Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Turn Negatives into Positives

I'm generally a positive-outlook kind of person.  With three babies under three years old, it gets a bit difficult sometimes.  Usually Rick and I get up at 7, I make his lunch, his coffee and get his Plexus ready for him while he gets ready.  This helps him a great deal and shows him that I care about how he starts his day.  The babies usually get up at 8 so I have an hour to wake up and unwind.  Today we woke up late, Rick had missed his train and had 15 minutes before the next one, the babies were all up and crying to get out of their cribs.  Everyone is a bit whiny this morning, can't get their breakfasts fast enough, their babas, stealing toys, wanting "up".  But they look to me to make their day better.  They may have to take turns sitting in Mommy's lap, but a cuddle and a kiss makes everything better.  In the midst of this, Gavin said, "num, num, nummy" for the first time when he got his breakfast.  Aidan grabbed Gavin's hand and brought him to the rug to play for the first time.  Gavin did push him to the ground, but then he grabbed Aidan's hand and walked him around the room.  In the midst of baby chaos are these small moments of joy.  I may have three empty baby books, but I have a calendar full of scribbles of these moments, so someday, when I have an empty nest and I'm feeling down, I can look thru this calendar and remember this time.  What every day negatives can you see your joy peeking thru?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Dog Days of Summer

It's coming around that time to think of school again.  We will be starting our homeschooling this year with pre-school for Aidan and Gavin.  Both are developmentally delayed to about 18 months, so it will be challenging.  Aidan is aging out of the Early Intervention program when he turns three in September, Gavin will continue with Developmental and Speech therapies.  Because of their birthdays, they will be in the same grade, even though they are 10 months apart.

We have decided on the ABC Jesus Loves Me curriculum.  The entire curriculum is listed online for free, but I think it will be easier to have the guide and workbooks rather than print all of the worksheets.  These are available on their site for $30.  The curriculum is actually broken down into weekly lesson plans, listing all of the materials, books, music and nursery rhymes that you will need.  There is a book of the week listed, even linked to Amazon, where you can buy most of them for $4 including shipping.  I'm really excited about this program, I have a hard time being creative with the younger ones.  Homeschooling Gary for high school was much easier for me to come up with lesson plans on my own.

We don't really have many plans for the rest of the summer, just to enjoy the yard, the park and grilling while we can.  How are you getting ready for school?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Getting on the spectrum

I don't know what prompted me to start researching Autism yesterday, but I know it has been in the back of our minds for almost two years.  With as much as you hear about it on Facebook, I was really surprised at the lack of information that is really out there, almost as if it is a mystery.  Aidan is such a happy boy, and I guess that isn't what comes to mind when you think about Autism, at least, not to my mind.  Part of me feels that I should just be grateful for the advances he's made, and that it would be insulting to other parents if I say that it's not enough.  I am grateful, he went from not even sitting up by himself or speaking at 20 months to now running and kicking, saying and signing a handful of words at 34 months.  I love him, and I would love him the same if this handful of words were all he ever knew, but I need to think about his future.  We will be homeschooling, but what if he is still eligible for services thru the school district?  What if he's not able to potty train?  What if he never gives up his bottle?  How do I handle his meltdowns?  His occupational therapist believes that he wouldn't have been able to make the advancements that he has if he were autistic, but I read that the earlier a child receives intervention the better off they are.  Could we have just started at a crucial point in his development?  His developmental therapist said she has wondered about certain characteristics and has even tested him in certain things on her own, and admitted as a mother she would get him checked.  We meet with his speech therapist tomorrow, she is young and the least experienced, but by far the closest to him and has made the most advancements with him.  While I have been doing research (not on WebMD!), I am not sure how far to pursue this.  In a lot of experiences I've read about, parents had a hard time getting a diagnosis for their child.  If I am persistent and demand a diagnosis, what damage am I doing?  Could it be just a developmental delay?  How will I know this if I don't accept that as an answer?  Do I wait months or years like the therapists recommended, or follow the online advice that the earlier the intervention the better?  And if I wait, could it get worse?  Could he regress when therapy ends on his third birthday?  Just about the only thing I do know is that we're not giving up.