Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays

Wylie has been off for his winter break, and we have been really just goofing around.

I completely forgot to register for my college courses for next year. Yuh. It just slipped my mind. I often just feel like I’m slipping in quicksand. No time for this; no time for that. I’ve NEVER failed to get into the holiday spirit like this, before. Everything has seemed like impossible work. Pssh.

Wylie is fine. Out of all the things on my mind right now, I’m not too worried about him right now. He’s a happy kid. He just brightens my day. And when he’s sad, it’s like the whole world comes crumbling down. He has this wail that is, like, kryptonite to me. But, boy, does my boy remind me of me! Intense, but not chronic. I get it. Short outbursts are something I’m familiar with.

We went shopping for Christmas presents the other day and he was a bit of a pain, but,  it’d be dishonest to say he was any worse than any other 2 year old at a crowded Walmart at 10 in the evening.  I loved it. It was a relief to be spared the dirty looks as I basically ignored his sobfests over some Cars action figures I made him leave behind. At one point, however, he spotted a baby and had a bit of a one-track mind after that. He kept calling out to this little girl, even after we had long passed the aisle she was in. “BABY! BABY! Baby, where are you?” Some couple passed me and I heard the dad whisper, “Oh, please don’t say baby one more time.” Haha, but we got him back good when, an hour or so later, we were in the checkout line together, and he overheard my husband say “And you want another one??” in response to them totally losing control of their two children. Honestly, we were both kinda rude, and both deserve to be forgiven. Tis the season, right??

A few days later, my hubby and I took him over to our in-laws to celebrate Christmas. Everybody was very impressed with Wylie. My mother in law just gushed about him, as he ran amok with his cousins, having a good ole time. He just laughed and laughed as he played. “He’s talking so much more!” “He’s such a happy kid!” “It’s like night and day!” they all said. Stereotypes aside, they have a point. A year ago at this event, Wylie was a total disaster. His little cousin enraged him by being too “in-your-face” for him to handle, and he hovered around the door waiting for someone to take him home. Wylie didn’t listen; he wasn’t able to handle the amount of people, or the attention he was getting; he was pretty miserable.

I know the school has made a world of difference. It’s like he has discovered how fun kids can be. Heh. He talks so much more, now. I’ll be shocked when he busts out with full sentences. “No, I don’t want to!” he shouts when I ask him to “come here”.  “I want bubbles, please! Yay, we’re doing bubbles!” There is still a lot of echolalia mixed with his jargon- “Oh, mmm, doogoo bada want to see the fish!” from American Tail. “The baby’s coming! The baby’s coming!” from Ice Age 3. “No, don’t bite! Mm mm!” from, I guess, whoever he tried to bite, hahaha! I’m so proud of him. And I am very happy with the direction he has taken with his ABA. When I began there, I wanted very strict, very formal one on one programs. When he started working with other children, I was not impressed at first. When he started his preschool, I worried about him losing the attention he needed to thrive. But learning how to cooperate with others has been such a good thing in his life. He has been so happy.

Wylie is fast approaching his 3rd birthday. I think my family basically thought by this time he would be ready for regular ed, and pretty much fine, hahaha. Barely autistic or something. I really think at some time in the future I may have to find an occupational therapist, and we haven’t mastered a significant amount of his ABA programs… his language is still quite delayed. But, I’m gonna say this. Wylie’s a sneaky little thing, and I’m often surprised at what he knows. He has a good attitude. Frankly, he’s a chip off the old block. I may have, at one point, expected this to be easier than it actually is; but I think I’ve grown stronger than I thought I could be a year ago.

 Wishing everybody happiness.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Completed Semester! ...What now?

Once again, feeling a little unprepared.
                Arrrrgh. I don’t know. I was not made for morning shifts. No, I don’t feel like I have the rest of the day to get everything done. I feel like I get off work and it’s a few hours until I have to go back again.
                Particularly frustrating when I feel like I’ve missed the mark when it comes to communication with Wylie’s school. Oh dear. So I thought his pre-preschool semester ended when his whole ABA school took a winter break. Found out a day before it ended that I was wrong and it ended a week BEFORE the break. And I, true to my very nature, felt slapped in the face by my own procrastination. (Shit). Yeah. Okay. What now??
                To catch everybody up, Wylie just completed 3 months of a pre-preschool program, specifically designed for children who are ready to transition into a classroom setting. This doesn’t necessarily only encompass “high functioning” “aspies”—some children in the class are bound for straight up regular ed, and some children have just been doing the ABA thing for a while and it’s time for a chance to figure out some new accommodations. Wylie, I’ve been assured, is Super Advanced. Maybe not even autistic, haha.
                But Wylie isn’t exactly ready for school. He talks in jargon more than actual words. His self sufficiency skills are a little behind—potty training and getting dressed are skills we haven’t really tackled yet. He’s not a stickler for routine, but transitions are still likely to leave him unfocused.
                He has gained some important skills and experience during this semester of school. He’s 2 years old, and he’s doing a full 7 hour day at school. Um, amazing? I think so. And he LOVES it. He loves the other kids. His social skills aren’t perfect by any means, but his social interest is encouraging. And there is no doubt that he is at like kindergarten level academics now. The actual SCHOOL stuff is a piece of cake for him. As much as I know about autism (which, you know, is a lot, but I’m a mom and not an expert) I find it incredibly bizarre that language still escapes him. Yes, I admit it, it’s harder and harder for my feeble brain to wrap my head around uneven skill development. I get that it exists. I get that the brain has all these different pathways n stuff. But watching it in real life still makes my own brain hurt. Were ya thinkin about speaking any time soon, Baby???
                Anyway. The semester is over. The semester was granted to us. We cannot afford the 2nd semester. No way. I was pretty resigned to max out my credit card for it—after all, how many semesters could he need?? He’s so smart, after all. But after a Family Discussion, I’ve been persuaded. I haven’t been strong armed, I’ve been thoroughly persuaded—maxing out credit cards is sort of a desperate act. We might find ourselves needing that safety net. And I would do anything for my child, but when you are poor and your child may need long term expensive services, you gotta sorta prioritize. I want him there SO BAD. Thinking about it just makes me cry. It’s almost an ideal situation. But I guess I can’t put all my eggs in one basket for “almost.”
                So I have a few options to pursue. I can awkwardly beg for more kindness and charity when I’ve already been blessed with so much. And let me tell you—I will. I don’t expect any. It’s too much to ask for. But it’s not for me so I have to ask. There are private preschools to look into. There is the public school system—he turns 3 soon, and technically I’m sure he still has an IEP from ECI 0-3. I’m not sure. A little apprehensive, tho.