Monday, January 30, 2012

School frustrations

It's been a busy few weeks. I met with the school IEP group again about my concerns with Acroboy. They actually were more concerned about his ADHD diagnosis and how it will affect his learning than they were about PDD-NOS. They basically said to me, "We don't think he really needs an IEP right now-an IEP is for education impact. But since you've come back to us again, we'll do our own evaluation of him and his abilities and we'll see if he needs anything."

Okay folks, forget the fact that a world renowned institute has already looked at him.


Forget the fact I've been asking you for help with him since before he was two and that I've been doing all his therapies by myself until recently. Forget the fact that I was once a school teacher before I made the decision to stay home with my kids. You go ahead and finally deign to do an evaluation on him.


I talked to my friend, Michele, and she helped me realize that at the core of this, they are probably stalling and putting me off because extra help usually means extra resources spent. I know how overworked teachers can be--I was on a productivity schedule when I taught which meant no free planning period--everything I did was before and after school on my own time. Still I wanted my students to succeed, and I found time to touch base with parents of those students I had concerns about.

In the end the school district said I could bring him to a preschool music time, and they would look into getting him speech help again. They were also going to talk to the preschool program people and see if Acroboy could be moved to the top of the wait list (he was supposed to be near the top already with his diagnosis).

Despite all that, this month has had some positive notes. While I was waiting at the orthodontist for Firstborn (he's getting braces off and Whirlwind is going to get them soon), I ran into Julie,my second counselor in the Relief Society, who also had her son in for a visit. She asked how Acroboy's evaluation went. Another mom was in the waiting room and she got pulled into our conversation. It turns out she has six children--three of whom she adopted. A couple of her children are also on the spectrum. She and I exchanged information, and she told me about some additional resources I could look into. Michele also found an autism support group, and what they had to say opened my eyes.

I am frankly still overwhelmed by the amount of information I need to process, but I feel like I am becoming better and better equipped to fight the battles for my children that need to be fought.


Another positive thing--Firstborn had a very important concert and was first chair for his string section. He also had an important audition and we hope he did well. He's been playing the strings since 2007. I was so proud listening to him play. It was an amazing concert to watch.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Food therapy

We've started "food therapy" for Acroboy. Basically I make the nearly two hour drive every week to meet with the ocupational therapist who works with food. We do a food practice to help Acroboy get over his food aversions.

What aversions you might say? Gagging on foods he doesn't want to swallow, crying and melting down just even seeing certain foods. Limited diet that consists of pizza, pot stickers, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, pb&J sandwiches on bread (it has to be the Goober stuff grape flavor), only certain kinds of chicken nuggets,etc. Having issues with textures of foods or the way they are presented. He'll eat scrambled eggs, and but not the yolk in a sunny side or hard boiled egg. He'd eat french fries, but not potato wedges.

His therapist was great. She gave me so many things to work on with him. It's my responsibility to work with him at home to try new foods. We also don't refer to thefoods by name, but by attribute. So we try the yellow lines (Pirate Booty), then yellow circles (bananas), then blue circles (blueberries). Initially we link foods by at least one common attribute.

Acroboy won't touch a lot of the foods right now, but he thought today was fun enough he didn't cry so much when we had green circles (Cucumber slices). He wanted them as far away as possible, and he whined a little, but he didn't cry.

The therapist says it takes at least ten exposures of trying a food before you can really know if you like it or not. The goal for us and Acroboy is to keep exposing him to foods over and over and to slowly increase contact with those foods.

Let's hope this works!