switch your porch light to a blue bulb and leave it turned on for the night. Monday April 2, 1012 is the date. It correlates with World Autism Awareness Day. Happy lighting everyone.
Posted by Full Heart at 5:29 PM