Early Intervention

  • anxiety,  autism,  Early Intervention,  Education,  high school,  mental health,  middle school,  modifications,  special education

    Violence in the Classroom: From an Autism Mom’s Point of View

    Violence in the classroom has become a really big issue. In Fargo, it’s been in the paper and on the news. And it’s something that’s been happening across the country. Here’s a news clip from a Utah TV station: This is a topic I have really struggled with over the last few years. I have a son who sometimes does those things. I have a daughter who witnesses those things in her classroom or in the hallway. I have teacher friends. My mum was a teacher. I’m a teacher (I’ve taught at the university level as an adjunct and at the preschool, elementary, middle, and high school levels as a…

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  • autism,  Early Intervention,  Education,  handwriting,  motherhood

    When he was little

    When he was little he used to throw tantrums all the time. I have the scars on my hands to prove it. When we’d leave a store out of the “wrong door,” I’d try to pick him up off the ground and somehow he’d find a way to dig his nails into my hands and wrists to show his protest. I’d have bruises on my shins. Strands of my hair in his fists. That was life with an autistic little. Any excursion outside of the house was an enormous—catastrophic—disruption for both of us. I hated that he barely spoke. He would point and grunt even though he had the words…

  • anxiety,  autism,  Early Intervention,  motherhood

    The Power of a Box of French Fries

    Have I talked about French fries before? Surely I have–just because it’s such a significant, random, reoccurring force that pops up periodically to make life a little uncomfortable and remind me that no matter how well I think I understand J’s anxiety I know absolutely nothing about it all. To J, French fries are like the numbers 67 or 142 or 55. Terrifying. I have absolutely no idea why. But they’re also not like the numbers 67, 142, or 55.  “Tainted” numbers change all the time. J gets stuck on bad numbers and eventually we can condition the fear out of them. I know one day 67, 142, and 55…

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  • autism,  Early Intervention,  sensory processing,  special education

    On Re-Finding Your People

    Tuesday afternoons I sit in the visual therapy waiting room and watch moms give their son or daughter a quick shower of encouragement before their child goes back with their therapist. Almost always there is a sigh of momentary relief. Sometimes they’re alone and they pull out their book or phone and have a peaceful 45 minutes to themselves. Sometimes they’re multi-tasking their book or phone with their other children in the waiting room. Sometimes they’re out the door again to pick up their other children from an activity and ten minutes later they’re back again with another child in tow. It wasn’t until J gave me a very enthusiastic,…

  • anxiety,  Early Intervention,  family,  motherhood,  siblings and autism,  teen years

    Drops in the bucket

    It was raining and I had one preschooler to get from the parking lot to the school. The toddler had to come along too, because you can’t leave toddlers in the car by themselves. Toddlers and preschoolers don’t like you when it’s raining and you’re in a hurry. They either lift up their feet and execute very exaggerated, enthusiastic stomps in the middle of a puddle sending water up their legs, pants, diaper, and everyone else in close proximity, (which is you because you’re holding their hand trying to lead them away from all the water hazards in the parking lot), or they stand petrified in the middle of the…

  • Early Intervention,  family,  motherhood

    All My Babies’ Mamas

    Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend and all I can think about is all of the women in my life who have helped me “mom.” The beautiful, strong, intelligent women in my village that do all the things for my children and who be all the things for my children that I can’t be. I think of all the women that have been vital to my survival and as I look through our photo albums I realize I hardly have any pictures of any of them. J has had literally dozens and dozens of moms that have come in and out of his life. Mothers I will never be…

  • Early Intervention,  Education,  middle school,  mindfulness,  motherhood,  strategies

    Prepping for an IEP

      J’s IEP is coming up this week. It’s something I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember.  I have binders full of Assessments, Evaluations, Re-Evaluations, Progress Reports, IFSPs (an IEP for kids under 3), IEPS (an Individual Education Program once a child turns 3),and behavioral  assessments. I even have copies of “my rights” as a parent of a child with disabilities from three different states. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a parent without all of these binders. To just send your kids off to school and collect report cards a couple of times a year. Over the years, I’ve learned some things…

  • Early Intervention,  screenings,  Uncategorized

    For Those of You Who are Wondering

      While reorganizing our home office over the last week or two, I found dozens of J’s IEPs and progress reports starting from preschool. I’ve been hoarding them like tax returns, not sure if I’m supposed to hold onto them, not sure if I’ll ever need to pull out an IEP from, say, 2008 or if any of that information is still useful. I’ve decided to keep those files for now, and maybe read through all of those reports again in preparation for J’s annual IEP in the next few weeks. J has made significant progress thanks to early intervention, but who knows—maybe there are some underlying trends that are…

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