Tuesday, April 3, 2012
My boy :)
I guess I will start at the beginning......I didn't really realize anything was wrong. 11 years ago Autism wasn't as public as it is now so I had no idea what any signs would be. I have 6 girls and 1 boy so most things I was just like I guess boys act this way. Things didn't really get noticeable until school started. Again between moving, my husband not admitting something might be wrong and having twins I wasn't really worried. Until he turned 10. It just became so obvious, like a light bulb went off for me and my husband. Between how he played, the weird things he does, how random he is, how he has no filter and says things so matter of factly, how he always has a problem with socks, clothes, his bed sheets and comforter, needing a night light, his obsession with Legos, not understanding jokes or sarcasm, smells, anxiety, throwing up, biting his nails, sucking his fingers until he was 9, nightmares, not adjusting well to change, how selective he is with who he gives direct eye contact, how he has such a hard time expressing himself, the meltdowns, how he can watch the same thing over and over, how he scripts from movies and remembers the little details that i didnt even notice, and on and on.
So in 4th grade we agreed to testing through the school. Test, psychologist etc. my first IEP meeting I thought I might throw up. I finally said can we get past all these charts telling me how low my son is? I didn't say it but I was thinking the next person who says he is so low is going to get a punch in the face! So he's like 2yrs behind. Has a hard time retaining information. We all agreed there is no point in holding him back since he will either shut down completely or not retain anymore information anyway. He is high functioning and his focus is in oral expression. We believe he understands a lot more than he is able to verbalize. He started with OT, speech, help, accommodations etc.
I went through a really rough time. I was wracked with guilt for not noticing, for not getting him help sooner etc. then I was so angry...at myself, the school, my husband and God. He's my only boy, really God? Thanks a lot.
Thankfully I got over it right away and started to focus on my boy, how amazing he is. How no one knows him like I do. That these people don't have his best interest like I do. I gotta get my act together and figure out how to help him.
The rest of 4th grade was not so great. I would get calls from the special Ed teacher saying he's not cooperating, or I lost him today etc. at first I was still so overwhelmed and didn't know what to say or do. They were still so focused on behavior. He was pushing at recess, he talked during a fire drill, he was looking at someone else's desk etc. I was so thankful for summer break!
I really started to do some research, talk to some people, and find out my rights and my sons. When it was meet the teachers for 5 th grade I was on top of it. I told them exactly what I was expecting, what's in his IEP etc. this year has been so much better! No dumb phone calls, they keep me informed and I email often to check in. They know better now then to call and say something like I can't get him to work today! Now it's really what are YOU doing to keep my son motivated and on task? I am pleased with all his accommodations, they really seem to be helping. He is really progressing! He graduated from OT, and we already discussed what's in place for 6th grade.
I just take one day at a time...some days really great, and some not so great...like yesterday...we just didnt do HW...oh well tomorrow is another day :)