Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Regression?! Oh Noooooooo!!!

It seems today's parents of children on the autism spectrum have two choices:  stay at home and starve so your child continues learning, or go to work so you can provide a roof over his or her head, their medication and let's not forget to feed them.  At least that seems to be the choice in my household...

I could write a country song this month:  my cell phone died, my car died and I'm broke so I had to go back to work.  Literally people, not kidding.  

Since going back to work last month, I've had little time to spend with Dayton on his home reading and spelling.  Working split shifts because I lost daycare two years ago and am only available while Dayton's in school and after his babysitter gets home from school gives me an hour and a half a day with my baby...  It's killing me, but if I'm going to be able to afford his $300.00/month medication, pay the rent, and now a freaking car loan since my car bit the dust, I have to work.  Which means Dayton gets less attention from me when it comes to school work.  Dayton's tickled pink by this, but I'm not.  

Since Dayton's dad was home for the weekend, I had him help Dayton with his home reading for the last couple of nights.  He called me at work to tell me how disappointed he was in Dayton's reading, that my babe has regressed in his reading skills.  Well, dress me up and call me 'dolly,' that sure made me feel like a million bucks!  Yeah, who's your mamma?!  Made me wanna shove that mother of the year award right up his...  I think you get the point...

I've noticed Dayton's list of spelling words for the week are getting simpler too...  Was going back to work a mistake?  Should I have just stayed at home, survived off Mr. Noodles and Kraft Dinner and not be able to afford his medication?  What's the right thing to do?

Consider yourselves hugged,


Monday, 30 January 2012

Mayday! Mayday! School Spirals Out Of Control!!! Part Deux!

I posted a link to my last post called Mayday!  Mayday!  School Spirals Out Of Control on my facebook page, and got a quite a few responses I'd like to share with you, beginning with the mother's response:

  I'm not private Lou :) I am so tired of keeping all this inside and not telling anyone what is happening to my boy!!! Kyle was denied funding this year and so now he has no help in school. He HAS made some HUGE progress over the past year but he is still moderatly functioning Autism with Global developmental and adaptive delays, ADHD, anxiety disorder, seizure disorder and probably the first kid in canada to be diagnosed with Wandering. Because the school wouldn't provide the amount of help that Kyle needs, I got him an Autism service dog who is also trained for seizure detection. I got an email from the principal back in November telling me that I was not premited to be wandering the halls with my dog and that she was no longer allowed into the school. I responded immediatly with telling her that Bella is a service dog and provided her with a copy of her certifacation papers and telling her that she is violating Kyle's human rights by not allowing her in the school. This was on a friday, I then got an email from the special childrens services co-ordinator on Saturday morning at 6:50 am telling me the same thing as the principal. She harrassed me ALL weekend long so I did contact a human rights lawyer that Saturday morning but didn't tell her that I had been communicating with him about everything the whole time until she got really nasty and mean. We had everything arranged for Monday morning and the lawyer sent them a fax first thing in the morning. I am sueing the principal, the interlake school division and the board of education for denying Bella access to the school. BUT, They are now saying that Bella can come in, but they need a note from his Dr. stating that Bella is a part of his therapy. BUT, before The Dr will write the note, he has to talk to the school. BUT the school will not talk to him!!! See how this is working?!?! They try to stop EVERYTHING I am trying to do to help my boy. They deny funding so I take things into my own hands to help him by getting the service dog and then the deny the dog!!! And with this toileting issue..I can only imagine how many time's this has really happened cause I can only mention the time's that I know of because I have seen it with my own eyes!! ALL of last year, Kyle had an EA with him 100% of the time because he was only partly verbal (one word at a time) BUT now that his service dog has helped him to talk and lower his anxiety, the school doesn't think that he needs any help anymore..And toileting is only one of the issues..there are many issues I have with this school!!!!!

AND you wanna know their #1 reason for denying him funding...its because he doesn't have major behaviour problems!!! When he gets overwhelmed at school, he shuts down instead of melting down. So, If I could get him to melt down instead of hiding in a corne or under a table with his hands over his ears and his eyes closed then he would prob get the funding!!

More responses from others that do not know the mom:

didn't think that anyone can turn someone away that has a service dog, and not allow that dog in a school she should look into that more, she should also look at switching schools.

 omg. Thank heavens are kids are not treated like this

 I will help any way I can. This is not acceptable, there is no reasoning for a child to be sitting in school like this and the fact they are making excuses rather then making sure this NEVER happens again is wrong. I am absolutely floored that he cannot bring his service dog to school, and outraged that this child cannot get the funding he NEEDS.

For those of you interested in hearing the mom's own version, please click on the link below:  http://autism-with-servicedog.blogspot.com/2012/01/neglect-that-kyle-faces-at-school.html?showComment=1327941788518#c4172711645175261058

Consider yourselves hugged,


Sunday, 29 January 2012

Mayday! Mayday! School Spirals Out Of Control!!!

I go a very upsetting phone call the other day from a fellow autism mom regarding how her son has been treated at school.

For the past two days, this autism mom (I call her a warrior because she seems to fight with her school a lot, to the point where they are now engaged in a civil suit) has picked her son up from school filthy.  And I don't mean filthy from the playground's dust, or mud from the melting snow...  I mean from sitting in his own filth...  Her boy, seven, is not potty trained.  The staff's excuse:  "The person who sits K on the potty every two hours has not been able to come to work."

Ummm, exqueeze me?

The acid from his faeces literally burned the boy's skin, and the mom had to take him to a doctor who wrote out a prescription for this poor little boy who is in pain due to his school's neglect of his needs.

The boy is not "qualified" for an aid.

Ummm, exqueeze me?

So...  since her son with autism who is not potty trained and is sensitive to light among other things is not qualified for an aid, his autism mom/warrior went out and got her son a service dog to help her son through the school day.

The school's response:  "NO."  They will not allow the service dog to enter the school.  You would think that they would let this little boy's mom know this as they KNEW she was getting a service dog for her boy, you know, save her some time.  It's called being considerate.  You know, what they try to teach the rest of our kids, to be considerate.  I'm concerned not only about our kiddos' education, but ALL children's education at this school.

This poor mom has addressed her concerns with the principal, the school division, the Chief Superintendent and no one has taken her seriously.  NO ONE.  So she messages me for help.  

I guess we could contact the school trustees and her MLA.  If still no one gives a crap about this poor kid, maybe it's time to organise a protest in front of her son's school with the media?

I really don't like things getting out of control and messy, but I gotta tell ya...  If my son's teacher left my boy with no dignity, let him stench up the classroom while the other kids whispered to each other pointing their finger at my babe while he sat in his own filth to the point of burning his skin requiring a visit to the doctor for a prescription to relieve his pain...  I think I'd end up locked up in jail, or possibly an institution.  There's no way I'd let the teacher or principal get away with treating my son like some animal.  I'd make them sit in Dayton's filth themselves until their skin blistered up, then take them to a vet for a check up.  At least I'd care enough to take them to the animal hospital.  I'm not completely heartless.

Treating children like this is not acceptable.  You don't have to like the parent, or kiss their a$$ in order to teach their child and treat them with dignity and respect as you would the rest of the neurotypical class.  You can not tell me that there's not one freaking person in the entire school who could not have taken this poor child to the washroom to clean up, or at the very least, CALL THE PARENT TO COME AND PICK HIM UP!!!  What the hell is wrong with people?!  Do schools really have no COMMON SENSE?!

Well, Mr. Greg Selinger, your royal highness...  you sure care about our kids, don't 'cha?!  Yeah, you're a true prince.  This is happening in your own back yard, and you do...  that's right NOTHING.

I'm so angry, I'm putting myself in a white jacket with long sleeves for a hug,


Friday, 27 January 2012

Do You Still Have Autism: Changes In DSM V For Autism Diagnosis

Scary thought.  The psychiatric community is changing the the criteria in diagnosing mental disorders, including the autism spectrum disorder.  The autism community is freaking out, as the separate diagnoses such as classic autism, asperger's syndrome and PDD-NOS (Dayton's diagnosis) are no longer going to be classified by their "type" of autism, but lumped into one diagnosis:  AUTISM.  Period.

I'm not quite sure how to feel about this myself.  But I know that the diagnosis for PDD-NOS has caused confusion with Dayton's educators.  Now that he's diagnosis will be AUTISM, there should be less confusion.  Unless of course "they've" made it more difficult to diagnose a child with autism...  That's a whole new story.

If you're concerned about you child keeping their diagnosis, make an appointment with your child psychologist and ask him straight out!

Anyways, here's the link for the new DSM V diagnostic manual for the autism spectrum disorder:  http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevision/Pages/proposedrevision.aspx?rid=94

This revision was approved last week.  What are your thoughts?  As for us, it seems even though Dayton fits on the higher end of the autism spectrum, he still meets the criteria listed in the new DSM.

Consider yourselves hugged,


Sunday, 22 January 2012

Ouch, You Hurt My Feeling

I think I'm suffering from a lack of faith in human kind.  Actually, I know it.  Perhaps Dayton gets his autism from me, because I'm starting to think that either:  a) I'm a wee bit autistic, b) I'm super naive, c) I'm just plain dumb and should dye my hair blond and change my name to "Bubbles", or d) I'm suffering from schizophrenia (and no people, settle down, I'm not making fun of people who have schizophrenia, I'm serious!!!).

Any of these options is a sign that I'm in some serious trouble.  A combination of them could mean serious consequences to the next person that asks me a question if I'm not heavily medicated.

It appears that someone I thought I could trust with my son, my life, my reason for living, has been talking smack about Dayton, me, myself and I.  Calling me a fat you know what among other names that I just don't feel comfortable repeating as I refuse to believe that I'm anything but a lady...  Yeah, it could be me being delusional, but I'd like to think of myself as one, so I won't repeat the nasty names.  But even worse, she called my son the 'r' word.  You know the one, the one that raises the hair on the back of your neck like a rooster in heat...  The one that makes you want to peck the one who utters it to death. The dreaded 'r' word.  I can't even type it.  And I'm devastated.  How could she betray me this way???

Aaaaaaaaaachew!  Excuse me....  just allergic to fake-a$$ness...

This same woman I defended from a disturbed, knife wielding ex husband who wanted to show her how he felt.  The same woman that had no food to feed her kids, so I opened my freezer to share what I had.  The same woman who didn't have the money for her medications so I opened my wallet and paid for it...  The same woman I would give my life for if necessary, if in doubt, go back to the beginning of this paragraph.

I'd like to know what happened to humanity.  I'd like to know what happened to friendship.  I'd like to know what happened to trust, compassion and love for the innocent.

Just feeling like a missing puzzle piece, that doesn't quite fit in anywhere.  Are Dayton and I truly alone?  Is it really just Dayton and I against the world?  Is his dad right when he tells me I shouldn't get close to people and that I care too much, to stop being a pushover?

I don't like having my last feeling hurt, and I don't want to turn my heart into stone just to be able to survive, but maybe that's exactly what I need to be doing in order to protect my son and I.  Maybe I need to stop caring about what others need and how I can help, and just take care of my own.  

Are all people like this?  Did I miss a lesson in school where they taught us about how to discern lies from the truth?  I feel like maybe I need the same pictures I use to teach Dayton facial expressions...  you know, happy, sad, angry, tired, bored...  Or maybe I just need to hook people up to a lie detector every time I feel the urge to make a new friend.  Maybe I just need to stay at home and become a hermit.  Life would be so much simpler that way...  but also rather boring.  I don't think I could live like that.

So, I think I need to rid myself of all neurotypical thinking people.  I don't want to be all alone in the world, and I crave human companionship.  So, I think I'll stick to my own kind.  Get to know other autism parents and just hang with them.  I'm tired of explaining autism. I'm tired of constantly being on guard.  I'm tired of being on alert all the time.  I just want to sit back and relax, knowing that the people I'm with 'understand' without having to explain a darn thing.

I'm finding the more I understand my son and the way he thinks, 'normal' people make less and less sense to me.  I'm not kidding.  For example, this woman's fifteen year old daughter is quite comfortable swearing her head off at me...  and I'm thinkin' when I was that age, if I even thought some of the words she text me, my dad would take off his belt, and beat the profanity out of me.  There's no way I'd ever get away talking to an adult that way.  Times have changed...  Given the option of having a child with a cognitive disability or having a 'neurotypical,' self centred, egotistical, disrespectful, unappreciative jack ass, I don't think it would be difficult for me to make the choice to choose Dayton all over again.

I will never look back at life with what if's (what if I actually had a choice), because any path or choice that didn't include Dayton would have left my life pointless.  He is the joy of my life, the missing piece of the puzzle to my heart, my reason for living.  He is my son, and I love him with all my heart and soul.  I just have to keep remembering that God gives these special children only to capable parents, to the ones who have a huge heart, and are trusted to love God's special little angels.

Thanks for listening to me vent.  Considering myself hugged,


Friday, 20 January 2012

Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Or Abuse?

You know how we as parents have no rights to our children and are not allowed to spank them?  Excuse me...  Yes, we're allowed to give them one spank on a fully clothed bum with our hand and no object.  Makes sense.  I mean, I can't imagine wielding the cooking spoon my mamma used to spank me with, as my butt broke them and than she'd get even madder.  But one?  One time only?

Please don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not implying that we should abuse our kids.  I'm simply showing you how much rights we have in our own decisions when it comes to our kids.  But the schools...  oh yes, they have much more rights over the child I had the complicated and strenuous, life threatening pregnancy with.  They get to treat my babe any way they want to, whether I like it or not.  Which is why when I read this article, I nearly had a stroke.  No kidding, my right eye is still twitching and it has been for the last two days since I read this:

So, let me get this straight...  Right now, today, there are no federal regulations in place for the safety of our children who are disciplined by their teachers...  But there are against us as parents...  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  Pardon my French, but what the hell is wrong with this picture?

Now imagine what parents go through when their child is manhandled by teachers we put our trust in.  Dayton and I can tell you what it's like.  We've experienced it many times, the most recent horrifying experience for me was two years ago when four teachers (yes, I said four teachers) struggled to do "non-violent crisis intervention."

Can you imagine if we threw a party and decided that four of us should throw ourselves on  my boy to "calm him down?"  Seriously?  Before I continue, I'd like to add that I would rather dig out my eye balls, pull out my nails with tweezers along with all body hair and lie on a bed of nails and bleed to death before I'd ever throw myself, never mind allow three more adults to throw themselves on my baby.

In saying that, let's pretend that I'm the monster that hides in the closet your child talks of in the middle of the night and did that...  CFS would come in here and take my baby away without blinking an eye.  But the school?  Yeah, that's right.  Nothing.  Notta.  No investigation, no chastisement.  My babe was traumatized and couldn't eat or drink for two days, hiding under his bed and refused to come out.  You can imagine the stench coming out of that room.  No one from the school came to clean it either.

While I understand that some children become violent, we need to look at why they become violent.  I know the incident with the four teachers and my son took place because of another student's back pack.  Had the teacher or aid not argued with Dayton, having two different arguments, they would not have had to "throw themselves" on top of Dayton to "calm him down."  Dayton is very literal.  The question posed to him was "Dayton, did you rip the back pack,"  when they watched him stick his finger in a tear that was already there, and pull his finger down to make the rip longer.  Can you see where their argument led to?  Let me clear it up for you in case you're a parent reading this with a neurotypical child...  Children on the autism spectrum are "literal thinkers."  In Dayton's mind, the back pack was already ripped, and that was his argument.  To this day, he'll freak out and yell at you:  "I didn't rip the damn back pack!!!"  He's not able to tell you that he ripped it further.  He's not able to articulate that the back pack had a small rip in it, and that he tore it further, but he did not start the rip.  All he can tell you is that "I didn't do it."

If you stick your finger in my face and accuse me of doing something I didn't do, get ready to lose your finger.  Just saying.  I'm not a violent person, but push me far enough, and you'll get it.  There's only so much a person can handle, and my babe is no different.

So, I ask you, with all do respect...  Does the situation really need to become a non-crisis intervention?  Are you sure you've discussed the situation with the child and come to understand what he/she is trying to tell you?  If the answer is yes, then perhaps we need to see if inclusion is truly working.  While I don't want my babe to be manhandled, I certainly don't want to put a teacher or another child in danger either.

Fortunately for me, Dayton has a principal and teacher with a brain this year.  Thank goodness for us, manhandling is no longer an issue.  Dayton's teacher is a saint, and his principal truly cares about Dayton and the rest of the kids attending the school.  We are blessed.  I pray you are as well.

Consider yourselves hugged,


Thursday, 19 January 2012

Bullied Much?

Well, it's happened...  Dayton got bullied.  A switch from what he's accustomed to, as typically he's a wee bit of a bully whether or not he knows it for himself.  You know, do it my way or you're gonna get it kind of kid...

Anyways, as a mamma, it's pretty tough to swallow that your little guy's not accepted by other kids.  As a teacher, it became pretty clear that I was to use this as a teaching moment after a good cuddle, and a few "OMG, the nerve of that kid..."  Explaining to Dayton that yes, I understood his anger, and yes, he should definitely be upset, I then asked him how he thought the kids he used to "bully" felt.  At first he said "that's different mamma!"  Then reminded me how he never told other kids not to play with someone, like his bully did.  He never called anyone stupid, idiot or the R word like his bully does.  I explained to him that hitting others just because they didn't do what he thinks they should is a form of bullying too, just more physical.  He didn't say much, but I saw a little light bulb go off in his eyes.  Me thinks ma'babe gets it...  Time will tell.

The silver lining in this story is that when I called the principal, he assured me he would speak to the boys today, not something I would have heard last year.  Also, the teacher who's class the bullying took place in called me an hour after I spoke to the principal, assuring me that she's spoken to the principal and will also speak to Dayton about the situation he dealt with and how to better deal with it if it happens again.

It's good to know that the school is listening to my concerns.  I'm very glad that things have changed this year, as I'm not sure I could have survived another year of the way things used to be without going postal on someone.

Consider yourselves hugged,


Monday, 16 January 2012

Ugh... And The Routine Is Broken

I've been off work since February 11th, and just got back to work recently, breaking the routine that is Dayton's safety net...  Grrrrr...

Mr. Barkee Von Schnouser refuses to do his home reading at any other time then "bed time."  I thought it a good idea to do it then to bring him down from his high of a day before bed time, but now that I'm working split shifts to accommodate our lack of daycare...  well, it's just not possible.  In order for me to do that, I'd have to wake him up from his sleep, read a book with him and then sprinkle fairy dust on him to have him go back to sleep...  I'm fresh out of fairy dust, so what's a mamma supposed to do?

So... during my 'break' in split shifts, I'm back to making picture schedules for Dayton and his teenage babysitter.  Thank God for the iPod touch, which takes away all the cutting and pasting and taping and, and, and...  then again, maybe I should go back to the old fashioned way of making a picture schedule and make him a poster of what to expect?  Ugh!!!  I hate picture schedules!!!  And the chances of a teenager worrying about my babe's home reading material is next to notta...

I'm resorting to bribing Dayton today to do his home reading during my 'break.'  Will keep you posted on his progress...  In the mean time, any suggestions, please let me know!!!

Consider yourselves hugged,


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Scandal Exposed in Major Study of Autism and Mercury

Scandal Exposed in Major Study of Autism and Mercury

I don't know where you stand on vaccinations, but I do know there are two teams:  team anti-vaccination, and team pro-vaccination.

You have to admit, there controversy is a never ending one.  With stories of Somalian children coming to the States perfectly healthy, then upon vaccination, 50% turn autistic, there is a likelihood that vaccinations do not CAUSE autism, but trigger the autism.  I'm fairly certain that's what happened to Dayton...

Another autism mom commented on the Autism Winnipeg Facebook Page one day during a debate whether or not vaccines are responsible for autism:  "genes are the gun, and environment (ie/ vaccines) are the trigger."

All of us have a genetic disposition for one thing or another.  Think of heart disease, Parkinson's and cancer.  I myself have a mutant gene that causes breast and ovarian cancer.  Will I get cancer?  It's not a 100% certain, however given the right circumstances (environment), I have a higher risk than most of the female population to end up having breast or ovarian cancer.  So I opted for preventative surgeries to ensure that I don't end up with the same fate as my mom who passed away at age 48.

Something's happening in our environment for the rate of autism to continue to grow.  There are children who have never been vaccinated and still have autism.  I'm thinking as a society, major industrial changes have taken place in the last hundred years.  A hundred years ago, there was no fast food services as we have today.  Our live stock was not vaccinated.  We grew our own food in our gardens.  Everything we ate was made from "scratch."  Today you can walk into a grocery store and buy pre-packaged meals full of chemicals and preservatives, the main one being MSG.  And there are people out there allergic to MSG.  Allergies are popping up left, right and centre.  Allergies that weren't there a hundred years ago...

Just some food for thought.

Consider yourselves hugged,


Monday, 9 January 2012

Wanted: New Friends Part Deux

It's happening.  It really is happening and it's scaring the crap out of me.  I don't know why, it's something I've wanted to do for a long time, but you know how they say that people retard their own success because they're actually afraid of succeeding?  I pray I'm not one of them.

If you haven't read "Wanted: New Friends" yet, you need to read it in order for the rest of my post to make any sense.

While I'm scared, I'm also super excited.  Super Dad and I have thought about a name for the group (which seems to be heading more into an organisation), and we've decided on PACE.  A couple of reasons.  Super Dad thought the acronym suits "Parents of Autistic Children Everywhere," which is awesome.

I thought in literal terms, you know, something I always say to Dayton:  "Pace yourself babe."  It's also something that we as parents need to do ourselves, pace ourselves.  Our lives are hectically chaotic, and we need to understand that as parents of kids on the autism spectrum, WE ARE SUPER PARENTS already.  Pacing ourselves would make us even more awesome.  Getting all flustered never helped anyone.  I know for myself even in the pharmacy, when things start to feel out of control because I'm so busy, I literally need to stop in my tracks, tell myself to slow down and "pace" myself.  Things then settle down for me, and I'm able to keep the pharmacy flow going at a good pace.  No pun intended.

I've met a few great people in our coffee addict get togethers with other PACE (parents of autistic children everywhere) if you prefer Super Dad's view of PACE.  One of them is a fantastic freelance photographer, who prides himself on having patience and the ability to take fantastic portraits of children on the autism spectrum.  Of course, Tony has patience and the ability to take great portraits of kids on the spectrum as he is a father of two, of which both are on the spectrum.  Takes an autism dad to have these awesome qualities.  Not only that, but Tony has volunteered his help in the promotion of PACE, especially the part of PACE where my idea is to rent a gym for our kids to meet in a non judgemental place, a place where they can feel accepted for being who they are and how they think.

Our friend Marni Wachs Zuke, the creator of Autism Winnipeg Facebook Page says our PACE acronym stands for:  Parents/Autism/Coffee/Escaping.

No matter how Super Dad and I look at it, we like the acronym PACE and I think we're just gonna go for it.

And so it's done.  I purchased the domain two days ago, and finally finished the content of the website.  You can find it at www.pacewithasd.com.  Those of you that live in Winnipeg really need to check the website out, as this is where we'll post all of our get togethers.  Right now we're just getting together for "coffee breaks," but soon I hope to get the gymboree for the kidlets ready...  Just takes time, but bear with me, it WILL happen.  I've already got some volunteers lined up, it's just a matter of time.

Hope you've all had a great winter holiday with the kids and are looking forward to sending them back to school today.

If you're looking for family portraits or any other photographer work requiring special attention to detail and a slick, professional look or patience, check out Tony's website at AnthonyMarkPhotography.net, or call Tony at 204-233-0598, or email:  plaiditude@gmail.com

Consider yourselves hugged,


Saturday, 7 January 2012

Autistic Boy Forced Into Duffel Bag By Teacher

This story was enough to make me want to puke...  Make sure you read it before you continue reading...


I get so riled up when I hear of children with disabilities being treated like animals. If it's not ok to do to a neurological child, then what on earth makes someone think that it's acceptable to do this to a disabled child?  What happened to the saying "You catch more bees with honey than vinegar?"  If a child is being difficult, what on earth makes you think that abusing the child will make him or her "change their mind?"

When has treating people like dirt helped anyone?!  What is wrong with today's society?  Like parents don't have to deal with enough crap when they're out and about.  I'm no stranger to being treated and having my son treated horribly.  But the day I walk into a school and find my boy zipped up in a duffel bag, is the day I go postal on that school.

I'm pretty sure I would end up throwing the aid into the gym bag and roll them down the hallway at high speed to knock down my bowling pins.  The principal would be rolled into a duffel bag of his own and used as a soccer ball for the 5th grade class, and the teacher...  I'd make her choke on her apple.

So we all believe that Hitler was this bad, bad dude who killed millions of jews, right?  What makes our society ANY different if we're going to sit here and allow this type of treatment of our special needs children?!  We are in the process of eliminating a race of people who think differently by tolerating this type of behaviour.  Holly crap!  And the killer of this is that there are no consequences for the school's behaviour!  Who's Hitler now people? We're just as responsible for knowing it's happening and doing nothing about it!

Can you imagine what would happen if a parent did this to their child?  You'd better believe we'd be arrested for child abuse, thrown in jail and they'd throw away the key.  But a school...  a school can treat your child any way they want?!  They have more rights to your child than you do as their parent?!  What the...

What are your thoughts on this?

Consider yourselves hugged,


Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Coffee Addicts Annonymous

Had another "coffee break" with a group of autism parents last night and met two new ladies thanks to the Autism Winnipeg Facebook page.

This was our second time out for "coffee" as a group and Mike and I really need to come up with a name for this coffee meeting we're trying to get started, to create a sense of community for parents with children on the autism spectrum.  You know, a place where you can vent if you want with, no one looking at you as though you've gone completely insane because they can not possibly understand what your life is like.  Like the time where I told my friend how Dayton as a toddler would press his ear to the floor and crawl in my kitchen while feeling the texture on the side of his face...  Maybe his ear was itchy?  She kind of looked at me like I was raising a freak or something...

Getting out with the parents was nice because I felt like I'm not alone.  It was hard for me to leave the comfort of my nice warm living room when all I felt like doing was cuddling up under a blankie and watch a movie with Dayton who was sad because daddy's left town again for a month.  In saying this, I know that secluding ourselves in the house is NOT healthy.  However...  it is soooooo much easier to just stay at home.  Staying at home means that Dayton has his toys at his finger tips.  I have my jammies and am super comfortable wrapped in a blankie.  If Dayton has a hissy fit, I don't have to explain anything to anyone.  I just deal with it.  There's no one there to judge us.  Life is so much easier this way, with no one there to judge my son, my parenting or me.

Listening to the two moms' stories of their younger boys, I recalled similarities with Dayton at their age.  Another thing that came up that we had in common was extreme morning sickness requiring the anti-nausea drug Diclectin (doxylamine succinate, pyridoxine hydrochloride), which is the only anti-nauseant / antiemetic specifically prescribed by doctors to pregnant women to manage nausea.

We also shared gestational diabetes, and I myself had pre-eclampsia (formerly known as toxemia - sounds harsh).  We all have mercury fillings...  Makes you wonder, doesn't it?  I think research should direct it's way into pre-natal care, just saying.  In saying that, a lot more research needs to be done on helping our kids as they will be adults soon.  Dayton's already turning ten this February, how FAST time flew by!  And no wonder...  I've been so busy with doctors appointments, hospital trips, observations, numerous ear infections, surgeries, EEG's, behaviour therapists, neurologist, developmental specialists, school, etc...

It's good getting out of the house, sharing stories and feeling accepted no matter what.  We even talked about CFS being called on us because of our children's behaviour, and the emotional turmoil and humiliation it brought.

It doesn't look that the world around us is going to change.  It's up to us to cope, but how do you cope alone?  I don't know about you, but I for one need some emotional support, not counselling, but meeting with parents out there that understand.  But getting out of the house...  It's just so time consuming, and I'm lazy.  Yeah, I said it, you heard me - I AM LAZY.  If I don't have to do it, I won't do it.  It's one more thing on my list of things I have to do, and my list is huge.  Whopping big.  Enormous.  Gigantic.  I have many things to do and people to annoy.  It's my thing.

But then I think of one of my autism mom friends, God bless her, who is in immense pain, using crutches to get out in this weather, and I think to myself:  if she is doing it, you need to get your butt in gear and just do it!  Plus, she made the mistake of trusting my driving...  and didn't get scared even when I got us lost and made illegal U-turns...

The toughest exercise in life is to just get out and do it.  Once you're doing it, it becomes easier and easier and eventually becomes a routine.

So, if you live in the Winnipeg area, keep an eye out on the Autism Winnipeg Facebook page.  That's where we post when and where we'll meet up.  Feel free to email me as well for times and places.


Consider yourselves hugged,


Monday, 2 January 2012

Has Special Needs Inclusion Gone Too Far? Part Deux

For the love of everything holly...

I never meant to insult parents by posting Has Special Needs Inclusion Gone Too Far in late November...  But I'm still getting hate email about this post, and quite frankly, it's starting to annoy me.

Yes, I agree with all the hate mail that said there are also bad teachers out there.  I totally 100% agree.  Dayton and I have met our fair share of them, believe me.  It appears that you have only read this one and only post and not the rest of my blog, so I forgive your ignorance.

I also agree with you that your special needs child has the right to an education like everyone else's child.  Absolutely.  But lets get real for a moment, shall we?

Who's best interest are we serving by having a fifteen year who's cognitive skills are that of a five year old sit in a grade ten classroom?  Do you honestly believe this child's rights are being met?  How about his or her education?  Give your head a shake people.  I'm not saying this child doesn't deserve an education or that he should not be in a classroom as he won't learn anything, I'm saying that this child needs to be in a classroom he or she can UNDERSTAND so that he CAN learn!!!  If the past nine years of teaching have had no educational value to this child, what makes you think he's going to improve in this atmosphere?

I'm sorry, but my son is in grade four.  Dayton is turning ten this February, but cognitively he thinks like a six year old.  He struggles with reading and writing and is sitting at about half way through grade one with reading.  Writing is more like kindergarten stage.  Oh, all right.  More like preschool...

As his mom, I want my baby to be with his peers, but NOT at the risk of his education.  Today's school system believes in social promotion.  Yesterday's school system was very different, but you know what?  It freaking worked.

I was out for coffee with a bunch of autism parents last Thursday night, and I was told by one of them that Winnipeg's drop out rate sits at 75%...  75%!!!  Why do you think that is?  I'll tell you why...  They can't read!!!  Why can't they read?  Social promotion!  I mean really...  I didn't want to fail, it would be very embarrassing, wouldn't it?  So I made sure I didn't fail and studied.  Don't get me wrong, I did the bare minimum.  I did my homework and by the grace of God passed, even math with which I struggled all through high school.

The first three years of elementary school you learn how to read.  Beginning in grade four, you are expected to learn from what you read.  How is Dayton doing here?  Obviously he's NOT.  Are his educational needs being met?  In a way I suppose they are, but at what cost?

Let's see...  can his teacher (who I swear is a saint) make up the one curriculum to teach her whole grade four classroom?  Ummmmmm...  NO.  I guarantee you that Dayton is not the only special needs student in her classroom either, so I'm going to bet that she's making a few lesson plans for her class.  Does she get paid extra for this work?  Ummmmm, NO.  Do you think she works past the time her "fourth graders" are dismissed? Ummmmm, YES.  Is this fair?  Ummmmm, NO!!!  I don't work for free, do you?  Why should she?  And yet, as a society, we expect her to, don't we?  Why?  Because our special needs kids have rights.

Let's get back to our special needs kids, shall we?  Do you think Dayton is having a good time in grade four?  Ummmmm, NO.  He likes his teacher, loved his beloved Educational Assistant, but he's not thrilled at seeing that he's 'different.'  At the end of the day, we're both exhausted, but we have extra work to do because as a parent, I want my baby to learn how to read and write.  Dayton wants to do what the rest of his peers are doing in the classroom...  but he knows that he's not capable of it.  What a blow to his little self esteem!!!  Our only grace this year has been his fantastic teacher.  Without her, I'm sure I'd have pulled out my hair, Dayton would be on more medication for stress, and there's no way I would be working now.  We'd sit on welfare, and I would most likely pull him out of school and home school him.

So back to the five year old stuck in a grade ten classroom...  Our Heavenly Father, I pray to you today that this five year old boy will not be my son.  I pray to you that if it is your will that this becomes my son, that you give me the courage to do what is RIGHT for my son and not what I selfishly WANT.  If this means that Dayton is not included with peers chronologically his age to see him happy with younger kids, please, open the eyes of my heart and not the eyes to my pride.  Please God, show me the way to my son's happiness and rights and blind me to my own selfish pride and sense of justice.


Consider yourselves hugged,


Sunday, 1 January 2012

And A Happy New Year To All (iPod, iPad info too)

The Christmas holidays have come and gone, and so has my money.  Yes, I am officially b.r.o.k.e...  Thank goodness Santa got me a new job to pay off the holiday bills!

The boys have torn down my Christmas tree (that is the cat, Dayton and Glen), then packed up the decorations while I tried to get better.  I'm either suffering from allergies or a cold and it's driving me to become a nasal spray junkie.  Coming off the stuff is just not pretty...

For Christmas night, we enjoyed a family dinner at Glen's uncle's Eddie's home...  Supper was AMAZING, as auntie Linda is a fantastic cook!  I nearly fell asleep on their sofa with my head in Dayton's lap while he played Angry Birds on his iPod touch with his cousin Diamond.  After about three hours, we ended up back at home and watched movies.  I love movies!

New Year's eve was spent at home watching movies and of course HOCKEY!  Canada won against the US, and then the Canucks disapointed me yet again by losing to LA 1-4.  Booooo Canucks.

Reading the Autism Winnipeg Facebook Page, I saw someone post a question about iPod touch apps for autism, and those of us with kids on the spectrum are pretty much all over iPod and iPad apps as most of us with kids on the autism spectrum have been sold on Apple's innovations.

The link below is not just for parents of kids on the autism spectrum, but for Educational Assistants, teachers and kids with ADD, ADHD or any other kind of cognitive delays.

Hope you find this as informative as I have.

Love this spread sheet!!!  https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0AjbIta8OTS0KdHRMVWx0Q3pvOWRXRXBfd01jc3lqakE&hl=en&single=true&gid=0&output=html

one more link:  http://www.autismclassroom.com/lessons/apps-section-added-to-autism-lesson-plans-book/