"I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "plans to give you a hope and a future."

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Whirlwind Day

Phew! What a day!

Up at 6:45 and out the door at 8:00 only to creep in traffic and arrive at Nathan's social group at 9:00.  Poor Nathan, I forgot his backpack with his home-work in it so he was upset with me.  Emma was mad at me too for forgetting her brother's back pack.  His teacher let me help him fill in an extra homework page she had and that made Nathan happy. 

Then Emma and I went to Aldi's.  We picked up some candy to fill Easter eggs for church. 

Next stop was Wal-mart.  I had a good talk on my cell with a friend who shared some encouraging words about Nathan starting school.  :)  Then back to pick up Nathan.  His class learned about Rude Dude who did not take turns talking and did not listen to his friend.  They made a book about Rude Dude and I am going to make sure we read it with Nathan often!

On the way home we stopped at Nathan's. (That hot dog place)  Nathan has been wanting to eat there since it has name on the sign.  Nathan said, "I bet they have mac n cheese from Sweden"

I said, "Umm, no, they have hot dogs."

Nathan said, "Seriously?"

Ha ha!

Even though they did not have mac-n-cheese from Sweden, Nathan enjoyed his hot dog and so did Emma.

We got home around 12:30.  I opened all the bags of candy I bought and started to fill plastic eggs, with Nathan's help, when we both realized that the big bag of mixed candy I bought contained pieces of candy that were way too big for the little plastic eggs!  Oops!

1:30 We left for Creative Services and met with Lauren.  Nathan and Emma were both very tired.  I met with Lauren and basically recited all the things I have recited over and over to a myriad of people by now.  Then she asked me, "So what are Nathan's strengths?"

And I stopped.

It took me a minute because not one person who has tested Nathan or asked about Nathan in this horrible long process has ever asked me that.  It was so nice to be able to tell her about his good qualities and the wonderful things he can do!  Finally some positive amidst the negative!

Long story short I am VERY, VERY, happy with the way the appointment with.  Nathan will meet with their psychologist.  This will be the third psychologist he will have seen.  And then we can move forward.  Lauren said she believes there will be no problem diagnosing the Aspergers as he seems to be a "typical" case.   And here is where my excitement begins.  If he is diagnosed they can offer us wrap around services and behavior specialist and if needed someone to go to school with him and observe and offer the teacher ways to help Nathan and even help Nathan cope with some of his anxiety!  They will also help Chris and I know how to deal and cope with certain things related to his Aspergers!  Yay!

We stopped at the Farmer's Daughter's Market on the way home because who could drive right by and not stop?  I picked up Nathan's favorite, sesame sticks.

When we got home Nathan was just done.  He went right to his room and closed the door.  When I went to check on him I found him in his bed playing his V Smile game.  I think he needed some down time.  Who can blame him?

Emma said, "I'm so tired I should just watch TV."

I am worn out too!  Now to figure what in the world we will eat for dinner tonight.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Meeting with the School Board Today

Thank goodness for blogs and facebook and e-mail to give a mass update or else I'd be on the phone all day repeating myself! 

This morning, at eight, we met with the school.  The man in charge of Special Ed was there along with the Occupational Therapist (OT), Physical Therapist (PT), and Julie, the school pshychologist. 

The meeting took an hour and a half!  The kids did really well and played with some toys they had for them.  Many of our "fears" were allayed by this meeting. 

I won't go into long details but I'll give you the basic idea of what we came away with. 

Nathan will get some Occupational Therapy that will be Incorporated into his school day.  He will get Physical Therapy because there is concern with his safety on the playground due to a lack of safety and body awareness. 

Again it was expressed that although the psychologist says she has no doubt he has Aspergers she can not give him that educational diagnosis since it does not affect his ability to learn new information and because he is functioning above average academically.  He will have 504 plan in place.  It's a legal document that will follow him through out his schooling since his IEP from Early Intervention will "run out" when he starts school. 

They will the make the teacher aware of some special needs to have plenty of visual cues, being very specific with directions seeing as he is very literal and also the use of fidgets may be used.  Fidgets would be some sort of object such as a stress ball that he can literally fidget with during class to help him stay still.  We think this will be a very good idea. 

They will NOT be letting Nathan skip a grade and after our meeting today we pretty much agree.  In first grade they say he will be expected to do certain things like using scissors and and followng directions with much less help than he would receive in Kindergarten. 

They are worried that he may have a hard time adjusting in the beginning.  It could become a sensory overload suddenly going to school all day with kids he does not know and have to follow directions and not be in control. 

Overall, it will be a big adjustment for him.  And for poor mommy...who I am sure will worry the day away while her "baby" is in school.  :)

One more thing: Tomorrow Nathan has his social group but at two p.m. we are also meeting with Creative Services to start a long process in finally obtaining an official diagnosis!  And sadly I am sure they will kill at least another twenty trees with the paperwork involved! 

Thanks for everyone's care and concern and prayers regarding our family and all the decisions we have to make. 

We love our little boy and Emma too of course!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Button Victory!

This morning while people were heading to work, cleaning their kitchen, doing their laundry....or sleeping (you know who you are).... our family celebrated a victory.  I nearly cried tears of joy.  So what you might ask would cause such a celebration?


Yes, that's right.  Buttons.  Five of them to be exact.  Nathan has struggled with buttons and zippers for a while now.  His fingers just don't do what he wants them to do so while his three year old sister is deftly zipping and un-zipping her jacket, buttoning her pants and shirts; Nathan is begging us for help. 

His OT really wanted us to pick a few days out of the week to try to get him to button.  Even if it was only two or three buttons.  Well, if you read a previous blog I wrote then you know how that turned out.  We had a twenty minute battle royal.  Nathan gives us easily.  He gets frustrated easily.  He just does not want to try and fail. 

So what does a parent do as the school year looms and your little boy is throwing tantrums over buttons?  The only thing any sensible parent can do.  Bribe them!  We found a V-Smile game.... on clearance!  Yes!  And we told Nathan he could have it only if he un-buttoned a shirt and buttoned a shirt all by himself. 

Last night he un-buttoned his shirt before bed.  He did it pretty quick and it seemed to bolster his confidence.  We reminded him again about our favorite word in this household.  Perseverance.  This morning I pulled a shirt with buttons out of his closet.  "Button this shirt and the game is yours," I said. 

Nathan's response?  "Mom!  That is a Sunday shirt.  You wear those shirts on Sunday.  Today is Monday.  I can't wear it."

"But Nathan, it's the only shirt you have with buttons and you want to win the game right?"

He looked at me for a while, even shook his head a little. I think he needed a moment to convince himself it was all right to wear a "Sunday shirt" on a Monday.  Finally, "All right.  I'll wear it."

I left him alone because it's hard enough to fail but even harder with someone watching you.  I went to the bathroom to do my hair and brush my teeth.  A good ten minutes or more passed until finally I heard a victory yell from the living room!

"Mom!  I did it!  I buttoned it all by myself.  Where is my game?"

He was proud of himself and grinning ear to ear.  I was so proud of him.  Progress!  I sent him down to where Chris had already started work and Chris congratulated him and made a big deal.  We reminded Nathan about perseverance. 

I gave him the game and he played it for about thirty minutes. 

I know some may read this and think, "I didn't just read this whole blog about a button right?"  I know to some it may seem trivial but today was a victory in this household!  Today my son buttoned five buttons!  He did not scream or yell.  He did not cry.  He did not cover his ears and hide in his room.  He just did it!

Some may say, "Yeah, but you bribed him."

And I say, "So what?"

Do you know how long this has been a struggle in this house?

I'm not saying he won't ever fight us again on doing the buttons but today he proved with a little bit of extra time he CAN do it!  I am sure he will speed it up with more practice too. 

Let me end this by mentioning something besides buttons.

Please continue to pray for our friend's the Love family.  They have scans today and we all praying a miracle!
Please continue to support them and ask your friends to support them. 

Check out the following links and thank you all who have joined together to pray for this courageous little boy and his family.  If you think for one moment today about complaining think also of the family who keeps vigil around a four year old little boy and who are cherishing every moment with him.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Battle of the Button

What’s New?

Where do I even start?

Nathan’s testing through the school is now complete. He qualified for both Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT). Strangely enough the psychologist said that even though she has no doubt that Nathan does have Aspergers she can not diagnose him with Aspergers.

The reason? Apparently since she is a school psychologist and Nathan’s Aspergers DOES NOT interfere with his ability to learn new information she can not give him the diagnosis and he is not eligible for special education. This also means they do not have to give his information to Nathan’s poor teacher.

So our next step is??? MORE TESTING! We are going through Creative Services. Here is a link but it doesn’t give much information.

Basically they will be able to give him a medical diagnosis of Aspergers that will be attached to him for the rest of his life. Not sure how I feel about that. But in doing this he will be given more opportunities. They can continue to offer him social skills groups, coping support, and even support for Chris and I to know how to deal with some of his oddities or frustrations.

This will take months to complete.

Currently, Nathan did well with his Occupational Therapy today. It’s very funny to watch him interact with his therapist. At one point, while cutting out pieces to make a leprechaun, he asked his OT why she cut out the leprechaun’s arms and not him. She responded, “The arms were hard to cut out so I went ahead and did it.”

Nathan asked, “Well, how hard was it? Super hard?”
Her response was, “Let’s just say there probably wouldn’t have been much of an arm left if I hadn’t done it.”

I laughed. Nathan is getting better with scissors but he does still hack things to pieces most of the time.

This weekend was…..interesting…

Nathan is supposed to be learning to button things. It’s a real struggle for him since his fingers just don’t have the dexterity they need. But he is supposed to be learning and practicing. So Sunday morning we asked him to do ONE button and we would do the rest.

This turned into an absolute battle royal. Complete with tears, Nathan shrieking and running around making his odd noises, and a twenty battle of the button. In the end we got him to do the one button but let me tell you, a five year old freaking out over doing one button was just crazy.

Chris asked him why it upset him so much to do the button and Nathan yelled, “Because it’s too hard!”

Sadly, that is how Nathan approaches any challenge. He gets agitated and gives up very easily and complains that it’s too hard. The more agitated he gets the more things escalate with him.

We were also an hour late for church because we forgot to change our clocks! 
The rest of our week is packed full! Today was Super Stars and OT. Tomorrow Ladies’ Meeting and Nana and Rose coming for lunch. Wednesday a play date. Thursday he has social group. Friday he has Theraplay. Tired yet?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

No Time

Poem I wrote in 2004
No Time

I hurry to be about my day,

No time to read, no time to pray.

I need to dress, I need to eat;

No time for fellowship so sweet.

Off to work! I’m running late!

No time on Thee to meditate.

I need my rest, I need my sleep;

No time to devote myself to His keep.

Is it so easy to forget Thee, Lord?

Always no time I can afford?

Is it not You who has made time?

“Your life is like a vapor,” You chime.

“It is I who clothes the lilies of the field.”

Yet my heart will I not yield?

Grant me Lord that I may see

That it’s You whose given time to me.

Day by day I must turn to You,

Leaning and relying on the One who’s True.

Thank you Lord, for another day

When I can read and even pray.

Help me continue to look to You

So my heart, You may renew.

I hurry to go about my day;

But first I’ll read and yes, I’ll pray.

I need to dress, I need to eat,

But first I need fellowship so sweet.

I’m off to work, I’m not so late,

My heart He’s begun to saturate.

My day must first begin with You,

The One’s who’s love me through and through.

Written 2004

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Through the Fire

God promises He will not burden us with more than we can take. I think it would be better described as not giving us more than we can take with Him helping us. Alone, I am weak and unable. Alone, I often fail and falter. Alone, I stumble in the dark. God promises to see us through.

Some examples?

How about in the book of Daniel when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego took a stand in serving God and God alone? They refused to bow to an idol knowing they were to worship only the true and living God. The king sent them to the fiery furnace. A furnace so hot it killed the men around it. What were these three men thinking as they stood on the brink of death? Did they want God to deliver them and save them from the furnace? Did their hope diminish as they edged closer and closer to the flames?

God could have saved them from the fire but instead He saved them through the fire. Were they afraid as they went into the flames? Did their hearts nearly faint awaiting a painful death? But then to the amazement of everyone around they looked and the men were in the furnace but they were not burning. Even more shocking to all who watched was that a fourth man was in the furnace with them. They were never, not even for one minute, alone. God saved them through the fire. What did this angel of the Lord say to the men as they stood with the fires raging around them? Did he speak words of comfort and peace and salvation or were they content to be merely in the angel’s presence?

I also think of Jairus and his daughter. Jairus sought Jesus and asked him to save his dying daughter. Jesus agreed but along the way an old woman touched the hem of Jesus’ clothes and she was healed. Jesus stopped to find who touched him. How do you think Jairus felt at that moment? How would you feel with each desperate step knowing your child was dying back at home and the man who could save her had stopped to talk to an old woman? I know how I would have felt. I would have been desperate. I would have wanted to rush the Lord and beg him to hurry and to leave the old woman.

Jesus knew Jairus’ despair and urgency and then someone comes to tell Jairus to leave Jesus alone because it’s too late. His daughter has died. Jesus tells Jairus, “Be not afraid, only believe.” It took belief for Jairus to go to Jesus and belief to lead Jesus towards his home where his daughter was dying and now Jesus says, “Don’t stop believing!” When everything seemed hopeless and lost Jesus encourages him.

The remainder of the journey to Jairus’ house must have been filled with a wide arrange of emotions. Did Jairus even once wonder if they would have made it in time if people hadn’t been crowding Jesus? What if the old woman hadn’t stopped them? Had he spent his daughter’s last hours on earth searching for Jesus instead of being by the girl’s side? I can only guess as the Bible doesn’t specifically tell us.

Jesus gets to Jairus’ house and people are wailing and making much “ado.” When Jesus says, “The little girl is only sleeping,” the people laugh at him. Jesus then puts everyone out except the parents. He will not allow those who were full of disbelief to now witness his miracle. He was not there to “show off” what He could do.

Jesus then raises the girl from the dead.

Jesus could have healed the girl from afar. He could have ignored the old woman or asked the crowd to move so He could have healed her before she died. So why the delay? Jesus often meets us in our moments of greatest need when all hope seems to be lost and when despair threatens to consume us.

God never promised we would walk the easy road but He did promise to be with us through the fire, through the despair, and through all life might throw at us. We are never alone. The same God who calmed the storm is the same one who will calm our hearts when we are afraid.

“Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

2 When you pass through the waters,

I will be with you;

and when you pass through the rivers,

they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire,

you will not be burned.

Isaiah 43:2