Monday, January 4, 2010

Today is the first day of homeschooling with Elizabeth. She is actually enrolled in a virtual school through the public school system and I am her "learning coach." We don't have our materials yet, so I am winging it today, much as I have been for the last month with her.

She is not having a good day so far so it is hard to say how much we will get done. She is crying a lot. I am guessing it has something to do with Mike being out of town for work, but it is hard to tell.

Today I hope to work on some phonics and spelling with these great puzzles we got from my mom for Christmas. There are some great materials out there. Super smart people some up with these things.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A different kind of change

We ended up not moving due to a series of what can only be called miracles. So we are still in our house in Arizona and Elizabeth's services remain intact, which is a big relief because I believe they are working well for her and they provide continuity in the recent chaos. Namely, her speech-pathologist and occupational therapist are a god-send. Thanks to both of you for your wisdom and Patience, both with Beth and with Mom!

Through a rather long convoluted turn of events, Elizabeth is no longer in the private school she was attending, however. We have given the public schools in the town a try before and they are just not an option. So I am going to try a hybrid of homeschooling and public school. There is a public school called Arizona Virtual Academy. It is the public school curriculum but it is done out of your home with daily contact with a certified teacher to help you with the prescribed curriculum. Their special ed dept is modifying the third grade curriculum to Elizabeth's level and then I will be responsible for her completing the work.

Some (ok, ALL) people say I am crazy to take on this additional pressure. I am sure they are right just as sure as I know I need to give this a try anyway. Elizabeth is bored and full of potential and I want to try my hand at tapping into that and seeing how far she can go academically.
Wish me luck!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Changing schools, services, everything!

We are moving next week and on top of all the regular moving household challenges people face, I am looking at days and weeks of coordinating Elizabeth's school and therapies in a new place. This really is a daunting task, starting over with such important and delicate relationships in her life. But I am oddly not as freaked out as one would expect. Maybe my family is right, maybe we finally did find the right meds for me :)

I feel confident about knowing what she needs at this point and when and where compromise is appropriate. She will never get all the services she needs, but I can insist that the ones she does receive are effective and positive for her.

Autism Society of America: For Mothers of Children with Autism, Caregiving Life Proves Stressful

Autism Society of America: For Mothers of Children with Autism, Caregiving Life Proves Stressful

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Number 1

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew
By Ellen Notbohm

1. I am first and foremost a child.

This one really struck me the moment I read it. I am guilty of looking at Elizabeth as an a-typical child and thus assume in many ways that she has very little in common with typical children. This isn't true. She cares deeply about pleasing her parents, about feeling safe and secure and above all she wants to have fun.
Elizabeth didn't go to school today. They had a field trip and most of the trips are not appropriate for her. Besides, they went to the dairy farm again and Elizabeth went last year. Her favorite part was riding around in the little tram.

With her brother at the babysitter's house, she has had quiet all day long. She loves that. But with just her and I in the house it is too quiet for me. Just a huge reminder that I have yet to interact with my daughter in a conversation. I have not heard a spontaneous "Mommy!" from her lips. And I have no idea what she is thinking when she stares up into the sky for 5 solid minutes. Almost nine years now of changing diapers, trying to keep her from putting things in her mouth, having nightmares about her total lack of awareness of any danger and what I want the most is to hear her speak. Even just once.

P.S. Thanks Kiva <3

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Autism & Chelation on Dateline NBC

Autism &#038; Chelation on Dateline NBC

Jim Adams is head of several Autism organizations here in Phoenix.