Extra Help…What a Surprise…

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[flickr id=”6270891807″ thumbnail=”small_320″ overlay=”true” size=”small” group=”” align=”left”]We have known for a long time that our sweet little Angel girl had a temper problem. Dichotomy that she is – she was the sweetest and smilingest baby ever…then on a dime she would launch into a screaming fit the likes of which I can’t begin to describe.  She has the capability to burst ear drums with her high pitched scream. Worse than that, and the part that frightened us, was her tendency to self injure. Slamming her head into the corner of doorways, the floor, our faces. You know, whatever is handy. We hoped she’d outgrow it.  She hasn’t. Fortunately the self-injury part of it is softened down to the occasional digging at her nose until it bleeds.  While she still throws major tantrums and fits – they have become the slamming her bedroom door and kicking it and the walls while screaming that life is unfair for a six year old little girl. Then she started school.  We didn’t know what would happen there. Feared the worst. At her parent teacher conference we learned the truth of it. When a teacher of Kindergarten children says there’s a temper issue – you know there’s a problem. Since then we’ve heard little (or rather nothing) else that her temper was a continuing or growing issue.  Until last week.  Angel brought home from school a permission slip.  The Guidance Counselor offers “small group counseling” for the students.  Angel had been pegged and needed permission to participate in one. “Friendship and Social Skills (Communication, appropriate expression of feelings and wants, problem solving skills)” Hmmmm….Temper much? So now every week my little Angel goes to a counseling session to try to learn to control her temper. Tell me why this wasn’t offered earlier?  Like when I asked the school about how to help her – or expressly said that she had a temper issue and we needed to know how to take care of it if it was noticed at the school. Why is assistance only after a LONG period of them witnessing it? Why aren’t we listened to when we expressly say there are issues with our children?  Are we not a squeaky enough wheel? *~*~*~* (P.S. Riley has also come home this week w/ the same note and will start her sessions on monday.  Considering she has autism and spends EVERY recess all by herself – this also should have been offered sooner for her) Read more »

She’s in school – and I’m in Hell…

I was not going to write about this because it is a very hot-button issue in our house. But for that fact alone I have to post it. This blog is about us redefining perfect in our lives – and telling how we do it. No subject should be avoided, especially the ones that cut so deep to our heart that we fight about it within our house. Because this is one of those topics w/ opposing viewpoints (at least it started that way) – I’ve asked Archie to write a post as well. I’ll post it once he has written it. Riley started school a little over three weeks ago. She’s 5 years old. She’s intelligent beyond belief. Possibly even brilliant. Socially…emotionally…well, let’s just say she’s not near as ready. I didn’t think she was ready. Not for a classroom full of crazy kids (not that they’re insane, they’re…well, for lack of a better term…they’re normal). Not to be expected to be that same normal. I admit to a bit a bias. Our first attempt at school was not successful. It was developmental preschool, specifically for special needs. Riley lost learning. Her behavior at home became erratic and violent. She was withdrawn before Christmas. Now she had to go to ‘normal’ every day kindergarten…with neurotypical kids. I wanted her evaluated first. School said no dice – she has to be in for 6 weeks so we can see how much is normal reaction/adjustment to being in school. It went against what my gut said – but after much debate and discussion with Archie (who believed just as strongly that she had to go into school), Riley was enrolled. Literally the day before the first day of school she was enrolled & given a teacher whom we met that very night. We ‘warned’ her teacher, explained how Molly was. How they wouldn’t evaluate her and just gave her a heads up on what she might expect. The next day school began. The roller coaster ride took off so fast I couldn’t catch my breath. Excitement. Anger. Glee. Stress. Happiness. Stubborn refusal to attend.  Joy off the bus. “I don’t want to go to school.”  “I had much fun at school.” “I miss you Mom.” More stress. Increasingly erratic behavior at home. Every day is a struggle to get her to school. She doesn’t want to go. Then off the bus it’s happy and chatty. Within an hour I’m fending off the hounds of hell. Trying to keep calm. Suddenly Riley’s aversion to loud noises is back with a bang. At school the teacher has given her leave to put herself in time-out with her own personal basket of Sensory Diversionary toys when things get ‘too loud’ or ‘too crazy’ for her. Then we get a letter from school, informing us that they are recommending Speech Therapy for her. That (surprise of surprises) she qualifies! Well, DUH. The more I thought about it, the more annoyed I got. I could have told them that.  If they’d evaluated her BEFORE school, all of that would be known.  I don’t NEED her to be forced into ‘normal’ behavior for six weeks to tell you how she’ll react and what she needs.  Don’t make me wait (at least) 6 weeks to get her what she needs. To make her teacher fumble around for (at least) 6 weeks to try to figure it out. Don’t make an innocent child suffer for 6 weeks for something I could tell you NOW. TODAY. It’s all rotten. And I still hate it. My gut still tells me to get her the hell out of Dodge until she’s ready. Before my eyes she’s unraveling again. The balance we achieved has been thrown off. I don’t know if we’ll ever find it again…whether she stays in or gets out…the balance has been shifted forever. We’re still in the middle of this process.  Decisions are being made and changed, and we’re trying to find even ground again. If there is such a thing anymore. Read more »

by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.

Weekly Winners – Just Breathe

All taken w/ Canon Rebel XTi. For week 7/12-7/18/10 This week was crazy bad (see previous post), but it also had some good things. Today is my birthday and I want it to be good, so I’m trying to remind myself to just breathe and remember the good things. These pictures help. I did attempt to re-start project 365 this week, but I forgot on Thursday (worst day) and decided to try again next week, so hopefully that will be happening in the next few weeks. I want to get ahead of the game by a week. I also got a new photo-editing/managing software program this week. I’m wishing I could afford the pro version when it’s time to buy, but I’m afraid it’ll not be happening this year. Either way, I’m loving my new editing software and will tell you more about soon. It’s my new best friend. Onto the pictures! Waiting on a train Spanning the distance Bridging the Gap Lines Across the Times Tying it all Together Lost along the Way Pretty Hair for a Special Day JUST B-R-E-A-T-H-E (This was the test that determined if she stayed home or was checked in. She just had to breathe well. She didn’t, but she breathed better than last time.  That’s my Angel’s RT in the picture with her. She always makes it fun for Angel!) It’s a lot this week, I know…but Sunday was a good photography day. I ran out and took a little photo walk, thus the railroad theme for most of it. Go over and visit Lotus for some more great WW’s!!! Read more »