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Adjusting expectations

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    #16
    Re: Adjusting expectations

    Legacy Behavior in Parker. We had to travel, but it was worth it. Quick turn around on appointment times and a variety of specialists on staff.
    Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

    DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
    DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
    DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

    We've completed:
    Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
    Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

    Comment


      #17
      Re: Adjusting expectations

      Originally posted by Colomama View Post
      We're plodding along. Like SusanP said, this is definitely a valley. And honestly, I'm tired of hiking in the shadows. I'm ready for a glimpse of the view. Valleys suck.

      Today was very very hard. He insisted he could do math, but then was disruptive because he needed my help RIGHT NOW to figure out what to do. And we're repeating grade 2 math from last year.

      Since mid October he has completed 7 math lessons. 7! We are on week 4 of SC1 spelling and he scored a 75% on this weeks test. He missed 'was' and 'Oh!'. He loves cursive and is on 'L' in Cursive 2. For writing we've made it to Paul Revere, Boston Patriot. He copied the story beautifully and without complaint earlier in the week. I haven't seen him give anything that much attention before. He's doing classic core grade 2 lit and doing the majority of the workbook. He's completed the third chapter of Sarah Noble, but I can tell he's pretty much at his limit.

      We had cub scouts this evening. I'm his Webelo den leader. The other leader in charge of the five younger level scouts (we all meet at the same time because our pack is so small) texted 15 minutes before the meeting start time to say he couldn't make it. So, on the fly I had 5 kids to entertain / teach for an hour an a half. It's like having an entire pack of my son's. We've had three consecutive meetings of poor behavior from everyone. So, I started the meeting with a discussion of very clear consequences for disrespect or misbehavior. The first one to sit out? My son. He didn't even make it past the opening activity. He was furious he didn't win the kangaroo hop race. On his way to sitting quietly, he attacked his sister and popped her balloon. For that, I sent him home. (The agreed upon consequence for two misbehaviors). We live right across the street from church. He stomped, kicked, and cursed the whole way out of the building. He fell in the snow on the way home and lost it even more. His dad came home and sent him right back to scouts. Within 20 minutes he had kicked a boy in the face. I think it was accidental, they were wrestling over tape (more misbehavior). Either way, tears and more chaos ensued. I sent one other boy to the quiet zone during the meeting and he was so angry he refused to participate afterwards. I cut the meeting 40 minutes short and sent everyone home.

      I'm just done. Done with aggression. Done with disrespect. Done with avoiding schoolwork. Done.

      And in the middle of this my two girls get lost. My younger pleads to do school, "Mommy if he won't listen, do you have time to do my school?" The 7 year old has been channeling her inner 3 year old for a month now; baby talk, crying tantrums, refusing to dress herself. All of these are clear signs that they're feeling the chaos. So who do you give the attention to? The older one that desperately needs to get some school progress made, but pushes back and avoids / hides during school? Is that just feeding his aggression and misbehavior? Or do I ignore his nonsense and give attention to the girls, who are clearly feeling neglected?

      I haven't scheduled his autism assessment. With another surgery looming in the near future, its hard to justify spending the money on a piece of paper from the doctor. A diagnosis wont change anything. There's no services available for him here.

      On another note, a local mom pulled me aside and recommended I have my son tested for Irlen Syndrome. Anyone heard of it? It seems to encompass a lot of his symptoms, but it might just be another rabbit trail in the chaos.

      I plan on doing the hernia repeat surgery in mid-January. A further complication has arose. The internal stitches have broken loose and are now trying to exit out my navel. Yeah, seriously. The surgeon said I may not make it to mid-January, the stitches may actually break through my skin and require emergency removal. The thought makes my skin crawl.

      Did I mention valleys suck?
      I am really sorry that all of this is going on. I have been trying to think of positive advice to give you now for over an hour. I guess all I can say is that I completely understand the being done. I also completely understand the other child begging for school. I read somewhere that the silent heroes of the fight when you have a special needs child are the other children. Stella has to convince Clara to put on shoes or a coat to leave the house, and I feel terrible putting her in that position, just as I feel terrible for not spending enough time with her on her writing. I think you are kind of saying the same thing. You love these little girls, too.

      I have had 2 open-heart surgeries and 2 c-sections. Stitches are always a real problem. When I had my second open heart surgery at 19 my stitches were coming open and it took 4 certified medical doctors to figure out how to put my bra on without having to detach any of the life supporting machines I was on in intensive care. They had to get one on because the weight of my slightly larger than normal, but certainly not excessively large, breasts was pulling the stitches out of my chest. One of my best friends had a baby last March via c-section and it took about 4 months for her stitches to heal. Her medical team thought that she might have needed to have them removed in an emergency, but she did make it through and is fine now. I cannot remember where you are, but she is now in Fraser, so if you are close I would be happy to connect you. I do not know how to send you a message other than on the forum, but since I am a real estate agent my email is available to everyone in the world: jejegreer@comcast.net. I will pray for you tonight.
      JeJe Greer
      Mom to:
      Stella (8M with 9th grade literature, writing, and Henle Latin)
      Clara (Combination of SC 5/6 and 4th New User)

      Comment


        #18
        Re: Adjusting expectations

        I'm so sorry.

        Please do two things:
        1. Heal your body.
        Disclose to whomever you need to, e.g., the other scout leader, that you're having health issues that will not be resolved until at least late January and must step aside till then. Pare away to the things truly needful -- church, your homeschooling, your family, your own refreshment -- and let someone else step up for now.

        2. Heal your son.
        He needs help. This might be in the form of medication. It might be ABA-type intervention, a behavior specialist, or a combination. He reminds me of two boys in our scout den long ago: one was my son, who began medication and continued in his formative classical education. The other loved nature hikes and collecting turtles but had untreated rages and continued cursing, fighting, melting down with no intervention, month after month, year after year. Soon he was expelled from scouts and his private Catholic school. He landed in the public school by fifth grade, where he fell into a "bad crowd," deteriorated well into high school and, now, beyond. His quiet sister suffered mightily, as did his parents.

        By contrast, low-dose medication and a formative education, by God's mercy, allowed our son to remain not only in scouts through Life Scout, but also to remain in our home school and in our family.

        Seek help for your son now from the pediatrician or from someone who recently evaluated him. Aggression, agitation, and meltdowns are all very common in boys on the spectrum at your son's age. They can be very commonly treated to avoid habituation of those maladaptive behavior patterns that can become entrenched over time. If someone local thinks a low dose of something targeting this can help, and/or knows of an intensive behavioral intervention to do the same, consider pursuing this asap. Consider it for him, for your girls, for yourself, and for your marriage, which is and needs to be the heart and core of your family.

        Praying for you. We love you and want you to get better! We also love your little guy who is learning to admire Paul Revere, and who is now reading and writing about real literature!

        Don't give up. We're with you through this intensely tough time that can become a turning point of finding solutions, if only from desperation, as my own family has found many times. Our doctor knows that when I call for him to consider a small medication increase, it is because we have hit an unrelenting wall of irrationality, agitation, or aggression -- with either child -- and the doctor knows he can help. Within 2-3 days, we see glimpses of calm reason return, and within 3 weeks we see cheerfulness again. Every time.

        My dear daughter is struggling mightily this week, and when she argued irrationally, weeping, glaring at me multiple days in a row with that dark, angry, otherworldly stare, I knew it was time again. So not only did she begin a course of SC Writing One with A Child's Garden ..., one full lesson per day, but I also promised myself that I would call her good doctor today.

        This is not the choice for everybody, but when you said "cursing," I immediately thought of that little neighbor boy who loved turtles. I pray you find help soon. And that your body heals fully.

        Comment


          #19
          Re: Adjusting expectations

          Michelle,

          I have been thinking on this thread for a while now. My heart goes out to you.

          As a parent/teacher/person you do reach a point where you have given all you can. That may be where you are. I am so sorry.

          My oldest has outburst/aggression at times too. It is so exhausting. If you need to put some of his education on the back-burner while you get a handle on his emotional state and your physical health - do it! Do not feel one iota of guilt. Not one little tiny bit! Take an early, extended Christmas. Whatever you need.

          Definitely look into medications to help with mood and overall emotional state. Take care of yourself! Unless you are healthy, you can't give your children what they need.

          For your other children, I struggle with this too. My daughter often feels crunched in the middle. I don't know if you can have a set time (or amount of time) that you work with your girls or maybe you can have non-preferred things for you son to do when he won't do what he is supposed to do during school time (so that you aren't rewarding poor behavior). Or maybe he's allowed to do your choice or be in his room alone. Something like that.

          I have read a tiny bit about Irelen system during our Barton time. Something about using colored paper. I don't know enough to be helpful. I likely wouldn't pursue a diagnosis but might try to see if colored paper or other inexpensive, relatively easy things make a difference to know if it is potentially helpful. One thing that was helpful for A with sight words was pictoral clues and a sentence that helped cement to picture in his mind was helpful. Here is an example, but there are others. http://www.seetospell.com/store/products/

          Anyways, I am praying for you through this difficult time.
          Susan

          2020-21
          A (12) - Simply Classical 5/6
          C (11) - Simply Classical 5/6
          G (7) - Simply Classical 1

          Comment


            #20
            Re: Adjusting expectations

            Today was better. We were totally done with school by lunch. As in all 3 kids in 3 cores checked EVERY box within 3 hours.

            I also scheduled my surgery for January 22.

            And I made the decision to continue with the autism diagnosis. It needs to be done. No question. That is scheduled for the week before my surgery.

            And we have a follow-up child psych appointment Jan 11. It will be tele medicine which was an absolute disaster last time, but she sees him in all his ugliness.

            Jan will be crazy busy, but hopefully lead to some answers.

            THanks for the kick in the butt to get this done.
            Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

            DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
            DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
            DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

            We've completed:
            Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
            Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

            Comment


              #21
              Re: Adjusting expectations

              Originally posted by Colomama View Post
              Today was better. We were totally done with school by lunch. As in all 3 kids in 3 cores checked EVERY box within 3 hours.

              I also scheduled my surgery for January 22.

              And I made the decision to continue with the autism diagnosis. It needs to be done. No question. That is scheduled for the week before my surgery.

              And we have a follow-up child psych appointment Jan 11. It will be tele medicine which was an absolute disaster last time, but she sees him in all his ugliness.

              Jan will be crazy busy, but hopefully lead to some answers.

              Thanks for the kick in the butt to get this done.
              Sometimes we need it!

              You’re not slacking here — this is HEROIC work. Keep an eternal perspective in mind. Do what’s best for his soul, your younger children’s souls — and yours. You need help. I know that means pushing harder when you have ZERO time and energy for anything extra. That’s why I call it heroic. You’re going beyond what most people would consider their limit. And you’re doing it multiple times a week — ha! multiple times a day! So acknowledge that. Relax accordingly in the quiet spaces of the day. I know this has been a loooooong season (ask me how I know). But it’s not forever. It’s just for right now. One day at a time. You’ll find your peace. Sit awhile, walk awhile, sit while, sprint awhile, sit awhile, walk awhile. As long as you keep getting up, you’re getting somewhere.

              Big hugs.
              Boy Wonder: 12, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
              Joy Bubble: 10, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
              Snuggly Cowboy: 8, Seton and MP Electives
              The Comedian: 4, Seton/MP Pre-K, though she’ll probably zoom through that in a week.

              “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
              ~Pope St John Paul II

              Comment


                #22
                Re: Adjusting expectations

                Originally posted by Colomama View Post
                Today was better. We were totally done with school by lunch. As in all 3 kids in 3 cores checked EVERY box within 3 hours.

                I also scheduled my surgery for January 22.

                And I made the decision to continue with the autism diagnosis. It needs to be done. No question. That is scheduled for the week before my surgery.

                And we have a follow-up child psych appointment Jan 11. It will be tele medicine which was an absolute disaster last time, but she sees him in all his ugliness.

                Jan will be crazy busy, but hopefully lead to some answers.

                THanks for the kick in the butt to get this done.

                All good to hear. Thanks for the update. Continued prayer through December & January --

                Comment

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