Thursday, July 15, 2010

Nope...not a ghost

I *finally* got smart and found an android app for blogging! <hits forehead> Duh...

Anyhow, I'm here...quick update summary and more catching up to follow:

* FINALLY found a new job and love it

* don't like my manager so much

* still trying to catch up on bills etc

* Trace is having medication issues (add/adhd combined inattentive-hyperactive type) as in, they don't seem to be working as well

* Landon is 4 yrs old now...some behavior issues but most likely nothing not typical for his age...speech is improving by leaps and bounds!

I *think* everything else is status quo....

*Love* my new blogging app!!

Location : 800-898 Tepee Dr, Independence, MO 64056,

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Too much, Not enough.....

Yes, it's been a long while since I've posted. Honestly, I've just got so much .... stuff.... going thru my head that I don't even know which way is up sometimes. Between IEP's and IEE's and speech therapy for Landon and trying to find a job....well, ready to pull my hair would be putting it lightly.

The IEE (independent educational evaluation) is done. The dr was fantastic, did a very thorough job and was right on the money about Trace. Aspergers is confirmed, ADD/ADHD combined type, dysgraphia and dyscalculia...everything that we already knew, plus a couple of new ones (dysgraphia and dyscalculia).

The scores on the tests done by the district as compared to the dr's scores....extreme differences. On the Woodcock Johnson III, from the dr's evaluations: on the Written Expression, Writing Fluency and Writing Samples, he scored as well as 1% of his peers. 1% !?! Math Fluency was less than 4%. Broad Written Language less than 6%. Including the ones I just listed, he scored under 50% on *11* of the tests....only 5 tests scored above 50%. On these percentile scores, 50% is pretty much average...anything below 50%, less than average, anything above 50%, above average. With the school's evaluation, the count was exactly the opposite... 5 tests were below 50%, 11 above...go figure. On the Wechsler Intelligence Scale there were such drastic differences that I wondered if they'd even tested the same child!!! His full scale IQ had a 23 point difference....that's huge. Also, something that I didn't know at the time but was later noted and confirmed by several people (including our family psychologist who's been in practice 40+ years) ...when the school did the WISC with Trace....on 9 of the subtests administered, he scored exactly the same score....exactly the same. Our family psychologist said that in all his years of practice, he's never seen that happen on one child's test. Again, the differences between what the school scored and what the IEE psychologist found, drastic differences. Just as an example..... on the Comprehension subtest, the school scored him at 75%, the IEE found him at 9% - from above average to doing no better than 9% of his peers?!? Another drastic example, on the Letter Number Sequencing scored (another) 75%, while the IEE found him to be at 0.4%.

Anyhow, we had our IEP meeting last Thursday. 2 hrs it lasted and....for the most part, it was a complete waste of time. The school part of team, when I brought up his low % scores on the IEE, says "oh, he was probably just having a bad day." or "You know, his testing was done after school, when his medication had worn off. He was probably fatigued." I can understand that he could be a bit tired after school....however, that being said, several things immediately come to mind- 1) the IEE psychologist would NOT have continued testing if she didn't think he'd been up to it. She would have rescheduled. and 2) even if he *was* fatigued, the differences in the scores would NOT have been that drastic, a few % points, sure......the ones that I put up above...not even maybe.

On the plus side, he will continue with 60 minutes of speech therapy per week, and 30 minutes of occupational therapy per week (plus in the regular ed classroom guidance and redirection assistance). On the negative side....really nothing else was addressed, or was brushed off if I brought it up.

Why does this have to be so difficult? Why do we parents have to fight so damned hard for something that shouldn't have to be fought for at all? And, what about the parents that don't have the resources that we've been blessed enough to have? A wonderful family psychologist, an awesome mentor/advocate, supportive family....all this, and we're still having issues. Parents that don't have any of that, what chance do their kids have if the schools try to shirk their jobs?

I'm too tired and too stressed to even try typing anymore tonight....I can't wrap my brain around even 1/4 of this stuff, much less 100% of it which is what my boy needs from me.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hallelujah, there *is* a bit of peace at our home!!

First.....seriously Mother Nature? December 23rd and all you got for us is a thunderstorm, complete with lightening? *shrug* I know there's a snowstorm headed our way and the newspeople are all "Yippee!! It's gonna be a white Christmas!!" but, I won't believe it til it's on the ground...jus' sayin'....

Second....I may have mentioned a few times (like, eleventy thousand times!!) that Landon has/is a bit of a behavior challenge for us. And, I may have *mentioned* to his pediatrician more than a few times the same challenges. At his last visit, I mentioned it yet again and she told me about a book called "Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood-Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years". I was skeptical to say the least, the very least. But, I put it on hold at the library and got the news it was ready for pick up this past Monday. I got it, I started reading it, I scoffed thru about the first quarter of it thinking to myself "There is NO way this is going to work on Landon, no way." But, I kept reading and...a funny thing happened. It actually made sense, it seemed that it just might be plausible that it would work. Sooooo....I took some of the principles and gave them a whirl. Y'all? Hallelujah, amen and praise the Lord, there's been peace in our house for the last 2 days at least 90% of time!! (At this very moment however, we're experiencing part of the other 10% of time....oy!).

The principles behind the concept are very basic and, well, logical, to be honest. Build the self-concept, share control/decision-making, offer empathy *then* consequences and lastly, share the thinking and problem-solving. I'll be the first to admit....the 2nd concept of sharing control/decision-making had me shaking my head, I just knew it wasn't going to work. But, apparently, the key is offering only 2 choices (making sure you're ok with either one being chosen) and in 10 seconds flat if they haven't made a choice, make it for them. We tried that...and it worked. Yeah, I know, crazy right? I was brave and tried another tactic...we used the "Uh-oh" song. Yup, the "Uh-oh" song...when he started to misbehave, I would say in a "sing-song" voice "Uh-oh....looks like we need to spend a little quiet time in our room" and took him back to his room and told him quietly and simply "When you're done, you can come out", closed the door and walked down the hall. I stayed close, just to make sure it was all ok. After about 3 minutes or so, he came out, wiped his eyes and said "I ready now". I smiled at him, gave him a hug and kiss and went about our day. The authors say it's important to *not* rehash what happened that caused the "quiet time". Rinse and repeat as necessary. Do you know, after two times, we didn't have any more quiet times yesterday? And, only one today and it was more about being tired and having time to "collect" himself. I was thrilled to pieces by bedtime last night, thrilled!

This morning the boys unwittingly provided me with a chance to combine several things from the book...and IT WORKED! I had errands to do this morning, I gave them a choice-"you can come with me or you can go to Dan and Deb's". They chose to go with me. I told them that was fine but that for this to happen they needed to 1) be nice to each other and 2) listen to me while we were getting ready. Started out good, Landon put his own clothes on, Trace too....they brushed their teeth, and then I offered 2 choices for breakfast. Trace immediately started in about not wanting either choice and then Landon started in, and Trace took off stomping down the hall. He stopped at his door, looked back at me and said something smart-alecky....I just shook my head at him and said in a sad voice, "Wow, this is a bummer dude. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about your behavior right now but, I'll think on it for a while and let you know. Try not to think about it." Can I tell you now that I *love* the phrase "Try not to think about it." ?? LOL...he was immediately asking what are you going to do etc etc. I just shook my head sadly and told him that I wasn't sure yet. "Love and Logic" calls this a delayed consequence. Normally it's used in situations where an immediate consequence isn't feasible or the behavior so out of line you need time to think of something. I used it cuz I didn't know what to do! LOL. Thumbed thru the book and found the perfect consequence. I took them to Dan and Deb's house. Once there, I got the boys in front of Dan and Deb and laid out the following: "Guys, I was really disappointed this morning with your behavior. I need to know that when we're out running errands that you're going to be nice and behave for me. Since you couldn't do that today, Dan and Deb are going to watch you while I run errands. They are going to charge you $1/hr if you're nice to each other and behave. It's $3/hr if you don't behave and be nice. So, how are you going to pay them?" LOL, Trace's eyebrows shot up his forehead and he blurted out "But I don't have any $$" and Landon mimiced him. I said "that's ok, I can pay them for you." of course there was "yay, thanks mom!" and then I added in, "and you can pay me back. For $1/hr you only have to do a few chores for me. But, for $3/hr it's chores, *plus* one favorite book and one favorite toy." They looked concerned and a bit bewildered but said "Ok".

I ran my errands, picked them up to the chorus of "Mom! We were good!! We were good!!" and we went home where they each did a chore for me and went about the afternoon. They're both very tired this evening so it's been a challenge and they've both visited their rooms for "quiet time", but overall, it's been good. I think I'm going to keep doing this.....and try and tweak some things to be specific to them but I have hope!!