Peeling the Onion

Louie has been in school for about a month and he has learned so much. He’s learning how to use instruments in music class, he’s learning to walk from one place to another without throwing a big fit, he’s playing with puzzles, and sliding on slides. He is happy and that is probably the best part for me–picking up a little boy who is emotionally intact and at peace.

We had to have a conference for Mr. Louis as well, though. While I know and see that he is happy, he is still throwing a lot–LOT–of tantrums and he scares his teacher almost daily. Twice I’ve had to sign a paper stating that he hit his head on the pavement outside while doing this. He’s fine–no bumps or bruises–but definitely scaring his sweet teacher.

He’s also got some of what I would call “Lost Boy” behavior–stealing food, wandering around during meals, crying when he has to wash his hands, etc. These are, sadly, my fault. My kids share food freely and I’ve made almost no attempt to correct that behavior. My kids are all strapped in during meals to prevent wandering–when you have four, and one with food allergies, you don’t risk things.

We’ve agreed to send in the Psychologist that Early Steps has provided. She works on these very things and was recommended when it became clear that the boys were developing around each other rather than developing along the typical track. Say what you want, twins are never boring. Well, mine aren’t, anyway.

So, we thought we had most things figured out when BAM! another piece of news fell in my lap today. A while back we did a sensory profile for both boys and the daycare teachers filled out out as well. Guess who came back with the most sensory issues? That would be Louie.

Sooooooooo. . . that might be part of the problem at school. And when I think about it, it might explain some of his behavior at home as well. He LOVES to slam things. And bang things. And honestly? That’s just Louie, but maybe it’s also some sensory-seeking behavior.

The OT is going to go to school armed with this new information and hopefully she’ll have some suggestions for them as well.

These kids, man. They are something else.




So How’s August?

Maybe you’re wondering! Maybe you’d like to know how things are going since I yanked him out of preschool and began the slow process of turning him into Boo Radley.

Actually, he’s doing pretty dang great. There are things that I have always known about him, but now I have a chance to really see them and see how those things can make it difficult for him to be successful.

He’s got the low tone. LOW. He’s also easily frustrated. This combination means that he’s likely to give up before mastering things.

So we’re working hard on some fine motor things and I’m seeing improvement.

I’ve also got him on a lot of supplements. I read and read, and add things to see if they help. I think we’re up to four supplements.  He’s friendlier than ever and loves to play. He’s babbling a little bit which is great because it’s him talking–not just imitating, but really saying something. He’s trying to interact with Louis which is new. He’s doing a great job responding to his name. His belly is a lot flatter and I’m seeing a lot less of the hurting-tummy behaviors.

Is he perfect? Nope. Is he good? Absolutely.

I also took him to see a DAN doctor. That’s a person who treats autism disorders with the belief that there’s an underlying cause. This lady has recommended several tests to assess August’s digestion and as soon as I scrape together a few dollars, I’ll be getting that done. I’m hoping this will reveal any underlying allergies or food intolerances because I know I haven’t found them all. He still has these dark circles under his eyes that they call allergic shiners.

Louie is good too–loving school, learning so much, coming home covered in dirt and sand.

Things are good right now. They really are. I’m trying to enjoy the calm while it’s here.

That Time When Deadspin Made Me Smarter

From time to time I like to bend y’all’s ear about the issue of the “R word.” In case you don’t know, the R word in question is retard and retarded.

I have heard pretty much every argument under the sun for why this word isn’t offensive. Really, I doubt you have an argument that I haven’t heard. One that I have always, always struggled with is the “where does it end?” argument. I was an English teacher. I love words. I love picking the exact perfect word out of the dictionary that suits my particular feelings. I enjoying saying “fastidious” out loud.

So how do you decide when a word no longer needs to be spoken?

Hilariously enough, I got the perfect answer from none other than Deadspin–yes, the fast-talking, heavily snarky sports commentary site. And I don’t even like sports.

There was an article talking about The Redskins and how offensive their name is and there in the comments was the classic argument–do we have to get rid of ALL the words.

Funny thing is, somebody had the perfect response.

I’m totally paraphrasing here, but they said something to the effect of: No, we don’t have to get rid of all the words, but if the word has been used as a tool in oppression, has been used to deny people their rights or full citizenship then THAT word does need to stop being used.

Yeah. That random, anonymous stranger nailed it. On Deadspin. Still digesting that one.

So, retard and retarded?

Tools in oppression? Check.

Deny people their rights? Check. Check.

Deny people full citizenship? Check. Check. (30 states still have laws on the books denying the metally retarded the right to marry. Wow.)

So does that word need to go? Yeah, it does.

Dad and Charlie working on homework.

Dad and Charlie working on homework.

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