Archive for August, 2011

Wit and Wisdom From the Parents of Special Needs Kids

I am so excited to be part of this book project!  Several of us parent bloggers have collaborated and are are eagerly anticipating the release of our book, Wit and Wisdom From the Parents of Special Needs Kids: Mostly True Stories of Life on the Spectrum. 

I am excited to read all the stories of the other parents, and am honored to be included.  We’re on target for a September release! More later!

Overnighter with youth group

Since my son had such a great time at Camp Amp, I decided that he was ready for an overnighter with the church youth group.

Oops.

Don’t get me wrong– the youth workers and kids were great.  My son was with his buddy from school.  I think that the event was not the right fit.

We also were in the busy summer season, and as parents we didn’t take the time to get more details about the event.  So, the amount of preparation we could do with him was minimal, to say the least. (Pun intended.)  Then we got him to the race late.  Yes, it was one of those days.

This overnighter was the annual Amazing Youth Race, modeled after the tv show.  It really is a cool event.  I was happy that he wanted to go, and looked forward to his becoming part of a group.

At the end of the first evening (the race was from 5:30  on a Friday to 5:30ish on Saturday) we received a call that he needed help.  He didn’t seem unhappy, but did say several times that he was tired.  Turns out that the pace of the race was very fast and he needed coaxing to keep up with his team.  The driver and the leaders thought it might be best if a parent was with him on Saturday.  They didn’t get “prep time” for Philip, either, I realiced.

On the bright side, he was very happy to get to his campsite and eat tons of twizzlers. 🙂 He was settling down in his tent.

I decided to get to the campsite early on  Saturday morning and let him decide what was best. I was willing to be his race buddy or take him home. When I arrived at the camp, he was eating a very healthy breakfast of Sunchips (he chose that over the healthier options) at a picnic table with the other kids.

“Hi, Sweetie!  Are you having fun?”

“Mmm hmmm.”  (Crunch crunch crunch.)

I let him finish his chips and then took him aside.  “Do you want to race today?”

“Well, it’s very fast. When I run fast it takes all of my energy.  I just want to go home.”

“Are you sure?  I could stay with you and race, or we could go home.  It’s up to you.”

“Yes, let’s go home.”

“Okay, let’s go pack up your stuff and then let’s go tell Pastor J.”

We went to pack up and then we walked to Pastor J.

“Pastor J?”

“Yes Philip?”

“The race is just too fast for me.”

We then talked over with Pastor J and Mrs. H., the other adult leader, what he had decided to do.  They were disappointed that he was leaving, and told me some funny things that he said / did at the event.  They gave him a race shirt and a prize bag to take home.  And of course he grabbed some Twizzlers on our way out.

I think that my boy wasn’t quite ready.  And that’s okay.

I am very proud of him for trying something new.  I’m even prouder of him for voicing his needs.

Way to go, buddy.

Camp Amp

Fun at Camp Amp

Camp Amp was great!  My son loved it.  Camp Amp is run by our local Easter Seals as part of their therapeutic recreation services.

This year the camp theme was “Wild West.” I loved that the camp leaders took pictures everyday and posted them on a message board that we parents could view each evening.  My favorite activity that they did was roping a cow– a leader dressed in a cow uniform and the kids tried to rope him.  Hilarious!

There were campfires, s’mores, afternoons in the pool, rest time, canoeing, and even a hoe down.

When I arrived at the camp to pick up my boy, he gave me a big hug.  And then proceeded to tell me all about camp… the “secret” campfire, the giant slip and slide (which was pretty cool looking), and the s’mores.

It was a great experience for him.  We saw, in 5 days’ time, an increase in his self confidence.  Without electronics, his conversation skills improved.

I am grateful for people who will work with my kid.  I am happy that he is growing up so nicely.  I am hopeful!

Dramatic Thanksgiving in August

It’s only the beginning of August, and alreadyI am looking forward to the end of the summer.   It’s been quite a summer. I wrote on my facebook page that all I want is a life without “too much” drama.  Family and friends commented on that post, poking fun at me.

So how do you get through the drama?

One way  I get through the drama is listing what I’m thankful for despite the drama.  It’s also my way of answering the question, “WTH is God in all of this?” So here I go with my thankful list.  You might see why I haven’t blogged much lately.  Here I go:

1.  I’m thankful for the helpful woman who calmly and clearly told me what to do when I got a notice on August 1  that the boys’ medical assistance was being discontinued on August 6 because I didn’t reapply by May 31 (which I did so!!!  They lost it!!!  Great timing to notify me that something was screwed up!!!  And this was the first time that I didn’t photocopy everything prior to mailing… okay, deep breath. ).

2.  I’m thankful that my oldest son has a job that keeps him out of my hair the house.

3. I’m thankful for the job coach who is hanging in with my oldest son,  an employer who gives him 2nd, 3rd, and 4th chances when he messes up, and that he hasn’t gotten fired, even though he’s been in trouble at least three times this summer and was even suspended from his job for three days.  I’m thankful that he is having to learn the tough lessons of accepting someone else’s authority and how to stick with a job even when it’s hot and he doesn’t feel like it.

And I’m thankful that someone else is teaching him this.

4.  I’m thankful that my husband understands when I fly off the handle because the drama gets to me.

5.  I’m thankful for an understanding woman who “bent the rules” and made sure we got a full refund when the reading program that I was so excited about and was sure would help my son was nothing like the sales pitch expert  enrollment counselor said and we had to pick him up early from the first session.

6.  I’m thankful for an opening in a camp for my youngest son, paid for by said refund.

7. I’m thankful that my daughter has found an outlet in her new gymnastics class and that we will get “girl time” while her brothers are at work / camp.

8. I’m thankful that I could get in to the urgent care center quickly and that my nine stitches in my knee are still holding.

9.  I’m thankful that I haven’t had a nervous breakdown.

10.  I’m thankful for friends who put up with my excitement over my Wildtree business and for others who are as excited that I am that gfcf options are available this fall.

11. I’m thankful that my son is no longer on the gfcf diet.

12.  I’m thankful that I lost my vacation weight.

13.  I’m thankful that I have a teaching job starting in January.

Okay, that’s it for now.  Thanks for reading my thankful list.

How do you get through the drama???