Updates 6/1/13

Autism

So, we just started Juice Plus again with Marcus and I split my dosage with Jai Lynn.  Marcus had been seizure free for about 2 weeks then they started up again on Wednesday of this week, he seems to be a bit under the weather but in great spirits. The seizures never last long and his recovery time is normal.

Autism Updates ~ This Week’s Treatments

So these past few week have been very minimal, the Divine Child Drink. That’s it, I have to get more clay but we did a castor oil wrap today and will do an epsom salt bath tomorrow as that is also a way to detox.  We haven’t been up to much.

 

Autism Updates ~ Kid Updates

Marcus Jr – He has be more communicative, he has been more focused and he has been more helpful.  He has been answering more questions almost having conversations! We have been able to have mini conversations with him if we are asking the questions.

Jai Lynn – Has been a bit more focused and has had the ability to control her emotions a bit better.  She has been communicating more also.

Mason- Has been talking and requesting more and has understanding what is being requested of him. He can count to 5 with assistance.

 

Autism Updates ~ The Future

My kids are healing more and more everyday.  Parents if your child has a different ability don’t allow anyone to tell you what they Can’t do or will NEVER be able to do.  You know your baby .

Until next time

Peace Love and Healing

Charmaine

 

Advertisements

Frustrations, Angst and Confusion

So today on Facebook one of the pages I follow (RespectABILITY Law Center) posts many interesting tips and articles.  Well today they posted an article about a 15 year old NY girl that cognitive delays being placed in a room full of  juvenile delinquents and gang raped. Now, where the administration was who knows I mean, damn, really?

I have enough trouble with the school keeping my children from getting bit by the same child every year! So how in God’s name am I as a mom to expect them to watch out for them and keep them from being molested, raped, beaten, or in their case all three?  Then come to find out that Grosse Pointe Public Schools the stellar, upstanding, top notch school they are also has the same issue.  That any student that doesn’t fit their cookie cutter mold gets shipped to Special Services, so in essence you could have a kid that has severe mental, violence or a combination mixed either with parents that don’t care or don’t know how to handle that child along with a school district who just wants to throw kids in a room and get paid and that could equal disaster.

I think after my son’s last biting episode I am a bit jaded about the district that I swallowed the “red pill” on.  This school is filled with more smoke screens and illusions than a David Copperfield show. When we moved back to MI from ME an old acquaintance of ours told us how Wonderful GPPS was that the teachers where great, blah blah blah.  I should have followed my intuition, my daughter when she entered this school district was at grade level..GRADE LEVEL! Now all of a sudden she’s not able to grasp 3rd grade math concepts? There was so much I didn’t know then because Maine had done all IEP work for me, as there they TRULY cared about the kids and their succession. They wanted to push and not hold them back. I don’t just blame teachers and administration I blame myself, which is why I know all this special education stuff now.

So, I’m not happy with Grosse Pointe Public Schools, if I had a concrete plan I would pull my kids out now. It’s interesting how Special Education is the “cash cow” for Grosse Pointe yet we don’t have tutoring programs, we don’t have anything extra that will help our children succeed like general education. It’s like regular instruction should be enough.  And they don’t want to place any of the kids in ESY because they claim that the criteria is “regression/recoupment” which that is not the only criteria that determines ESY and legally you don’t need to show regression/recoupment in order to place a child in ESY but that’s another story for another time.

The special education system is broken at best.  In the case of my district, you have kids of varying disabilities and grade levels often in one classroom, while you have a teacher splintered  trying to teach everyone on their own level not only does he or she have multiple different abilities in the room but kids from different grades and aides that are also over worked and in the case of our district way underpaid. You have parents trying to just get the district to provide FAPE (free appropriate public eduation) on a consistent basis, forget extras we’re just trying to get what is required by law.

If what is going on in special education was going on in general education, there would surely be a riot.  It’s so weird that when it comes to kids the governments seem to have their hands tied and eyes covered.

I don’t know maybe I’m over-reacting or maybe I’ve been swallowing the red pill (Matrix reference) for too long. But in any case something needs to be done about our special education system.  Laws aren’t being followed and kids are getting left behind although in our world they continue to advance them regardless of whether or not they have met their IEP goals for that year.

How is your child doing in school? How would you rate your child’s education? Would you recommend your district to anyone else, or if you could move or drive your child elsewhere would you? Sometimes it’s not worth the fight, I don’t have time to wait until my kids sink further and further into the abyss of falling socially and academically behind.

How are my kids doing in school? Not bad but not good. How would I rate my child’s education? I rate it a 3 out of a 5. Would I recommend my district to anyone else? No, Grosse Pointe Public School is not Special Education friendly, now if you have a slew of neuro-typicals it’s the district for you, unless you end up at Poupard which has the highest number of African American Children then you get the bottom of the barrel (that too is a different story). 

Use my random thought to re-evaluate your child’s current educations situation be they in general education or special education and ask yourself, am I happy with the results. Take a deep look back over all of their report cards, assessments, IEP’s, progress reports, just look at everything   If you are happy great if not then changes need to be made and either you need to try to work with teachers and administrators or leave and find another school to attend (which is a lot easier than you think nowadays) but do something.

Love and Blessings,

Charmaine

The Article that started this blog

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.

20130119_231523 20130119_231532

 

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.

20130119_231541

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.

 

20130119_23160020130119_23160820130119_23161920130119_231626

 

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

Kid Update

My kids have been doing fairly well as far as kids go. My oldest son has still been having seizures off and on, they have been short but even with the meds we still have them.  My daughter is doing well, she has been experiencing life changes, but it’s all a part of being a girl.  The baby has been talking up a storm, still having issues with his ears but we’re holding it off with regular chiropractic visits as well as supplements.

We normally follow a protocol but we have been off of it for a bit do to some financial constraints but we are able to follow some of it.  The protocol that we normally follow is from Maximizing Autistic Potential it’s a very simple protocol, but it requires a lot of supplements.  Now, although we are not taking all of the supplements recommended at the same time, we’re doing many of them.  This is not a protocol where you have to do everything in order for it to work, it doesn’t cost an obscene amount of money to execute and it’s really not that difficult to follow, just like anything else you do it must be consistent whatever parts of it you do.  You can find the entire protocol on their Facebook page, they answer all questions and give a lot of information on their page.

My daughter has been working very hard this week on math, and reading comprehension.  Addition is fine but subtraction throws her for a loop. My goal for her for the reminder of the school year is to complete many of her math goals so that she can move on. I would like for her to be at grade level in something prior to leaving middle school, so I am becoming more diligent in the work she does at home and more diligent with her school work. I realize that I am going to have to much more diligent with her academically and also get her into some more social events and activities.

My oldest son is doing great academically but he still has issues with attention, seizures and delaying immediate gratification. Now in saying that, he is doing a great job with trying to pay attention he is trying.  He is doing a great job with requesting what he wants, we could always use more but he is doing a great job.  We are working on consistency with reading, and some math concepts. We are working on things like getting him to sit at the table when eating dinner, not running everywhere or jumping on the furniture (lol).

The baby we are working on potty training, coloring without eating markers and cleaning up after himself. I have him working on his alphabet, numbers and fine motor skills.

I have all kids doing yoga and we will be soon starting with meditation and journaling. I am currently working on a chore list for all three kids as well as journals for all three kids.

So all in all we are doing well, are there things that could done more, yes but are my kids giving their all and doing their best? Yes.  I am so proud of them and we are going to continue on our path of repairing their health and increasing their academic abilities.

So what are you proud of your children doing this past week? What gains or strides have your child made this week? Everyday you should find something to be proud of. Our kids work so hard to please us and just live with some sense of accomplishment. If you spend all of your time thinking about what your child can’t do then you’ll NEVER be able to see what your child is doing and what they are capable of.

Love and Blessings

Charmaine

 

Stepping out of Comfort

article-2060023-0EBEF2F900000578-885_634x818

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.*

What is a “PAC”?

pack-mentality-1

What is a PAC? Well of course a pack of wolves is what I think of but that is not what a PAC is according to the State of Michigan standards in regards to special education.

A PAC ~ Parent Advisory Committee is a federally mandated parent organization that is supposed to work directly with the school district that they are in to be a resource to parents.  Each intermediate school district in the state of Michigan is mandated to appoint a Parent Advisory Committee composed of representative from each of its constituent districts. Now, I’ve heard that this applies to every intermediate school district in the country but I have not researched that yet so I’m not sure if every state has a Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) or Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA), I’m sure they do, not just under those names.

Now in the state of Michigan these PACs are supposed to meet on a regular basis to offer guidance, resources and support to fellow parents, the school district in turn is to support the PAC. Unfortunately not every district supports their local PAC as they often see them as an hindrance, an expense or just a plain old pain in the a**.

PAC’s could truly change the face of special education in Michigan if we all banded together. If we became one collective voice then no district anywhere would be able to stop us. Now, I’m not talking about neck popping and threatening  I’m talking about coming together as a group of concerned parents.

For some reason across this great country having a special needs child is often chalked up to bad parenting or something the parent did (I know old news right, thought that changed with the women’s movement).  So often parents spend a lot of time either trying to make their child “normal” so society can accept them or they spend a lot of time doing nothing because of shame, guilt, lack of resources or what ever the case may be.  No one tells a parent that they should be PROUD of their child with different abilities. No one tells a parent  that they have support, if they do 9 times out of 10 they don’t say where the support is.  Most of the times when a parent joins a support group they still feel alone because so many others are just concerned about their current issue, not saying that is right or wrong but that’s just what is.

I would love to see us as parents of differently abled children come together as one voice as it would truly make the PAC seem like a pack, as it would make parents feel connected, it would make us feel like we have a voice somewhere.

My challenge to you is to connect in some way shape or form to another parent of a different learner, go to your next local PAC meeting, listen and see what is going on. Don’t automatically dismiss another parents problems as unimportant, I have been guilty of that because I was on my own agenda and missed out on so much. Remember that you are connected to that other parent, it’s a brotherhood of sorts, often in speaking with someone you have the same war wounds even if it’s from a different war.  Stop for a moment and realize that this system of Special Education is a great money maker for all school districts. Do not allow them to treat us as typical when we are extraordinary.  Be a voice so that funds are used as required by Federal Law on the education of our children, don’t let the words budget cuts scare you, special education is an entirely different pot of money.  Learn where that money comes from and how much your district and school gets, it will be important to you trust me.

If you don’t think your PAC is doing what you think they should be doing follow these steps:

Start there if you haven’t started at all, make special education a conversation starter not the elephant in the closet. Until you do you will never receive what you’re supposed to receive, you will always be afraid to speak up or take your kids to community events. Celebrate your child and what they can do, they sooner you do the sooner they’ll be able to do more.

Love and Blessings

Charmaine

Questions and Answers

questionmarksjpg

As this year closes, it closes with more questions than answers.  For me that’s OK because that is more reading I get to do, more information I get to learn and more I get to share with parents that I meet.

I think that we in the special needs community often separate ourselves from the rest of the world not because we have to but, because we feel as though we have to and that is something we need to stop doing.  We need to stop saying how people don’t understand us and our journey when we won’t explain it to them or even invite them into our world. We have to be that change, we have to be the driving force that gets people to understand whatever our loved one’s disability is.  We are the one’s that have to get people to understand that every person on the Spectrum is not like “Rain Man” and that every person with Down’s is not “Corky” from Life Goes On. We need to get people to see beyond the stereotype placed out for the viewing public.

So as I type that I think what have I done in my community to change those perceptions of not only myself but of others. Have I attempted to learn more about other disabilities or have I retreated into my own world?  You see those of us that have public forums be it PTO presidents, PAC presidents or just bloggers we have a responsibility to think outside of the box, to break barriers and to inform the general public.

Now, to be honest I haven’t done much outside of Autism and that worries me that I am sticking myself into a box. I am starting to break some barriers and I’m trying to think outside of the box. There is so much that I want to accomplish next year and I want to do it well. I want to truly be a servant for special needs families in my area.  There is such a need for communication, unity and education in my area, we are so divided.  I’m sure we have some of the same problems that are going on all over this great country in regards to special education and care.  But in my utopia I would love for us parents to truly get together and support one another no matter the differences. To truly know that by me helping you I am not only helping me but helping the future of our community.

So for 2013 I have some huge plans, because I would like to connect with other parents on a more personal level and for all of us to exchange ideas, information and support at a place other than our district PAC meetings.  I want for us to be able to assemble just to connect and support, not because we’re rallying about something.

There are so many changes coming I know I’m up for the challenge are you?

Love and Blessings,

Charmaine