Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Because Every Day is an Adventure...

Yesterday J had his psychological evaluation with the school psychologist to see if he qualifies for an IEP. Her office is an hour away on the other side of Atlanta, so we had to get up early (for us) in order to get Little Brother to my friend's house before we left. The testing was to take about two hours and I knew that LB and I would both be much happier if he were occupied elsewhere. Preferably somewhere with toys. Another homeschool mom volunteered to watch him for me, so I left him on his own for the first time. I've left both boys with someone (other than their dad or brother) once or twice, but never LB alone. He was not enthusiastic about going, and J didn't really help. Being a worrier, he kept bringing up things that could go wrong. Fortunately, he didn't start that until we pulled into the driveway, so I was able to get LB out of the car before he got upset and panicky. J stayed in the car while I took LB in and after a few minutes, I left, with no tears in sight (from either of us.)

In the five minutes between my friend's house and the interstate, J managed to spot a spider. Have I mentioned that he's terrified of spiders and bugs? So, someone screaming while you're driving down the road is always nice. He refused to kill the spider, but by the time he told me that, we were already on the interstate. And it was on his window, but not in a spot where I could just roll down the window and let it out. I'm still not real clear on exactly where it was, but I think it was on that little "wing window" area at the back part of the window. Except these days, those windows don't open. So he spent the entire hour ride staring at the spider to make sure it didn't attack instead of playing his DS.

When we were about ten minutes away from the office, my phone rang. It was a friend who has recently realized that her son is autistic. She was having a really rough day and although I did listen for a few minutes, I felt bad that I didn't have more time to talk to her. We all need someone to listen on those days when we're just totally overwhelmed with everything.

Just as we pulled onto the street where the office is, J yelled, "Roll down the window! Roll down the window!" So, I'm on the phone, driving, watching the GPS, and trying to operate the power window. (I only have two hands. I think moms should be granted an extra arm and hand each time we give birth.) That was interesting, but the spider was gone and I didn't run into anything.

While J was having his evaluation, I got to fill out paperwork. I filled out five different questionnaires. Several of which were the same as those I filled out for Brain Balance. (Just something to keep in mind when a doctor tells you that the Brain Balance centers don't do proper evaluations. I'm just sayin'.) It took me over an hour to fill all that out. Fun stuff.

We won't get a full report for a couple weeks, but Dr. Wells did talk to me for a few minutes before we left. She said J's vocabulary and language skills are off the charts and that he is exceptionally bright. Yes, thank you. We knew that already, but it never hurts to hear it from someone else.

I can't even remember the last time we ate at a fast food restaurant, but we were hungry, an hour from home, and I wanted to give him a little treat for putting up with the testing. He wanted to go to Chick-Fil-A, so I punched Chick-Fil-A into the GPS. Turns out we were right around the corner from one. "40 seconds" away, to be exact. That was pretty entertaining. We've never been 40 seconds away from anything before. Even at less than a minute, I would have expected it to read, "1 minute," not 40 seconds. I even took a picture and posted it on Facebook.

I was so focused on the whole GPS thing that I didn't remember why we haven't eaten at Chick-Fil-A in a while. They don't have anything that doesn't have batter. Batter has eggs. I didn't even think about it until we had already ordered. They were already making our order, and it's not as if it's a life-or-death thing, so I just let him eat the chicken strips. His dad had fixed him a salad the previous evening with bleu cheese dressing anyway, so it's not as if he didn't already have eggs in his system.

On a side note, I decided this morning to let him go back to eating eggs. It's been several months, and we've done really well, with only three or four infractions (and two of those were this week), but we haven't seen any changes. I know not all sensitivities manifest in physical symptoms, but I would rather he eat eggs and hashbrowns or homemade pancakes for breakfast than the crappy cereal his dad has started buying - pretty much because it's so hard to find something decent J can eat for breakfast (that he will eat) without eggs.

So we're driving down the interstate eating waffle fries when J screams again. His spider's twin was on my little storage console thing between my front seats. I grabbed a napkin and squished it. (Sorry, spider lovers, but I was driving 70 miles an hour with a phobic kid in the car. I had to take drastic action.) I put the napkin in my trash bag between the seats. Everything is all happy and greasy until a few minutes before we get off the interstate. "A spider just went into your console thingy!" Oh, for pete's sake. Either we have an infestation or we have a zombie spider.

When we got to our exit, I pulled into a gas station parking lot and pulled everything out of the console. Killed the spider. Again. Or whatever. Probably should have done the "save the spider" thing, but honestly, I was a little freaked out at that point. Threw the napkin and the squished spider into the gas station trash can. So the zombie spider is someone else's problem now.

I put everything back into the console and we went to pick up LB. He was happily playing with Play-Doh and hadn't cried at all. Glad he missed us. I told him to thank his little friend for sharing her toys. He did, and the first thing he said to J when he got in the car was, "R shared." LOL Then he said, "My seat smells like chicken nuggets." We had thrown the trash away when we stopped, and I had the windows down, but I guess you can't slip anything by that one. Fortunately he didn't pursue it.

We then went to the park for our homeschool group's regular park day. Where most of us sat around talking about our spectrum children. I did get to hear two moms who are new to the group tell me that their sons, who had come to park day for the first time last week, had specifically mentioned at home that J was nice and had made them feel welcome. Hello, warm fuzzies. :-) He's pretty good with some social stuff. He just doesn't understand when someone is through listening or ready to move on, and he just keeps on with his own thing.

Then we met another mom who isn't part of our group (her son is in regular public school), but has an autistic son. So we talked for a while, and I got some useful information and a new Facebook friend.

So, I was thinking that it really sucks that there are so many of us. And frankly, I'm not thrilled with being one of "us". But no one asked me before I was volunteered for this club. So we'll share information and stories and shoulders because none of us can get through it alone.


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