Sunday, October 5, 2008

Things That Keep Me From Snoring Through The Night

Like most people, I have been having some trouble sleeping lately. I can blame that on a few things.

The economy is number one on my list. With all the money going to bail out commerce, where is the money going to come from for special services? You know when times get tough, human services get hit and get hit hard. Our school system had to make painful cuts to its autism and special ed programs. I don't want to think about what could happen. If our legislators can vote to give friggin NASCAR and the like a piece of the 700 Billion Dollar Pie...,112189

... they had better not cut one dollar from education.

Sigh...let me change the subject.

The Kirton Family

The Kirton Family is being featured in a documentary that is currenly airing on Discovery Health Channel. It's called Autismx6. All six of their children are on the spectrum. See for airtimes.

I watched the program with my husband. One of their sons likes doors just like our son does.

I have another IEP meeting this week. David has been in school since January of this year. I think this week's meeting will be number 5.

David is really making progress. He's starting to make more sounds and more approximations of words and more actual words. David's teacher reported that an aide was prompting another child to say "water" I guess David grew tired of hearing the word,so tired in fact that he decided to say "water" Everyone was very happy for him. One morning, David held my face in his hands and said, "Morning Mom" I cried with joy. I was texting everyone on my way to work. The phrase "Damn it" is in his repetoire. I can't even be cross with him because he uses it appropriately!

David is also more independent. He will help with dressing. He's pretty good at putting his shirt on.

I attended David's back to school night. Two other parents were there and we were discussing with the teacher our wish for potty training. None of our sons are trained. The teacher told us that the boys are being introduced to the toilet. David being David is more interested in how the toilet works than in how his body works in conjuction with the toilet. I'm hopeful that he will be trained one day. Hopefully before puberty. Way before puberty.

Then there's the whole mainstreaming issue. I know, we're almost 2 years away from that. Here's my worries. I don't want David mainstreamed because IEPs are designed to give those with special educational needs the right to an education in a non-restrictive environment. I want David to be mainstreamed because he has something to offer that experience and that experience has something to offer him. Yeah, I get the opportunity for social interaction. David has autism. His autism makes people unimportant. Relationships with people will never be important to David. If that is all the mainstreaming experience can offer him, then that's not enough. I don't want my son to be the pink elephant in the room. I know that sounds cruel, but really,if my son is not developmentally developed enough to be able to sit in a classroom with other students his age and participate in the same educational activities then I need to find opportunities more appropriate for him. I think I'm going to lose many hours of sleep over the next two years about this issue.


Anonymous said...

I totally totally get the whole mainstreaming issue. We are there now with my son, Ryan. He is 5. He has been in public school since age 3. This is his 3rd year in school. They have already made clear their desire to mainstream him next Fall. I was on the fence about when to pull him from the "system." I am a homeschool mom to my older daughter and have enjoyed it a great deal. I finally made the decision last night to pull Ryan from the system after this year. He has made so much progress that we are ready to try him at home full time. The biggest thing that solidified my choice was a close personal friend who is a teacher. She said "i've been the teacher with the kids getting mainstreamed into my classroom. It is no good. They have big labels on them...and it is often a struggle socially because they are different." The second thing that got me was the fact that he will be in school full days. I am philosophically opposed to that even for children without developmental issues. The final nail in the coffin for me is that he is showing signs of boredom with the school work he is doing now. So, I know the feeling... it is a great big struggle and you will have to work it out for yourself... the good thing is that when the time finally comes, you will know the right thing to do for your son. He is blessed to have you.
Candi in Texas

Kelly Yates-Rice said...

Hi Candi!

Thank you for your comments and for visiting my blog!

I'm curious about something. When you homeschool, how do your kids have social opportunities with their peers?

For David, the only opportunity he has to be with peers is in school. His sister is much older, almost 21 and there aren't other children his age within our family who live close by.