Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Reflecting on Schooling Choices

I am reflecting today on what has happened this last year and what our plans are for next years school year. I take time each week to think about this. Questioning what would be the next step for Jacob, to public school or not. Last year I feel like we put too much faith in the school and in Jacobs abilities to cope with all the changes. He had numerous problems but once we hit a breaking point where he had a huge anxiety attack we were done. Pulled him out, yep pulled him out of school! This was the scariest thing we have ever done. I know he will be fine, and to be honest I have been questioning public school for years.
    The long day was enough for him but when we break it down it is transitions he cant handle. Moving from a preferred activity to a non preferred activity are the hardest. We are looking at a few options for him. Montessori and homeschooling are at the top of the list. This next year is homeschooling with as much ABA therapy as we can do. Since he is academically ahead right now I feel like it is the best fit. Next year will be filling in any gaps for first grade he might be missing. Right now we are working on his strengths which are reading and math. We had him academically tested as well as an IQ test done. We wanted the tests done to help us know where he was and to work on any weaknesses. Right now, the only weaknesses are not academics. At least not kindergarten or even first grade academics for him. He has tested at fourth grade reading level and third grade math. He is a sponge when it comes to these topics so I am not surprised. But I am worried he will pass me up quickly! I am up for the challenge and see what we can work on instead of the the basics. Social and group activities are going to be at the top of my list as well as his writing. He dislikes writing for some reason and maybe even some art thrown in for good measure!

Friday, May 23, 2014

To Dance or Not to Dance

Extra curricular activities or group sports has always been in question for Jacob. Not that he could do them, just that he can get through them.  What I mean by that is he is a control freak. He likes to make the rules and if you don't follow what he expects a behavior is bound to happen. I am talking high pitched screams and temper tantrums of the extreme!  We kind of gave up on looking or trying to do sports, mostly because of cost and due to his time in therapy we thought it might be too much. This last fall we jumped at the chance to sign him up for ballet class. Ballet Class? Ya I know what your thinking but here is why.....
1.He is the most uncoordinated boy I know and could use help with things like skipping and marching.
2.He is in a room full of girls and one other boy. Why is this important?  I want to raise a gentleman, there are manners in dance, letting the ladies go first and I think he needs to work on socially spending time with them. He has the boy thing down pat!
3. It is 45 minutes long. Long enough to get instruction and not cause too many meltdowns due to over-stimulation.
4. It is free, boys are on scholarship there!
5. The staff knows about his condition and have been nothing but helpful throughout the year to work with him and me to get through his quirks.
6. It gets him practice to apply social skills learned at therapy in a classroom setting.
7. You saw that it was free right???????
Tuesday was class and he wanted nothing to do with practicing the same thing over and over for the end of the year showcase. He had me doubting him and putting him in the last show this year. But a friend said let him choose if he wants to be in the show , he said he did and we did. Last night was the recital. I did get some modifications with picking him up early so he didn't have to wait in waiting room after he preformed. There is also the fact I bribed him with ice cream afterwords. But all in all it was great. I have never been so proud of him than I am now. It was scary, things in that moment felt "normal" what ever that is? We are crazy and signed him up for t-ball this summer......

Monday, May 19, 2014

Going to the next country

Imagine your child taking off at a outdoor party to the end of the property. Not just a city lot we are talking here a good 2 acres or more and isn't stopping. He wants to leave the country he says. Leave the country? He is upset because he had to share the teeter-totter and I yelled at him for throwing sticks at other kids who were on the teeter-totter and then hurt his foot on it. Serious extremes....wants to leave the country. I think he just was uncomfortable with all the kids around, not feeling like he fit in. He tried kick ball, thank God tried. I just wish he could feel the joy of playing with all the kids. Maybe it was too much, maybe too much stimulation. I don't know. I feel like throwing my hands up sometimes. But really another country?  Maybe he wanted to be secure at home. I was super excited he could get the opportunity to play with other kids. Yet he doesn't seem to care. Maybe if  it isn't important to him, why make it important to me?  He is happy doing what he wants. Now I guess I need to make sure he stays in this "country".....

A long and bumpy road

  Just when you think things are starting to go your way something is bound to throw up a road block. This is my story. Well my son Jacobs story, through my eyes. Jacob is 6, he was diagnosed with PDD-NOS. For those of you who don't know what it means. Well neither did I, It means Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. I knew something was off with his behaviors when he was a few months old. Like that nagging pain in my knee from an old wound. In more simple teams PDD-NOS is basically the new lingo for Autism. I guess they have to change stuff around to confuse us Neurotypical people. He is all the way at the top of the spectrum which would be Aspergers.  I guess they also no longer want to use as a diagnosis now. Either way my little guy is smarter than a whip but doesn't deal well in social situations at all. He appears to have anxiety problems when under stress. One of the reasons he is now not in public school.....trying to find our normal. I know everyone perceptions of normal are different. I want him to have what I had growing up. Friends, a team and a school and a supporting family. His friends are few but ones who accept him for all his quirks, a team of people who try to the best to get him through his days, and he has always had the last one. Like a anchor unchanged throughout the years. School? Well that's another story....I have started this blog to help me get through the rough times and if it helps others in the process double bonus score! I do not even think I can cover in one post what we have been dealing with for years. I will do my best to cover any back story if I can, when I can.