Archives for June 2010

FBI Screen

One of Charlie’s favorite activities is playing with the portable DVD player and fiddling with all of the available buttons. He’s gotten adept and finding his favorite place on the video using fast forward and now days is really obsessed with rewinding the player and hitting the back button. 

On some discs, hitting the back back button will take you to all the special features on the DVD. On other discs, you land on the FBI warning page and once you’re there, you’re stuck.  No going backward, no going forward, just stuck there looking at the boring blue screen.

Charlie’s doesn’t seem to be able to get it through his head that these DVDs are this way. He joyfully hits that back button and then wails in despair when the blue screen appears. Twenty seconds later, we’re in the same place again. He just can’t understand why he can’t get to the bonus material.

Hubby and I are big fans of learning from experience and so we let him go ahead and get frustrated—sometimes many times over—before we intervene and change the disc to one that does his bidding. beach 115

Recently we were in the car with my brother-in-law while the FBI screen meltdown was occurring a few more times than one would like. Out of nowhere, he chuckled.

“What?” I inquired feeling more than a little defensive about my kid’s atrocious behavior.

“Well, I was just wondering if there’s a metaphor in there somewhere. Is there any place in my life where I keep doing the same thing expecting a different result and then getting upset when it doesn’t work out?”

Good question, huh? So I’m asking myself the same thing: am I spinning my wheels somewhere? Wasting my time and energy on something that just doesn’t seem to be paying off?

What about you? Time for a change somewhere?

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Never?

It took Charlie almost three years before he started doing this with any regularity. Even though he does it a lot now, I’m not sure I will EVER get tired of seeing it.

Please excuse the goofy outfit—I blame Dad completely.

IEP Tips

Someone on my Facebook page asked me if I had any tips to share for people who were approaching their child’s IEP. Of course I do. I’m nothing if not full of advice that you may or may not actually want. I’m fun like that.

So, the IEP, it’s like a gang fight, right? You versus them. I’m kidding. Mostly. Really, you want to work with these people so you can all get the best plan for you child. Here are three things I would do to have the best IEP possible:

1. This tip came right out of my comments from Stephanie. She tells us to come to the IEP with a copy of your district’s policies on Special Education or the Wright’s Law book on IEPs. Reading these materials is great, but if you don’t have time, try to make it look like you’ve read them—bend the spine, dog-ear some pages, put a few sticky notes inside. You get the picture. I got similar advice from Charlie’s speech therapist who told me to go with a folder. Actually, she said, “I don’t care if you’ve got your phone bill in there—just look like you’re ready for business.” She’s got her own special needs kid so I heeded her advice on this one.

2. Come to the meeting with your own goals. GASP! I know, right? Isn’t that what the teachers and evaluators are for? Well, yes, but this is one area where I think it pays to do your homework. These people only have a snapshot of your child and you’ve got the whole picture. What do you want them to work on? If you’re not exactly sure, bust out one of those dreadful milestone charts (you may have to drink a glass of wine beforehand), and see what your child has mastered. Your goals should focus on what comes next. For example, Charlie had mastered cause and effect, so as a goal we are worked on sorting. If you survive looking at a milestone chart, you may then want to reward yourself with copious amount of chocolate (or wine—your choice).

3. Bring something that showcases your child’s talents. I brought Charlie’s DVD player, so he was able to show off his skills with fine motor, cause and effect, and his ability to entertain himself. Caleigh’s mom brought their iPad and let Caleigh show off her mad communication skills. So bring a favorite toy, their favorite music—anything that puts your kid in their best light.

So that’s it. That, and some ninja stars should things get ugly. I kid. Many schools have metal detectors—best bring your nunchucks.

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