Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What I learned in June

I am linking up with Chatting at the Sky and What I learned in June.

1. I learned we have this Arabic looking license plate hung up in my son's room upside down.  It is actually from Kuwait. My husband met someone who could actually tell us what it says- Kuwait 149715.

2. Making Monoprints is easy and a bit addicting even for adults. Post here where I did this with my teenage son. I am a little addicted to making sun prints.  It might be that it is really hot here.

Prints by me
3. My Butterfly Bush actually attracts Butterflies.  CRAZY! It works as advertised.

4. This sculpture that is at the train station at Mt Vernon, WA is actually called Alpha Helix and is made form Word War II Submarine Buoys by Joseph Kinnebrew. The sculpture can be seen from the main freeway(I-5) and I always wondered what the story was. We had a chance to do an art geocoin hunt in Mt Vernon and this sculpture was part of it.
Charlie and Giant Man Child on Alpha Helix

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


UFO monoprint by Charlie
Yesterday, Charlie and I experimented with making mono prints.  I got the idea from pinterest - the place where all good ideas go to die. Check out the Artful Parent for decent directions. At my request, my son gave this a try.  I like to experiment with different crafts.
Our set up
We tried to use a pastry roller to help with the prints
It was better without
Sun by Me
Our painting/printing was pretty impromptu and messy.  In other words, I used what I had on hand. Our set-up was the back of a metal pan, old acrylic paint, smaller paint roller, and q-tips. This was a low commitment craft and it was fun to mess with. 

by Charlie


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day Link Love

My Dad is the one who taught me to make my bed even with hospital corner's.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Transition - HS to the REAL world - part 1

I decided to keep a journal of what is happening in the process of transition for my son from High School to the Real World.  I feel lost and I think other parents are probably lost in this process too.  I kept telling I just need to run into 1 person who had their child successfully transition.  I don't want to reinvent the wheel Someone recently said on a blog said, "You need to tell people what you are interested in."  I am interested in my son having the best life he can have. I want him to be productive contributing citizen.

My son a high functioning autistic (HFA) is a junior and attends a special school that our local school district pays for in Washington State. The school is for kids with behavior problems and none of the students are intellectually disabled. Many students are there because the their behaviors have gotten them in trouble with the law.  He is in a self contained classroom with 2 teachers and 2-3 aides and about 10-15 kids. Obviously, my son's behavior is not always in the socially acceptable range. His social skills and ability to handle frustration are low.  However, my son is on track doing regular high school work.  He is set to graduate in 2016. At graduation, he will be 17. He is no way ready to tackle the real world.

November 2014
At my son's annual IEP (individual education Plan) meet, I was made painful aware that our home district had no idea how to transition my son.  There was no plan and no way to develop a plan. Despite the teacher raising concerns and adding goals to the IEP and us parents raising concerns. The meeting left an overwhelming bad taste in my mouth from the district representative.  I realized my son wasn't going to fit into the cookie cutter transition plan. I quickly became frustrated at how little information on how to plan a transition that fit my son's situation. I thank the stars from bloggers like Karen at Confessions Of An Asperger's Mom and the facebook community Asperger's Confessions.

February 2015
Attended a meeting on DDA put on by Parent to Parent.  My son would not qualify for any services through them because his IQ is too high even though his adaptability scores are quite low. I have provided below the basic qualification for spectrum diagnosis for DDA

The main language besides a autistic disorder of autism spectrum disorder is evidence of delay or abnormal functioning prior to age 3 in social, language, communication skills, or symbolic or imaginative play. AND adaptive functioning assessment with a score of 69 and below.  Additionally a FSIQ of 84 and below (or statement of too severe to assess) for DSM-5 diagnosis

 I can check this off my list. I learned that if you do qualify that you may not receive services because lack of funding.  This is one resource that a child/adult can receive that is not based on their income. The speaker from the DDA was awesome.  There are a number of changes upcoming for the DDA so if this is a resource you want to pursue check out their website and apply.

March 25,2015
I went to the transition fair.  There is are some options out there if you receive SSI.  My son currently does not receive SSI. I got a great brochure from DVR with a good checklist. My son might be a candidate for running start if he wasn't a behavior risk.  I did spend time talking with the community college and technical college representatives and there definitely some supports that they can make available to students.

April 13, 2015
I watched a Dateline episode(4/12/15) " On the Brink" on what happens to kids when they age out of the educational system.  It was frequently called falling off the cliff.  Seriously made me cry and I made me realize that my son while still higher functioning is going to face these same obstacles. I am on the cliff with my kid looking down. There is absolutely no net.  Once school ends there are only resources that a parent goes out and gets for their child. Dateline had a resource list.. Notice the list is very short. 

April 22,2015
Adults with Autism often have Little Opportunity - This article is from USA today.  I love the first sentence of the article - "Roughly one in 10 young adults on the autism spectrum apparently has nothing to do all day, and many more have very limited opportunities, according to a new study."

Young Adults with Autism More Likely to Be Unemployed, Isolated - this is from NPR and based on the same study quoted in the USA today article above.

None of these help me navigate to what my son needs.  In fact, reading these will depress you.

May 2015

As More with Autism Near Adulthood, Clues to Success Emerge-
"Significantly, those with the highest self-care skills — whether as adults or in childhood — were most likely to maintain employment, work more hours and need fewer supports on the job, researchers said."

I think we are doing an ok job on teaching my son self help skills. I hope to work more diligently during the summer on some of these - cooking and some hygiene stuff as well.  Shaving and nail clipping are challenges with people who have poor fine motor skills

Why "High Functioning" Autism  is so Challenging

What Will Happen When the School Bus stops Coming

June 2015

I feel like mostly we are in the same spot as last year but my son is still on track to graduate. Treading water here. My son seems to be determined to end the year in a Blaze of Glory.

I sat at friend's graduation ceremony and realized my kid is not going to have that experience.  The finish line for him is going to be different not less but different.  The Poem below is one I found cleaning out my son's backpack

May the road lead you to adventure,

May all the challenges you face lead
to victory,

May no matter what, you come back

And may you never forget me no matter
what.  - CMR

I have come to the realization that solutions and opportunities most likely are going to occur outside the normal routes. The system is not going to help my son because there is simply not a place there for him. I think there is paradigm out there that needs to be broken on how we educated and prepare High Functioning Austics to live in the real world.

***My main goal is not only to document the steps I am taking but maybe someone out there has transitioned their child and has some additional insights.  I feel like I am flying blind here.  Feel free to leave a comment.

Monday, June 15, 2015

What I read June

I think I am recovering from my reading slump.  Thanks for all the great suggestions. Below is what I ended up reading last month. I am linking up to Modern Mrs Darcy's "What I have Been Reading".

The Secret Place by Tana French. 

This book was a slow burn for me.  The story could of unfolded just a touch faster but the who did it factor kept me reading. You can't go wrong with a murder mystery at a boarding school. I didn't realize until later this book is part of a series. Interestingly Modern Mrs Darcy had another one of Tana French's book on her Un-Put-Down-able List -The Likeness.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

I love adventure books and especially those that about people who tackle these incredible long trails. Bill and his friend set out to hike the Appalachian trail. My favorite quote was this by Bill.

"We didn't walk 2,200 miles, it's true, but here's the thing; we tried"

This was on Modern Mrs Darcy's Summer Reading Guide. This is being made into a movie as well.

Lastly another book from the Summer Reading Guide, I read Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.

 I loved loved it.  This YA book is a great summer read.  Their adventure driving from California to Connecticut is indeed EPIC.   Amy is dealing with tragic circumstance and Roger with a break up.

My favorite quote-

"I'd found out that when you're never going to see someone again. It's not the goodbye that matters. What matters is that you're never going to be able to say anything else to them. And you're left with an eternal unfinished conversation."

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Linky Love

Overparenting Anonymous - Number 26 might be one of my favorites -26. Treat ordinary household chores and paid jobs as more important learning opportunities than jazzy extracurriculars.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Last Day of School at Last

Today my last peep will be done with school for the year.  My oldest finished his junior year yesterday. Today, my youngest will finish 6th grade.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Diary of a Mediocre Homemaker - Got Skills

For my son's 13t birthday, I made him a rag quilt. 

It was actually the quilt I promised him for Christmas.  I kept putting off finishing it. I blame it on the lack of true winter weather here.  I like to hunker down in the winter and craft.  I finally got it done in May.It is a known fact that I am crafty not handy.  I got skills!
Picture of the Ragged Front
Back of Quilt
****I don't think you need to have sewing skills or a crafter to be a homemaker.  I just so happen to be also a mediocre sewer. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Graduation Linky Love

Yesterday was High School Graduation here. One of my good friends graduated.  I wish her the best of luck in all her endeavors.

If Students Are Smart, They'll Major in What They Love

You Have to Tell People What You Are Interested In (Modern Mrs Darcy)  This is really spot on and something I need to remind myself to do.

Why failure is Crucial for Student Success

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Ms Smarty Pants Graduates

Ms Smarty Pants and Me
I can't believe this girl is graduating.  It has been an absolute pleasure to watch her grow up.  Her family and mine had many adventures in "The Adventure Van" and later just as the Adventure Crew.

Cheezer, Princes of Quite A Lot, and Ms Smarty Pants
Kangaroo Farm
Chilee the Owl and Ms Smarty Pants

I know she is going to do great things. I feel lucky to call you my friend.  Congratulations!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Diary of a Mediocre Homemaker - Jack of All Trades

Dear Diary,
I keep telling people I am not handy but no one believes me. 

As the saying goes, " Jack of All Trades, Master of None."  Last week, I clearly was trying to live up to that saying.

The week started with a day off from school but a day of work for my husband.  I had an extra child who was hanging out with us.  We were going to go geocaching but the rain held us back instead we got a donut. My hubby switched shifts and now works a swing shift. A shift he hasn't worked in about 13 years.  So far it has resulted mainly in a loss of sleep for both Mom and Dad.

Tuesday brought bible study and I tried Kombucha for the first time.  I thought the Kombucha was pretty good - This version had raspberry and chai seeds. I also got a call from school.  Love those school calls.  I always wonder if I am on speed dial.

Wednesday had me going with a group of ladies from bible study to pray and clean one of our members house who had surgery.  I have to say I have never served in this way. It was actually quite enjoyable cleaning someone else's house. I also have a new band name - " Flinging Poop."  Hey it is never dull moment around here.
The only picture I took the entire week
Charlie helping with Tonto cover installation.

Thursday had me waiting on the delivery of a Tonto cover for one of my husband's friends. It was suppose to arrive between 1 and 5.  It got here closer to 6.  Then me and my under 18 years of age wrecking crew helped to put it together.  Did I mention that my husband wasn't here to help his friend?  His friend definitely got the junior varsity team.  But by 8 it was on the truck and all the packing material disposed of. 

The week ended uneventfully. I got to use a variety of skills. Need me to fling some poop or help install a Tonto Cover I am your girl.

Monday, June 1, 2015

What I Learned in May


1. You Can Play Music on Floppy Drives

I think I might of just nerded out.

2. There is a difference between BIG Foot and a  Yeti.

According to my 16 year old Big Foot cannot be hunted in our county.  AND I learned from my sister, the Polyester Princess, Big Foot and a Yeti are not the same thing.  I obviously needed to be educated on Big Foot.

3. Song Stuck in My Head

Oh ya know, I have a song stuck in my head.  Here is my latest.

4. Bison Slobber is difficult to remove from your car windows.

Bison will slobber your car if you have bread.  We enjoyed our trip to the Olympic Game Park where we were held up by bison and elk not at gun point but by hoof point.  It was seriously hilarious fun feeding them.

*****I am linking up with Chatting At the Sky - What I learned in May