Thursday, January 31, 2008

Graceful equations

Once upon a time, it seems a long time ago, I was a highly intellegent youth. Or so I was told. I took my SAT's while in middle school and had colleges calling to recruit me before I ever stepped in to highschool. Yes I was quite full of myself and my brainpower. Now that I am a little older and have children that have just entered or about to enter highschool it seems to me that either I or the educational system back then was highly deluded.

The flu has picked on our household member by member starting with my husband last Friday. Connor and I are finally fever free but now my Gracie is ill and worse than that, she has been incredibly bored just hanging out in bed watching T.V. Strange as she would be perfectly happy to sit and watch T.V. if she were well. Being so bored, she ventured out into the dining room during dinner to sit with the rest of the family although she had no appetite.

She brought along paper, pencil and calculator, sat with us, and did equations. It is something I can imagine Connor doing at nauseum when he discovers what you can do with numbers. She does this for something to do often. I think she she does it for fun. I watch her amazed and proud, as well a tad ashamed that my brain is dimmer now and for the life of me could not tell you what all the numbers and signs mean.

Her older sister looks over taking a gander at what she is up to and exclaims "Oh let me see it for a sec!" She takes the paper and pencil, pausing only a few seconds to go over it all scribbles a bit more down then hands the paper back to her younger sister.

"What did you do?" Gracie asks lazily.
"I found the slope." She answers proudly.
Looking at her sister as if she was a lower life form she replies, "OMG we learned that last year!"
My mom voice had escaped me "Grace Ellen!"
"What?!" her and her father ask at the same.
"What did she do?" He asks as he wasn't listen to the first part of the conversation.
"She's a being a math snob! Gracie honey, sometimes it's not what you say but how you say it."
"I know, I know. Sorry." She offers to her sister who now has her feelings hurt.
"But Mom she's an English snob!"

Funny how they can always salvage an argument out of every conversation.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Primative man and the mullet

Like many, my son is protective over parts of his body. Mainly his head. He can stand for hands to touch it and even being massaged with finger tips, for a limited amount of time. The problems occur with the presence of tools. Same with his hands or fingers, again touching is fine if not in a restrictive or forceful manner, until the appearance of tools.

I do manage to keep his nails trim and clean for the most part, because I get one maybe two a night before bed when he is calm and attempts of escape are not as effective. His hair however is a different story. With both of these problems I have been told "Do it in his sleep." The problem with this is I always hit the spot on the floor that squeaks and causes him to arouse from a deep sleep. If I miss the spot and reach him it is only momentary. The feel of touch during sleep causing him to slightly open his eyes to check out his surroundings to make sure all is well. I am sure I could not find many people to say they would be fine with dozing back off to dreamland after awakening to find your mother towering over you, scissors in hand.

Assuming I do get in and get a snip in here or there and beside the fact I am wary of having scissors near my sons head at the wee hours of night, if I start at the top/front do I just pray mullets temporarily come back in style? We are in Kentucky it may play off. If I can start in the back does that make things much better? A tellum? Then there is always the Victor/Victoria option, where I am able to only get half of his head. Also what about the hair that does get cut off. How to keep it from him and his bed so the rest of the night isn't followed by tears and meltdown due to itching.

I have seen a few boys with long hair that look just fine, but then again being able to brush or comb the hair does help to keep that grizzly appearance at bay. No it seems the answer may be to slowly desensitize (it that a word? if it is, is it possible?).

The OT suggests that I continue touching his head as often as possible to get him to realise all is well. Letting him hold the clippers while on and covered to protect. Going to a barber shop and explain the we need to visit a few times to watch and then make an attempt. Make sure that he is given a thorough bath after to make sure no hair is on him and make it a pleasant experience.

Those OT folks make things sound so obvious and simple don't they? Wish us luck!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Speech therapy and cows

Whoopie! We have a new speech therapist!

Connor had been missing his speech therapist that moved back to her hometown. His OT is in the same building so everytime we would visit the OT he would try to go to his speech therapist's old room and then meltdowns would follow.

We were told about the new therapist on Wedsnesday and had an appointment the following day at 1 right after school. When she comes out to the waiting room and starts talking to him he warms up to her immediatly.
"Hi, Connor!" she is very soft with him but shows she is very happy to see him.
He looks at her and takes her hand and I ask him "Can you say hello to Ms. B?"
He looks at her again, a huge smile on his face, and leans in to give her a kiss.

We brought his book along to show her the song that Ms. H had taught him before she left. Alot of Ms. H's old clients have been taught this song and Ms. B was glad to finally get the full scope of what it was about. We went over the old goals and I was surprised about how much Connor has improved since they were wrote up.

Transitioning is still a major goal as is attending to nonperferred activities, but labeling is in the past as he does this as well as ask for things that he doesn't see. She decided we should skip ahead a little to start the use of 2 -3 word sentences even though he was telling us "I got triangle.", "It's a letter T." as we were talking. As the use of these sentences are VERY new I consented to this being the starting point.

He had me baffled however that since the moment we arrived on the premises he started asking for a cow. I tried singing "Old MacDonald" and that do the trick for a little while, but as the session ended and we were leaving he says "Want Cow!" and it was a job to get him up and out to the car. Once out in the car he decides to abandon his request and instead ask for "Hamburger?".

Surely he doesn't know what hamburgers are made of! He never really wants a hamburger when he asks for them anyway he always wants fries and chicken nuggets. He just knows that the places you get such quality food always have pictures of hamburgers. I talked about this situation with his older sister when she was out of school. The child actually looked at me with pity in her eyes, her poor old mother just doesn't have a clue about what's going on, how do I make through the day alone she must wonder.
"No he doesn't want a hamburger." She sighs.
"Well what then?"
"While you were at the therapist's he wanted the farm animal puzzle the OT has down the hall! When you got out to the car he was hungry and wanted nuggets and fries." She explains.

I wonder if they will let her answer her cell phone at school in case I have any other questions for her?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Playtime over!

The holidays are over and children back in school. I drop each off then recline in my desk chair taking a deep breath; "ah" followed by another. I love the holidays and loved having my children home with me during the days, but there is always too much of a good thing.

Holidays meant that the only therapy Connor was getting was occupational and there were 3 appointments in 2 months that were cancelled due to days off. Connor was in a right state, music therapy being halted because of ear infections, brushing halted due to aversion after an accidental scratch. When we arrived for therapy last Friday I think the OT didn't know which one to she should put to work, him or me.

He is obviously missing his speech therapist that moved back to her hometown and we are patiently waiting for the next one appointed. He sings the song she taught him constantly "Apple, Apple, ah ah ah. Baby, baby, ba ba ba...." So the girls and I printed up all the pictures that go with the song and made him his own book.

Today the happiness on his face as we passed the water tower on the way to school showed on his faced as it dawned on him where we were heading. I am actually excited to see the planned curriculum for the week although some will be old hat for him some is new stuff and some is more involved ideas than he cares for.

Learning about: Happy Birthday!
He knows all about Happy Birthday! It is the proper greeting at all times!

Letter: H
"Happy! Happy! HA HA HA" will be sung at no end.

Number: 1
He counts forward and backwards all the time.

Things they will talk about: Birth dates, month and day. First Middle and last names. He will probably memorize these no problem if he is interested. "Talk about the New Year and resolutions", this is where I am interested to see if he has interest in participating. Not being academics, involving numbers, letters, colors or shapes I just don't see why he would take an interest. They are ideas. Not saying that he doesn't have ideas, he is intelligent and imaginative, but there are many factors (audio reception among them) that make it likely he will tune them out, like a man tuning out a gaggle of women talking about their feelings.

Then again he is always making a liar out of me and making steady progress. I hope that trend continues.