Friday, September 17, 2010

A soft landing

Recently, I posted a blog about my concerns for Walker's schooling.  I was worried that he wasn't really being involved as much as possible because he can be upset very easily and I was only witnessing him in one location in the classroom.  That blog is here. So today I got to experience what a morning is like for him in his classroom.

I am very pleased to report that he is being fully engaged in all classroom activities.  Actually, I really didn't think he wasn't but I wanted to witness first hand how they were handling certain aspects of his IEP goals. It was awesome to watch him interact with his aides and get involved in matching, sorting and coloring.  His aid is AMAZING!  If I could clone her for every special needs child I would!  I know that she is not just assigned to Mr. Mr. because they like to switch around within the classroom, but as I mentioned I would request her for him everyday if I could! She worked him hard and knew when to relax.  He was able to place two plastic bears in a bowl out of five tries!  It was so great to see him excited to be part of the classroom.  Circle time, they put him in his stander and he was really liking all the singing.  I had only a few suggestions for the aid, and she was very receptive.  I know that not everyday will be peaches and cream for him there, because truth is its a struggle here with him to. But I am so happy for the decisions I made to put him in preschool and I am confident that I made the right match.  Even though he isn't completely at the level that the rest of his peers are, its so good for him to be exposed and gives him something to reach for! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Snow ball in an instant

Sometimes having a non verbal child can be a blessing.  They don't tell you no or I hate you, they don't whine or say "i'm gonna tell grandma on you", you can have adult conversations and not worry about your language being repeated.  But mainly, its not so good.  There are days when I would give anything to hear Walker call me mama or tell me he loves me.  Mostly, though its difficult when he is distressed and I can't figure out what is wrong or how to sooth him.

His transition to pre-school has been pretty good.  The summer session went by without any major incidents, but the last few days have been a little rough.

On Friday, Ramiah got a call from the school nurse stating that Walker was very fussy and upset and they felt that he would be more comfortable at home.  So he went in and picked him up.  By the time he got to the school Mr. Mr. was asleep, and by the time he got him home he was in a great mood and ate like a champ.  Over the weekend, we watched him closely.  Sure he had a runny nose, and he is cutting teeth, but was there something more brewing?  When Monday came around and nothing seemed wrong, we sent him off to school. He had a great day and came home singing.  Yesterday though, we hit a bump in the road again.  The nurse called Ramiah early (my cell phone is still not working) and he gave permission to give him some tyelonol.  If his teeth were the culprit that would certainly do the trick.  However, when I called by 11:30, he was still very upset.  So upset, that I could hear him wailing in the back ground.

I was very torn.  I could clearly hear my child in distress, I could clearly hear the tone in the nurses voice that she felt I should be there to pick him up, but I also wondered if it was just a normal "off" day for Walker.  If so, then it would be important for the aides to learn his cues and how to deal with him.  He couldn't possible stay home every day he had a runny nose or sore teeth.  So I compromised.  I told the nurse to give him another dose and that I would come into the class and work with the staff on some tricks that I know. 

I think she thought I was alluding that they didn't know what they were doing, since I was given ample assurances that they were all mothers and have dealt with children for a long time.  My point wasn't that they didn't have a clue, its just that they don't really know Walker yet.  So i headed into school, very curious to see what I would find. 

What I found was a passed out and exhausted Walker.  Not surprisijngly since he had been screaming and crying for almost three hours.

The aides in the classroom were genuinely  concerned.  I could see their anguish written on their faces.  Maybe I am just used to these types of days with Walker.  What I do know is that he can snow ball very quickly from a little upset into full blown tantrum and nothing seems to calm him.  Its these times that I wish he could just tell me whats wrong!  I can try different things and take my best guess but sometimes that doesn't even work, so then I try something else, and then I am not sure if he is over stimulated and I am just pissing him off more!  It can be exhausting for both of us!

My hope is that the aides will become more equipped to head him off before he gets into the snow ball again, and most importantly I really hope that one day he will be able to communicate somehow what he needs! 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Watching those pennies

$17.47 is what I spent last night at the super market for baby food for Walker. Sadly, the amount of food I purchased would only last him 4 days tops!  That doesn't include the 5 or 6 jars we toss each week because he eats a portion of them then clams right up! I've been meaning to really just STOP buying it, but the laziness in me, just keeps putting it in my cart!  It is also the easiest thing to get the hubby to use, since it doesn't require much forethought, except going to the kitchen cabinet and opening the door! 

Pennies are tight these days, so I have to come up with some other alternative.  Tack on his dietary issues and its not so easy.  Hopefully, though I have found some options.  Last night I also purchased a beef roast and some potatoes.  I put the roast and the potatoes in the crock pot and this morning they were ready to be pureed.  After completing this task I realized that I will need more Tupperware and a bigger freezer, I was able to make up 12 portions!  So that is compared to the $1.00 jar of meat and the $1.50 of vegetables that would be needed to fill him up.  The roast cost $5 and the potatoes were free (compliments of my good friend John's garden!)  so i believe this is a SCORE!  Hopefully I can do this three times a week, alternating between meals to try and spice it up for the little man! It will only be a test of my planning skills!  

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Handicap Permit Only

Last week I went and got our handicap parking permit.  It doesn't sound like a big deal but I had struggled with the idea of putting one up in my car and actually using a handicap parking spot.  Its nothing against anyone who has one, I just felt that we weren't really worthy of having it.  Walker is only 2 1/2, and I push him in his adaptive stroller.  I am a fit and able woman, so why would I need a parking permit?

Then I remembered the day we took Walker to get his AFO's fitted and they were having a special ceremony at the school.  There were no parking spots on the school grounds, nor for three blocks up the road.  So me and my four kids walked all the way there, with no side walks.  There were however many handicap parking spots unused, but I refused to park in one without a permit. 

I also remember the day that I attempted to take all four children shopping, and the parking spots were so close together that I couldn't get out my door.  I had to crawl through the hatch back and everyone exited that way.  Its pretty tricky maneuvering a 30 lb kid while hunched over in your mini van. 

Then I remembered trying to mail a package at my local post office, with both babies in the car and no stroller.  We had rushed out the door and I will ill prepared.  So I left both kids in the car with the doors locked.  Don't worry its was in the winter and I was gone for about 5 minutes, but boy, that handicap parking spot was right out the door in clear view of the post master and it was empty!

So I filled out the paper work and got ourselves a handicap parking permit.  I don't plan on using it will malice intentions, in fact I'd be surprised if I use it at all!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hat tricks

This weekend has been a little difficult with Mr. Walker.  It seems he is cutting teeth and getting a cold!  What this means is that I have had to revisit my bag of tricks to keep him happy and eating.  In this bag are all kinds of things that I haven't had to pull out in a while.  The first item is a vibrator. Yes, a vibrator.  Don't cringe it was a demo back when I was a Passion Party consultant and it does not look like a penis in any way or was it used!  Its just the perfect size for Walker since its cordless and the right size for him to hold.  It instantly calms him down.  When he is all worked up, starving but not eating, this is what I bring out to distract him! We also have a vibrating hair brush that I send to school (thinking that they wouldn't be too crazy about a purple vibrator in the back pack!) The other item is his weighted blanket.  I have to admit, we don't use it nearly as much as we should.  I just forget that I have it since its kept in the closet in his room.  This fits nicely over him and me, which even makes me feel calmer.  He seems to like it when he is laying on the floor.  The only problem is that when he rolls over he gets all tangled up in it. Another sure fire way to make him "change the channel", is a vibrating Bert and Ernie head.  When you push their mouth, it laughs while vibrating.  This always makes him smile! Last but not least is the ole stand by Tylenol .  Yup, when i can't get him to calm down, when we can't figure out what is wrong, then we give him the dose.  I hate 'druggin' him, but honestly, he can't tell us what is hurting and often after a day or two we figure it out and it made sense to give it to him. The problem with this is that I can't gauge then if he has a fever or not. So we are going to ride it out (what else choice do we have), and hope that this is over fast!  Otherwise, I might just whip out the bottle of Southern Comfort.... for me not him silly!