I Promise You – AGE OF AUTISM

I Promise You – AGE OF AUTISM.

Just in case some people don’t realize what happens to the parents of special needs kids. This is the reality, folks. Choosing not to be bullied, hurt, lied to, manipulated, or cheated out of helping our kids makes us the bad guys.

It isn’t enough to be ridiculed for standing up for our children. We aren’t allowed to simply love them and do what any parent would do for their children. We have to defend ourselves for it, too.

Chew on why that would be.


From autism to ADHD

My son’s triennial assessment is going on right now and I just filled out an interesting parent form. One I haven’t seen before but knew instantly what it was when I read the questions. ADHD questionnaire. I searched for the name of the test and found it on the side margin, Connors 3.

In so many ways, this is good news (so far). It looks like it means they no longer think he has autism (yay, me! I worked hard to get it that way!) but now they want to assess for ADHD.

To be honest, they could’ve just asked me and saved us all the time. Yes. There ya go, no need for a questionnaire. In everything I’ve done, I’ve managed to deal with the autism but the ADHD is still such a huge problem. I’m not sure what more I can do.

Gryffin had a diagnosis of moderate to severe autism and to see the autism fade has been more than I could’ve ever dreamed but sometimes I look at the ADHD issues and think it’s harder to crack than autism ever thought it could be.

Who knows, maybe we’ll have our IEP and instead of saying they don’t think he has autism, they’ll say they think he has autism and ADHD. That ought to be a riot since the autism diagnosis specifically excludes any other diagnosis as part of the condition.

But I don’t think that’ll happen. When I see Gryffin, I see ADHD, not autism.

Sheesh. It’s hard to even think about it right now.

It’s finally happened

Social networking has gotten too big for my poor twitter.  I have too many things on my plate and I need to organize it better.  I had to separate it all out so here is my new Twitter @Gryffins_Tail.

Yes, I’ve been neglectful…


It’s tough being an autism mom. I haven’t done well keeping up with this blog. But I shall continue to try. To be honest, I think less and less about autism as my son recovers. It’s not fair to others that I would like to help but it’s nice for me to know that autism doesn’t take over my life anymore.

I would like to pose a question, what topic would you like to see me post about? Any burning questions? Something you don’t understand? I may not have the answer but I’m sure willing to do my best to try…

Finally, I think I’m all caught up!

After a pretty long vacation, I think I’ve caught up on my backlog of things to be posted. Next week, I’m starting my “at least one original blog a week” effort. Next week’s blog will be on yeast. We’ll see how I fare on my effort of maintaining one original blog a week – wish me luck! Maybe I’ll also find time to post all the old information, news and studies and I have collected to share…

On vacation!

I’m on vacation for the next few weeks so posts will not be as forthcoming as I’ve been lately. I’ll try to make sure that I continue to post but forgive me if I’m a bit lax. I’ll have a lot to go through when I get home and that’s motivation for me to at least try to get some things posted while I’m away! šŸ˜‰

We went to Stone Mountain in GA and the boys had a great time! Gryffin found a group of friends to play with after the laser show with their light up swords and it was great to see other kids respond to his requests to be involved. We’ve had one incident already where I had to tell a young lady at the pool that she didn’t have to let him play with his toys but being mean wholly unnecessary. She changed her attitude quick but it’s nice to not have to force the issue. Good kids are always a pleasure to be around and I was so pleased that he found some! Tynan was a bit shy so he didn’t join. He very sadly looked up at daddy and said, “Daddy, will you play with me?” It was so pitiful that it melted the world around us… He’s only 3 so he was a bit afraid of the other kids but he and daddy did get some good playing in!

General Ed, A Dream Realized

My son is not your typical child with autism but really, what child is typically autistic? Over the years since he’s been in school, I’ve always told the school district that he is not a good candidate for mainstreaming but the response has always been, “this is how we do it” or “children with autism do better with slow transitions”. Unfortunately, how they do it and how my son does it are two very different things. My son does not do well with slow transitions. He does better if he’s just thrown in the mix. He’s an all or nothing kid. If the choice is between mainstreaming and full inclusion, ditch the mainstreaming because he isn’t going to succeed in two class settings.

Mainstreaming is when they take a child, slowly build up the time this child will spend in a typical class until they are deemed able to be there full time. Generally, mainstreaming doesn’t start until at least a month into the new school year. Long enough to understand the routine of the class they are entering. Of course, this does nothing for understanding the routine of the class they are going to mainstream into. Or build relationships and bonds with kids by starting a class from the very beginning and learning the routine and rules together. So by the time he starts the mainstreaming process, he has already understood that the SDC class is his class and he has formed relationships as best as he can with the kids in his SDC class that will allow such bonds and he enters a new class for an hour and a half a day with kids he has never met. This new class provides no bonds, friends are paired up already, and he doesn’t view the teacher as his teacher. To him, this new class is a vacation from his other class; one he sometimes wants and sometimes doesn’t.

This went on for two years. And for two years, I kept telling them it wasn’t going to work. Academically, he’s at or above grade level and he really doesn’t belong in an SDC class. I’ve even been told by the school district that he doesn’t even qualify for SDC but his behavior is preventing him from going into full inclusion. Behavior I always told them would happen if he was mainstreamed. I get notes from school on how can’t focus, he doesn’t sit still, he wants to roam around the room and play with toys, wants to talk to the kids, he pretends his hands are airplanes or he pretends he’s a power ranger. (Hello!? Anyone home??? He’s pretending! And wanting to talk and play with the kids! Isn’t this supposed to be a good thing? Doesn’t that tell you something??) He isn’t bothering with the class because he knows it’s not his class! He hasn’t formed any relationship with the people and children in this class so why should he bother? He knows if he doesn’t he’ll get to go back to his class with his friends. Trying to make friends in a class that is set up for you to not get that chance is a pretty bum deal.

He’s smart and he’s very social. Even with a class full of kids that are either non-verbal or not social, he still manages to make friends. And he cares about them and wants to be with them. As his mother, I know that these are not the friends that will benefit him by modeling proper social skills and pragmatic language but I also can’t deny that he cares about them and wants to spend time with them. He pushes them into a relationship that he wants but they aren’t very good at cultivating so he does the work and they just need to play along. And many times they do. So again, why would anyone be surprised by the fact that he doesn’t do well in the mainstream class when his friends aren’t there?

Last summer I placed him in a typical summer camp because I knew that he could do it even if the school district didn’t. It was such a wonderful experience and the staff gave me daily reports that I gave to the schoold district. He did so well and I even had an aide tell me she would never have known he had any issues if she weren’t assigned to him as his aide. Ah, those beautiful words from this lovely angel! This was something he started from the beginning and was just thrown into and he did beautifully. And the school district was blown away but he was still placed into mainstreaming this year.

Now that you know the back story, let me tell about my latest IEP. I was in heaven! It was the best IEP I ever had and yes, even though he is only currently in SDC kindergarten, I’ve had a lot! I didn’t have to ask for anything – it was all offered! I expected a fight with the current budget crisis and rumors had been flying around that were making me very nervous. I was basically offered the moon as far as I’m concerned!

So next school year, my son will repeat kindergarten only this time he will be in general ed, with a shared aide with several other wonderful services. I can’t believe that it’s finally happening and I will admit, I’m nervous. But I’m too excited for him to dwell too much on the nervousness. He will now get to experience starting a class with typical peers from the beginning, bond with them and gain much needed pragmatic language. He’s always learned best from his peers and we will hopefully have found the last piece of the puzzle to full recovery. His last remaining issues are with expressive and receptive language and a lack of focus but maybe in this new, exciting and challenging environment, his language will catch up faster. An improvement in focus would be nice but that might be asking a bit much. We can dream, though! I had one dream finally happen, why not this one?

Who knows what this future will hold, it may be a miserable experience but I’m going to go with the idea that it’s going to be fantastic. If that changes, so be it but for now I’m just going to enjoy this ride and expect the best!

During this IEP season, I hope you all have as wonderful an IEP experience as I did!

We’re back!

We had a wonderful vacation and now we are trying to get settled back in here at home. As soon as we are all settled, I’ll be posting like a mad woman.

Lots of things to discuss but before that happens, dh and I have to finish our countertops since he goes out of town again on Sunday.

Expect to see the posts start rolling in this weekend. Monday at the latest.

I know, I’m supposed to be packing…

I am. And I know I am. I’m supposed to be letting this all go for the next couple weeks but I have to share something wonderful.

My son is currently in a typical summer camp with an aide and it’s been a dream. He has done so well and today was, sadly, his last day since we are getting on an airplane in just a few hours. His aide has been giving me glowing remarks every day and thankfully, she also gives me a detailed daily report. I swear, this is better than his past school year as far as communication. Today he had a new aide as his usual aide wasn’t available and she said the most amazing thing to me.

“I never would’ve known he was anything other than a typical 4 year old with a lot of energy!”

That’s right. My son. I nearly cried. I nearly cry just thinking about it and I’m holding it back as I type this right now. My son is so close to recovery and I can’t wait to tell you all about how we’ve done it when I get back.

Have a great couple of weeks!

Wow, I’ve actually got some comments!

I guess I have to actually start blogging more even though the store isn’t finished. I’ll try to manage my time better since at least 2 people have read my blog! šŸ™‚ Thanks to both for the comments!

I’m going on vacation next week so I may not be able to blog until I return but who knows, maybe I’ll toss some around while I’m there.

I’ve gotten most of the informational blogs started – mostly to remind me of what I’m doing – so I’ll start with finishing those up first when I get back.

The boys are doing great and after 3 years, I finally have kitchen counters in!!!! Yes, folks, no more temporary melamine counters! We poured our own concrete countertops and they came out beautifully. We still aren’t completely finished, though. They still need to be sealed and topcoated and then we need to put the trim and backsplash in but once it’s done, I’ll post pics! I’m very excited, in case you couldn’t tell. 3 years of living with a not so well attached faucet to a temporary countertop that wasn’t made for an undermount sink wasn’t fun.

I’ll be back with some real information on autism soon. Hearing about my countertops isn’t exactly edge of your seat reading, I know.

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