Saturday, December 24, 2011

Quote of Joseph Smith

I think it is fitting that Joseph Smith's birthday is right around Christmas. This snippet is only part of a longer quote and a beautiful message of important instruction. I think of this part of the quote when I think of autism and it's challenges. It reminds me of the little light that my son has always had in his eyes, even when his condition was at its most challenging states. I am so glad for the chance to help his mind grow and to see his little light shine.

“We consider that God has created man with a mind capable of instruction, and a faculty which may be enlarged in proportion to the heed and diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to the intellect...."

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Day

It seems like it was just months ago since I wrote a similar post about myself for my special day, but it has really been a whole year! Today I am writing afew little things just about just myself, you know, the part of this blog I usually forget about.

I have become very interested in vegan, whole foods cooking over the last year. I was introduced to the idea by a friend years ago, but didn't think it was practical on a gluten free and other things free diet that I do. I watched the movie, Forks Over Knives, (which I loved and would totally recommend,) and have connected with some resources that will make doing more of it very doable. I will be sharing more on this topic in the near future.

  I graduated with an Assiociates Degree in Graphic Design from BYU Idaho in 2002 and have just started designing professionally this year. Adobe Illustrator is the same, I find. It just now is more user friendly than ever, and it has some cool new features. The same with Photoshop. I think the program I went through is college is serving me well.

My sewing machine has been good at saving me money. I am making a Christmas gift for Little Bear and I am currently resizing a couch cover for our large, overstuffed couch, and covering the large throw pillows, too. All that suede is kind of retro looking to me, so I am thinking of throwing some vintage panel made of some printed fabric I've got. Now just wait while I find those old stretcher bars and the staple gun...

Now that I have become the owner of a beautiful palace home and now live above ground, I am the owner of houseplants. I love my plants, and they have now survived for months. They have not shriveled up and died from lack of light. Yay!

I am now the mom of two boys, my favorite 6 year old, and my little bear. This has changed me in lots of ways, and it has mostly all for the better. Now I need to go get some sleep. :)

(My day is on the 13th, but blogger thought it was the 12th when I posted it. How funny!)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

1st Grade, Continued

Here is my post about our experience earlier in the school year--1st Grade.

Eli is now fully mainstreamed. I managed to make it in again after several weeks to volunteer in his class last Friday. It was really illuminating. Illuminating, meaning that some of my positive assumptions about a situation turn out to be false, leaving me feeling... um, disillusioned.

For one, I believed that Eli was at grade level in most areas, because of testing last year and his special ed teacher's excitement about how he has been doing academically this year. This has turned out not to be true, the teacher of the mainstreaming class tells me. If he was at grade level in reading, math, and writing before, he has fallen behind.

Also, although he is part of the typical 1st grade class and is usually a non disruptive addition, he does not participate in independent academic activities. He does not do solitary read. He looks at the pictures. He does not do anything productive during "centers" time, which is a student directed activity in this new class. His teacher cannot sit behind him and make sure he is on task. She has 20 other kids.

It looks like my quest continues. My challenge is to create a situation where Eli can suceed, and then help him to meet the challenge. His mainstreaming teacher and I both agree that he is better off in her class, rather than the special ed class, even if things just continue the way that they are. At the same time, my feelings are that mainstreaming has been too much change for him, too quickly, and I am faced with the fact that he is really not fully ready for it yet. At the same time, I know that going back to the old class is not an option.

I have been discussing with the teacher getting Eli an adult aide to help him during his more challenging parts of the day. I know that legally I can push for this, in fact my own mother got my brother an aide for his class when he needed it. But in this situation, what is reasonable for me to ask and what does he really need? The economy is doing crazy things to the schools, and I want so much for my son to be able to do what he needs to on his own.

We are still weighing all this and still looking into options for his future education as well.