Tip{py} Tuesday: Prepare for the worse; Hope for the best- Ways to be in control of your PCS move with special needs children


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MrsMissionControl did it, and now its our turn. We have officially received our temporary reassignment orders with the military. Which mean a lot of quick large scale changes that will start impacting our lives.  I have already started purging house hold goods and all too eagerly have started putting together and updating our PCS binder. Not only that, I am taking it one step futher to create another binder to haul around with me pretty much where ever I go. I guess you can say it is a personal sized PCS binder. A few different sections in each, but they will both serve the same purpose; they will help keep us organized, efficient and seemingly in control during the next several months. Yes, I said several. We don’t like to do anything easy in this family, so we are not going straight to our new base. Instead we are throwing in a class for the hubs and some road tripping for the kids and I through several states starting in mid-may.

Due to the fact we will be Gypsy’s for the next several months, I need to make sure that I have all the important information at my finger tips with me at all times. If not, I could chance the boat sinking or the moving truck catching on fire and all those highly important doctors records, prescription medication information and more might be lost forever (don’t laugh, I actually know families who this has happened to). So don’t be caught without that possibly live-saving information. Additionally, it will be beneficial to carry certain records and reports with you to help settle your children with special needs into new schools and therapies. Since our children will not be starting school right away, it will be important for us to be able to hand over those records to the gaining schools and have everything set in place before we even arrive or our house hold goods come.

I will up updating you all on what I do include in both my personal new family binder and our PCS binder.

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Tricare/ Therapy Thursday…Laughter is the best therapy…er, medicine


So sometimes in life we need to laugh.  In our crazy military family and two kiddos with ASD, I feel like laughter is what saves us.  So when I came across these “Kid Snippets,”  I had to share.    

Kid Snippets…if movie scripts were written by kids, then acted out by grown-ups, then over-dubbed by the kids’ voices…GENIUS!!!

Here is a great one entitled, “Driver’s Ed”, and another good one, “Blind Date.” 

 

Wordy Wednesday: bullying vs Rude vs Mean


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Ugh! I want to pull my hair out. First spring break and now some random state holiday. These kids need to be back in school. They are getting on each other’s nerves and mine. Every 5 seconds it’s “he did this….” Or “she did that…”. They keep picking on each other and everyone’s tempers are thin. I don’t know how many times my kids have approached me this past week and I have that ask them if they are tattling or reporting. However, the positive is that- they are learning the difference. Want to teach your kids the difference? See here how I did it.

It has been a learning process over the years to figure out how best each child learns. It took me a while and even now I get confused on who learns best which way. Because of course it can’t be the same for everyone.

Those moments was brought on one day at our doctor. We went to a appointment and the nurse triaging me asked how I learned best. I stopped and had to think about it. Telling me didn’t work; I’m a visual learner. She gave me the choices and I told her it was all of them. I asked what that meant. She explained that if they ever need to teach me how to administer a drug or treatment they will be able to do it in a way I will understand. Why did that shock me so? Its brilliance. So I got to thinking why don’t teachers stop and asses which child learns what ways. It might help millions of children excel in school and life better. However, since I can’t impact that many children, I can at least set mine up for success. I realized I can teach them in their best learning style, and once they are older I can teach them the best way for them to study. But until then they will stand next to me while I’m on the couch tattle telling or reporting on each other.

I finally had enough of them and sent them to their rooms for some quiet separate time. However, before my son left, he let out one of those replies that makes your blood boil as a parent. My mom referred to it as the “f” word; FINE! Oh hell no, you just did not throw that word at me little boy. But, oh sure enough he did. His eye brows went up and his eyes got huge as he saw that look of evil spread across my face.

He walked over to me, head hung low, and said he was sorry. I stopped even madder now. Does he even know why he is apologizing? No, he just saw my reaction and via all our social stories and experiences, knows that face means he is in trouble. Autism, sometimes I hate you.

I ask him why he apologized. He said because he knew I was mad. I asked him if he knew why I was. He said because “I don’t know”. I tell him what he said was rude to me. I asked him if he knew what that meant. He replied “mean”. I stopped and had to think about it. Rude does mean mean; but it means more than that.

I started getting angry with myself. I realized I had never explained to him what rude and mean meant. How can I be mad at him for not teaching him yet we don’t talk like that. I simply can’t. No one can. So I stood there trying to find the right explanation of the word. It was hard. And I basically skirted around it. I just didn’t have a good answer. So I had to find one.

First thing was I knew I could not define the word with the word itself. So I can’t say mean means mean. Instead due to Bug’s way of learning, I needed to come up with concrete examples and definitions. While looking around I ran across this article by Signe Whitson, written a few years back.

She writes about the differences between bullying, mean and rude. Perfect! And since we are school age now it is great to teach them about bullying.

The one thing I want to also teach my children is how to recognize what bullying is. We all know how being bullied can effect ones ego and self esteem; but if one of your deficiencies is social how are you going to realize you are being bullied? It’s a horrible set of circumstances. I have already seen it happen to my children and seen what it can do when they don’t understand what is going on.

Here is another resource our ABA gave to me today:

www.socialthinking.com– super flex

Tip{py} Tuesday…Bumper Sticker Safety


So today’s tip isn’t about a DIY project, a home organization success, or some creative endeavor.  I saw this on facebook and really thought it was worth passing on.  I have wondered about putting personal information on display with those “stick figure” window decals, but hadn’t thought about the ones naming our kids’ schools, etc…

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It kind of reminded about how when I was teaching school and we stopped using name tags on our students during field trips.  That way a stranger/ predator couldn’t make them feel safe by addressing them by name.  Yikes.  It’s a crazy world we live in.  What are your thoughts on this stuff?  Is there such a thing as being too careful?  Or are we asking for trouble by putting our family’s personal info out there on display?

Mommy Moment Mondays: I Sterotyped My Kids


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I talk… a lot. I especially talk a lot when it is a topic I know or feel I know a lot about. So when it comes to talking to a group of moms about being an advocate for your special needs children I want to jump up and down raising my hand screaming “pick me!” because I can’t contain all the information, helpful advice, funny stories, realizations and resources I have accumulated over these short years. I just want to word vomit over everyone. And then I start sounding like a know-it-all. I hate that most. I don’t think I know everything, but I have been through so many different experiences on this topic that I feel what I can saw and the little I do know can help and be comforting to some people; whether or not you actually want to hear it. So today I was overjoyed when someone like me, who has much older children, was speaking at my MOPS meeting. I wanted to soak in every bit of information she was going to word vomit on me; I just couldn’t wait. I would be her in so many years and I am a little afraid of that. I am starting to look for people like me who have been through this type of parenting before- parenting older children with special needs. I felt it was a sign that I needed to hear what she had to say today. I just didn’t imagine how dejected it would make me feel.

Her talk was great. It touched base on the main points I always give to parents who have just received a new diagnosis for their child. You have to be your  child’s advocate; but her message was more than that. She described how you needed to be an advocate for all your children; not just the one who require additional care. That was when I realized it; all these years I had been so proud of myself for not really labeling my children and what I was actually doing was defining them.

I lump Bug and Diva into a group that requires more time, more of my energy and more of my attention to parent because of their special needs. In the corner sits SB, happy as a lark, but with her own parental requirements that are not being met. The speaker’s point that touched me was that just because her two oldest children did not require any above average assistance to navigate life, didn’t mean that they would not eventually need someone to fight for their rights.

I like to talk about how I treat my two ASD children as “normal” as possible. I don’t want them growing up feeling things are made different (or easy) just for them. I want them to experience life as humanly normal as can be. I strive very hard to make that happen. I put them in preschool, dance, sports and schedule play dates. Ask me if I have done that for SB. No, Why? I felt like she doesn’t need the extra attention (and she is only 2). That is my mistake. She may need more.

I noticed it briefly with Diva before she was diagnosed. It is a behavior where one child sees all the extra attention, people, and “fun” games and work the other child gets to do. They child without the therapy starts to get upset and feels lonely and like something is wrong with them. Not realizing, it is the total opposite. As quickly as I saw that train of thought appear on Diva’s face she was diagnosed and given her own set of “friends”. I haven’t seen that mind set in SB yet; but I know one day it will come. When that day does I need to be ready. I actually need to be ready now. I set her to the side mentally at times knowing she is fine, “normal”. However, it’s wrong and it is now that I realize that I do sterotype my own children into categories of special needs and “normal”.

Where Diva and Bug need me to fight for OT, speech and other services including IEP’s or 504’s; SB will need me to fight for her to be included in games and activities. SB is a lover, not a fighter. She is strong willed but not competitive. She will happily watch her siblings play games and try to join, but as soon as she is rejected she shuts down. Someone needs to fight for her. Someone needs to show her that if you aren’t able to play that game, there are many more that will come along. She also needs someone to fight for her and show her that she is always loved. That just because she doesn’t have her own “friends” filtering in and out of the house all week long, doesn’t mean anything is wrong with her. It means just the opposite. It means she perfect. Not perfect because she is “normal”, but perfect because she is exactly who God made her and wanted her to be. It was God’s choice to give these three precious gifts for me to grow and nurture into amazing humans. It is my choice to accept and love them for who they are no matter their labels, abilities or inabilities.