Back to School

This past week, Taylor started back to school.  She is in 2nd grade now! 

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She was really excited to go back, even though she had just completed summer school at the end of August.  Her summer school schedule was 4 half days a week for six weeks .  So basically, it was “school light”.  I think she’s happy to be back to her normal routine.  She had a great week and I’m sure she’ll charge into next week with no problems at all.

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Unfortunately, I did find out that the teacher that Taylor has had for the last year will be leaving the school to take a position at the school that her child attends.  While I am happy for her, I am sad to lose her as Taylor’s teacher.  Taylor has responded so well to her.  I am positive that her replacement will do just as well as her current teacher.  We will miss you Mrs. H.! 

Tomorrow begins week 2.  It’s a full week, but I’m sure it will be a fun one!

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Long Time, No See

I was shocked last night when I went to mess around with this blog, only to find out that it had been over a year since my last post.

A year.

My last post was on Taylor’s 7th birthday.

So I guess I’ll try to recap this last year a little, without it turning into a novel.

FALL 2010

We went to the zoo!  We try to make it to a new zoo every year.  We went a bit later than normal, but the weather was nice and we all had a great time.

Taylor started first grade at a brand new school!  The special needs school she had been attending opened a brand new building.  It is an amazing facility, much bigger than the school she was used to, but Taylor adjusted really well to the move.

We made our yearly trip to Gull Meadow Farms.

For Halloween, Taylor was a 50’s sock hop girl.  She really enjoyed the trick or treating.  She gets better every year!

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WINTER

Taylor continued to do well in school. They put on a Holiday program shortly before Christmas.  Taylor was a Dreidel.

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Christmas was so much fun.  It was our first Christmas in our new house.  Taylor loved opening all her gifts…she is a paper ripping pro!

In February we had a blizzard!  There was so much snow!  Taylor loved playing in it.  Emma liked pulling Taylor around the yard in the sled.  They didn’t get far, though…the snow was too deep.

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SPRING 2011

In March,  we took the kids to Disney World!  It was the first trip to Florida for the kids and their first plane ride!  In the weeks before the trip, we worked with Taylor’s teacher to prepare her for the big trip (mainly the plane ride).  She was hesitant at first, but ended up doing very well for the whole trip!  You can read about our experiences here, here, here and here.

The Walk About Talk About Autism event was held in April, which is Autism Awareness month.  This year was our fourth year participating in the walk.  It was a cold and wet day, but everyone had a great time.

We had a fairly cool spring, but whenever we had a nice day, Taylor spent it outdoors on the swing.  She learned how to swing on her own this year, which makes it more enjoyable for her!  She’s getting so independent!

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June brought about the end of the school year, although Taylor did attend 6 weeks of extended school year programming.

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This summer has been filled with fun.  We’ve been camping three times.  Read about that here, here and here.

We had a nasty storm roll through that left us without electricity for three days.  That was an experience.

Taylor turned eight.

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Plus, we are heading to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo tomorrow for the last day of summer vacation!

School starts on Tuesday.  Join us as we begin another adventure… 2nd grade!

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Happy Birthday, Taylor!

My sweet big girl is 7 years old today.

I have no idea where the last 7 years have gone.

She has grown up so quickly, in a blink of an eye.

The last year has been good, but not without our ups and downs.

She continues to amaze us.

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Love you, Taters.

Mean it.

Happy Birthday. =)

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Baby Love

Taylor loves to play with toys, but rarely play with them the way they were intended.  She has her own way of play that works well for her.  Imagine my surprise when Taylor picked up a doll and a carrier, and started rocking the doll like she was trying to make it go to sleep!

It’s was so cute to watch!

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Even the little things mean so much to us!

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Artist in Training

We had gorgeous weather here on Sunday.  We took advantage of it by going outside to do some painting that we needed to get done.

Emma (my youngest) really wanted to help paint, so Doug set her up with a paintbrush, paint and a  board to paint.  After a while she went to go play and I was took over her painting.

I had noticed that Taylor was watching Emma (and then me) paint.  She came over to me and acted like she wanted the paintbrush.  I handed it to her, then showed her how to dip the brush in the paint and then move the brush on the board. 

After a minute of two, I let her go on her own:

 

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She really enjoyed it! 

It was so fun to watch her paint.  I love it when she takes interest in what we are doing.  It used to be that  she could care less about what was going on around her,  but this is changing more and more as Taylor becomes older and more aware of her surroundings. 

Painting is an activity that I will definitely keep in my itinerary for this summer now that I have a budding artist on my hands!

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A Night Out With Family

Tonight the whole family went to dinner, which is a rare treat for a Wednesday night.  We met up with my mother in law and my brother and sister in law at a local restaurant (one we’ve been to before).   Almost immediately I noticed Taylor acting strangely.

Taylor is usually pretty well behaved in public, be it in a store or eating out in a restaurant.  We’ve had our difficult times, but it’s been quite a while since she’s acted out in public.

Until tonight.

From the moment we sat down she was different than usual.  She was really giggly at first.  Then, she started tossing napkins, menus and crayons on the floor.  Next,  it was grabbing at the waitress, and then getting up and trying to sit with another party of people.

When our salads and appetizers came, she got agitated.  I assumed she was just hungry and tried to give her food, but she refused it.  She was being loud and was going from person to person to sit with them (which I don’t mind her doing, but she wouldn’t stay with anyone for more than a few minutes.)

Doug went to our van to get a doll for her and she played with it for about 2 minutes and then didn’t want anything to do with it.

When our food arrived, she proceeded to cram her food into her mouth, which is something she normally does (we are working on it) but it was much worse than normal.  A couple of times I thought she was going to make herself vomit! **

By the end of the meal she had pretty much calmed down and things slowly got more normal.  I kept saying “Usually she isn’t like this when we go out, really!”  I felt horrible.

More than likely, nobody around us cared what was going on at our table.  But I’m sure we had lookers.

They probably thought that she was a bad kid and that we had no control over her.

Sometimes it feels like we have no control over her.

She gets agitated or aggravated and more often than not we have no idea why.  We do what we can to “fix” the problem and a lot of the time we make it worse.

It’s not fun, that’s for sure.

Once we left, she was back to her regular self.  Doug and I think that the change in routine (eating out mid week) and the environment (loud, and crowded) most likely led to her behavior.    That being said, we still don’t know what to do if when this happens again.

Because it will happen again.  It may not be for a while, but I am sure that we’ll have to deal with it again.  It’s our life and life happens.

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**It may not seem like she was “all that bad” (and it really wasn’t that she was “bad”…just difficult) from what I wrote, but that was a summary…there was a lot more…and a lot of the same antics,  just seemed redundant to mention it all.

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Back on Track

 

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I’ve got a happy girl on my hands.  It’s a wonderful feeling.

After 3 weeks of “trying things out” at her old school, it was decided that she was doing so well, that we’d send her back.

She started back at the beginning of April.  She’s halfway through her 5th week and it’s like she never left.

There’s no more talk of “regression” or “unwilling to work” or “won’t participate”.  All we hear now is “doing so well”  and “having so much fun” and “progressing beautifully”.

She’s still got a long way to go, but in the last 5 weeks she’s done more academically than she ever did at her other school.

I knew she hadn’t regressed.

She just needed to be in a different environment.  The right environment for her.

My only regret is that we didn’t stand our ground when we were making arrangements for her kindergarten last year.

We wanted her to stay in that school, but were told we couldn’t because of “protocol”.

We did what we were told we had to do and it blew up in all of our faces.

I’m glad we were able to make the change mid year, but it still doesn’t bring back the 6 months we she lost.

Because in the end it’s all about her and what is right/best for her. 

I finally feel that we are doing what is right.

We are where we are supposed to be.

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