Thursday, May 31, 2012

People Have Lost Their Minds

Did you see this one? If no I'll wait while you read it. 

Yep you read that right Autism One brought in a speaker to talk about the greatness of MMS otherwise known as bleach, and not only bleach industrial strength bleach which their speaker says is non-toxic and safe. She must be breathing in to many fumes. Don't believe me here is her powerpoint from the conference. 

Am I the only one that thinks this is insane? Do people really do this? By her lecture they do but why? What makes someone think oh I think I'll just bleach the autism out of my kid. WTF PEOPLE? I guess because it's called mms its OK. Think about this if a parent of a NT kid forced their child to ingest bleach or gave them a bleach enema there would be outrage, CPS would be called and charges would be brought. So why is it OK to give it to a child with autism and call it medicine. That makes zero sense.

Think about it we have all probably accidentally spilled household bleach on ourselves and it burns. Industrial bleach is used to strip tile, the people who use it take precautions when using it to avoid injury such as gloves, masks etc. So why would you give it to your kid to drink or a enema that's got to hurt and cause some serious damage to the body.

Here are a couple of cases that did draw public outrage,  In both these cases child abuse charges were filed against the parent. In the second case mom didn't force the kids to drink it she just stored it improperly (yes she should know better) and the kids drank it. Both cases involved NT kids. I wonder if the kid had autism and they called it medicine would their be the outcry there was.

I will just say it how stupid can you get? How desperate can you be to put your child in harms way? Really these parents should be charged with child abuse and any doctor recommending this should be charged as well. Anyone who is not a doctor that is prescribing this should be charged with practicing medicine without a license.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Open Letter To Nurse:

Dear MRI Nurse,
We came to Children's for a sedated MRI yesterday. Of course there are lots of admissions questions to help prepare the staff for any problems or special needs that may arise. Yes my child's admit papers said autism. Your caught me off guard with you line of questioning:

You: Why does his paperwork say he has autism?
Me: because he does
You:  Really he doesn't look like he has autism!
Me: What does autism look like?
You: No answer.

Now the whole thing could have stopped there but you continued. As we were walking him back to be sedated you kept going.

You: I just don't see how they can say he has autism?
Me: Well he does, there were extensive tests done and both the Autism clinic through Children's and his school agree he has autism. Now that's the surprising part The school and the doctor agree. (you didn't get my joke)

At least you realized the questions needed to stop as they started to sedate him. Yes he did ask what is in the medication they are giving him and stumped the student. Yes the Anesthesiologist just explained what they do just like she would a coworker. Yep that was my kid that passed out mid word talking about yu-gi-oh cards. As I was being walked out you start again.

You: His not in a special school is he?
Me: No he is fully mainstreamed and actually he will be almost full honors next year.
You: See he's honors you can't have autism and be in honors? So how do they say he has autism.
Me: it's a spectrum, people with autism function on all levels and have all levels of intelligence. In Rogers case his social skills are really lacking and he has some processing problems, as well as he gets stuck on things to the pint of obsession. There's much more to it. Autism really is interesting you just have to be willing to learn about it.

That ended our discussion because really I was tired and hungry. I was going to go get some overpriced food from the cafeteria.  What I should have said that I did not was please Google autism, read some blogs, talk to your coworkers, and maybe go visit the autism center right here in this very hospital. I'm sure they would be more than happy to guide you to credible information.

I do apologize for being short with you. I was tired, hungry and had sat in crazy traffic in the morning so my patience was already low. Plus add to it the stress of having a child sedated, I was a bit overwhelmed and unprepared to answer questions about autism.

Mom of Autistic Child in Your Care Yesterday

An Observation

From reading other pages (mainly the comments) people in the special needs community get all up in arms or a term I like butt hurt over every little thing.  We don't need to add fuel to the fire over everything. I have seen people say their child should not have to wait because they have autism, well yes they do sometimes. All kids special needs or not have to wait at times, especially in the hospital setting.  When you say things like my child should be bumped to the head of the line because they have autism remember you have zero knowledge of what the situation of the other families may be. Did they make their appointment months before you? So they patiently wait for their appointment and because you come in with your kid they should be bumped. Hospitals have this thing called triage and I can promise you that if you are bumped for someone else there is something more pressing than your issue going on. Will you ever know what it is? Nope just be patient, yelling and screaming at nurses will do nothing but piss them off and guess what I was a nurse and I would avoid the jerks like the plague. You want to get somewhere be nice. trust me no one likes bumping someone or making them wait but sometimes it has to be done. If you are nice guess what they will do everything they can to make your stay more comfortable and get you in ASAP. You come off yelling like a crazy person who thinks they are better than everyone else you get nothing. Parents are always saying they want their kids to be accepted and treated the same as other kids, well they can't be treated the same if you are constantly asking for special treatment. Before you all yell at me I know some kids need things done differently, I'm not talking about those requests. I am talking about the no the kid from the ER cannot bump my appointment back because my child has autism and has a hard time waiting. Hello the kid is from the ER, I can 100% guarantee that that child needs whatever test run and needs it run now. Again the triage thing.

Then there was this article. Everyone is up in arms over the wording "Some of the disabilities the students in the Special Education Program have are being blind, deaf or non-verbal or being mentally retarded." This statement was in the yearbook and the intent was to honor the special needs kids. The yearbook kids probably didn't even think they were singling kids out. I don't think this was done with intent to harm. Read the sentence again: "Some of the disabilities the students in the Special Education Program have are being blind, deaf or non-verbal or being mentally retarded." it reads as though someone cut and pasted it from the special education departments own materials. Should it have been in the yearbook? No of course not. These are teenagers the failure did not come from them but from whoever the adult was that oversaw the yearbook. They should have caught it and said hey you can't do this. Did this statement call every child in special education mentally retarded? NO it didn't read all the words it says or mentally retarded not and mentally retarded. Mentally retarded is a medical term just as blind, deaf, and non-verbal are. That's where the facilitator should have said hey guys I see what you are doing but this may hurt some feelings and we cannot be putting other kids medical diagnosis in the yearbook.
Now instead of anyone reading the whole article and questioning how did this happen constructively, everyone is in a uproar of being angry at high school students for a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes, how about instead of grabbing the pitchforks and attacking we take the opportunity to educate and tell others why this is not right.

These are just two examples where I think people have gone overboard and reacted based on emotion rather than thinking it through. Look I understand as parents we are always on the defensive, lets face it there are some rude people in the world, but not everyone is.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Experiances In Bullying
What is bullying? " Bullying is acting in ways that scare or harm another person. Kids who bully usually pick on someone who is weaker or more alone, and they repeat the actions over and over.

Bullying can take many forms.
  • Physical harm, such as hitting, shoving, or tripping.
  • Emotional harm, such as making fun of the way a child acts, looks, or talks. Writing mean things about someone in emails or online journals (blogs) is also bullying.
Girls who bully are more likely to do so in emotional ways. Boys who bully often do so in both physical and emotional ways. For example:
  • A girl may form a group and exclude another girl or gossip about her.
  • A boy may shove another boy and call him names.
Both boys and girls take part in "cyber-bullying." This means using high-tech devices to spread rumors or to send hurtful messages or pictures. Emotional bullying doesn't leave bruises, but the damage is just as real."

We have had three experiences with bullying. Or that's what I know of. Kid's wont always tell you, or in our case they may not pick up that they are being bullied.

The first happened when Roger was in 3rd grade, Lucy went to the preschool at his school. The known school bully (this kid was awful, anyone and everyone were his targets and mom could care less), really he got to stay for so long because well he paid money and the priest wasn't going to give up money. (he was finally kicked out when other large families started leaving the school because of the situation) Ok back to the story well he called Lucy retarded because she still did not talk. Roger hauled off and hit the kid. I got called into the office and really nothing happened. The school principal was like the kid deserved it, Roger was provoked and defended himself.

The second was in 5th grade. His teacher actually picked up on it and came to talk to me. She said she believed this was happening and she was afraid that it may escalate above just verbal with the boys. She did not want Roger to get in trouble if something happened and he just had enough and fought back, she wanted to step in now. What she did was have the dare officer come in and talk to the kids about what bullying was and what can happen if do it (i.e. you can go to jail even in 5th grade). I know one of the mom's who had been talked to about her son originally said oh there just boys, but when told I will press charges if this continues she finally took it seriously. The bad thing was her son and Roger used to be really good friends and we were social but after that no more. We moved shortly after that so who knows if the boys stopped or moved on to another kid.

This year Roger came home with a bruise I wrote about it here. Some follow up to it. Roger has told me there were three boys in his PE class that he says he thinks they are trying to insult him. Well the PE teacher was not going to have it and all three got in trouble. I don't know who they were or what the punishment was but it seems to have ended. No more meltdowns right when he walks in the door.

How do we stop it. I'm not sure. I don't even know if it can be stopped but something needs to be done. Kids are killing themselves over this, Ashlynn (10)Ryan (13)JaredJasmine (10)Tyler, Phobe, MeghanEden (14) these are just some of the names, there are many more and saying oh it's part of life is not good enough. It should not be part of life. Kids should feel safe when they go to school not worried about who is going to bother them today.

We need to get society and the schools to realize that while assemblies, posters, and anti-bullying pages are all well and good. It is a baby step in the right direction. All the assemblies, posters, and pledges in the world are useless if there are no consequences for the bullies. There needs to be a firm consistent stance that bulling in any form is not acceptable.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Executive Functioning/ Organization

For those of you that have children with ADHD you know all about executive functioning (ef), even though you may not know you do. Not everyone with EF weaknesses have ADHD but everyone with ADHD has EF weaknesses.
What is executive functioning? In short EF is your frontal lobe abilities. EF are responsible for organization, planning, and focus. These weakness affect a person long past school age. You need to be able to plan and focus. A example is someone that gets overwhelmed in the shower. They know what they need to do but once they get in they are overwhelmed so they need a system in place to help them. Mom won't always be there to give directions.

Some other facts about EF:
  • Switching Classes is a nightmare: you have to remember everything you need to get to class plus get to the right class on time.
  • hard time sustaining attention on boring or tedious activities
  • People with EF are not lazy, they are overwhelmed. 
So What Works:

Posted schedules- Don't just make the schedule post it. If they need help getting ready in the morning post a schedule of what needs to be done.

 Routines- Everyone needs down time. Schedule it into the routine. Give a 30 minute break when returning from school before starting homework to decompress.

Homework Spot- The idea that doing homework in the same spot everyday is best. This is not always true. Research has shown doing homework in a different spot every day helps retention. Also everyone is different. Some can work and thrive with background noise such as a TV or Radio but others need it quite. Do homework where it works. Let them stand up if it helps, lay down, it does not matter as long as they are doing the work and retaining the information.

Consistent Expectations- Self explanatory

Weekly Clean Sweep- Clean out backpacks once a week. Hey while your at it mom clean out your purse. (you know it needs to be done)

Solutions for Disorganization:

Great Visual Timer. Available here

Timers- Visual (NOT DIGITAL). Visual timers work better because you can see how much time you have left where with digital you cannot. With the timers do not use for longer than 30 min. When the time is up you can take a break or keep going. You will be surprised how often your child will keep going when given a choice to take a break or not. In a small way you are giving them control.

Portable Supplies- You can use a shower caddy or something similar. Stock it with everything needed (pencils, calculator, ruler, paper, etc..) Wherever homework is done they will have everything needed on hand. No more Mom I need a eraser. You can find shower caddy's at Target or craft supply holders at Michael's.

Accordion Binder- With the different file areas it can be taken from class to class. These can be found at Staples or any office supplies store

Homework folder- One per class kept in the binder.

Bag in Locker- For older kids a grocery bag in their locker where they can put worksheets, fliers, etc that need to go home throughout the day. For younger they can keep the bag near their desk. At the end of the day they just have to take everything out of the bag and put in backpack.
Launching Pad- Everything that you need to leave the house in one place near the door. It does not have to be as extravagant as the one pictured. Your launching pad can be as simple as a plastic box that backpacks, coats, shoes are kept in, then when it is time to go you grab your stuff and off you go. No more searching for lost shoes.

Graphic Organizers- More visual than a list. Go here for more detailed information

Break Large Tasks and Assignments Into Smaller Parts- break the large assignment into parts. a couple of examples instead of saying write your book report break it down into parts and work on one part at a time. Do characters, then plot, lesson learned and so. Using a graphic organizer works wonders with some in organizing their writing.
A task such as cleaning your room break it down into steps. Don't just say go clean your room, there's to much to do and it gets overwhelming but breaking it into steps and saying clean off your desk. put clothes away, etc makes the task much more manageable.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

To The RUDE A$$ Guy Outside The Library!

This is a few days stewing and I finally got to a decent computer. Please excuse my ranting.
 On Saturday we went to the library. It was the bribe for getting the room clean which is a production in itself. Of course Roger was excited he was going to get new books. And you know what happens when we get excited.

Sir, if I can even call you that because your behavior was not that of a gentleman in any way shape or form. You saw my son get out of the truck OK he kinda fell out, yes his coordination is lacking. You saw him run across the street without looking, he has no fear and try as we might we just can't get him to realize the parking lot is dangerous. Yes he was a little loud and bouncy. I'm sorry if you felt your conversation was interrupted but really your standing outside a door is everyone supposed to shut up as they come in and out of the doors so you can hold a meeting. I think not.

You thought I didn't see what you did, or hear your words but I did. Tapping your friend to point out a child and to then make fun of him by mimicking his walk. I couldn't quite make out your words but I know they were not nice. You were taken back when I told you you were not worth the jail time.

I meant it you are not worth my time or effort, to tell you the truth any adult who will make fun of a child with intent to hurt is the lowest form of life there is. So think about that the next time you see someone especially a child who is having some difficulties. One day it could be your child. 
She Says it Best!!!