Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kindergarten For Alex

This morning we had Alex's CSE meeting to determine his placement for next fall.  After much discussion it was decided that we would try placing him in the 8.1.2 class at our district elementary school.  It is a self-contained classroom with eight students, one special ed teacher, and two teaching assistants.  He and Spencer will be at the same school, which I am happy about.

I'm nervous, however, about the staff's ability to meet Alex's intense needs in the classroom.  Will they be able to give him a break when he begins to feel overwhelmed, or provide appropriate sensory input when he's having trouble focusing or sitting still?  The speech therapist from the school assured me that she was confident of the staff's ability and willingness to do so.  The placement will hopefully strike the balance between meeting Alex's therapeutic needs and allowing him exposure to typically developing peers, which he has really benefited from in his current program.

It's a gamble no matter where he's placed.  We can only do our best to find what we feel is the appropriate placement for him and then hope it really is.  My intuition tells me that we've made the right decision.  Only time will tell.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Not Easy Like Sunday Morning

It's a rainy Sunday morning.  Seemed like a good day to make waffles, eggs, and Canadian bacon and sit down to a relaxing breakfast with the family.  Except that two five year old boys decided to throw tantrums all through breakfast.  Mike and I ate while pretending that we couldn't hear anything but each other.  Alex came out of it but Spencer is still going.  No matter what I do he just won't let go.  Getting up before six a.m. is not a good idea, boys.  So much for a relaxing, rainy Sunday.  I think the television is going to get some extra use today. . .

Thursday, April 22, 2010


We were listening to one of our favorite children's albums on the way home from school today.
Spencer: "Mommy, did God make the animals, too?"  Me: "Yes, honey."  Spencer: "He should have made a squalb so we could see what it looks like."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Where In The World Will Alex Go To School?

Alex's CPSE (Committee on Preschool Special Education) meeting is in two weeks.  This is the meeting at which the school district will determine what placement is appropriate for him when he transitions to kindergarten in the fall.  I got a letter from CPSE a few weeks ago asking for permission to have a psych ed evaluation done to aid in the process.  Okay, fine, I signed the paperwork and sent it back.  Last week the school psychologist showed up to evaluate Alex at school, without an appointment or any forewarning.  I didn't even know about it until it was over and done with.  Ally's teacher had no time to prepare him for the interruption in his day.  The psychologist didn't take any time to get to know him and appeared not to have even read his file.  She wasn't able to get any data for the tests because he was "non-compliant".  Well, what did she expect?  He's autistic, he didn't know her, and he had no forewarning.  To top it all off, last week was a horrible week for him, between potty training and getting over a bad cold.

The psychologist's conclusion was that the district doesn't have a placement for Alex right now.  She thought the 6.1.2 class in-district would work for him, but it's already full for next year.  She doesn't think the class at our local school, which is an 8.1.1, is right for him, but I've heard wonderful things about the teacher (she used to teach at Spectrum Services), and all of the children in the class are on the spectrum.  The district is required by law to provide the appropriate program for your child, but where do you go and what do you do with the child while you're fighting with the district and state to give him what he needs?!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Potty Training Update

Potty training Alex is going well.  I'm so glad we decided to follow the protocol that's used at the center where I work.  We've been doing underwear only for 8 days now (other than in the car).  Yesterday there were zero accidents!  For the last two mornings he has woken up dry.  He gets it, he really does!  I don't know when he'll be able to sense on his own that he needs to go to the bathroom, but I know that will come.  He knows how to hold it between scheduled potty times, and that's big!  The emotionality that came with the big change from diapers to underwear seems to be subsiding.  He's adjusting to the change and has become more comfortable.  Potty training an autistic boy is not as terrible as I feared: we just needed to find the right plan and make the commitment to do it.