This is just a small update after dealing with all the frustrations.
The oldest child had his meds upped and we met his new CSI last night. It’s been going really well for him. There’s still a lot of taking a step forward then falling right back down, but when he met the new guy last night he was shy at first but by the end of the visit was giddy and playful.
It helped that Abbie fell completely and totally in love with him. A man that is good with dogs – especially serious, jumpy dogs – is a man I’d trust to advise my kid. I trust Abbie’s judgement and she never barked or growled at him. She went right up to him and put her nose under his hand. Abbie just does not do things like that. After she responded so well, LJ started responding well.
Anyways, a CSI is like a mentor with a degree and experience in therapy. Chickpea has one and the results have been mixed, but she likes having the extra support during the school day. I also get more reliable information ABOUT the school day from her CSI.
I like this program quite a bit. Mentors are a great thing but with special needs kids you need trained professionals with experience in the hard things. You couldn’t take a normal person and ask them to deal with the things my kids go through. Gentle support and unwavering availability won’t work. They need advice and coping skills that WORK. They need more than an older friend.
LJ has needed a male mentor for a while. Shaun and I are great geek parents but as far as making friends or building social skills, we suck pretty damn bad. We grew up wanting the same things LJ wants – friends, to be a part of something, someone to talk to who really knew us and had our backs. We never really figured that out.
We also needed someone for LJ who could show him that he could be a sensitive male and still have male friends. Boys at this age are assholes. My response to boys (as a very small girl and later, small woman) was to “man up.” I took my respect and kicked ass along the way. I made sure that I could do anything they could do, and then I did it better.
In school, Shaun made sure he was the biggest threat around and then those who could stand up to him and WITH him got to see the real him. The part that is smart and funny and kind.
LJ just doesn’t have that sort of camouflage. I don’t know if I want him to get hurt badly enough to build it either – to learn to separate who he is from who he seems to be. It’s a hard lesson and I’m not sure it’s necessary.
However it turns out, it will be fine. He’s got a good brain and learns incredibly fast. He’ll figure it out but now he’ll have a new tool.
Chickpea had her meds changed and she’s doing better. She’s not as belligerent and restless, which is very nice.
I went to her parent/teacher conference a couple weeks ago and saw her work. Now I know why her teachers aren’t that concerned with her. Her work is head and shoulders above other kids her age. Her handwriting is perfect. Her Spanish is PERFECT. Her writing skills are amazing. Her comprehension skills are spot on.
It looks like she’s sloppy about things at home but I guess that’s just because she’s already bored with it.
She’s in a special school BECAUSE of her intellect and her knack for causing trouble if she’s not challenged. (Sounds a lot like me, doesn’t it?) She’s gone and blown it all away and now her challenge is in social skills. I don’t think she cares, though.
When she got home from school that day I told her “if you keep doing work like I saw today, I don’t really care how you act.” I’ve always believed that if you’re good at it, you don’t necessarily have to be good. If you’re not that good at it, then yeah – your behavior is what your survival depends on.
Oddly, since that conversation her behavior at school has dramatically improved. It may be the medicine or it may just be that she knows it won’t get a rise out of me any longer. Oh, the joys of attachment disorders… now she’ll have to come up with a new plan to piss me off.
The boys spent the night with my dad and we took her to get her hair cut and nails done as a reward for the good work. She ended up having enough hair to donate to Locks of Love and she LOVES her new haircut – a chin length bob. We went to dinner and had an actual conversation with her. It was amazing.
This morning as we waited in line to drop her off at school, I was showing her my new purse. Shaun was totally unimpressed with it, so I needed some girly reassurance. 😉 She saw my little rollerball perfume – Fracas – and wanted to smell it. I dabbed some on her and now she’ll smell like Mommy all day. She giggled and blushed. I dabbed some on me too and I’ll smell like Chickpea all day!
The youngest had his intake to the therapy group last week and will meet with the therapists and psychiatrists in the coming weeks. Hopefully it makes a change for him. He’s having a lot of trouble at school in just about everything.
Last night I caught a glimpse of the little guy I held when he was 2 and first came to us. He fell asleep in the floor before bath time and when I woke him up he was so cuddly. His little angel face was just precious. I got him bathed and then got his lotion on him and he kept falling asleep in my arms. He’s so big and I can tell he wants to be small again and curl up in my lap. It’s moments like that – moments where he’s completely trusting and relaxed – that I savor.
This morning he was snuggly. He loved on everyone and gave big hugs and just wasn’t as mad as he’s been lately. It seems like falling asleep in Mommy’s arms is what a lot of us need.
It’s definitely what Mommy needs!