Friday, May 30, 2008

Psst...want to know a secret?

Next week, SELF Magazine is flying us to New York City for a photo shoot to go along with the piece they are doing on us.

What piece, you say? The piece I was interviewed for a week or so after my little speech at the Capitol. This guy contacted me and subsequently interviewed me over the phone. It was a conversation that my little darlings interrupted with shrieks and sobs about 10 times. That is to say, a VERY professional interview on my part, I'm sure. Much like the one I gave a couple months ago that was interrupted by BubTar shouting, "Moooom! Come wipe my BUUUUUUTT!" At least this one steered clear of potty talk.

Last Monday I missed a phone call, while I was doing something glamorous like changing a dirty diaper, and when I checked the message, I was shocked to hear the senior photo editor from SELF say "We want to fly you to New York for a photo shoot in the next few weeks!". Crazy, right? We've been nailing down the specifics since then, but I figured it was time to let the cat out of the bag.

We're going to New York next week...for a photo shoot! We have officially entered the Twilight Zone.

PS: Forthcoming post about how terrified I am about flying with KayTar, the little dear who has episodes every time we enter an airport and who also is in an incredibly difficult behavioral stage...but for now, we can just forget about that and be excited. SQUEE! and all of that good stuff.

Quotes from the graduate


Before the ceremony:

"I can't wait. I'm going to get all the GLO-RY for myself!"

After the ceremony:

Me: So BubTar, how was it getting all that glory for yourself?

Him: Well, I decided to share it. So I gave some to you and dad and KayTar and the grandparents and my friends. We all got 10% of the glory. Even me. 10% of the glory, all around.

At the reception, after placing his cap on his rear end:

Hey! I just graduated from BEHIND SCHOOL!

At bedtime, while channeling the spirit of a disgruntled teenager:


I don't know why I have school tomorrow. I've already GRADUATED, you know.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Dive





For Wordless Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Experience wanted

I have a confession.

Lately, I've been quite reluctant to take KayTar out in public. We actually skipped out on a fun barbecue this weekend with friends from out of town that we rarely get to see, because we just didn't really want to run the risk of it being disastrous.

She's become quite the loose cannon and I'm never sure when she is going to roll down hill and explode. That coupled with the underlying language barrier and the way she screams, "HELP ME! DON'T TAKE ME! IT'S AN EMERGENCY!" any time I suggest something not to her liking, we might never leave the house again.

Of course I've been through difficult behavioral stages before with BubTar, but this is quite a different experience. I know to some, it sounds like run of the mill three-year-olditis, but it isn't quite that. That I can handle. That I have handled. This is not that. The biggest issue is that, honestly, I have very little control over KayTar when we are out, because I simply cannot reason with her. At home, we have routines that facilitate redirection, in public we don't have those same options. My only recourse is a dash to the door, hopefully before things descend in such a way that everyone in the general area is wondering whether or not I'm kidnapping my own child.

At home, if she gets worked up, we simply redirect her from whatever it is that has gotten her to that point. Even BubTar knows how to do it. If we can't simply redirect her, if she's really worked up, usually we have to remove her from the situation altogether. We move her to her bedroom, which is predictable and comfortable for her, and she calms herself down. We really don't have many issues at home or at other places she is very comfortable. Some of that is because she is less likely to be upset in comfortable settings and some of it is because we have different expectations. For example, we don't care if she happily shrieks repetitively at home or at my mom's house...but in the library, we can't really allow it. We also can't prevent it, which means we are making early exists (which is likely to elicit the "HELP ME! DON'T TAKE ME! IT'S AN EMERGENCY!" response system) or avoiding the situation entirely.

Here are a list of things that do not work:

If/then statements, positive or negative varieties. "If you do _______, then _______ will happen." or "If you are very quiet, then you can get a special treat!"

Any sort of delayed consequence. "When we get home, ______."

Most ACTUAL consequences. They typically require some sort of explanation which flies right over her wee head, OR they just make her scream louder and become more out of control.

Anyone have any brilliant ideas? Anyone with a special sort of kiddo been through this particular stage and found an effective way to navigate it? Help me, wise parenting gurus of the Internet!


She might be a handful, but dude, she's cute, isn't she?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Almost a good idea

The genius that was the food chart has been met with a lackluster response. She was thrilled to see a chart with her photo and special nickname on it, but after reading through it once, she was done. Every time I asked her if she wants a sticker, she answers with a heartfelt, "NO!" Unfortunately, this seems to have spilled over onto the potty chart, too. I have tainted her love of charts by including her Kryptonite, food. Can't win for losing.

But, and this is a big important but, she seems to have come around regardless. She has been accepting Pediasure for two days, which is coincidentally timed with the advent of the chart, but completely unrelated because the only thing the chart elicits is shouts of no. Yesterday she hit a caloric record! 1266 calories in a single day! She had 3 Pediasures, 2 pieces of Dominos thin crust pizza, and a serving of potato chips to accomplish this. Healthy? Meh. Hearty? Yes.

We had her ARD meeting on Thursday and it went well. I went into it with some reservations, I had been called earlier in the week to informed that they were not going to go along with the initial placement recommendations (4 day/3 hour inclusion class). They were uncomfortable with her being in an environment without a nurse present, because of the episodes, and were going to place her in the 5 day/3 hour special education preschool class. KayTar needs appropriate peer models, and I wasn't exactly comfortable trading in the certain benefits of that environment for the possible benefits of having a nurse available. Although, it turned out that although she will be largely in the special education class, she will still spend a good amount of time in a regular education class for inclusion, so I am pleased. I'm also happy to say that regardless of the horror stories I've heard, our transition to the district has been really, really pleasant. Everyone we've been in contact with genuinely wants to see KayTar placed appropriately and have the services that she needs. And for that, I am very, very thankful.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fingers crossed

Last night, after a particularly panic-inducing thought process about who would take care of the kids if we both died suddenly (which was compounded by KayTar's eating situation and her ARD meeting today and the processes I am going through to get her into therapies and on insurance and all the other little things which are maddening and yet I know how to handle), I had an epiphany.

FOOD CHART.

It is working for potty training, right?

So here is the plan, I make a chart with labeled slots that she can read on her own, for example:

Chocolate milk (Pediasure)
Baby Food
Baby Food
Chocolate Milk
Baby Food
Snack
Chocolate milk
Baby Food
Baby Food

And send her over to check it several times a day and ask her if she wants to have one and earn a sticker. If she eats and drinks it all, she'll be doing pretty well nutritionally from what I estimate, although I'm still waiting on the exact numbers.

I hope it will give her a bit of control, which she seems to crave, and a bit of incentive, which she seems to like. We can handle it as casually as this potty training thing, hopefully taking a bit of the underlying struggle away.

Maybe. Maybe not.

But it can't hurt to try, can it?

Hiding behind her "baby" which is a straight from the freezer lunch cooler that she rocks and holds and cuddles without ever realizing it is FREEZING! I have to limit the time she can spend with the "baby" because it makes her skin so cold. My adorably weird little kid.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tail chasing

Round and round.

We've done this all before.

Over and over.

I've said this all before.

You'd think I'd be out of things to say on the subject, worried all my worries away by now. But you'd be wrong.

I feel the worry build, buzzing inside me like an electric current.

KayTar's given up the Pediasure. Today is actually day 6 of the Pediasure strike. And she is largely refusing milk too, though on a good day we can get 8 ounces of milk in, but nothing is certain. And you know, there is the long standing on again off again food strike. What can I say? The girl is nothing if not committed.

On Day 1, I thought, this is odd.

On Day 2, I mentioned it casually to the pediatrician during BubTar's well check, hoping the mere mention of it would change things.

On Day 3, I started tracking her intake again.

On Day 4, I tried to figure out the caloric value of 7 french fries and one bite of lunch meat.

On Day 5, Josh and I discussed it over our anniversary dinner.

On Day 6, I wrote this post.

If you remember, Pediasure is the only thing that stands between her and something a bit more drastic. Pediasure is where she gets the majority of her calories and nutrients. Pediasure is where she gets most of her hydration. Pediasure is also where she gets her Miralax doses, without which her stool backs up in a very, very unpleasant manner.

Thankfully, she is not shunning water, although she isn't drinking it as heartily as she once drank her Pediasure. It might not be calories, but it is fluid. And we can put Miralax in it. Unfortunately, when she used to drink an entire bottle of Pediasure and get all of her Miralax in a timely fashion and exact dosage, now we never know how much she will be willing to drink and we have to put Miralax in everything, just hoping enough gets into her to keep things moving. Things came to a standstill on Day 3, but we seem to be getting things going again.

The delicate balance is just too delicate without Pediasure. With Pediasure, I trained myself not to care. To relax. Her weight was good. She was getting her calories. She was getting her fluids. She was getting her medication. Everything else was just gravy. Now everything counts. I want her to eat. I need her to eat. When she says no, I want to engage, convince her it is a good idea. This helps nothing, I know, so I don't. But my insides are screaming, JUST ONE JAR OF FOOD! PLEASE DRINK THE PEDIASURE! PLEASE! YOU HAVE TO DRINK! EAT IT! But I don't say it. If I turn it into a battle of wills, there is no question who will win. She's winning already.

I asked the pediatrician for updated nutritional requirements, so I can see just how far off the mark she is, I'll get those later this week. Based on estimations, I'd say she's getting about 1/2 of her necessary calories, maybe hitting her minimum resting expenditure on average. It's not great, but it isn't as terrible as it could be, for sure. Even so, I just can't help but think about the possibilities, about what might happen if this becomes a long term issue, about how she is still uninsured.

Josh and I talk about it like it can be fixed. Maybe if we just... How about we try... It is helpful to think things can be fixed, if we just find the right way to approach them, but in the end, after we talk it up one side and down the other, we realize...it isn't fixable. It is up to KayTar. We know this all along, of course. We just pretend not to.

Every night before bed, we give her a bottle of Pediasure, which she promptly sends back to the kitchen, "Not THIS chocolate milk. Not CHOCOLATE MILK. Not this." She calls Pediasure chocolate milk, even though it is vanilla flavored and she hates all other flavors, especially chocolate. We bring her plain milk, and she says, "Not THIS milk. Not MILK. Not this." And we bring her water. This is acceptable. And we are reminded once again that it is up to her, that is always has been up to her, and that is what makes it all so difficult.

Just a couple of kids.

Ten years ago, we were a couple of kids making out in a photo booth...


Seven years and some months ago, we were a couple of kids showing off an engagement ring in a photo booth...


Seven years ago today, we were a couple of kids getting married...





Six years ago, the two of us became the three of us...



Three years ago, the three of us became the four of us...





There's no one else I'd want to grow up and grow old with.

Happy anniversary, you.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Doors

This morning I opened one of my emails and my eyes filled with tears. It surprised me, really, that my relief was so strong it would elicit tears. I sat back in my chair, closed my eyes, and tilted my head back until the unexpected emotions ebbed as quickly as they had arrived, and I dabbed my damp cheeks with my t-shirt. I'm not really fond of tears, especially when they catch me off guard.

The email was from someone who can help us get KayTar into therapies, without cost to us. Not just the typical therapies either, but things like yoga, play therapy, pet therapy, day camps that both she and BubTar are welcome at...enriching programs that have always been outside of KayTar's grasp. It is the second time this week that I've watch a door be flung wide open for her. I also spoke with a special needs art program this week, where they teach music and dance and drama and the visual arts to these kiddos with limitations, kids like KayTar who could never keep up in a typical dance class, even though she loves to be the center of attention and will use anything as a stage, who I never really thought would be a part of those things...at least not at this time in her life. I can't tell you how many times I've looked into groups and classes for her, only to realize she isn't on par with the children in her age group, she isn't able to join a three year old class and keep up or understand. But now, here we are, looking at these options. Choices for her. Fun, exciting, enriching programs she can be a part of.

KayTar's pediatrician called me on Wednesday with a wealth of information about these and other programs. Another of her patients, a child with cerebral palsy, is involved in many of them and the mother mentioned something about their therapy program and our pediatrician thought of us and got all the contact information. (Have I mentioned how much I love our pediatrician?) KayTar doesn't have cerebral palsy, but she told the mother a bit about us and she didn't think it would be a problem to get KayTar into the programs. It could never hurt to ask, right? So we did. Thus far, the answers have all been very good.

And so this morning my eyes filled with tears without warning, overwhelmed by the ways doors can just swing open, if you only know which ones to knock on.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stereotypical Mommyblogging Post

WARNING: The following paragraph may contain some talk of toileting habits. May be offensive for non-mothering types.

Since Sunday, KayTar has really taken to using the toilet since Sunday. I fully believed her little Mother's Day deposit was a fluke that would not soon be replicated, but I was wrong. She has had made deposits on a daily basis since then. Yesterday was amazing. She used the toilet for both needs throughout the day. I only changed two diapers yesterday, her morning diaper and one she had a little accident in. In her defense, there was a high percentage of liquid in something that should be a bit more solid and I think it couldn't be held in, if you know what I mean. She has a little potty chart with stickers and she's really doing great with it. Today we started pull-ups, because she isn't using many diapers and I'm tired of all the fastening and unfastening. I'm not expecting miracles, fully training in any sort of time frame, but she's doing it and it amazes me. I expected this to be more of a struggle with her and here she is, exactly in her own time frame, doing things on her terms...just like always. We are doing a good bit of anticipating her needs and language can still be a bit of a barrier, but it is happening, some sort of glorious surprise. My wee baby blossoming into a creature who likes to "Do it a-self."

BubTar started an afternoon program this week and it is very strange to have him out of the house. KayTar spends her mornings lamenting his absence. Any time we get in the car she thinks we are going to get him and when we return without him, she loses her little mind. He loves it, though, and I daresay it is making him a much more pleasant chap when he does return home. He's a social creature and a half day kinder program doesn't give him enough time for adequate socialization, so this has been nice for him, I think. It is new and different and KayTar and I are chafing a bit, trying to find a new routine without his steering presence. In three weeks, school is out and it will be all BubTar all the time, and we'll be falling into an entirely new summer routine, which seems daunting right now.

KayTar has taken to a new behavior. She screams "HELP MEEEEE! HELP ME! HELP ME! HELP MEEEEE!" anytime I suggest something that she deems unpleasant. At the library, I said, "KayTar, let's go over here so I can choose a book for us." Her response? "HELP MEEEEE! HELP ME! HELP ME! HELP MEEEEE!" The library is a very quiet place, and KayTar is NOT a quiet girl. At the park, I said, "Time to head home." Her response? "HELP MEEEEE! HELP ME! HELP ME! HELP MEEEEE!" It sort of looked like I was kidnapping her. After picking BubTar up from school, I said, "Time to get in the car." Her response? "HELP MEEEEE! HELP ME! HELP ME! HELP MEEEEE!" It REALLY looked like I was kidnapping her that time. Stuffing a flailing octopus of a child into a car seat while she screams for help is probably a good way to get the police called, but luckily it hasn't happened yet. I just don't know what to do about it. I can't explain to her why it is a bad idea. She just knows is that people shout "Help me!" when they are unhappy, and so she's scripted it into her language set. This is why I was grocery shopping alone at 9:30 last night. I preferred to get it done without the screams for help and hairy eyeballs of other shoppers, and the probable intervention of the police.

I started a chore chart for BubTar this week. I didn't expect that it would motivate him, and I just started for tracking purposes, really. I fully expected weeping and gnashing of teeth in response to the theory that he should take part in household upkeep, but he's really after those stickers. I didn't think stickers would motivate him much at all at this age, but he's checking the chart often and reminding me to put them up for him. Room cleaning still elicits sobbing, but the hope is that since it is a daily chore now, it won't get to the point where he just lays in the middle of the huge Lego, K'Nex, Erector set, Bionicle mine field that used to be his carpet sobbing about how it is just too much mess and he can never, ever, ever clean it! He's also been having a little trouble staying focused on her seatwork at school, so we added that to the chart and if he can finish it every day without trouble, his stickers can earn him an end of the school year toy. Yesterday he came home very excited that he completed all of his work without any problems. It is easy for him and because of that, I think he tends to zone out and dream of Bionicles rather than phonics and math. Hopefully stickers + toy (likely a Bionicle) will be enough to earn his concentration during those boring worksheet times. In two weeks, he graduate from Kindergarten. Can you believe it?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Something new



That thing you do

My friend Sheree gave birth to her second child, Gabrielle, on Friday, May 9. She weighed 6 pounds 14 ounces and was 19 inches long. She is gorgeous. However, Gabby's oxygen levels were dipping and they had to start her on 60% oxygen and she is doing well. She had to stay at the hospital after Sheree was released. On Mother's Day, while one the phone with the pediatrician for an update, he mentioned that he was concerned Gabby might have Down Syndrome. Since then other doctors have examined her, and all are of the opinion that sweet little Gabby does have Down Syndrome. On top of that, the doctors did and echo on her wee little heart and there are a few holes in the wall and there is some debate as to whether they will close on their own or require surgery, possibly as early as 3 months of age!

Sheree has been given a lot of information to digest in such a short period of time. Being home without your baby, finding out about a genetic abnormality on Mother's Day, thinking about heart surgery for your baby who hasn't even left the hospital yet....it is a lot. And Sheree has started a blog! Would you all, please, stop by and congratulate her on the birth of her darling little girl and also leave some kind words of support. I've been telling her all about the amazing support to be found out in these bloggy parts, let's show her we mean business.


Gabrielle and her daddy

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

For Mother's Day...

This girl...


POOPED ON THE POTTY!


This boy...


thankfully and mercifully, WIPED HIS OWN TUSH, successfully!


And this guy...


pre-ordered Guitar Hero Aerosmith for me. Niiiiiice. He also got me Xbox points for downloading fancy new songs. Also niiiice.


I'd say it was a totally wonderful day, but that would be a little bit untrue. Josh had a migraine for half the day, BubTar was cranky as all get out (when he's cranky he LOVES to pick arguments with me, I must have a target on my forehead), and that sort of tainted the first half of the day. But overall it was great. Yummy food, lots of swimming, and family. Oh, and lots of potty milestones to go around. KayTar's was totally prompted. She always goes after her baby food, so Josh just plopped her on the potty and she went. She said, "Oh! Dat's tickley!" and "Chocolate! I WUV chocolate!" She's so hilarious. Honestly, I'm just glad it didn't end at the ER like last year! Anything would have been a success after that!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!



I can't believe she wasn't speaking this time last year! It shocks me every time I see an old video. My girl has just come so far!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Clean fan blades are a sign of the Apocalypse

Yesterday when Josh got home, he looked at me questioningly and said, "It looks great in here?" The questioning look probably comes from the fact that while I've been in school the house has been descending to a state I like to call "frat boy chic" by the time he gets home from work, and I usually either have my nose in a text at the table or I'm on my way out the door for class.

But yesterday, he said, "It looks great in here?" and I exclaimed, "I KNOW! I DUSTED THE FAN BLADES! FAN BLADES!" And then I said seriously, "I think the Internet has run out of ways to entertain me, Josh. I DUSTED FAN BLADES. What am I going to do will all this free time?! I DUSTED FAN BLADES. And then I watched several hours of Top Chef reruns. I don't even LIKE Top Chef! I DUSTED FAN BLADES!"

As you might gather from all the capital letters and exclamation points, fan blades are not an item we frequently clean around here, and when they do need cleaning, I usually say, "Jo-ooooosh, will you clean them? It's easier for you to reach, you know." So it really tells you something if I did this voluntarily. Josh looked at me very seriously as I went on with the fan blades and he said, "You must have done something all day before starting school, right?" But the truth is, I can't remember.

Yesterday I cleaned the living room, bathrooms, bedroom, put away all the stuff that had accumulated on the table (it is the catch all) and scrubbed it down, and cleaned the darned fan blades, and still had copious time on my hands. My kids are ridiculously good at entertaining themselves and although I did sucker them into playing with me several times, I still had free time. I read through my Bloglines. Still had free time. I replied to almost all of my blog comments by email. Still had time. Was interviewed over phone by this guy. Still had time. Helped Josh with dinner (without complaining!). Still had time. Did several loads of laundry, and here's the kicker PUT THEM AWAY (another sign of the Apocalypse)! Still had time. Watched Grey's Anatomy. Still had time. Watched LOST. Still had time. Showered with hubby. Still had time. Found an alternate way to kill some time, ahem. STILL HAD TIME!

Did I really devote all this time to school? What am I going to do with all of the free time? What did I used to do with all the time before I was in school? What will I do for the month long break I have from school? If I got so much done yesterday, why did it feel so unproductive?

Any suggestions? I can't help but think this is going to be a very long month, and by the time I finally adjust to this new (lack of) schedule, it is going to be time to jump back into school with both feet, three nights a week rather than just two.

In case you are wondering, two out of three of my final grades are in. A! A! I'm having issues with my professor in the third course, which I could go on about at length, but I just don't feel like it. Suffice to say I'm actually leaving a message with the department head because my actual teacher will not respond to me and this is the last day of the semester. Ack. It isn't like me to do this, but I'm not the only good student having problems with him. I hope it all works out easily enough.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

THINGS! RANDOM! SIX!

One of my marvelous BlogHer roomies, Assertagirl, tagged me for the 6 Random Things meme, which is perfect timing really, because I'm preoccupied with a whole list of things and this gives me the ideal alternative to writing about all of it!

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

1. When I was very young, my imaginary friend was Humpty Dumpty. He lived in my bathroom with his family; Mother, Father, and Sister Egg. For my fourth birthday, my mom hand sewed me a Humpty Dumpty, and I remember sadly going to the bathroom and telling Humpty that we couldn't be friends anymore because my mother had given me another Humpty Dumpty that I was supposed to play with instead.

2. When I was in first grade I had the following dream and I have never forgotten it. It was Thanksgiving and I had to go in my parents' bedroom to get something. When I came into the room, a man with a gun stood up from where he had been crouching behind the bed and came towards me. I turned to run, but these white hands grew from the door frame and held me fast as the man with he gun got closer and closer, until finally...I woke up. I think it is the only dream I've had that I have remembered long term.

3. I've told this one before, but in case you didn't know, I met Josh online when we were 13. 13! And we got married when I was 17. 17!

4. I was born in Alaska and somewhere on the North Slope there is a beach named after me, "Kyla Beach". My dad had the opportunity to name it and I have photos of the sign and the beach! Of course, no one is sunbathing or swimming on the North Slope, but still. It's random.

5. I love Guitar Hero. LOVE IT. I've beaten Guitar Hero II on medium with 5 stars across the board, and we just got Guitar Hero III a couple weeks ago. Then the XBOX broke and we had to mail it in for repairs. I've got the SHAKES from withdrawal. It is such an excellent stress reducer that I was really missing it while preparing for finals. It is the only video game I play and I totally whip Josh at it.

6. I failed speech my second semester of college, which I find amusing in relation to last week's events. It was the end of the semester, I had just had knee surgery and therefore missed finals. All I had to do was video my last speech and turn it in and I didn't do it. I was 3 weeks away from getting married and healing from surgery and my speech assignment wasn't high on the priority list, unfortunately.

Now for the tagging...

Kristin, my other roomie Mimi, Heather if she can pull herself away from the craziness of her big move, AJ, Dawn, and Flutter.


And a bonus random thing...yesterday in the car, BubTar was playing with my camera and shooting little videos and he happened to catch that rolling thing KayTar's eyes do. The video ends before it resolves itself, but it is the best clip of it we've ever gotten. And it was such a fluke! I'm posting it mostly for record keeping and so I can access it easily (OneTrueMedia always cuts off a couple seconds at the end and it drives me crazy for things like this), but if you have input you'd like to share, I'm all ears!

video

Friday we are "stimulating the economy" by taking KayTar to the ophthalmologist because of a totally different eye issue, because we can't just have ONE thing, of course. Her left eye was noted to be drifting inward a couple months ago, but it has progressed so that at times she is fully crossing them when trying to focus on objects that are near to her. We are concerned she needs glasses, but I'll also be able to ask about this while we are there, and thanks to BubTar, I'll even have a video to show!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

10 hours...

Before my final final of the semester. Until then, I'll be with my hot (colored) date, or rather, dates...all 300+ of them.


Monday, May 05, 2008

The review meeting

On Friday, I had the final meeting with KayTar's evaluation committee. When I arrived, the SLP said, "Oh, this is going to be a totally different experience for us! You already know everything we are about to tell you, but most parents don't have a clue." I suspect the meeting can be quite an upsetting affair for those parents, the ones who are referred to the special education program but feel it is a mere formality stemming from undue concerns, and are sure their children will be turned away. I'm not one of those parents, because my biggest concern has been KayTar NOT getting services we already know she needs. As wonderfully as this experience has gone (minus the timing snafus) I have been a little nervous that KayTar just won't be getting what she needs, and because of the insurance situation, school therapies are currently her only option. Thankfully, my concerns seem to be unfounded.

The team is recommending the 4 day per week/3 hour per day community-based (inclusion) preschool class. She will be with a group of 6 typically developing children and 5 other not-so-typically developing children. She will have a normal preschool teacher and a special education teacher. She will receive OT in the classroom. Her special education teacher will have speech goals to work on with her through the year. They are recommending two adaptive technologies for her, a wagon/stroller for when the class has to walk places, because KayTar fatigues easily and cannot keep up, and a picture system to help ease transitions. These are only the recommendations, they still have to be approved by the ARD committee, but I feel pleased with the recommendations. We will have her ARD in a month, and she will start school in the fall. I'm a little diappointed that she will be without services all this time, but I think the summer will give her some good time for growth and hopefully it will ease her transition, as everyone has concerns about her ability to transition easily. The psychologist said it will likely be difficult for her, but in the long run it will be a very good thing. I think so, too. We might start going to church to help her get used to being with non-familial caregivers and groups of peers in the meantime.

The evaluation team also gave me a LARGE packet of testing results, which I will sift through and post highlights from later in the week for your perusal (and my record keeping), so stay tuned if you are into that sort of thing. Sneak peek, she did test WELL within the autism range on one tests (GARS-2), and she did NOT test in the autism range on another test (ADOS). They are not diagnosing autism at this time, because well think that her autistic quirks are caused by the larger neurological picture, rather than a specific ASD, but it is something that will continue to be evaluated as she grows, and her tendencies are well documented. All in all, it was an excellent meeting.

(excuse the rashy arms, we just can't seem to shake it! it has started to spread to her cheeks, too. bummer.)

Friday, May 02, 2008

Cover the Uninsured!

Today is the last weekday of the nationwide Cover the Uninsured week. This is so important because 47 million Americans are currently uninsured. Nearly 9 million of those uninsured Americans are children, like mine. More than 8 out of 10 are in working families, just like ours. Because this is such a huge week for drawing attention to this enormous need, I asked my good friend Julie if she would mind using her wonderful contacts and skills to pull together a little blog series on the subject, and she agreed!

Please head over to Moms Speak Up today to read all the great stuff that will be rolling out as the day goes on. Please feel free to leave your thoughts and support as well, even you Canadians. People are always interested to hear about experiences with your health care system, because there are so many incorrect assumptions made about it. My contact from the CDF, Laura Guerra-Cardus, agreed to do an interview for the blog, so make sure to check that out, too. She's amazing and kind and so incredibly knowledgeable about the subject at hand. It will be enlightening, I assure you. This is also her first real experience with blog media, so let's make her feel welcome!

As posts roll out, I'll try and keep this post updated with a list so you can just click on through.

The Posts:

Cover the Uninsured: A National Campaign for Healthy Kids

Interview with Laura Guerra-Cardus If you only have time for one post, read this one!

Making it Personal Our story, which you are all pretty familiar with!

Also, I'd like to point you towards a few of the organizations I had the pleasure of working with this week. Great things are happening and these people are on the front lines of it all.

The Children's Defense Fund

Texas Kids Win

Texans Care for Children

Center for Public Policy Priorities

Pssst...Julie's main post is up on the front page of BlogHer, in the headlines section! Stop by and lend some support!