Breaking news!

Observe the new blog title. We have updated out diagnosis. As of this past Wednesday, Reed’s PDD-NOS has been upgraded to Asperger’s Syndrome (he scored a 90 on the Gilliams’s scale, for crying out loud). I am quite pleased by this, as it will now be so much easier to get him the help that he needs. Not only does he now get his 1:1 mentor all day, every day, but it is so nice to talk to a doctor without that look of bewilderment on their face when you tell them your child has PDD-NOS. I mean, honestly, I shouldn’t really have to explain a medical condition to a doctor, should I? Asperger’s is so much easier to deal with as a parent.

We met with the boys’ pediatrician this afternoon to discuss the next steps for both of them. She praised our thoroughness, and declared that a trip to the neurologist is in order for both Reed and Owen. Reed to confirm the school’s results, and direct us in the next steps. Owen for a developmental evaluation. She said that if it’s bothering me, that’s good enough for her. I didn’t not have to sell her on why I’m concerned about him. She said that she trusted my judgment, and that if I felt there was reason to have him evaluated, she would gladly write the referral. Have I mentioned that I L-O-V-E our pediatrician? She is going on maternity leave next week. I am very happy for her, but cannot wait until she is back in the office. I sincerely hope that neither boy needs to be seen in the meantime, because I don’t really want to see anyone else in the office (and there are 6 other pediatricians in the practice who are all equally competent, but without her awesome bedside manner).

Okay, I’m rambling and probably not making much sense. Due to technical difficulties, I am unable to use my own computer, and it’s throwing me off a bit (some days I’m a little PDD-ish myself, lol). I will try to do a more competent job of updating soon.

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The chaos in which I live

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To say that I am not a domestic goddess would be putting it kindly. I am not good at housework. It’s not that I don’t want to be. Really, I love nothing better than a tidy house. I am a perfectionist through and through. I get it from my dad. It’s just that housework doesn’t come easily to me. No matter how much time I spend tidying up, it never seems to make a dent in the disaster area we live in. There are many factors that contribute to this problem, but the main one is me. I am not good at managing my own time. Time slips away from me too easily (while doing rather non-productive things like blogging, for instance), leaving me feeling behind before I’ve even begun. But to make myself feel better, I’m also going to fill you in on a few of my other excuses.

  1. My house is old. Yes, this is a valid argument. Our house is 83 years old. It was built in a different time for a different family. It is not as functional as it once was. We are severely lacking in storage space, and have a floor plan which is not conducive to quick cleaning. There are high ceilings which are hard to dust, and the most obnoxious textured paint inPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting every single room.
  2. My children are Steven Spielberg in the making. They are not the sort of kids that play with one or two toys at a time. When my boys play, there are epics in the making. They are not satisfied until they’ve incorporated every single toy they own into their play. Attempts to sidetrack the madness are met with swift and decisive tantrums. This makes it much more difficult to make them responsible for their own messes. It takes them literally hours to clean up everything they’ve gotten out. They know this, and like to take even longer, so as to get out of going to bed on time.
  3. My husband is a messy guy. He throws things on the floor, even if where they belong is just as close at hand. He does lots of things well, but picking up after himself is not one of them. I love him anyway.

About a year ago, I was introduced to a fabulous system called Flylady. Her system is simple: tackling the mess in small doses. I love that concept, but it’s not working for me. This is because my kids can make a mess much faster than I can clean it up. It takes me more than 15 minutes just to clear a path to the toybox most days. Add to that the fact that when I am finally free from my demanding chidlren at the end of the night, the last thing I want to do is spend the next 3 hours picking up after them. I know that the house will look just like this by breakfast tomorrow anway. It all feels a little pointless. When the kids are finally asleep (no small feat in itself, I assure you), all I want to do is collapse in a chair. If I can find one. Somebody help me!

Winding down and winding up

I got a call today from the school social worker. We scheduled his next IEP/MET meeting for next Wednesday. I am so excited, I am practically dancing around the house. I have been anxiously awaiting the results of his testing for over a month, and now it’s a mere week away. Am I a geek, or what?

Keep your fingers crossed for a productive meeting.

I must admit, though, that when the phone rang this afternoon, and I saw the school’s number on the Caller-ID, my heart sank. I was so sure they were calling for me to pick him up. This week has been difficult for Reed. His beloved schedule is in shambles. His school is having a special reading-themed week. The classroom has been transformed into a campground, complete with a tent in the middle of where the tables normally rest. The usual schedule does not apply. He is trying bravely to manage this unexpected change, and so far is succeeding fairly well. He has had a great week so far, and I am so proud. The teachers were on edge at the start of the week; worried about how he’d cope with the upheaval. I feel so bad that I doubted him, being so sure that he had fallen to pieces. But for now, all is well.

The Unbearable Cuteness of Owen


Okay, so I’ve spent far too much time obsessing about Reed lately. Believe it or not, I do have another child. A perfectly delightful one as a matter of fact.

Yesterday, while reading my daily blogroll, Owen was sitting on the floor next to me playing quietly (for all practical purposes he doesn’t talk, so he’s generally a pretty quiet kid if he’s not upset about something). I looked over at him just in time to see him gently cradling a Cabbage Patch doll and lean over, give it a kiss, and pat it on the head. My heart melted.

Today we went on what we lovingly refer to as a “Daddy Adventure”. (Okay, it was a trip to Lowes. The boys enjoy it so much more if we call it an adventure). Since we needed items that are too large for our small cars, we borrowed my father-in-law’s pick-up. As we were driving to the store, Owen looked out his window and saw Daddy in the truck in the next lane. “Is DAD!” He squealed with delight. “Is Dad! Ish!” (Yeah, I know it looks like talking, but everything starts with either is [pronounced with a soft s, as in short for this or it’s] or ish [umm, I’m still not sure what ish means, but he says it an awful lot]) And there was much clapping and pointing. Hoorah.

A few days ago, he spotted our cat (whom he loves far more that any other member of the family). Normally this spurs his favorite word, “Kitty”. This time, however, he erupted with glee as he shouted her name, “Sessa!” (The cat’s name is technically Tess, although we generally call her Tessa). I tried to make a gigantic deal of this to encourage it to happen again. No luck, but still…

So you see, he’s a pretty great kid. Fun, smart, adorable as all heck. I really should talk about him more. He’s way less stressful.

Smartypants

I got an email from Reed’s mentor, the fabulous Mrs. C (no really, that’s what we call her. It’s not just an anonymity thing). Beginning next week, he will be moved to the gifted class for his Language arts (reading and such). He will spend the bulk of every morning there. The school feels that a large part of his misbehavior is stemming from boredom (I’ve suspected the same since pre-k), so they’re moving him to a more challenging environment. Mrs. C will come with him, and feels that this will be an excellent opportunity for him to excel at the thing he loves most: reading.

I’ve been hearing that word a lot lately from school. They were supposed to administer an intelligence test as part of his Special Ed testing, and I’m guessing he must have scored pretty well. They’ve asked me to have him practice typing on the computer at home, so they can direct him to more advanced websites during his computer time at school. Um, okay. That suggestion’s not been such a big hit with Reed, who was totally unimpressed by the games on my typing program, and completely refuses to do the actual exercises on the disc. It doesn’t help that the program is built for people much older, with bigger hands, and faster reflexes. The lowest setting on the game was 8 years old, so it’s just a bit beyond him.

It’s hard not to gloat. I mean, seriously, doesn’t every parent secretly want to hear that their child is gifted? It’s just so nice to finally have some good news.

Countdown

I hate waiting. I’ve never been a patient person anyway, and all this waiting is killing me. Waiting for referrals, waiting for evaluations, waiting for diagnosis, waiting for appointments, waiting for results. It sucks.

I’ve been waiting for what seems like an eternity for the results of Reed’s special ed testing at school. They have 30 school days from the date of our first meeting with the IEP team to complete their testing and reconvene the meeting. Since our first meeting was on February 1st, and the school was out all of last week for mid-winter break, my calculations put that 30 day deadline at March 22nd. That feels like forever, but really it’s just a few more weeks. I am torn between hoping that they find that he does not fit the qualifications for PDD-NOS (because, well you know, I’m still in denial a bit here), and desperately hoping that they find something, since without some sort of concensus from the testing, he will lose out on much of the special services we’re hoping for (including his mentor, who has been our saving grace these last few months). The school wants to help him as much as we do, but without a qualifying diagnosis, their hands are pretty much tied. So we wait. And hope. And try not to strangle anyone bide our time.

I did get a little glimpse of a test result from his mentor a few weeks ago. We already knew that his reading is advanced (as well as his math skills). In our IEPT meeting last month, his teacher and mentor mentioned that he was reading at a second grade level, and his math was at a first-to-second grade level. Just before break, his beloved Mrs. C mentioned that they had tested his reading that day, and that he scored above second grade level. My little kindergartener is reading at a third grade level. Go figure! It feels good to know there’s something he doesn’t need help with.

Don’t mind the rambling. The waiting is making me a little batty.

What is your opinion worth?

I’ve discovered that apparently my opinions is worth $2,367.85. Go figure. Actually, I’m feeling pretty good about this number, since I’m fairly new to blogging, and only have a couple readers thus far. Feels pretty good to think my thoughts are worth something.

What are your rants worth?

Sorry, I don’t have a witty name for this post

I am frustrated. Just when we were starting to get into a routine with therapy, there’s a major interruption. After months of trying to convince someone to evaluate Reed for OT, we spent months on the waiting list for the actual eval. After 2 months of waiting, we finally got our appointment, and subsequent schedule. He was finally settling into the new schedule. The boy needs a schedule. My life is even more chaotic than usual when he doesn’t have a schedule.

I DID have a point. I’m sure it’s around here somewhere. Oh yeah. Therapy.

His therapist is going to be out indefinitely (they wouldn’t give details). They can’t fit him into another therapist’s schedule until March 24th. That’s 3 more weeks without therapy. Not counting this week (which they canceled this morning), and the session he missed 2 weeks ago.

Arggh! How am I supposed to improve the kid’s life if I can’t keep his appointments?

Setbacks

It was all going so well. Apparently TOO well. Reed has been on his very best behavior, ever since Daddy announced the reservations to his favorite “Ohio hotel” as he calls it. He helped me pack everyone’s stuff. He rode peacefully the entire 2-hour drive there. He didn’t throw a fit when we announced that we would eat dinner before venturing into the waterpark. It was all going so well.

In fact, it went well for quite a while after that. He played nicely, waited patiently for his turn. I couldn’t have been prouder. And then we headed back to the room on Tuesday evening. We had just gotten back from dinner, and decided that it was too late to make another trip downstairs for the day, so we settled into the room to watch a little TV and hang out. The kids were playing quietly with cars on the other side of the room. Since Owen can operate the lever-style door handles on the hotel doors, we had to be sure to flip the sliding lock every time we came in. I knew I had done that when we came in, and therefore proceeded to ignore the repeated sounds of the door opening and closing, since I knew it was just Owen playing with the door, and it wouldn’t open more than 1/2″ anyway (now might be a good time to point out that there is a wall separating the 2 sections of the room, and therefor we couldn’t actually see the door from where we were sitting). So imagine my panic when Reed comes over to tell me that he has let his brother out of the room! Before I could even get to the door to search for him, there is a knock, and a man is standing out in the hallway with Owen. He had seen him wander into the hall, and wanted to return him. I thanked him profusely, mumbled some sort of explanation about him being able to reach the door, and rushed him inside. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much that night, what with the nightmares about losing Owen, or him accidentally wandering into the waterpark and drowning, or out the front doors into traffic.

Fast forward to last night. We have arrived home from our trip, and decide to make a run to Home Depot and Lowe’s to purchase items for our upcoming bathroom remodel. My grandmother kindly offers to watch the kids, while we borrow their truck to haul home our loot (including the new [woo hoo] whirlpool tub!). We return a few hours later to hear the praises of how well behaved both kids have been. I was so excited. Seriously, you have no idea. And then, as we’re standing by the door saying our goodbyes, I look over to see that he’s put a rubber ball in the toaster oven, and TURNED IT ON! There is smoke rising from her brand-new toaster oven. And he refuses to turn it off. He stands there cackling in that laugh that drives me completely insane. And.Doesn’t.Budge. My hands are full, and I can’t reach it. Heath’s hands are full, but he reaches over and pulls the plug anyway, before the house can catch fire. Ugh.

Fast forward again to this morning. I am on the phone with Heath. I turn to see what all the crinkling noises I’m hearing are, only to discover Reed winding his Daddy’s precious collection of 9mm movies around the family room. Double ugh.

I bought him a bribe today. I admit it. I just can’t take any more of this, and he doesn’t go back to school until Monday. I bought him a new package of Scooby Doo underwear, and he must earn them, between now and Monday morning. If he can behave himself until then, then he will have one cool little tush at school on Monday. Otherwise, they’re going back to the store. So there.