Tuesday, November 27, 2012

ATTENTION TEACHERS

IEP ACCOMMODATIONS ARE NOT OPTIONAL.

YOU DO NOT GET TO CHOOSE WHICH ONES YOU WILL DO AND WHICH YOU WON'T.

IF YOU GET SOMETHING THAT SAYS A STUDENT HAS AN IEP AND REQUIRES ACCOMMODATIONS THAT MEANS THAT STUDENT HAS ACCOMMODATIONS FOR A (BLANKING) REASON!!

EVEN IF YOU AREN'T CHOSEN TO BE ON SAID STUDENTS IEP TEAM; THAT MEANS GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR __________ AND USE THE ACCOMMODATIONS LISTED. (FYI - it is a legal and binding document and if the parents don't hire legal counsel to deal with the school when you don't use the students IEP it that doesn't mean that the parents don't want to hire counsel.)

USING THE IEP MAKES AN EASIER TIME FOR YOU, HIGHER TEST SCORES AND YOU MAY LEARN THAT A SPECIAL ED STUDENT WILL BE THE BEST ONE YOU HAVE EVER HAD.

Oh and before I forget your union will protect you. We know that. Which is why most of us will refuse to vote for your raises and referendums.

Phew, just sayin' after recent experiences.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

juice glasses

Do you remember the juice glasses? You know the ones, that were from the Welch's jelly? They were little, cute and extremely collectible. The Muppets were on some, or some funny cartoons, Archie, Josie and the Pussycats, Veronica, Betty, these were fun and they were very cool.
Everyone had at least one in their kitchen as a kid.
My Mom had several, mainly for my Dad and I. She always wanted us to use the juice glasses for juice. I don't remember doing so but feeling like I had completed a double dare by not using the correct glass for whatever I was drinking.
That was back when there were the juice glasses, the milk glasses, and the water glasses (the largest ones).

Essentially I was learning economy in my Mom's kitchen. Unlike my siblings, there wasn't a whole lotta cooking going on when I was a kid. My brother was in grad school and my sisters moved out, well I say I was 5, but maybe by the time I was 8. I really don't remember them being at home. By the time my brother moved out dinner was at a banquet hall where my dad was networking or I ate at home where used those Lipton rice things and ate an entire packet.....even then cooking was not my thing.

The juice glasses were a lesson in life in a weird sort of way. My Mom was teaching me to not drink all the orange juice. She also didn't like us drinking from the container.....I know my Dad and I did that more than we should have.

Right now we are teaching the boy to economize. He is learning that drinking all the orange juice is going to make him rather unpopular in the family. Last year he learned not to drink all the peppermint soy milk, being personally responsible went far with him. It took him a LONG time to earn back all the $$ he payed out to me to replace what he took. I am still holding him responsible for his behavior. Maybe if more parents did that their kids wouldn't be as messed up as they are.

The funny (not funny Ha-Ha) thing is, people thought I went to far with that punishment (recently I was called "f------- psychotic"). In lieu of that punishment, the boy still banged back about 10 lbs of expensive chocolates this summer (at $15.00 a pound he will be lucky to ever see me buying that kind of candy again). He can be a little berk. And yes I may be a little nuts about stuff like that but let me tell you being responsible, considerate and respectful goes a long way. In a family unit.....not taking what is for everyone is being considerate.
I can still remember asking my Mom if I could eat or have the last Matt's Cookie, or the last drink of juice in the fridge. I was taught that you ASK if someone else wants the last one BEFORE you take it. The boy leaving 5 chocolates, or enough for one glass of juice then going off about being tempted to take whatever it was is a load of horse caca.

Being polite and personally responsible for your behavior goes a long way at home and at a job. Making my son be responsible is a big deal. Maybe the person who thinks I am nuts had never been responsible for themselves ever. Blaming other people or not being responsible is what I know my son does. Regularly. His inability to control his compulsions is what gets his sorry butt into trouble most of the time. That and his mouth.....his, "what did i do?" whine really doesn't get very far when the cuter half and I have been informed we are "terrible excuses for parents." or "we are pathetic and mean." Normally that is when I am out the door and either hiding somewhere- many times in the car listening to the radio or as I did on Thanksgiving, sitting on the porch swing and watching the rain come in over the fields.

Half the time I don't think that the boy realizes what he is saying. He doesn't use the brains God gave him to think that being unkind or cruel is going to have an effect of some sort. To him it is just words. He still doesn't realize the effect his words have on others. Which goes back to him being personally responsible.
Whether it be the juice, peppermint soy milk or $15.00 a pound chocolates, or his words....or my questionable (at best) use of language (as aforementioned I can curse with the best of them).
The boy has a ways to go, people tell us he will get there. I hope so. The cuter half and I are about wore out....

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

chocolates and thorns

Things with the boy either go really really good or not so much.

Right now we are dealing with the chocolates part which depending on how you think that might be a pretty good place to be.

We are dealing with a class at school that forces the boy to think outside the aspie box. He has to read, infer and correlate materials in this lit class to fit in with what is going on. After discussion with his teacher I started going thru the assignment. I can see why he doesn't get it....some of the terms have NEVER come up for him before.

Really before you can explain to him how to do the work getting the definitions is a must.

I have scribbled, made notes discusssed materials and have talked about why this is important. We are looking at the beginings of journalism....using terms like "Libel", "Muckracker", "Mass Media" "Penny Newspapers"

There are more.

It made me realize how few people actually look outside themselves. It is so comfortable to think that there are no people who are disabled, elderly, or living differently than we do. It is easy.
Then when you are sitting there trying to explain to your kid why certain papers are more conservative, or liberal or whatever it makes things more complicated....and that goes back to why he didn't understand what was going on.

I guess we could say we are in the "chocolate" part of life right now.

I dk. I got home from work today and fell asleep on the couch with Trouble.....he sat and purred so pretty....hard not to fall asleep with that going on. I don't think we are in an easy bit at all. there are too many other things going on... the cuter half and i have enough stress to last us for years.

Nah, won't mention it here.
Maybe later.

Friday, November 16, 2012

credit cards and charity

Its lovely to be generous. People look at generous people and think that they are wonderful.
Bill Gates, Oprah, Sergy Binn, there are more. Look at the Philanthropy 50

We get a TON of offers for the boy to save the planet and order their crap.

"Order this and get a FREE gift."
Yeah, I'll order whatever it is.....it's good to help the less fortunate. (we are trying to train for DISCERNMENT- not look at the gift I get to have)

We are trying to train the boy otherwise. Being generous, making absurd generous offers isn't being nice, it make you sound like an utter moron. Most people don't realize that people like the boy and the elderly are taken advantage of by disreputable (and some reputable) charities.
We are seeing this very dangerous potential in our home. It is time for some discernment but it is also time for the lessons in Common Sense.

We are telling the boy to only support what he can see. For example, his church, his school, his environment.....that is where he should keep his charity....for now. I think using a group called Charity Watch should help-

Getting the junk mail- we are getting we are getting really good at removing his name, our name and any variations from junk mail lists.

Take a look at these links if you are concerned
http://www.bbb.org/us/Charity-Direct-Mail/

http://www.charitywatch.org/articles/seventips.html

https://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs4-junk.htm

You don't HAVE to support what you don't know. It doesn't make you less of a person. It's your money and it is your right to be picky. YOU get to pick where your money goes and which groups you think meet up with YOUR expectations.

Help the people that need it....go to the Gideons, The American Red Cross, local shelters and childrens home and give your donations there.....volunteer, do your thing. Make your time and money count.
Don't donate if you don't know WHO you are sending money to. What a waste that  you can't discuss what donations you have sent.
THIS is what we talk to the boy about. Stuff like this makes up about 90% of our recyling. Save a tree, get off a snail mail list.

A basic resource to help figure out the donation process:
  • 1. Determine how much you want to donate annually. Meet with an accountant or tax preparer to identify an appropriate amount for your personal financial  situation.
  • 2. Decide whether you want to donate to just one charity or to multiple charities.
  • 3. Contact the charities and ask them to provide you with information about the donation process.
  • 4. Determine, with your accountant or tax preparer, the optimal time to donate the money or property.
  • 5. Give your donation.
  • 6. Ask for a receipt that details your donation.
  • 7. Keep records of the value of any property you donate.


  • Read more: How to Donate Money to Charity | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2809_donate-money-charity.html#ixzz2CRQxlq3q

    Sunday, November 11, 2012

    Burn-out

    Having a bit of burnout? this is a common problem of parents and some teachers in a theraputic day school situation.
    Most parents of a special needs child or parents like us, of an aspie, are completely wiped out. Most of the time we don't qualify for community assistance nor are we able to do what we want to do to get a bit of a break.
    These lists are some suggestions- mostly this is for a person doing caring of a dementia pateint or a home carer. Much of this is applicable to a family of an aspergers student.
    Ten Ways to HELP a Caregiver

    Want to help a friend or relative who is a caregiver? Here's a few ideas to help you get started:

    (1.) Call the caregiver on a regular basis to find out how he or she is doing. Listen with an open heart--and a non-judgmental ear. You don't have to solve the problems--just listening is the best help you can offer.
    (2.) Volunteer to stay with the care recipient one evening or afternoon a week, every other week, or every month--whatever you can offer. Encourage the caregiver to enjoy the break--and not worry about you or the care recipient.
    (3.) Send a note expressing your love and admiration for the family caregiver.
    (4.) Encourage the family caregiver to keep up their own interests and hobbies--and help them find the time needed to do so. Often, family caregivers feel that they've lost themselves, that their own personalities somehow got "fuzzy" or out-of-focus. Ensuring a family caregiver has the time and support to pursue their own interests fights off the "fuzzies".
    (5.) Lessen the caregiver's load by running errands when you can. Offer to pick up groceries, medications, whatever the caregiver needs.
    (6.) Call the caregiver and say, "Don't worry about dinner. I'll bring it over at 5:00." It doesn't have to be fancy. It just has to be from you.
    (7.) Be a library runner. Ask the caregiver what books/videos/dvds he or she would like from the library. A good book or great movie can be a refreshing break for a caregiver.
    (8.) Offer to make phone calls on behalf of the family caregiver to make appointments that can help.
    (9.) Stop for a visit--with the family caregiver and the care recipient.
    (10.) If asked to- share a HUG! Caregivers give so much of themselves--they need regular "hug replacements".
    The top 10 needs of family caregivers
    1.] Moral support
    2.] Help with feelings of resentment and guilt- not yours- the caregivers...for not doing enough and not trying harder.
    3.] Help with dealing with the caregivers and the patient's feelings of loneliness and depression
    4.] Listen about the patient's diagnosis and prognosis
    5.] Respite care. A break from caregiving
    6.] Diet and nutrition -bring apples, fruit or ask what a favorite fruit is and drop some off.
    7.] Talk about IEPs or legal information the caregiver might have.
    8.] Help with housekeeping, cooking, and house and lawn maintenance
    9.] Spiritual comfort - Most caregivers have little contact with churches or feel comfortable at a church....don't lecture...be supportive.
    10.] The promise that someone else cares about and supports their caregiving work
    The 7 signs of caregiver burnout
    1.] Not eating properly
    2.] Becoming more emotional
    3.] Feeling overwhelmed
    4.] Starting to withdraw
    5.] Interacting less with peers
    6.] Having less mental focus at work
    7.] Having a disheveled unkept appearance

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

    Parents of a special needs child

    who do not admit to being depressed or feelings of depression are lying to you.

    There are times when life sucks.
    Really blows.
    Totally is in the pooper.

    Just remember how hard things are for these parents and tread carefully.
    Most of these parents are exhausted. Depression just adds on to it. It isn't just the kids who know they are different that are depressed.

    Most likely the parents are depressed too.



    Sunday, November 4, 2012

    Favorite phrases and definitions

    "I model silent reading on Tuesdays and Thursdays."= this means that she reads a book silently in front of a class of about 20 students to show them what quiet reading looks like.
    Are you serious? Please..... This one was obviously a tenured teacher. No one else could have gotten away with it.

    "C-A-T, cat; T-V, TV, A-N-D, and; these are your spelling words this week" = our son was at a sophomore in HS reading level in 6th grade until he went to a gen school and dropped down to a 2nd grade reading level in a matter of weeks. This was a special ed class taught by a special ed teacher; we got him out of that nightmare. She got back at us though by making up lies about our kid at a transition meeting to HS.

    "No, you can't have this accomodation it isn't in your IEP. You have to ignore the test being read in the back of the classroom." = SO WHAT? It is being read anyway just let them listen to it. What, you are gonna give them earplugs? Give me a break.

    "No, you can't have copies of my notes. I don't have any."= same class where the teacher used the wrong book, and the articles never matched up to the questions on the following page.

    "A special ed "A" isn't really an "A"." = school principal said this one.....so what is it then?

    "He compliments girls and they don't like it. He shouldn't be talking to girls."= OK, so now he doesn't but he doesn't know who to talk to so what do we do now?

    Other favorite phrases coming from home or reading materials:

    Would've. Should've and Could've don't mean anything."

    "I am so tired my mascara is itchy"

    "Think only of the past as its rememberance gives you pleasure."- Elizabeth Bennet

    "The greatest gifts are a steadfast soul and a steady heart."-Peacock Feathers

    "If you want me you can find me, left of center, wondering about you."- Suzanne Vega

    "It's not what someone is born but what they grow to be" -Prof. Dumbledore

    ."Second- his parents don't put up with crap. None of it."

    "UGLY live up on the inside. Ugly be a hurtful mean person. Is you one a them peoples?"- Constantine, in The Help



    Saturday, November 3, 2012

    Saving the planet

    Tonight we were at Whole Foods.

    This is where many of the "save the earth", "buy organic", ONLY eat real food types of people go. We shop there sporadically. Usually for vitamins and for my guilty addiction to peppermint soy milk.
    Tonight the cuter half and I went to see if peppermint soy milk was at Whole Foods yet. Usually I buy a case of it....and that is enough that if I am generous the boy and the cuter half can have a sip or two of it as well.

    There was something we noticed this evening. For all the holistic, organic save the earth types that were there.....we were the ONLY ones with our reusable bags. I think we brought in about 5 or 6 bags. Normally they will charge us for a box if we buy a case of the soy milk so I thought it would be better just to have our own bags with us.

    Yup, reusable bags.
    You know the ones right...the ugly green ones that are 10 for $.99 after rebate at Menards, or the freebees from the bank, hospital, insurance company or grocery store. Shove the bags in the trunk of your car and then forget you have them.....at least that is what most people do.
    This is a habit, you have to make the effort to REMEMBER that the bags are in the trunk of your car and get them out before you go into the grocery store. Depending on where we are we may bring in 5-6 bags...we may bring more....at Target we bring in about 8 bags. This doesn't mean we are using all these bags....most of the time we may only use 2-4 bags a trip but we figure it is better to over estimate.
    Wash these bags every once in a while, you may have to toss one or two after the dryer but you can recycle them when you are done and get some more bags later- Menards usually has the best deal on them and these are a good size.
    DID you know you can get $.05 a recycleble bag at Target, $.10 at Whole Foods....Trader Joe's will put your name in for a drawing for a gift card depending on how many bags you use....

    Now we do things unprecidented (shocker) and we may use meds on our kid and we may shop at rummage sales but WE USE OUR OWN BAGS.

    People stick their noses up at us when we do but you know what (you should see them at Carsons when we have a coupon or more- the b--- behind me today was more than extremely rude about having to wait to get our coupons right- total cob up her butt that is for sure)....
    We have used reusable bags for several years. We like them. We even got some for my Mom when she had a car. She complained when she gave them back to me. I told her to keep a few but she didn't want to....
    These bags are sturdy, they don't get nasty when it is too hot or too cold....there are even some with lining and zippers for frozen foods and we use them too.

    The hardest part is "teaching"baggers how to bag with them. At our old grocery store we had "Mr. Heavy-Packer" and then the ones who wouldn't want to use the resuable and still put everything in plastic AND then put the stuff in our bags (??) usually we line things up on the check out line HOW we want it bagged and after a few tries the baggers actually almost get it right....most of the time.

    DID you know
    http://www.reusethisbag.com/why.asp
    FACT: About 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year
    FACT: Plastic industry trade associations were unable to provide estimates of plastic bag use in the United States. However, based on studies of plastic bag use in other nations, the environmental group Californians Against Waste estimates Americans use 84 billion plastic bags annually.
    FACT: Last September, more than 354,000 bags -- most of them plastic -- were collected during an international cleanup of costal areas in the United States and 100 other countries, according to the Ocean Conservancy

    This is only a little bit of information. I am thinking if the hoi-paloi would get off their patotties and use the reusable bags there would be a cultural revolution and it could start wtih the snooties at the holistic grocerty store.

    Even the HuffPost did an article about using recyclable bags....this article pointed out that using paper only bags isn't much better than plastic and the only thing that is really good is to go recyclable all the way. Although cute one and I are not there yet we are pretty darn close.

    There are people who bring their own tupperware and rubbermaid to the grocery store for the deli counter. We haven't gone that far.
    We do recycle, we do take our cans to be recycled...

    Several months ago we got new "family cards" and have a new phone number. Rather than have the cards tossed and remade I am taking the time to do this mindless job of writing the new number on the cards that we already have. Nothing else has changed but.....why throw them out. The cards are still good except for the one number. Why waste the paper and if I am sitting there in the family room with nuthin' to do I may as well do that.....

    Going back to the bag thing...
    If you are going to spend the $$ on organic, at least be HONEST and bring your own bags. It looks stupid to be going to a place like Whole Foods, or Trader Joes or the grocery store without your own bags. You can say "Hey I am eating organic and saving the planet" or get off your duff and actually do it....




    Friday, November 2, 2012

    Going back to school.

    Have you ever thought about what goes on in grade schools?

    The cuter half and I were discussing the, well, I will call it a "habit" of special ed parents coming into a mainstream school setting and "explaining" their kids disability.
    From what I remember this was especially common several years back in grade school.

    I have never done it.
    I never needed to.

    I will say that I don't see where it really has helped with compassion towards the disabled student. From what I hear, from the boy, most of the time disabled students are ignored. From what we saw the night at the school play.....it is accurate.

    Which brings the cuter half and I wonder if all those talks to the kids really helped. We don't believe it has. We see the boy, being ignored, but then we also see that he is not given much of a chance to make friends....most schools lump these kids all together and expect them to get along because they are all disabled. The boy's art class last summer was that way.....the teacher and the "aide" put them all in the same table and the boy and another Aspie got into it. the other Aspie was really mean. "I have aspergers too and I don't do what you do, you must be retarded." - the boy was appalled. I was disgusted....what is up with these teachers? Please.

    What I remember hearing aobut when he was in elemetary school  was that a parent would come in, do a bit of a programme and then talk about how the kids had to be nice to the disabled student even if the disabled student was mean because of the disabled students disability.

    I have thought of this as, "I am disabled and you as a society owe me blah blah blah."

    Here we were teaching our kid to be nice, polite, and try hard to be good to others.
    In reality, all I should have done was teach my son how to be self serving, rude and mean spirited. That's kind of harsh, but really what do we do now?

    The boy is having a rough time. He is socially awkward. That is to be expected. However, the compassion that I hear about in other places certainly isn't happening for him where he is. Maybe it is happening and I don't know about it. I certainly am not as connected socially as most of these parents.

    Oddly enough, I was one of those kids, the kid who was with the same group of kids from KINDERGARTEN. These kids and I could almost finish each other sentances. We saw each other every day from Kindergarten thru HS.

    My son had been in at minimum 3 schools by Kindergarten. By the time he hit second grade he was in school number 4.

    He now has several good friends and a couple of acquaintances at school but i wonder what would have happened if we had insisted that he go thru the gen ed school.....
    I guess I am back at the choices thing and how going to a gen school is not a right it is a privilege and should be thougth of as such.
    If you have a kid who can't be in gen ed but works their way out of a theraputic day school your view of the world is much different than those who haven't had to make more of an effort.


    Hmmmmm.