Monday, April 12, 2010

"I thought I was dumb"

Isn't she cute? We sure think so! This was the first day of second grade. She was so excited to go back to school. I hope it stays that way. You see Makinna has trouble learning to read. By the middle of second grade she was still reading at a beginning first grade level, despite the reading program, despite her hard work and ours and the teachers. So we decided to have her tested for a learning disability, you know nip it in the bud now and not wait until she's failing everything!
The results of the testing came back and said basically that she had "average intelligence" but "well below average reading skills" so they diagnosed her with a learning disability in reading. So I decided to break the news to Makinna and wasn't really sure how she would take it. I told her that she was just as smart as everyone else but she needed extra help in reading. She slowly looked up and me and a big grin covered her face ..."oh mom I thought I was just dumb!" My heart sank and I wanted to cry. All this time I thought she just didn't notice! But she did, she knew she was struggling and that most of her classmates were doing better than her. She never said a word.
Now we can get her help. Next Monday we have her IEP meeting to come up with a plan to help her. Ugggg!!! Two kids in "special education"!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Boys Will Be Boys (even autistic ones)

Sometimes I have to remind my self that Gage is a little boy first and an autistic little boy second. He likes all the things little boys like, cars, airplanes, motorcycles, mud and dirt.He likes to run and swing. He likes to tease his big sister. He likes to play with other kids, even if he really doesn't know how.
The problem comes with control. You see Gage really doesn't care if he does something he's not supposed to. He just knows he wants to and that's that! So I learn to pick my battles, really set boundaries on important issues, like safety and property damage and other peoples rights. But is it really worth the battle to tell Gage he can't make a mud puddle at the bottom of the slide in 80 degree weather? No not really, he is a boy after all and they love mud...besides he left me alone for a whole hour!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Going under the knife again

Well, next week Makinna is going to have her second surgery this year. Nothing major or life threatening. She is going to have her eye operated on again. Darn thing keeps drifting upward. Poor thing, every time it does it she squints her right eye closed. I call it her "pirate eye". Every time I see her squint I tell her "Arrrgg me hartys" Sometimes she does not find it funny.
But she has trouble with reading and the teacher says she is very well behaved but gets distracted easily. Well, if you were concentrating on a work sheet and all the sudden your vision just went blurry, wouldn't you have trouble concentrating?
I hope this surgery helps her out. I guess we'll find out.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Waiting For The Other Shoe.

Things have been so good lately. We seem to have a good balance with Gage's meds. He's been happy and cooperative for the most part. I've been hearing really good things from school about how good he's doing. Gage and Makinna have even been playing. Life is good. But for how long? I try to enjoy this but I'm afraid to get too comfortable with these changes because they can be gone with the wind at any moment.
My fears were realized last Saturday when Gage woke up in a mood. He was cranky, irritable, and whiny. My heart broke. "Here we go" I thought "back to the tantrums and the crying. I don't think I can handle it." I cried. I cried at the thought of losing my happy little boy to the whiny devil that gives me no rest. He did calm down for a party we went to and did well for trick or treat.
Sunday came and I woke up wondering what the day would bring. What little boy would come out of that room this morning? Turns out it was my sweet little boy. The regression had been just one day. Phew! I felt like I dodged a bullet. Maybe the tide is turning. Maybe God knew I just could not handle going backward. Maybe he was just having a bad day.

Deciding to get back in the Saddle

Well, I've been away from my blog for some time now. Truth be told I've been spending way too much time on Facebook. Many of my friends are there and I update life in a sentence or two daily, but it just isn't as cathartic as blogging. In my blog I can spell it all out, vent or celebrate. So I've decided to begin again. I've missed it. Plus it has spell check.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Gage is now 5 years old and kindergarten is looming on the horizon. All of his differences are staring me in the face. He has come so far in preschool, and lately his language has really taken off but its more and more obvious he is not a typical little boy. This was very apparent to me the other day when I took the kids to swimming lessons. All the preschoolers were lined up on the wall waiting their turn and listening to the teacher. I was holding Gage's hand and talking to a friend waiting for our class to start. Gage was jumping up and down, loudly saying "swimming lessons!" over and over and banging my forearm against his head. This behavior I am used to. Its really no big deal to me but up against all the other (younger) calmer, quieter, children, standing nicely he looked obviously....different.
I often wonder what other people think. Do they think "Oh obviously there is something wrong with that kid." or do they think "that lady must be a horrible parent, look how wild her son is, he just needs a good spanking" I wonder what they would do in my shoes. I wonder how many would just keep their son at home so they wouldn't have to deal with the looks and the exhausting behavior.
But my son deserves to learn to swim just as much as any other kid. He may even need to learn to swim more than other kids. I mean the boy has zero fear of the water and he is fast! Its nothing for him to jump into the deep end and when you get to him and bring him up, he's just laughing and wants to do it again.
I fear for elementary school. I wonder if he will have friends. I wonder if he'll be able to sit long enough to absorb what he needs to to learn.
Next week we will be making the long trek to Kennedy Kreiger Institutes Center For Autism and Related Disorders to meet with their psychiatrist. We are considering medication. Gage is consistently aggressive at home and at school. He has good and bad days but they are about equal. Its taken a lot for me to consider this. And now that we have the appointment he's having a "good" spell, and I wonder if we are doing the right thing. But is it fair to him not to try it? I mean can you really be happy always feeling like you have to jump around constantly, or not being able to control your urges to knock over your friends. How frustrating it must be for him to want to play with another kid and have no idea what to do so he grabs hold of the kids arm and squeezes hard only to be put in time out. He wants to play with other kids, he wants to talk to you and tell how he feels and what he wants. But it just seems that his body and brain are on overdrive and can't slow down long enough to figure it all out.
I guess we'll give meds a try if that's what the doctor recommends. All I know is that I am worn out, his dad is worn out, Makinna is half afraid of him and Gage doesn't act like hes happy. Something has to give.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Best Friends???

So Gage is not known for being gentle with animals,especially our cat Jack. In fact he is way too rough with him. He likes to carry him around and pull him out from under the bed by his tail...well you get the idea. So the other night Gage fell asleep in our bed and this is what I found when I came in to put him in his bed. I thought it was cute and took a picture. Then I showed the picture to Makinna, asking her if she thought it was cute. She says "Gee Mom thats the best I've ever seen those two get along!"
She cracks me up.