Friday, October 29, 2010

New play school again.

We are not exactly gathering moss.

As I mentioned before Sturla therapist quite suddenly decided she was fed up with her work. She was, is fed up, I guess with the play school and the lack of understanding of the therapy she was trying to do. On top of it my son is the first child she is working with and she has had to learn how to swim pretty much by herself. In many ways she did a good job. She did not have the support she needed within the playchool. She is going to somewhere where there is experience and she can learn something.
That left us pretty stranded. The knowledge that has been built up the last year just left.
What was even worse was that this was in the beginning of fall and at that time all play schools are full, both with children and they are fully staffed. ABA therapists are hard to find, good ones are... always even harder to find.

I did not like the idea of a new play school I had already slammed the doors on one place and I just did not want to be that lady. Beside Sturla was beginning to show some vague connections to the other kids. I wanted to stick it out make it work. But in the end it is not about me... or maby I should put it like this i will be that lady and I will be whoever or any kind of person it takes to secure him a good education.

The play school hired two young inexperienced university students to work with him one was supposed to be wirh him one and a half day and the other two days, and for one and a half day a week a special ed teacher very experienced in TEAACH and with very limited interest in ABA was planning to work with him She had no intentions of becoming a therapist. None of them were supposed to be with him on an every day basis and the girls only came in for their work with him and had no chance of getting into the social dynamics of the kids at play school. For that you have to stay and observe.
I am also fed up with university students using my kid to teach themselves the ABA basics.
So I slammed the doors. I lost my temper. I yelled at people and I have not gone back and I am not even sorry.
That is a weird feeling I have never yelled at anyone and not been sorry.

I found another school by some stupid but lovely luck. It is pretty far away, who cares...
They have been using ABA for five years now. Sturla will be the fifth child with autism in that school three boys and two girls and everything is very structured and solid and he seems to fit right in He is over there just now and I am hoping so hard that this will work out.
They seem thorough in how they work. I can sense an understanding when I speak ( hope it is not my imagination)
I probably have to learn how to let go and trust people. I plan too... it is just that I have been hovering for so long I will most likely find it harder to adapt than my son. They will be taking things over. I will have programs that I work on at home as well as maintenance and generalization. I might have more or at least some time to breathe and that might be a very needed thing.
I will celebrate when all that happens.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Regrouping again and again

I invited the family and some friends over today to celebrate his birthday. It was nice, I am still recovering from the crazy hectic weeks that have passed.
I delivered my drawing, the editor was pleased. I can pay the ABA psychologist. The house is cleaner than it has been in weeks. I still have mountains of laundry and stacks of paper to be sorted, I just pushed it all under the sofa. I hardly baked anything, therapy hours are terribly low, I have been to worried and to busy to handle anything at all. I do maintenance work and that is all.
I want his hours between 35 and 40. This week we are between 20 and 25.
Time to rise up again and get going again.
Sturla was curious about his gifts, he greeted and and said his farewells very nicely. He did not play with the kids but gave them all sweets and called them to come and get some. He sang with us, answered questions about his age and tried desperately to escape to the computer as time went on. I gave him assignments one after the other I wanted to show him off. Aint we funny creatures. He draws and builds age appropriatly. His fine motor movements are better than his peers and better than some of the older kids. He is amazingly careful and neat as he draws between lines and suddenly he is counting, writing numbers an imitating letters on his own.
He is going to new playschool.
They have some experience.
I am a bit hopeful again.
We are putting the main emphasis on the social stuff the following months. I am hoping he will catch on....hoping he will learn as quikly as the other stuff.
As I write this he calls me
S:I am doing this... ( he is making strange steps) this is increasing this is what we call the announcment duty. I am going to pee I doing this and that and see this and that.
I love it.
S:I am going to scratch your back.
MMM that is nice.
S:What is this?
Wow a spontaneous question the secon time this week.
Please start playing some more with other kids though.
We still have very much work to do in that area. I am allowing myself to be optimistic though.
S: Is all well with you.
S: I put a car on your head.
Thank you.
S:I am going to poop.
hmm, allright.
S: or maybe I have to pee no poop.
No matter about what I find it unbelievably precious.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I have a birthday boy.

Five years ago he was born painlessly in the bathtub at his own house so quickly and easily that the nidwife, because this was a planned homebirth missed the occasion by a few minutes. His father did not and arrived ten minutes before his appearance just in time for the last push and lifted up our calm newborn son from the water.
He was almost like sleeping, as if he had been born asleep. His eyelids quivered slightly his colour was bluish and I did nor see him breath right away but he was still attached to the naval cord and it was pulsing. I saw him turn pink as the midwife rushed up the stairs three minutes later.
He scored ten on his first test the Apgar score. But he made no fuss about it. He went immediatly to the breast and drank and slept and drank and slep calmly for many months to come. We opened a champagne bottle and I felt as I could take on the world I could conquer anything.
I watched him stick out his tongue and imitate me when he was only one weeks old. He shrieked at two months old because he had fixed his eyes on something but could not yet control his arm movements. He was quiet when I placed the object on his belly but his arms waved vigourously to the sides. He seemed so determined so quick and so eager to take on this world. He spoke his first word at six months often and consistentley for a few weeks and then no more I did not worry he was to young for words anyways.
They did not come again, those words or at least they appeared in a strange inconsistent manner. He seemed to have forgotten things he had learned he seemed aimless. Complicated words appeared that were gone as soon as they appeared. He walked early and was off...........running away stark naked he always took off all his clothes and I never could take my eyes off him i have not quite recovered from that watchfulness and I still hve not let my guard down.
He was sixteen months old mastering the mouse on our computer and playing games. He was two years old and putting together 100 pieces of pussles. Putting the pieces in the middle of the field in a strange exact manner. I had no idea what to make of him, this sweet mannered gentle child that hugged and kissed and laughed but did not say mamma and never asked for anything.

Today five years later we surely need this empowerment his manner of birth gave to us we surely need this believe that he will conquer all his troubles and we will pave his way as much as we can.

Who has a birthday today?............ you?
no it is you. You?
No say I. I

how old are you.. five
GREAT you are five.

He is at playschool wearing a birthday crown and working hard for his future. I will pick him up early today and we are buying a bike. Baking a cake and making a birthday with him and his brothers.
I will later write about the troubles we are having in keeping the pace of his program but today it is his birthday.
Happy birthday son.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Curriculum update

Wh questions. I am somewhat pleased that he is not confusing them much.Some combinations seem to be harder than others especially when the questions contain many similar words or when he has not mastered the meaning completely.
Like where.
So we are working more on where.

Imagination I found a program that goes like this.
What is this?... a spoon.
What do you do with a spoon? I eat
What can a spoon be used for? Then we teach multiple answers and the goal is to get him to come up with his own ideas. Spoon can be a sword a guitar or even a tail.
We just started. I can tell in a few days how it is going.

We are finishing the last bits of the program that teaches occupations and characters like king and queen and such stuff. Then we have ample material for more complex wh questions.
What does a king do?
Who rules and wears a crown?
What does the ghost do?
Who boos and is scary?

He like that last one.

Everything has do do with questions and answers Imagine a day whee you would not answer a single one or ask for anything. Statements, demands, descriptions, unasked information.
Not many conclusions.

Naming from categories, like name me an animal. Can you name an other one? Do you know more and more and more slowly extracting bits and pieces of information. I am worrying we are not doing it right or not reinforcing right.
I need do check into this an d really really would like to see some one working on this properly. This will give many opportunities for games when mastered. Games to play in the car for example.

Social stuff. BLah.
WE are lagging. There have been difficulties at the play school in getting the hang of it. I hired someone to direct the program for them and she just started taking a baseline of what needs to be done I like her immensely but she needs time to get things started, besides she will be away for two weeks next month. And we are changing therapists. So this will take time. I am pushing them to start and to act quickly neverthless. Pushing and pushing.

Another thing we have started is a diary. The purpose is to teach concepts like today and yesterday. To start using past tense and to get him to understand the meaning of past tense.

A visual schedule is to be made with the concepts yesterday today and tomorrow. Solely for the purpose of teaching those concepts.

Another visual schedule for his day at play school . The never got around to it. To my utter annoyance so either they make ti this week or I make it for them.

We are preparing for retelling and talking about shared experience. A conversational skill much needed and a skill that would be appreciated by us his parents.

I want chit chat.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Then he whispers I love you....

I am again trying to improve my teaching methods. Trying to shorten the sessions, varying them and to use every natural opportunity to teach. I am impatient with myself and sometimes with my child.
I try to better myself I try to remember to be kind and patient and that we are making baby steps towards the future. Some days I am better at it than others. What I have found out about myself is that I am more a stubborn person than a patient person.
Good to know...

I have always felt that the english language over uses the words I love you. Food is loved and clothes and activities and endlessly so on.
In Icelandic these are serious words and hardly used. Perhaps to little.
I remember my father telling me that inanimate objects can not be loved. They can only be liked. Love is for people and sometimes animals. Even so they are to be used with respect.
I do not use these words often. The seldom I do they are laden with meaning and emotion. That is how I have whispered them to my children.

The day was bad, I was tired impatient stressed out. Doing the exercises like chores, wanting to be finished and feeling extremely guilty for wanting to hide myself somewhere quiet. Wanting only peace for myself.
The day after, when I had slept and somewhat replenished my energy I did better, I tried very hard doing better.
Sturla got a break and instead of running away or going to the computer he climbed on to my chair put his arms around me and whispered those wonderful words.
I love you.

He has not been taught those words specifically like when I taught his name and home adress or his age.

They came to me laden with emotion and meaning.
His sweet soft arms embracing me and his head resting on my shoulder.