Clickin' Moms

How My Son With Asperger’s Is Doing In The Second Grade

IMG_8789My son Drew was diagnosed with Asperger’s when he was five. That was in the middle of his preschool year. We started with ABA therapy right away. He started kindergarten a few months later. That was a challenging year. He had full-time ABA with him at school. 1st grade was similar only we encountered some other issues. However, other types of behaviors got better. It seems like it is two steps forward, one step back with him.

In the middle of last year I felt strongly that it might be a good idea to have him in the special needs class. He was having quite a lot of behavior problems. We also worked on having the school take over more than having ABA with him. This was an important step to me and something we were working towards. Towards the end of 1st grade things got a little better but I wasn’t sure how it was going to go for second grade. I knew the school was working hard with us to make sure he was getting the help he needed to get through each day. They also assured me that at anytime I can call an IEP meeting. When summer started I just knew that no matter what we would be able to figure out how to get through second grade.

Now we are about six weeks into the school year. Overall he is doing really well. I am thankful for this. He grew a lot during the summer and I could really tell he was a different kid than he was at the end of 1st grade, although with some of the same behavioral issues. He is in a regular class and that seems to be going well overall. Not so many behavioral issues, he gets on the bus a lot easier than he ever has too. His biggest issue is not wanting to do the school work he needs to do. We are making him do it once he gets home and that has been hard.

I am not sure how the rest of the year is going to go. We had an IEP meeting last week and will have another one after fall break next month. He has a list of goals and he is slowly working towards them. Some days are easier than others.

What we want for him is to know that school is important, that the work he does at school is important and that he has to go to school each day before he can play or relax. The thing about him is that if he doesn’t see the reason for it, he doesn’t want to do it. This was a major issue last year. He didn’t see why he had to go to school so he fought it a lot. I think this year he is understanding more how it works. You go to school Monday through Friday, then you have the weekends free. You go to school until about 3pm, do your homework and then you can do what you want. I think the more he understands this, the better he will be about school. I am hoping anyways.

Do you have a child with special needs? How is school going for them?

My Post Stay At Home Mom Career

10616187_10154475194665705_8856139318839240024_nI graduated college right before I turned 23. I started working in a job having nothing to do with my major soon after. I got married later that year and then had my first baby in 2004. I quit my job a little bit before he was born as I had always dreamed of being a stay at home mom. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t want a career; it is that I wanted to do that before I did anything else.

I am now 35 and am not longer a stay at home mom. I work from home so I get to see a lot of my children but I am not longer their main caretaker. It is now time for me to start working on my career, whatever that is going to be.

I feel like I do have a lot of choices to make. I have different directions I can go. I am just not sure how it is all going to work out.

I have friends that started a career right after college and waited to have kids. They might be a stay at home mom now but they haven’t always been that way. Some are taking a few years off, others are home for longer.

I started to wonder if I did it wrong. Should I have started my career first? Should I have worked towards something I could have done part-time all these years? Should I have even stayed home as long as I did?

It is hard to answer those questions.

I do feel very lucky that I had almost 10 years as a stay at home mom. I got to do so much with them. Even when my huband was gone and I was playing the part of mom and dad, I was thankful I could be home with them.

However, I do feel a little behind on my career. I am not a teacher or a nurse or someone who has years of career experience behind them. But maybe that doesn’t matter. Careers can happen at different times during our lives. Some careers come from a love or desire to do something different. Other comes from a dream or an experience someone had. As for me? I am a blogger, Scentsy consultant who loves photography. There are ways to make money doing all of those things. So does it matter that I don’t have a traditional career? That I am not really using my major like I could have? Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe this is my path based on my desires of motherhood mixed with a husband who was in the Army. Maybe my career is going to be customized to me and what works for our family. And I think I am okay with that.

What about you? Are you a stay at home mom wondering what to do later on? Are you a working mom who is glad you made that choice?

Summer At The Waterpark

Growing up we had a waterpark in our city that we usually got season passes too. It was so much fun. It was a good size park with a lot of slides, a lazy river and a wave pool.

We don’t have anything like that too close to us although there is a park in Nashville. We do have Tiebreaker which is the smallest waterpark I have ever seen but it works well for our kids right now. They have a small lazy river, two slides, a water playground and pool. We thought we might get season passes but at $60 a person, we thought that was too much. Instead, we took advantage of their buy one get one free Mondays and used coupons.

We ended up making it there about five times during the summer which was great. It was a lot of fun to spend some time in the water, go on the slides and just have some fun as a family, especially since I was working a lot this summer.

As our children get older, I know they will want a bigger waterpark to play in but for now, this works.

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Does your family like to go to waterparks?

Watching Them Grow

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As I sit and watch my boys play at the end of this summer of 9, 7 and 3 I can’t help but think about how much they are growing up.

Each summer they are a bit older and we are doing something new. Each summer is somehow a reminder of the years passing and watching them grow.

This summer I have seen some big changes in my oldest who will be 10 in September. He is more responsible and is able to do more around the house. We set up a new chore system for him and it seems to be working well.

My middle son is 7 and the one with Asperger’s. This summer has been better than I would have thought for him. He has had his frustrations but we are seeing more and more how he is figuring out what is expected of him. This is huge and I hope carries over into the school year.

Our three year old has been potty training and growing into a little boy. He cracks me up with some of the silly things he says. He tries to keep up with his brothers and wants to do what they are doing, which is understandable.

In the last year we have stopped using a crib, any type of special chair at the table and sippy cups. I need to go through toys again and get rid of some of the more toddler like ones. It’s Legos 90% of the time in this house.

I went to a few yard sales this past weekend and realized how many things we simply don’t need to look at anymore. From bouncy chairs to ride along toys. My boys are all too big for those.

As I think about this and how the baby stage is pretty much behind us, I feel pretty happy about it. Don’t get me wrong. I loved having little babies. Even though you don’t sleep, you are always tired and they depend on you so much, I cherished that time.

But we are moving on. I have always tried to enjoy the stage we were in as much as possible. Some stages have been difficult and that was hard. Others have passed us by without much thought.

Having a 6 year age group between #1 and #3 meant that while our oldest was in school, our youngest was still a baby. But that is changing. As we enter this post baby season I am excited about what it brings and how it will change things.

Daniel will be a teenager in just about three years and I know the time between then and now will go fast. Before I know it he will be asking to take driving lessons and then wanting to borrow the car.

As I look back over the years I am not sure what we have done right, what we have done wrong or if we will ever really know. We did our best through the baby years and I am sure it will be the same in the future.

Ten years ago this summer I was hot and pregnant with Daniel. I didn’t know what it meant to be a mother. I didn’t know what parenthood was really like. And here we are a decade later…still trying to figure it all out.

Anyone else leaving the baby stage forever? How are you feeling about it?

 

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