Autism

A Peek Into Our Life

Whirlwind days start at the crack of dawn. I nurse the twins and then crawl back under the covers hoping for a few more minutes of sleep.

The big kids sneak downstairs to watch tv until the little people (the two 3 year olds) are finally awake. They drag daddy out of bed and he starts coffee and makes breakfast while I try to wake up. Usually it is the coffee that calls me out of bed, sometimes it is a cranky 11 year old with autism in a funk (that was this morning).

I am longing for the night when I can sleep just 4 hours IN A ROW without someone waking up needing me or some little person kicking me in my sleep.

We have finally purchased an alarm clock after living without one for the last 4 years. Who needs an alarm clock when you have 5 kids? Someone is surely to wake up and demand food when you would really rather sleep. The truth is, our kids have ALWAYS been early risers and if they sleep in then that’s OKAY.

Some crazy woman (okay, me) decided that we needed to start getting up at 7am (what was I thinking?) in order to redeem our day.

I am SO looking forward to the alarm going off in 5 hours (not).

For the rest of September we are working on tweaking our morning routine (which, right now, is taking ALL day). It is no easy task commandeering this ship called a large homeschooling family.

We eat our breakfast while reading our Bible and talking about our missionaries and saying a prayer for the day. Today I even managed to sneak in a really beautiful worship song that I found last night and the kids actually enjoyed it.

Today was Tuesday and it was Elisha’s Econ 101 and Gov 101 live classes with Founder’s Academy at Currclick, so he joined us later in the day.

While we do our group work and discussions the twins must play happily (but quietly) in the room. The big boys must sit (and not hang upside down or tie themselves in knots) while we talk, read, and tend to our assignments. This is still a work in progress.

Before we even really get started some three year old (or both) wants to nurse and I am balancing my notebook in the air (it is heavy) and trying to keep things on track. (Just an FYI, we are trying to wean them, it’s going well, HA).

After Bible we move on to History. We listen to some audios from MOH or AC, or read a bit. Then we move on to discussions and projects. There are so many fun projects in these two programs and we may very well take two years to complete Ancients.

Somewhere in here we stopped for homemade pizza (the dough was made during breakfast prep and rose all morning).

Today our History projects consisted of creating a new animal out of playdough. We had an interesting discussion about God creating everything out of nothing and where that nothing came from. Then the boys created self portraits (because we are created in the image of God).

Just when you think you know your kids, they throw you a curve ball. The child that I thought would complain his way through those projects dove in head first and finished with flying colors. My other two (creative kids) were stumped and fought me all the way. I was left scratching my head totally confused by the change in roles (don’t mess with your mama’s head like that!).

Science class follows our history class. Today we did an experiment for our year long Anatomy and Physiology class. We are in the process of mummifying an apple (I will let you know how it goes – it takes a week). We discussed the scientific method and started to write out our experiments when meltdowns began. No one likes writing (I am hoping to turn that around this year). Guess what we are doing tomorrow?

We didn’t get to our second science class today (Our Planet Earth) because we ran out of time, but that’s okay. We still had a relatively good day and there is always tomorrow.

Grandma (who is also our Special Education Assistant) took all the boys to the beach on this cold, cloudy afternoon.

I put the shake n bake chicken in the oven and then nursed the twins to sleep while Jonah went out with a friend. The twins had a nice and long 2 hour nap while the house was quiet

The big boys came home all wet and covered with sand (note to self – get wet sandy clothes out of the bathtub).

Daddy came home and was able to put the finishing touches on dinner because I was still pinned to the couch by sixty pounds of three year old.

Grandma and Grandpa came back for dinner. Hosanna was over the moon to visit them today and Zion slept through the whole thing.

The kids all played hard after supper. Did I mention when they play hard they are SO LOUD?

Then comes bedtime. All the kids settled well except the night owl eleven year old (Elisha) and the wild and crazy little three year old girl (Hosanna) who is apparently exactly like I was at that age.

Hosanna ran circles around me tonight and finally crashed around eleven, but Elisha was in and out of our room until well after midnight.

So, here I sit, it’s after 2am (I am writing this for me just as much as for you). The alarm is going to wake me way earlier than I want it to. Our life is like a whirlwind when it starts in the morning and no matter how hard I try it continues until the last one is down at night (that’s usually me).

What does a typical day look like at your house?

Weekly Wrap Up

Spring might be officially here. If that were true, there would be many little people around here doing a happy dance. The weather has been beautiful, so we  got outside and played some ball and picked some flowers while the OT worked with Elisha last Friday.

Zion
Zion playing ball.
Hosanna
Hosanna playing ball.
Hosanna
Hosanna picking flowers.

Another nice day and we were able to visit the park. Elisha complained about bark mulch in his holey sandals. Hosanna fell off the climbing bars and banged her head, but she was back in the game quickly (it was minor, thankfully).  Zion stepped in poop with his bright red rubber boots.

Elisha
Elisha at the park.
Moses
Moses just hanging out on the monkey bars.
Malachi
Malachi balancing on the monkey bars.
Zion
Zion at the top of the slide.
Zion's boots
Zion's red rubber boots that stepped in poop.
Hosanna
Hosanna climbing up the monkey bars.

 

Hosanna and Zion
A tender moment between twins.

On Thursday morning Elisha (11 – with autism) made oatmeal for breakfast and coffee for the big people. This was his first time ever making oatmeal. He asked me how to make and then he memorized the instructions and repeated them verbatim. He even enlisted the help of his younger brother (Malachi) to watch the stove while he went to the bathroom. This is a huge stride for us and made me feel like he may some day actually be able to live on his own.

Another first this week was when Elisha came up and gave me a hug and kissed me on the cheek. This makes a mother of a child of autism positively giddy. This child, at eleven, is only just now learning how to show emotion to someone else. It was just last year that he started writing I love you cards to Jonah and I and the grandparents. We are making progress. Slow and steady.

Oh yeah, about our school work. We have been plugging along with our school work and making decent progress. Some days it feels like the same old same old and I can’t wait to change things up for next year.

I am linking up this post with the Weekly Wrap-Up.

Being Adaptable For Your Special Needs Student

Elisha struggles with printing. Each time he is faced with printing he freaks out and has a melt down. These meltdowns are significantly smaller and much less frequent than when we first started homeschooling 5 years ago.

We have tried a variety of methods for making things easier for him. Not all of these things works every time, so I have to think on the fly and pull things out of my hat at a minute’s notice.

Yesterday he was struggling with putting pen to paper to complete some simple multiplication problems. He hit a mental road block. What seems so simple to me is an impossible task to him.

He tried printing math questions out on the iPad but these questions were too big and don’t fit on the screen when he drew them with his finger.

I tried printing out special graph paper for him to use, but he wouldn’t have any of it.

What he really needed was to step away and clear his head with a cup of tea (it would have been coffee, but we were all out).

When he came back, he was ready to work. I hand printed all his questions out on the graph paper. One question per page. He worked all the questions out on the 1/2 inch graph paper, talking out each question as he went.

My helpful hint for today is to be ADAPTABLE.

I am linking up with Helpful Homeschool Hints. I don’t know if you noticed, but the Helpful Homeschool Hints has moved to the Homeschool Classroom. Take a few moments and visit to see what everyone else has to share.

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