I, EEEEPPP, Round Two

Today is Noah's IEP meeting, to determine educational goals and his placement for next year. We plan to ask for the immersion program, a new speech evaluation, and to argue against a recommendation of reducing occupational therapy to every other week. I'm going prepared, yet white-knuckled and throat-clenched and stressed-out beyond belief. So. You know. Business as usual. (Wish us luck.) Read more →


The Friendship Jungle

Noah's friendship with the little boy next door continues. Though it's only been two weeks and I'd already have to describe it as "rocky." On the other hand, the confidence boost was almost immediate -- Noah excitedly goes outside in search of Other Kids, and is bitterly disappointed when they don't magically appear. One day a couple of (much older) kids rode by on their bikes and Noah greeted them with boundless, innocent joy: "Are you here to play with me?" They (very kindly) admitted that they were not before pedaling off, leaving Noah behind and his little heart melting... Read more →


A Special Year

One year ago today, I performed the Heimlich on Noah to save him from choking on a fruit bar, because he liked shoving too much food in his mouth, a common trait of SPD kids. One year ago, he ran away from us in public and threw multiple tantrums a day. We were preparing for his first evaluation from the school district. We were arguing with our insurance company's denial of coverage for speech therapy. He couldn't pronounce "green" correctly. Or ride a bike, or color a picture, or make friends, or do anything that wasn't part of his rigid,... Read more →


Mad Skillz

Social skills are still a struggle for Noah. "Social skills" being probably the most vague and imprecise bucket of Early Intervention nonsense we have come across so far. People hear "social skill problems" and immediately assume that Noah hits or bites or plays roughly or...I don't. Spits and hisses, like he's spent his life locked in a closet. So when those people meet him, all charming and bubbly and eager to please, they wonder what in sam hill we're talking about. "Social skill problems. My ass. That I just farted out of. Loudly. In an elevator. NOW who's got 'SOCIAL... Read more →


Every Little Thing They Do Is Magic

On Thursday, I took Ezra to a belated Valentine's Day party at Noah's school. He sat at one of the little tables, clearly impressed with himself, hanging out with the big kids. He ate a plateful of cantaloupe chunks with a fork. When he was done, he carefully placed the fork on the plate and carefully toddled over to the classroom's play kitchen. He then placed his dishes in the little sink and fiddled with the faucet for a bit before going back to his seat. I couldn't believe it. I pointed and jabbed in his direction just in case... Read more →


On Being That Mom

But first, elsewhere: Deconstructed Cotton Balls From Spaaaaace! *** The comments on Monday's post were...well, they were humbling. In a shaming kind of way, the endless chorus of praise and virtual applause and refrains of YOU ARE SUCH AN AWESOME MOM, because oh. Oh. Only sometimes. That moment...yeah, I'll own that. I was proud of Noah. I was proud of MYSELF. I was proud that I didn't march us back to the house in a huff of frustration and anger, letting Noah know that I was indeed, frustrated and angry, either through my words (or lack or words, ah, nothing... Read more →


Patience is an ocean

On the first day of our vacation, I took Noah to the beach. Just us. Jason was putting out one last work fire. Ezra was...well, he was eating, having already figured out that 1) all the food here was delicious, and 2) he could get into the kitchen via an always-open back door, and that there was ALWAYS someone in there cooking something, and they were ALWAYS happy to give him a taste, like an over-eager puppy begging for scraps. So Noah and I went to the beach. I might as well have taken him to the dentist, because he... Read more →


Before

Before the snow, before we lost power, Noah announced that he wanted to draw some pictures. This...was news to me, as Noah does not particularly like to draw. It frustrates him. His fine-motor delays clash with his perfectionist nature. He favors his left hand but is more skilled with his right, he has difficulty getting all of his fingers to do what he wants, he sees Pixar in his head but scribbles on the paper, and within minutes he's pushing the crayon at me, asking me to please recreate the Paradise Falls tableau from Up, complete with the House, Balloons,... Read more →


Jedi Master

First, though: You know you're in for an interesting conversation with your child's speech pathologist when she starts out by saying, "Yeah. So this might sound weird, but the other day I was at Babble.com and..." Yesterday was a mini-parental-update day at Noah's private school. I don't know what else to call it. I stick around for an extra half hour after school and meet with all of the various teachers and therapists (last count we were up to a baker's goddamn dozen, I think) and discuss Noah's progress at school and at home. But we don't sit down for... Read more →


The Loop

The Hardest Part, at least from a day-to-day basis, the rigid, inflexible thinking. Things that must be done the way they've been done before. No variation, no deviation, from morning (and the order that breakfast items get set on the table) to night (pants come off first but socks come off last and books must be read while sitting on the right side of the bed RIGHT SIDE RIGHT SIDE!). Routines become rituals and the rituals are a religion. It's all CONNECTED, of course, we're told. I fret about OCD but am assured that no, it's SPD. Dyspraxia is a... Read more →