Monday, February 28, 2011

Live Eagle Cam!

Phoebe showed us this, we got it from her school website. :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Underground School

Friday, February 11, 2011

Terra Centre Elementary School

We - JR, Christopher & I - spent about an hour this morning in what we hope will soon be Christopher's new school! :) It was mostly just meet the teacher, see the classrooms, and setup an IEP meeting - which is set for 1:30pm Mon 21 Feb. Ms. Gorham will provide a draft IEP for our review next week, we expect it to say he will benefit from class-based services, and he will be able to start school immediately - Tuesday the 22nd. :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

from "Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew" by Ellen Notbohm

"And finally, three words: Patience. Patience. Patience. Work to view my autism as a different ability rather than a disability. Look past what you may see as limitations and see the gifts autism has given me. It may be true that I’m not good at eye contact or conversation, but have you noticed that I don’t lie, cheat at games, tattle on my classmates or pass judgment on other people? Also true that I probably won’t be the next Michael Jordan. But with my attention to fine detail and capacity for extraordinary focus, I might be the next Einstein. Or Mozart. Or Van Gogh. They had autism too. The answer to Alzheimer’s, the enigma of extraterrestrial life -- what future achievements from today’s children with autism, children like me, lie ahead? All that I might become won’t happen without you as my foundation. Be my advocate, be my friend, and we’ll see just how far I can go."

IEP Development

JR & I (& Christopher) are meeting with an FCPS Special Education Preschool teacher at 1015am Friday morning to initiate the development of Christopher's Individual Educational Program (IEP). Ms. Giatra Gorham teaches at very nearby Terra Centre, presumably an FCPS special education preschool. Christopher's IEP is due by 3/03 (which is a Saturday, so will be done before then). I still have no good indication whether he will receive in-home services or class-based services.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Oh Yeah, the Eligibility Committee

The meeting Thursday was a simple discussion about whether or not the team agrees that Christopher would benefit from specialized individualized instruction. We/They all agreed he would. He's eligible for Fairfax County Services. We will meet next week with the curriculum planners, they have thirty days to develop a formal IEP, but they said services could start after the first meeting. I had thought it would be just preschool, but the more I look into it, it could include other more intensive therapies, maybe in-home if it would be more beneficial. We'll see.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

OMG Information Overload!

 That's me, trying to learn about autism. One in 150 kids!? One in 70 boys!? I didn't know all that stacking and lining up he did were early indicators. I though he was shy, and home too much. I didn't really know how much harder it's been for JR. I can't imagine how hard it must be for Christopher. I hope Phoebe can handle having a special needs brother. I hope my marriage can handle having a special needs child. We have to act NOW. Whatever it is, however mild, moderate, severe, functional, non-functional, no matter off or where on the spectrum, and no matter the cause - the one thing that's clear is that early and intense treatment can - not cure - but help, maybe a lot, recovery. The educational part is already underway, but JR & I are both now interested in having a clinical diagnosis, so that we can be doing anything and everything possible to make sure he has whatever we can give him to make sure he has a happy, healthy, fulfilling life. Which is also exactly what we want for Phoebe, and for each other and ourselves as well.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must - but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow -
You might succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt -
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardist hit -
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

~Author Unknown

More Questions Than Answers

Last weeks' elegibility committee meeting was postponed due to the snow, we're re-scheduled for this Thursday at 10:20am. JR has been pouring over the screening report and the internet, and is convinced Christopher has autism. I will wait for an actual diagnosis, so will find and schedule a developmental pediatrician, but can easily see how/why JR thinks autism. Christopher exhibits some degree of many autism indicators. But he doesn't exhibit them all, and the ones he does exhibit - he doesn't seem to exhibit very strongly, so if he does wind up being diagnosed on the autism spectrum, we're hopeful it would be on the higher functioning end. Meanwhile, as we continue to educate ourselves, and grapple with the possibilities, we keep coming up with more and more questions, and we're just not far enough into the process to have answers.

Could My Baby Boy Have Autism?