IEP and IDEA
How do you flush useless knowledge?
UGH! Why do I remember stupid stuff – but can’t remember to order heating oil?
Let me give you an example of stupid stuff that I can remember that serves absolutely no purpose.
When I was around 13 years old, 2 of my Christian school teachers went to the Capitol for a Pro-Life march.
Pause right there – I’m almost 40! Why would I remember that?
Continuing ….. At some point that weekend a major Nor’Easter hit the east coast, they were caught on a bus somewhere between Maine and DC in the storm.
…… the story gets better ……..
If memory servers, and I’m sure it does, it was a rented bus, they went with another church group and 2 of the members of that church group were Kelly and Janet.
…… Keep in mind – I WASN’T THERE! – but I know their names ………
Kelly and Janet brought with them their infant son, because Janet was a nursing mom. Janet couldn’t nurse her son unless she was laying on her back, in a position I can’t even begin to describe, but she and her baby pretty much had the entire back portion of the bus to themselves.
They get to DC, to the protest, I can’t remember who was President at the time, but I can remember that Kelly and Janet somehow got split up. Janet was with the ladies and I guess her husband, Kelly, was with the guys. Janet went on and on and on as if her husband was gone forever! My 2 teachers, who had been married long enough to have grown children, assured poor Janet that her husband had not been lost for good and if nothing else, he knew where the bus was parked.
Finally after (what felt like) hours, in the distance Janet spots Kelly. She tossed her baby to one of the church ladies and in foot deep snow, probably in a skirt, in the midst of wind, rain, sleet and hail, Janet yelled “Kelly” and in what was described as movie magic slow motion, Janet and Kelly ran across a great divide into each others arms all the way yelling “Kelly” – “Janet” – “Kelly” – “Janet” – “Kelly” – “Janet” – Cue Chariots of Fire! (see bottom)
…… but this is not where the memory ends ……..
After the protest my faithful God fearing teachers still had to accompany the group back from DC to Maine in the little bus. This was a perilous journey since the Nor’easter had laid down several feet of snow and showed no signs of slowing, making the drive nearly impossible. The little bus passed over-turned vehicles, multiple car collisions and was stuck in traffic for hours on end.
Now, my teachers were heavy coffee/diet Pepsi drinkers on a good day, but on this day to stay warm the consumption of coffee had jumped about tenfold – I dare say their eye’s were probably floating in it! And as the last rest stop came into view the driver decided that it would be best to stay the course and instructed the passengers that there was a Tupperware container in the back if anyone needed it.
To this day my teachers are very modest church going ladies, and though they may have gone behind a tree if camping with their family, there was no way in hell either of them were going to use a container on the back of a bus. I recall that one whispered to the other “my kidneys will burst before I use that bucket” and for the next several hours they crept along route 95 praying that wouldn’t be the case.
Now you may think that the reason I remember this story is because it was repeated time and again through my school years. But these same 2 teachers also repeatedly explain the basics of Algebra for as many years and for the life of me I cannot recall the sum of X.
This story, a completely useless memory, which isn’t even MINE, is trapped in my brain taking up much needed space! It’s using up neurons that could have been used to clue me in that – Hey there’s a major storm coming this weekend, why don’t you look at the oil tank and see IF ….. Oh I don’t know …… YOU HAVE HEATING OIL!
Cue Chariots of Fire!
Ca.pa.ble [kaypeb‘l] (adj) meaning: able to do particular thing – Alt meaning: Able
Once upon a time, my grandmother said something like “You would think you weren‘t born capable.” That was her way of saying that I was being lazy and that I thought I was born with some handicap.
Fast forward to today
This morning I was standing in front of a shelf of paint primer in Walmart when a woman started chatting with me.
She said something about the expense and how she should do one room at a time and so on and then she asked what “Contractor” I was using for my project. Remember I was standing IN Walmart IN the PAINT SECTION.
I started to tell the woman that I was painting the rooms myself and she said “OH I Wish I had that kind of Talent.”
Thought Bubble: You’ve never seen a Home Depot commercial – that’s pretty much it.
Then she asked “Did you learn how to paint from your parents or did you take a class?”
Thought Bubble: Wall Painting Classes? Again – Home Depot Commercial!
I was at a loss for words, which sadly doesn’t happen often enough – I said something like “Ahhh yeah, I guess I watch my parents paint a few rooms and we were always painting something at church….”
Once again she cut me off and said “I told my husband we should send our son to a church youth group. Don‘t you think the mission trips they take are wonderful? They learn about a new culture and it makes them more responsible.” and on and on and on.
I didn‘t mean a mission trip, but I don‘t think she would have cared………..
I went to what some people call “Church School”
I’m not talking about Catholic School – if you need a visual – think ‘Little House on the Prairie‘.
I went to school in the church and the building resembled Noah’s Ark.
It was not uncommon to arrive at church on Sunday and for my mother to inform me that she had volunteered me to work in the nursery.
It was also not uncommon that after church to be told that a new pastor would be arriving during the week and the parsonage needed a fresh coat of paint and that would somehow be worked into an all day, if not all week, Algebra class. Talk about real life scenarios in the class room – my father would chuckle and say ‘Hey, as long as we don’t pay them, it’s not child labor‘
Stranger yet, I don’t think it ever occurred to us to refuse. We were told that on Monday morning we’d figure out the dimensions of every room in the 3 story parsonage, and we’d ask if we should bring our own brush.
I’ve told this story a dozen times and I usually get a few laughs and a comment about a hard life, but it wasn’t hard at all, we were more than happy to do it. There were only about 4 of us in the High School, my graduating class was 2, but we had a lot of laughs.
It wasn’t like we were chosen because we were the best wall painters, there was just no one else. Our school consisted of between 20 to 40 kids, grades K – 12th and only 2 teachers. There was no one to monitor us while we painted, every so often they’d send a sibling up the hill to check on us – figuring one of our little sisters would be more likely to tattle if we were doing anything we shouldn’t.
At this point in my story, my dad will say “Didn‘t hurt you a bit, did it?”
You’re right Dad, it didn’t, but more than that it made us “Capable” – some people think Capable is a talent.
Things I learned this week! (thus far)
1) How to drill a Sink Hold
2) The purpose of a Sink Hole
3) That I am smart enough to use the back of the bunk bed to learn How to Drill a Sink Hole
4) Practice doesn’t always make perfect immediately, but it helps to ensure that “it’s hardly noticeable“
5) Having several power drills means changing bits less
6) I didn’t need the power saw, it goes back to WalMart
7) I can do all thing through Christ, but I learned them from Dad
That’s me painting above the stair case at the parsonage.
There is nothing below me.
Special Needs Moms, Stop Whining!
Since my daughter received her diagnoses of Autism I’ve read more blog posts about “What Not to Say to Parents of a Child With Special Needs” – all whining about people who are trying to be nice.
Apparently some of us aren’t getting nearly enough pity from those around us so we feel the need to concoct reasons to feel worse. Do you know how many people in this world would give anything to have a child? While some of us have the audacity to fabricate reasons to gain sympathy. It’s pathetic and it sickens me.
Stop Alienating Us!
Here is what supposedly offends us the most: “I don’t‘ know how you do it?”
REALLY? That is supposed to be offensive? I LOVE IT!
I once left my daughter with my best friend for about 20 minutes while I ran to the store. When I got back she was completely exasperated and blurted out something like “How Do You Do This Every Day?” She quickly composed herself, but honestly I was hoping she’d go on!
It was validating! I don’t know how I do it every day, I’m not always sure how I’m going to do it tomorrow, but I’m glad that someone sees that I AM DOING IT!
Another thing you’re supposedly not to say to us Special Needs Mama’s is: “God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle”
Do I really look like I have it all together? Because many times I just want to go home and cry. The fact that someone thinks I have this all under control makes me feel like Super Woman!
Last year I took both my girls to the TaeKwonDo Christmas party and I was a wreck! Luckily my oldest is pretty self-sufficient, but my youngest can’t have Dairy, Gluten, Sodium Nitrate – and it was a POTLUCK! My 4 y/o doesn’t sit! She rarely slows down to turn a corner and she LOVES TO EAT! If she’s not eating she has to be entertained or she’ll find away to entertain herself – and that’s never good!
One of the moms (Sara) came over and sat beside me for the longest time, paused the conversation each time I had to change tactics with Keira, and she said something about how well I handle everything and my heart just leapt for joy!
I thought I was falling apart and here she sees me as someone who’s keeping it all together! How could I not Love that?
Let me tell you what really angers us Special Needs Moms:
The Same Crap That Erks You!
Do you have “Normal” Kids?
Has one of your normal kids ever been sick for a week? You take that kid to the doctor and on the way home you have to drag that irritable, sleep deprived, whiny child into the pharmacy to pick up a prescription, which is all to much for both of you and your child LOSES IT and some snotty busy body says “You need to get a handle on your child.” And your first thought is to instruct your child to use that woman as a tissue? That’s what pisses us off too!
Here’s the short list of don’ts:
Don’t tell us how to Raise our Children?
Don’t tell us what our Child should wear?
Don’t say ‘You have to let her cry it out?’
Don’t say ‘Don’t you ever spank that child?’
Don’t say ‘Oh you bottle feed?’ with a negative tone.
Don’t say ‘Oh you breastfeed?’ with a negative tone.
Any of that sound familiar?
Are those things you like to hear?
No, of course not. And I bet you don’t say them to often to other moms unless you‘re an old woman who doesn‘t remember raising children much less ever raised a special one.
I know every case is different and some times it would be nice for people to mix it up a bit, but us REAL Special Needs Moms don’t get offended when it’s implied that we are doing something that someone else doesn’t think they are capable of doing.
In closing, if you are caught off guard and accidentally blurt out something like “But she looks so normal” and a mom gets overly offended – that mom is creating drama. Think about it – Don’t we ALL Want Normal kids?
And before you leave me a negative comment, you should know that my child doesn’t require sleep and it has taken a YEAR of therapy just to get her to ask for a cookie and that’s with prompting – so unless you can beat that – don’t even try to leave a negative comment.
A Little White Lie! (Regarding School)
If you have ever dropped a child off at daycare or preschool, you’ve either witnessed or been an unwilling participant in a “Bad Morning with Child”
Queue Scene: One disheveled mom dragging one or more exasperated and equally disheveled children into a building.
The mom walks up to the teacher/Care giver and states: I don’t know what happen. We were doing so well until …… fill in the blank ..…
My daughter goes to a preschool for kids with special needs, so we may fill in that blank a bit differently.
For example: one morning my then 3 year old, who had not figured out how to turn a door knob, attempted an escape by removing the pins from the door hinges using a butter knife. That’s not even the lie!
But I digress, I’m sure you can fill in the blank.
The other morning as we were wondering in to school, one of the mom’s practically knocked me over in her state of disarray. She apologized profusely as she was attempting to wrangle her child and check her school bag …….. And then it hit me – CRAP O LA!
You see, the day before when my daughter got home from school, she wasn’t wearing the clothing which she was wearing when I dropped her off. I opened my daughters school bag to find a ziplock of wet clothing and a note.
The class went outside for an art project. They painted the kids feet and let them walk up and down a long piece of paper (makes you want to be 4 again doesn‘t it!).
And they had a basin of water for the kids to use to wash their feet – my daughter being the little smart ass that she is, decided to SIT IN IT!
Back to the school bag ……. As I’m standing there that morning, looking at the other mom digging through her child’s school bag I realize that I only have a brief recollection of going into my daughters room to grab extra clothing for her school bag – I have no idea if they made it in the bag or if I even grabbed any.
Worse yet, I have no excuse! To be perfectly honest, when I arrive at school and I’m missing whatever it is my child is supposed to have, normally it’s because we had a GREAT Morning – but YOU CAN’T TELL PEOPLE – I was enjoying this morning far to much to be bothered with something like ‘Extra Clothing in case of Impish Prank’.
Actually I was a little surprised the note didn’t read “stripped naked, streaked the school THEN sat in bucket of water” We have enough difficulty keep clothing on her, rarely does it ever stay on long enough to get dirty!
I couldn’t exactly lie about forgetting to put clothing in to my daughter school bag – because they’d know when they read this!
I stuck my head into my daughters school bag and was able to identify 1 sock, a pair of underwear (hopefully clean) and something gray which I’m assuming were stretchy pants.
Luckily my daughter made it through the school day without incident or accident – until that evening when we returned to the school for a meeting. My daughters (both) went out to play while other teachers kept an eye on them and that is when my youngest daughter decided, for the first time in her potty trained life, to wet herself. And I say “decided” because she once WILLFULLY went 18 hours without peeing because she didn’t like the pilgrim hat that the doctors office gave us to put in her potty so I could collect a sample – This Child Can Hold IT like nothing you’ve ever seen.
Maybe blogging about ones life isn’t such a good thing, if you can’t tell the occasional little white lie, for those times you forget to pack an extra pair of underwear for your kid!
How to get NeuroProtek into a Toddler
Here it is nearing the end of April and I haven’t written an “Autism Awareness” post.
In our home we’re attempting to become far less aware of Autism – sound harsh? Try living with it for a few years, you’ll start thinking of April as “Defeat Autism Now Month” – which is more on topic with this post.
When our D.A.N doctor suggested we put our 4 year old daughter on NeuroProtek, I didn’t question it. Everything Dr. Wu has suggested has had a positive impact, but when I opened this stuff, I couldn’t figure out how to get this gummy pill into my daughter.
NeuroProtek is Not water soluble – I tried cutting a pill and smushing the medicine into chocolate rice dream drink, but I found most of it just glazed the inside of the cup. And using a sippy cup that I could shake, was far worse – you can never clean the medicines glazing effect from the small parts of the sippy.
I came up with one solution (and please if you have another, leave a comment!)
I made mini cup cakes!
Let me clarify – Mini GFCF Cup Cakes and GFCF Frosting.
Every morning I put a little frosting into a Dixie cup.
I cut off the top of the NeuroProtek pill and squish the medicine out of the pill into the frosting and I mix it up – then I frost the cup cake!
A little bit of sugar helps the medicine go down – right, but I fear if Dr. Theoharides M.D., PhD ever comes across this post he’ll probably have a stroke!
But I thought that of Dr. Wu (who appears to have never come without 100 yards of an additive or a piece of meat) also and he just said ‘limit the sugar’ – It helps to have an extremely brilliant and understanding D.A.N doctor 🙂 (and I mean extremely understanding, considering our daughter has smacked him in the head and attempted to eat several of his office plants.)
So that’s it – frosting on a mini cup cake.
What Makes a Great School, Preschool or Daycare
There isn’t a day that my daughter goes to preschool where she doesn’t come home with several layers of grossness covering most of her body – food rubbed into her clothing, marker on her hands and face, paint in her hair, crayons in her teeth, and as I pulled my daughter off the bus on Friday, sand some how stuck to her forehead.
Four years ago when my oldest daughter went to (a different) preschool she would come home just as pristine as when I dropped her off.
My youngest daughter has now gone an entire 2 weeks without an incident report that indicated the need for Band-Aids, ice pack or anti-bacterial ointment, caused by scaling walls, body surfing the blacktop or taste testing sparkly glue off the top of safety scissors.
[just to name a few]
My oldest got one note from her preschool teacher which indicated that she didn’t like to share colored pencils.
What Makes a Great School?
One where the kid comes home with irrefutable proof that they DID Something that day.
By my description you’re probably thinking that my youngest may need a ‘special’ preschool, possibly one where they stick close by the ’special’ kids – well, She Is!
And the thing I like best about the special preschool is that the play ground is not encased in bubble wrap. Kids are allowed to climb on things and hang off stuff, it’s safe, but not boring.
Several weeks ago, my oldest daughter (now in 2nd grade) fell on the playground at her school and required several band-aids. I received a call from the school nurse telling me that my little angle had slipped on loose dirt and that it would be removed.
At my youngest daughters preschool you get a note, unless they can’t stop the bleeding.
I know if I were more hysterical about falls my youngest daughter’s preschool would call me more often and don’t get me wrong I LOVE both the schools my children attend. But with all the high fences, security, 1 to 1 staff and ‘special needs’ status of my youngest daughters preschool, they have figured out something that other schools are not allowed to acknowledge – Kids fall down, get dirty and eat bugs.
No one wants their child to get hurt, but the world is made of loose dirt.
An important side note:
I want to mention that I absolutely adore the teachers in my youngest daughters classroom. I have complete confidence in her teachers. As much as I know that accidents happen, I also know my daughter will be hugged and snuggled just as if I were there. I know that every decision the teachers make for my daughter throughout the day is in my daughters best interest. And I don’t tell them nearly enough how much I truly love and appreciate them.