Friday, August 29, 2008

August update

Life has been so crazy this month. I don't know why I thought it would calm down with school starting but it definitely didn't. The update on Tia's school situation is good. She got a new aide who I really, really like! She is young and has a 14 y.o. sister with DS so she loves children with DS. HOORAY!! Tia seems to really like school. I went and talked to her class last week about her having Down syndrome and what that meant. It went well I think. She showed them some sign language and we talked a lot about how everyone is different but we can all be friends. Tia loved showing off and telling them about the things she loves to do. It was really cute.

Now for the update on Max. He is cruising furniture!!!! We were a bit unsure how long it would take because he seems to have very unstable ankles but he holds on and walks from one end of the couch to the other without a problem. It is so exciting to watch. Now for the not fun part. He is teething and has a cold so he is crying a lot and having a hard time sleeping. It has been a bit stressful at times but we are hanging in there.

Tyler likes school too and I really like his teacher. He pretty much only tells me about snack but I hear him singing all the songs and he is talking a lot more. He never wants to go to school because he thinks life as a couch potato is much more appealing but once the bus comes, he is ready! Too funny.

Tonight on Dateline was a look into institutions/orphanages in Serbia. It was SO heartbreaking. Max came from a Children's Home that was NOT like that. We are so glad that he had good care and that he was put up for adoption there. The other institutions do not offer children for adoption and so the overcrowding is terrible and the staffing is low and the neglect is high. My life is busy. Sometimes my life feels very stressful but I am so thankful for Max in our family and for those who helped bring him to us. Thanks.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

First week of first grade

Tia's first day of first grade!!! How cute!! Can you guess what her favorite color is? =-)

So how was the first week of school, you ask? STRESSFUL!!! Tia's teacher and aide did not have any information on her. I had written a 3 page "All about Tia" for them and I was really glad I did. One thing they did not know is that Tia will not poop in the potty so she is still in Pull-Ups at school and needs to be changed and taken to the bathroom on a schedule to pee. The aide is less than thrilled about this and has asked for a different student assignment. So, we will see how long it takes to get a different aide. I can't blame her, I don't love it either but have no idea how to get her to "go".

There was NO aide for lunch like there was supposed to be so I played lunch aide all week and had to find a sitter for Ty and Max during lunch. Now she is going to eat with a Special Needs class so she can have some help opening things and making sure she gets to the right places and has time to eat. She eats 3 things. Pasta squares (by Gerber), mac-n-cheese, and Vienna Sausages. That is what she will eat every week, all year. YUCK!!! I really hope I can convince her to broaden her horizons a bit. Hot lunch has a lot of choices but I am worried she will ask for something she doesn't like and won't eat. She does that a lot. She will ask for pizza or PB&J and I know from years of wasting food, that she won't eat it. I'm not sure if she is just asking for what she knows other kids eat (like Tyler) or what?! Sigh.

I just wish I could enroll my kids in school and that was it. But, it is so much more work, effort and stress with a child with special needs. After 4 days, the Resource teacher offered us a Skills Class (self-contained classroom) as an option for Tia instead of the regular ed. class she is in. That was frustrating. Could they give her a chance to adjust??? I am not anti special education at all but, I know that research shows children with DS are better off in a typical class with modifications. Tia is bright, she does not have behavior issues, she tries hard and there is no reason they cannot help her succeed in a regular classroom. I don't know what the next few years will bring but for now we feel strongly that Tia is in the right place. I pray, cry, stress and read as much as I can before her IEP meetings to place her in the right setting. It is hard to have someone tell you they don't think you made the best decision. I don't tell other people that they made the wrong decisions for their children! I can't imagine telling someone, "So, I noticed your son is immature for his age" or "most kids his age can jump better than that" or whatever. If I said that to a typical parent they would hit me! I don't know why people think they can point out our children's short comings. They have Down syndrome. They are not going to be age appropriate in everything. This is why Special Education services are in place to help them. OK, so to sum up, this week was hard! =-) Sorry for ranting and raving. Hopefully, this week will go better and Tia will get a new aide.