I forgot to introduce myself

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2006
I forgot to introduce myself
5
Fri, 06-01-2007 - 12:13am

I totally forgot to intorduce myself (it's the ghosted AS in me)OOPS!

My lifelong friend is an iVillage junkie and found this sight and emailed it to me. I thank God for her everyday!!! I am a technophobe and never would have found it on my own. I have been to many other sights and read most everything I can find on AS but this real life advice is invaluable. I am so grateful to have found other people who know what the day to day really is.

I have a blended family (we never describe ourselves this way as I have known my hubby, Greg, since we were 12 but it does come into play sometimes because of how others react to it and to the fact that my AS daughter was adopted by my husband when she was 6 mos old). When we married 7 years ago he had 3 children and I had one since than we have had another. We have custody of all of the kids with limited visitation to the bio mom (she has no legal visitation rights, by her choice). The kids are, Matt 15, Shelby 12, Kiley 10, Mikayla (AS & dyslexia) 8, and Nathan 5. Why, you may be wondering, would I bring up this blended family thing right away? Well, for example, when I told my mom about Miki's dx she said that it was because I married a man with 3 kids and wasn't giving her enough attention and that is all that is wrong (yes, I know that is crazy).

I live in Michigan (supposedly the best in the country for special ed...they have very strict requirements). I haven't seen this. My daughter was removed from gen ed and a reading specialist and put into the resource room for 1 - 2 hours a day to learn remedial reading (before she was getting help for dyslexia now she isn't, like this makes sense). To make it worse she is pulled out at random times throughout the day so she can't get into a routine. Not good for AS as I'm sure you all know. She has an excellent gen ed teacher this year but still suffers from a tremendous ammount of anxiety. I am having her tutored for the dyslexia over the summer as I plan to have her in gen ed full time next year (3rd grade). She isn't medicated at all. She doesn't have rages, she has meltdowns and anxiety. She is very bright and excels at math. I had her tested at the end of first grade. She has always been a little "different" but it became more obvious the older she got. She feels better now that she knows what it is. She actually asked us to write about it in the family Christmas letter. She said, "I'm not weird, I just have Asperger's Syndrome" (breaks your heart that your own child thought she was 'weird'). Some days of course are better than others. I don't hope for a cure, I'm not unrealistic or idealistic but I do think that she has a lot to offer the world the way she is. I do want her to have help to build relationships, advocate for herself, develop survival and safety skills etc but I can see the gift behind it as well (some days this is easier than others). She has an interesting perspective and a loving, charming nature. It is hard for people to even see the difference at first, she just seems really smart but it's like a mine field and they just haven't found one yet.

I find myself typically exausted, frustrated and confused but also hopefull and inspired.

Well, I've gone on for long enough. I hope to get to know all of you better.

Cassie

P.S. I should mention that we do have a very strong support system in my in laws. They even come to our house to watch our kids so we can get weekends away occasionally. They are real life savers!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2006
Sun, 06-03-2007 - 12:29am

Engler didn't do us any good either. It seems like sp ed is a mystery to politicians. I guess it's one of those things where if you haven't been there it's hard to know. Ann Arbor is great. They have a nice hands on science museum that I keep meaning to take the kids to. They also have a great ASD facility from what I've heard. It's a cutting edge town so they always have an interest in doing research on the next big thing. I used to nanny for a family in Saline who had a severely autistic child (mid 90's) and there were barely any programs out there. Now they have some of the best. Oakland Co has great programs too, it's the day to day common sence stuff that makes you nutty though.

Cassie

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2007
Fri, 06-01-2007 - 6:10pm
Cassie,
I am in Livingston County. Not a bad county to be in SpEd wise, but they could do better. I guess you could say that about everybody though. Ann Arbor has most of the best programs, no surprise there. So far I haven't had the worst experience, but I haven't been at this for long either. Jennifer Granholm has not done us any favors when it comes to SpEd.
Carey
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2006
Fri, 06-01-2007 - 5:54pm

I'm in Troy, Oakland County. Where are you? We do have stricter laws but special ed instruction isn't required here for teacher certification. I think an overview class and test should be required especially k-8. I wonder if any states require this of the teachers. I feel it would really help teachers understand and also provide early intervention. A good friend of mine was told by her son's 1st grade teacher that she thinks her sons has an un dxed disability but it would be better to wait a year or 2 to have him tested! Proposal A messed up our sp ed funding big time! I do have many friends who work in Sp ed / gen ed including administators and was going into K-8 science / math and am going back to get ASD cert. I'm right by OU which has great programs and a great teaching program for ASD. It is a very good resource for baby sitters etc... I think EI is really hurting and if this is the best something needs to change in a big way!

Cassie

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2007
Fri, 06-01-2007 - 1:38pm
Hi Cassie,
I also live in Michigan and also wonder why some think it is the best. I do however know that is does change from county to county and moved to a different one because the school system is better. I'm glad you are here!
Carey
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-16-2006
Fri, 06-01-2007 - 8:48am

Welcome to the cyber family

Hope you will stay awhile and feel free to vent/brag/or whatever

nora
mommy to Adam 3 PDD
Living in PA