You are currently browsing all posts tagged with 'resources'.
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 entries.

Passing it Along

  • Posted on May 17, 2012 at 3:52 AM

I recently received two requests to pass along information.  I’ve chosen to honor these requests, because readers may find this information relevant and helpful.

First, a medical billing and coding blog has compiled a list: “50 Great Twitter Feeds for Autism Support.”  Some may be familiar to you, others may be new.

Second, I was contacted by Jamie Sue Austin of The Barefoot Review, asking for support for this literary magazine.  The Barefoot Review is a literary magazine/e-zine for people with disabilities and their families, friends, and caretakers to express their feelings and share part of themselves with the reading public.  This magazine is published bi-annually, and the first issue (Winter 2011) is available.

Please check out either or both of these new resources and let me know what you think!

Too Tight = Too Soon

  • Posted on May 9, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Okay, so as I’ve reported, Ben was “suspended” from school.  We had our meeting on Friday to discuss what we needed to do to get Ben back in school.  As you may also know, I’ve been working with Dr. Vaughn Lauer, a fellow writer who is also an expert in the field of special education.  I’m currently editing a book he has lined up with a publisher, which coaches parents through the questions to ask during an IEP meeting.

My “sneak peek” at this material was immediately helpful.  It was proposed that we start the meeting off by going over Ben’s existing Behavioral Intervention Plan.  As per the book, I countered by saying that I would prefer to start by describing (or having described to me) the behaviors that triggered this meeting.  I asked questions to gain more information and I discovered that last week (the week of the bad behaviors) was a major transition for Ben.

You see, Ben had been struggling.  He wasn’t making enough progress to meet his goals.  So, because Ben needed it and because they would have an “extra” person for a limited amount of time, we started an experiment in which Ben would receive one-on-one support and would be in a smaller, less busy environment outside his special education classroom.  The week in question was the week they were transitioning him back to the special education classroom.  He was still getting the extra support, but he was getting that support back in the super busy classroom.

We also learned that the one-on-one support outside of that environment had been working.  His aggressive behaviors had decreased and his educational gains had increased.  In transitioning him back to the busy environment before he was ready, his aggressive behaviors had gotten worse.  So, basically, Ben was being “punished” for bad behaviors that were triggered by a situation outside of his control that adversely impacted his educational progress.  In other words, he was trying to tell us in the only way he had available that he was not ready to go back into that busy classroom—that place was too overwhelming for him to function in.

As we discussed what to do with this information, I pointed out—in a non-confrontational manner—that the only reason we couldn’t continue with what was working was because the district was experiencing significant financial hardships.  The budget was too tight to provide Ben with one-on-one support.  It was also too soon to transition Ben back to the classroom.  And, once I’d put it that way, it was suggested that Ben should continue to receive the one-on-one support that he needed, and that he could continue to receive this support.

This was a major victory for Ben.  This was exactly what he needed.  Then, the only thing left to discuss was whether kicking Ben out of school was an action taken too soon.  See, as you might remember, when Ben saw me he was better.  Then, I took him home.  We determined, if the need should arrive again, that I should try calming him down to see if he could stay.  That way bad behavior isn’t rewarded with a break from school.  We also discussed not sending him on an all-day field trip.  And, we determined that sending him and Alex to school when their classes would be gone on a field trip I’d refused to allow the boys to attend, would be a mistake, because they’d be going to school, but everything would be different—so they’re both staying home that day.

One more thing was brought up and that was the question of placement.  This one-on-one support is the last trick in the bag of resources available to this school.  The district representative suggested that, after we tried this for the rest of the year, we should consider the possibility of placing Ben in a different school next year.  So, there will be (at least) one more meeting this year.  *sigh*

Feeding Issues: What Do You Want to Know?

  • Posted on December 12, 2011 at 8:00 AM

When Alex was first “threatened” with failure to thrive, I looked for information outside the clinical setting. At first, I didn’t find anything that could help me with Alex. Sure, there was generic information geared towards the needs of infants, but Alex was not an infant and sensory aversions weren’t even mentioned in the articles or database entries I could find. I was surprised and disappointed, to say the least.

Furthermore, my research about autism and diet or autism and feeding would often turn up results that I had no interest in. I’m referring to GF/CF diets, herbal supplements and the like, all claiming to alleviate or cure autism to one degree or another. Now, I readily admit we tried the GF/CF diet, which turned out to be a good way to starve our kids. (Not that we let it go that far.) After all, the reason that Alex was on the verge of failure to thrive was because he’s very stubborn about what he will and will not eat; and bread that is GF/CF is not, to Alex’s mind, actually food. (Honestly, I’d have to agree with him on that.)

Later, I stumbled across some information, but it was written by researchers for researchers or medical professionals, not for parents. Occasionally I’d stumble across a pertinent article, but rarely did it offer anything new or insightful.

Now, Alex and Ben are both doing well. They’re gaining weight. Both of them actually have a visible layer of fat around their muscles! As much as obesity is a problem in this country (and a personal problem, in my case), fat on my kids is good. They’ve got plenty of energy, which wasn’t really a problem for Ben, but it used to be a problem for Alex. They’re both expanding their diets and getting the nutrients they might otherwise lack through prescriptions of PediaSure. In short, they’re thriving.

It’s been a long road and now that we’ve traveled so far, I’m hoping to gather information from reputable sources and create a guide for others to use, the kind of guide I wish I’d had.

Along those lines: Do you have experiences with feeding issues? Would you like to share them? What questions would you like answered? Let me know in the comments or contact me directly.