Friday, February 06, 2009

Schedule changes

Joey finished Fast Forward today (Thursday), a day earlier than we anticipated. This means that he begins his new schedule begins today (Friday). Another change.

The good news is we start with 35 minutes less of Mrs. A tomorrow, instead of Monday. She just hasn't been a good fit for my child, and perhaps that is as far as I should now discuss the matter. 35 minutes less there means 35 minutes somewhere that will be a good fit. Specifically, he will get extra 1:1 time working on language arts, social skills, and subjects he needs extra support on, such as social studies. Time is a funny thing for Joey. He is fascinated by clocks, analog and digital, and by time and telling time, and has been for over a year. However, the idea of past and history completely elude him. And I don't mean in the normal, kid-has-trouble-imagining-life-different sort of way; I mean it completely eludes him. The abstract idea of "once upon a time" gives him a lot of trouble, trying to wrap his mind around it. Some more focus will probably help, it usually does. He is good at knowing where he is supposed to be when, but asking him what he did last week- issues.

Joey is usually very good with change, as long as he has a clear idea of what is expected when the change comes. Giving him some warning- even if it will just be this evening and tomorrow morning- will help a lot. Sudden change, not so good. However, we've now shifted his school schedule twice. Winter/early spring is a funny time for Joey, he tends to get ready to "spring" in development (read: we get a huge uptick in anxiety and ritualized behaviors and then mid-spring we see him move forward. All that processing!) This could be a bit of a hairy patch ahead. I think I will stock up on Joey's favorites: popcorn and diet orange Sunkist.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Fur babies

For our lovely, patient girls, Luna and Ellora, who are learning to accept Momma's kittens.

And in memory of our Puma Girl.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Ah, things keep moving along here. As we start our preparations for next year, we begin our information gathering, organizing the data and analyzing all the clues for what we will need. Two boys. Two whole systems to meet their needs.

We are starting the process of determining appropriate placements for Joey for second grade. Mrs. Huff will be interviewing teachers, looking at rooms, considering options. All the special ed kids are required to complete a program called "Fast Forward." It usually takes a few years to do. Joey will be done this week. this will give us another 35 minutes a day to work on his goals, his social skills, and subjects he is lagging in (especially history).

In the meantime, I have started the ball rolling for Andy. I have contacted the school to start Child Find again, alerted our OT, and have a parent who is going to let me peek at her son's 504 for sensory dysfunction. I hope to get an idea of what kinds of things can be included in a 504.

So, moving right along. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

An afternoon walk with the poop

We took the boys out to Wakefield for a stroll in the pretty weather, as it promises to become icky later this week. The sunshine was abundant, the eagle was winging about the river, the sheep were out, and it promised to be a glorious walk.

At ages 6 and 4, boys have a strange fascination with bodily functions. I don't remember girls being that interested in poop. However, my guys- and many boys I have met- are mesmerized. On a working farm, there is no shortage of poop about. Sheep poop. Horse poop. Cow poop. We even saw a little pig poop. And apparently, "poop" is a fun word to say when you are 6 and 4. Poop, poop, poop. The sheep were upstaged by their own poop.

So we rambled along, and came upon the beautiful magnolia tree, the pods scattered over the craggy roots, where the boys like to climb and play. JoeyAndyDad and I stopped upon Joey's command and watched them scramble happily over the tree.

And then JoeyAndyDad said, "Look! Tree poop!"

Yes, it was an instant hit. Tree pods and nuts are now tree poop. That's one way to make a nature walk a success.

We stopped into the colonial kitchen to look around. Joey has been having trouble grasping the concept of past and history, and that people did things differently and lived differently. So we popped our heads in and I asked them what they saw that was different from our kitchen at home. Andy noticed butter churns. I pointed out that there was no stove or oven, just a fireplace. JoeyAndyDad noted that there was no refrigerator. Joey noticed there was no mac and cheese.

Then we went back to exploring, and Joey slipped and fell. He's been doing that a lot more, as we have been missing OT sessions (Get better, Ms. Janene! We miss you!). He was very upset, because it was a muddy spot, and he got a lot of cold mud on his pants.

"Oh no!" he wailed all the way to the blacksmith's shop. "A cow pooped me! A cow pooped my pants!"

We managed to distract him by having him sit down for a little and catch his breath, then promising a peek at the pigs. Joy of joys, we wandered out (avoiding the poop) to see the pigs. Fortunately, there was one out in the pig yard to see (sometimes there isn't, especially in winter.) Then we wandered back to the trees (avoiding the poop, but pointing out every lovely pile) and took a rest on a bench. Andy found a walnut (more tree poop), and discovered some mole tunnels. When I told him what they were, he was delighted. He likes moles.

And so we wandered back to the car. We saw ducks diving on the river. We saw vultures playing in the air currents overhead. And we rolled the tree poop down the hill and giggled. A good time had by all.