February 24, 2012

TGIF. Seriously.

Last week, my friend Jill posted a piece I wrote about why time off from school is hard for Moe and other kids with autism. Although I wrote that near the winter holiday, the timing was perfect, as Moe is off this week for President's Week. I'll try not to get too Andy Rooney on you, but President's Week? I'm not sure we had President's Day off when I was a kid, let alone a whole week. Some places call this "ski week" but I can assure you we are not going skiing.

Tuesday was a tough day. We've had some concerns about Moe's progress, and are having a thorough assessment done by a very nice and well-respected child psychologist. Last week, we had the parent interview and she observed Moe in his classroom, and this week I took him for the formal part of the assessment in her office.

I'm sure many of you are familiar with the ADOS and other similar structured assessment tools. Moe does not do well on these. He can do things like puzzles and matching, but he doesn't always understand what is being asked of him, and is not very compliant. He's also got an attention span of about 30 seconds these days (something which has gradually decreased since he was 2, and could play with a single toy for 45 minutes). Moe is also not easy to motivate with rewards or "reinforcers" for those of you up on the ABA lingo. Moe is perfectly happy to be there, but you know you're in trouble when the psychologist said "at least he's interested in his environment."

I did manage not to cry before, during or after. Progress!

I took Moe for a haircut yesterday, which took some time in the morning. We picked Jelly up from school (apparently Jewish schools don't respect the presidents quite as much as the public schools) and things were going smoothly. But later in the day, Moe had a serious meltdown at home. I think he was hungry, but refused everything I gave him to eat. I tried giving him a bath, hoping some sensory input would do the trick, but apparently that was the wrong kind. After drying both of us off, he calmed down a little while later.

Moe has been falling asleep progressively later and later this week, and didn't finally fall asleep until almost 10 last night. He was up at 3 in the morning for less than an hour, but it was a tough hour. He screamed in what sounded like pain; he's hoarse this morning. Being overtired is really rough for him, and I think in some ways, is actually painful. He slept until almost 10 this morning. I didn't have the heart to wake him for the sake of "schedule."

I'll have to make sure Moe gets enough activity today but I'm home with both kids. The weather is beautiful so I suspect we'll be spending the day outside. We really need a climbing structure out there!


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