Sunday, March 30, 2008

Animals and TV ramblings

Evan likes books... a lot. One series of books that I have been reading to him since he was 7 months old are the Animal Babies.... by Editors of Kingfisher. We have Animal Babies in Grasslands, Rain Forest, and ....In Ponds and Rivers. We've also taken out some of the others in the series from the library. Now that I've looked on Amazon, I see there are more that I wasn't aware of. Looks like I need to find some good deals somewhere! These books have great pictures of many types of animals.
On the subject of Evan liking animals, a couple of nights ago, John and I were watching a documentary on giraffes on Animal Planet. Very interesting, especially watching the mother give birth to her baby. Evan was loving it (I know this because of the smile on his face and the occasional flapping of his hands :) We brought him to the zoo last summer, but he wasn't very interested at that point. I'm looking forward to a return trip very soon when the weather starts cooperating.
More on TV... Evan had a good laugh this past week. He went up the stairs (with me following behind) and went into the TV/trains/everything room where Kyle was watching TV. Now, I've told Kyle, repeatedly, that if Evan ever goes upstairs, he is supposed to make sure that I am with him (if for some reason the gate isn't up). Once again, I quietly followed Evan up the stairs, and he went into the room where Kyle was (I stayed in the hallway). Kyle's response, "Oh, hey Evan," and they continued to watch Tom and Jerry together. (We still need to work on that!) It was funny; Evan was laughing at the appropriate times to the silly comedy. Ex.-Tom swatting a broom at Jerry's uncle, doors getting slammed on Tom, etc. Evan's shows are Little Einsteins, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Super Why!; he doesn't have much exposure to other cartoons.
It reminded me of the first time Kyle and Matt saw The Three Stooges a few years ago (their father's idea). They were laughing so hard that they had tears coming out of their eyes. Sense of humor for slapstick type comedy is one of their stronger traits :)
Yes, the boys have had their fair share of exposure to television (Kyle more than Matt). Some might argue this, but I don't think it has been all bad for their speech development. Kyle has a difficult time with conversation, more so than Matt. He kind of gets into a "one track mind," and no matter how you try to talk about one thing, he'll respond with what's on his mind. An example of this is from a couple of years ago at school. His teacher would give him papers that had pictures of people doing various activities. He had to verbally tell them a sentence about the pictures, and they would write what he said. One picture was of a girl raking leaves; in Kyle's defence, she had a bit of a thoughtful look on her face. His sentence: "The girl is thinking about Rusty Wallace." (NASCAR driver) Hmm, wonder what was on his mind!
I must say, there has been some improvement over the past couple of years. Some of his responses are so funny; he'll come up with some phrase or word that I KNOW he's gotten from a show, and he'll say it at an appropriate time. He also uses his memory of shows in a calming manner. He used to have what we would call "his phrase of the month." These are phrases that he repeats when confronted with a situation that is a bit uncomfortable. Some examples from his younger years (3, 4) : "Hi HO!, "Show me the beast!," "Humph, said the papa bear." Currently, he recites scenes from SpongeBob.
Back to the learning aspect, over the summer he learned that "perplexed means confused" (and he said it frequently). It's something he got from some crazy show called The Upside Down Show. Game Shows....he is learning numbers and they're filled with trivia. Math is tough for both of the boys; they're both at a 1st/2nd grade level in this area. With game shows, they have a strong interest; the learning comes a little easier, maybe?
Since Evan's arrival, Kyle is watching more TV than I think he should be (due to my not being able to devote as much attention to his needs; my schedule has also changed over the past few years). When they were younger, it was much easier to control the amount of TV they watched. It was easy to tell a 5 year old to go out and play (and they wanted to), and there were so many toys inside that kept their interest. They really don't "play" outside anymore. In the summer, they'll be swimming everyday, shooting some hoops, we'll go "play" a little tennis, but finding things for them to do is tricky. Well, actually, Matt is pretty good about finding things to do, Kyle is a little tougher. He sets up his train track and plays with it, plays some video games, gets involved in a family game of Trouble, and he makes lists, but boy, we're struggling to find activities that keep his interest. Suggestions are welcome :-)

Spring break is over, boooo.......I think that explains my rambling

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Link to Newscast

Here's the link to the newscast about the student with autism who was tasered:,0,4409841.htmlstory

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Oldest and the Youngest

Chelsey should be home soon from her overnight visit with friends at Indiana Wesleyan U. Of course, while she was there, she filled out an application because it's just "so nice" there. Chel, I think the first class that you need to take wherever you end up going should be an Economics class :) Hope you had fun; can't wait to hear and read (lol) all the details!
Evan enjoyed one of his newer favorite activities this morning--watching cars go by. He loves going outside. All week, he has been bringing me either his jacket or mine. So, we spent at least 45 minutes, in the cool windy weather, standing at the end of our driveway, so that he could watch cars go by. We get about 1 car per minute. When there is a break in the action, he sometimes will walk around the driveway or head towards the sidewalks. But we end up back at the end of the driveway. And when it's time to go in, I can see the almost 2 year old in him coming out. As we start heading to the door to go inside, his body starts to go limp. After we get inside, I help him get to the floor (otherwise he would throw himself down pretty hard), and he cries for about 10 minutes, big tears and all. I do feel badly for him; being outside is wonderful, especially when it's not cold out!
We haven't been hearing too many words recently. Ball still comes out on a somewhat regular basis, but that's about it. He makes various sounds, and he's doing a lot of pointing. And when he really wants something, he stretches his neck forward, and we can see the veins in his neck bulging as he gives a big "EEEEEEEEEE!" That translates into a lot of different words :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

In the News

I just saw a news report about a 14 year old student in Carmel, IN. (Creekside Middle School) who was tasered 3 times by the police. This apparently happened 2 weeks ago. The father said that his son was having a tantrum, was non-compliant, yelling and screaming, but he wasn't hurting anyone. The school officials decided to call the police. The police want to charge him with resisting arrest and intimidation. A representative from the Autism Society pointed out that this showed that nobody at the school had adequate training. The schools in Carmel are considered good schools, how could this happen?
Scary. One question that I have that wasn't answered in the newscast is "Why weren't the parents called first??" The father was awfully calm during the news interview; I don't know if I could have had the same composure.
This was on Fox 59 News (Indiana). I can't find a web link; I'll post one when it becomes available.

Puppy Love

Ooo, this looks like a comfy seat!
Can I see?
I love you!
~Sweet Dreams~

Monday, March 24, 2008


Chelsey and Kyle after their Big Broadcast performances

Matt shooting some hoops....what form!

Evan choosing his books at the library

Kyle with his library selections

Above: the seeds from last year's salvia flowers

Below: my attempt at planting the seeds; keep your fingers crossed

Chelsey will never be too old for an Easter basket

Kyle and his new cards from his Easter basket

Evan pointing at the camera; he likes to look at himself. He also likes to climb on to the couch. Last week, after attempting a headstand on the couch, he fell right on the top of his head. I saw it happening but couldn't stop the fall. I think I cried as much as he did.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Kristie at LifeWithMyXmen tagged me for a memoir. It only took me a day to come up with six words :-)

Here are the rules:
Write your own six word memoir.
Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you like.
Link to the person who tagged you in your post.
Tag six more blogs with links.
Don’t f0rget to leave a comment on the blogs you tagged inviting them to play along.

"I'm getting stronger by the hour"

I tag:
Chelsey at Chellablog
Katrina at Marriedtosuperman
Kim at Our journey
Britney at Britneylb

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Raymond Rabbit

My rabbit, who I've had for six years, died today. He was an outdoor rabbit that was given to me by one of the teachers I had worked with. The kids were okay with him, but he was my rabbit. Well, I cried for a couple of minutes, and then Matt came into the kitchen. I told him about Raymond. I figured he'd be okay with it; when our parakeets died, he had a kind of fascination by it. So, here's his first response to Raymond's death, "Is this the first time he's been like that?" There I was feeling sad, but how could I not laugh inside after a comment like that? He then went on to comment about needing to put him in the cemetery, a sign that says "Here's Raymond," "We need to put him in a bag", "Are you going to get a rooster or something" (that was very random), and other interesting thoughts. Kyle's response, "I heard." How does that make you feel? "I'm starving." He won't be losing any sleep tonight.
I've been tagged for a six word memoir....I'll need to give it a few minutes of thought.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Life Events

My dad's birthday is tomorrow.....86. That number just sounds so old.
With his birthday approaching and Chelsey's graduation only a couple of months away, I've been in a reminiscing kind of mood. I go back to my childhood---it really wasn't that long ago! It's funny, I remember a lot of sunny days and fun times; I don't remember being bothered by cloudy, cold, yucky weather---the weather I now dread.
I'm not the first person to have a child graduate from school, but right now, it feels like nobody understands what I'm feeling. Kind of silly. It's kind of like being pregnant; it's such a special event for the person experiencing it, yet it's been done by billions of people! It doesn't seem possible that my daughter has reached this point---she's my little girl. I very clearly remember watching her sit at the table in the kindergarten class as I made my way out of the room with tears in my eyes. How did she get from point A to point B? Chelsey, could you explain this to me?
My dad's b-day. His stroke last year and the cancer that is invading his body is making him look old. Once again, everyone experiences this type of situation in their lifetime, but again, it feels like I'm the only one. Not loving it.
Spring break started at 3:30 today! I've got to make a plan for what I'm going to get accomplished. I may need to set aside specific times for reminiscing so that it doesn't consume my time. That's my first plan. I also need to organize all the clothes that Evan has outgrown. I still have them all; I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them. I want to plant the seeds from my Salvia plants from last year. I usually go out and buy the plants, but I'm going to try to start them in the house this year. There is a lot of organization that needs to happen around here. And of course, most importantly, I'm going to hang with the kids!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Big Broadcast

Last night was the first performance for "Big Broadcast" at the high school. I haven't been feeling very well for the past few days, and yesterday afternoon, I had a fever. I felt awful and was crying at the thought of missing the show. I was determined to go, which I did (with my mom). This is Chelsey's last high school performance!! She sang a duet, "For Good" from Wicked, with her friend as a slide show of the seniors played in the background; it was wonderful! They are both amazing girls. I can't believe the years of volleyball, soccer, track, band, choir, and everything in between are coming to a close.
And then, after 3 hours, there was the final act of the night. This is the one where the students from the master voice class (about 7 girls) teamed up with the students from Kyle's class. They sang a song that written by the staff and students, "Everyday Heroes." It was close to 10 o'clock when they got to this act, so Kyle was a bit tired. It was, after all, after his bedtime, and he had been at the school practically the entire day. But, oh my, it was magical. To see both Chelsey and Kyle on the same stage, singing together, there aren't words to describe it. Kyle kind of kept his head turned to the side a little, but I could see his lips moving throughout most of the song. They got a standing ovation. I of course cried, and do so every time I watch the video that I recorded. I'm going to have to figure out how to use YouTube! John is going tonight with's my turn to stay home with Evan (it's too late of a night for him). I might ask my mom to watch him, but she's very tired right now....more about that in a future post.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Highs and Lows

I'll start with the "high": Kyle's has been practicing a song with a group from his class and a group from the gen. ed. class. They are going to be in the high school's variety show. When I dropped Kyle off last night for practice, his teacher said that he actually sings! Okay, I've never heard Kyle sing for more than 2 seconds. I'm so excited! I remember when he was in elementary school, I was thrilled to just see him standing with the kids during a performance. Now I might actually get to see him sing.
Now the "low": I brought Evan to story time (last week's had been canceled). When I went with him over the summer, he loved everything about it; especially being around the other kids. Yesterday, it didn't go so good. He clung to me, and when he wasn't doing that, he was heading for the door. He did enjoy hearing the stories, but he didn't want to play with the toys or do the small table activity. Oh yes, he also enjoyed eating the cottage cheese snack (I think he was the only one who ate it). I'm hoping that his behavior was just because he was tired. He's still recovering from his ear infection (started medicine last Fri.). When we got home, I tried to feed him dinner (didn't want it), and he fell asleep in his high chair; it was only 7:00. He normally goes to bed between 8 and 9. He then slept through the night. We'll see how it goes next week.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Quick Outing

This evening, we brought a vehicle that belongs to our friends to the airport (about 45 minutes away). They're coming back tonight, and this method saves them money on parking. We've done this a few other times, and we bring the boys with us. Parking on the top level allows the boys to do a little sight seeing. Well, tonight it was 25 degrees, wind blowing, with a light snow. Matt got right in our van, but Kyle stayed out to enjoy the view. John blinked the lights at him a few times, but he would pretend not to notice (just did a quick side glance). One might think that he was intently watching the planes. Nope, he was watching the buses below us. After about 5 minutes, I got out and suggested that perhaps it was a little too cold out for this. Fortunately, the two buses he was gazing at were pulling away.

About half way home, we stopped for a bite to eat. Normally, the boys enjoy eating out. This evening, we decided to try something that was new to them--White Castle. As soon as we pulled in, Kyle started announcing, "We'll never make it home in time!" That's his current most used phrase when we are somewhere he doesn't want to be. This continued periodically throughout our stay. Matt was ready for the adventure, although he kept his hands fashioned like a visor above his eyes (quite common for him). They both seemed to enjoy the food--it was a quick dinner. As we were leaving, Kyle said, "White Castle's not bad, not bad at all." When I asked Matt about it, he responded with one of his favorite phrases, "I don't know," but his restrained smile while he was eating told me that he really liked it (he likes just about any food). After we got home, Kyle, who has a way with words, said very eloquently, "That was a very good White Castle, I say. It was very delightful!" Yeah right Kyle, you were just glad to be home.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Sleeping Schedule

I've read and heard about sleep problems that some children with Fragile X have. Well, with reservation, I'm going to share the sleep habits of my boys (I'll talk about Kyle and Matt's...Evan's is a little different).
From the day Kyle was born, he has loved sleeping. As a baby, one might say that he slept too much. He quickly developed a routine. I remember an incident when he was 18 months old; he had crawled (he couldn't walk yet) over to the bottom of the stairs at 8:02 and waited for me to bring him up to bed (he usually went to bed at 8). When Matt was born, he quickly adapted to the routine that Kyle was on. Throughout their younger years (up until about 2 years ago), they would go to bed at the same time. That also meant that they would get up at the same time....6:00. If we were out past their bedtime (just a few minutes past), Kyle would tell us that it was past his bedtime.
Now it's funny. They still like their routine, so it's a big deal when they deviate from it a little. We joke with Kyle about pulling a late nighter on a weekend night. He says that he will stay up to 10 or 11, but he is usually brushing his teeth at 9 and heading off to bed. On very rare occasions, he'll stay up til 10, like if there is a NASCAR race on. Within the last year, Matt has started staying up just a little later than Kyle on the weekends, but there is always an announcement made about's funny. He usually stays up to watch something like The Iron Chef. They've also learned how to sleep in a little when they don't have school....that is they'll sleep in till about 7:30 :) ~~~They like digital clocks~~~

Ear Infection

Evan had been acting a little different the past few days; I thought that maybe he was getting the cold that John has. He had a fever Thursday night and on Friday off and on. It wasn't until late Friday afternoon that he started tugging on his ear. Around 5:30 we went to the clinic (too late to go to his doctor), and they said he had an ear infection. By that time, he was looking so miserably sick. I think this is his third or fourth ear infection. Kyle is the only one of my three older kids who had tubes.
New word: One of his favorite foods is the YoBaby Yogurt; he eats it just about everyday. There is a picture of a baby on each container. If he sees it when I open the fridge, he points to it and clearly says "baby." He hasn't signed or said all done since the one time :(

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Toddler Time canceled :(

Today, Evan and I were supposed to have gone to Toddler Time at our library (the first of three). I was so looking forward to it because Evan doesn't have the opportunity to interact with others his age. We went to three other sessions over the summer, and he loved it. But our weather turned nasty on us again, so it was canceled. It started out as as freezing rain/sleet, and then went to huge snow flakes. I'm ready for Spring!

The good news....When Evan was done eating tonight, he signed "done," and said, "All done." Of course, it was probably said in a way that only a mother would recognize, but it was there. And the signing was perfect! We've been working on it for at least 4 months, but this was the first time that he did it with absolutely no prompting; he still had food left, but he didn't want to eat anymore. Oh, I hope it continues!

Sunday, March 2, 2008


We all went bowling this evening. Chelsey came along with us, although she did not want to bowl. It worked out well because Evan was a bit of a handful. He was whiny, and nothing seemed to please him. So, Chelsey sat in the van with him while he watched his Little Einsteins movie. Before I had this van with the DVD player, I had always said that I didn't want one; the kids would miss out on what was going on around them. Well, I still kind of feel that way, but boy, it sure does come in handy!

We bowled two games; I don't remember the scores of the first one, but for the second one, the boys both bowled in the 60s, I was in the 80s, and John was in the 120s. Kyle and Matt had bowled in Special Olympics for a few seasons, but they haven't participated in a couple of years. Matt finally got to the point where he wasn't crying during practices, but receiving his ribbon or medal was absolutely torturous (but he was happy to have it the moment we would leave the building). I'll probably sign them up for it again this fall.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Matt is our 14 year old. He was almost a year old when we got the diagnosis for Kyle. We've never even had Matt tested; I didn't want to put him through the needle stick (he's never handled those well).

Matt's motor development was right on target. That year after Kyle was diagnosed is kind of a blur, so unfortunately, I don't remember specifics.

He is sooooooo painfully shy. He's a motor-mouth at home, but at school, he says very little. This is a child that has been potty-trained since he was 3 (through day and night), but was still having occasional accidents last year at school. He just won't tell anyone that he needs to go. They've tried various strategies. Their strategy now, is to have set times throughout the day when he uses the restroom (the private one). It's working so far.

He has been in a Mild program since kindergarten, although he did do half day in a regular K, and the other half in the MI room. There is a boy that has been so good for him for the past several years. He is in the general ed., but I think he was pulled out occasionally due to a learning disability. He is the one person at school that Matt will actually "talk" to. During our IEPs, we actually discuss trying to ensure that Matt's with him for his mainstream classes (such as art, P.E. (he doesn't participate, mostly watches), social studies, science). I'm very thankful for this friend--a heart of gold!

Next year is going to be a rough. We've already had one IEP meeting, but I've asked for another. Because of the "No Child Left Behind" act, high schools can't have a self-contained MI room because the MI teachers aren't considered "highly qualified." This means that the MI students are expected to be in gen. ed. classes. Matt can not do that work. They have some classes that are taught by the gen. ed. teachers that are for MI, emotionally handicapped students, and LD students, but only a few. So basically our option is to put him in the MO room when there is nowhere else for him to go. The MO teacher wasn't at this meeting. It's just so hard....the gen. ed. classrooms are definitely above his abilities, but I like him being in that type of setting. Although he would never say a word in those classes, he would be observing the social aspect. He's got great behavior, but put him in a situation where things might get silly, and he can get very silly. Maybe I'm just being unrealistic. I don't know.

Matt's a great kid. At times it seems like the Fragile X has him trapped. It's like I can see his desire to "be like everyone else."

Matt's interests: Cooking (he loves watching cooking shows), making lists, the pool, NASCAR, golf (very good on the PS2...needs some work on the real greens), helping dad outside, watching COPS (tells our dogs to "get on the ground!), bowling, and eating!

Check out It's a great international program that Kyle is involved with. I hope that Matt will be involved next year, but it will take a lot of convincing.

The National Anthem

Chelsey sang the National Anthem at the b-ball game two nights ago.......absolutely beautiful! She certainly did not get her singing talent from me.

********There Chel, I've admitted it!