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Feelings and things

At the Zoo playing on the Polar Bear Exhibit

Psych: “Diego can you tell me what a friend is?”

D: (squirming in his chair and stimming on his ears) “I don’t know”

Psych:  “Diego when I have a friend we play together, eat lunch, and hang out.  Is this what you do with your friends??”

D: (lifting the chairs two back legs off of the ground) “I don’t know…”

Psych: “Ok Diego, what about when you are happy?? What are the kinds of things that make you happy??”

D: (looking at me to save him and now practically devouring the hands that were just pulling at his ears)

Me: (rubbing his back) “It’s ok  Diego you can tell her what kinds of things make you happy.”

D: (never having looked at either one of us during the entire part of this assessment, looked at me and said) “Mommy I really don’t know….”

This went on for each feeling, sad, angry, and scared.  It was so sad to see him struggle so damn hard. 

I think this moment will stick with me forever. 

I knew he had a hard time, but this hard???

Because of this, I am trying to come up with a plan to teach him how to recognize his emotions and then verbalize them.  I have no clue how to begin, but I am going to research the heck out of it this weekend and work it out. 

I also just got the book “When My Worries Get Too Big!! A Relaxation Book For Children Who Live With Anxiety”.  I read through it last night and it is a fantastic book!

I hope that it will help him.

School is improving a bit, but now his teacher has been out very sick and he has had a substitute, he is very familiar with her so it hasn’t affected him much, but I am prepared for a couple of harder days once his teacher returns. 

He was just getting used to her.

On a side note…..

I have played with the idea of  becoming an Educational Advocate for the past 6 months and after much thought I have made the decision to take our local college’s Educational Advocate Certification Program.  The price is a bit steep but nothing compared to what I would have to pay to hire someone for every IEP meeting.   I have also learned that the powers that be in San Diego are talking about significantly cutting the school budget…..again. 

We all know what that means. 

All programs will suffer, special needs services were hit hard in the last round of budget cuts and word is that they intend to cut them further in this next round.

I definitely  need to be armed with all the knowledge I can fit in my brain to make sure Diego gets what he needs in school. I think spring will be a good time to start the course. 

It is only a two month program twice a week.

 Then by 2012, I intend to start the process of opening a non-profit to assist parents of children with special needs with getting their child’s educational needs met. 

Educational Advocates are very expensive and quality education shouldn’t be a class issue.  I am also going  to meet with a psychiatrist, whose son is also autistic, that my mother works with to discuss her possible role in this non-profit.  If I have learned anything this past year, it is that autism  is difficult to navigate in all areas and a lot of children are falling through the cracks.  With more children falling victim to the autism epidemic every year, I feel like I have to do something. I have no idea where I will find the time or the energy, but I am confident it will come.  I have quite a few people offering their services and that is incredibly encouraging, I think that maybe with all of us involved this non-profit could turn into something really big.

Rickey thinks I am nuts.

I want to blog about the situation with Diego’s dad, as he continues to pull shit that would make even the most serene person want to punch him in the face.  But the thought of it makes me too angry, and I am trying to find some peace.

Diego’s MRI is done, everything went so great.  I really love our Children’s Hospital, they would be perfect if they just did something about the assholes in the medical records department.  The MRI results will take a week or so, and I am very interested to see if it shows anything.  Plus Diego won’t stop talking about wanting to see his brain.  Should be fun times at our house once we receive the images, I love that he is so curious about such things :). 

When we were registering at 6am the morning of the MRI, the registrar told Diego that she liked his killer whale.

It was a bull shark

While practically making her kiss the darn thing he told her that it was a bull shark NOT a killer whale, and that it came all the way from Japan ( my sis sent it to him). 

She was very impressed and hell, I was too.

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About sonidoinquieto

I hate writing bios *bio pending*

10 responses »

  1. You’d be an awesome advocate!

    I haven’t even begun to try to tackle the whole feelings thing with Nik. I don’t even know where to begin *sigh*

    I get that Rickey’s worried about you stretching yourself too thin, but, in the end? You’ll have MORE knowledge to help you feel LESS vulnerable and fearful about helping your son. THAT is a very good thing and a great position to be in.

    Reply
  2. this is, by far, one of the things i struggle with the most. identifying emotions. i just have the hardest time knowing where they are, knowing how to idenitfy them. i feel things, intensely, but when it comes to connecting those feelings to words, i just blank out, so this post really struck a chord. there’s a word for it, a clinical term for the inability to verbalize emotions, but i can’t remember it, i’ll have to look it up. anyway, the fact that you caught this so early, it means he’ll have the support he needs to slowly develop a skill for connections his words and feelings. he seems like such a vibrant and wonderful kid, i have no doubt that he has lots to say about his feelings, will communicate with ease once he learns some helpful coping strategies. anyway, thanks for the post.

    Reply
  3. YOU

    GO

    GIRL!

    we too have been working hard on helping Brooke to identify her emotions. for us, it’s a long process. we do our best to name her emotions as we see them. when she’s obviously happy, we say, ‘i see how happy that makes you!’ when she yells out in frustration we’ll say, ‘i can see that you look frustrated’ etc.

    naming the emotions in the moment that they are happening has been the only was to make them real for her, especially since it’s a challenge for her to relate other people’s expressions to her own. just because she knows that a smile means a person is happy, she doesn’t necessarily know that she’s smiling when she is.

    Reply
  4. You will make a wonderful ed advocate! I have my mother, and she’s been invaluable to both of my boys. Good for you!

    Reply
  5. YES!!!! I’m super stoked he digs his animals 🙂

    Reply
  6. oh wow I am laughing so much right now!!!!!!! BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I can JUST IMAGINE him putting it up to her face and ever so delicately correcting her. He is just so brilliant =)

    What’s wrong with Rickey?! Why does he think your nuts?! Silly boys……no vision, no vision.

    Reply
    • Is this Nikki or Dani??? Rickey thinks I’m nuts because I am stretched pretty thin already….he is just worried, I get it…

      Reply
      • oh it’s me Nicole. I don’t know why it didn’t show my name.

        Maybe if he would be up to learning and instrument or other art form it would be an alternative emotional outlet; one that doesn’t require vocabulary. Maybe he would like that or maybe not- but maybe…….right? He LOVES playing w/ Mary’s piano 😉

  7. The feelings stuff is HARD. The Roc still has issues with this. I started by getting him flashcards with real photographs of children making different (emotional) faces. We went over those many, many times. Once he started school I would get all the books in the scholastic book order that had anything to do with feelings. We started with these cartoon bunny books with titles like: “When I’m Feeling Scared” or “When I’m Feeling Angry” and then last year I got a set of books with cartoon kids as the characters and titles like: “Everybody Feels Happy” or “Everybody Feels Scared.” I would read them to him and ask him questions about the pictures and then ask him and prompt him through the answers to questions like: “What makes you scared?” etc. I think it’s really helped him identify his feelings. We talk a lot about frustration and anger and how to use words (instead of screeches.) (I just searched for those 2 different types of books and they are all on amazon if you didn’t want to wait for a scholastic order at D’s school.)

    Becoming and educational advocate would be a very wonderful thing to do! I think you would be terrific and would most definitely help a lot of people.

    Reply

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