Autism, Special Education, Special Needs, technology

Back to the Drawing Board

 

When my son, M, was born it changed my world.   Everything was brighter.  I loved all the little nuances of having a baby.  (ok, maybe not being up for 36+ hours during a colicky spell – but other than that.)  There was a new meaning for me.  So cheesy, yes, but true.  As he got older I of course thought that I had the most genius baby of all time.  I had all of the parent dreams of my child being a celebrated brain surgeon and a part-time actor on Broadway. (Not your dreams?  Hmmm…)  And then eventually we noticed so many differences between our child and others of his age.  I go into our diagnosis post here.  For example, my son couldn’t sit in a chair for nearly more than a slight moment when he was in pre-K.  I couldn’t even imagine him in a regular school setting.  I peered through the little window of his pre-K classroom thinking, “He’s not going to make it.  The world is SO hard, what are we going to do??”.

***And here is where I would love to interject with how therapies worked and we pulled together and found strength and alternative options for him and now he’s overcoming everything against all odds etc, etc.  But that isn’t really what happened and in a lot of ways, our situation has gotten more complicated.

We did find ourselves in a satisfactory public school with reasonable resource (re: Special Education) teachers.  We enrolled M in private pediatric OT (occupational therapy), found appropriate special needs play groups for him, worked with our pediatricians to find helpful medications to slow his impulse control down so he could  think more clearly.  Did it fix the autism?  Absolutely not.  Did it help the “sitting in the chair” efforts.  Absolutely.  Several of the teachers throughout elementary school were competent, a couple were good, and 1 was outstanding.  At least there was 1.  We had a few battles, most parents do, and most special needs parents certainly do.  There was one entire year where my son’s goals consisted of 1) not crying during the day and 2) having snack.  I’m not sure he really met either of those goals that year.  By the end of elementary school, he was doing ok, but had stopped progressing with any meaningful speed.  Now that he is in middle school, well, it hasn’t gotten any better really.  We’re hiring a team now to manage his IEP to ensure that he has actionable goals in school and an advocate to represent our family to the school and district.  Hopefully this will allow him to access more of his educational potential.  I was disappointed, frustrated and after all of the shock of the teacher conferences wore off, I felt like we were going to need a new path.  M was not going to be able to follow traditional academic to career paths like my other children might choose.  Not even if they were modified for him.  We were going to have to think outside the box.  For me this was so foreign.  I was pushed right up the academic ladder with no other alternatives given to me.  The thought of my child veering from the tried and true career path that I was so familiar with was daunting and scary. I was pretty sure I had failed my child at age 10.

My husband works in technology, and he came home in the midst of my “sky falling” episodes of  teacher conferences and started asking me some questions.  “Can he do simple math?” he asked.  “Of course”, I said.  “Can he fill out a form and write a simple paper?”  I was curious now.  “Yes, I think so”.  “Well, maybe not academics then, but there is a such thing as e-Sports you know, and you can earn an income doing that.  Maybe he could earn a place on a team?  We could look into tournaments”.  This totally blew my mind.  I don’t watch gaming and I thought just “kids” did that on YouTube.  Oh no, my friends, its a thing.  Its real.  Millions of people (80+Million according to ESPN gaming) watch video gaming tournaments around the world and yes, you can be a professional gamer.  Approximately 44% of those watching are parents, 38% are women, and more than half are employed full-time, lest you think that these are kids camped out in the basement of their parents’ homes.  The gaming industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and console and MMO (mass multi-player online gaming accounts for about 57% of all gaming (source:  wePC.com, NewZoo).  Twitch.tv and YouTube are apparently the biggest video-streaming sites for eSports.

So, most kids these days are good at gaming.  Spectrum kids/adults are often better.  Its the ability to hyper-focus and hone in on a particular detail or subject for a longer period of time than neurotypical counterparts.  They can find the differences in patterns, what doesn’t fit, puzzle solving – that sort of thing.  My son beat Super Mario Galaxy when he was 3.  Without being able to read.  I have no idea what this path might look like for our family, for my son in particular, but the path he is on has ended.  He has to make a turn, try something new.  So we’re going to try this.  We’re looking into teams and tournaments.  We’re beginning to teach him to record and edit video and he’s practicing speaking on camera.  He’s learning to code a little bit.  All of those skills are practical in the “real world”.  Maybe he’ll use them one day.  I figure if all we do here is to give him a hobby where he can be creative and reinforce his self-confidence, then that’s ok too.  My daughter ice skates in competitions, my son does theatre performances, I guess my oldest  will check this out.  Stay tuned!

#IamAFierceMom

Kelly

Advertisements
Uncategorized

You’re in a Cabin in the Woods

 

And you’re there for a week to expand your creative wings. What do you do? Knit? Draw? Play music? Do yoga? My friend Robyn would make violins. *Make them* 👀. When asked this rhetorical question recently I was so surprised that I had no answer. I still have no clear idea what I would do but it’s been on my mind a lot. My first thought was, “I’d sleep”. And yes, I would, but after that. After I was rested and felt refreshed and could think of other things besides my crazy schedule and our constant replenishment of groceries and meal plans. (We buy a flippin’ lot of groceries.) That conversation was about 2 weeks ago now. It’s taken me that long folks to have an actual thought of my own. I think I would write. I would write everything that came into my head without regard to the critical opinions of others and I would clear my brain of so many floating words! It seems that would be liberating. I might even piece some of it together.

The thought crossed my mind to get all judgy about my own abilities…”oh that is not very unique” or “everyone does that”. We, as a community, can’t let ourselves fall victim to negative self-talk. It’s so easy to shut yourself down, but friends- if we pick each other up with a quick kind word we can change the course of our day. And possibly our friend’s day, and their neighbor’s day and her daughter’s day. You get the point.

The next time you have an idea or a day dream and you think it’s silly. Freeze! Don’t be so quick to throw it out. Those ideas and dreams are the stuff happiness is made of. Hang on to those. If you want to go to your theoretical cabin and make muffins all week, you do it. Tell your friends. Maybe you’ll inspire them. Maybe we can inspire one another to reach out and stretch our creative muscles that we haven’t used in a while. (Mine are dusty!) We don’t have to be artists, fancy Pintrest-esque bakers or luthiers to be creative. You be you. What would you do if you had a week? I’d love to hear about it.

Be fierce friends,

Kelly

Food, growing, SAHM, Travel

Reflections

thinking-1-1397845-1279x1705

Its not the end of the year, but it is nearly the end of the school season.  Honestly, this is the sort of thing that I generally do in June for some reason.  December has always seemed “mid-year” to me.  In my mind, its like trying to make resolutions and new goals in the midst of swirling chaos.  Spring seems like we’re winding down the school year, but in any case, it is an end of a season.   And we’re on spring break right now, so it seems that a break is a good time of reflection.

We have lost some friends, but gained new ones in their places.  We have lost some dearly loved family members over the past year and it has changed our familyscape dramatically.  Change is growth for everyone isn’t it?

G has a new-ish, scarily amazing job and I have to say, he is continually surprising me by how he refuses to conform to anyone’s idea of what it is like to work in a corporate environment.  As is often the case with our relationship, it sometimes is like watching someone else do this amazing thing creating activities and new experiences and I just sort of  watch from the sidelines.  I’m not disappointed you understand, its just not my time.  I had such a busy and tumultuous childhood that I prefer being home.  I love to travel, but always to come home.  I love my home life and creating things close to home – activities with my children, relationships with neighbors and community involvment.  This is my space – it took me 40 years to find it and I am making it my own.  So it is with interest and a sense of wonder that I well, just watch G as he most often coasts through the house, the airport, the many many hotels and restaurants that come with his career.  I watch as he comes back to our home each time and the children are so excited that he’s home and the dog of course.  And every now and again we come together for periods of time when he’s working from home or between projects and we all readjust to the schedule.

We’re trying out weekend trips right now.  Its not something we’ve really ever done.  We generally go on vacation…. but for a week or more at a time.  This past weekend we went to Springfield, IL (with the kiddos) to see the Lincoln Museum and state capital.  In June we’ll head out to NYC for a long weekend (adults only this time).  Its a different feeling to dash through a city rather than to immerse yourself in it.  Rather like having a taste of a new cuisine, rather than the whole meal.

In any case, we are back to reality now with dance class, soccer practice and scouts.  That means very very busy and so little time for dinner prep!  So – I have been doing batch cooking once or twice a week with pretty good success.  Monday’s freezer meal was Lime Chicken – yum!  Here is the recipe if you’d like to try it:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. boneless chicken – cubed (or shredded after cooking)
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro, chopped  (can use fresh chopped curly parsley if you prefer)
  • 1 can black beans (14.5 oz.) rinsed and drained.  I used organic.
  • 1 bag frozen corn (can use fresh or canned, drained).  Could also change it up with other veg. mixtures – my next batch has snap peas, corn and carrots.
  • 1 sweet onion chopped.
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • juice of 2 limes.
  • 1/4 c water (optional – depending on how moist you would prefer your mixture.

Directions:

  • Place all ingredients into a freezer bag.
  • Mix to evenly distribute.
  • Flatten and store in freezer
  • When ready to cook, defrost overnight in fridge
  • Place in slow cooker and cook on low for 6/8 hours.
  • Serve in tortillas or over rice.  Can top with sour cream and cheese, yum!
  • notes:  I generally choose all organic veggies when possible including canned or frozen.  I find that sometimes with this recipe I should add approx 1/4 cup of water during the last hour or so.  If cooking directly – just pop everything in the slow cooker immediately.  My kids loved this and even asked if they could take it to school the next day for lunch – win!
  • credit:  This was adapted from livingrichwithcoupons.com

I hope you enjoy!  I doubled this recipe when I was making dinner so that dinner was made for today, but then I’ve made a freezer dinner already for another day as well.

Cheers!  Be fierce!  Make dinners!

Kelly

 

Girl Scouts, Pets, Travel

What I did not know about being a dog owner

Bella Red Coat
Look at this face!

Have I ever told you about how I adopted our dog?  Well, over the last year-and-a-twirly-whirly-half I became a Girl Scout leader!  Fun right?  Well…. kind of – we’ll talk about that  in another post.  So, there is an event at the beginning of every calendar year called, “Cookie Kick-Off”.  This event is the beginning of cookie selling season for Girl Scouts of America.  The cookie season only lasts a few months, so its a big deal.  In any case, thousands of girl scouts get together in stadium arenas all over the country.  Ours is held at Allstate Arena in IL.  There are concerts, cookie booth competitions, cookie recipe tastings, shopping, games, ice skating and hockey.  It is quite an event.  This past year, the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and NW Indiana also conducted an official contest with the Guiness Book of World Records to officially count the most people simultaneously dunking a cookie in milk.  We broke the record!  Huzzah!  In any case, I digress – my point is that there is a lot going on at this event.  Additionally, there are two animal shelters with pop-up adoption sites in the arena.  So, last year, we attended with a small group of daisy scouts (the youngest girl scouts).  When we walked in, my husband knew we were done for.  He knew immediately we were coming home with a dog.  Some kind of a dog.  Admittedly, I had been pining for a dog.  We tried various adoption sites.  Some of which were too expensive.  Some of which seemed as if they would rather keep the dog themselves.  We eventually gave up.   And then this.  These puppies!!  All amongst the girl scouts shouting and reaching and the adults grabbing for adoption forms as if we were in a bidding war for the cutest dog!!  It was fast-paced and intimidating!  By the end of the evening I had applied for 3 dogs.  I was wait-listed for 1, outbid by 1 and turned down for 1 (because we have a cat).  I was defeated.  I headed back to by seat for the Girl Scout hockey game in this giant arena when I got a phone call!  The wait-listed dog was up for adoption!  The first person in line for her adoption was turned down and I was next!  I was so excited!!  Down all the stadium stairs I ran, past all the hot dog vendors and ice cream dot stands.  I saw a little white doggie with a pink nose just terrified of all the noise and commotion.  That was my dog.  I was so overcome I had tears in my eyes.  I completed all the paperwork and put her little coat on her and attached her leash.  I couldn’t stop admiring her sweet white and pink face.  I called my husband on the phone, still in the stands.  He gathered up the other girl scouts and brought the car around.  He looked unsure about the sweet dog.  It was chilly and there were snow flurries hitting our faces as we piled into the SUV with the pup.  As we headed away from the arena, my husband says, “That’s a pitbull you know…”.  I scratched her little pointy ears wondering what kind of a monster crops dog ears and absent-mindedly said, “What?  It is not”.  “It is”, he said, “its a staffordshire terrier – a pitbull”.  The little daisy scouts shrank back in their seats a little bit.  We were all silent.  Could we return her?  Would she eat us?  I had no idea what to do!  I felt like I had gotten wrapped up in some kind of an animal whirlwhind that was now dying down and this was what now sat beside me.

She seemed harmless enough.  At the moment anyway.  We discussed names and came up with “Bella”.  Short for Bellatrix Lestrange from the Harry Potter books.  Sweet and scary we thought.  It seemed to fit her.  We made a pit stop at a Petsmart for a crate and dog food and then headed home to drop off the scouts.

For a long time Bella did not make a sound at all.  We weren’t sure she could.  Three months after living with us, we heard her bark for the first time!  A sound!  Oh and it was loud and deep.  A strong bark.  It took probably 6 months for us all to adjust to one another.  We learned that Bella liked other dogs and played well with them – but did occasionally bite softly.  She liked the cats and 1 of the cats decided she was ok if she was not going to be eaten for dinner.  The other cat decided he was too old and set in his ways and no way was he going to be bathed by a dog.  (That’s still true by the way, but they do now lounge together on occasion.)

Bella and George the Cat
Bella and George the Cat

Later in the year, we had a family emergency and without enough time to find a proper dog sitter, we took her with us and drove 16 hours to visit family in the south.  We learned she was a lovely travel companion!  She loves car rides and seeing new sites.  She met her dog “cousins” and discovered her soul-playmate, a little pipsqueek named Cleo.

Bella and Cleo
Bella and Cleo

I wasn’t sure how “attached” I was, even 6 months after we adopted Bella.  We traveled with her, bought her cute canine clothes and took her to the “fancy vet” because she has a lingering medical condition due to the way she was treated prior to the animal rescue.  One morning last fall, I was in such a hurry getting my children to school.  I am always in a hurry it seems, but I was definitely having one of those days.  I forgot to put Bella in her crate before I took the children to school.  When I came home, I saw her empty crate and realized my mistake – but I couldn’t find her.  I looked everywhere.  The yard, the garage, the basement, the kids’ rooms…. and then I went in my bedroom to flop down on the bed in dismay and there was a fair sized lump under our white comforter.  There was a little pink and brown nose that peeked out as I came further into the room.  There she was!  I was so relieved!  I didn’t realize how attached I had become!  I was in near hysterics because I thought we had lost our “scary breed” hockey-rescue-dog with a medical condition.  From that moment on, for me at least, she was *my* dog.  She was *our* family dog.  There is not even one thing you can tell me about “pitbulls” or more correctly, staffordshire terriers now that would make me afraid of my own dog.  Bella now earns her keep so-to-speak.  She comes to sit on my feet if I’m working in the kitchen, she barks if someone is standing on our porch – and thank goodness too because I don’t hear well.  I appreciate the extra home protection because my husband often travels.  She is gentle with my children and does not chase the cats.  She has settled into her life with us – Halloween costumes and all, and we have settled into our life with her.  What I did not know is that “Rescue” is my favorite breed.  #Rescues #StaffordshireTerriers #Pitbulls

Bella is a Cup o' Joe
Bella is a Cup o’ Joe
Autism, homework, Special Education, Special Needs, Uncategorized

School Bells Ring, Are you Listening..

1871-schoolhouse-1225878

Photo by Tsu Nellis

Cause here we go again folks!  The school year is upon us here in the lovely Midwest.  I realize that in a lot of places school has already started… but perhaps you can still use this lovely thought as you’re sending your child back to school this year.

Speaking of THIS year.  Its a big one for us.  My BABY is going into Kindergarten!  And I’m so excited!  And also terrified!  And probably you know, I think there are maybe one or two staff members familiar with our family who are also somewhat terrified that our baby is going into Kindergarten because they have watched her grow up with two older brothers… Each season she would toddle in and out of the school walking a little taller, spouting a few more words, pointing out a few more numbers.  This child is ready.  MORE than ready.  She’s loud and exuberant and wholly unapologetic about her ideas!  I’m half way  expecting a phone call home the first day explaining  why she had to be removed from the principal’s office because she didn’t understand why she could not be the principal that day as she was certain it was her turn.  Some of the prayers I say for these children, I tell you.  They are something.

And my oldest.  My spectrum child, M is heading into fourth grade and I cannot even believe it.  Can not.  He had such a rough year last year that really by February, I had mentally tossed all of his academic goals and just told him to focus on making it though his day every day.  “Get to the end and try not to cry.  Afterwards we’ll have snack.”  Big goals.  Thankfully, as always, M absorbs much more than we think, and he seems to be in an ok spot academically.  He maybe be a little behind, but we have worked hard this summer to catch him up.  He is set up for a great year so far.  I have created a “transition plan” for him and his teacher reached out a couple of weeks ago to set up an appointment with us for an early meeting.  He has seen and spent time in his classroom and time with his teacher.  He is on great medication to help with his ADHD.  I have LOTS of backups at the ready for homeschool co-ops, additional tutoring and learning plans to supplement his school work if necessary and I have to say, having that ready to go, has really made me feel more comfortable with him being in a regular classroom.  Maybe because I’m not afraid to pull him out if needed.  I’m not afraid to try something else if this just isn’t working.  Sometimes you just cannot put a triangle where a circle should go, you just can’t.  If you have a special needs child heading back to school and you are concerned about “where they are” academically or how they are going to do this year, remember this:

The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all. ~ Mulan

M’s first grade teacher once made an announcement to the parents of her students at the beginning of the year regarding homework and expectations, “They are young.  They have a LONG road ahead.  Please remember this.  Pick your battles.”  ~ Mrs. P, First grade teacher

And Mr. A, my middle child.  *sigh*  I’m not even sure what to say.  I never worry about him; he doesn’t need it.  He’s responsible, a self-starter, super smart, even gifted possibly.  His biggest problem actually is that he indeed IS the middle child.  He always feels that he doesn’t get enough attention, even when we go out of our way to give him extra attention. Oh, and possibly that he is sleep deprived.  He has always been sleep-deprived.  Like from birth.  M just feels that if he is awake, Mr. A should be awake too.  Its been difficult for Mr. A, although he is learning to fight back.  We’re enrolling him in additional extra-curricular activities this year to try to broaden his world a little bit.

Good luck to everyone!  We’re all in this together.  #BeFierce

#IamAFierceMom

Kelly

 

Autism, Special Education, Special Needs

Don’t Make Me Put My Heels On and Roar…

lion-cubs-1497892

How quickly I go into a defensive mode.  Am I jaded?  Do I think everyone’s out to get me?  I have no idea.  We are on vacation right now and a few days ago we took the children to Disney World.  In the past we have always gotten the “special needs” pass for Mr. M.  Sometimes we used it, sometimes we didn’t.  This year, M was having a difficult time transitioning to the crowds and noise and movement all around him, so we went to get the “pass”.  They have a new-ish pass now that is linked to your park tickets or your park magic band and has a photo attached to it, so that it can’t be sold or used by someone not in your party.  The cast member at the counter wanted to know what we needed the pass for, a perfectly reasonable question and why I thought we would need a pass for him throughout the day.  I told her and she accepted my explanation immediately, but for some reason, I felt the need to defend my response.  “Look at him, ” I said, “he can’t even stand here with me right now.  There is no way he is going to make it through a lengthy queue with a crowd of people in the hot sun”. At this point, M was jumping up and down hurling himself towards the service counter trying to pull his body up and then crashing down on the floor where he would lay down and spread out as if he were making snow angels on the linoleum.  He was turning his head from side to side repeating noises, “bleh bleh bleh”, is a favorite phrase at the moment (from Hotel Transylvania 2).  By the time we left, I felt like she didn’t believe me, even with the obvious display of noise sensitivity and over-stimulation.  I would like to point out that now, looking back, I am sure ALL of this was in my head.  She was perfectly polite and helpful.  However, at this point, with a 9-year-old on the spectrum, why in the world would I even care if a cast member at a theme park thought I was trying to “pull one over” on the system?  I have tougher skin than that.  Or at least I think I do.  Maybe I don’t?  Maybe I am tired.  Am I constantly on the defensive so much in educational and extra-curricular settings that its an auto-response to anyone who questions my son’s diagnosis and our family’s hard work to handle the situation?  Two years ago when we took the children to WDW, I actually brought a copy of M’s diagnosis from the doctor so that I wouldn’t even have to go into the details of his neuro-difficulties.  Occasionally we have (a few – definitely not all) school administrators who declare they don’t believe M has a spectrum disorder at all.  That throws me into defense mode awfully fast.  They think he is stubborn or simply not trying with his schoolwork, often failing to keep in mind the amount of energy he has to expend in order to hold himself together to interact with other students and adults in an appropriate manner while managing the amplified sounds of the lights buzzing, and ambient classroom noises and movements.  His day is exhausting.  Every day.  I suppose that I feel a need to protect him from the blindness that some others have when interacting with him.  Eventually, I imagine I will have to let down my guard a little to gradually allow him to learn to handle those situations on his own.  That makes me exhausted just thinking about it!  Alas, that is another problem for another day.

#BeFierce  #Don’tGoDefensive

#IamAFierceMom

 

Kelly

 

Autism, Children's Schedule, Food, Uncategorized

I put the “I” in Impulse

baby-block-series-9-1421761-1280x1280

Being a parent puts you in a club so-to-speak with other parents.  For some it was a dream come true, for others a “gift” and depending on one’s circumstances it could be quite scary heading into the unknown waters of parenthood.  When you’ve found out you’re the parent of a special needs child you’re then put into a sub-group of parents that you never asked to join!  For some, after getting over the shock, it can be a relief to find other kindred families who may be going through similar growing pains.  To others it can be saddening or shocking.  As for me, I tend to bounce back and forth between relief of knowing why certain behaviors are happening with my child, and frustration at not being able to handle everything better.  Nevertheless, here we all are in this club.  Now, when you find yourself here, its really a sink or swim situation.  Most people become reluctant experts on their child’s particular type of disorder if they want to function.  Its almost impossible not to be.  A few years ago I just knew that something was wrong with my son.  I knew it.  I would ask family, friends, doctors and everyone said, “he’s fine, really, all kids do that”.  Yeah… I was still skeptical.  I didn’t believe it.  You know how it all those parenting books for new babies where they tell you to trust your parental instincts, well, I could just see the alarm bells going off in my mind.  There was something wrong, I didn’t care what anyone said.  I was determined to figure out what it was.  I scoured the internet for similar behaviors and asked all children’s experts that I came in contact with.  I finally got someone to take me seriously.  It was M’s first preschool teacher.  I asked her if he was doing ok in school one day before picking him up and she said “yes, he’s doing fine”.  I then saw M (through a glass window) begin squealing and running around as the children changed stations in the classroom.  (Transitions.  M still has trouble with transitions to this day.)  I pointed out that I didn’t think that behavior was normal and  without missing a beat, she offered to have him evaluated.  DH and I thought this would take a couple of days, or maybe it would happen the next week.  The very next day he was evaluated and we had a conference with the on-site social worker.  She shared her thoughts about his behavioral issues and gave us pamphlets on various occupational therapies and social therapies in our area.  Hooray!  We had a piece of information!  It wasn’t a diagnosis, but it was a place to start.  We received information about a special needs pre-kindergarten and M tested into the program.  Finally, we were going to get some help!  The program was amazing.  M was doing things that I didn’t think we were ever going to get him to do.  (Like sitting in a chair for circle time in class and learning to hold a pencil correctly.)  Towards the end of the year I asked the social worker there if she thought maybe he had ADHD or something similar.  That afternoon M came home with a stack of papers on Aspberger’s Syndrome.  (The school is not allowed to give a diagnosis of course, but this was her way of pointing us in the right direction.)  M had everything on the list.  Every single symptom.  Things began moving more rapidly after this and I found a great autism support group for parents and play group for children.  I found a behavioral pediatrician to receive a medical diagnosis.  We began private therapies and M received an IEP for kindergarten the next year.  Whew.  It was a lot – a long road and it had just begun.  I mention all this because even though I “know” so much about what is going on with him, it doesn’t always click with me right away.  For instance…. impulse control.

M has always had difficulty with self-restraint if its something he really wants.  When he was 3 it was strawberry syrup so we had to stop buying it because he would sneak into the fridge to get it.  When he was 4 it was wandering off – extremely dangerous, so we installed an alarm system and put locked gates around our house.  Now, its video games and granola bars.  While not as dangerous, its still frustrating.  The games I am working on – we have our schedule sheets that the children follow and it helps.  The granola bars…I dunno.  I may have to lock them up.  I’m not sure.  I just find it fascinating that often I can’t spot an impulse problem with M.  How can I not see it??  Is it because he is older and its just not the first thing I expect him to do?  So, my first impulse is to yell.  Its as effective as talking to brick.  I don’t recommend it.  My next step is going to be putting a meal plan on the fridge so that M knows when meals/snacks are going to happen.  I hate to feel like I’m structuring all the children’s lives around M’s issues, but it helps him, which keeps things calmer for everyone else and maybe it will help them as well.  Schedules, lists and calendars have always helped M to feel more grounded.  He can see what is coming next and its not a surprise.  This may work or it may not.  My particular brand of parenting seems to be a lot like running with your shoelaces untied.  I get a few good running strides in until I  trip and fall on my face and and then I get up and do it all over again.  Its a good thing I’m naturally tenacious.  Its a good thing M is so naturally forgiving.  Its worth repeating…impulse control is hard.   Transitions are hard.  Both may always be a problem.  Hang in there folks.

Be Fierce.  #MakeASchedule

#IamAFierceMom

Kelly