Friday, June 27, 2008

Swimmer Boy

Signing the word Jump....


Preparing for take-off...


Going for it!

Ethan gets totally blissed out in the water, whether he's in a jacuzzi, back-yard baby pool, or the big pool in town. He shows no fear whatsoever, which is good and bad. I'm focusing mostly on the good; at the rate he's going, he'll be swimming under water this time next year. It really seems to be one of his strengths.

He and I visited mom and dad in Virginia last week for a little R & R. I took these pictures of Ethan swimming to Grandma Sarah. You'll not see her in any shots because I wanted to remain on speaking grounds with mom for the next few years!

On her way home from work one day, my mother passed by a daycare or preschool where she saw children Ethan's age outside playing. She was struck by how physically different they seemed when compared to Ethan. I guess when he's the only toddler you're ever around, you may not realize just how physically challenged he is; a few glimpses of a neurotypical child his age and you get the picture pretty fast. He has a really immature and unsteady gait and holds his right arm up high for balance. He cannot stay standing when the surface he's on becomes uneven, though he's getting better at it by the day. He cannot run, or jump, or gallop, or hop. Yet he's got this incredible strength in his limbs and is very acrobatic on the floor. He has been doing somersaults for over a year and is now working on a head stand. That type of activity must really feel good (it stimulates his vestibular system) because he can do it for several hours a day.

Which leads me to the current dilemma. How do you keep a tumbler with severe acid reflux from throwing up? He's in the throes of another flare-up and has been throwing up today.

I know our experience with it has been on the more extreme end (and rare), but I honestly think that living with acid reflux is much harder than being deaf.

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Rich and I are looking at apartments tomorrow and may even sign a lease. If so, we'd be moving this time next week, which is weird. Also, I'm done dealing with our schools here and refuse to sign the IEP, but I'm working on filing a complaint at the state level so that they will think a little bit harder about treating families and children the way we were treated.


Monday, June 23, 2008

From Me to Them

Dear Subconscious Self,

Hey there! Have you seen Nervous System lately? You two need to talk. There is no need to let things get out of control around here. You guys need to put your heads together and come up with an action plan. Let me know how that goes.

Sincerely,
Conscious Self

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Dear Former Buyer of our House,

Hey there! While I respectfully understand your decision to back out of our deal, I also feel it’s my duty to fill you in on the situation with our house. Your inspector mentioned a suspicion of mold in our crawl space, and then your son had a very bad asthma attack. We were alarmed by this turn of events and brought in an expert mold identifying team. They took air samples both inside and out as well as physical samples from the joists under our house. They seemed to be convinced that there is no problem and were actually perplexed as to why they were summoned here in the first place. When I told them about your son’s asthma attack, they responded that this location was a very bad place for someone with asthma to live. We are nestled in 5 acres of woods and have been greeted with an inch of pollen on our windshields each morning. Not to mention the fact that we have pets that could have also triggered that reaction. While the results of the tests have yet to be seen, we remain confident that there is not a mold problem with our home. Good luck to you in finding another home for your college son to occupy while he’s a student here.

Sincerely,
Jaded Homeowner

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Dear Local School District,

In what world do you live that you think it is acceptable to show up at my son’s IEP meeting so vastly under prepared? You only brought 3 pages of the entire IEP document with you! You failed to bring any copies and just planned to sit there and read them aloud to the group! Didn’t you get the memo about me? I like to have my own copy of my son’s future education plan so that I can actually read the material and follow along. Since I am an active member of the team, I might even like to make an actual contribution! Luckily for you guys, we met at my house where I was able to make copies of the pathetic 3-page file you managed to bring to the meeting.

You also failed to bring a teacher or 2 of the 3 therapists that were part of Ethan’s evaluation team. The two who happened to totally avoid interaction with him during the evaluation because they spent the entire hour speaking to me, were on vacation and unable to attend the meeting and speak to the summaries they put together.

I’m glad you enjoyed my coffee, donuts, and typed, printed, collated, and stapled handouts on Ethan’s present levels of achievement as well as my vision statement. I suggest you take notes from me and put together a better performance the next time. I’m leaving the district, but the next family that you treat with such blatant disrespect might be here to stay.

Even though we are moving and you are well aware of this, you still managed to leave direly needed services from Ethan’s IEP. I’m more convinced than ever that leaving here is the only option for Ethan.

Sincerely,
Ethan’s Mom

Monday, June 16, 2008

New, Improved Attitude!

Wow, it only took 2 days!

I'm seriously feeling pretty good at this point. The deal falling through really knocked me out; I alternated between the fetal and prone position for the better part of the day Saturday. Then Rich made a comment that made perfect sense and brought me back to reality.

He said that this has never been about finding our dream home. This has always been about getting Ethan into a city and a school that can properly address his multiple needs. And that dream doesn't have to change just because we didn't sell our house quickly and easily.

Stupid House! Stupid Inspections!

He's right. So we're looking at apartments soon and are keeping our fingers crossed that we can find something with a 6 month lease option. That will give us plenty of time to look at homes and make a good decision while we wait for this home to sell. It's not what we had envisioned, but then what in the world ever is?

Ethan will go to St. Rita. We will move to Cincinnati on a timeline that ensures his arrival on day one of preschool. I will not lose my mind in the process.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Too Good To Be True

We don't have the results of the inspection yet, but our buyer has withdrawn their offer. Once we see the results we'll deal with whatever it says and start over.

It's tough news to hear right now. We're under pressure to get to Cincinnati so Ethan can be enrolled in that one of a kind program. We spent the day there yesterday looking at homes and found a "dream home" that is just minutes from his school. I can't imagine that it will be on the market for very long, it's pretty special.

I'm just going to go bury my head in the sand now.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Finally!

We got a substantial offer on the house last night and just came home from the realtor's office where we signed a contract. Of course there are inspections and an appraisal to be done before we are in the clear, but we finally got the ball rolling and can barely contain the excitement!

The buyer isn't messing around and wants us out July 7. The purchase is not contingent upon the sale of another home, so that frees everyone up somewhat to make the wheels turn a little faster.

(I ordered a Saint Joseph statue on Thursday and this buyer walked through on Friday. Apparently just conjuring up the saint mojo is good enough?)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

New Firehouse!

Ethan's Grandma was here this week for several days and she brought her boy a really cool new toy. It's a Fire Station!

This looks like he is signing "light", but he's starting to do his own signs for things and the signs that we recognize sometimes look a little sloppy. It's his version of slang I guess.

We have been talking a lot about creative play lately. It's a major force in a child's life in terms of language development and one of Ethan's therapists is concerned over the lack of this type of play in his daily routine. Ethan's toys seem so goal oriented (tools and trucks to get the job done!) and the toys he plays with at his friends homes (who are all girls) are more open to imaginative interpretation (a doll-house and kitchen for instance), so we set out to get him a toy that would encourage him to explore creative play a little further.

Everything is made of wood and the little dog and firefighters are adorable. The back of the truck has storage for caution cones and signs and the little people have hands that snap onto the fire hoses. I've had as much fun with this thing as Ethan! It's from Highlights online store if you're interested.