Yesterday was Adrian’s First Grade Classrooms Celebration Ceremony. Steve and I went to school to see Adrian. I told Adrian we would be there at 9:45 and we would not be bringing his iPad with us. We arrived at 9:47 because the parking lot was packed and it took longer to get in then we expected. Adrian was using the restroom when we arrived. He was agitated. He always is when we are in crowds. Most of the parents and grandparents showed up. Too many people in the room for Adrian.
Mommy and Adrian took a break in the hallway. His teacher called his name for an award and we went back in the classroom. Adrian got a Word Maniac Award and a Reading Award. He excels in reading and spelling he always has. Then we were asked to wait in the hallway for an award which was for the First Grade Class as a whole. Adrian did not want to participate. We took another time out. The whole time he was asking for his iPad.
Since he has received it in December he has gravitated towards that iPad. Before we purchased the iPad he was the only person who could get on our home computer. Letting someone else use the computer was a pain in the rear. We would have meltdowns of massive proportions. We tried to set rules and have him.follow them. Sometimes it worked well other times not so much. His iPad does not cause these types of problems unless his sister tries to steal it. He knows the iPad is his and no one is allowed to use it without his permission. We give him time to use it after school. He knows he has to behave or he loses it for 30 minutes. I have pasted a link to where we bought his. We got him an iPad 1.Refurbished iPad deals.
Now that summer is here I plan to use apps like See.Touch.Learn Pro by Brain Parade See.Touch.Learn Pro, Teach Me: 2nd grade by 24×7 digital,LLCTeach Me: 2nd grade, and SpaceBoard digital workbooks by NeoLithix,LLC SpaceBoard digital workbooks to work with him and help him get ready for Second Grade. The last two apps I mentioned have grade levels starting at preschool. I did a lot of lessons with him during the last part of Christmas break to see how much he could handle at once. He does pretty well for 30-45 minutes at a time. We’ll see how it goes…
I thought I was going to have to fund raise to get an iPad for Adrian to use at school but I won’t need to because the Eastern Service Unit that is in charge of Special Education needs in our district has agreed to purchase the newest iPad and an otterbox case for Adrian to use while at school. I pray it actually happens. My child who almost never interacted with anyone before will ask his dad, sister, and I to help him with games and chooses to play math games often which I believe has helped in school. The iPad allows us to interact with Adrian in a way that just was not possible before. It has been the best possible tool for Adrian so far. If he can have such
success here at home I am hopeful that as long as he doesn’t feel threatend or forced he can have the same success interacting with peers at school. I got my first glimpse of how well this could work when I left Adrian in the resourceroom yesterday after the celebration with my iPod touch. There were three other children in the room and they gathered around Adrian while he played an app. I am not sure what else happened but when we left he was talking to kids about Where’s My Water?. His IEP states that he has only talked to another child without being prompted 3 times the entire school year. One iPod and he’s tell kids all about Where’s My Water? That’s definetly promising :). It also will make his writing tasks a lot easier with Microsoft Word instead of a labelmaker. I can not wait to hear how well he does next year. School ended today June 12 and begins September 4. I have a little wait to see. I hope it all works out!
This year my son started First Grade, turned Eight years old, and started his old stuttering habit again.
Adrian has always been a child of cycles. One month he is a child who adores and can not get enough of Thomas the Train, the next it is all about Phineas and Ferb, The next it’s Dora and Boots. These changes have always been boggleing to me. I have a child who absolutley hated transistions but moves with ease from one interest to the next every couple of days weeks or months.
I often thought this might be a prelude to the often misunderstood BiPolar disorder. After all he was diagnosed with Mood Disorder along with ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder and PDD-NOS. Not long after Epilepsy too. The more I read though the more these cycling interests appear to be “normal” to children on the Spectrum.
When he is in a cycle it is all about that subject. He will speak nonstop about whatever his interest is at that moment. We will hear echolalia from whichever show he is Perseverating on or he will hum a tune from the theme or run around saying “Would You Like A Muffin” to everyone he meets. For those of you who do not know this is a direct Quote from the movie Phineas and Ferb Across the 2nd Demension. He sings a certain song from Walle or says things from Dora. Earlier today he was playing the Simpson’s Arcade game on his iPad and said “Whose in that Robot costume” and the Spanish word for watch out I believe. That’s exactly what Dora would say.
These cycling moods have followed him into school. His Special Education Teacher and I had a phone conference yesterday and she was talking about Adrian’s cycling moods and interests. I have told every teacher he has had that he has cycling moods and Interests. He has since I can remember. Anyways she was the first one to ever acknowledge this as fact, EVER. Any other person always claimed they didn’t notice or said nothing. I know I’m not crazy and I know my child so how they couldn’t notice I don’t understand. I think they may have been trying to spare my feelings and hide the truth that this is Autism.
We did not get Adrian’s official diagnosis until the end of his three years in ECSE in May of 2010. It’s been two years. Adrian has made great strides. He is able to transistion from his General ed classroom to his Resource room. He uses the Resource room for Writing and Math. He is in a peer group of three other Second grade boys doing Second grade math also. The school is planning to try to get an iPad for Adrian to use by himself at school. They hope to do Writing and peer interaction with the iPad. I have some reservations about an iPad being used for peer interactions. Here at home he is the master of his iPad. He is very protective of it and of himself being the one who gets to use it. I have requested that he let Jade borrow it so that she can read an ebook on it. That was not well received. He was able to sit and wait for 15 minutes with little fidgeting. That’s a great accomplishment for him. The last 10 minutes were a nightmare of him yelling and whining for his iPad. I am not sure how well he would share with a peer. If they are not able to purchase an iPad I offered to possibly send his in with him. This comes with other risks of it getting lost, stolen, or broken. I think he could benefit from using an iPad for writing. That is what we bought it for in the first place. He loves iwritewords! I need to purchase Microsoft Office for his iPad so he can create word documents. I would love to put my Social Stories book by Carol Gray to good use and write social stories for him that he can access too. I just haven’t got there yet.
It is my plan to work on the iPad with Adrian over the summer, toilet train, and pencil work. I expect to be posting often about our hopefully successful experiences.
A Social Story about substitute teachers.
This is a post I have been writing awhile.
This Saturday I attended an Open House for Smart Apps For Kids. I am preparing to find apps to use with Adrian on the iPad we are purchasing him for Christmas. This app Open House is the second app party I have attended. A4cwsn held an app party in October. I had not attended one before so I was not sure what to expect. It was wonderful and that is how I found Smart Apps For Kids.
For those of you who have not been to or heard of an app party or open house before here is a brief description:
App developers attend the party to display their apps. The person\s hosting the party or the app developers will post apps and codes. If you are lucky and fast enough to get a code you get that app. Then you redeem the codes on itunes. I claimed three app codes Saturday night. Some of the developers also lower the price of their apps for the party. For example I purchased a 49.99 app called NeoLithix space-board apps for 24.99. Half off is an amazing deal!!! There are also giveaways where you enter for a chance to win apps or gift cards. You can find videos to review apps before you buy them. I mostly attend to find out what apps there are.
We started out with one app by Good Karma Apps, First Then. I purchased this app last year after Adrian’s OT suggested that he needed a visual schedule. This app lets you use your own photos which I love.
At the app open house I purchased several apps. NxtApp 4 Kids, Dexteria, 1st Grade Digital Workbooks – Space Board Level One, Kidoodle: Pirate Scribblebeard’s Treasure, and Alphabuild.
Since attending this app party Adrian has received an iPad for Christmas and we have been using a lot of the apps mentioned above. I have to say Adrian’s favorite has been one I picked up after he got the iPad. TeachMe 1st Grade by 24x7digital LLC. He loves the fact that he earns coins for correct answers and that when you do subtracting you can place the numbers in the trash can. He has been writing words in this app too. TeachMe 1st Grade.
I have loved seeing him so excited about learning. He claps when he earns a coin or spells a word correctly. The iPad has opened him up and let me see more of what I knew he could do. It’s amazing to see your child having fun while learning.
Things have been crazy in the Treptow house as Jade and Adrian both started back to school September 6.
Both of my kids are in different schools this year. Adrian moved up to first grade which is in a different building then Kindergarten was. Jade who was in the first grade through third grade building moved to the fourth grade through sixth grade building.
Jade has been doing great!! Adrian not so much! The change in schools for him also comes with a change in schedule. Instead of attending half day like in kindergarten the first grade attends full day. As anyone raising a kid on the spectrum probably knows change is difficult for children with ASD especially a change in routine.
Yesterday I was waiting with Jade for Adrian to arrive off the bus. When he got there his bus driver apologized for being late and proceeded to tell me why she was late….
It seems that Adrian after having a rough day locked himself in the teachers bathroom and overflowed the bathroom sink. A lot of time was spent trying to get him out. Let me say this we don’t have locks on any door except our front and back doors. Adrian does not have a lot of practice with locking and unlocking doors. That being said I am wondering how he was allowed to wonder into a teachers bathroom and lock himself in.
I know why he plugged the sink too. He has a fascination with water. He try’s to “keep” it in one area. We have had our issues with this problem here at home too. This is why I can be seen running down the hallway to the kids bathroom on any given day if I think he has been in there for longer than needed.
I want him to have his individual space to do what he needs to without my hovering. Sometimes I am just too dang busy too hover. I want him to also know that I am there if he needs me. He is always shouting mom and then whatever he wants anyways 😉
For this episode at school he got grounded for an hour the longest he has managed to stay away from his privileges. His privileges are the wii, computer, television, and mom’s iPod touch. He does not place value on being outside at all. In fact he hates being outdoors period. Our daughter loves being outside. Just another of the many ways the two are different.
Right now I can hear them playing wii golf. Adrian just got a bronze medal and Jade said “nice job get down here and give me a high five”. They are so sweet to each other. For awhile I thought Adrian’s meltdown’s might ruin that but it hasn’t. I am quick to make sure they apologize after fighting and that they respect each other. Those are things that never were encouraged while I was growing up in a crazy mixed up household.
I went off track again though. Adrian causing problems in the bathroom at school is a prime example of sensory seeking behavior. He does this sensory seeking to calm himself down when he is upset. Here at home we pull out his Underarmor shirt, a neoprene vest, or a piece of material his O/T gave us that we call the body sock. It is like compression nylon that is used for diabetic feet, but not nylon. He also has his favorite fleece blanket that he carries with him everywhere. I am working on trying to get our insurance to cover a weighted blanket.
This sensory seeking takes place in all new places we visit. He must visit the bathroom of every new place and flush the toilet. He will put his hands over his ears because the noise is too loud but he still has to flush the toilet. Once on a trip to the restaurant Red Robin he flushed the toilet and immediately started screaming because it was really loud. He then flushed it again because his sensory seeking drive was so high.
We mostly avoid new places because of Adrian’s sensory seeking. We did take him to a restaurant we had not been to before last month though. We got a table in a back corner and he was fine except for moving around in the corner. He always needs some sensory stimulation even if it’s small movement. I really believe that his body demands it. We jump or walk or I carry him when things get to be too much.
On the day he came home after locking himself in all he wanted was for me to carry him. I did for awhile on our walk home from the bus stop. It’s nice to know that my child with his limited speech phrases and non answering of basic questions such as why did you lock yourself in the bathroom? His answer because i’m not supposed to. Can let me know what he needs by saying mom carry me.
I learn more everyday just from listening and watching Adrian. Having a child with ASD is a beautiful and utterly exhausting gift. You get to see things no one else could show you. That’s the plus side of autism.