Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer photos of my youngest child...

Since I just finished day 3 of my summer with Jacob, I have busted out the iPhone a bunch to document our adventures.

Autistic Toddler Kicked Off Plane

God, this is one of my worst nightmares. I hate travelling with Jimmy. I have flown several times alone with both boys. The only one that wasn't a complete nightmare was an American Eagle flight (in the interest of full disclosure, my brother-in-law works for the airline, though not in an airport) where Jimmy had his medication before flight. While I know I have irritated some passengers in the past, I have encountered more sympathetic types than jerks. Autism has enough of a profile that even if people don't have a clear idea what it is, they have heard of it. Flight crews, especially with some explanation as you are boarding, usually are pretty accomodating as well. American and American Eagle have always taken extra care to make sure that I had enough of everything in the food and drink department (back when such things were complimentary!!) JetBlue's flight attendants were nice enough to watch a sleeping Jimmy and a wakeful Jacob so I could go to the bathroom.

That's not to discount this woman's experience. She and her son were treated horribly. It might have been because of the seatbelt. The only thing they can't budge on, which I understand completely, are the safety issues. Jimmy hates the seatbelt in either the car or the plane. The Angel Guard has made my life much easier in the car. Unfortunately, it won't work on a plane seat belt. He is also too big for the five point restraint of traditional car seat. It would be nice if they had something that was as effective as the Angel Guard on an airline seatbelt.

My biggest challenge is getting through the security line with an autistic son that is mild clausterphobic. I hate the security people at the TSA!!! Talk about lack of understanding and rudeness... Especially at Dulles and National. Oh Lordy!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

School Leaves Autistic Kids Out of Yearbook

Actually, I had something similar happen to Jimmy's classroom a few years ago. His class was left off the Mini Cougar Pride wall, as it wasn't considered a homeroom by the PTO.

School Leaves Autistic Kids Out Of Yearbook
Parents Say Act Done Intentionally, School Disagrees

POSTED: 4:08 am EDT June 18, 2008

ROSEVILLE, Calif. -- The parents of twin autistic boys left out of a yearbook are accusing the school of discrimination.
Darla Granger said her sons Holden and Hunter were purposely left out of their Roseville, Calif., school yearbook -- along with the rest of the school's special needs children.

"When your own school district and the people that are supposed to be there to support you and your kids and your situation sort of shun you, it is hurtful," Granger said.

Holden and Hunter Granger, who are in second grade, are students of the Placer County Board of Education, which assigns special-need students to various schools within the district.

The boys are in a collage photo in the yearbook, but the school's special needs class, including teachers, is missing.
"I got the book and was excited to look up their class and see their pictures with their names and their teachers, and they weren't in it," Granger said.

Darla and her husband, Blandon, have filed a complaint with the Placer County Board of Education, but said they aren't taking legal action and would just like to ensure that the class pictures of their children and other special-needs students are included in future yearbooks.

The Placer County superintendent who oversees the special needs program at Quail Glen Elementary said she thinks the incident was an oversight, not a malicious act.

"I do have a hard time understanding how they could have not noticed that every autistic child from their campus was missing," Darla Granger said.

The boys' father said he doesn't know if the act was intentional but doesn't think care was given to include the children with special needs in the yearbook.

"I just felt like I needed to speak out," Blandon Granger said. "I feel like we are owed an apology."

I did make the cover...

The photo is from when they did the first article, sans makeup. But the angle isn't bad. At least they didn't use that same photo of me trying to pull up Jimmy's pants!!!

Side note for my sister:
Becky. show this to dad and tell him I will send the original when he gets out of the hospital.

I am on the school board...

Can you believe it? I will write more later!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Autistic Boy Voted Out of Class Will Likely Sue

"A potential lawsuit over whether a 5-year-old's rights were violated when he was voted out of his kindergarten class could have merit, legal experts say.

Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Liberty Legal Institute in Dallas, said the St. Lucie County School District should take immediate action against the teacher and implement training for the other teachers so this doesn't happen again.

"If they do this, that will go a long way toward healing the community," he said."

I hope this boy's mom haves at the teacher like a pinata in a court of law.

Getting along well...

Chloe is making friends fast...

Jimmy ran for the door when we were getting out the car and I mentioned seeing Chloe. He spent twenty minutes playing with her. With his attention span, that's an eternity.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Meet Chloe...

Mistakes were made... and I made them.

Yesterday I was meeting Jimmy's bus up at the park, as I have done since DH started working downtown. As any good mom does, I was multitasking, cleaning out the car while getting ready to leave. As I walked back to the car, I heard a little meow. This kitten came charging after me, a young little thing. She follows me up to my car, meowing the whole time, finally trying to get in. I pick her up. She is scrawny and I can tell she has fleas. She never balked at getting picked up. Jacob's eyes got wide and shouts "Kitty!!!" I could have left her there... wait, no I couldn't. I figured given the time of the year, she was part of an outdoor litter, possibly wild. I went by the book - I called animal control, reported the find, and even provided the photo. The chances of anyone claiming her is slim (especially after I present them with the $150 vet bill), so we will call her Chloe.

I have missed Buster every day since I had to put her down. I had wondered where, when and how I would find another pet. I didn't have to look - she found me. Both boys are completely smitten, but Jimmy just lights up with her around. He is a little less hands on (meaning less pestering) than Jacob, but he plays with her and pets her so nicely. And she seems to dig it. She is what I needed, when I needed it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Okay, so it has been a while.

What's up? I guess the main thing is that I am up for the school board. In Manassas Park, it's an appointment process. I am one of three candidates this round. I had an interview last week and there was a public hearing tonight. I love my work on the Special Education Advisory Committee, but started wondering some time ago if I wouldn't be a better advocate for more kids if I put my name in for the school board.

DH encouraged me this time around. Okay, he gave me his blessing. As he left the house, he told me to "do well, but not too well." I think he is resigned... It's a job I want to do, if not now then in the future. It funny - someone on the council asked about this blog. I don't think they knew that it wasn't political, that it was just about Jimmy, Jacob, and the experience of being a mom to two distinctly different and exceptional kids.

We have also been looking at single family homes. We had an offer accepted on the other side of the tracks. Now we get to go through the mortgage process (we have a pre-approval - the queen of unorganization now has get paperwork together) and try to get this place rented. Mercifully, the mortgage isn't tied to the rental, but I don't want to be house poor, so we are seeking tenants.

And it's the last week of school. Jimmy has his neurology workup, Jacob has his physical for Pre-K, and the days at my job are going by at break neck speed. If I spend the summer moving, I imagine July and August will be the same way.