Monday, April 13, 2009

Another Camden Update

Some of you may have been following my saga of Camden and trying to figure out what is causing him to behave so miserably in public and in large groups. Our district preschool enrolled him a few months ago to observe him more. They called me last week to discuss their observations with me. I knew he was struggling, but again, I did not realize the severity of the struggles.

Camden's social skills are low for his age. To make it harder on the poor boy, he is as tall as most 5 and 6 year olds, but he is barely turning 4, so people think he is older than he is and expect him to behave like an older child. To make it even harder, he is about a year ahead in his language skills, so that throws people off too. The observer told me Camden does not play "with" other kids. He will play next to them, but not with them. I never realized that he wasn't actually playing with other children. His only real interaction with the children at preschool is to be aggressive and confrontational. He will seek out adults and ignore the other children while at school.

The special education evaluator and I had a long talk. I asked her flat out if there was a chance Camden had Asperger syndrome. She said she thinks that is a real possibility and I should discuss it with his pediatrician. Although I threw that word out there, I truly did not expect to hear that yes, the observing team had talked about that word in relationship to Camden for quite awhile. It is devestating to hear. I do worry for his future. While I think he will go far in life, I worry about his social life and how school will be for him. It's hard enough in this world without adding in having a hard time socially.

The special education teacher did point out that he may just be socially behind and it may resolve itself over the next few years. She also pointed out that he is the oldest child and used to being around adults, so maybe he just doesn't know how to handle social situations yet or prefers talking to adults because that is what he knows.

We have an appointment with Camden't pediatrician in a week. Hopefully after talking to him we can get some answers, or even just some clear direction of what to do next. No matter what, he is still my beautiful, intelligent, wonderful little boy. As his mother, I will fight to help him become the best he can be.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Beauty School Dropout

I learned this weekend that I should stick to teaching and leave any future hair cuts to the experts. My babies don't get much hair until about the age of one. Camden's hair grew in nicely, but Easton has had some funky hair stuff going on. I call it his "old man hair" because it sticks up in tufts, grows well in spots but not in others, and is thin and wispy. For weeks I have wanted to even it out, to somehow make it look better, but left it alone hoping it would get better in time. On Friday night, I decided that was it. I was going to trim up the super long stuff over his ears and on top of his head. One minor detail - I've never done it before.

I asked Mark to grab me his razor. I thought I would just shave a little off the sides and top and call it good. I grabbed the razors and started in the middle of Easton's head. After
the first stroke, I noticed my mistake. I had no guard to prevent me from getting too close. So now, with huge bald chucks in the middle of his head, it became pretty obvious that all his hair was going to have to come off to correct my mistake. I took a deep breath and set to work. In about five minutes, Easton was completely bald! It's a good thing he has a good head shape for a bald hair cut. I only hope it will grow in looking better than it did before.

Easton pre hair cut. See how weird and tufty his hair was growing?
I think he knew what was coming.
Easton post hair cut.
Bald heads are really good for smearing chocolate on. Yum!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Do you facebook?

I admit, my blog has been a neglected thing in the past several months. I think about it often, but never quite muster the energy to come and blog. Why? Well, the excuses are many, but the one that saps most of my extra time these days is facebook. I love that thing! There are so many useless games like Yoville or Mafia Wars that I find myself checking again and again. Then there are the fun notes passed around. On top of that are status updates, which are my favorite part of it all. I read all of them daily because it's like a little snapshot into the lives of so many friends. So do you facebook? And if you do, are you on my friends list? If you are not and would like to be added, send me an email with your name and I'll be sure to add you. Then I can at least keep updated with your life until I get the urge to get back into blogging a bit more.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Stapler lives!

Remember when I posted about my industrial strength staplers about three years ago? Mentioned in this post? A few friends said it was one of their favorites. So I thought I'd reshare the story for those who want a laugh. Because I know I need one these days. And let you all know, the staplers still live! In fact, they made a stapler shooter appearance just today. They still have the power and the force. And even better, I no longer shoot myself in the finger!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Update on Camden

We got the results for Camden's evaluation a few weeks ago. Like I expected, he is above average in language and in academic skills. On social and emotional, he was below average, but not enough to qualify for services at this point. However, the preschool was concerned enough about his behavior and sound issues that they want to observe him further. They are enrolling him in the preschool on a temporary basis to evaluate him further. They will have the occupational therapist evaluate him for sensory disorders. No matter what, even if he doesn't qualify for services this year, he is on the waiting list for a spot in the preschool next year, which pretty much means he'll get in as a tuition paying student next school year. I am glad they are being so thorough. Camden had a beautiful streak in behavior, but in the past few weeks, we've started to get bad reports from the gym daycare again and last week he had to leave Primary. I hope that the preschool will be able to see our concerns during his temporary enrollment. I feel we are on the right track.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Always changing . . .

It seems like the boys change so rapidly that I have to record all the little things before they slip away and I forget.

Easton is changing like crazy. He took his first steps right after the new year and has been unstoppable ever since. Most babies wait until they can balance rather well to walk. Not Eastie! Once he started taking steps, he was off and is already trying to run. Each day his balance gets better, but it sure has been funny to watch him figure it all out. Easton also figured out how to get up and down the stairs. This kid is a problem solver and doesn't give up. He will try again and again until he gets it perfect and that's what he did with figuring out the stairs. Easton is signing "milk", "dog", and "ball" and is trying to figure out how to sign "eat" (right now he keeps patting his head). I think he is going to be really good at the "terrible two's" since he is already throwing himself on the floor when he doesn't get his way or what he wants. We always know when Eastie is causing mischief because he growls as he starts his capers. He is still full of laughs and smiles and is still our sunshine.

At the end of December, a mutual decision was made with Camden's preschool teacher to remove him from preschool for the time being. He was having as many bad days as good days and the stress was wearing on us all. After the advice of many friends, I've been reading Raising your Spirited Child and The Out of Sync Child. Both of these books have been a tremendous help to me. I see much of Camden in the descriptions found in these books. It's been reassuring to realize that my son is normal, just a bit more sensitive and spirited than the average child. In addition to helping me understand my son better, they have helped teach me strategies and activities to use with Cam. We're seeing a lot of improvement in him at home and in public situations. I'm learning what sets him off and what to do help him. I'm also learning strategies to help him help himself. Now instead of hitting, he will tell me he is angry and what he needs to do to calm down. I'm thrilled to be able to understand him better and be a better parent to him. It has been downright awesome to see my beautiful boy blossom, thrive, and mature before my eyes. His imagination, intelligence, and creativity astound me.

We had his preschool evaluation last Friday. I prayed that it would go well and that the evaluators would be able to know my concerns for him. I knew he would pass the academic parts with flying colors and wondered how they could evaluate my behavior and sensory concerns. It may seem small, but I know the Lord heard and answered my prayers because Camden went into what I call "classic Camden" when confronted with noise. The speech therapist wanted to test his hearing. I was filling out paperwork and not paying much attention, but the speech therapist wanted to put something in his ear and he freaked out! He ran screaming from the room and went into full Camden melt down. I took him outside and calmed him down. The therapist skipped the hearing test and instead sat and talked to me. She asked if this was a typical behavior and I told her yes. I explained my concerns to her and what had happened in his last preschool. Without me even bringing it up, she mentioned a sensory processing disorder, mentioned occupational therapy, and talked to me for a bit about that. It was such confirmation to me, that my concerns have been right on the money. I only wish I had of followed through on my instincts months ago. I don't know if he will qualify for the preschool, but if not, I have the number of another evaluation service to call. I am praying that he will qualify for services at the preschool and be able to learn coping strategies for his noise issues.

I am grateful to be a mom to these beautiful boys. I'm grateful for the opportunity to become a better mother. I know these children have been placed in my life specifically to teach me how to be a better parent - more patient, loving, and kind. I am very grateful for all the good friends who have listened to my concerns without judging, who have given me advice, and put me on the paths to understanding my son better. I'm grateful for all the prayers and best wishes on behalf of my child and myself. I truly feel them and they have helped when I have questioned my parenting and my own self worth as a mother.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Christmas 2008

Sure it's almost a month after Christmas, but it's never too late for a Christmas post. So here are pictures from our Christmas shindig.

Camden eating chocolate while waiting for grandparents
to arrive before opening presents.

Easton with his new bead maze. Melissa and Doug toys are the best!

Camden opening his big Santa present.
It's a big wooden train! (Which has seriously have to be the best present he has ever received. He plays with it for HOURS!)
Easton opening presents with the help of Daddy. Eastie didn't get the whole Christmas thing. One present and he was done. He was happy with things the way they were and kept crawling off to play with all the old toys.
The boys playing - and Christmas aftermath. It seemed like we hadn't bought them all that much - until it was open and spread all over the floor.
Camden later that day after all the mess was cleaned up and his train all put together. He loves that thing!