Monday, January 28, 2008

Monkey Business

So, my last few posts have been all about process. I thought it time to post some actual Monkey business instead! Here are some fun & funny things going on with my sweet Monkey!

As we have made our transition into a gluten-free diet things have been, well challenging in some ways and surprisingly easy in others. The lack of crackers has been very hard on our little Bug. About a week into our no-cracker house we were up at Sonshine School early. I had dressed the kids and we were just killing time until school started. Vivie was doing the incessant cracker asking. Then I heard it. Tripp, in his typical no eye contact or any visible sign that he was communicating with his sister, says "No moh cackers!" I cracked up laughing! How ironic that my sweet repetitive boy seemed annoyed by Viv's constant cracker asking! It was funny. It did not, however, stop her from asking again.

Monkey has also added several new words to his vocab. Most of them have to do with food - no doubt again dur to the dietary changes we've made. He has spontaneously asked for things ranging from "pedut pudder and jewy samich" to "nacchos." The things that have mad me smile most are his request to "open du pantwy?" and the fact that he usualy makes his request in the following format: "Do you want a chip today?" Hello, pantry and today? Great words!!

Also in the food department I'm very happy to say that he has added a new food to his will-eat list! He started asking for a hot dog on Saturday. He's never asked for a hot dog. He's never eaten a hot dog. After an entire afternoon of asking for a "hot dog today?" I gave him one - cold - straight out of the fridge. AND HE ATE IT! He even added "Mmmmmmmmmm, yummy hot dog!" LOVE IT!!! Packing lunch just got a lot easier!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

Well, our February 5th deadline for our first ARD is nearing. I've been in contact with the district diagnostician and we need to make some decisions about placement so we know which campus to have the ARD on. It seems that the district isn't sure that the ABC class (that's the one just for kids on the spectrum) is the best fit for Tripp. She presented me with three options, 2 of which I have vetoed already. One was to keep him at SSS and have the district consult with them. Nope - they are doing all they can at SSS and since I know some of the administrative dynamics going on I veto this option. I simply don't think they have the resources to do any more than they already do and I think Tripp needs something more than two days a week. Another option was to keep him at SSS and have him receive speech/language therapy. I didn't think this would be enough, and Dr. Montgomery (Scott & White Autism Team) concurred that he needs more than that. So that leaves us with option three which is to keep him at SSS two days a week (per my request so he can have that social time with typical peers) and place him in the regular PPCD class the other days. So, after conferring with my mom, Dr. Montgomery, my good friend Irene (who has experience with the district here) I have asked to:
#1 - get my hands on the district's official report on Tripp
#2 - go observe the ABC class they don't want to put him in
#3 - go observe the PPCD class

I have about a week to get that all done. The only part of this that has me uneasy is that the diagnostician told me on the phone she had hoped to hire another pre-school teacher and create another class that Tripp would have been well suited for - targeting high functiong kids on the spectrum. Apparently the hire is not getting approved by her superiors so I'm left with the options listed above. To me it sounds like if she got to pick he would be in a more specialized class than the regular PPCD. All that leaves me feeling like we might be settling and that is, well, uncomfortable. I'm going to go observe next week - please pray that I'm able to see both classes and that God will make the choices clear and the path available.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

8 Random Things About Me - by Tripp, the Monkey

My friend Jacob tagged me, so here are 8 random things about me. My mom is helping since language isn't my strongest skill.

1. I LOVE NUMBERS!!!!!!!!!!! That's right, numbers. I carry and sleep with a calculator all the time. I count everything imaginable (including my poo-poos) and sometimes even things that are only imagined by me. Mommy just shrugs here shoulders and smiles alot when she doesn't understand what I'm counting.

2. I can form numbers with my fingers - 1-9. I made Mommy do it with me once, but she said her hand hurt when we were done. Sowwy mommy.

3. I love my big sister Paris. I used to call her Diggadauh just to irritate her. Now I call her Pawis and my favortie part of the day is when we go in Pawis from school. (that's go get Paris from school for those not fluent in Monkey speak)

4. My mom calls me her Monkey. I don't get it.

5. Every Friday I play with my friend Jacob at Miss Temaphie's house. (That would be Miss Stephanie!) Even though I usually just play by myself when I'm there I really like going and I try to play with Jacob - he makes me laugh sometimes. And sometimes Mister Ewic is there and I watch him on the puter. (computer)

6. I love to be outside. I think running on my tip toes in cirles in the backyard is really cool. I also like to play ball with Daddy. He throws it and I go get it. I saw them do this with Cowboy, that dog that tries to lick my face, and it looked like fun.

7. I don't like Cowboy to lick me. His breath is yucky.

8. My mommy doesn't know that I know this, but every night before she goes to bed she comes in and lays down on my bed. She puts her hand on my head and she talks to God. She loves me a lot. I don't always wake up, but most of the time I smile while she's talking to God.

I'm not sure what it means to tag someone else, and mommy syas most of my firends have already been tagged so I think I'll just go to bed now. Night night.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A bit overdue

Sorry for the delay in posting. We could call it a holiday hiatus, or maybe Christmas crazy - regardless I haven't posted in a while and I apologize. So in an effort to catch up..................

Tripp had his assessments with the school district done on the 19th. Everyone there is also in agreement that he's on the spectrum. They just need to score all their little testing tools to see where to place him. He absolutely entertained the diag and speech pathologist while they did their stuff with him. He started the whole deal off by spontaneously counting by 7's. Yes, by 7's. We were all a bit amazed. I went to do my interview with the psychologist while they did all there stuff and when I came back they were all having fun. Apparently they got further in one of the testing tools than they ever had before. The diag said shell be interested to see all the "results" because he struggled with the lower level stuff and then all of the sudden they hit a point and he blew the rest out of the water. Clearly he is missing some basic components in his development, but once they got to a section he "got" he was on fire! So, the aboslute latest we will have our ARD is February 5th, but it could be before then. That's when we will find out what services they are going to provide. Keep praying over all of that.

Since that week I've been distracted a bit by the busyness of the holidays. I have these moments of reality where I think about what life will be like when our Monkey is 8 or 12. I mean, at this point lots of what he does could easliy be chalked up to just being a silly three year old. I sense, however, that the older he gets the more different he will look from his peers. I have some saddness when I think of the future at times. I just want all good things for him and reality is that it isn't going to be all good. But I guess that's true for all kids. Maybe it's just that I see it coming, or that I feel like it should be different for him because he's special. Then again, my girls are special too and I want all good things for them, and the first boy that breaks their heart deserves to be smooshed into nothingness.

I've had other reality check moments - the ones that just blow me away because Tripp is just so amazing. I mean, hello, he counted by 7's. I have to think hard after 35! And for all his disconnect and quirkiness, he has a tremendous amount of love to share. So, yeah, he's kinda picky about who he shares it with, but when your the recipient of a hug that he initiates the rest of the world just seems to melt away. I like those moments better than the ones where I worry about his future.

One things is for sure - this holiday break with no routine, no schedule, no structure has taken a toll. I've seen a lot of tippy toes this week in particular. He's not sleeping well. He's not eating well. And no, he's not pottying well. He actually peed a puddle in my kitchen floor on Monday. He hasn't done that in months! I'm ready to get back into our routine for pee patrol alone. I am so tired of wet undies!!! (of course, about the time we get things rolling again I'll start potty trainging Viv and have went panties as well!)

SSS starts back next Tuesday though, so we only have a little more chaos to endure. It's really driven home how important it's going to be to find something for the summer. I don't know if the district does any kind of summer program. If not, I'm going to have to find somehwere for him to go so we don't go spirally backwards. Who knew relaxation could be so stressful?!?!?!?