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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Things are looking up

Today I got to help out a friend who always helps me out, and it was nice to be able to return the favor.  We took her little girl this morning so that she could go to the temple to help a family who went up to have their child sealed to them.  Their little girl really struggles with strangers and has severe separation anxiety, and since my friend is the child-whisperer, she is the only one who can sooth the little girl. 

So today Alex got to play with his friend for most of the morning, and he did a wonderful job keeping her busy and happy.  He made her a waffle and did some of the cutting himself (with a butter knife).  He colored, built a train track and brought down a handful of Thomas engines to play with, brought down several stuffed animals to play with, played peek-a-boo with a hat, and just generally did his best to be helpful.  We eventually went for a walk to the park and he helped her down the slide.  Then on the way home, she turned to him and asked him to pick her up (the way babies with limited verbals do, with up-stretched arms, lol).  This has never happened before so I took several adorable photos of that but I won't post them here.  He picked her up and did his best to carry her for as long as she wanted him to, taking care to set her down and readjust when he thought he was losing his hold.  He was very careful with her without having to be told, and I was glad to have the help (and made sure to tell him so several times).  He needs more opportunities like this to have positive social interactions with others so he can learn how it's done and be immediately reinforced for doing it. 

In other news, the mediation was successful and the school agreed to start the 504 process.  I was also able to specify that if it should be necessary to involve the school psychologist in the process, they have to pull one from another school.  The one I've had issues with is now out of the picture, and since it's written into the mediation agreement, it's legally binding and I can enforce it in court if necessary.  This should be in place before the end of the school year, which is rapidly approaching.

And finally, I went to my doctor and after working up a plan of action with him, I'm feeling much better.  Sometimes there are just to many things going on in our lives to handle successfully, and there's no shame in asking for help until things blow over.  I struggled with having to take medication in the past, feeling somehow like I was broken and couldn't be fixed, but I've come to realize over the years that the human body is not designed to handle stress for extended periods of time.  The very system that protects us in the short term can cause damage in the long term if we can't switch it off.   Getting some help to do that is not only wise, it's necessary.  This time around I just feel glad for the help and I don't feel any stigma or shame in it.  I made a good decision and my family will be the better for it, as will I.

Work is getting better now that I'm getting better.  Yesterday I was sent to the main building to help out a classroom with limited staff.  The youngest children went on a field trip to URI to kick off the Special Olympics, and it was amazing.  I didn't really get it before, but going in there with my little buddy C was the most joyful experience I've had there.  Each school got to go in separately (much like the athletes do in the traditional Olympics), and they were greeted to a standing ovation.  There were several stations set up with modified versions of several sports, and they were encouraged to go around to try what ever interested them.  He was so excited, and got to see some teachers and classmates from the school he attended prior to ours.  He was warmly greeted by them all, and it was heartwarming to see.  He stuck pretty close to me and cuddled up regularly.  It was one of those special moments that reminds you of why people do this type of work.  It was wonderful to see him happy and having a good time, able to choose for himself whether he wanted to try an activity or just go sit down in a chair.  Next year, when Special Olympics comes around again, I think I'll sign up to be a staff for one of our Pathways kids.

Oh yeah.  You came here for knitting.  I'm working exclusively on my POP blanket and I found two skeins of Kureyon at Knit One Quilt Two that were brighter than what I was working with before.  I went over to Bella Yarns and got my white Eco Wool, and now I'm full steam ahead.  It. Is. Glorious.

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