Thursday, June 21, 2012

No news

Well my laptop seems to be dead. My brother says he might have an extra laptop he can bring down on his next visit, yeah!

Things are finally getting to a "back to normal" stage if that's even possible. But I'm mostly referring to me and work.

Overall, when it comes to Puppy, he's doing just fine these days and hasn't given me too much to write about. He finished his swimming lessons and did pretty good, and even better than I expected. He has gone back to his old daycare and the director has total control, so no mention of even the slightest tantrum while there in the afternoons.

And when it comes to our time at home...he's been struggling with repeating names and phrases. It bothers me, and also seems to catch up to him that he asks me permission to stop repeating until I remind him he all the control to do so.

I'll try to post a little more, but I might have to make stuff up because we've been awfully boring these last couple of weeks, haha. :-)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Quick update

A quick update... Puppy is doing great in his swimming lessons. Friday will complete his two weeks.  He's excited because I invited his teacher and aide from school to watch him swim on "Show and Tell" day. I'm so proud of him.

He's got two more weeks of ESY and his teacher reports that he is doing great! Now I'm at a point where I am searching my brain for decisions to be made. What do I do with Puppy for the summer?

I will try to go back to blogging on a regular basis once I can get back to a regular schedule. My office is moving locations, I've been packing and not sitting at a computer much these days.  Then my laptop stopped working. I did most of work on it at home so it's been a little harder to keep blogging. But I will get back to it, just have some patience.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

A year ago was a busy time for Puppy and me.  I was at a place where I had so much confusion and worry. The daycare that Puppy had been attending for after school care had just notified me that the since Puppy was turning 13 years old, he was too old for the center. I was visiting a couple of new daycare places throughout the week; and we were inviting a new person into our lives and our home. Go back in time to see how busy and crazy things were at Changing daycare facilities

Ms. H was the brave soul to enter through the front door with intentions of working as Puppy’s PCS (personal care services) provider, and in reality she has become the next person of only about three whom completely understand Puppy with all his good and bad days, happy and angry times, tantrums and meltdowns and the self-injury. Ms. H would be focused on Puppy’s best interests, and finding her, someone who knew what she was getting into and would be able to handle the unpredictability that comes with the disorder…well, she was Heaven sent.

Monday, June 6, 2011, was so long ago and yet a year has come and gone. Here’s a brief recap of our meeting in Monday finally came.  After just one month of what seemed longer, we sat down and I asked her if she was comfortable and if she saw herself continuing to be my support. She said yes and that she didn’t foresee any problems.  I was so glad to hear that, that I pointed out to her there was a fine-print clause in her contract which said the job was for life. I wish I could have taken a picture of her reaction; it was a surprise and a little confusing to her because I'm sure she didn't understand at the moment it was a joke to break the ice. But as time goes by, our time together has been priceless. I wouldn’t change a thing. And I definitely wouldn’t seek for a substitute for Ms. H, because honestly, there is no one else like her. We still joke about her staying with us for life and I think she even tells her friends she has a job for life. I'm so glad we are still together and I dedicate this post to her.

I want to wish Ms. H a Happy Anniversary from Puppy and me. I am grateful to you for all you do and for putting up with both Puppy and me, but mostly I treasure what a wonderful friend you are to me. Thank you.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The good, the bad and the ugly

Titles for my posts don't always come easy, but this one did because this is exactly how our days have been lately. I suppose I'll take it from the top.

The good...  Ms. H came over the other day last week as part of our daily routines. Last week was also the final days of the regular school year. She was already looking ahead for ideas of how to keep herself and her 6 year old son occupied during the summer break and signed him up for Tae-kwon-do and swimming lessons.

Well, my ears went into alert mode and I wondered if maybe Puppy might be interested in swimming lessons, too. So, interested or not, I called up the instructor and briefly informed her he has autism and she was willing to give it a try. That's all I needed and signed him up.  Ms. H has been doing a fantastic job of watching over him in the afternoons, picking him up at my parents' after the school bus drops him off from summer school, then taking him to swimming lessons, then keeping him at her place until I get out of work. Routine is in place and all is far.

The bad...  Puppy spent about an hour on Sunday at our neighbor's. Their family consists of the dad, mom, two boys and a girl, all younger than Puppy. But nonetheless, he went over like he usually does every once in a blue moon. Well he comes back and is very quiet, greets me and races upstairs to his bedroom. He was awfully quiet for a good while before coming back downstairs and then he started pacing.  He looked for a piece of paper and pencil (but a purple crayon did just fine), brought it over to me and asked, “How do you write present?” I spelled it for him and he wrote it down then walked away.  I thought to myself that he may be making a list of gifts he wants for his birthday next month. So he’s pacing and then stops next to me again. He asked me if he can show me something, and I say yes. He pulls out the piece of paper and hands it to me.

I read it and I ask him if that’s the present he wants. He whispers to me, “No mom, that’s what Mr. Segovia gave me. It’s old and he doesn’t want it, he has a new one.” I could feel my blood drain to my feet. And strangely it went rising right back up to my head in anger. But I wasn’t sure whom to be angry with, Mr. Segovia for giving Puppy something he likes or Puppy for taking it when he clearly knows he shouldn’t have one. It wasn’t easy to defend Puppy because clearly our neighbor didn’t know giving him a wallet was a no-no.


The ugly…  Well, every day since the first day of swimming lessons, Puppy says he doesn’t want to go swimming. But then Ms. H talks to him and convinces him to go and he does just fine.  The other ugly is the unnecessary debates we have on a daily basis both in the morning before school and in the evenings when I pick him up. Debates about why his teacher doesn’t allow him to carry anything in his pockets; about why he can’t go buy the wallet he really wants now and not wait for his birthday; about why he can’t have an itouch/ipod, everyone else has one; about why he can’t take the wallet the neighbor gave him to school; about why he doesn’t like his MP3 player so much anymore, etc., etc…

It’s not so pretty. I get headaches. I search for answers. I find none. I take it one day at a time.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A new distraction

The fact that Puppy doesn’t have a wallet these days is leaving him to look for other distractions. So he has gone back to his MP3 player after a few months of not listening to his songs. Keep in mind that he is still upset about having to substitute for his wallet. And also remember that we are experiencing some rebellious issues with the new baseball practices. With this said Puppy was using his MP3 player rather frequently and found a screen he hadn’t seen before. He asked what it was and I explained audio recordings are him talking into the MP3 to record messages and he quickly got excited. “How mom, how does it work?” I didn’t know and told him we’d have to ask one of my brothers. He wasn’t happy with that answer but went about his business as usual. Some days he patience, and this was one of them.

Then the other day he gave up on waiting and asked me again how it works. I just happened to be sitting at the computer and Googled the model to get the user’s guide. There it was; I read it several times to make sure I understood, and then tried it myself. It worked! He was thrilled to hear it work that he picked it up out of my hands and said, “Show me.”  As I was explaining it to him, he searched for a pen and asked me to write down the steps to recording his own voice. He tried it and was in awe of this small device that repeats his words. He hurried outdoors to start recording. Just before bedtime he tells me the battery had given out. It was time to recharge so I asked him to leave it on the computer desk.

  The following morning he wakes to go to school and actually doesn’t even remember about the MP3 player. Once he was off to school I went back upstairs to finish getting myself ready for work. I saw the MP3 on the desk and went to plug it in to recharge. Once I was there I sat down at the computer and went to listen to his fifty-eight (58) recordings. Most of them were accidental recordings where he wasn’t sure it was on and he’d click on the button and then turn it off. This went on for several minutes of dead air and yet there were some of him talking to the dog. Some were him talking and just too cute to delete.

And then there it was…yes, the reason for him being outdoors alone.  Puppy has a routine of talking to himself whenever he has unwanted behaviors. And although he was not in any trouble, he recorded himself talking in the same Spanish words he uses and then followed by some foul language. Oh I’m sure he must have thought it was cool, but he never imagined I was going to hear it. I left it there. Maybe I shouldn’t have, but it was his and he’s being a teenager, and it was private to him. I want him to bring it to me first. Then I’ll probably delete it but only after explaining it was “not cool” to record those words, even if no one else knows he did. This is another lesson to be learned at another time.