That’s Sick, Yo

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. (Don’t hate me for starting Christmas music already.) It’s also the sickest, and not in the good sense that the word “sick” is being used in these days.

The night before, the girl woke me up around 3AM. Not by kissing my cheek, shoving her knees in my back, or rubbing her feet on my pajamas (something she loves to do, which is so darn odd), but by puking on my back. That poor girl threw up for the following nine hours. We were worried that her reflux was flaring up again, but the vomiting shifted to diarrhea and then back to vomit later in the evening, so we felt like it was safe to assume that she had a stomach bug.

I truly learned what Clothes Mountain is when we went through most of our towels and linens. We had a trash can and vomit bag, but somehow vomit still got everywhere.

She woke up at 4:00 last night and refused to try to go back to sleep. Super cranky. We kept her home today and hopefully she’ll feel all better by tomorrow. Tomorrow will mark her tenth absence this year, so she’s missed 20 percent of the school days at this point. Plus she gets the half day for therapy every week. Ten days is the most they’re supposed to miss, so hopefully we won’t run into any issues if she misses more.

While my husband and LM were out last night, she wanted to lie down on my bed because she was tired. I laid down with her, and she didn’t go to sleep but became Chatty Cathy instead. That is one interesting child. She started talking about Teen Titans and how she noticed that each of the characters has a different way of talking. She told me facts about lions and the planets. (She seemed disappointed when I didn’t know which planets are gas giants.)

And then she abruptly shifted gears and told me she had to start liking Barbie dolls. I asked why and she said it’s what girls are supposed to like and if she likes them too, maybe people will stop staring at her all the time.

“Who’s staring at you?” I asked.

“Everybody. Everywhere I go, people stare at me. I hate it when people look at me. They all think I’m different,” she said and scowled.

I told her that I doubted anyone was staring at her because she didn’t like Barbies and it’s probably because she’s so cute.

“I know I’m cute,” she agreed. “But I have short hair like a boy and wear boy clothes and that’s why people stare at me.” (For the record, while her hair is shorter, it looks nothing like a boyish haircut, and she probably only wears her shirts from the boy’s section half of the time.)

I talked to her for a while about how everyone is different and can like whatever they want to like, as I’ve done in the past. I told BG that I’d be happy to get her a couple of Barbies for Christmas, but that she should want them because she actually wants to play with them, not because of other people.

She shifted gears again. “Sometimes the girls at school cry,” she said. I asked why, and she told me it’s when they fall down or have an accident.

“Do you ever cry?” I asked.

“Only once. On Halloween, in PE, we were playing Duck, Duck, Goose. I cried then.”

“What happened during Duck, Duck, Goose?”

“It was loud. It’s always loud in there. I had to sit in the middle and didn’t know why. Everyone was looking at me, and I started crying.”

“Poor girl. What did the teacher say?”

“She fussed and said stop, so I stopped, but I wanted to cry more. My friend Zoey patted me on the back and tried to make me feel better.” Zoey is the child who told my husband on the field trip that it was her job to protect Baby Girl.

I told BG that I was sorry that happened and that I would talk to her PE teacher about it. I’ll get a pair of noise canceling headphones for her to use in there when it gets too loud for her and let the teacher know to give BG a sensory break when she gets overwhelmed. She retired a few years ago and decided to work again part-time, so hopefully she isn’t one of those teachers who is difficult over this sort of thing. It really bothers me that she couldn’t take a few seconds to ask why she was crying.

I asked BG if any other enrichment classes were too loud for her, and she said music is, so I’ll get some headphones for that class, too. I could just ask her teacher to send around the pair she already has, but I imagine they’d get lost eventually.

“I hate when things are loud. It hurts and makes me sad and mad!” She sounded upset, so I asked BG if she wanted a hug. She hadn’t wanted to be held or cuddled all day. “No. Why do people want to hug all the time?”

“It’s a display of affection, to show someone they care about them.”

“My friends hug me a lot.” I asked if she was okay with that, and she said sometimes it makes her skin feel itchy. I told her she could ask them to give her a high five instead. I decided to take the opportunity to delve into her brain and ask about some of her other autistic traits, like why she doesn’t make eye contact sometimes. This is because it hurts her eyes and makes her feel sad. Rubbing soft things makes her feel happy, but she said she doesn’t do it at school because people will stare. She has a lot of meltdowns because she’s always cranky — everything is too loud. I knew sensory overload was the cause of that. I’m going to look into some less bulky noise canceling headphones for her to wear more frequently.

I hate the kiddo is sick, but I’m glad it gave us the opportunity to lay down and talk like that. I doubt she would’ve been still long enough to talk for so long about things like that otherwise. Hopefully she’ll bounce back today and be back to her normal wound up self.

The Psychologist From Hell

Ever since BG was diagnosed as being on the spectrum, I’ve done so much reading. Part of that reading includes joining message boards on Facebook and checking out other parents’ experiences with their kids. I’ve seen so many comments about the hell parents dealt with to get accommodations and services for their kids. I felt relieved since we worked with the school in the past to get a 504 Plan for my son, and even though it took longer than I would’ve liked, it wasn’t an awful experience by any means.

And then today happened.

We requested a meeting to discuss a 504 Plan and speech services. LM had speech services at his teacher’s request when he was in second grade (before his 504 Plan was implemented), and I figured it’d be pretty easy to get them for the girl, too, especially since her speech issues are more severe. (I didn’t even realize LM wasn’t pronouncing his S’s right until the teacher told me.)

We expected to meet with the assistant principal (who also helps coordinate student services), the guidance counselor, BG’s teacher, and the school psychologist.

The school principal, a lady who coordinates speech therapy through the district, the school resource teacher, and the lead psychologist for the school district came as well. The school psychologist, who we absolutely loved with LM, wasn’t there. Things got off to a rough start with the lead psychologist (who we’ll call Asshole) asked why we were meeting. I was thinking, dude, there are like nine people in this room and you have no idea why we’re here?

I told him we were there to discuss accommodations for Norah’s ADHD and autism, plus talk about what speech services the school can provide.

“And where are you even getting this stuff?” Asshole asked condescendingly. “Where are you pulling that diagnosis from?”

My husband reminded him that we sent a copy of the report over weeks ago (and frankly, even if it didn’t make it to his desk, he should’ve come into the meeting with an idea of what’s going on). I brought in some extra copies I printed off and slid one over to him. Asshole made a face as if I placed a turd in front of him.

“I don’t want words on paper,” he snapped. “Where are you getting this stuff?”

“We aren’t just getting it from anywhere,” I said. “Following years of behavioral issues and developmental delays, we took BG to a child psychologist, who did a full work-up. Over the course of about a month’s worth of appointments, he did extensive testing and diagnosed BG with Asperger’s, or high functioning autism, and ADHD. He also noted that she has a language delay, sensory processing disorder, and motor skill coordination disorder. All of that is on the report from the psychologist.”

Asshole glanced at it and said, “Well, she might have a clinical diagnosis, but that doesn’t mean anything in a school setting, so I don’t know where you’re pulling this from.”

The speech lady spoke up and suggested we discuss her speech issues. So we did, and she said that BG likely wouldn’t qualify for speech services right now. They prefer to wait until they’re eight to start for the main sounds BG has trouble with. She did say that she would talk with her teacher on reminding BG how to form those sounds. The resource lady asked a lot of questions about her sensory processing and motor skills issues and said she could definitely work with her on that. She said she’d like to get an FM system for BG, too, and that it could deliver the teacher’s voice directly to Norah through headphones and that way she wouldn’t have to deal with so much background noise.

“She has to have an IEP and be a special ed student to go to the resource room,” Asshole interjected. “And I don’t know if we’re going to even evaluate her for an IEP. Maybe we’ll consider a 504 Plan.”

“We didn’t ask for an IEP meeting,” my husband answered. “We wanted her to get a 504 Plan to discuss classroom accommodations and speech.” I added that her teacher was already making the accommodations we wanted, but that it needed to be put in writing to follow her to other classes/grades. The lady over speech services said that she’d have to get an IEP to get formal speech therapy services, and we asked why LM got them without a 504 plan, and she said the speech services LM received were separate from that.

The resource lady asked if BG’s hearing had been tested and said some of the students she’s had before had speech issues because of hearing loss. I told her she was diagnosed with a mild higher frequency loss, but that her audiologist wanted to have her retested after she gets her tonsils out. She asked if there was a history of loss in the family, and I told her about my hearing loss.

I shit you not — Asshole chuckled. “WHAAAAAT?” he said in a loud, slow mocking voice. I’ve heard that mocking voice — the one indicated deaf/hard of hearing people are stupid — far too many times. If looks could kill. No one said anything for a bit until the assistant principal asked BG’s teacher how she did during the fire alarm yesterday, shifting gears back to the sensory processing stuff.

“Fine, no problems,” she said.

“Well, how’d she seem when you picked her up?” Asshole asked me.

“She was fine when I picked her up,” I said.

“I don’t see how there’s a problem with all of this then,” Asshole said.

“Oh wait!” BG’s teacher said. “I’m sorry, but I was wrong. She wasn’t there for the drill. She had already left for her therapy appointments when we did the drill. But I’ll make sure to give her a head’s up so she can put on her headphones next time.”

Asshole shrugged it off. The resource lady asked about meltdowns at home, and we discussed those for a while, with Asshole chiming in saying that these meltdowns are normal for kids in elementary school. Resource lady and the guidance counselor told him that while kids might have tantrums at home after school, that it wasn’t normal for a kid to have multiple meltdowns that get as extreme as hurting others and themselves. More shrugging off. He gave zero fucks.

The meeting lasted an hour. We were so pissed off by the time it was over. Again and again, Asshole made snarky comment after snarky comment. I can’t remember the last time I was around anyone who was so rude and condescending. I could tell he pissed off some of the other people at the table, too, because he was equally dismissive of their concerns or suggestions for helping BG. He also said it’d be easier if she’d just continue with her private therapies. I should’ve asked why he thought a kid with no problems needed private therapies, but I didn’t.

When it was wrapping up, the resource lady asked if she could keep a copy of BG’s evaluation. If she’s anything like the resource lady that I worked with years ago, she’ll probably try to help out BG whether she has an IEP or not. (The resource lady at my old school was an absolute saint and would include the kids whose parents would allow testing since she knew they needed help anyway.) The guidance counselor also asked for a copy.

“You can have this,” Asshole said and tossed it to the other end of the table. “I don’t need it.”

Perfect way to wrap things up.

I don’t get how someone who has never met my child, never heard the first teacher’s report about her, who wouldn’t even look at a psychological evaluation that’s sitting in front of him could just make up his mind and act like that. The lack of professionalism blew my mind.

After we left and discussed how horribly it went with that guy, my husband said he was going to talk to the principal and tell him that under no circumstance should that psychologist have anything to do with evaluating BG. Ultimately, all she needs is a 504 Plan with some accommodations in place, since we can continue taking her to therapies. And I know for a fact that we don’t need Asshole to initiate that. It’d be nice if those therapies were supplemented so she can make progress more quickly, but I’d rather keep things the way they are than have that douche anywhere near her.


On a positive note, I texted BG’s speech therapist yesterday morning about the tonsillectomy and said she’d miss next week. After her appointment yesterday afternoon, she told me she looked at her tonsils and was shocked at how large they are. She said that she’s had some patients in the past who had tonsillectomies that made incredible progress afterwards. She said when the tonsils are so large, it can push the tongue forward and cause speech issues. She said it’s not a guarantee that it’ll help with that too, but to keep our fingers crossed.

It’s amazing how much removing those tonsils could help. It will theoretically make the sleep apnea go away, which means she’ll get a more restful sleep. One of her doctors said that sleep apnea can cause ADHD like symptoms, so maybe those symptoms will improve. I’m sure that being more well rested would reduce her crankiness. And removing them might be able to help with her speech issues. It won’t help much as far as some of the other issues go, but that is still a lot. ❤

A Rant And A Recap

Well, this was meant to be posted on Monday, but here we are on Wednesday.

I’m a pretty handy person, but I cannot undo the damage my husband did to our front door. He thought the handle was sticking a little, so he tried to fix it. And his fix means that it is now damn near impossible to get in the front door of our house. You have to press down on the button thingy on the handle with both hands, apply a lot of pressure (more than what our 100-pound son can muster), and if you’re lucky, it’ll open. It usually takes several tries and a handful of curse words to open.

And the back door is bad, too. He thought some air was getting in under the door last winter, so he screwed a strip of wood or something in the door frame. Because maybe he’d save a couple bucks on his power bill. And now, not only does no cold air come in (and I was confused about the air that was getting in last winter, because IT WASN’T COLD), but I also cannot close the door tight enough to lock the deadbolt. My husband is the only person in our home who can lock the back door. He says the door is fine and we’re just not doing it right and insists on keeping it the way it is.

Last week, I noticed that the door was unlocked and my husband was already in bed. Rather than wake him (and likely get no response), I tried to lock the door. I leaned on that door as hard as I could, but nope. I even took a running start and rammed my shoulder against the door in the hope of getting it close enough to do the deadbolt, but also, nope.

I need different doors or locks, people. Or a husband who will leave stuff alone.

Rant over.

We had a pretty good long weekend. We did fireworks on the fourth. We don’t usually do fireworks and the such because we aren’t very patriotic, but BG wanted fireworks, so she got them. She later regretted this when one of the fireworks “attacked us.”

So, my husband lit one of the big fireworks he bought and it started going off, but it was firing sideways. I told him I didn’t think that looked right, but he insisted it was fine, even though it was dangerously close to hitting the neighbors house. And then it shifted somehow and fired where I was standing with the kids. Like, two feet away from my head. I grabbed BG and ran (sorry LM) while fireworks whizzed past us. We did not become an ER statistic that night, thankfully. The girl has complained a lot about how her daddy attacked us with fireworks. Never again.

On Saturday, the kids stayed over with the grandparents while my husband and I went to a cookout at a friend’s house. I was not looking forward to peopling, but they had so much rum. So much. Between the rum, a pool, and a hot tub, I enjoyed myself. I tried to play volleyball and embarrassed myself, but that would’ve happened rum or no rum, because I suck at volleyball. 

We didn’t do much on Sunday, and yesterday, BG had to go to the doctor for her five-year checkup. Just ten minutes after we got there, BG loudly announced that she had been waiting for two and a half hours and she was ready to go. After much shushing, she shifted gears from complaining to filling up my camera roll with her random pictures:

That’s her Forky and heart. I’ll pass on including the ones where you get a good look up my nostrils.

The checkup was all good. BG’s still petite (9th percentile for height and weight) and didn’t grow much from last year. She’ll probably have a growth spurt after we buy and take the tags off of her school uniform stuff 😉 We talked to the doctor about the ASD diagnosis, and she said she was glad that we got a second opinion and that’s what she thought was going on, too. She gave me a list of books to check out that she said she found helpful with her own child, so my stack of books is continuing to grow.

And I’m going to wrap up the post because a) it’s two days late and I can’t remember how I wanted to end it and b) my son wants to have a staring contest for some reason.