Saturday, May 29, 2010

I'm Tired

I'm usually a pretty optimistic person, but I'm having a hard time this week.  I hate to complain, because I'm grateful that my boys are as healthy as they are, but I'm tired.  I'm tired of taking a 5 year old to the bathroom every hour because he doesn't know when to go himself.  I'm tired of fighting with him to get him there.  I'm tired of fighting with the other one to wash his hands after using the potty.  I'm tired of cleaning up pee from two 5 year old boys who can't seem to get most of it in the toilet.  I'm tired of having to give Alex what amounts to feeding therapy at every meal.

I know there are people who have it a lot worse.  It's just hard this week because Spencer got a diagnosis and we're realizing that we really need to put a lot of time and energy into helping him, too.  I thought he was going to be my "normal"* child, after he got over the delays due to his prematurity.  I thought he would be the easy one, but he just keeps getting harder.  I know, I know: now we have a diagnosis and can get the help we need.  I'm just tired right now, tired of working so hard.  Parents of typicals have no idea how easy they have it!  I wouldn't trade my kids in for any others, I just wish I could have an easier day once in awhile.

*Normal is overrated, and non-existent anyway.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Interactive Alex

The boys are watching a movie they've never seen before.  A character was being chased by a rock monster.  I heard Alex say "Oh no! . . . Be careful! . . . Run!"  I've never heard him talk to a movie like that before.  Pretty cool!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Struggling with Spencer's Diagnosis

I'm having a really hard time with accepting that Spencer is not a more typical child.  I know it sounds awful, and it's just something I'm sorting through, but I was kind of holding on to the hope that at least one of my boys would be more typical.  I kept thinking that his behaviors were just the effects of his age and some sensory issues.  They were becoming more problematic at home but I thought it was just a stage he would outgrow.  I had no idea until this week how much of a problem his behaviors at school are.  I don't know if I was just in denial, or if his teacher and I just weren't communicating enough.

I was thinking to myself this afternoon "How am I going to parent two kids with special needs?" and then I thought "The same way you have been, silly!"  The diagnosis doesn't change anything.  It just gives us tools to use to help Spencer.  I have to accept that he needs that extra help.  I have put so much time and energy into helping Alex.  Now I need to split my attention more and give Spencer what he needs.  I'm just feeling overwhelmed by it all right now.  Need to take some deep breaths and do some more reading.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spencer & ADHD

Spencer was diagnosed with ADHD on Monday.  I wasn't surprised, and I'm not hung up on the label.  It will help him to get the services he needs and help us learn how to parent him better.  I'm reading up on it now and just came across this on Dr. Sears' website.  It's as though I could have written it about Spencer.
Johnny, 8 years old, seemed to hear the first instruction given by the teacher but often missed the next two. He had an excellent memory for things that interested him, like baseball players' names, or the exact words of a television commercial, but seemed completely unable to learn his multiplication tables. Sometimes he had trouble getting started on his schoolwork. Once started, he would abandon it long before it was completed to sharpen a pencil, start on something else, or just sit and play. This seeming inability to attend to an assigned task for any reasonable length of time was quite confusing to his parents, as they had observed time and again how Johnny could play for hours with his building set or video games. Yet it was a struggle to get him out the door for school each morning because he was easily sidetracked. His mother would find him still in his pajamas and sprawled on his bed with a hand-held video game 15 minutes after he had been sent upstairs to brush his teeth and get dressed.
His report card said, "More effort needed." His parents felt he was fooling around at school and tried taking privileges away to punish him. Johnny had been examined by the family doctor and tested by a special education teacher and neither one found a problem with his attention span in these one-on-one situations. His parents felt Johnny was the brightest of their four children by far, but he was failing the third grade! "He's just so creative." they said. From nowhere he comes out with these fantastic ideas! When he gets into inventing something, his energy seems endless, but he won't stick to any of his school assignments unless we really sit on him. When he's working on something that is not his own creation, he is a real scatterbrain. He irritates his teacher because he says the first thing that comes into his mind. He jumps from one idea to the next. He just doesn't think things through."

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Favorite Moments of the Day-Mother's Day 2010

Alex, drawing on the easel with markers, declared himself "Alex and the Purple Crayon".

Alex is in his bedroom playing, I'm in mine on the computer.  He starts his usual do-do-loo singing and I recognize the tune: the William Tell Overture.

Yes, life with a child with autism is hard sometimes, but moments like these remind me of all that there is to rejoice about.