Oh so much is going on right now! I could do lengthy posts about each of these things, but the time to do so just isn't here right now.
We have decided to enroll Samuel in public school. He will be entering 6th grade and will attend a "middle school." I am in no rush to get him there, they are moving to a new building. I'm sure I'm correct in guessing that the finishing touches of the building's renovation will be going on right up to the moment of the doors opening tomorrow! Also, I want him to transition VERY GRADUALLY back to school. We haven't even had the IEP meeting yet. All the details of his returning to school have yet to be worked out. I am looking for a part time start beginning with just the same amount of Speech therapy he has had at the schools for the past 3 years, then getting him to go to classes in the afternoon. My primary concern is for him to have the opportunity to work on his social skills.
In the past few weeks we have started some new in-home services, to specifically address Samuel's behavior difficulties. We are receiving them from a different source than we did 5 years ago. I am very impressed with the people who are working with us and I hope to post more about what we are doing soon.
Samuel is continuing to develop a strong sensitivity to the expression of emotions. Funny, I have been reading on one or two other blogs about how other children on the spectrum that are around Samuel's age are going through the same thing. If he hears songs on the radio that are emotional or sad he immediately wants the station changed! During a reading at church yesterday he asked, "Is this serious?" He asks the same question when he listens to news stories on TV. And, as has been happening for a while, he absolutely cannot tolerate discussions between my husband and I in which our vocal expression has anything resembling "seriousness." The problem with this is that my husband has a rather deep voice and an intense personality.. so Samuel is always misreading his mood! I am thrilled for Samuel's increased awareness of what is going on.. but it is making life rather crazy!
Let's see, what else is going on? After having some success with Samuel in a temporary tae kwon do class this summer I want to start him with some classes this fall. That might have to be on an individual basis at first. I had to closely shadow him during the summer session but I want him to learn to participate independently.
Samuel is taking part in a computer study being done by a phd student, who wants to test her hypothesis that word-recognition software helps students with autism improve their writing abilities. (This has been lots of fun, but has been challenging!)
At home he has started to work independently on some phonics curriculums, both on the computer. His attention span is so much better when working on the computer! Ironically, as we are considering putting him in school I feel like I finally "have it figured out" with his academics at home! I will consider this strongly as we develop his IEP.
Also, we are continuing to monitor his behavior after starting him on Risperdal a few months ago. If you have read my blog or if you know me, you know that I have always considered medication as a last resort. Well, we reached a critical point this past winter. If I ask Samuel why he takes the medication his answer is, "to help me be a good boy." Interesting, we certainly never explained it that way to him, rather it was explained as something to help him control himself when he got upset.
Do we have enough going on?!
I should not forget to mention... these are only Samuel's "goings on," there are 3 other children I have things going on with too!