Friday, November 26, 2010


Our day started out nice enough.  Got up, showered and dressed and out the door we went to the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade.  It was lovely.  Dylan lost his mind when the Scooby Doo float went by.  He's on a Scooby kick.  He was fascinated with the big balloons and worried about Frostie when his strings got caught on a light pole.  He just sat atop Marc's shoulders, eating a soft pretzel and watching the wonder that is a parade.  He loved the bands and, since he was wearing a hat with ear flaps, it seems it was enough to filter out the sounds he doesn't like.  Overall, it was a great experience.

Then, Marc's mother offered to take Dylan for the afternoon and bring him home for dinner. Great, we'd have an easier time getting the house cleaned up and dinner prepared (~insert Gd laughing here~).

When we got home, we realized that we were missing a few things so off to the market I went. Got home and realized we had been shorted our squashes at the produce store so back out the door I went. Got home and Marc tells me my Mom stopped by to drop off soup. Great.

Five minutes. Phone Rings. Mom says to me "I just got rear ended. I'm on XXX Road (right around the corner from me) and I'm hurt. I scream at Marc and run out the door and fly over to the accident site. My heart was pounding but it almost leaped out of my chest when I saw a fire truck. I pulled in behind the police car and took off running in the direction of the accident with people yelling at me. Fuck em. That's my Mom. I got to the car as the paramedics were taking her out on a backboard. I totally lost it. It's been 4 years since I lost my Dad and all I could think of is that I can't lose her too. The paramedics were wonderful, told me she was fine and that it was just precautionary. I went home, got Marc and took him back to the site to take her car home (thankfully it was drivable) and ran into the city to get my sister and came back to the hospital together. We stayed with her, she had CT Scan and x-rays and proclaimed her to be fine. She's hurting like hell today but I'll tell you what...

I'm really thankful that she's okay. I'm thankful that my wonderful husband cleaned the house and made almost every dish for the Thanksgiving meal and then cleaned up everything by himself. I'm thankful we are all healthy, have what we need and have a loving family.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I hate it when my spidey sense is right

I've been worried about Dylan.  Something felt off.   He's been having behavior issues off and on the whole year.  I'd say 90% of those issues are sensory related.  I just didn't feel they were managing his Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD correctly.  I was right.

Last week he had a perfect week. No issues with behavior at school or even at home really. I had noticed that a lot of the stimming he was doing at home (verbal and physical) was greatly reduced. He seemed more calm, more center. Not so much this week.

He came home Monday and was a bit of a sensory junkie. I knew the report wasn't going to be great before I even opened his book. The notes stated "had a great morning, not so great afternoon". Can someone please tell me what the hell that is supposed to mean? How can I help the teacher if I don't have details. GRRR okay, I know she's busy and can only do so much so I'll leave it alone.

Last night, when I went to pick him up, he was playing and throwing himself to the ground. ~insert HUGE red flag~ He was also being mouthy (chewing on anything he could) and being fresh with me. I usually will look through his stuff at daycare while he plays. I just couldn't bring myself to look at it.

I got home, opened it and sighed. Dylan had a terrible day culminating with him hitting another child. Ugh, I feel so bad! Now, if you have never had a child with an articulation disorder, you won't know the heartbreak it is to see your child suffering but he just can't get the words out. He looked like he was in physical pain when I was asking him what happened. He couldn't get the words out. I have no idea what happened. I emailed the teacher.

Her response was that she wasn't there when it happened (I think he was in art) and would find out from the teacher. She said that his afternoons are rough. She thinks it's because he's tired. He spins in his seat, won't sit still (stimming) and they are using a sensory diet but it doesn't appear to be working.

My response to her was explaining that he is used to long days and yes, while he does get tired in the afternoon, if his sensory needs are met, he should be able to attend to his work.  I also asked... "What tools are you using in the classroom?  Are they being used consistently or in response to behavior?  Do you feel an aid for Dylan would be in order?"

 When I observed in his classroom a week or so ago, I noticed that he was stimming.  I waited to see how it would be handled.  It took him sliding off his chair onto the floor under the table before the aid went and got his weighted vest.  He immediately calmed down.

I think it's time to request a meeting with the child study team leader - I want another OT session added to his IEP (he gets 2) and, depending on the response I get from his teacher, I may demand he get an aid.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Speaking of entitlement....

Where does a parent's responsibility end and the school/state's responsibility begin? Our audiologist has recommended that Dylan use the software program "FastForward" next year. It's software that helps to retrain the brain's ability to process information (neat huh?). The school doesn't offer it. It's several thousand dollars from what I hear and we don't have the money for it. Someone said to fight the school, make them pay for it. That feels wrong to me. I am his parent - it's my responsibility isn't it?

A coworker told me her sister got funding from the state to build a sensory room for her son. $1,000 from the state of Massachusetts! How cool is that? Her son is severely delayed and is blind. She also has very limited income as well. I looked to see if something like that was offered locally for Dylan. It appears there is. However, I stopped. There are so many people in our state who probably need these services more than us. Would a sensory room or something like hat make a huge difference to Dylan? Part of me wants to ask for help - we could really use help but part of me doesn't want to take away from someone who may need it more. I guess it's the Jewish guilt thing. I don't know. I really need to process this. Anyone have any insight?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Parent Observation Day

Today was parent observation day.  A day to go into school and see what my son's day is like.  I came out of it excited and terrified all at the same time. 

I love the teaching methods being used as they really seem to be speaking to Dylan.  However, his sensory seeking is off the hook.  I was happy to see one of the aids get and put his vest on him but it did take a while for her to pick up his cues.  Now, I know, I'm his mother and I can sense his seeking before he actually does it but he's having behavior issues that are tied to his SPD & CAPD.  If they aren't properly managing both, he's going to have increasing problems.

Now, we do have parent teacher conferences next month so I'm going to wait till then to address it. I did call his teacher out though. Yesterday we got a note home that he had a rough day. He refused to come in from recess. I emailed her and asked her what was their action plan as they have had this happen before with him. Her response was that she'd talk to the OT. WTF - the OT isn't going to do what I told you to do months ago which is to set up his expectations daily before the troublesome activity. "Dylan, we are going outside for recess. What do you need to do when I call you? Come In? Yes, thank you". That's all it takes for him to comply. When I pressed her on it she admitted that the class was a bit off because of her and her staff being sick and they didn't set him up properly yesterday. Great, you give him a time out for something you could have avoided. Nice.

It was nice to see him in speech therapy and in OT. Kid gets a little massage before each session. Lucky!!! We had a great session with our therapist last night and he gave a great example of central auditory processing delay.

You work in the city. You come up from the subway and a big bus flies down the street 3 feet away from you. You barely even register it as you are used to it. Your mind tells you it's nothing to worry about.

You aren't a city person but are there on business. You come up from the subway and a big bus flies down the street 3 feet away from you. You jump back in surprise and fear. Your brain isn't used to it and kicks in your fight or flight.

These are examples of prioritizing. Your brain tells you when something is important and when it's not. Even though Dylan had to deal with a time out yesterday, his brain will still not prioritize his teacher calling him in from recess because it doesn't process that way. He's not being defiant. This is happening on a neurological and even cellular level. CAPD is going to be a hard nut to crack.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Entitlement and parenting

Yesterday, while waiting for the train, I notice two adorable, fashionably (expensive) dressed little girls.  They were about 5 and 8 and waiting for the train with their mother.  Now, I like to ride in the first car so that was the area I was waiting in.  The train arrives and a crowd gathers where the doors are about to open.  As they open, the little darlings literally threw themselves through the crowd, knocking me and two other women to the side, yelling "outta the way!" and ran up to the seats by the front window.  ~insert jaw drop here~

The mother, who witnessed this entire thing, said nothing to her little angels.  One woman who got pushed told the girls they weren't nice and they just (of course) rolled their eyes at her.

They then proceeded to sit in their seats with their feet on the window of the train.  Again.... Mom said not a word.

Can I get a WTF here please?  Had this been 30+ years ago, the car would be bloody from the beating my mother would have given me for such behavior.  Had this been Dylan behaving in such a manner, after apologizing personally to ever individual he pushed, his little butt would be in the back of the car.

I try to practice attachment parenting which includes gentle discipline.  However, I have discovered, like all parenting styles, there are those "fringe" elements.  Within the gentle parenting community there are parents who believe that punishment and consequences are not gentle and therefore should not be used.  Again, get I get a WTF!  How the hell do kids learn boundaries without consequences?   How can you administer consequences without punishing a child?  Now, punishment doesn't mean physical violence.  I don't believe hitting accomplishes anything but sending a wrong message to children and making them fearful.  At least, that's what it did for me.

So tell me wise internet....  What did these girls learn today.  If their mother practices this no consequence parenting style (which I'm assuming based on her reaction to her children's behavior), what message did she send them?  That it's okay to knock over adults in order to get what you want?   Charlie suggested I wish them well in prison which was great but I got the facebook message as the girls were getting off the train.