Autism Acceptance Day – 2012

Every year, I ramble on about how I want today to stop being about awareness and start being about acceptance. Today, I walk the talk. In the last year, I’ve moved from being only a mom obsessing about every new scientific advance and behavioral therapy, agonizing over how what I’ve read can help my son, to being a paraprofessional – applying my obsessive knowledge outside my family. It’s been really healthy for me. It’s given me an outlet for what I’ve learned that is more productive and it’s given me a better perspective on how we’re doing as a family. And I’ll say that my son is doing very, very well.

Here’s how I spent my Autism Awareness Day.

Woke my son for school by rubbing his arm, whispering his name and promptly leaving the room with no extraneous conversation. Waited for him to be ready to get out of bed and walk to the kitchen.

Made a bagel and gave him the choice of peanut butter or cream cheese as a topping.

Printed out his daily schedule, giving him time to look it over during breakfast.

Prompted G to dress and brush teeth.

Helped him tie on his new boots, the extra stiff ones that will hopefully help to keep his toe-walking to a minimum.

Drove him to school, reminding him to use his words when frustrated instead of hitting with his hands.

Grabbed a cup of coffee before heading to work.

Picked up my student and took him for his 15 minute sensory break. Did a puzzle while lying on his belly in a sling/swing, did football and superman exercises, and deep pressure exercises. Finally, ended with jumping jacks on the mini-tramp, focusing on getting his arms and legs moving at the same time.

Dropped my student off with the speech therapist and led a book club with six of his classmates.

Picked up my student, practiced his oral presentation on Cheese (food projects) several times. Focused on enunciating the words and facing his imaginary classmates.

Read books in between practices, working on sounding out unfamiliar words for independent reading rather than asking and memorizing.

Sat with my student while some of his classmates shared their food presentations.

Realized he wasn’t engaged in the presentations and wrote a social story about how to listen to classmates projects and how to fill out the simple response form after the presentation.

Sent him to recess, sat with the neurotypical students who also didn’t understand how to fill out the response forms and were missing recess until they were completed.

After sending the NT kids out for what was left of recess, quickly ate my lunch, performed my recess duty while my student was at lunch, came in to find he’d left the cafeteria while the lunch monitor was distracted and was unaccounted for.

Located my student in the hallway by the bathrooms, brought him back to the classroom for story time, helped him through the post-story comprehension activity by asking prompting questions and turning the activity into a challenge rather than drudge work.

Sent him off to PE with his class and ended my 4 hour work day.

Next I’ll pick up my son, prompt him through his homework and wait for the babysitter’s arrival so I can begin my weekly date-night with hubby.

So how was your World Autism Awareness Day?

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Published in: on April 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm  Comments (1)  

I Won’t Give Up

We’ve had quite a week. G has had a rocky time of it in PE. He’s got motor issues, he’s at least one full year younger than his classmates, he’s competitive to the extreme and when he’s frustrated, he still struggles not to react by hitting. You couldn’t put together a more combustible combination. The school OT attends PE with him once a week to help him in all these areas. She also attends with kids on IEP’s the first year of Intermediate school because the gym teacher there is, “Old School.” Apparently he’s been in this position for several decades and can be rough on the kids he doesn’t understand. So she attends with the student in an effort to smooth the way.

The first trimester, G hit kids so often that a contract/reward system was implemented. When G had 10 recorded classes without hitting, he earned a trip to the ice cream store with a friend and the school psychologist, on school time. Big reward for a big undertaking. But by the end of the first trimester, he’d earned his trip! Second trimester started out wonderfully – G was participating to the best of his ability and his outbursts were greatly diminished. When he did get frustrated, his meltdowns were verbal in nature. Not great in the context of a typical 4th grader, but outstanding for G! On the weekly reflection sheets his class fills out on Friday’s, G consistently wrote that he planned to work the following week on his behavior in PE. He was highly motivated and we were getting nothing but good reports.

Then last week while at work, I got a call from the OT letting me know she’d be late for her time with my student. Because she needed to stay with my son, who was recovering from a rather severe meltdown. She’d been with him at PE where the activity was Dodgeball. (told you, this gym teacher is old school) G couldn’t follow the strategy and stood in the front of the group. He got hit, got frustrated and sat down where he was instead of moving off the floor. Another boy didn’t realize he was already out and hit him again. That was it for G, he went completely off and started screaming. When the OT stepped in, he started screaming at her and said rude things. But – and here’s the big thing – he never hit. Never even tried to hit, never faked hitting, just screamed and yelled. So the OT and I celebrated, as well we should!

Then report cards came. G failed PE. In a trimester where he made so much progress. DH and I were stunned, G was disappointed, but overall my attitude was to blow it off because it’s just PE and it’s just 4th grade. Honestly, my attitude didn’t change until our trimester conference with his classroom teacher. The kids write out a script and run the show. When G ran down his list and got to what he was most proud of, he said, “Well, I wrote that I was most proud of my work in PE, but that was before I got my grades.” On the way home, he asked if 0’s exist for report cards. When I said no, he made a remark about not needing to try hard to keep from getting lower grades in PE.

That started a slow burn in me. I went home and wrote a very polite and proactive email to the OT and school psychologist, letting them know to watch out for G the next week, as it seemed he’d given up trying to behave in PE. In our discussions, it became clear the grade was assigned because of the one bad day rather than the trimester as a whole. They were both shocked and not shocked that the teacher had reacted to G’s screaming meltdown so drastically. Somehow, the idea that this was typical for the teacher made it even worse for me. I went to bed very irritated. I woke up at 3am feeling mad and was awake for an hour until I could calm down and fall asleep again. When I woke up at 6, I was just plain furious.

I met with the school psychologist and vented about how angry I was. I’m never combative, I’m always willing to discuss and negotiate, to work together to achieve a particular goal. Not this time. We wrote up language for G’s IEP to prevent this from happening again. I told her that was good, but not enough. I was calling the principal to demand the grades be changed. On my way home, left a message requesting an appointment with the principal to discuss a problem with the gym teacher. This is big, because we’re a small-town, ‘I’ll just pop-in’ kind of system. But I didn’t want to risk being blown off. The admin assistant and the principal took this very seriously.

By the time I got to the school to talk to the principal, the psychologist had already talked to him. He was very attentive, went over my concerns, gave me an initial agreement and asked for time to talk with the PE teacher. When I asked for the grades to be changed, he told me he couldn’t promise anything because he didn’t have the authority to question teacher’s evaluations. But the next morning at drop off, he pulled me aside to let me know that he had spoken with the teacher and G’s grades would be revised by the end of the day!

They didn’t go up much, but it was enough for G to feel he’d made progress instead of failing. And that was all I wanted. G is proud of himself again. He’s motivated to keep trying. Isn’t that all we want of our kids? A new system, that is still being determined, will be put in place where G will know that 0-4ish outbursts (of any kind) in a trimester is a 1 (A) for sportsmanship, 4ish to 8ish is a 2, etc. And G’s skill development grade will be determined by observing him for two weeks as a baseline first, instead of comparing him to older, neuro-typical peers.

I feel as if I fought a dragon and won! I know we’re so lucky to be in such a wonderfully supportive school system. This was one icky teacher in a system of great ones, with a principal who truly puts the student first. Still, on the way home from school, I put this song on my ipod on a continuous loop. It’s supposed to be a love song, but to me it’s become an anthem for fighting for our kids.

Published in: on March 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm  Comments (1)  

Waiting for the Phone Call…

We had a bad morning. G was in one of those moods that reminds me of a teapot, water slowly heating and boiling, building pressure until the teapot is suddenly screaming. He was never outright defiant but instead would do everything I said to it’s most annoying extreme. For example, he selected his snacks for the day – two prepackaged bars and some cheez-its. He put everything on the counter and stared at me. When I reminded him that he is responsible for bagging his snacks and getting them into his backpack, he pulled out the baggies and deliberately put everything in bags. Including the prepackaged snacks. Then he stared at me again, as if daring me to comment. As I told DH later, I decided to leave the battlefield instead of waging war and retreated to my room to get dressed without comment.

Before we left the house, I told G to collect his boots and coat. He apparently thought I should do that for him and that doing it himself would make us late for school. He then set out to ensure we would be late for school so he could say, ‘I told you so.’ He walked sloooooowly to the car, huffing and sighing the whole time. When he was buckled and were leaving the driveway he tried to actively pick the fight he had been trying to provoke. I firmly (very, very firmly) told him we would not be talking about it, we would be having a quiet drive to school. I was hoping the silent break would calm and reset him. Instead, it just turned up the heat under the teapot.

When we got to school (on time) I reminded him, as I do every day, not to crowd the door where students wait for the first bell to ring but to wait in a less crowded spot. This keeps him from bumping kids or getting mad because he was bumped, as he still misinterprets this social situation and thinks it is deliberate. G responded by going to the extreme other side of the room. I thought that was great until another student got too close and G started yelling at the student to get away. I quashed that quickly and G went back to giving me the silent treatment – because I had told him we would be quiet on the way to school and he was still holding me to that statement.

I did my very best to detach and disengage and was outwardly successful. But now I’m sitting here waiting for a phone call from the school telling me G rocketed out of control. Maybe he will and maybe he won’t, either way I can’t seem to put it aside and enjoy my morning. Which means that if he does get over his mood and have a good day, I’ll have spent my entire day in a useless state of high anxiety. Some days, I just can’t win.

Published in: on January 30, 2012 at 10:31 am  Comments (2)  

Progress, Not Perfection

Next week, I’ll start a new job as a paraprofessional to a first grader on the spectrum.

I feel equal parts excitement and anxiety every time I say that, which is progress from feeling either total excitement or total anxiety. I’ve been substitute teaching in our school system, specializing in the resource positions, since the end of last year. I stepped into doing it after G has a disastrous week where both the general-ed and resource teacher were sick at the same time, causing too much instability in his routine. The substitute teacher for the resource position had no disability experience, made a couple of mistakes and … well… G punched her in the nose.

We absolutely took responsibility for G’s actions and made sure there were appropriate consequences. But as a team, the adults took a look at the events that led up to the incident and acknowledged the mistakes made on the part of the substitute. Living in a small, remote community, I realized expecting the school to find people who had the free time to sub and the appropriate experience dealing with challenging kids was unrealistic. Then I realized, I have both the time and experience. This was a way I could be part of the solution instead of moaning about the problem. I asked the principal if that was a role I could fill and she enthusiastically gave me the information I needed on getting a substitute teaching license. Since then, I’ve averaged working two days a week in both typical classrooms and resource positions. I’m pretty good at it. My biggest strength is that I’m not afraid of meltdowns – of all the kids on the spectrum in our school district, my son is probably the most physical when he snaps – so I’m able to maintain the calm needed to keep situations from escalating. Which is not to say kids don’t melt down with me, I’m just able to ride it out without panicking.

Two weeks before the holiday break I was subbing as a para to a boy in first grade, who is a lot like my G in language skills. I’d subbed in this position several times before so I had a good feel for this boy and a good relationship with his primary teacher. The principal stopped by and asked me to see her before I left. I couldn’t imagine what it was about – G moved to the intermediate school this year so it couldn’t have been another behavior incident. When we talked, she told me that the para to the boy I was working with that day was leaving and I was offered the job! The hours were 9am-1pm so they were very perfect for still being available to G. After some thought, I accepted the position.

I was feeling pretty great about myself that week, my ego was huge. “Wow, I am awesome!” went through my head more than once. And then the next week happened…

It was the last week before the holiday break – our personal witching hour. G had gotten through the week before with the holiday music concert and the associated schedule changes for extra rehearsals with no problems whatsoever. This last week there was a school play for his grade with more associated schedule changes for rehearsals. But this week, there was no aide available to keep an eye on him. I was told this and asked if we could see how it went without an aide since he had been having such a great year. And I agreed. The second day of rehearsals he walked into the auditorium and went to sit down next to his best friend when another boy swooped into his seat. He yelled at the boy and told him to move. The boy did not move. So G turned around, jumped into the air, and sat on the boy. In the process, the boys nose got hit and blood gushed everywhere.

I was feeling like the worst mom in the world. It was completely opposite of my high the week before and I started seriously doubting my ability to do a good job for any other person on the spectrum when I couldn’t get through to my own son. In talking with G about the incident, he knew he had made a bad choice but kept saying, “I didn’t hit him.” And it’s true, he didn’t hit when in the recent past his first reaction would have been to strike out, e.g the substitute incident. I realized I had been drilling Don’t Hit for the last several years but had never explicitly told G not to sit on people. And while the nose thing was pretty horrific (thankfully it wasn’t broken) it was an accidental consequence, he didn’t intentionally target the nose. And there were some extenuating circumstances on the part of the other boy. We’re now talking about not using your body against others in any way but instead to use words and seek the help of adults when kids are provoking him.

I realize now that we’re making progress but things aren’t perfect. And I think I needed that incident to reign myself in. I know I have skills and understanding that most people in my community don’t have, but I don’t know everything. I think I’ll be able to start my new job with proper perspective now, doing *my* best job but not expecting to do *the* best job.

Published in: on January 4, 2012 at 11:53 am  Comments (3)  

My Summer So Far

I’ve been totally slammed and feel like I’ve barely been keeping my head above water. Anything non-essential has slipped away from me. Here’s what we’ve been up to, if there’s anything you want more detail on, let me know and I’ll try to carve out enough time for a full post.

– End of year IEP. G is transitioning to the intermediate school (4-6 grade) so we asked the principal of that school to attend our meeting. Due to budget cuts they were considering going from 4 teachers in G’s grade to 3. We requested a full time aide for G in that scenario. Which we did not get, but we did get two hours of floating aide time each day to help during whatever times were hardest for G. We also got input into teacher selection, so DH and I spent an hour in two classrooms observing. We picked the most experienced teacher of the two because of her very structured and quiet teaching style.

– I substitute taught a handful of times at the end of the year. Twice as the para for a more severely affected autistic child than G. It was an enlightening experience. A lot of the skills I’ve developed raising G transferred over but I also learned a lot about what I don’t know.

– At the end of the year, the intermediate school principal felt confident that the board would approve hiring on an additional teacher for G’s grade. I was asked to sit in on the interview committee. The next day, the board did approve the position. Now G has a small class size *and* floating aide hours. Score!!

– DH and I spent a week in Vegas while G spent a week on vacation with my mother. Heaven.

– G started his first week of summer camp. This year, the camp is working with the National Inclusion Project to better include kids with disabilities. G had an aide from the adaptive sports program accompany him the whole week, paid for by the inclusion grant. The aide even accompanied him on the overnight camp out. It was a horse riding camp and G learned that he loves horses.

– We had one week with no activities scheduled. We quickly spiraled into endless arguing and meltdowns. We created a new token board system with three tokens per electronic device. G can lose tokens as warnings, and when a category is empty, he’s lost that particular device and has to earn all three tokens back with kind and cooperative behavior.

– Started swimming lessons, which have been rocky but overall are going well.

– I’ve started a hiking regimen where I get out at least three times a week by myself. Without a little self-care, I was going to lose it.

– I went to dinner with a girlfriend and tried to explain all of these events and how I felt about them. She asked if I’d ever considered talking to a professional. I’m sure it’s a valid suggestion, but I left feeling whiny and crazy.

So how are you surviving your summers?

Published in: on July 3, 2011 at 12:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Meeting Dr. Grandin

Temple Grandin is coming to our community to speak about Autism.  Tonight.  We’re bringing G to see her speak.  I’m wildly excited and very anxious to make this a wonderful experience for G.  You see, when we decided to explain autism to G, we made a decision to emphasize the positive aspects wherever possible.  To that end, one of the books we used to introduce and explain the concept of autism was Different Like Me:  My Book of Autism Heroes.  It discusses successful historical figures who if they were born today may have been diagnosed with autism, and talks about how their focus on their particular special interest was a source of professional success.

One page in the book is devoted to Temple Grandin so G is really looking forward to seeing her.  My concern is having the evening backfire on us.  I don’t see my active 7 year old sitting quietly for a speaker like this.  It’s also rather late in the evening for G.  The talk begins at 5:30 followed by a book signing where we hope to get her to sign her page in our book for G.  G’s current routine is dinner at 5:00, bathtime at 6:30, reading time at 7:00 and bedtime at 8:00.  Sometimes he can be flexible for a special event – but then other times he absolutely cannot.  And I’ve never been able to predict his reaction.

My hopes are way too high.  In a perfect scenario, Dr. Grandin would deliver an inspirational talk targeted directly to my son that would reinforce the message of autism we’ve crafted at home.  They’d meet after the discussion, have a wonderful moment and G would find an autistic adult he could look up to for the rest of his life.  No problem, right?

Realizing how irrational my hopes are, DH and I have a plan we’ve calmly gone over with G, stuffing all our excitement and worry deep so G won’t pick up on it.  We’re going to bring G home from school, have an early dinner and head back to the auditorium.  We’ll put coats on seats at the end of a row near the door so we can easily leave and come back as G needs breaks.  While we wait for the talk to begin, we’ll have G outside running off as much energy as possible.  We’ll have his ipad and nintendo DS at the ready with headphones so he can still hear his games.  We’ll have a bag of snacks, drink boxes and gum.  Worst case, DH and I are mentally prepared to leave whenever G is ready to go.  We may drive two cars so one of us can stay to have the book signed for G, so he isn’t disappointed in a week when he realizes what he missed by leaving.

The next two days are going to be huge.  There is the lecture tonight, a parent/teacher discussion group with Dr Grandin tomorrow morning and G’s IEP meeting in the afternoon where we discuss his transition to the intermediate school.  Wish us luck!!

Published in: on May 2, 2011 at 11:28 am  Comments (2)  

Friendship: A Two Way Street

I recently described how heartbroken I was for G when his best friend exercised his right to take a break from G and play with other kids at recess.  I worried that G wouldn’t truly understand that they were still friends, that G would feel rejected and less-than. 

Then I heard the most amazing story from G’s teacher.

G has taken BF (best friend) to his social skill sessions with the school psychologist every week for the last two years.  They also have lunch with her on this day, a special treat that they both really look forward too.  Yesterday, G invited DQ (Drama Queen, who wrote me a lovely thank you note for borrowing our Asperger’s book, I’m waiting to see how that plays out) but did *not* invite BF.  BF was stunned and while G was gone he asked their teacher if he had done something to make G mad at him.  When G returned to the classroom, she pulled the two boys to the side to talk because, “friends need to communicate with each other.” 

BF asked G what he had done to make G mad and why G hadn’t taken him to Miss L’s.  G told BF that BF had done nothing wrong, he just needed a break.  His teacher told me how he said, “Just like you sometimes need a break, sometimes I need a break.  It doesn’t mean we aren’t still friends, just that we’re also friends with other people.”  Then there was a pause before he said, “But my break wasn’t as long as your break.”

For all my angst and worry, G not only learned this friendship lesson, he flipped it and taught a valuable lesson to his neurotypical peer.  I’m so proud of him!

Published in: on March 25, 2011 at 9:57 am  Comments (3)  

Friendship and Drama Queens

Boy, Friendship is an extraordinarily complex topic to teach.  Especially when the potential friend also has issues with social skills.  Without a solid example to use, it quickly becomes a quagmire of conditional rules with multiple exceptions.  “If A, then B unless B involves C, then D…”

We met with G’s teachers after school to introduce his new ipad and go over rules of use.  (ie, no games unless authorized)  As I waited for the students to leave the classroom, his teacher popped her head out, holding our copy of the book, Can I Tell You About Asperger Syndrome:  A Guide for Friends and Family.  She asked if she could send it home with a female classmate for the weekend.  When I said yes, she turned to the girl and told her to read it with her mother over the weekend and told her they would talk about it more on Monday.

I was instantly on guard, wondering what was going on and what I had just opened G up to by agreeing to send the book home.  We had our meeting about the ipad and after all the other teachers had left, DH took over, sending G into the hall with his headphones and ipod so we could talk privately, and he started asking what was going on with the book and the girl.  I have to say, it is always awesome when DH takes the lead like this.  Schools always take Dad’s seriously.

His teacher started to hedge a bit, saying the girl wanted to know how to be a better friend to G.  But we know G has had issues with this particular student before.  For example, the teacher has a system where if conflicts between students cannot be resolved then one of the students can write a note in the class meeting book.  At the next class meeting both parties present their side of the conflict and the class works as a team to find an equitable resolution.  It’s a great system, but this girl loves the attention at these meetings and writes about G in the book for the tiniest things.  G doesn’t even know there’s a problem before it gets brought up in front of the class and between the surprise and the attention, he has a really hard time staying calm.  I was incredibly proud of him a month ago when he expressed himself at a meeting and said he thought the girl should stop writing about him in the book and talk to him first.  The teacher agreed and now she is not to write about G without discussing it with the teacher.  Whenever I see this girl, she gushes over how much she loves having G in the class and being a friend to G.  But it feels more self-righteous than genuine, as if she’s pointing out what a great person she is for being a friend to someone like G.

With DH leading the discussion, the teacher let us know that the girl wrote a note for the confidential comment box saying she is having a hard time knowing how to be a friend to G.  But the teacher also told us that she is aware of the girl is using G to draw attention to herself, that the girl has great difficulty making friendship connections of her own because she is constantly drama seeking and G is really her only friend in class.  I got the feeling this has been discussed with the girls parents before.  I also got the feeling she sent the book home to have it read with the parents as a way to really force the issue with the family.

I know this issue is the girl’s, not G’s.  The girl needs help with her social skills, needs to learn how to be a good friend to a peer just as G does.  But I can’t help but feel defensive and resentful.  It raises every protective instinct I have – I want to tell this girl to stay away from my boy.  I also know my instincts are counter-productive and hypocritical.  If I want G’s peers to give him the benefit of the doubt while he learns social and friendship skills, then I have to extend the same tolerance to other students.  The teacher’s plan is the proper way to handle this situation.  Having the girl learn about autism with her parents is a good thing.  Parent’s of neurotypical children often have a, ‘kids will be kids’ type of attitude.  Maybe this particular situation will force them to deal with their own situation in a way it seems they haven’t in the past.

As much as I want G to learn the skills to develop and sustain friendships, because he likes kids and wants to have friends, the process is turning out to be extremely difficult.  For me, that is.  😉

**I worry about discussing issues with G’s classmates on this blog because of privacy concerns.  No matter how anonymous I try to make this blog, true anonymity on the internet is unrealistic.  I really need to get my thoughts in order on this subject but may end up making this post private to protect the student involved.**

Published in: on March 19, 2011 at 10:58 am  Leave a Comment  

More Lessons in Friendship

Operation Friendship went into effect last week.  G invited another boy to join him and his best friend at his weekly social skill practice.  While G and the new boy were occupied with an activity, Miss L pulled the best friend aside to let him know that if he was feeling overwhelmed or needed a break that he could express that to her.  The best friend (I’ll call him BF)  told her that he loved playing with G and was doing fine.  But they still put a plan in place where if BF felt he needed a break he could put a note in their teacher’s confidential comment box.

On Friday, BF felt he needed that break and put the note into the comment box.  G’s teacher got another boy, E,  excited about playing with G at recess pulled G aside to let him know what was going on.  Tears welled up in G’s eyes but he reportedly held it together well.  She started to coach him on the idea that he and BF were still friends when G cut her off, saying he knew all that because his mom explained it to him.  She asked him to tell her what we’d talked about and he repeated all the ‘rules of friendship’ in a typically scripted fashion.  Which means the words sunk in, but putting those rules into practice was emotional.

E let G pick their recess activity and they played really well together – morning recess was a success!  But at lunch recess, the teacher forgot to put as much time into prepping G, understandably assuming that he would still have their earlier conversation in his head.  At lunch recess, G told his playground aide that he knew BF wanted to play with other boys but that was ok because G wanted to play with those other boys too.  Rather clever manipulation on G’s part.  It took some discussion to make G understand what giving your friends a break really entails and was again very frustrating and emotional for G.

My heart is breaking for G.  It was such a monumental moment when he formed this close friendship with BF.  Watching him learn these hard lessons about relationships is bittersweet.  I know it is wonderful that he has the capacity to learn these things and it is important to teach it this way vs letting him smother BF until their friendship is damaged.  But it is so hard to watch him struggle with this.  I just want to hug him and cry with him.  It’s also a little scary because while I know we’re doing everything we can to teach these lessons in a proactive fashion, there’s no guarantee that it is going to work.  G has such a strong desire to be social but there is the very real possibility that G will suffocate this friendship and then be in a spot where he has no friends again.  We’re in a position where we can teach what we can and support where we can, but the outcome is completely up to G.

Published in: on March 14, 2011 at 9:37 am  Comments (1)  

IPads for Asperger’s

We’re looking to get G an Ipad because it was recommended by our school’s autism consultant.  The theory being that if we can get him comfortable with using it now, it will make typing notes and organizing his work in the future much easier.  We had friends in town with an ipad and he absolutely loved it – for playing games.  I got him to type some quick messages but he wasn’t motivated.  He desperately wants an ipad though, so I got him to understand we wouldn’t be purchasing one unless it was used primarily for school.  (that almost broke my husband’s heart, he wants one as badly as G)

Before making such a major purchase, I started looking into apps that would be appropriate for G and quickly became overwhelmed.  I’m looking for some that will help him organize himself, type work at school and practice math facts.  He doesn’t need it for facilitating communication, although perhaps an app to help him identify or practice expressing emotions would be nice.  An app for his daily schedule would be great.  He seems to be in that middle area where some apps are too sophisticated and others not sophisticated enough. 

Then I wonder about keyboard accessories and protective cases and realize this ‘simple’ idea is becoming more complex by the minute.  Anyone been through this and have any advice?  My husband is ready to pull the trigger as soon as the ipad2 announcement, hoping that means the original ipad prices drop.

Published in: on March 1, 2011 at 9:33 pm  Leave a Comment