Friday, December 14, 2012

B-day!

Happy 6th Birthday Ry!

 
You are amazing, and we love you so very much!
Happy birthday to my baby.
~xoxoxoxo~

P.S. You are still a dork.
 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Got math?

I'm sensing a theme here.
You all know my math skills suck.  I could try to sugar coat it, but really...they just suck.
And I'm okay with that, because I am able to conjugate verbs, spell, and grammarize (yes, grammarize) circles around most people. That being said...

I work for the CFO of my company.
He's actually pretty awesome, but he's a "numbers" guy. I swear there are times we have full conversations and neither one of us understands the other.
He also likes to tease me about my lack of mathematical skill, and purposely asks me questions he knows I don't know the answer to because he finds some kind of sadistic joy in it, I imagine.

Anyway....
In helping Jaysen in his math homework last night, I realize yet again, that my kid rocks.

Example: Jaysen is working on converting fractions, to decimals, to percentages.

 He explains how he has to divide 70 by 100 to get the decimal.

 
And then...
 
 

 
 Me: Awesome job! Now how did you make the decimal a percent?
Jaysen: I butthundred it.
Me: You...what?
Jaysen: I butt-hundred it.
Me: Butt-hundred it?
Jaysen: Yes, you have to butt-hundred it!
Me: Hahahaha! What in the world is butt-hundred?
Jaysen: Look...
 



And there you go.
My boss will be so proud of me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ketchup


Okay, so I've been busy losing my mind and need to update.

First off- THANK YOU to those who commented on my previous post. Your advice is absolutely invaluable and I love you guys.


Me loving you guys

Secondly- I still have readers! *happiez*

I digress. Back to the Outcome.
I was able to hold the Team off on modifying anything just yet. I asked for every possible evaluation I could think of. OT, Speech, academic, and technological.  Jaysen's IEP is in December, and I'd like these evals done prior to that, but it is the district, and I'm not holding my breath. This is a big IEP though since it's his re-qualifying one, and also will be dealing with his transition to middle school next year. I do plan on calling a transition meeting in a few months, and I ain't skeered to re-open the IEP if need be.

Regarding some of the frustration Jaysen has been experiencing this year- we did, as a Team, decide to withdraw Jaysen from band. Although I was initially against the idea, it causes Jaysen major stress. If we try it without band, it just could relieve some of the avoidance behaviors he's been exhibiting, but we won't know until we try. On the up side, they replaced band with art, something Jaysen enjoys immensely. So the up side is that he now has art everyday.

I'm also laying down the law (again) with my minion.  We are going to read every single night and try to boost his reading skills. Jaysen hates reading because he finds it difficult. We're back to limiting the video games to an hour after school. Jaysen actually gets more than this because he's home before I am, but I'm not going to create a situation that will foster lying to me, so I'm just looking at it as a freebie for him. So far, it's been met with some resistance, but I expect that.

And that's really all I know.

On a side note- 6th grade is friggin' tough! I can't believe the amount of homework that comes home every night. It's insane. And frustrating for everyone, not just Jaysen. My math skills topped out in 4th grade. Sad, but pretty true. I can spell the feck out of anything (a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. See?), but when it comes to finding common denominators....look for them yo' damn self, 'cuz I can't find squat.  You need to get 6 cups of sugar into 4 bowls? Eyeball it.  You need 10 apples to go into 8 lunches? I guess 2 people need to eat oranges. That's life, people. Suck it up.
(Thank you Sissy, for helping me with Jaysen's math homework!)

There's the update.
Send a math tutor.



Thursday, November 8, 2012

Accommodation vs. Modification

Well, it's happened.  The Team is talking about modifying Jaysen's curriculum.
Shit.
I mean, if it's what he needs, of course I am all for it and will support it fully.
But how do we know he needs it?
This is his first year being mainstreamed, due to technicalities of the district...
Their response to me was that he bombed his econ test. Okay...well he's also aced some other tests, so....?

I have a meeting next week to discuss it. We're also doing a REED and Hopes and Dreams? The REED (Review of Existing Educational Data) is to determine what evals we would need in his 3rd year re-eval coming in December, based on class reports and standardized tests. Mkay. The Hopes and Dreams?  Sounds like a load of fluffy bullshit to me. Let me guess- we're all going to sit around in a kumbaya circle and talk about where we want to see Jaysen a year from now, then 3 years, 5 years, blah blah blah. Oh gawd, make it stop.....

Back to the issue at hand...
I'm pissed off that they just want to modify.
I don't think they've exhausted their efforts beyond a moderate attempt, and even then, it's been more of a "let's see what's on our bag of tricks" approach.

Yes, Jaysen has accommodations.
He has a parapro. He has extended time. He is allowed the option of working in a quieter environment. He is allowed breaks.

So what's the problem?
I'm not convinced that he knows how to use these "resources".
I'm not convinced that he is able to identify when he needs these "resources".
He knows he should take a break when he's upset, but does he know when he needs the break?

Jaysen has self-regulation issues. He misses the "cues" that tell us we are getting worked up, and can seemingly go from 0-60 in no time. Is a break effective, if he's already a 8 on a 1-10 scale?

The real problem???
Jaysen is one of those kids who is all over the board when you talk about function. He's smart, and he's verbal. That combination is usually assumed to be "high functioning", based on presentation. However, his verbal abilities are way above his cognitive ones. You can ask him a question, and he will answer it like he is "supposed to". Ask him to expand, or the same question phrased more open-ended? Omg, are we even having the same conversation?  I tried studying with him for a test, the night before he knew NOTHING. He ended up acing the test. ACING it.

The problem is that Jaysen is so "internalized" (I just made that up), meaning that he perseverates, a lot. So much in fact, that I believe that's his main deficit. His perseveration leads to heightened anxiety, not knowing how to deal with that anxiety leads to heightened frustration, frustration leads to refusal, non-compliance, outbursts, or kaboom.  He doesn't show outward measurable signs, so FBA's have been ineffective. They can't track what they can't see, and there are no patterns to pick up on.  So to them, it looks like "totally random behavior".

Well we all know better than that. Nothing is "totally random". Something is happening, we just aren't able to identify it consistently. But it's not "random".

I'm all over the effing place on this post, no?

Anyway, because they can't identify patterns in Jaysen's behavior, they want to modify his curriculum because he's still getting frustrated and upset. They think a reducing expectations will help that.

I think that's kind of nuts.

You're telling me you can't identify what's upsetting Jaysen, so you are going to assume it's the expectations placed on him.  You are also going to assume that reducing these expectations is going to decrease his frustration and raise his willingness to participate in school.
Let me ask you this.
I suck at math. Seriously, that's even exaggerating for me. I am embarrassed at how horrible my math skills are, and I should have been paying more attention in 3rd grade instead of stuffing my bra in the bathroom. But back to the topic....

If you put 20 algebra problems in front of me, and see that I am struggling with them, what can you do?
1- You can reduce the number of problems from 20 to 10.
     This is great, if I even knew how to solve for "x" on even ONE problem, but I don't.
2-You can give me more time.
     Another great one. I have even more time I have to spend in algebra hell...
3- You can give me a calculator.
     Great. That whole "watch I can make it say hell and boobs" joke never gets old.
4- You can break it down and explain it to me in steps.
     Now this may work...I have bigger boobs now and don't need to stuff my bra.
5- You can give me basic math facts instead of algebra.
     This is a great option if I don't have a strong grasp on basic math and need to back up.

My point is, if you can't identify the problem, how do you know what the solution is? I think they are wanting to jump into "modification" (option 5), before 1-4 are exhausted. Moving from Accommodated to Modified curriculum is a huge deal. It means my son will never graduate with a diploma. It has the potential to affect his life negatively.  He will not have the opportunity to attend college. He wants to go to college. He wants to be a teacher. Even if college isn't in the cards, I at least want him to have that option.  Options are important, people.
I'm not comfortable that they've shown me he is unable to achieve the minimum required outcomes in the general setting with accommodations. What are those accommodations? That's where identifying the problem comes in.

I'm rambling again.
Because I'm frustrated.
Because Jaysen is *rightfuckingthere* on the fence.

I've asked for the Autism specialist to come in and observe.  The Autism consultant is the douchebag from the "shitty school" who had no freaking idea anything about Autism in real life with real kids.  But that's where I have to start.

I need help peeps.
I need your opinions, advice, experiences, stories, etc.
I need to know if it's better to not modify but maybe put in a more restrictive environment like up his sp.ed time and increase Resource? Or is it better to modify and keep in gen.ed?

I hate this.

Friday, October 19, 2012

I Blinked...

....and somebody turned 11.


Happy Birthday, Bear!
I love you.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

High 5

I know.
I have some updating to do about school and such, but I just came across this on a blog Love That Max. (You should click that link too, because omg, this mom is way smart, and Max is just adorable. Trust me, just go for the cute factor. You'll keep going back for the content.)

But check this out!
Apparently, there's a company, Vision Service Plan (VSP) that just launched a Send A High Five campaign to donate up to 50,000 gift certificates to Special Olympic athletes for a free eye exam, new glasses, and follow up eye care. And all you have to do is click a high five. Seriously, that's it.

It's super important. And? It's super fun.  There's different high fives you can choose, and you can send a bazillion if you want.
I would know, because that's all I've done this morning at work so far.

So get on it, here's the link.
Start high fiving!


Vision Service Plan's




Thursday, August 23, 2012

Phuck Big Pharma

And insurance companies, while we're at it.

Jaysen got booted from the SSI program and as a result, lost his Medicaid coverage. Which puts him on my insurance. Not a huge deal, aside from the increase in amount coming out of my check every month.

Oh wait, his Abilify isn't covered under my insurance?
You have this coupon for this time...okay, what about next month?
I have to pay out of pocket?
How much does it cost? I see...between $500 and $2000 for a 30 day suppply. Are you effin' kidding me?
Well that friggin sucks.

At least that's how I wanted it to go in my head.
What really happened is I lost it and started uncontrollably crying.
Because it's not fair.
And I'm overwhelmed.
I hate that Jaysen is on meds at all, and now they want to mess around with them?
I can't afford to pay out of pocket for this.

The psychiatrist explained that we may need to "step" it. Where we have to trial different meds and as they "don't work", we move to a different one, until he gets to the Abilify level. I don't like the idea of taking him off of a med that is working, to put him on something else as a "trial", then when that fails, put him on another "trial", and so on and so forth, until we get led right back to where we are now. Screwing with my kid's chemical balance isn't okay with me.

I have 30 days to figure this out. How to get him back on Medicaid, or how to be able to afford this script.

There is something so broken with this system...


Little blessings bring big hopes

Omg. Sixth grade.
Crap.

*ring ring*
Caller ID says Jaysen's school
Shiiiiiiit.

Me: Hello?

Person: Hi Jaysen's mom. My name is blah blah...I'm...
*tuning out because this is probably about transportation reminder bs*
I'm Jaysen's teacher....

Me: Wait....whaaaaaat?  Teacher?  I'm sorry, I thought his teacher was Ms. E?

Teacher: Yes, Ms. E is his Resource Room teacher. I'm his homeroom teacher.
 
(pause)

Me: Ohhh.....this is his general ed teacher! Calling me? For.... Wait, who are you again? I'm sorry...

Teacher: Ms. Y. I  was wondering if you and Jaysen would like to come in to meet me and see the classroom.

(Um....his gen ed teacher is calling us in for a pre-meeting? Proactive! and Sweeeet!)

Me: Yes, yes, yes...we will be there next week, awesome yay!

Teacher: Great! I know how important it is to Jaysen, and also to ease your mind. I have a son on the Spectrum too. 

Me: *gasp* Oh, so you "get" it.

Teacher: *chuckles* Yes, I "get" it.

....Wow.

And so it begins.
The first year my son may actually be mainstreamed for real.
I'm a mix of excited, nervous, and proud.




Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Happiez.

*This* is a happy kid.

 
New release of the New Super Mario Bros. 2.
Oy.
 
 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer.

Wouldn't you know it- I finally feel motivated to update all of the summer festivities, and my phone is acting up and won't connect to my PC so I can get the pics.

In a nutshell...

Busy summer!  Dollface and the blonde army moved back up here from AZ, and are staying with us currently. It's had it's moments, of course- but it feels really good to have them back up here. I've missed my friend, and the kids. Jaysen loves having the baby around (he's 8 months), and Rylan finally has a rough-n-tumble playmate with T-rex. Ky has been an amazing help to me as well. I finally have "my girl"! Hahaha.

Jaysen has been going to the same summer program as he did last year. Very unstructured, but he prefers that freedom to the super fast paced tempo of a traditional day camp. I became disheartened when he told me all he does there is sometimes play video games and sleep on a couch, but I found out from one of the staff, that when the volunteers come, he plays chess with them! That is so awesome.

Rylan has been attending day camp for the first time. He loves it. They do SO MUCH STUFF, he comes home whooped every day. Canoeing, ropes courses, overnights, tye-dying, water parks.... it's awesome. Again, upon asking what he did that day, the typical answer I get from Ry is "I don't know. Ate pizza".  Then later on, we find out by the camp pictures, that he did all these awesome things.

This morning when I was getting ready for work, Jaysen dropped this on me though-

JaysenSo, there was a talent show yesterday at summer program.
Me:  Oh? Was it cool?
Jaysen:  Yeah. I was in it.
Me:  O_o   Um...wait.....what??
Jaysen:  I was in it.
Me:  *stopping everything short of breathing* OMG really??? What did you DO????
Jaysen:  Sing.
Me:  *trying not to fall over*  You sang??? What did you sing??
Jaysen:  Numa numa.
Me:  ........Awesome, baby! I'm so proud of you!!!

Trying to maintain my cool, I ran out and told Companion to ask him what he did yesterday.

Companion:  Hey Jaysen, what did you do yesterday at summer program?
Jaysen:  Nuthin'...
Me: *dramatic eyeroll*

Whyyyyyy do kids do that?!? That's HUGE news!!!

Our summer vacation didn't really go as planned-
There was weak internet connection up north this year, so the kids were unhappy. We ended up leaving early. It wasn't bad, just wasn't great like previous years. We'll have to re-evaluate our vacationing plans for next year.

I'm NOT prepared for the fast approaching school year. I am floored that I have a 6th grader, and that my baby is starting kindergarten. Kindergarten! I still remember Jaysen's first day of kindergarten, and now Supafly is starting? Who gave them permission to get so big so fast?!?  And to top that all off, they're already taking bets on whether or not I'm going to cry on the first day of school. History says yes. Also? My kids know me too well.

And, I believe that's about it in a nutshell.
Hope your summers have been funtastic, and a whole lot of "nuthin"!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Gratuitous product pimpin'

Best.HotSauce.Ever


So, we got the sample pack, which has mild, to burn-your-face-off hot (which we named OMG Hot).  The literature in the package stated: Green=mild    Yellow=medium    Red=hot    Black=extra hot
But the beauty about these bottles having no label on them- you can name them whatever you want.


I think the red one (hot) should be called Jaysen Meltdown. Just a thought.


Our faves were the OMG Hot and the Medium.

.
They were really fun to experiment with on different things-






And they also turned Dollface into a Vampire.


Yum yum, go getchu some.


It's even endorsed by Stormtroopers.
He had the OMG Hot.

Check it out here:  Los Salsas De Los Muertos
Tell 'em Mommy~Dearest sent you.

*I have not been paid or compensated in any way for this review.  It is my honest opinion and you can choose whether or not to take it to heart, depending heavily on where you consider my level of sanity to be. Also?  I am really wanting a burrito right now.*

Monday, June 4, 2012

Like a rawkstar.

Not to toot his own horn (heh)
But compare Jaysen's 2 concerts he had this year and check this out...


Spring concert

Summer concert
Aside from the spiffy haircut...
Do you see it?
Look again.



That's my boy, sittin' first chair.




Rawk.

 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Exercise can be bad for your health

Even with the "safety strap" on, kids and treadmills don't mix.



It was very scary for everyone, and he's pretty scraped up, but he'll be fine.
Jury's still out on me though.
*tweak*

Friday, April 20, 2012

Cereal killer

Can you still consider them Lucky Charms if someone ate all of your marshmallows?


I say no.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

This is how you rock a first concert.

Jaysen had his first school concert.
I can't even describe how freakin' proud I am of this kid...

Hey! Stop texting....we gots to go!
Oh wait...do those boots look familiar? ;)

Excited!

Practicing...

(Notice the gray blur in the back.
That's the evil ex-principal from the shitty school)



Hey- where's Waldo?
(Back row, right, blonde kid)

Ah! There he is!
*proud*

video

I have no idea if the video will work, but I had to try.

So there it is, folks.
The big update you've all been waiting for.
Be still my beating heart.
Hang in there, and keep checking in~ I'll be back.
xoxoxo