IEP SchmIEP…

For some ridiculous reason I still get nervous when it comes to Nub’ s IEP. Yep, it’s that time of year again. The dreaded IEP. But honestly? His team and school freaking rock. His soon-to-be 5th grade teacher has already requested he be in her class. Like back in the Fall. Seriously. He is beloved by the staff at his school, and most of his class. It helps tremendously in fostering his sense of confidence in his surroundings.

 

That having been said, he only has one more year there. And then we move on to middle school. I think perhaps the one saving grace is that all the children from his elementary school will also move up with him. Other than that? Unchartered waters, y’all. I know one sixth grade teacher. That’s it. One.

 

We don’t do well with change. Or transitions. I’ve started talking to him about it because anytime ANYTHING changes in his routine it’s best to begin talking about said change as soon as possible. And as often as possible. During the academic year they have Math/Science Nights at the middle school and I think that might help him to familiarize himself with his new surroundings. I’ll do whatever it takes. I am Mama, hear me roar and all that.

 

I’m also slightly worried about whether he’ll continue to be mainstream, with a para or classified as special ed. He’s unbelievably smart and he needs to be challenged constantly. I worry they won’t be prepared enough for him. And I’m worried about Common Core and how that will affect him. I have a list of questions a mile long, y’all. At least. I’m going into this meeting as prepared as I can possibly be. It’s my job. If I don’t advocate for my son, who will?

 

I got this, y’all. Just sayin’…Image

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The Birthday Boy!

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Dear Nub,

Today you are ten years old. Ten. I can’t even believe it. I’ve been weepy for days. My little tiny baby who used to fit so sweetly in the crook of my left arm has turned into this Boy Child who barely fits on my lap. Although you will quite happily climb up there without too much prodding on my part. Thank goodness. You’re still loving and affectionate, even in public! It remains one of my most favorite things about you. That, and your capacity for kindness. My sweet boy.

Happy Birthday, Nub!

We love you. So very much. You’ve made our life so much more than I ever dreamt it could be. Simply by being you.

Mama, Daddy, Dub and Bub

The One With The Autism…

For the past two days my newsfeed has been going crazy with stories, articles, status updates and comments about Jenny McCarthy. I do not know Jenny McCarthy. We’ve never met. Quite frankly, I have no desire to meet her. We have nothing in common. I’m not famous for ridiculous reasons, or any reason really. I’m just a mama of three boys, one of whom has Autism. Asperger’s, to be exact.

I’m not going to get into any debates with anyone over vaccines, or causes of Autism. I’m just not. I’ve been researching Autism ever since our school psychologist uttered the words that ultimately changed our lives, a little over two years ago. We think your son has Asperger’s. It’s a form of Autism. It’s still painful to see those words in black and white, on my screen. It’s painful to say them. Being given a possible diagnosis of Autism is difficult. And so very overwhelming. There are forms upon forms. Tests. More forms. And so much information to process. It’s dizzying. Having a circle of friends who had already been through the process really helped.

What does NOT help? Jenny McCarthy and her foolishness. Nub has Autism. He will not “grow out of it”. He does not need to be “cured”. He is not “broken”. He does not need to be “fixed”. He needs to be loved and accepted for exactly who he is. Nub. My sweet, funny, quirky boy. A boy who wants to be your child’s friend. A boy who doesn’t want to be bullied just because he is different. Different, not less. Never less.

I don’t enjoy hearing about Jenny McCarthy. Nor do I much enjoy talking about her. So this will most likely be the last time I ever mention her. The damage she has done to the Autism community is palpable. Not to mention the fear she instilled into the hearts and minds of parents the world over. I’m sorry, but fear doesn’t equal awareness. Fear is fear. And that I cannot get behind.

Being an Autism parent is hard enough without us turning on each other. And it’s harder still when you read comments from people who still believe what she said. Even though her son never had Autism to begin with. Please, do your own research. Form your own opinions based on that research. Figure out what works best for your kid. Because you know your child best. Not some “celebrity” who clearly has no idea what she is talking about. Learn everything you can. And don’t ever stop.

I am his voice, and he is my heart. Period. I will never stop fighting for him.

Different, Not Less…

Thank you, Temple Grandin. Truer words were never spoken.

I wish other children could see what I see when I look at Nub. It breaks my heart that no one wants to play with him. Or eat lunch with him. They think he’s weird. He is ridiculously bright and I guess that intimidates them. I understand that. To a point. What I don’t understand? Their mean, nasty behaviour towards someone who is different from them. I know that children will be cruel. I get that. But it truly baffles me. Why would you let your child behave that way to another child? Or anyone for that matter?

We have always taught our children that bullying another child, or being cruel, is unacceptable behaviour. Period. They know that they are not allowed to put their hands on anyone. Or to start fights. Now, if someone starts a fight with them then they have our permission to wipe the floor with their ass. Not politically correct, but I don’t care. I’m finding it rather difficult to comprehend why other children think that it’s okay to hit my children. Seriously. What the fuck are these parents doing? ‘Cause it damn sure isn’t being a good parent. Gah.

I have some friends who have children on the Spectrum and I’m hoping to be able to get together with them during Thanksgiving Break. I have one in particular who doesn’t live far, and I think her son and Nub would really hit it off. I hope they hit it off. I’m kind of at my wit’s end when it comes to finding him a pal.

Keep your fingers crossed this works.

The One With The Asperger’s…

Before Winter Break began I had a conference with Nub’s teacher. And the school psychologist, the counselor, an assistant principal and some other lady I don’t know. I’m not gonna lie, it skeert me. I knew the conference was coming, and that the counselor and psychologist would be there. But not the other two. I broke out into a cold sweat. They were quick to reassure me that it would be fine, and that they had Nub’s interest’s at heart. But still, cold sweat y’all.

The assistant principal began the meeting by handing me a parent handbook for the Student Support Teams. Which is basically a support system for children with academic/ behavioural issues. It took absolutely every ounce of willpower I possessed not to put my head on the table and bawl my eyes out. I know that’s silly. I know it was silly at the time. But Nub is my baby. And it hurt. Once she finished going over the handbook with me we started talking about Nub and the issues he had been facing in school. They had been observing him for several weeks prior to our meeting and wanted to talk to me about what they had noticed. And that’s where the school psychologist took over.

She asked me if I knew anything about Asperger’s Syndrome. And the pieces fell into place. We discussed their findings and what steps would have to be taken next. The more we talked the more it made sense. She gave me some information and told me to contact our pediatrician. They would begin testing him as soon as he returned to school.

And that’s where we are right now. Today. There are only two days of school this week so I imagine they will begin testing him next week. I’m ready to do whatever has to be done for my son. My sweet baby boy who will be eight years old next week.

I know this doesn’t fundamentally change who Nub is. I get that. They said he was brilliant, but had social and anxiety issues. No bigs, right? Except yeah, it is pretty bigs. My heart breaks for him, not because of the possibility of Asperger’s, but because being a child who is “different” in ANY way is hard. Children are cruel. Hell, people are cruel. He already feels weird and like no one likes him. Which breaks my heart all over again. I want it to all be okay. For him, and his little brothers. But I can’t kiss this boo-boo and magically make it all better. I wish that I could…

Back to School…

It is officially all official-like, or would that be official-ish? Huh?

You will have to excuse my lack of coherent thought. Or any sort of thought, for that matter. I am getting up early these days. To take Nub to pre-K.

And it is killing me dead. No, really. DEAD.

Okay, the italics are off. Every morning we wake up at 7:15 and begin our day. Thankfully we do not have to begin it with breakfast because, dude, he eats at school. How rockin’ is that?Love it! Dub and I drop him off and then come back home. Did I mention that his school is literally right down the street? So it take less than two minutes to drive there? No? That is also rockin’. But only for another few weeks. Then it will be about five minutes away. Still. That’s not too shabby either.

I must admit the proximity of his school to my parent’s house, or where we were hoping to move, did play a small part in the choosing of the pre-K. That and the fact that the school has been in business for over thirty years and I have NEVER heard anyone say one bad thing about it. Not one. I love it. I love his teacher. I love the room he is in. I love the curriculum. And more importantly? He loves it. He has already made some friends. Isn’t that sweet?

We are one small step away from birthday parties, spending the night and all of the chaos that comes with the territory of boyhood. I can’t wait. He is so adventurous. He just goes running full tilt to the next thing. I hope he never loses that.

My big boy. So grown up.