IEP Drama

Normally I’m long winded but this my dears is going to be short and sweet.

Parents we must stop our thoughts about a thing always determine it’s outcome.  If you go into your child’s IEP dreding it and saying to yourself and others how exhausting it will be, how the teachers and administrators never cooperate. Then you will have and exhausting and unproductive IEP.

Parents we MUST stop this IEP Drama and stop being so negative.  It seems that often times in the IEP community we take pride in how horrible our IEP experience was and how much trouble it was and what administrator or teacher we had to get nasty with. For years I thought something was wrong with me because my kids have always had speedy, happy IEP sessions.  I then began to make stuff up to prolong the IEP so that I would have something to talk about.

What I realized is that is unnecessary.

Short tip:

Find the good in it all. When you find the good when you find your teams strengths when you play those up the negative will disappear  You create your world and not anyone else.

Create something great, trust me.

Wishing you Health and Wellness

Charmaine

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April 11, 2013 and beyond!

So I have been away for a few weeks it’s been a bit crazy around here.  I was preparing for my business open house for Thirty One and Stampin’ Up! and I was also preparing for my first day of class.  I’m huge on schedules around here so I had to re-configure my business and academic life into my schedule and I figured while I was at it I might as well add in the homeschooling schedule because summer will be here before I know it and so will fall.  I have decided to create my own curriculum as I am not enthused with the two internet based schools that I found, plus my gut is telling me that my kids will learn better with something completely tailored to them.  You might think me crazy but I enjoy having my children home with me.   So what you wonder has been going on in the Fuller world of Autism?

Let’s start with Jai Lynn Spring break was a great time for us we worked on multiplication, subtraction and general overall household chores.  We worked on and still are working on her not apologizing for everything.  Learning that when you make a mistake to apologize once but don’t continue doing it. Once is enough. She is doing 1 tsp of the Divine Child drink, Serrapeptase, castor oil wraps, clay bath acetyl l carnitine.

This summer we’re going to dig deep with reading comprehension. Although, she can read at a 6th grade level she can only comprehend at about a third, she retains about one quarter of what she reads. She is not very good at all at simple recall.  The main reason I’m thinking of pulling her is that  middle school is a completely different monster   Many more kids, classes just bigger and that is a lot.  She can’t even tell me clearly what went on at school that day.  And that concerns me that she doesn’t have simple recall skills.

Jai Lynn has come a long way in the department of self-care but she still has a ways to go.We are still learnin how to deal with emotions and not go from 0 -1000 in 30 seconds flat.  But progress is being made.  A gain for her was this morning we were running late mainly because she was playing aroud in her room versus getting dressed and eating her breakfast.  When we got in the car she asked where we late and I stated “yes” and she said I’m sorry for doddling (from little Bill it means being a slowpoke). Then today after a melt down she said mom I’m sorry for yelling.  When she has meltdowns (which isn’t too often) she’ll often make negative statements like “I’m such a fool, I’m stupid, I’m a loser” so I’ve been taking those times to pump her with positive affirmations, we have also been doing positive affirmations before she gets out of the car.

Marcus, Jr has been doing well. Spring Break was a great , no seizures.  He worked on math and reading fluency. Same supplements as Jai Lynn including Min-Chex.

Some gains that he is making is in his cognitive ability.  We just started Luminosity which is a brain training website, you get some games for free the rest along with some other tools are available with the subscription, we will be getting the subscription by the way for both kids because they both need it.

This week so far he has had four seizures (three yesterday, one today) a bout of bad gas, and grinding his teeth.  The new Divine Child drink has tamarind in it to detox them from fluoride poisoning (yes the stuff in our water and toothpaste that they said would help is poisoning us and our children) and it also has kelp which is a great source of iodine.

Today he had a castor oil wrap and clay bath and is doing much better. It appears to me that he is detoxing from the new divine child drink and that we should see more gains. He has been very alert all day, although alert his focus has been a bit off today which it normally is after a seizure.  This seizure was different than anyone one I have seen. Then I started to think, maybe it is because I never truly observed his seizures my “fight or flight” went into play and my main concern was getting him someplace safe. But it appears that he is having General Tonic-Clonic Seizures.  So now that I have a pretty good idea that it’s not absence seizures I can move forward (which is why we are using Luminosity). Something he did last night that made me keep the faith is, when his curtain fell I asked him where was the piece that went to it. I heard it drop on the floor but didn’t see it where I thought it would be.  After I finished attaching the curtain he tapped me on the shoulder and pointed directly to the piece! So super proud of him.

 

Mason is growing by leaps and bounds and his language is doing great he can say mamma, daddy, bro bro,sissy, GiGi(that’s my mom) and trying to teach him PaPa. He knows who each of the people are, and he can identify and say his (and yours) nose, ears, mouth, head,teeth, and other body parts. Whenever someone doesn’t give him his way he says their name the says a bunch of baby talk in the middle then the name of whoever he’s reporting to so for example Daddy insert baby talk here Sissy.  So that would mean he’s telling on his sister lol.  He knows how to ask for food items that he wants and can read facial expressions like the guy from the show “Lie To Me” (If you haven’t seen it look it up). We are learning shapes, numbers, colors, counting and alphabet.

 

So as you see we are super busy here but I love it.  We have some exciting events coming up in the near future that I will report on and so much growth on the horizon.

Until Next Time,

Wishing you Blessings & Recovery,

Charmaine

*side note I was just elected as an at-large delegate to the Michigan Special Education Advisory Committee State Advisory Panel!

A Day Out!

Today was a day off for everyone and so I had to find something for the kids to do to keep them from driving hubby and I and each other nuts.  So last night I decided that today we would go bowling and then go out to lunch making it a full day of fun.  So we had breakfast, got dressed and headed out for the bowling alley that I had coupons for.

We got to the bowling alley and they had no open spots left, I had taken the kids in with me to hold the lanes and they both did a pretty good job when we had to leave.  Minimal whining and crying, and they quickly adjusted when we explained to them that we where going to another bowling alley that had the space.  We got to Harbor Lanes the kids where very excited. As soon as Marcus Jr got in he begun to take off his coat and shoes, I guess in his mind he was ensuring that we weren’t going to leave this bowling alley without him getting a chance to bowl.

Marcus Jr did so well bowling and listening and following directions.  He did a great job waiting his turn, he genuinely had a great time.  Jai Lynn not so well, she had a melt down the end of the first game because she didn’t win that first game (Mason won). So she begun crying and getting very disrespectful. Every time she gets upset or gets chastised she starts crying and saying she wants to die. Now I know she really doesn’t want to die but that’s the most dramatic thing that gets the biggest rise outta dad and I so she says it.  She spent the entire second game crying and spazzing out versus enjoying herself.  She was upset for the rest of the time at the bowling alley and when we got home she did a lot of stomping and crying so she was sent to her room while everyone else got comfortable and settled and I let her out when she calmed down so that she could eat. After that she was fine.  Mason  was great until the second frame of the second game he was exhausted and every movement made him whine he fell asleep on the way home.

Once everyone got settled and had lunch I ran Marcus, Jr a clay bath.  I noticed at bowling that his eyes were a little red and we have been putting a lot into him vitamin supplement wise so I know he need to be detoxed.  He spent at least 45 minutes in the clay bath and loved every minute of it.  It was good to see him happy and interactive.  Jai Lynn stayed in the clay bath for a little over an hour. Mason missed out on clay baths today because he was taking a nap.  But he will get one tomorrow.

Today everyone also took their dose of Zeolite and Activated Charcoal. I also purchased some goats milk soap and made my own lotion (cold pressed castor oil and coconut oil), I also purchased Eco Nuts to wash with and Wool Dryer Balls for the dryer, eliminating more toxins. Going to be looking into homemade cleaners, shampoos and some other things.  We are trying to heal not only our kids but ourselves from years of misuse.

Marcus, Jr also had morning meditation and had his energy cleansed with sage. Didn’t do the other two kids but will make it a point to do it tomorrow morning to give them a great start to their day. Tomorrow is also a yoga night so that will be another great way to help them deal with emotions and feelings learning to breathe and be thankful through it all.  Tomorrow we will also be starting in our homework binders so our week is moving along well.  So far Jai Lynn has obtained two stars on her chore chart and Mason one, still trying to make Marcus, Jr aware of his chart and to become interested in earning money and keeping his spaces clean.  Today we took all vitamin supplements on our vitamin chart and did the clay bath.  We have to get in some more coconut keifer as we are out.

So far so good on our journey doing this is allowing me to really look at deficits to really see where we need to work.  Please feel free to ask any questions if I don’t know the answer I will find someone who does.

Love and Blessings

Charmaine

Enjoy the pictures

Making my Kids Better Challenge

So I have resolved for the next 30 days I would give it all I can in the supplement area. Now, for me that means pill supplements as well as educational and life skill supplementation.  So we are closely following Dahakaris Protocol as it has garned much success for not only the family that created the protocol but for us as well.  Often times we as parents see gains and stop doing what we’re doing or we see regression and stop doing what we’re doing.  When in actually it means that we should persevere and  push forward.

What I have started is charts for everything we want to improve. I have a chore chart that I have finally purchased.  I was going to make one up but that wasn’t going well.  I created a vitamin supplement chart, and I have also created homework binders sectioned off and based off of the two older kids IEP’s and the baby’s based off of what things he should be doing at this level and the next.

This is the picture of Marcus Jr’s and Jai Lynn’s chore chart.  Two stars gets them .50, 4 stars, $1 and 6 stars $5, this will teach them some sort of responsibility and about counting money. I haven’t completed Mason’s chart yet as I think his will be money based also. Then I’m going to make it that if they get 10-15 stars I’m going to have a toy bin with a special toy and 20 or more stars will get a day out with daddy or mommy doing the activity of their choice.

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This is the picture of the vitamin supplement chart. As many of you with children on any edge of the spectrum (ADHD, Autism, OCD, ADD the list goes on) knows that vitamin supplements are often our life line to sanity as well as seeing signs of gains and life in our children.  Well we have so many vitamin supplements that I would always forget something and then I would feel bad about it.  This way I can see what the kids need, my husband can see what they need and one day the kids will be able to either tell me or do it on their own. This will go on my fridge for now, will probably re-tool this and make it smaller but I truly needed something now. I am still creating check marks for this chart so that we can see what has been done.  This chart will be moved to the wall as little hands will most likely have a lot of fun moving my check marks.

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This is a picture of the homework binder for Jai Lynn I am still working on Marcus, Jr’s and Mason’s.  This is just a preliminary as I’m sure I’ll be adjusting it in the upcoming months.  This is set up by each IEP goal that we’re working on and the corresponding sub category.

 

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Lastly, tomorrow I will be working on a menu book with recipes so that it will make it easy for anyone who can turn on a stove to cook in my absence.

If you are wondering why everything is not on the same schedule or sheet, for my kids and me too much causes distraction then nothing gets done.  So, I have things organized throughout.

I am finding that schedules work well in our household when everyone knows what’s expected there is less frustration and things run smoother.  Feel free to borrow my ideas if you think that they will work for your family.

Love and Blessings

Charmaine

Stepping out of Comfort

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Often in our world stepping out of comfort is our only comfort. Especially when you’re new to the game, it seems as if things are changing all the time.

So often I go to training  workshops and meetings to pick up information that either I don’t know or to refresh on information that I am already aware of.

The most recent workshop that I attended was through the Michigan Alliance for Families and it was Conflict Resolution in Special Education.  Now, I think for the most part that I have effective communication and conflict resolution skills when working with my children’s IEP team but, I am always willing to learn more.

This workshop went over the different types of conflict and showed that not all conflict is bad.  It often times allows the team to truly come together for the benefit of the individual receiving services.

The types of conflicts that where discussed where:

  • Relationship~negative emotions, mis-perceptions/stereotypes poor communication or repetitive negative behavior
  • Data~Misinformation, disagreement on which data is relevant or competing assessment procedures
  • Structural~ conflicts caused by external forces such as limited resources, geographic constraints, time
  • Value~ incompatible belief system, differing values
  • Interest ~conflicts occur when one or more of the parties believe that in order to satisfy his or her own needs, the needs and interests of an opponent must be scarified

This workshop stressed that good communication skills were vital to working through any conflicts during an IEP/IFSP or 504 team meeting.

You can’t speak with your child’s teachers only during IEP time. The IEP/504 process is not supposed to take hours and hours, there should be a constant flow of communication going.

So step outside of your comfort zone and volunteer in your child’s classroom both general education and special education ask the teacher if they could use any help making copies or anything of that nature. Become an active part of the PTO (or PTA) just because your child is special needs and might spend some or all of their day in a categorical classroom does not mean that they or you are not a part of the school or educational process.

Become involved in ways you never dreamed of, it’s harder for them to lie in your face and mistreat your child if you’re there. Now, I’m not saying you have to be at the school everyday but at least be some sort of presence for your child as often you are their only voice. Work hand in hand with all teachers whether they like it or not, invade their space, don’t undermine them but support them so that they can support your child. Do not allow IEP time or Parent Teacher Conference time be the only times you interact with your children’s teacher, principles, therapist, school board or parent groups. Don’t just call on those sources when something goes wrong. Learn how to make them an integral part of your existence and they will serve you well.

So step outside of your comfort zone. Do more, be more and see more.

Love and Blessings

Charmaine

*I plan on posting workshop notes by the beginning of the year.*