Sunday, October 31, 2010

Family Photos

Jared's the most photogenic of the bunch.  He loves to have his picture taken.  This is a great little family I get to be a part of.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Parent/Teacher Interviews

For the most part, my life in the parent/teacher interview process has been this......"You are the parents we don't need to see."

We still go. It sends a positive message to the teachers and to our boys. We care. We are on top of things (I say that loosely). We aren't going to let our boys slip through the cracks. No slacking off, kidlets, the parents are present.

Jared's interviews are so very important. I go in and gather as much information as I can on how he is doing academically and socially at school. I can't be a fly on the wall at school and because of that I miss the majority of his social interactions with people outside of the "safety zone" of his home.

I was told he was adjusting well to middle school. Yes, there have been some issues with other kids and I am aware of some of them, but overall he's transitioned well to a new school, schedule, and educational format. He has his locker. He has five different teachers. He's making good noise on his trumpet. He's showing skill physically. He's learning the ropes and participating in class. Often he is right on subject and one teacher said when he's not he is easy to redirect. She also said what disappoints her is that his classmates don't give him enough credit and she's always so happy when he comes up with an answer that he can share and show leadership.

Aside from a full time aide, they try to modify his education as little as possible. He gets extra time for exams and they are done outside the classroom with his aide. When they see he is struggling, they modify for that particular exercise.

It's a good report, but I don't find any rest in it. I'm still vigilant that they are not pushing their agenda at his expense. I want to make sure that he doesn't lose his aide because Jared's doing so well in their eyes. Still, I am happy they challenge him. I want the bar set high. I do it at home. Tell me Jared can't do something and I say, "Lets try and see." He surprises us a lot of the time. It may not be perfect, but perfection isn't the benchmark.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thankful For My Boy

I remember when Jared was born. I was exhausted. I'd had contractions at 15 minutes apart for 4 days and there was no sleep to be had. Because of it he was taken early via C-section (it's the only way we have figured out how to get gigantic headed boys out of my body) and this little boy with a head of dark, dark, hair entered our family.

Never did I anticipate the life that was to follow. He was an energetic baby and toddler and we loved him. He never stopped entertaining us or making us tired. He was always the center of attention. Then we began to see signs that would be concerning, yet so hard to figure out and then came the years of trying to figure it out.

And diagnosis came. It didn't really change life at all except that life now had a name and acceptance had to come....acceptance in that I couldn't take this away from him. I couldn't fix it.

I've always felt that Jared was going to be a teacher to people. Today I told someone that Jared had an ASD and ADHD. She was surprised. She must have thought he was a weird kid. It's not like he behaves like other children. But Jared has all his limbs; he walks on his own; he can see and hear; he has no physically distinguishable features that may tell someone he has a disability. He teaches people that just because you may look "normal", it may not be the "normal" you identify with.

It's hard to be his mom. There. I said it. It's hard. That doesn't mean that I don't enjoy it. Nor does it mean I would ever choose not to be his mother. I love being "Mom" to Jared and I choose to think that only I could ever do the job.

I am so thankful for Jared and for the love that I feel for him and for the lessons of life that have come through him. Do I have days when I wish I could take this all away from him? Yes. I do. But the reality is that is something that cannot be taken away.

I am grateful that he has a Dad and three other brothers to also help him along the way. I am grateful that we are on this journey together as a family.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Fist Pump

Jared is a fist pumper.  He's about as exuberant about it as an athlete.....just in a different arena.

"Yes, Jared, we can go get Slurpees."
"Yes!!!!"  Fist pump.

"Yes, Jared, you can have the band hoodie"
Yes!!!!!  Fist pump.

"Jared, we are going to a movie"
"Yessss!!!!"  Fist pump.

"Mom, can I have a cream cheese sandwich?"
"Yesss!!!!!"  Double fist pump.

Make sure you are NEVER standing behind him when he's fist pumping.  He may take you out.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Back From a Break

I took a rather lengthy blogging break and now we are back.

Over the last few months we chilled and let summer take its course.  Jared practiced middle school kinds of things like mastering combinations for his locker at school.  He and I talked a lot about what to expect at a new school and figuring out which school supplies would work best for him and how many school supplies were too many.

We hiked less than I wanted to over the summer, but still squeezed it in.  We had family come and visit.  Bigger plans were scrapped because it rained every time we set a date.

He went through some anxiety ridden days.  He survived basketball camp.  He experienced negative treatment by a thoughtless few and it was witnessed by older brothers who didn't realize what Jared has to deal with from time to time.  He had older brothers who stood up for him and worried about his first few days of school.

And school breakdowns.  No tantrums.  Some problems with other children, but we are educating him and them.  He has an assistant who helps him in each class.  He sees a school counsellor regularly.  He asks to see her when he needs to talk.  He eats lunch most days with his brother Jordan, who is doing his best to look out for him.  Friendships are still difficult and that's not a quick fix, but Jared's managing best he can.

I would love for things to be even better, but I am happy with what we have.  I wish I didn't have to deal with the sporadic bullying.  It makes me angry, but the kids that are doing it have issues and struggles of their own.  The "regular" kids are not the problem.  I just stay vigilant and I speak out when necessary.  Jared's safety and well being are my top priorities.

And so we move into the second month of be continued........