Monday, April 27, 2009

I am an Invested Parent

So they called me an invested parent.

Not sure if this is social worker speak for a royal pain in the you know what. Choose your own appropriate noun here.

We met for an hour and a half. Jupiter's teacher was not present because it was school vacation week, so it was me and the caseworker and the lady who did the developmental eval. The CDS caseworker is already in the process of writing an IEP for school in the fall. I gave her my eight pages of notes and advised her those were the concerns that I would like to see addressed in the IEP.

Jupiter is going to get two hours a week of specialized instruction to work on her social skills ( to enable her to get another childs attention by means other than throwing a toy over the divider at them), to resolve conflicts, and to tolerate a change in her routine. The kicker on this one is its a service they only provide during the school year. Which ends in June. So I'm not sure we're going to get more than three weeks of this specialized instruction. But, if nothing else, it will be on the record as being given for kindergarten so she can continue to have social skills assistance in kindergarten.

We're also being sent to the pedicatric neuropsychologist. If I were to try to get this evaluation independently, it would be very expensive and there would be a year waiting list to get in. There are sometimes drawbacks to living in a rural state. Even with the CDS referral, it's still a 2-3 month wait. So we're looking at late June or July for that. The caseworker says she can't include the fact that we're waiting for reccomendations from the neuropsychologist in the official IEP. I have no qualms about sharing that at kindergarten screening. The neuropsychologist will try to determine the lasting effects of early deprivation on Jupiter's emotional development.

Wednesday I have a meeting with the teacher in charge of kindergarten screening. (who happens to be the teacher I had for kindergarten way back in 1977. Which was way long ago. Ask Jupiter. Anytime she sees anything remotely antique she says "That must be from the 1970's, that's so old!" Thanks for that. There are also benefits to living in a rural state.) I need to determine the best way to get the right teacher for Jupiter. There has been a slight change in how they're assigning the kindergarten teachers this year. Otherwise known as, we have a new principal. Who wants to be personally involved in the assigning. Who I am afraid, if I go in and ask to NOT have a certain teacher who will not be a good fit, will not particularly care about that. So far, my request is phrased as:
Jupiter will benefit from having an approachable, nurturing teacher who
regularly demonstrates to Jupiter that she likes her. Jupiter will
recognize and be made anxious by negative facial expressions or tone of voice,
so will do best with a teacher who is positive and appears happy. A
teacher who frequently raises her voice will not be a good fit. She will
do best with a teacher who recognizes that Jupiter's needs may differ depending
on the day and situation, and is able to be accordingly flexible."
I know MOST of the teachers are well aware that Jupiter will need extra support and are willing to work with her needs. I also need to find out about accomdations for screening. Jupiter will do fine with screening. As long as she actually goes into the room. Getting her into the room will be the hard part.

So now I'm waiting for the caseworker to mail me more stuff to sign. I suggested that it would be okay if she faxed me the forms and I could sign them and fax them back. She's leery of that because of the confidentiality issue. Even though I assured her that I am literally in charge of all five fax machines and I sit all day and wait for faxes. Maybe if I write her a note and fax it to her :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

everyone I know has a head cold

Seriously, everyone I know, I think. Everyone in the house, everyone at my mother's house, everyone at work. It needs to stop now. Haven't really been posting much because Jupiter has been having some great afternoon naps this week. Which is great until its 9pm or 10pm, or 11pm (last Friday) and she can't go to sleep. A schedule that's a little hard on Mom's waking up at 4am. A schedule which is going to change in a few more months when school starts in the fall.

Speaking of which, I have a CDS meeting tomorrow afternoon to discuss/determine what services Jupiter may qualify for. I have prepared 8 pages of information/input/whatever you want to call it. And I made copies for whoever is invited to this meeting. Other than what I've prepared, I'm not really sure what to expect out of this meeting.

Spring has made it to Maine. I noticed coming home the other day that the lawns are greening up, and the maple trees are bursting into red buds, and the willow trees have a green tinge. This weekend we're scheduled for a ministretch of summer weather. I will open all the windows at an attempt to banish head cold germs. The baby plants are growing in the windows...tomatoes, peppers, and basil. Jupiter is putting her strong muscles to work helping me turn over the soil in the garden beds. She was a little disappointed when I told her that digging in the garden was actually a chore and not just for fun...guess I should have kept that little secret. I'm sitting on my CSA application because as much as I want to join for this year, the knowledge of paying out of pocket for sensory camp, the heating oil prepay, and possibly keeping Jupiter enrolled in preschool 2 days a week over the summer (which don't get me wrong, I'm happy to pay for it if she can receive in classroom services though the summer)...there's always plenty of places for the money to go. I forgot to check my megabucks ticket today...I'm not a lottery junkie but once in a while I feel exceptionally lucky and donate a dollar. It might work...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Developmental Eval update

I now have three seperate reports that recommend intervention.

Have not heard anything since the reports came last week.

How long before I start calling to bug them, do you think? Kindergarten screening is in two months, but the evaluator really thought Jupiter would benefit from having specialized services in the current (preschool) classroom to work on her social skills. I'm not optimistic about receiving services in her current classroom. The next step is having the CDS caseworker arrange a meeting...that's what we're waiting for.

I hate waiting.

Jupiter on interracial families

Last weekend, Jupiter was looking at the pictures in a TIME magazine. A picture of Obama caught her eye, and she asked "Is he standing with his grandma?"

He was standing with the Queen of England.

I am VERY proud.

Friday, April 10, 2009

hypervigilant holidays

Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail, trying to find good hiding spots for stuff.....

actually I don't think I've gotten rid of all the Christmas recycling yet.

Jupiter is extremely attentive to detail. Once when she was three, she looked out the window at Elmo's car parked in the driveway and asked if the car had new tires. They did. They had been changed from summer tires to snow tires. It's not like one set was whitewall and the other one was plain....I haden't even noticed the change until she brought it up. But that's how her brain works. She notices everything in effort to protect her self interest. Including things that she should have no interest in whatsoever.

So just imagine things she DOES have an interest in. At Christmas I had to hide stuff in the trunk of the car. It was the only place I could think of that she wouldn't have access to, that I could lock, and where she wouldn't think to go looking for stuff. Then I have to hide all the boxes for things that are put under the tree unwrapped. Last year I had to send Elmo out with the recycling to drop off at one of the bins, because I couldn't put it in curbside. This year, I had to coordinate wrapping paper so nobody duplicated or wrapped Santa gifts in non Santa paper. And I had to write myself post its to remind myself where I had hidden things so I wouldn't forget them.

Easter is better. Its mostly little spring sidewalk chalk and bubbles, a new bathing suit. The stuff we need for spring activities (we're supposed to get an inch of snow But it will melt tomorrow.). I just hid it in my closet and put a big pile of dirty laundry on the floor in front of the closet door as a deterrent to exploration.

I'm not sure how long Santa will visit our house. But I envision Jupiter using Santa to her advantage, not admitting she knows the truth, because if Santa still comes she'll get more stuff.
She thinks. She likes having stuff. The more the better. It makes me nuts. Except books. I can always find room for a new book or two, despite the fact that we have enough in the house to start our own lending library. But that's another post.

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Blog support

During Jupiter's developmental eval, the evaluator asked me if I get any support for attachment issues or concerns.

I told her I get huge amounts of support from blogs.

She thought I was nuts. She gave me a look that clearly said "Blogs?"

Yes, blogs. I learn SO much from reading other blogs. I get so much support from other Moms parenting kids with attachment issues. When we have a difficult day, I can go online and get an online hug or the comfort that we are not alone.

So this is my blog shout out to all of you who support're all the best!!

Eureka Optima 12 amp vaccuum

I opened the new vaccum cleaner today.

It works GREAT!!!! My carpet looks brand new!! I could even almost have people over soon! and it sounds like O'Hare airport, by the way. But I'm so excited about how clean the carpet is. Even Jupiter was impressed.

Yes. My life is strange. I am excited over the vaccum.

Brute honesty vs Not

Why is there such a dispairity between what Jupiter says at certain times versus other times? Today, while I was drying her off after her shower, (came immediately after the mud puddle bath she took when I picked her up), she looked up my nose and announced that my nose is really hairy. "Mom? Why is all that hair in your nose?" I suppose that's better than the day I came in from the gym and she announced that I smelled. Like butt, specifically.

And yet, yesterday, she went to school and told her teacher that there's a big river near our house and I let her go play there all by herself. For some reason, the teacher was worried that I actually let her do this. She confirmed with my mother at pickup that Jupiter is NOT allowed to go play at the big river all by herself. My mother explained that there is a small brook which borders our property and that Jupiter is allowed to play in the SMALL BROOK when an adult is outside with her. (We do have seasonal views of the BIG RIVER, but Jupiter is NOT allowed to go there by herself and will possibly be 23 before she is allowed to go OUTSIDE by herself because of our proximity to said river.)

I wonder if I really seem the type to let my five year old go play at the big river all by herself. It astounds me that the teacher even THOUGHT it was a possibility. I suppose it was good that she checked, but really. It took three weeks before we left her at school by herself for three hours. The Big River.