Saturday, April 07, 2007

April Showers Bring May Flowers...

...but April snow is ridiculous. It's the day before Easter, for pity's sake! Allan says we shouldn't dye the eggs- just put them out in the snow. Instant hiding, with the addition of staying chilled.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


I live on a city street that has no posted signs about parking. It has become something of a bone of contention among the neighbors. The houe next to us has several grown children, an apartment, and two couples living there, and everyone has at least one car. We have three vehicles (two we use regularly, one is a Jeep that we have retained in case of snow and use as a truck). The other three buildings around us are all rentals- a duplex, a house, and three aparments. Guess what? they all have cars. We have a driveway. The people next door have converted their yard to a 3-space parking lot, and they have two lengths of street frontage (they are the corner lot). Yet we still have troubles.

My driveway actually parks two cars, and we used to park the Jeep in the end of it, since it wasn't used much. BUt the folks next door insisted on parking a car in front of our house. Usually, there are two spaces in front of our house, but they inisisted on parking in the middle, so that my husband had no-where to park but across the street, which seemed to us to be rude, to park in front of someone else's house all night long (it was annoying us, after all...) so we learned to park the Jeep out front. Then we had the second space that was just right for my husband's car, and we weren't being complete nuisances by blocking up the street all night long. We didn't leave nasty notes and we didn't call the police, we just parked our car. After all, it is public parking.

Now, what this means is there is no place for mom to park when she comes to help watch my little guy while I drive the other one around to therapy. And there is no-where to park for my therapists who come. They cannot park in the driveway, because I also cannot be blocked in when I have to go to teach; and my mom has a lo of trouble getting in and out of o driveway, since all of these people have large SUVs they park on the street. Besides, I would block her in when I came home, or have to park on teh streetmyself. So to the street she goes. After all, it is public parking.

The folks across the street have started leaving notes on the cars of people who come to my house, implying that it is no longer acceptable" for anyone to park in front of their house. Confused, and not a litle annoyed, I called the police to check on parking regs.

Yep, you guessed it- it is PUBLIC PARKING. As long as they are not blocking driveways, too close to the corner, too close to a hydrant, and close enough to the curb, ANYONE can park ANYWHERE along the street.

Although I have advised my folks to try to park a little bit down the street from these people, sometimes there is little choice. So I put a note on their door asking them to stop harrassing my therapists and respite workers.

I expect to have to start paying for paint jobs soon.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Morning Meeting

So I survived the meeting with the school OT. There were severa snide comments made that I could have replied to in a nasty way, and made everything unpleasant, but I was too chicken. Bok bok. Besides, what would it accomplish? I didn't have a tape recorder. I hope I made my position clear: I am not out to "cure" Joey, but I expect the school- and her- to help support him so he can function in a world that is not friendly to autistic living.

Note to school people: here are some comments to steer clear from when you are dealing with a parent who is already upset:

"Gee, you seem so good at research and know so much, I thought you knew everything! I'm always taken aback when there is a hole in your knowledge!"
What the parent hears: "You're a know-it-all. I'm not going to help your kid. You do it."
"We're not against sensory integration. I've set up a sensory room [here] and [here] and I helped set up the one in Joey's classroom!"
What the parent hears: "Now that you complained, I'm doing the minimum I've been told to do so you can't sue us."
"You know, sensory integration won't cure Joey."
No shit, Sherlock. How many presentations have you been to where I explicitly state, "Autism is not cure-able, but it is treatable. We want to help Joey function in a non-autsitic world."? So what I hear is: "I haven't listened to a word you've said."

In the end, I think maybe I ought to go back to school. I need some coursework in OT, Speech, and development. These people are NOT going to help us.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

K-I-D... spells... kid!

Joey's favorite toy this minute is a leapfrog phonics writing thing. We haven't been too worried about it up to now. He likes letters, it is comforting for him, and he's been learning to write letters, spell words, and make sounds. the words are the funniest. It has a setting where you can spell out three-letter words, and if it is a word, the toy tells you the word and praises you (K...I...D... spells... Kid! Great job!) When Joey, pressing random letters, discovers not only a word, but a word he knows, he just beams with delight. D-O-G! Dog! Wow!

The problem is that he is starting to perseverate on it. Instead of doing his work, he is echoing the toy. Instead of participating in class, he echoes the toy. Instead of interacting with the world around him, he echoes the toy.

Hence the seeking of a doctor yesterday. Is he uncomfortable, maybe sick? Is he using this toy to comfort himself because he is uncomfortable, unhappy, afraid? Is there something wrong at school? Are we doing something that is making him want t retreat into reciting, echoing, letters? With all the advances he has made, he still can't tell us. He thinks the question "Are you OK?" is, without fail, "I'm OK." Its a form... and increasingly boring one... not communication.

I meet with the school OT in the morning. I haven't much faith. This woman and I have personality clash issues in the first place, and now she's threatening my kid... and has actively worked to deny him service. I'm expecting the whole mess to either last five minutes, or drag on in hell until I have to extract myself to pick up Joey. I wish McDonald's sold beer.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Trying to see the doctor

It sometimes amazes me what people expect from children. Joey has been getting cold and clammy, and even sweaty, so I tried to take him in to the doctor this morning. We wanted to be sure it was connected with coming off the steroid, and not anoter problem. Our own doctor can't see him until Thursday... so we often go over to the Medic One, a walk-in clinic. I got there for opening, but we were still fourth in line. OK, I thought. 45 minutes. A little long for kids to wait- and I had both guys with me today- but we'll deal.

An hour and a half and two meltdowns later, we were still waiting. The first people hadn't come out yet. The other folks in teh waiting room were giving us the looks-could-kill scowls and the why-can't-you-control-your-brats frowns (after all, they weren't feeling well, either- why would they want to see two little boys screaming, kicking, and hitting their mom? TWICE?) The staff was getting annoyed with us, too. They couldn't tell me how long it would be. No one could tell me anything. We finally gave up and left. I'm just going to keep Joey quiet for today, and if he's still not right, we'll try again tomorrow.