Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Program 2009

This year's Christmas Program at our school was themed, "A Charlie Brown Christmas". I really thought Caleb would be skipping it this year because when asked to practice he refused to go :( However...when he saw the theme, he LOVED it! When the time came to sing, he did wonderfully! He loved every minute of it and pleasantly surprised all involved! I attached the video clip, so take a look! (Caleb is the 2nd from the end...with black hair).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sundays...the WORST day!

Sundays seem to always be Caleb's worst behavior and mood day. I'm glad it's not during school, but it gets old having to have him sit by me during Sunday School because he's too moody to do well in his own class. For a LONG time, Sundays have been his worst day. I often wonder if there's some sort of cycle to moods/behavior for him. Does anyone else notice a day (especially Sunday) as being the worst?

Halloween is our annual Family Day where instead of celebrating Halloween (which we don't believe in) we go bowling and swimming. The kids LOVE it and look forward to their day off from school. Caleb especially loves it, and did wonderful this year! He took turns, knew to look at the screen and announce who's turn it is, and even called "Taco Bell" for lunch :) He does need a bit of help on his bowling technique though! We all appropriately named it "thunder ball"!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Methy B-12 (mb12) Shots are still Necessary for Us!

I wanted to post about the trend I'm seeing in Caleb, to see if others are experiencing this as well. It seems that about every 3 or 4 days, Caleb's mood starts to head south...meaning he starts getting obstinate and "tantrumy". This seems to be my cue for another mb12 injection. Then, after the injection at night, the next day is WONDERFUL! He is happy as a lark! I definitely think that both yeast, and mb12 are critical for us in handling obstinacy and bad mood. Also...probably a positive of the mb12....many people have been commenting on Caleb's increased vocabulary and speech. He still struggles with answering questions, but otherwise, he can generally say most of what he sentence form! I know mb12 is touted to help speech, but I wanted to show that I truly think it's a critical part of mood control as well.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Impetigo...our First and Hopefully ONLY Illness this Season!

Caleb is finally on the mend from his bout of impetigo! He was home from school all last week. However, it looks markedly improved from yesterday, so I think he'll definitely be attending school this week. Actually, all but 1 of the 5 children were sick this past week. Isaac, Elizabeth, and Andy all had Hand-Foot-Mouth disease which they picked up at school from another child who had it. Thankfully, Caleb didn't get this! Instead he had the impetigo. Andy also had impetigo too :( He was truly miserable this past week! We made TONS of shakes, puddings, icecream because that's all anyone could eat.

I wanted to also share what helped impetigo for Caleb. It was the homeopathic remedy Calc. Sulph. It helped immensely, and in fact is what I think finally took the big sores away. I gave it only when the sores appeared to be worsening. This last time of giving it (I gave it a total of 3 times) he got better over night! Just a thought for anyone that gets it this season :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

School Update--September

Hooray for more great days! Just talked to Caleb's teacher yesterday (of his autism class), and she talked how they see him as the "highest in the class". They see what I see...that he's smart! She said, "I see some behaviors, but I don't think they're a big deal". Whereas, our local school district views little behaviors as major problems. Just so happy with this new setup thus far!

Caleb's mood is doing great! We've stumbled upon something that's been working for him. Last time we went to the DAN doctor, he suggested that yeast was most likely still the culprit and that it was something called "biofilm" (where the yeast secretes it's own mucus to protect itself & thus is hard to kill). I researched a bit on biofilm, and the protocol for it. It sounds like first higher doses of Magnesium (such as oxypowder) or Vitamin C to get the kid to have a BM. Then a protease enzyme (such as mucostop) to get rid of the mucous, then a bunch of herbs known to kill yeast. Well...I didn't have all of these things, but I started with vitamin C and magnesium, then added in several proteases (later in the day) , then gave a 2 to 3 cap dose of a yeast herb blend (at bedtime). I did this for about a week. Now, we just maintain with 2 chewable vitamin C, and 2 caps of yeast herbs both in the morning before school. Voila! It works at maintaining his mood. It obviously WAS the yeast after all. It just needed a bit of a different tactic! No more screaming/screeching, and no more bad mood! Hooray!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Back to School! Hooray!

School has started again! Caleb is doing dual enrollment between an autistic classroom (for 3-5th grades; but he's in 2nd grade) and then aspecial ed. classroom at our local school. He's doing 3 days in the autism class, and 2 days here in special ed. The hope is that he will develop more "ready to learn" behaviors, and also that our local school will be able to work one-on-one with autism experts to best be able to meet Caleb's needs in later years. They were VERY clueless last year. Anyhow, the first day went well! I'm excited to see what each day brings.

We've managed to tame Caleb's moods again (for about the last month or so). It seems that a natural yeast fighter, as well as an enzyme twice a day, and a multivit/min are doing the trick. So glad his mood is improved for the start of school! That way all can get to know him and like him before mood issues arise. He seems to be VERY ready for the challenge of school again, and looks forward each morning to going. I hope this continues. Keep praying! God has been so good thus far!

**the picture is of him getting off his bus the first day**

Friday, August 7, 2009

Summertime..when the living is easy?

Not a lot new and exciting. Summer's winding down, and we're beginning to think about school. Caleb's summer school went very well at his new autism classroom. He'll be doing 3 days in this class and 2 days at our local school. The goal is that this asd teacher will help guide our school district on how to plan for him, as well as handle any behavior. The asd classroom is about an hour away (a 2 hour bus ride), otherwise we'd just do that every day. I love what I've seen so far though! He comes home saying, "If you get angry...take a time out." I smile when I hear that :) So many times I've said the same thing, but it takes a teacher to get it to stick! We also have adopted the asd teacher's tactic of taking his hat (which he MUST wear at all times...a bit of an ocd/sensory thing) when he screams. He avoids screaming now, so we won't take his hat. Now, why didn't I think of that before?! Anyhow...still sometimes a bit of a rollercoaster ride this autism, but we're getting somewhere.

Hope all are having a fun summer! Oh...the pic is of Caleb catching a fish. Afterwards, he got bored and just kept casting his line into the weeds and trees :) But...he caught his first fish!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Suffering and Special Needs

Recently I was blessed by 2 different sermons by 2 different individuals. They were both on dealing with special needs and how God uses suffering for good in our lives. Truly, I can't even begin to repeat them. Please take some time to hear them for yourself, especially if you are enduring some type of hardship in your life.

The links are: (click on the link for special needs featured audio "specially wrapped")

You will be blessed and refreshed as I was!

Friday, June 26, 2009

SUMMER'S HERE! Off Camping with the Boys!

He just can't seem to let go of that hat and I've had to hide the sunglasses ***

Caleb just left for a weekend filled with testosterone! He went camping with Daddy, brothers, and lots of male friends/neighbors. Their yearly male bonding :) I sent Caleb with a bag full of supplements and some instructions just in case too much wheat or too little sleep affects his mood or behavior. Hopefully Daddy will nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand! Vitamin B12 (methyl version of course) has been helping the moodies lately, so I was sure to send the chewable kind. I also sent lots of gf/cf foods like bread, donuts, fruit, and cookies so that he can have some safe, yummy foods and just be a kid free to delve into the fun. He'll have lots of playmates with all the neighbor boys there, so I pray that someone takes him under their wing.

Praying that he has a fun time and that all there will take him for who he is, and not expect perfection out of him :) I know that I'm enjoying the time by myself with just the youngest twins as company. After all...they still take a nice nap :)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Beast of Obstinacy

"The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't." - Henry Ward Beecher

I read this quote today and had to LAUGH! Caleb is so like this lately! He's had his fill of school and no amount of coercing is going to get him to cooperate fully! In fact, tomorrow is going to be his last day instead of finishing off this week. He's reached his max for the year! As far as the obstinacy, I need to do some research on what can help with this. I know much of it at school is just because he wants to be home for the summer, but there is also always a bit of the obstinacy every day. I saw online that one person even calls it 'ODD--Obstinate Dude Disorder'! Again, this made me laugh and perhaps will help me get through it a bit better :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Our Spring Update

We've got school figured out for next year. Caleb will be in an autistic program 3 days a week, and then our home school 2 days a week. I'm quite excited about the autistic program because he was able to get into the "higher" one and thus will have a fantastic teacher and an environment where he'll be pushed. I pray that the summer will provide much needed rest for all of us, and that he will come back in the fall and "wow" them all!

Now for summer to begin.....

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What a Great Day! Our Second Weekend of Easter :)

Today was a great day for Caleb! We visited some relatives for Easter dinner (a week late) and Caleb was excited to see them. He ran right up to cousin Skylere and gave her a big hug and then went through the house naming everything...."They have a TV, a lamp, a couch, etc." He really got into this visit with relatives, much to the delight of everyone! He also loved our Easter tradition of breaking confetti filled hollow eggs on each other's head (as you can see in the picture he let little cousin break one on his head :). It wasn't perfect, as we still had about 3 small screams when told "no", but otherwise it was a fantastic day! Mom and Dad actually enjoyed the visit and didn't have to play "Caleb police"!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Still Pondering About Next Year...

We're still in limbo about next year. We have kind-of decided to try the autism school (the one with the slightly older kids who are more at Caleb's intellectual level) for 3 days a week, while still main-streaming for 2 days. This will allow for more days in the regular school as behaviors get mastered in the autism school. This also forces our local school to work directly with the autism teacher, thus not letting them off the hook for a year or two. It also allows Caleb to keep his peer group that he's bonded with and also keep up with the 2nd grade curriculum (which he's able to do). SOOOO....what's the problem, you might ask? There might not even be an opening for him at the autism school. They are already 2 children over state limit, and they hope to open another classroom, but won't know for sure until summer. What if there's no opening for Caleb? What do we do then? I'm still always keeping homeschooling in my pocket as a backup. I have felt, however, that I have to try to make a go of the above mentioned plan because it would benefit Caleb the most. Homeschooling will be next though if the original plan falls through.

Caleb is a child who is reading nicely for first grade, but it's hard to assess how much he comprehends because answering questions is somewhat limited to simple words. He has tons of vocabulary, but for some reason answering questions is difficult. He's also adding and subtracting simple numbers like 1+9 or 6-3 , etc. He does great on spelling and sounding out words, and often takes his test by typing on wordpad instead of writing (since writing often makes him mad if the letters aren't perfectly formed). Last week he got 9/10 correct! He knows how to tell time to the hour and 1/2 hour, but money still is a bit of a struggle for him. He cuts, pastes, and does other motor skills quite well. And, he's been riding his bike all over the place! Truly, I often wish the teachers would see his wonderful skills as being amazing. The problem is that they just don't see how far he's come in such a short time, nor can they see beyond his often obstinate behavior. If he doesn't want to do something....he just won't! I don't know if this is autism, or a genetic trait passed down from my Dad :) Nevertheless....we press on with always the goal of enhancing the many skills he does have, and improving upon those areas he struggles. Someday he will be a man, and I want to have given him the best training for using his skills, and for coping with a world that is often difficult.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Decison Making

We went and visited the autism classroom at the elementary school. Although it was set up nicely and the staff was well versed in autism, it left much to be desired. Caleb was far and aways TOOOOO high for that class. He would be the only verbal child, and the only one working on reading skills and math. They suggested we look at the classroom for 3-5th grade autistic children. We went to that school and saw a much better fit for Caleb. It was set up more like a classroom and the children were working on actual educational reading and math. Because I'm still concerned about socialization, Caleb losing connection with the great class he has at our home school, and then our home school not being prepared for him to return in a year or 2....we are contemplating a dual enrollment. Caleb would be enroled at the autism school 3 days a week, and our home regular ed class 2 days a week with it written in his IEP that upon successful achievement of listed behaviors he will return gradually to his home school (regular ed). Hopefully by then the staff will have had some help in setting up his education to best suit him...not the teachers. That's really the problem. If they'd just look beyond the behaviors to focus on his education and how best to teach him...we'd have none of this crap. Instead, they all want to make it easier on themselves and get him out of the school. I'll have none of it! I'm not "dumbing him down" and taking away his best asset--that of incredible intelligence--so he can go be part of an autistic classroom where he's not pushed nor expected to succeed. This is a child who's on the verge of normalcy, but still struggles with erratic behavior at times. I would just love to see these teachers go observe some autism classrooms to see just how far Caleb has come! Sigh.....I may end up homeschooling yet! Let's face one will see the good in my son like I will. I just don't want to do Caleb a disservice, so I continue to fight.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Day of Disappointments

As I sit here, I can hardly believe that I'm writing this next blog about this topic, since it's only been a month since Caleb's "Most Improved Award". How different a couple of weeks makes sometimes... (not always for the positive)

What a day it's been.... We just got back from a meeting with Caleb's therapists. They are advising that Caleb be bused to a special autism school that's over an hour away. Not really because he can't fit here in our home school district, but because the staff and school are set up in such a way that we're all beating our heads against a wall. This staff of teachers are frustrating and infuriating. They are overmaxed with their numbers of kids, of that I understand. But....they just don't understand autism, nor are they willing to expend the extra energy setting things up to make Caleb successful. The therapists think Caleb could be much more independent, successful, and educated in the autism school than he could be in a school with this many red flags. One...his class size of 30.... two...his stubborn, unknowledgeable teacher (this is my addition), .... three... the lack of resources in our school......4...the complete change of all administrative personal for the second year in a row.... and the list goes on and on. One part of me wants to pull all of my children and put them in another school (and I would if my husband weren't considering applying for the principal job). Another part of me wants to make these subpar teachers "put up or shut up" so that the next autism family that comes through is more successful. But, the last part of me (the biggest part) wants to see Caleb successful and appreciated for who he is. And...if that's in another school, then so be it. I did tell my husband, however, that he had to promise me one thing....that my youngest twins WOULD NEVER have Caleb's current teacher for any grade! That he would appeal to the masses, if need be, so that I never have to deal with her again! You just can't teach a person, such as her, how to be compassionate or how to love each child just because they're human. Instead, she sees Caleb as a behavior problem, and a detriment to her quality of teaching. Thankfully, we have a number of months to decide which direction to take. We also plan on looking at nearby school districts to see what they have to offer. For now though...pray that we make the right decision!

Monday, February 2, 2009

An AWARD for Caleb!

We're SO excited! Caleb got an award for this marking period! He was MOST IMPROVED in his first grade class! We were a little sad that we didn't know anything about him receiving an award so we could attend the awards ceremony. But....nevertheless....we were thrilled at his acomplishment! Here's the picture we took of him at home with his new award :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Winter Progress

Things are still going great here with Caleb! So much so, that we're actually again integrating more class and less one on one aide. He's moving up in the world! He has a "best" friend, Ashtin, and is VERY well liked by his classmates. He actually tells me, "Goodbye Mom" when he sees me at school because he wants his "own" place to shine. Mood can still be an issue firt thing in the morning, but what I'm finding out now is that it usually resides by the time school starts. Often his worst "morning mood days" are his best school days :) Caleb is still on no meds and very few supplements. Occasionally (once or twice a week) I give an oral mb12 for mood & speech, culturelle for yeast (once or twice weekly), EFAs (omega 3,6,9), and occasionally vitamin A/C if coming down with a cold. Otherwise we usually go the homeopathy route. Homeopathy is so much gentler, easier to give, and more effective. Here's a few Christmas/winter holiday pics.