Thursday, August 18, 2005

I am on leave of absence from work!

AND it has been great. I am off work officially till November 14th. FINALLY time to rest, recover, be an advocate full time for Noah, get things done around the house, just do all the things (MAINLY for Noah) that I have just not had time to do. Setting up all his therapies after all his evaluations can take immense time. AND doing the therapies here at home. Trying to find FUNDING for his therapies that our insurance will not cover is exhausting. Getting all the paperwork together and copied and printed off and in order and sent is time consuming. Working with him all the time on little things over and over and over and over and over till it is just so exhausting as he just doesn't always "get it".

SO...I put in for FMLA (family medical leave) and got it. I knew I would as my own doctor told me months ago I should take off work for awhile. has been so odd not having tapes sitting around just waiting for me to work on or constantly reminding me they needed completed. WHAT A NEW concept for me to get up but then be able to lay back down and SLEEP IN! Today I slept in till 8:45 a.m.! THE LONGEST IN YEARS I have been able to do that! TO KNOW I do NOT have ANY WORK WORK to do has been so WELCOME!!! I can take time to read. Watch a movie. JUST REST!

AND it could not have come at a better time. Noah has regressed a bit in some areas so we will really have to work hard on those areas to bring him back up to where he had been. For example just getting him dressed every morning is a chore. AND having him brush his teeth or hair. Having him bath at least 1-2 times per week is another huge episode. AND now for some reason he is not wanting to POOP in the toilet again. He tries to hold it and hold it...saying he only wants to pee in the toilet. I have explained how the body works and he knows what he should do. However, getting him to do it and then consistently is a chore! NOW he does not completely soil his pants....but today it was a larger mess than it has been in a long long time. WHEN asked WHY (a concept he does not grasp at all)...he said he did not know. He cannot explain it other than to tell me he wants to keep playing his video games and record with his camera and apparently NOT stop!

SO....we worked on this today. When he soiled himself we got him cleaned up and then I said it was BATH TIME. He reluctantly cried but went in and we got that done...and his hair washed and trimmed afterwards and his toe nails trimmed. ALL chores as he has phobias or uneasiness around the hair dryer, toe nail trimmers, and apparently WATER now! We got that done and I told him we needed to make a "social story" ....about what he should do next time he was playing but had to go to the bathroom to "poop". I gave him a pad of art paper and some stickers and pencils and told him we needed to put down on the pad what he should do next time and then all the time. We found a picture of a computer and drew an arrow to the word POOP and then another arrow to a starting flag like they use on car races...(WHICH MEANS GO) and then an arrow to a toilet. He seemed to grasp all this pretty well and we went over it several times. We then hung it in his room by his computer.

(He just called out and said he made it in time. YEAH! He went to the bathroom and actually WENT IN the toilet!!)

AND Noah does not SIT on a toilet like most do. He PERCHES on it with his feet on the seat like a little bird. I am not sure WHY he does this but I have told him and told him to SIT DOWN on the seat and not PERCH. He could fall or his feet end up in the toilet. What a nightmare that could be especially if his feet got stuck! He only does this at home thank goodness but still! Yesterday we all went to the grocery store. While in the dairy section and getting Noah some Pillsbury chocolate chip cookies he went to the end of the aisle and looked in the reflective part of the shelf and SPIT! Keith and I just looked at each other in disbelief! We have never seen him do that before. We have heard from former teachers that he will spit and while we have seen him spit on occasion here at home we have never seen him do it in public or around other people. Here was a man at Safeway stocking the shelves and my little angel boy putting his mouth as close to the mirror reflection of him as he could get and SPITTING! Keith proceeded to get out his hankerchief (sp?) and wipe it off right away. Thank goodness the stock clerk did not see it. AND when asked WHY he did it Noah could not offer any explanation. He just does not understand WHY at all. Sometimes when he is scolded he will laugh or smile. He does not realize those are times you are to be sad or serious. ALL parts of autistic spectrum disorder and all things he will magically have to learn to be socially acceptable in our world!

I mean he also likes to go up and smell people. NOW he has to learn he just cannot go up and smell people! SO difficult to explain to someone who does not understand WHY he cannot or should not do something. AND while he cannot grasp simple social cues and skills this is a child who can design homes on our computer! He can figure out any computer software program there is. We do not have to offer any instructions. This is a child who can read very very well and loves it. This is a child with a great memory. OFF the charts memory! AND yet he cannot grasp social things like this at all. Constant repetition and directing and prompts. Every day...all throughout the day....over and over and over again.

AND on top of this is his not wanting to go anywhere or be around other people. I am hoping he is slowly getting over this a bit at least. He says it is too loud or too many people and too noisy and it really hurts his ears and bothers him. MANY times when he used to want to go places all the he will say he wants to stay home. IF we can coax him in the car to go along...many times we then cannot get him OUT of the car to actually make it into a store. So...the time off right try to rebuild and structure a routine for him will be good. AND home schooling is just around the corner!

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