As always I have much to be thankful for this week.
1. That Barry, Michelle and the boys will be staying nearby. I love being able to take the boys out and do things with them. Things as simple as taking a walk in the woods, going to the park, playing a game of baseball, riding bikes, watching a movie and of course, visiting the farm.
2. I'm thankful that Mom is in fairly good health and is still able to do things with us. We are so lucky to have her with us.
3. That we have food on the table and a roof over our heads. Some are not so lucky. We may not always have what we want, but God provides our needs.
4. For friends that touch my heart every day. One such lady did so today and she knows who she is. Thank you, my dearest friend for making my day.
5. For babies, robins, red-winged blackbird, hawks soaring overhead on the wind currents, flowers, signs of spring, sunrises and sunsets and other beauties of the Earth. I am a nature girl and all of these things bring me joy.
6. For Meeko who brightens our life with his antics and he takes us outside in all kinds of weather with his walk. He tries his best to keep us in shape.
7. I'm thankful for the little girl at the grocery store who held the door and started up a conversation when I thanked her. We had quite a talk and her mother was so kind to allow me to have that conversation. A random act of kindness that touched my heart. That little princess made my day.
8. For grandsons who want me to buy my fishing license so we can go fishing together.
9. For a husband who is diligent, hardworking and puts up with me even when I'm not having a good day. Sometimes he should have a medal. Of course sometimes I should too. LOL
10. For all the blessings that God bestows upon me each day. For all this I am truly thankful.
My husband is crazy for Patsy Cline. Mom loves all of the music that the great old entertainers brought to us via the radio when I was a kid. Sooo, a couple of weeks ago Mom phoned and asked us if we would like to go with her to see Connie Burton as Patsy Cline.
I was a little leary because I've found that many impersonators don't do a good job. I must tell you, I'm glad I went. This little lady is good. There was a few times I noticed that she didn't sing a note just as Patsy would have, but they were very few. She did a smash-up job of impersonating one of the greatest country and western singers of all time.
Hubby and I don't get out often and this was a wonderful outing. Thanks, Mom. We sure appreciate it.
Yesterday when I posted about Asperger's Syndrome, Edge of Design asked this question:
Would you mind refreshing my memory Mary? While reading more about AS, I was wondering what it again that alerted you to the possibility it might be something like AS and not just a personality thing? I'm just waking up so some of the details are sketchy to me. I think what it is I really would like to know is if someone's children were diagnosed with Autism, could they actually be suffering from AS and not know it?
When Brandon was young, he used to line things up rigidly. If they were moved out of place, he would instantly align them again. I mean perfect alignment. He would spent hours doing this. Another thing we noticed was that he was obsessed with trains - all kinds of trains and by the time he was about four years old, he could identify a cross-section of a steam engine. By this I mean all of the parts. Besides this, he did have meltdowns from the time he was about 3 or 4 months old - usually because he was too hot. I mean he would scream until we realized that he was too warm. As he grew older, he had meltdowns about other things and as he got older, the meltdowns became worse, especially if there was a change in his routine. He had a lot of problems at clock change. He still has some issues with this, but not near as bad as he used to.
One of the specific indicators that he was on the autism spectrum was what we called, Brandon's little dance. When he became excited he would flap his hands and do a little dance. He would bring his right elbow down and his right knee up until they almost touched - very similar to the dance that football players do when they score. We thought the hand flapping and the dance were cute. Little did we know at that time that these were specific signs of autism.
Brandon started Junior Kindergarten when he was four and he had a very good teacher. This same teacher taught him in Senior Kindergarten and it was then that she told us that Brandon had problems socializing with the other children. We thought that odd because he usually got along well with kids his age. However, matters continued to get worse at school and we had no idea why.
Brandon was very smart and went on to grade one. That year he had a teacher who had just graduated from Teacher's College. She knew nothing about working with special ed children and at this point we still didn't know that Brandon had Asperger's Syndrome. We had many problems that year. Brandon was very curious about certain things. One boy in his class had really curly hair. Brandon would stand behind him in line and touch his hair. He was asked over and over not to do this, but continued. The teacher and principal labeled him as bad. We knew this wasn't true and couldn't figure out what was going on. Usually about four days out of five when I went to pick him up from school he was in the principal's office for some small infraction of the rules. Brandon touched someone. Brandon wouldn't sit in circle. Brandon wouldn't join in a group. Well, children that have Asperger's do not like to be in a group. So, finally we took Brandon to a behavior specialist and he tested Brandon. Several appointments later and after a trip to a child psychologist at Chedoke Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, Brandon was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.
Before the beginning of the next school year, Barry & Michelle moved so Brandon would no longer have to attend that school. That is the year that he got Mrs. V for a Vice Principal. Mrs. V had been a special education teacher before she became a VP. She saw right away the tendencies that Brandon had and went to work to have him formally identified as PDD-NOS (Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Defined.) She wanted this identification so he could have an Individual Educational Profile. This allowed him to have a educational assistant to help him in the classroom and also allowed him special privledges in areas in which he had problems. Over the next two years, with Mrs. V working on his behalf, he learned a lot and improved greatly. He is doing great at this time and is learning to cope with daily life with far less problems.
Now to answer your other question Edge.
I think what it is I really would like to know is if someone's children were diagnosed with Autism, could they actually be suffering from AS and not know it?Asperger's Syndrome is a form of autism. So, if the child has been diagnosed with autism, it depends if he is at the high or low functioning end of the Autism Spectrum. Asperger's and PDD-NOS are much the same. The reason that Brandon was formally identified with PDD-NOS is because if he had been formally identified with Asperger's Syndrome, he would not have been eligible for an educational assistant. Brandon's only physical attributes that show are somewhat of a large head, a bit of awkwardness in his motor skills and an odd gait. People who are not familiar with AS would not know that he has issues.
Low functioning autistic children often do not talk until almost two years old and sometimes never learn to talk in the way we call normal. That is a word that I hate. What is normal for one is not normal for another. We are all different. Low functioning autistic often have to be put into group homes as they age. Brandon, if we teach him all he needs to know, will live on his own and do just fine. Low functioning autistic children will have severe mental and physical challenges. I count my blessings every day that Brandon is high functioning autistic.
Brandon was actually a blessing to our family. We have learned so much from this young lad. He has taught me to look at the world through his eyes and it is a much different world when I see it from his point of view. Liken it to a tapestry. We see the entire thing while kids with Asperger's Syndrome see every thread. It is a complicated world for them.
Edge, if you are still with me, I hope that I have answered your question. If anyone has any other questions, feel free to ask. If I don't know, I will research it and find out. The more educated we become on the subject of Autism, the better it is for all concerned.
Take care and have a wonderful Thursday. Sorry the post was so long. ~Blessings, Mary~