• Homeschooling,  Minds Matter

    Days like this.

    There will be days like this! Days when I want to put a blanket over my head and hold up the white flag. These days never get easier and unfortunately they are as regular as the rising sun. So what am I going to do?

    I have found a humbling truth to my son’s meltdowns that is; when he has one I too have one. I pray and pray for God to change him and day after day he remains the same with the same triggers but so do I. Who is the adult here? Who is spouting wisdom and picking up the first stone? Ashamedly, I am. With all these years behind me I still make the same mistake of jumping right into his crazy boat with him.

    I can’t lead him his sister or anyone else without inspiring something. I have to choose kindness when everything in me wants to be unkind. I have to pause before a mean word is uttered. I am the adult, whether I like it or not, this is my task. No I cannot make him tell me the answer that I know he knows, I cannot make him read a sentence of six words, I cannot make him respect me as his teacher and his mother. No I can bring him the subjects and calmly┬áintroduce his work but it is ultimately his choice.

    My choice is to love, and when I cannot love as big as he needs then Jesus will take the lead.

    I know why parents say they cannot home school because they cannot get along with their son. I get it! Home school is a mirror of myself and I get to choose to allow Jesus to take over and die to my wants or I can give up. It’s been 5 years and there are still meltdowns almost daily, but when I am really honest with myself I have to admit I too have meltdowns that I want someone to give me grace for. For when you know how forgiven you really are, then you can extend grace that much more.

    He may never change while living under this roof. God has to give my son a redemption story fit for a leader and I don’t want to stand in the way of that. My story is being worked out daily and my prayers from years past for more patients, a mission filed, let me be your hands and feet are all happening and it is my joy that God has allowed my children to be a part of my day to day.

    Lord, thank you for my son.


  • Homeschooling,  Minds Matter

    Back to Homeschool on the Spectrum

    We are back to homeschooling and for the life of me I can’t figure out how to help J in the midst of a meltdown. He digs his heals in so hard and is so determined not to do what I ask that I think he’ll go without food, sleep, play, or soccer just to not do his work. Where in the world is this coming from??? I have prepped him for the beginning of school for weeks, and because we have not finished last semesters work he is doing the same thing, so nothing is really that new here.

    I grow so frustrated with him I’ve already locked myself in my room just so I can breathe without smoke coming out of my ears. What am I missing??? I get that kids on the spectrum need structure, but when I give him it and it doesn’t work then what??? The constant in our school morning is that he will throw a major temper tantrum and somehow I am supposed to be ready for it. Maybe that is the key! If I come to expect it then perhaps it wont effect me so much.

    Can anyone who reads this blog understand???

    Will life be easier if I plan every minute of his day to be like the one before it? Can anyone who is not on the spectrum live like that? I feel like I am walking on an uncharted path and I cannot see the step before me, and every school year is the same as before.

    People who watch J say “oh he’s just like my son, or he’s just a boy” but I have to ask if your son or that boy can refocus on a task that was not his idea to begin with? Or come back to a task when he would rather be doing something else? Does your son or that boy have anxiety attacks because he cant remember what 5-1=? There is very little reasoning with J when I’ve “lost” him, and trying to convince him that school is important is like telling a fish to climb a tree.

    On a much brighter note.

    I remember when I was in labor and I would ask “how do you know when you are in labor?” Women would say “oh you’ll know!” As if it was magic. Well my labor came but when it truly started is still a mystery to me. Why am I telling you this?

    Well the same has been true for J reading. I would bang my head on the wall wondering if he would ever catch on or want to read. Moms would say to me “oh it will happen just be patient.” Yeah being patient is so hard when you are in the midst of pregnancy, diaper changing, sleep training, and teaching a kid to read. I usually tell parents to forgo homeschooling until someone else has taught them how to read. And then I listened to a podcast a few weeks ago and someone said that when your child no longer needs your help they will stop asking. Its sad when you think to hard on that idea, but in terms of reading it made sense. When J would brush my hand away when I would try to help or say “mom I can do it” was when I realized he is getting it.

    Today J read 3 paragraphs mostly by himself with confidence and clarity. Just like that the training wheels came off and with a little cheering from the sidelines he was off. So perhaps like reading and all the rest of life’s, “is this ever going to end,” moments the truth is, yes it will end, and he will grow up and he will no longer need me anymore. Perhaps I should stop trying so hard to get him off of training wheels and enjoy the reality that he does need me.

  • Family Life,  Minds Matter

    Still processing….

    As many of you know Fireman and I have been having our oldest son tested for Autism or ASD and we got a diagnosis last month, but I have been processing how I feel about it. They determined that he meets criteria in certain areas but not enough for him to be diagnosed with Aspergers so he has PDD-NOS. Which is a big umbrella diagnosis that will give our son a lot of time to grow up and mature in the areas he struggles in without having a heavy label.

    According to the doctors one of the best things I did was to take him and keep him at home for school. They believe that his symptoms could have been worse had he not been given the opportunity to be home. They also agree that as his life gets more complicated the symptoms that he has worked through thus far will become more evident later in life. Therefore we collectively have chosen to treat him appropriately and continue to look through different parenting glasses when working with him.

    He is currently enrolled in a Social Thinking class with Zone behavior modification. He takes melatonin every night to help him sleep, which in my opinion has been a game changer, and he takes regular doses of fish oil. I can’t say a lot of his behavior has changed but my confidence in being his mom has changed. I find that I am more willing to take him places that I would’ve resisted in the past (because of meltdowns) because I feel like I have the skills to turn him off or to be brave enough to leave.

    We still have very bad days, but I have hope that I had never had before, and a team of people who are willing to walk this road with me. I am still processing all of this, and as I begin to understand more of our life after diagnosis I will write more.

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