Monday, October 31, 2005

So it's Halloween...yikes! What a day. What a weekend for that matter. I am feeling a bit better as I said in my last post, but I still have the horrid cough, and I'm tired. The teacher's of Katie's class decided it would be better for her not to go to class today -- I probably mentioned that already, too...but according to her IEP she is supposed to start going to class everyday starting tomorrow. I get a call from the Special Ed Superintendent this morning and he tells me that they have yet to post the position for the aide, but that should be done sometime today. Apparently he has been busy. He then proceeds to say that there isn't a qualified sub available because the only one they have is filling in for the aide who broke her ankle a few weeks ago. He then said that because of this Katie may have to wait another week or so to be able to attend class. When I hung up with him I was fuming. Her IEP says November 1 --- I'm sorry that he has been busy, but that isn't my problem. Katie needs to be in class. So, I called Katie's teacher and she said to go ahead and bring Katie in the morning. They will get a regular sub for the main teacher, and the main teacher will be Katie's aide. What a huge mess. I told her I was really sorry, and she just kept saying "you are Katie's best advocate and you have to stand up for her. She needs to be in class tomorrow." And I agree. She will be there, but all I have to say is, this had better be resolved by next week, or I am gong to have to start causing some commotion!

Well, I need to finish getting the laundry put away before we head off to Halloween Extreme...Mary is so excited . Our church has a huge party with inflatables and the works -- it's a lot of fun..

Saturday, October 29, 2005

I'm finally starting to feel better!!! YEAH!!!! It is nice to sound a little more like myself... and feel a little more like myself, too. I have now worked 4 closes in a row, but I have tomorrow off to hang out with the sickies and start to feel better -- and there is a Nascar Race, it should be a good day.

I'm told that while I was at work tonight Katie decided to jump off of pieces of furniture and "catipult" (to quote my mom) herself at the mini-tramp that we have for her in the front room. She uses the mini-tramp to "regulate" herself -meaning that when her sensory system gets overlaoded, she uses the tramp to get herself calmed down and organized. She has been really into jumping lately, though.. and it's dangerous.

My kids trick-or-treated at Meijer today -- okay, where have we gone to that our kids have to trick-or-treat at the grocery store.... too funny.

I'm looking forward to my extra hour of sleep tonight with "fall back" -- but I'm sure that means that Katie will be up at 6. :)

Friday, October 28, 2005

I am really tired of being sick... and I am working 4 closes in a row at work, so I am tired! I feel like my blog has been renamed, "I'm tired of everyone being sick" blog. Yikes. Hopefully we are on the road to recovery. This is day 7 for me, but I think I am on the upward swing. I just sound like a bullfrog....

I am really frustrated about Katie's situation with school. Her teacher called me yesterday to suggest that we not put Katie in class on Monday due to Halloween -- all the costumes might freak her out b/c autistic kids don't have a very good sense of what is real and what isn't. They don't do "make-believe" play at all. Well, after we finished talking about that (which I was totally in agreement with) she mentioned that the school still hasn't posted the position for Katie's aide, and she is supposed to start attending school every day next Tuesday. I put a call in to the Special Education superintendant , but he has yet to call me back. The school will be out of compliance with her IEP if she isn't able to start attending with an aide on Tuesday. I don't like to cause problems, but I am a little frustrated that in the past two weeks they haven't found 5 minutes to post the job. I need to call him back today and find out what is going on. I'm not sure why he didn't call back, unless it's because he doesn't have anything good to tell me and he knows I will be upset.

I have to work tonight...but at least I got a good night's sleep last night.. that was the first in awhile. Hopefully I'll have good news about Katie's situation later today.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I don't have much time b/c I am soooo tired, so I will write more tomorrow, but the Readers Digest Version is that Bill and Katie have bronchitis, Mary has a sinus infection, I have laryngitis, and I'm tired. Katie said "Little Joe" (from Veggie Tales) and "celery" (also Veggie Tales) yesterday while she was staying at my moms. Bill and I were out of town.

Happy Birthday, Emily.

More tomorrow.

Monday, October 24, 2005

This cold is kiling me, and now Katie has bronchitis. I took her to the doctor this morning. Actually I was really proud of her behavior. Usually the Dr.'s office is a disaster with her - because of a lot of her autistic issues, but today was good. She had to miss class this morning, which was a bummer, but she woke up with this horrible cough and she would put her hands to her chest each time she coughed as if to say --- This really hurts mom. That is the hard part about autistic kids being sick -- until they learn to speak, they have very little resource as to tell you how they are feeling. I just feel so badly for her -- hopefully the medicine will kick in and she will be doing better very soon.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I now have the cold that my husband and kids have had for the past two weeks. I am wiped out and sound like snufflelufogus! Mary went to church with grandma & papa today b/c there was no way I could go. Plus, Bill went to his slot-car racing tournament (I'm still not sure why they do that on Sundays) and I didn't want to try to deal with Katie going to church and screaming "DA, DA DA DA DA DA DA" and having no "DaDa" there to rescue her.

Work is crazy. I did an orientation yesterday -- they must have thought I was a freak because I had medicine head so bad that I didn't know what I was saying half of the time. It is nice to have today off -- I need to just veg. Emily and I ran to the grocery store this morning with Katie...that was funny. Emily got to witness the "Da da da da" first hand. I think I will just watch the race (YES, I am a huge Dale Earnhart, Jr. Fan, which I have yet to mention on my blog --- but be sure that will come out from time to time - go #8) and put away the zillion baskets of clean clothes that are stacked in my room.

Okay, I just have to add that while I was blogging Katie got really quiet. I thought she had wandered into the bathroom (remeber that she is not potty trained). She was sticking her hands into the toilet!!! Autism is so much fun!!!!! YIKES! Maybe Katie and I will just have to take a nap this afternoon until Mary gets home. I should have bought more coffee at the grocery store!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Emily and I went out last night -- oh my word -- I needed "girl talk" so bad -- it was very fun! I am always humored when I find people with whom I have a lot of things in common -- you know that you've had a good time when you are sitting in a car at 1 am laughing so hard that tears are rolling down your face.....yikes. But now, I am soooo tired. Of course my kid-zillas were up at the crack of dawn, and the countdown to Kohls is minus 3 hours and counting! I am doing an orientation this afternoon -- that is always interesting.

Katie and Mary are both pretty happy today. When I told Mary that I would be home for bedtime today she was pretty excited! So was I b/c it will be the first Saturday that I haven't closed at work in ages (sorry, Em.)

Well, I need to finish my Saturday cleaning and get the girls some lunch...and I definitely need another cup of coffee..then it's off to Kohl's for me. I'll try to update tonight...

Friday, October 21, 2005

What a horrible night. Bill woke up at 1 am and decided that he needed to go to the emergency room. He came home an hour later and told me he has bronchitis! Yikes. Then Mary (who also has been sick) wet her bed around 3 and then at 6 Katie was screaming. She, too, had totally soaked herself, through her diaper and her pj's and was screaming "da, da,da,da,da," at the top of her lungs. Of course, Bill was so sick from his trip to the ER that mommy -- who didn't get home til midnight from work - had to get up. I got Katie cleaned up and she decided she had had enough of her room and she wanted to wander. Do these kids ever sleep? Then, when Bill tried to leave for work Katie ran out into the garage without anyone noticing. (Very common for autistic kids to sneak out of their houses) Thank the Lord Bill realized it before he backed the car up. He carried her upstairs and put her on the bed with me and said ---- "she's yours" --- it's only 9:30 and I feel like I'm ready for a nap!!!!!
Because of my psycho work schedule at KOHLS - I am just now getting home, so this post is going to say Friday instead of Thursday --is it my fault that my blog clock can't get into sync with my body clock :) Anyway - I am tired! Kohls was crazy tonight. We are having this major sale and it was downright "zoo-ey". Daddy "Bill" was at home with the girls, but as per usual they were all sleeping when I walked in the door -so I havent' had a complete update on how the evening went. Everyone was pretty happy when I left -- except both of the girls still have colds (and Bill, ) Hopefully I'm not next. I hate being sick -- and I hate it when the kids and Bill are sick, too. Katie is especially difficult when she's sick. Imagine feeling horrible and not being able to tell anyone how to help you. It's lovely. I am hopefully that her "new" language skills will soon include "My ears hurt" or "my tummy hurts" etc. That will be a wonderful day.

Okay -- I'll try and post more tomorrow. No school for either of the kiddies tomorrow, so maybe we can sleep in a little --- and then I get to have a little "girls night" action tomorrow (or should I say today!) and I am very excited about that!!! Goodnight.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Katie said "I'm wet" this morning. How awesome! Two days in a row she has made a 2-word statement. For her that is a huge accomplishment. I still haven't heard anything from the school district regarding an aide for Katie -- I was hoping that they would resolve it this week so she could start attending school each day this coming Monday.

I need to clean my house -- I just put Katie down for a nap and Mary is not feeling well, so she is lying downstairs watching Nickelodean. I need to take advantage of the down time to get some things down -- and as per usual, I have to work tonight and we are open until 11!!!! Yikes!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

okay -- I am so tired, but I wanted to quick write about Katie's time at class this am. She did great, although she was wiped out when I picked her up. I could tell she was ready to go home. But she did say "All Done" today to the teacher when they were in the OT room and she was ready to be finished. That is huge for her. I'm trying not to be overly excited about the good progress she has shown this week -- but it is encouraging that maybe something is getting through to her.....

More tomorrow...
Today was pretty good. Mary had school so Katie and I had some time alone .... Katie is still fighting off a cold, which makes her really cranky. We went to the grocery store and then came home where she indulged herself in Dora and Diego for the rest of the morning! She has school again tomorrow. I'm hoping that they will tell me they have hired one of the substitute aides to go permanent for Katie and the ECCD classroom.

I worked, I'm tired....hopefully I'll have more news after Kate's class tomorrow...

Monday, October 17, 2005

Katie's IEP was a success. At least I believe it was. They have agreed to give her an aide 5 days a week -- both for her safety and for her benefit for being able to learn more easily. They have to find someone to fill the postition, so until then Katie can only attend class two days a week -- but they have promised to have the situation resolved by Nov. 1st . My hope is that by next week she will be in the class 5 days a week.

It is hard for me to make the transition to a classroom for Katie because all of her in-home therapies are now ending and I have made friends with all of the therapists -- so it is hard to have to let go a bit of those relationships. They are all great -- and I know that I could call any of them if I need anything. I know that the classroom will be great for Katie. Especially after I found out that she sat in a chair for 4 minutes and actually smiled at the teacher so they could take her picture while she was sitting. Is this really my Katie? I'm thrilled for her that she is showing such good signs of progress. Hard to believe she is 3 --- I guess in some ways she will always be my baby -- especially because she is still in diapers (cloth -- which is a topic for another day) and because in so many ways it is like caring for an infant. She has no sense of danger and you have to look out for her all of the time.

Well, its late and I'm tired -- and of course I need to check in on my ebay......
Monday, Monday. Katie's IEP is today. Thanks for your comments, Susie. I'm sorry to hear that Idaho doesn't have a good program for kids who need help. I am really thankful that we live in a good school district that has an excellent program for kids. It's not specifically an autism program, but she is in a really good speech and language impaired classroom and they do extra things to specifically help her with her autism. I'm hoping that the IEP goes well. There are some issues with getting her an aide 5 days a week (which I think I mentioned earlier), so hopefully we can get that straightened out today.

I don't have to work tonight (oh.. and the answer to where do I work is Kohl's department store.) I am hoping to get a good night's sleep. I need to stop drinking so much coffee, I think it is really messing with my sleep schedule.

Katie did go to school this morning. It went really well. She looked exhausted when I picked her up, but they said she actually sat down to have her drink/snack (which is a rule in the classroom -- but she doesn't like to sit still for anything). She stayed for 4 minutes -- they even took pictures of her sitting there because they were so excited (and they didn't think I would believe them :) )

I will definitely try to post some more tonight on how the IEP went, but for now, my messy house is calling me. Somedays I feel like the laundry never ends!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sundays are crazy. We did first service this morning -- I am so tired. I worked til 10:30 last night -- it actually was an exciting night as I got to actively participate in aprehending a shoplifter. But anyway, now I am home for a brief spell before going back to work for another wonderful afternoon. Sometimes I really wish I didn't need to work .. .that I could just spend more time at home with the girls. Hopefully Katie will be able to get transitioned into her class every day this week and with a little more time for myself, I may be able to overcome my stress about working so much. We have the final portion of her IEP tomorrow. They told me last week that they don't have an aide lined up for her 3 days a week -- and that perhaps I should not sign the IEP until they find someone. The only bad thing about that will be that Katie may have to wait another week or two before she can start going to school every day. I know that Bill and I are her best advocates, so we just have to pray about it and trust God that we are doing the right things for her. Well, I need to run .... work is calling.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Coffee...where would I be without it. I am so thankful that God allowed some man somewhere to figure out that coffee would be a magic substance for mankind!! I'm sipping my vanilla creme cappucino and it seems to somehow take away those headaches and the "sleepy-zilla's" that tend to haunt me on Saturday mornings. I'm still recovering from working til 1 am on Thursday night......and Katie's autism tends to cause her to be an early sleeping in isn't usually an option. Bill had to work this morning, it was mommy to the rescue. They say that bad sleep habits are pretty much consisitent across the board for kids with autism.... and I guess I'm used to it now after dealing with it for 3 years. But, as my body continues to age...(I'm 35 now) I have a much harder time dealing with no sleep than I did in my early 20's when I swear I went weeks with 5 hours of sleep total!!!Well, its time for a refill.....

Friday, October 14, 2005
Well, the birthday party is over. It went pretty well. Katie did great - no meltdowns. We kept the chaos to a minimum which is really important for her. Mary was actually much more crazy than Katie --- Only Bill's dad and my mom and dad came over -- so it was very calm.

For me it was actually nice to not have to go to work today. It seems like I've been working a lot of Fridays, so that was nice for a change. Maybe I'll spend some time on my ebay tonight.....and I'd like to check out some other blogs that I've been told about......

Here is a picture of Mary (left) Katie (middle) and my mom. They are trying to get Katie to blow out her candle. Posted by Picasa
Ask me again why a mother of two young children, and especially one with autism who requires lots of extra attention, is working til 1 am?Yikes! I came home to a house full of sleepy-zillas who don't even know that I have made an entrance! Katie was a crab this evening -- pretty typical of her when she is sick. Bill and I are hoping that her birthday goes well -- she'll probably sleep through her party!

Does anyone out there e-bay? I think I'm addicted. Just thought I'd throw that out there......It's funny when our 4 year old sees me logging on to the computer and says " are you going to do your e-bay mom?" I mostly sell, and I tell you it's a great way to get rid of all the clutter that we tend to accumulate. I try to use the money to do nice things for the girls. Katie requires a lot of special therapy toys for her OT/PT -- so that comes in handy.

Hopefully I'll be able to post some pics from Katie's birthday tomorrow.....

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Katie is in the process of transitioning into an ECCD - or speech and language impaired - classroom, as she turns 3 tomorrow and will be eligible to attend 5 days a week. This morning went fairly well, although she was crying when I went to pick her up after class. She doesn't like to have to do things "out of the box" -- she would rather just "free-play" all day. She did say "go home" while we were walking out to the car with her Occupational Therapist (OT) so that was encouraging. She is so tired.
Both she and Mary have been fighting bad colds - and they both have been cranky - which didn't help with her therapy this morning. Karen (the OT) said that she could tell Katie wasn't 100%. We have Katie's IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) final meeting on Monday to get her set up for her new classroom. We are praying that they will authorize an aide to be in the classroom 5 days a week with Katie. Right now they only have an aide for her on Mondays and Wednesdays, but we know that God will provide just the right person for Katie -- and hopefully by next week :)!
We are just planning a small birthday party for Katie -- she doens't really like all of the crazy-ness and loud noises. Just our parents and possibly Bill's sister and her husband. That will be plenty for her......

This is Katie --- our wonderful, autistic, daughter. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Being that this is my first post, I should probably give some basic background about who I am and where we are in "our life with autism". My hope is that this blog will be a place of journalling for me so that I can look back and see Katie's progress, and truly, our family's process.

We are a family of four. My husband, Bill and I , and our two daughters, Mary who is almost five, and Katie, who will be three on Friday. Katie was officially diagnosed with autism this past March.

Many people often ask how or when we first wondered about Katie's autism, and as her mother I would say that I have known something was wrong since the time she was about a year old. She never liked physical contact or social interaction like our older daughter did -- she didn't like being held, she often appeared deaf to others and she never responded to her name. I remember my grandmother visiting our home and banging tin pans together over Katie's head to see if she would turn toward the sound. She was about 18 months old at this time -- and she didn't turn towards the sound. We began having her evaluated for her speech delay -- or should I say, her complete absence of speech when she was 18 months old. By the time she was 30 months old, we had our official diagnosis, and our journey with autism was officially underway.

Katie's autism behavioral specialist has encouraged me to journal because it can be a great tool in helping you to see how far an autistic child has come. When a friend of mine suggested how much she enjoys her blog, I thought that it might be a great place for me to put down all of my feelings and perhaps be able to share them with others as well...