My family

Monday, July 19, 2010

Two Parrots

I have two parrots in my house now.  Parrots as in children that are trying to repeat or imitate everything that I or others say.  Ian will be 4 years old next month and Lyla is 18 months old and they are both at the same level intellectually. 

It's kind of funny in our house because we'll be trying to get one of them to say something then the other replies and we're happy if either one does.  Driving on car trips we'll make funny noises with our mouths and the two of them will start doing the same thing.  If one of them makes a noise, the other tries to make the same noise too.  It's also very encouraging for us to hear Ian finally repeat our words.  He's really trying to say what we're saying in the way that we do but I just wish he could start saying things more spontaneously and requesting things on his own.  He still can't put into words what he wants, he resorts to destroying our house to get what he wants.  He throws down all of our kitchen chairs, tipping them over to let us know he wants something.  He also bangs the cupboard doors, runs around the house mischievously or now just starts to pick on Lyla.....he likes knocking her over now if she comes near him or if he wants something.  Times can be pretty tense at our house just trying to figure out what he wants but mostly we know what he wants but he just can't have it or do it when he wants to.  Now that the weather is so nice out and that we have a trampoline out in the yard, he wants to be out there from the time he wakes to the time he goes to bed.  We have a nice big fence to keep him in but he's already trying to figure out how to scale it.  We can't always be out there to watch him is the problem, we have no shelter in the back to sit under in this hot hot sun and I can't take Lyla out with me for too long.  She's not used to the grass yet and always wants to be up in my arms which is hard on my back.  I'm looking forward to next year when Lyla will be more stable on her feet and can play with the rest of the kids on her own.

It's also a relief knowing that Lyla is doing the things she's supposed to be doing at this age.  I'm watching her so closely to see if she has anything that I missed with Amy and Ian.  The more talking and babbling she does, the better.  She already is great with eye contact and is responding to her name all the time.  She also likes to show me items and hands me things to look at.  The other day she was too cute.  I was vacuuming downstairs with this little skinny vacuum and she found her fathers golf club with a club cozy on the end of it and started moving it back and forth on the floor.  I tried to get a video because it was too funny, the two of us along side each other doing the same actions.

It's so strange to watch how these milestones in my children can come so easy for one but then the other has to be taught everything.  It humbles us as parents to slow down and pay attention to our children and teach them face to face everything we take for granted.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

School's not out in this house!

Just because school is out for Amy doesn't mean it is for Ian.  His school is here at home and it starts at 8am Monday to Friday.  His tutor arrives every morning just as he's eating breakfast and then will take him downstairs to the IBI room we had specifically built for that purpose.  It's just a small room with no windows, one big shelf up high out of his reach and a childs table and two chairs.  This is where he and his tutor do a lot of one on one activities like pointing to certain pictures or objects on command and labelling items.  Some days he does well other days I hear screams coming from the basement, trying to stay calm knowing that he's just protesting against something he doesn't want to do.  Even though it seems like it's easy since I have someone here with him, right now I have two other children at home wanting to go into that room and disrupt his sessions.  Actually, I'm usually at work when this is going on and my husband is at home because the government requires someone to be at the home during his tutoring sessions.  Even if we both were working we would have to pay someone else to just be here with the tutor.

After his 4 hour session in the morning his tutor will take him to daycare where she turns into his Special Needs Assistant for the next 4 hours.  This is not the case with most families, we're paying our tutor top up for her tutoring here plus top up for her 4 hours at the daycare just to make sure we can provide a full time job for her so she can stay and tutor Ian until he goes to school next year.  If Ian were a typical child he probably wouldn't be in daycare or at least not everyday because we'd be trying to save money on childcare.  For the past two years either me or Curtis has been home to take care of these kids and save childcare costs but since he's Autistic, every person we talk to says to put him in daycare so he gets the social interaction he needs.  Aside from those day to day things we also have to coordinate appointments with speech therapists, occupational therapists, pediatricians, and his preschool autism specialists as well as just other general appointments for his eyes, doctors appointments, dental, etc.  This is all just for one child, we have 3 to coordinate.

We're lucky enough to be able to provide this for our tutor and for Ian but I just wish there were some way to make our lives a little easier.