Monday, April 30, 2012


I can't believe I forgot to post about this! Gregory's first IEP meeting was Wednesday. And then I've been out of town ever since. Gosh! 

So, all in all it went really well. I think it did. It was my first. Spent the first (and longest) part of it going over the report that spells out in detail everything about Gregory. They took everything I've ever said, they've observed, I've wrote down and summarized it all up. It was so weird seeing Gregory all spelled out on paper in every little detail. 

We went of the IEP which was a summary of the first report and went over his goals for the next year. An IEP is a living breathing legal document and can be changed at anytime. We won't plan on meeting until this time next year though. 

Goals for the OT:
-To be able to cute a circle

Goals for Speech:
-To help with words with more than one syllable with in the word. In stead of saying "lemonade" he says "la la lade". 

-To help him not talk like "Sid the sloth from Ice Age".

Goals for his teacher:
-To learn how to take turns
-To complete a task from begining to end
-To be able to express when he has to use the restroom
-To recognize his name in print
-To be able to identify 4 letters in his name

He starts tomorrow. He'll go M-Th from 9:30-11:30.

I'll let you know how it goes! Thanks for all the prayers! 

Last day at CLS

Today we are a little sad. One chapter ends and a new one begins. Today is Gregory's last day at his current private preschool. Tomorrow he starts special needs preschool at the school down the street, Papago! His new teacher will be Mrs. Headley.

Thank you to CLS and Mrs. Marcantonio for everything and being apart of this amazing journey with us and Gregory! Hope to be back in 2013.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ahhh chooo!!!!

Everyone who knows Gregory has seen him itching his nose like crazy at any given time. Poor honey. At his yearly appointment in February, his doctor went ahead and put in an order for an allergy test. The other week week we go his blood drawn and then last Wednesday I got the results. Dun Dun Dun. 

In a nut shell, something he is allergic to will only come up if he's been exposed to it already. A normal person will be allergic to 61 things. Gregory is allergic to 381!!!! Oh my goodness!!! Don't freak out just yet. Each thing he is allergic to is rated on a scale of 1-6 . . . 6 being highly allergic. All of Gregory's were either a 1 or a 2. Whew! Except for peanuts being a 3. No surprise. 

So, poor honey!!! Things that he is allergic to?

Many of our beautiful dessert plants.
Egg Whites

I asked his doctor if we should start avoiding these foods? She said if he has symptoms like watery eyes or itchy nose. Helloooo? Yes! He does! Told her we had recently started him on Children's Claritin . . . does that help? She said it helps. 

She is putting in a referral for us to see an Allergist (one more doctor to add to the list) who will work with Gregory over time building up a tolerance to each allergy. So, that will be good.


Tomorrow is our first IEP meeting. I've heard horror stories. I've also heard good stories. Send your prayers my way. Big post to follow I'm sure. And if any of you out there reading this have been through this, please leave me any tips you might have. Until tomorrow . . .  

From SPD Blog:

Tips for the IEP meeting

We had our very first IEP meeting last week and despite being worked into an absolute panic in the days leading up to the whole thing, I think it went pretty well.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, an IEP, or Individualized Education Program, contains goals and a description of services that will be included in the education of children with disabilities to help them reach educational and developmental milestones according to their individual needs (see Wikipedia for more).

I gotta be honest. I didn’t know what to expect from the meeting. Friends who had been through the process warned me of having to fight tooth and nail to get their children the services they needed. Others advised me not to sign anything until I had my daughter’s pediatrician look at the IEP and translate all the goals for me. I was terrified that my husband and I would be in a goal-setting death match with people who were determined to trick us out of getting the services our daughter needs.

Of course, I tend to worry a lot.

When I worry, I prepare — usually for the worst. I wanted to have everything I needed for an all-out war at my fingertips when that meeting started. Now, the “all-out war” never DID break out at my daughter’s IEP meeting and it turns out that the school professionals really did want to help me and my family get Little Miss all the services she needed. But my husband and I were better prepared to answer questions from the school staff and really work together as a collaborative team when it came to Little Miss’s best interests because we were prepared.

So what can you do to get ready for this all-important meeting? Here’s a list of the things that worked best for us:

1. Re-read the school’s recent evaluations. I can’t emphasize this enough. Prior to the IEP meeting, we met with the preschool program director and the school psychologist to discuss my daughter’s needs. When I brought up SPD with the psychologist, she quickly brushed off the idea and suggested that my daughter’s issues were more adoption related. I was not pleased with the reception.

But as we read through the play-based evaluation my daughter had participated in a few weeks before, it became obvious that the occupational therapist for the school had picked up on Little Miss’s SPD-related issues and that she was making a case for accommodations in the classroom. If I hadn’t bothered to re-read the evaluation before going into the IEP meeting, I would have forgotten entirely that my husband and I had a valuable ally already on our side.

2. Invite all of the professionals who are currently working with your child to the meeting. Yes, we had a REALLY full house at the meeting. But the input we were able to get from the other people who had already spent close to two years working with our daughter was invaluable. For example, our early intervention specialist was able to provide great information about Little Miss’s ability to play together with other children and her typical behaviors when asked to share.
Folks you should consider inviting:
  • Early intervention
  • Social workers
  • Current therapists
  • Caregivers or current teacher (if your child spends most of his/her time in day care or already attends another school)
3. Obtain copies of all your child’s latest goals and notes from therapists and other professionals who won’t be in attendance. This is especially important if you intend to continue working with your existing therapists while working with the school professionals.  The goal is to get everyone on the same page and try to keep them there. For example, based on updated accomplishments from my daughter’s current physical therapist (PT), we were able to set more challenging (and helpful) goals with the school’s PT.

There is one thing to keep in mind with this item — if you intend to give copies to the school to keep in you’re child’s file, go through the notes with a dark pen and cover up medical ID numbers, etc. before photocopying the documents.

4. Complete a copy of the SPD checklist (available from We actually began the meeting by distributing a copy of the SPD checklist with notes on Little Miss’s behaviors to everyone. This allowed everyone to get an overview of Little Miss’s specific behaviors and understand where some of her sensory problem areas were from the point of view of the two people who know her best — mom and dad.

Remember that the school professionals may have had limited contact with your child up until that first IEP meeting so any tool that can give them a leg up on what to expect will be appreciated!

This is Gabriel Making Sense of School by Hartley Steiner 

5. Splurge on a copy of Hartley Steiner’s This is Gabriel Making Sense of School and read it cover to cover. This short book is a great tool for educators who are struggling with what SPD is and what kinds of accommodations can be made in the classroom. We actually brought our copy of the book with us to the IEP meeting and passed it around to the people present. I also plan on getting a copy for the school’s library in the near future!

6. Have someone watch your child while you’re at the meeting (if applicable). This final piece was critical for us. Because my daughter is only going on three years old, she can get very bored very quickly in meetings like the IEP. I actually took her to the initial meeting with the program director and school psychologist only to find that i could barely remember half the things we discussed even as we were walking out the door. In order for the IEP meeting to be productive (for us), we knew we had to leave Little Miss with her nana and pap-pap.

She may be included in future meetings, but only once she gets a little better self-control.
So… that’s my two cents. Granted, this advice comes after only one IEP meeting, so I hope all you veterans will chime in now with your best tips. I’m looking forward to getting a few new ideas for our next meeting!

**Editor’s note:  You can also download the Sensory Accomodations Page.  Over 100 of the most common and useful sensory accommodations for your child in the classroom.  It is a FREE and helpful tool for parents to communicate their child’s sensory issues to the entire school staff.
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Help? Venting? I dunno.

So, Gregory's last day at his current preschool is the 30th. Only a few more days. He's been doing really well. Having good days. No accidents. Today was like any other morning. A very typical Gregory morning. 

When we get to school, as soon as we get out of the truck, he's running around. Being Gregory. This morning he just held my hand the whole walk to his class room. Very calm. Very sweet. He never wants to hold hands so I was eating this up! 

Go into his class room. He's suppose to go wash hands first thing. He got distracted by new toys set out as usual. I told him to go wash his hands. A kid takes the toy in front of him and Gregory FREAKS out . . . wacks him on head with it . . . screams . . . crys . . . face all red . . . veins popping out!!! And from that moment on he kept hitting every kid. Wacking them on the head with toys. Squeezing them. I wanted to cry. I'd personally never seen him act that way that bad before. My heart was sad for him. Like, why are you acting this way? Why are you so mad? I want to help. I felt so bad for him. 

He made it an hour and a half before I got a call to come pick him up. Nothing had changed. Poor Gregory. Poor kids. Poor teacher. 

I wish I could figure him out. Its hard enough figuring your kids out. Let alone a kid that can't talk the best and has special needs. I just want to help him. Teach him. Make it better. 

Any thoughts????

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"All kids do that"

I saw this post today on the SPD blog . . . so good . . . how I feel often. I know other parents are trying to empathize and be nice but it is very frustrating. 

 Also reading this, I'm realizing how much more Gregory is like this . . . I often feel like he's just being a stinker and isn't listening . . . maybe its much more.  

"All Kids Do That” – Safety

April 11, 2012 by in ADHD, Autism, Behavior with 10 Comments
As parents of children with special needs, we have all heard the phrase, “all kids do that”, from well-meaning family members, friends, and parents of typical children.  Whether it’s said in reference to potty training, eating, social skills or behavioral challenges, it is frustrating to hear and minimizes our experience and concern over an issue that has garnered a great deal of time, attention, and stress.
There have been a number of posts from great bloggers about this issue recently.  One topic I haven’t seen covered, and is particularly relevant for us, is safety (maybe it was covered and I missed it, not sure).
We’re programmed, as parents, to keep our children safe.  But what happens when our child is programmed for danger??  Although my son is “high functioning”, the ADHD component of his disability slows his processing time, and decreases his impulse control.  That’s an extremely dangerous combination:  slower thought processing and an inability to control his impulses means that everyday things become dangerous issues.
Yesterday my husband picked up Connor from the after-school program.  As they were leaving, another child’s father was coming in.  This father happens to be a sheriff.  He arrived in full uniform, complete with holster and gun.  As Connor and hubs walked past the man, Connor turned and murmured “oh, a gun.”  He reached out toward the gun as my husband said “NO”, but his arm didn’t falter, until my husband reached out and grabbed him back.  He wasn’t ignoring my husband’s command, he simply was so intent on the object that he couldn’t stop himself, and would have touched it if his efforts weren’t thwarted.

We had multiple discussions about safety and personal space.  Connor knows a gun is dangerous, but asked, “will it fire if you just touch it?”  His brain is not wired to accept an explanation, he is determined to find things out for himself, no matter the consequences.
It has always been this way.  When he was little, it wasn’t enough to say “stay away from the street” or “stay on the sidewalk.”  I knew I had to always be within reaching and grabbing distance of him.  He is almost 7, and sometimes this is still an issue.
So last night, when my mom said, “he’s a boy, boys do those kinds of things”, I had to have a very clear conversation about the difference between Connor and “other boys.”
I told her the fire ant story.  When he was about 3 1/2, he became enthralled with an ant hill.  For two weeks, he would find a moment in the day to get near this particular ant hill.  Each day I told him frightening stories of the fire ants and how they will bite, and it stings quite a bit.  Each day he headed right back to the ant hill.  Finally I got a pitcher of water ready, came out and stood next to him, and said “fine, go ahead and poke the ant hill.”  He did, and immediately jumped back when he saw the thousands of fire ants bubble to the surface.  It was summer, so he was wearing sandals, and one ant managed to make its way onto his foot and bite him.  He began howling and I poured the water over his foot, and then took him in to put Neosporin on it.
“Do you want to poke the ant hill again?”, I asked.
“Nooooo, I hate those stupid ants!”
Learning the hard way is fine for fire ants, but isn’t an option when it comes to street traffic, strange dogs, or guns.
All kids don’t do that.  My kid does.  To say that “all kids do that” minimizes the fear I live with each day, that my son’s impulses will override what he’s been taught, and have disastrous consequences.
There’s a police station visit in my very near future.  It’s not enough to say “no”, or to have a conversation.  We will have to go to great lengths to drive this point home, and enlist the help of others that can help illustrate the dangers of firearms.
So please, don’t tell me all kids do that.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


This is Cara. She is my brother in law's girlfriend and has been watching Gregory every Tuesday after school for a few months now. Its been a blessing that she was able to help us out during all this preschool transition stuff. She is a sweet special woman with a good heart and I feel blessed to know her. Check out  Cara's Blog and you'll fall in love with her too. 

Cara is currently enrolled at Grand Canyon University. She is studying to be a Pediatric Orthopedic P.A. She wants to work at Phoenix Childrens Hospital one day. This semester she is taking a Genetics class and had to pick a genetic disorder to do a report on and she picked "Galactosemia"!! I was so excited to hear this! 

Thank you Cara for bringing more awareness to Galactosemia! xoxo

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Wow! What a week! We had 8 days of non stop family fun!

Gregory's mamo (my mom) flew down from Boise to celebrate her 50th Birthday with friends and family here in Phoenix. The next day we woke up at 3:00 and flew back with her to Boise.

Here is Gregory and mamo at the Seatac airport where we had a brief layover.

We got in around noon and met up with Momo (my mamo), Grandpa, and cousin Mandy. We hung out and gave GT dinner and a bath. I told him bed was in a few minutes. This is how I found him on mamo's couch. 5:30 Arizona time. Busy day!

Pure handsomeness!

Uncle Bug (a.k.a. Uncle Bub) reading "Squirmy Wormy"

On our way to church!

Sunday night was mamo's big birthday party. Here is Gregory and is new friend Lucy. Sooo cute!

Here is all our family that was there at mamo's party!

Its Tuesday and all the family is gone. We went to the playground with mamo.

Leaving Boise. :( Getting ready to go to Seattle.

Tuesday night we flew back to seattle to go see Grandma, Aunt Kath, Uncle Mark, and cousin Katie. We got in at 11:45 that night. Here is GT and Grandma watching cartoons the next day.

We went to the play ground and a guy was using his tractor! He let me get in!!!

I got to walk Sandy! She is so cute!

Getting ready to board our plane to Phoenix!

Wednesday night at 9:00 we left for Phoenix! Here we come daddy!

Fell asleep on mommys lap on the plane. Whew! Mommy could not wake me up. We were the last ones on the plane. The pilots and flight attendants were waiting for us. As I was walking off I kept wanting to fall asleep in the chairs as I passed them.

Such a fun trip! We loved seeing all our family! Boy are we tired though!

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