Category Archives: autism

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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Filed under autism, school, Taylor

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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Filed under autism, good times, painting, Taylor

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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On a Lighter Note…

I kind of just realized that my last two posts here were kind of doom and gloom.  I do want to clarify that even though things with Taylor aren’t so hot at school (but she has loved her weekly visits to her old school-go figure) she’s been doing really well at home.

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Lately it seems like Taylor’s need (or want) for independence has been on the increase.  Along with that has also been an increase in testing her boundaries.  =)

She cracked me up the other day… she was wanting to sit on the arm of the couch…a no-no in our house (even for her).  Doug and I were repeatedly telling her to sit on the couch.  She’d slide off the arm onto the couch, then watch us to see if we were paying attention, then she’d smile like she was Sneaky McSneakerson and sit right back up on the arm. 

It was all I could do not to laugh.  Even Doug had a hard time not laughing.  It was right about then that she threw us a curve.  She was back on the arm of the couch and Doug said “Taylor, sit down, now.”

Taylor looks him dead in the eye and says “No!”  Then dissolves in to giggles, but still stayed on the arm!  I lost it!  My sweet, (mostly) non verbal little girl was giving us some verbal attitude!

If it had been Aaron or Emma, they probably would have gotten in trouble.  But we were caught so off guard with this we didn’t really know how to react without sending the wrong signal.  We did make her move off of the couch, but praised her for her talking.  It was kind of a difficult decision…I was proud of her even though she was being openly defiant!

Later that night when we put her to bed we told her goodnight and she responded with “Bye!”  My heart melted right there.

Instances like this give me so much hope.  It’s days like that one that make the bad days seem “not so bad”.  Days like that make all the heartache and struggle worth every second.

Progress is there.  Some days it’s small, other days it’s huge.  But it’s always there.  I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us.

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A Rough Road

I was really hoping to do an update post saying that despite the rough start, Taylor is now fully adjusted to Kindergarten.

It’s just not happening.

Things are going so poorly, in fact,  that we are going to try moving her back to her old school.

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Ironically, when we were considering Taylor’s kindergarten options, we were told that she could stay at that school.  Then we were told she had to go to the school in our community.

No problem there, because the school system and their autism program are wonderful.

But, unfortunately, all the changes (read: new school, new people, new schedule) are proving to be more than she can handle.

Now, here we are, more than halfway through the school year, and now we are looking at sending her back.

This time around we’re going about it slowly.  She is going to visit her potential new classroom every Thursday (in the afternoon, she’s already in that building in the morning for swim and gym) for the month of March.

I am a bit apprehensive, though.

This apprehension is not something I’m holding back, I’ve fully voiced it with her teachers and therapists.

I’m all for Taylor going back to her old school, if she adjusts well.  But the thing is, this is the last school year that that school will be open.  Another school is being built to replace this school.  It opens this fall.

So, come September, she would be starting in another new building.  Same people/teachers, but new building.

Therein lies my apprehension.

We already dumped her in one new building, with new people and we know how badly that turned out.

I just don’t want to move her, only to move her again  and have her really shut down.

*sigh*

Sometimes I feel that I am so totally not cut out for this.

That’s when I step back, take a deep breath, and think to myself  “Everything happens for a reason.”

I just wish I knew what the reason was.

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Filed under autism, frustration, Kindergarten, school, struggling, Taylor