Sunday, October 09, 2011

The Crud....

Ladies and Gentlemen, the "Crud" has officially landed at our house. The one infected is of course Nick. Of COURSE! He seems to be the Cruds favorite party place; lest you forget we delt with Cruds relative 'Sinus Infection' this last summer. Anyway, Nicks way of dealing with the crud that is in his nose is to blow it.....everywhere BUT a tissue. It is pretty safe to say that his face has been oozing goo for the last two days. Eeeeewwww! We have not seen many meltdowns resulting from Crud like we did from Sinus Infection, so if there are blessings to count, that would be it. Of course there is a flipside. All of the medications have done WONDERS for his GI tract. NOT! Let's just leave it at the word NASTY.

This week also marks the first time any of my kids have been SUSPENDED from school. Yep, Nick took that one too. I have yet to figure out how suspending an autistic child from school will make him realize what he did was wrong? Here is the low down I got from his teacher when I went to pick up my little troublemaker  Nick. He was in music with his classmates. Something happened (could not explain WHAT) and they say he just smacked the teacher in the nose. The teacher then turned to (supposedly) protect another student who is in a wheelchair(not clear on whether Nick was actually going after other kids-at home he generally will not attack Michael at all-no matter how much Michael gets in his face) and Nick continued to smack the teacher. They say he would not stop. Oh, and something about music teacher saying there needs to be consequences. Well, what shall happen next week say when he goes back to school and does this again? You CANNOT punish kids for acting on something that is sensory related. I highly doubt he was acting out of hatred for his music teacher. Nick is autistic, with very limited speech. He cannot effectively communicate if something is bothering him. When things get overwhelming it is a fight or flight response. Which is why at home, he has a place that he can go to that is HIS space to calm himself down. Yes, Nick has hit me, but I have not turned my back on him so that he continues hitting me. My first reaction is to grab his hands to prevent him from hitting me over and over. I grab his hands, and escort him to his spot. This works. He stays in there until he is calm enough to come out. And that is not for me to decide, but him. That can be five minutes, 15 minutes, or even 30 minutes. However long it takes him. I told his teacher of our "area" where he can do this. She said she would try to create one of those areas in class. Which, I am afraid won't work if it is IN class. I don't think the right thing to do was suspend him, so I am going to contact his BCBA and maybe ARC of Washington to see what else can be done on his behalf. His teacher was developing a behavior plan (why one was not already done....I don't know).

Now, to say a heartfelt Thank You to Steve Jobs. Steve was the co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc. Your Ipod, Iphone, and Ipad make life just a little bit more fun for the typical person. However, to the Special Needs world, it is the Ipad that has done absolute wonders. The Ipad has given non-verbal children a voice. For Nick, his Ipad has been the biggest reinforcer in ABA therapy. He LOVES looking at pictures that we have on it, he loves the Photobooth App in which he can do all sorts of effects on pictures, he has learned how to turn it on and find the right icon to what he wants to do. He counts things, puts puzzles together, draws, plays music, and writes letters. He does all of this just by using his fingers. Many autistic children/adults find it hard to use writing utensils such as pencils or even a mouse on a typical computer. So, the fact that Nick can use his hands and fingers to make letters or numbers is the best thing in the world to him. He has everything available with just a simple touch. And believe me, he has also learned to feed his own obsessions using the Ipad. He has learned how to use You Tube to watch numerous Zamboni videos! Picture schedules are easier to create when all you have to do is take a picture(Our Ipad has a camera installed) and then put it in the schedule within seconds. I would normally not even pay attention to such news, but this I have thought about all week. RIP Steve Jobs, and THANK YOU. You will never know just how much your technology has meant to us.