At 42 Degrees

At 42 Degrees

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

While The Lawyers Slug It Out,...

Summer is here,...last day of school came and went, and there was STILL no word about our little guy's 2017-2018 school year - as we find ourselves in the crossfire of a redistricting fight. 

Apparently there has been an appeal to the redistricting and then a counter appeal and a cross appeal,...and a stay for this and a stay for that,...until no one knows what's going on, and some 'time-out' for all those government officials sounds like a reasonable alternative as all this fighting and infighting is about money and power and NOT the children's best interests. 

Last day of school I told the principal to let us know when a decision is made,...so we can prepare our little guy - for who knows what,...and in the meantime while the lawyers are slugging it out in federal court,...I.I. and I would be at home working on place values. 

Or if not at home,...we'd be about enjoying our vacation,...field trips and all. 

How about a Hot Air Balloon festival?

Lots of learning as we learned that the wind conditions have to be jussssssst right to launch the balloons, and when we were at the festival it was too windy,...but I.I. had fun just the same with the live music, and festive crowd,...and all the people to interact with,...

"Hi," says Isaac (not shy in the least), "How are you?" 


Most people are just fine,...and delighted to be asked. 
Truly,...everyone is (usually) so positive and friendly when interacting with our little guy,
that sunshine smile is hard to frown at. 

Of course,...in real life,...where we live,...life is not all sunshine.

 Yep,...our little guy is a real person and can get grumpy with the best of them.


Grumpiness offers learning opportunities,...
how to deal with adversity,
and negative emotions.
It's okay to be mad,
or sad.
How should we react when the world isn't going our way?
Probably the most important lesson our little guy will learn this summer. 
Time out,
take a breather,
and a perspective break. 
Fortunately our little guy is good at chilling. 



I.I. is also good at learning,
although with autism,
learning takes on a different perspective,
but if you can clue into that perspective,
than teaching is a snap,
because you are less a teacher,
and more a facilitator,
or rather a tour guide.
If we can make a subject 'seem' interesting,
Isaac takes it from there.


Such as our attempt at teaching time this summer.
The clock above is a DIY project
as the real deal teaching clock cost $$$$$$,
but I.I. doesn't mind DIY,
especially if there are gummy bears in the offering.
5:15 = Gummy Bears,
and the dry erase marker on the clock helped I.I. to know 
when the clock read - 5:15.
This should be a very useful tool this summer. 


What to do with bubble wrap?
Make flash cards, of course.
Oh yes,...I.I....LOVED this application.
Pop,...pop,...pop,...while we worked on addition facts.
Sensory and math,...who knew?



Isaac knows we're going to have a GREAT summer!




Lots of learning this summer,
and plenty of fun stuff too.


Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Lego Legacy And Life,...


Life first,...

"How about starting the summer off in a new ride,...Isaac?"
When our blue car started having troubles,...we were in a pickle,
but the LORD will '...never leave nor forsake us,'
thus,...it's a miracle we were able to get into our little guy's newest love,
oh yes,...what guy doesn't like a truck!
Look at those long legs,
no more car seat needed,
which is also a therapy miracle,...as I.I. has enough self-control to stay buckled,
without a five point harness. 
Our little Captain Careful,...believes in safety!!!



Now legacy,


"For me," says Isaac,...
although at the time we put big brother's legos in the attic for our grandchildren,
as it NEVER occurred to us we'd have a child so late in life,...


But so we did,...and big brother's lego legacy is ALL for baby brother,...


What guy doesn't like legos?


Lots and lots and lots of legos,...
my older guys were METICULOUS about the care and storage.
Playing with Legos is a HUGE developmental development for our little guy,
before he wouldn't even look at legos,
and then for the lonnnnnnnngest time,...he was into de-construction.
"Let's build something, I.I." we'd say,
but nope,...our little guy just wanted to take apart whatever we constructed. 
But NOW,...oh dear,...you bet Isaac can put together the most complicated construction
which just barely glancing at the directions,
and he is even creating his own creations,...woohoo!


Lots of developmental triumphs to cheer as the school year winds down. 
"Fishing, anyone?"


Please note the distance between I.I. and the fish. 


One hand reeling,..



  From the picture it's a little hard to believe our little guy adores fishing,
but he does,...in the abstract,
reality is a little different,...but that's a good lesson in life...


Isaac voluntarily with a paint brush in hand?
WOW!!!
Talk about...more developmental developments!!!


What a special field trip for our county's special needs students,
thank you to the adaptive P.E. teachers who went out of their way 
to make such a great experience for their students!!!!



After fishing,...a little wading,...a wonderful way to end the day. 


Mother's Day,...had my three guys together,...


The brotherhood of the brotherhood,... these three are very special.


Into the woods,...found us at a new local park,...


Check out the body language,...as Isaac uses language to express his delight!!!


Up close to nature is on our agenda for the summer,...
away from home and at home.
Here is our resident lizard,...Speedy,
who needs to go to the zoo, when you can just step outside?


Another bucket list item checked.
Soaking wet as you watch a baseball game in a downpour!
We were all drenched,
but it was still a blast,...
but then Isaac has a way of making everything fun!!!


End of Miracle League season,...
"For me," says Isaac thrilled with his trophy!



THANK YOU,...to all who support charities such as the Miracle League,
YOUR time, money, and interest means so much to special needs families,
Life is not meant to be walk through,...alone. 



Last days of First Grade are rapidly closing,...
class party,
and class awards with Isaac nominated:
CAPTAIN CAREFUL
So appropriate:
I have mentioned I.I. has an alpha-leadership personality, right?
It was a great party,
with great friends,
so hard to believe this great school year is ending,...



Of course,...we're already gearing up for our summer activities.
Math, anyone?
Somehow I don't think it's going to be much trouble to get 
I.I. to participate in addition and subtraction activities this summer.
Our little guy can count like a pro,
but now it's time to learn the more intricate stuff. 
Let the adventure begin,.... 


So the school year is ending for us with a QUESTION MARK.
Redistricting affects our little guy's school placement,
and it's serious stuff as he will be eliminated from the elementary school,
where he has attended (and thrived)
 for the last two years. 
How do I explain this to my little one?
What is worse,...school is ending but we have NO IDEA where to register our child
for the new school year. 
It's our first taste of discrimination based on disability. 
Oh and it's all legal,...these government officials have to the right to say who goes where,
but again,...we are the ones who will have to answer the question,
"Why I not go to my school?"



If our child did not have Autism and Apraxia,...he could attend the elementary school
where he is zoned,...where all the other children in our community attend.

But this is life,...it can be messy. 



No answers for this dilemma,...and certainly no easy answers,
YET,....
we are people of faith,
and we have faith that,..."all things work to the good,"
YES,...even redistricting,....
After all I.I. has a new ride for this summer,
and that was a miracle,
how much more important is our little guy's educational foundation?


Lego legacy and life.

The joys and the challenges are intermingled,
but the LORD "...will never leave nor forsake us,"
Thus,...we know it's all good.

Summer is here,...let the fun begin!

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!







Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Gift of Autism

 When one thinks of Autism,...gift is rarely a word associated with the developmental disorder,...but there is much to learn about grace from an individual on the spectrum.


Autism strips life down to the most essential elements.
I love you.
You love me.
And what else in life is important?


Autism condenses life,...
Think maple syrup from sap,...it takes many gallons boiled away to produce sweetness.
Or even diamonds are nothing but chunks of coal,....condensed into brilliance. 
So Autism condenses life, love, and our experiences with the world around us. 

Love and Laughter = Joy. 


And the challenging stuff?

That's what the joy is for,...it helps circumvent the difficulties with grace.



It's all about the lens you chose to see from.
Autism: blessing or curse?


There is only one clear choice.


There is no second guessing with a child on the spectrum
everything is stripped to the essentials. 
In our world,...we dance arounds social issues,
in their world,...there are no social issues. 
I am me,
You are you,
and what else is truly important?


The gift of Autism is unconditional love. 


Also intense joy,...and wonder.
We live in wondrous world,
my son is always noticing,
what no one else seems to notice. 


"I so happy," says Isaac.



We are happy too,...our little guy lights up our lives,
and teaches us,
the essentials. 

I love you,
you love me,
and what else is really important in life?

Today is Mother's Day,
and yes there are many challenges 
to mothering a child on the spectrum,
but there is also joy and laughter,
and continuing wonder in our world to explore,....


"Children are a blessing and a gift from the LORD."
Psalm 127: 3


Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!