Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Big shoes to fill.

Jaysen has a big thing about going to "check the mail".

He saw the mailman come and yelled for help with his shoes. My mom told him to just put on a pair and not worry about tying the laces.

Look closely.

Apparently she never specified whose shoes.
'Nuff said.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Self talk.

Jaysen goes through phases. Right now, he's in "video game" phase. I should limit the amount of time he spends playing these games, but I know that in a matter of a few weeks, he'll be onto something else, and frankly, it gives me a bit of time to get things done around the house! :)

Now- in his defense, I do remember being involved in video games, and it was a big deal to get to that next level, to get the high score, and all that crap. He has really gotten good at some of them, and it is neat to see that he can play them now by himself, without too much frustration.

However, it was time for bed. And Jaysen was on a roll. He pleaded with me "last one, then go to bed ". I hesitantly agreed. Jaysen's usually pretty good at following through with his promises, and I figured I could always lay down the law if need be. So I went to lay down in my room.

I heard the game restart. I have to go start a battle because he's not listening. I walk out to the living room where I see Jaysen in the process of turning off the TV. He spies me, and immediately growls at me (for not trusting he would keep his word?).

He yells angrily, "Maaaah-meeee! You go to your room!"

Fine with me, I'm going to bed. So I went into my room.

Something wasn't quite right. I peeked into the hallway and under Jaysen's door. His bedroom light was off. Hmmm. He would not turn his light off and go to bed alone. He starts talking. I fight between eavesdropping and sleep, but decide on the latter.

His door opens. He tiptoes into my room, climbs up into my bed.

"Mommy? I'm sorry."

"Sorry for what, Sweetie?"

"I'm sorry- I get mad at you. I get mad, and I say 'Mommy!' and go to my room. I shut the door and I go to bed alone. And I talking! I not mad now. I love you, Mommy. Goodnight."

Wow. That was awesome. He not only self-regulated, but he talked himself through it, and told me about it! I told him that it was great that he talked through it, and wasn't angry anymore- but really, I was blown away.

Thanksgiving- thankful it's over!

Thanksgiving...a time to reflect on the blessings in your life...
...or to bully little old ladies.

We went to Companion's parents house for Thanksgiving- Jaysen decided to pick on Mary, Companion's step-grandma. Mary was apparently sitting in Jaysen's "spot" on the couch. When Jaysen asked her to move, and she didn't (hey, she's 93 years old- did she really hear him?), He declared war on her.

"I don't like you... very much"
"You not coming with us, old lady!"
"Get out of here! Go to your room gramma!"

Those were only a few of the choice statements to spew forth from my child's mouth.
But the best...
the absolute best...
the highlight of the whole craptastic episode....
was when the meal was finished.
Jaysen and I were outside, playing in the snow, waiting for everyone to posse up. Companion's mom started down the stairs, and Jaysen says, "Where's Mary?" Mom replied "Oh, she's coming." Jaysen kept waiting and looking for her.

Once Mary came into view, Jaysen took a step forward and called, "Maaaaary..."
...then pegged her in the belly with a snowball!

I was mortified.
I was not only mortified, but I was trying to stifle my laughter as well (remember when I said I find non-funny things hysterical? Well, this is one of them). I don't know what the heck had gotten into him. It was such "typical" behavior, if it were two kids! I couldn't yell at Jaysen, because I knew that he would know I was trying not to crack up, so I just said,"ohmigod, I can't believe you did that- getinthecarnow."

He's lucky I didn't stuff him...Turkey.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A quick meme

MOM-NOS has tagged me for a meme- I believe this is my first official meme, so although I do not usually blog from home, I didn't want to be rude! Plus, my parents took Jaysen to a youth symphony and Rylan is napping! So my duties lie herein:

1) Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2) Share 7 facts about yourself.
3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4) Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

7 random facts:
1- I have said before that I am a coffee addict. When I say coffee addict, I mean it in every sense of the word. I consume an average of 5 pots of coffee each day. Yes, that's 5 pots. I drink coffee before I go to bed. Yes it's caffeinated, and no it doesn't affect me. I once was unable to donate blood because my blood was "too thick". I now drink water before I donate. I would bathe in coffee if I didn't think drinking your bathwater was gross.

2- I have a morbid sense of humor. I don't really know if morbid is the most accurate word, but I find humor in the most bizarre things, and they're not just funny, they're hysterical.

3- If I were claymation, Jack Skellington would be my boyfriend.

4- I don't like to be given flowers. If someone brings me flowers "just because", that's fine. I do like fresh flowers in the home, it gives the house such a fresh, sunny feeling. But there is no quicker way to piss me off than to give me flowers for my birthday, or any other occasion. I think they're a total waste of money.

5- I love to scrapbook. However, the last page I left off on was Jaysen's first day of Kindergarten. Jaysen has gotten so clingy, and with a baby now- I haven't had the time to catch up.

6- I have a very eclectic taste in music. I listen to just about everything from 80's pop to gangster rap. In my CD player right now is Cindi Lauper, Sisters of Mercy, ICP, Eazy-E, and The Church.

7- I have a degree in Sign Language Studies. While I was in school, I was so in love with Sign, and such an advocate, that I actually wanted a deaf baby. Not "it would be okay if my baby was deaf", I preferred a deaf baby. I felt I would be the one to provide my child with all of the right opportunities, be a part of the Deaf Community, and be the one to show her ('cuz she was also a girl) how to be a strong Deaf adult. Funny how things turn out?

Okay, there are my random facts. Enjoy.

I can only tag 4 people as I've run out of time!

Ashley's mom at Pipecleaner Dreams
Amy at Mom's Daily Dose
Casdok at Mother of Shrek
Jodi at Reimer Reason

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

'Scuse me, you're stepping on my brain.

I've often felt that Jaysen and I have this connection. That I understand him. That we have some of the same quirks. I know why he does them, but can't explain it. Am I a touch on the Spectrum too? I've firmly believed that whatever wasn't "typical" with him, was the case with me as well.

I was not expecting this.

Recap from our trip to the Neurologist/Movement Specialist:

Following Question and Answer time...
Doc: He does not have Tardive Dyskinesia.
Me: Okay. Are you sure?
Doc: Yes. TD has an onset of adolescence. This is not TD. It's something totally different.
Me: Alright.
Doc: You have it.
Me: Okay...
Doc: It started when you were in early childhood.
Me: Yes...
Doc: As an adult, you've learned to adapt, so it's virtually undetectable.
Me: Yes...
Doc: It's genetic, and you passed it on to your son.
Me: Okay...

At this point, I'm wondering what the heck is the deal with this huge "reveal". Am I supposed to guess the affliction? Is this a guess your diagnosis game? Justtellmemotherfucker-becauseyou'rereallymakingmeanxious-andI'mgoingtoeitherlaughcryorsmacktheshitouttayou.

Me: So...what is it?
Doc: Tourette Syndrome.
Me: Tourette.
Doc: Tourette.
Me: Well alrighty then!

Being disability savvy, I realize that Tourettes is more than just the infamous coprolalia of hollering out obscenities, and am open to hear what Doc has to say. He proceeds to explain that he's not totally convinced that Jaysen has ASD, because Tourette is "like ADHD plus tics", and a lot of the quirks that I described are "classic Tourette tics". It is often confused with OCD. Apparently, Autism stims can look a lot like Tourette tics as well. His official diagnosis was Tourette with ADHD and developmental delay. Which he just may grow out of. Erp?

My mind is pretty much blown. What does this mean? Do I have to return all of my Autism stuff? Dammit- I just bought two more shirts! Should I change the name of this blog? How's this? The Quirk Factor:'s only Tourette. Goodbye to all of my fellow Autism bloggers...I'm off to find some new Tourette buddies.

I am still not convinced that's the case. This Doc didn't seem to think of Autism as a Spectrum Disorder, stating that since Jaysen has social skills (will answer questions, has eye contact) he didn't feel that he qualified as Autistic. I tend to think his view of Autism is stuck more with classic Autism.

Much research and discussion is needed here. Does Tourette Syndrome have sensory issues as well? What about behavior issues? Why does Jaysen have so many issues, when I had practically none of the same ones he has? Is there a Tourette spectrum? Of course I'm thinking of a bazillion questions after the fact, but I will be researching like a fiend. Next stop is a trip back to the psychologist to discuss these findings. He's the one who seems to "get it" best.

Until next time-wishing you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving!

(Sorry, couldn't resist...must be my Tourette)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


The resolution that the teachers came up with was this:
Gen.ed refuses to meet with Sp.ed unless there is a third party present.
Yes, you read that correctly.

Gen.ed thinks things have been "getting twisted", and people are not reporting things accurately. She is getting her "twisted" information mother. My mother? What the heck does my mother have to do with any of this? She talks to the teacher out of concern for Jaysen (remember, I've always said that Moppi's heart is in the right place, but she just doesn't get it), and is so easily led to believe anything a "professional" tells her. She also has trouble keeping her facts straight- to this day, she tells people I am a "Sign Language Interpreter". More recently, I got a "degree in Medical Billing". The reality is I have a degree in Sign Language, and recently passed the Certified Procedural Coder (CPC) exam to work as a Medical Biller. It's actually pretty funny, but she really is making me seem more worth my salt than I am.

Getting back to the issue- I explained to Moppi today, that she is not to speak to anyone at the school. She wants to believe that everyone is doing what's best for Jaysen, but the reality is, there is a huge battle of ego going on right now. The principal is involved and doesn't have a clue what's going on- she's stuck on the issue that gen.ed wants Jaysen's psych. testing for her file. Sp.ed says they don't release that information to gen.ed. The principal says sp.ed released all of the records at her last school. Sp.ed says, this isn't your last school. So sp.ed is seen as uncooperative, reg.ed is seen as incompetent, and nobody is focusing on Jaysen's best interest.

Sp.ed decided that if reg.ed is not going to be able to handle Jaysen's academic needs, she will take it into her own hands and pull him full time. Jaysen was supposed to be mainstreamed in reg.ed, with sp.ed support mainly for behavior and transition issues. Now? He's in sp.ed full time. The only time he's not in sp.ed is when sp.ed is working with another student 1:1.

What the crap is that?!? How did he go from sp.ed support to sp.ed dependent?!? It's the issue that I am faced with. Jaysen is not getting the academic support he needs in reg.ed. So sp.ed says she will do it, because that's what's in his best interest. Well, he also needs to be in the classroom, to know about the workings of a class, and to be a part of those dynamics. He needs to learn to work independently, not always 1:1. He needs friends.

Reg.ed says "he's just not as smart as I thought". She thinks he can only read sight words, and is way below grade level in math skills. Sp.ed says she is working on 2 column addition (above grade level) with Jaysen, and when she can report to gen.ed that he is using "Read Naturally" with her, gen.ed will know he can read fluently. In short, she'll be able to rub it in her face.

I am to the point that I am ready to go off on everyone. I want to scream at them, "Get over your stupid selves! This is not about who is "right", who "wins the kid", or anything else! This is about my son! Get your stupid shit together and focus, dammit."

So, this is where I'm at right now.
I am sick of this bullshit, the immaturity, the idiotic-ness of it all. I am sad, and I am madder than hell. I don't think there are phrases illicit enough in the English language to describe how I'm feeling. Maybe Maddy or Casdok could lend me a choice phrase or two in proper English, or British bitchout bollocks-style? :)

Hey- let's make it a contest! Open to anyone- leave me your best heated phrase or insult! The winner will be congratulated, and have their choice words used at the next opportunity presented. You will also receive, as a bonus, a detailed description of what their faces looked like when winning phrase was uttered!

Get mad, and let 'em rip!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

This Butt's for YOU!

My lil' boy is in trouble. For real trouble, with the school.

It was a classmate's birthday yesterday, and the class was writing birthday wishes for her. Jaysen's paper said:

We have buts for you, and poop for you, and a moon.

Apparently, the teacher was deeply offended. Offended to the point that she took it to the principal. The principal shared her concern, and brought it to the Sp.ed teacher. The principal expressed her disapproval by saying, "The one we discussed yesterday? Well, look what he wrote!" and rambled on about how his malicious act is disturbing, offensive, and bullying.

Sp.ed teacher took a deep breath, and said she would deal with it. She talked to me this morning. She asked me what I thought. What did I think? Hmmm...what did I think? I think I had to think of something fast, because I could tell she was awaiting an answer, and "his writing is really good" was not the correct one.

"Well...Jaysen thinks butts, poop, and farts are funny. He jokes about it all the time at home. I can even hear how he's saying it...we have butts for yooooou, and poop for yooooou!"

"THAT'S what I thought!" Was the sp.ed teacher's reply.


So we discussed that Jaysen wasn't trying to be malicious or hurtful in any way. He was trying to be funny. He even meant "moon" as an actual moon, and not a "showing of the butt", because he drew her a moon at the top of the page.

Yes. I am a mom who shares "butt jokes" with her son. Why? Because he responds to humor.

~Jaysen, you'd better not eat another cookie, or your butt will get big. I ate 3 cookies, and look at mine.
~I see London, I see France...Jaysen's got no underpants!
~Jaysen, if you don't brush your teeth...your butt will fall off.

Jaysen tries his best to joke back:
~Mommy...look what I got for you... (shows me his butt).
~Hey Mommy...Butts!
~Hey Mommy...come here...I have a present for's a... fart!

He knows I'm joking, and we share a laugh. It can be the deciding factor of if he will go into pre-meltdown, because it's a major distractor. Yes, I joke about butts with my kid. You could blame it on genes, except I'm adopted. He recently learned the ol' pull my finger routine from my Dad. Except, Jaysen hasn't quite figured out that this trick is best done while you have to fart.

His version?

"Pull my finger!" (nothing) "Oh...I'm outta gas."

Bwahahahahaaaaa! I thought that was hysterical. I'm outta gas. Ha! What was I...oh
*Ahem* the school was less than pleased with this aggressive action displayed by my son. The Sp.ed teacher said she would get to the bottom of this, because now he's being viewed as a troublemaker, as well as just mean. She also said that if this treatment keeps up, she'll pull him into her room for the whole day, and teach him herself. I don't think that's the answer either. He needs to be with his peers. He wants to be with his peers. This is getting so crazy, and it's just not fair.

So, keep your fingers crossed...
Oh yeah, enjoy this butt.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

IEP- knew it was too good to be true.

I should know better than to open my big huge trap. I just got done extolling this I-Team, in awe of the whole process...

Jaysen's regular-ed teacher did not present anything at the meeting, and is now butthurt. I guess she has a bruised ego, and felt attacked. As a person, I feel badly (although nothing negative was directed at her, only what Jaysen requires in the classroom). As a mom, I'm screamin' "get over it- this isn't about you"!

~Monday, she started referring to herself by her last name, when up until now, it's been "Please! Call me Marie!"
~It went from "Jaysen is very bright" to "I just don't think he's as smart as I thought he was".
~She has gotten short and impatient with me.

Onto bigger things like-

Yesterday, Jaysen had a meltdown at school (his first one this year). I still don't know what happened, but the teacher reported to my mother that he started screaming at her "you're not nice! I don't like you!" Which upset the whole class because they were defending that she is nice. The screaming continued, and he eventually spit at her. She did not notify the on-call support staff. She sent him to the office.

My mom said that the teacher wrote a note to me, and it was in Jaysen's backpack. What did the note say?

Jaysen was very tired today. He wanted to lay down in the office.
Here is the work he didn't want to finish.

And was attached to seven homework pages.

So, had I not spoken to my mother, I would assume that Jaysen's day was fine, he was just a little tired. She never even mentioned that he had a rough day. Instead, she sends home seven pages of homework? How long was my kid at the office?

He completed 2 and a half pages at home, and I threw the rest in the trash.

When I dropped him off at school today, I met up with the special ed. teacher. I let her know that something was possibly going on, and Jaysen had a meltdown yesterday. She was pissed. She was pissed that the teacher did not call her for assistance, pissed that he was sent to the office instead of the Resource Room, and pissed that the office never notified her that Jaysen was there. She had no clue about any of it until I told her this morning. She also said that the teacher has been treating her strangely- being overly compliant, and wanting her to take Jaysen anytime.

It is bothering me that Jaysen had his first meltdown, but more so that he spit at his teacher. Jaysen does spit- but only when he's really pissed. He will hit before he spits, and was most likely provoked. I don't know if it was her change in attitude, or that he was allowed to escalate to that point, but something isn't right.

I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt that this really just may have been an "off day" for all, but I am remaining on alert.

En garde.

Friday, November 9, 2007

IEP-time again.

Today was Jaysen's IEP (whew- glad that's over!).
It seemed to last forever, but it was such a productive meeting. I am extremely satisfied, and once again, am in awe of what a good school district can offer.

Here's a synopsis:
Speech: Work on the 5 "W" questions, increase mean sentence length, focus on comprehension, and build on conversational skills.

OT: (consult) Incorporate a sensory diet into his day (thank you!), and try "brush therapy". I've tried brush therapy in the past- he hated it- but the OT said you have to push past the initial screaming (out of my comfort zone again), and be consistent with it for a month. He has to be "brushed" for five minutes every two hours of his waking day. Crap- that's a lot. She says that if the child is responsive to brush therapy, it will realign his sensory system, and it won't ever have to be done again. I suppose it's worth a try!

Social Work: Continue working on social relationships with peers, conversational turn-taking, and feigning- I mean keeping interest in the conversation.

Resource Room: Begin reading program (I can't recall the name of it right now) to accelerate his reading curriculum. Continue to build math skills with touch math, and move into two column adding with carry-overs.

I think that's touching on all of the "special" points. I was a little hard on his regular ed. teacher, and I wasn't doing it on purpose- it's just that the issues I brought up, were from last year that never got addressed, and I wanted to make sure they were addressed this time.

For instance, I explained that Jaysen is afraid of making mistakes. He had learned to write on regular lined paper, so when he was introduced to the 3-lined paper, he became very confused and his writing got really sloppy. This kid has no clue why that middle line is there, and is writing letters on top of it, below it, anywhere, as long as his letters don't go outside of the lines.

She will give him regularly lined paper.

Keeping with the same fear of mistakes, I explained that to Jaysen, one mistake is just as bad as 100 mistakes. I understand that she is trying to help my son, but I can't show him a paper that is full of red pen. I also can't show him a paper that is full of red pen, with a star at the top that says "Great!", because in his head, how can it be "Great" if it's full of red pen?

She is to correct the assignment. If the assignment is a spelling test, she will only correct his spelling, not the formation of his letters. If the assignment is letter formation, she will correct the formation of the letters, not if they're too big or too small. Etc.

And so on. I don't feel poorly about his regular ed. teacher, I just think that Jaysen is the first "special needs" kid she's ever had (she had me explain to her (at Wednesday's conference) what an IEP meeting was). I do give her props for asking me, and for giving her input at the meeting.

It was a really good meeting, he has a great IEP, and I think this Team is the greatest. Jaysen has made such gains, that the new staff to the Team were in disbelief that he was ever "like that". I also have to clock out now, so I'll catch you all later!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Tricks with glow sticks.

Another thing I love about Hallowe'en? Glow sticks.

Glow sticks are cool for any kid, but when your kid is a "flapper"? Wow. A glow stick takes on a whole new persona. I had forgotten that this is one of my favorite things about having an Autistic child around Hallowe'en-time.

Picture this- it's bedtime, and we're laying in bed trying to fall asleep. Zzzzzzzzzoom! A flash of brilliance fills my field of vision.

Zzzzzzzoom! Zzzzzzoom! More flashes of light. All of the sudden, the flashes turn into a butterfly. Jaysen is the dark...with a glow stick.

Wow- this is cool.

The glow stick continues to dance furiously. It flaps, it zooms, it spins, it twirls, and makes fluid shapes. They're like liquid designs floating in space. It's beautiful.

I watched his show for a bit, then gently reminded him that it's time for sleep. He continued for a few minutes more. His familiar movements invisible, only to be traced by bright neon green. When he decided he was finished, he put the glow stick under his pillow, where it stayed until the next night.

Is your child Autistic? Do they flap/stim? Give 'em a glow stick at bedtime, sit back, and enjoy. I guarantee you will see a most fantastic display, that your child creates.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A letter to Jaysen

Dear Jaysen,

I love you. I love you with all of my heart. You know this. But are wreckin' my holiday. Hallowe'en has always been my extra fabulous fantastical favorite holiday, and you're wreckin' it for me, kid! Maybe, one day, when you're older or grown up, you too will appreciate Hallowe'en as I do; but for now, I guess I'll just have to be content being "mom".

Yep- Mom.
Although I love being Mom, it's not really scary (well, maybe at times it is), it's hardly gruesome (am I forgetting that last vomit-filled bout of the flu?), it's not fantasy (except for my new role as the Tooth Fairy), or glamorous (yeah, nothing to add here). Okay- forget all of that as my examples are weak.


Case in point: I purposely made my Corpse Bride (from the movie) costume ultra non-scary. You still persisted to pull off my wig, and wanted me to wash off my "purple eyes". Last year, you refused to let me wear the red Raggedy Ann wig, and wiped off my freckles. People thought I was the St. Paulie Girl.

Jack o' lanterns, ghosts, bats, skeletons, Hallowe'en songs, games- all of it is tolerable, except... Mom in costume. Why???

I know- your costume criteria:
#1- Nothing on the face (for fear of changeling. i.e. make-up cat whiskers may make you turn into a cat).
#2- Costume only.
#3- No wigs or hair coloring of any kind (hair must remain its usual color). Hats are okay.

Yes- I realize I violated rule #3, but I was hoping it would be okay since I didn't do the whole get up. I was going for 2 out of 3?

Oh well, there's always next year.

I love you,