Monday, February 25, 2008

Time Miss Devine!

Miss Devine is Tripp's new teacher. He loves her! This is his third week in the PPCD class. When we pulled up at his school today he said "See Miss Devine!" and when he saw Ms. Alice, the aide in his class, he said "Hey Ms. Alice." He is talking more than ever and has finally begun regaining the potty training ground we lost over the Chirstmas break. He has even started having "rest time" in his undies as he is very much opposed to wearing a "pull 'em up" for any reason. He does not object to "Mickey sleeping" (his overnight diaper) at bedtime though so I'd say we are in a very good place when it comes to the potty!

The other day in the car he said "Hey Mommy. Guess what." Shocked and amazed that he just initiated verbal interaction with me I said "What bubba?" What followed was a bunch of stuff I couldn't understand but he clearly wanted to tell me something and was satisfied that I listened even though I haven't a clue what he said. Good stuff!!

I think the only "down" news I have is what we saw over the weekend. Tripp didn't go to school Friday - Paris had a fever and Tripp was "iffy" (99.7) so we all stayed home. Saturday I was home with the kids all morning and when Easy got home about 1:00 I left and was gone until nearly 9:00. So, two days - no structure. Result? Sunday was awful! He tantrumed, he screamed, he cried, he tippy toed, he flicked his fingers, he made weird noises, he carried belts around all day to make numbers with, and he koala-beared so tightly to me that I didn't even have to hold him. It was probably the most "autistic" day we've had in over a month. Tell me this.....if two days of no structure did that, what would an entire summer at home do?!?!? I'm planning to write an email to his teacher and copy the diag on it letting them know what we saw this weekend. I know they won't have time between now and summer to document much since spring break is the only holiday in there so I figure my documentation is all I'm gonna have to get him services through the summer. For Easy and me it was crystal clear what was going on - I hope the district will see it as clearly.

So that's what things look like as we keep Monkey Dancin' forward. I still haven't started the "working sessions" with him here at home, but I will do that this week. I intended to start last week, but since we were roating the fever (we includes me!) it didn't happen. Sometimes I think I'm not doing near enough for him, and sometimes I think I couldn't possibly do any more. It is my prayer this week that I really see what things are important and make them the priority for my time - that goes for my whole family, not just Tripp. Since we are one family, we all do the Monkey Dance so I need to think of us overall and not just as individuals. Your prayers for discernment and wisdom are greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Want to play E?

That is what Tripp says when he sees me anywhere near a computer. Translation? "Mommy, would you please click on Internet Explorer and go to Nick Jr. so that I can sit in your lap while you play a game and I cheer you on with shouts of "Good Job," "Watchout!" and "Keep Going?""

OK, I'm sure I didn't use those quotation marks correctly because it looks kind of silly to me but I think you know what I mean. He's so stinkin' cute!!

So it's been crazy since my last post. Last week I went and observed several classrooms. I saw the ABC class - this is the district class for kids with autism. I saw two PPCD (preschool program for children with disabilities) classes as well. I knew which one the diag wanted to place Tripp in so I went back for a second observation. After many conversations and LOTS of prayer we decided to agree with Molley's (the diag) recommendation and place Tripp in the PPCD class. He will stay at Sonshine school on TTH and go to the PPCD class MWF. Next year he will be with the school district 5 days a week.

The ARD was scheduled quickly - we had it yesterday afternoon. I think it went well. I liked everyone in attendance (I REALLY like Dr. Wehrly!!!), I liked the atmosphere at the school, I liked having my mom with me! I think Tripp's new teacher will be a good fit for him. She fits his preferred dark hair/petite/pale complexion profile to a T. Her personality is a bit more mellow than mine (shocking, I know) so I had to really step back and look at her and her classroom as not something that I would like, but rather how Tripp would fit there? It is going to be good.

I think I'm feeling overall very good about the district and Tripp's placement and what he'll be able to do there. I feel kind like I've been in a tornado for, well, a long time and now we're going to stop going in circles and get on the highway. I'm sure the drive won't be straight and smooth but at least we're on a road and I have lots of friends and a faithful Father that will guide us as we move forward.

We also had our first session with Dr. Montogmery (SW Autism Team) on Monday. Can we say overwhelmed? On top of starting a whole new schedule with school somewhere every day, I'm supposed to start having "working sessions" with Tripp daily at home. I'm praying about this - mostly that Vivie will take a stinking nap so I can actually accomplish it. It may take me a bit to get the swing of what Dr. Montgomery taught and modeled for me, but I'm commited to doing everything possible to help my Monkey.

If I had blogged yesterday it would have been through tears. Today I'm much better. I guess it's all just so very real now. It's been another one of those weeks where I am forced to acknowledge that this isn't going to go away. There is still this part of me that wants to beleive that if we do absolutely everything possible that the ASD will become imperceptible. (SP?) I don't know if that's possible or even if it's something I should hope for. The truth is, he's only three. His differences right now don't look all that strange. At age 9 I have no idea what he will look like or how different he will be from his peers. There so much changing in the world of autism I don't even really know what this process of treatment/therapy is going to look like. Now that the district and our private sector people agree that he fits the criteria for Apserger Syndrome does that mean anything different really than just saying he has an ASD? Dr. Montgomery even pointed out that the criteria fo Asperger's is changing so he may not meet it in another 2 years. So many unknowns, so many changes........but one thing does not change. Well, two things really.

1. God is faithful.

2. I love my son.

For now I'm going to hold on tightly to those two truths and embrace the new structure that will become our life for the rest of the school year. Who knows, it may even be good for all of us to have a more scheduled day - I just for the life of me can't figure out where to fit in cleaning my house.