Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Glasses, Magic Tricks, and IEPs

Hayden got new glasses for the first time. He is a little nearsighted.  I was worried that he wouldn't like them, but we talked them up and he was excited the day they came in.  He said, "Do you think everyone will like my new look?"  The Facebook post of his picture has 67 likes, which he is pretty excited about!

Unfortunately after a couple days of wearing his glasses he had a tantrum and decided to throw his glasses because he felt like he was "on a rampage." They bent a bit and we need to get them adjusted. So hopefully they'll be back on his head soon!

While we were at the mall picking out Hayden's new glasses, Rylie found a mannequin just her size. She wanted to give her several hugs and even asked what her name was.

So... When Hayden left ABA therapy and went into public school, I was a single mom. I wasn't able to handle the time, money, and emotional drain it would take to get him the services he needed. And I've never wanted to be "that mom" at the IEP meetings. But two years later and we're in the same place where we started. Hayden has come a long way in two years. And now I have someone (Joseph) to support me in all those things. So we have hired an advocate to support us at the IEP meetings. I'm glad to have someone who knows the law to guide us.

I don't like to write about situations like this as they happen, so all I'll say for now is that it has been a lot of work, and hugely emotionally stressful for us, but I hope that the end result is that Hayden will have more time with his typical peers. I also hope his teachers know that I appreciate how much they care for him and I know they are good teachers. This situation is only about where Hayden is today and getting him the services he needs to be successful.

Just a few of the papers I had to put together for the first meeting.  Took me 6? hours and about $50 to make all the copies.  

And now, for our long-overdue FUA.

We went to Anderson to get dairy free ice cream and see a magician. Hayden was excited to see the magician and wanted to say hi to him after the show. But when it was our turn he got a little nervous. Here is the conversation that happened next:

Hayden:  "Sorry, I'm a bit shy."
Magician:  "No, you're the antithesis of shy. She's shy. [pointing at Rylie, who's hiding behind my legs.]  Do you know what antithesis means?"
Hayden, without skipping a beat: "Um, opposite?"
Magician: "Uh...  Yeah. Yes, actually it does... You're pretty smart."
Hayden: "Yeah, I know, I'm a bit smart sometimes."

Non-autism characteristics displayed:  Speaking to a stranger, initiating a conversation, making eye contact, using context clues to derive word meaning. And being totally awesome.  Ok, that last one can go with Autism, but only because Hayden takes Autism and turns it into something no one expects.  Every day.

Thank you Hayden for inspiring me to work as hard as you do, every day.

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