Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday Mornings & CDC Update

This Wednesday morning has, for the most part, been uneventful.  Compared to two weeks ago when I got a flat tire on the way to school--a nice guy in slippers helped me change it in the snow.  I took him a giant chocolate bar.  When I took the car to the tire store to get the flat fixed I discovered that the tire was ruined and Vince and I decided to get all the tires replaced--they were pretty bald.  THEN I had to take the new old car in to get it checked out by the mechanic and I got it to a neighbor's house where I turned it off and knocked on her door so she could give me a ride home from the mechanic's shop and when I got back to the car it wouldn't start.  It was totally dead.  And blocking her driveway.  I figured out that the battery cable was loose, jammed it back on the battery and drove that sucker straight to the shop.  That left me with much less time in the day to do what needed to be done but somehow I managed.

So compared to that today is pretty boring although there was a little drama during scripture reading this morning: Ivy and Ethan didn't really want to read.  Ivy was angry about something and she is the drama queen so when she's angry her hands are fisted, her face is red, her eyes tend to squint, and everything that comes out of her mouth comes out in very loud (yelling) spurts.  We were all doing well and being patient and quietly pretending nothing was out of the ordinary until Ivy read this one verse and Eva and I couldn't help but laugh.  Out loud.  Which only made Ivy more angry.  (We did, however notice that she didn't sound so angry on the next verse.)  The verse in question is Alma 14:7.  Here's about how Ivy read it:

AND.  IT CAME TO PASS THAT.  HE BEGAN TO CRY UNTO.  THE PEOPLE!!!  SAYING!!!  (Up until here everyone was keeping a straight disinterested face--she had already read one verse like this.)  BEHOLD!!!!  I AM GUILTY!!!  (And this is where Eva and I started laughing.  Can you blame us?  It does seem that when one child is in a "mood" they tend to get a verse like this that tickles my funny bone.  Vince is so proper that he just kind of frowned at us and I couldn't look at him because I was trying to STOP giggling)

And here is the CDC update.  We saw the psychologist this morning for the second round of testing--we also went last Wednesday morning.  Last week she gave Nathan an IQ test and today was a less formal test to see if he was on the autism spectrum and if he was where he would be.  Nathan did really well!  His verbal IQ score is quite low, which is to be expected.  His composite (average of verbal and nonverbal) score is low average.  His nonverbal IQ is average and he scores pretty high in the spatial part of the test.  It all made sense to me and seems to be fairly accurate.  For today's asd (autism spectrum disorder) testing the psychologist explained that a "normal" child would score 1-6, a child with PDD-NOS would be 7-11, and scores higher than that would be a more severe autism.  Nathan scored a 7.  He is very borderline PDD-NOS.  He has a hard time with some or all of the following: reading social situations, knowing how to handle situations where he is uncomfortable, understanding concepts and situations that are not concrete,...  An example of this is when she asked him to describe one of his good friends.  Nathan told her all about the friend's toys and then she asked again, "But what is he LIKE?"  Nathan seemed confused by this and started acting a bit goofy.  The psychologist explained that there are group classes for kids Nathan's age that help teach through role play and activities how to handle different social situations and stuff like that.  She recommends we take him to a class like this in the summer and then bring him back in the fall for a reevaluation.  Overall, I felt like the psychologist really understood Nathan and I feel like the class will be really good for him.  I think when things are difficult or confusing for Nathan he does one of a few things: disengages (less/no eye contact, stops interacting with people), acts goofy, or just flat out refuses to try.  He's very talented at determining which tactic will work in different situation and/or with different individuals.  I believe that a lot of that is because he doesn't know when and/or how to say he is uncomfortable, overchallenged, etc. in a way that he is certain will be socially acceptable.  If Nathan is unsure whether he will be understood and responded to positively then he chooses not to interact with people--he is often uncomfortable and I don't think he is able to read all situations in a way that make sense to him.  A class is a great idea--I had no idea that was an option!  Many children with PDD-NOS "outgrow" it.  It's possible that Nathan just needs a little more instruction than my other kids on how to read and handle social situations.  It really makes sense when you consider that he missed so much interaction due to an inability to communicate all these years!  In reality, he continues to miss crucial social interaction (playtime) due to the speech and school demands he is currently under--he just does not have much time to be a kid and playtime is where kids learn most of this stuff!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ethan's Eyes

A couple weeks ago Ethan brought home a note from school saying he had a little trouble at the vision screening and should see an eye doctor to get his vision evaluated.  I made an appointment and  we went there this morning.  (Eva's totally jealous because she wants glasses--that girl loves her accessories!)  Ethan hasn't been too concerned about this because he's certain that the nurse made an error--so certain that he told me that he didn't need to get his eyes checked again.  So certain that he told the receptionist and the nurse and the doctor.  The nurse said something like, "I don't know--that's quite a prescription" after she had him read the little letters and checked the different lenses. 

Then the doctor came in and asked Ethan how he felt about his eyesight and Ethan told him his eyesight was fine that once in a while he might have a little trouble seeing something but that for the most part he can see everything he wants and needs to see.  The doctor said, "Let me set the record straight once and for all...........You can't!"  And he promptly wrote a prescription for glasses and took a picture of the inside of Ethan's eyes because he has something that looks like glaucoma but for someone Ethan's age it's more of something to be aware of and have a record of.  The doctor was fun and we had an enjoyable visit.  Ethan is not disappointed about having to wear glasses because when the nurse was checking the lenses he seemed to get a bit excited about how easy it was to see things.  The doctor talked to him about how squinting was really not the best way to view the world.  Ethan selected some nice looking frames and we should get his glasses in 7-10 business days.

Now I may consider taking Eva in because she thinks she may need glasses (although she did once say she wants glasses because everyone else has them).  I say consider because a couple of years ago she wanted braces (because everyone else had braces)and until this morning I wouldn't consider taking her to the eye doctor because I don't think getting glasses because everyone else has them is really a great reason.  BUT Ethan's eyes were worse than I every would have imagined and the doctor did say that as he grows we are going to need to take him in to get his prescription adjusted.  If Ethan's eyesight was that poor then maybe Eva has a real need for glasses after all.  Maybe I'll decide this summer when we're done with more of Nathan's stuff!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I love this poem by Naomi Shihab Nye

The river is famous to the fish.

The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.

The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.

The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.

The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.

The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.

The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.

I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.

I first read this a few weeks ago and have been pondering it ever since.  I've been thinking about what I choose each day and what my actions make me famous for and contemplating to whom/what I want to be famous.  Perhaps most importantly, recognizing I want to be famous because I remember what I can do.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I haven't posted for a while because I've been putting this post off for stupid reasons.  On December 16 Vince and I celebrated our 15th anniversary.  I'm so grateful to be married to Vince--we have a beautiful life together.  I spent most of November and December reminiscing about our courtship, temple sealing, welcoming each child to our family, learning how to parent,...  Through everything Vince has always been and always will be a strong and steady influence.  He leads our home and fathers our children with patience and love.  He's infinitely supportive of anything I want to do.   I think the card he gave me pretty much sums up how we feel about each other: "When we married, I said "I do" to what I knew would be a lifetime of love and laughter...I said "I do" because I knew we'd always find comfort and content in each other". 

After Christmas Vince and I got to take a trip away together--the kids stayed with Aunt L and Uncle J.  We had a great time!  One reason I procrastinated this post was because I was going to include pictures--pretty much not gonna happen.  But not for lack of pictures.  Vince took over 325.  Pictures.  Really.  We went to Zions National Park and stayed at the lodge in the park and did very much hiking.  Over 12 miles.  I love hiking but I will admit to being unprepared for that much hiking in the snow.  After 15 years you would think I would have thought this through a little more.  The next time Vince plans a trip I'm taking snowpants, boots, and snowshoes.  I'm also going to invest in those things you slip on your shoes that give you traction in the ice and a good walking pole.  There was tons of ice and we hiked up to Scout's Landing in snow that went over my knees.  The really beautiful part of that hike was the fact that we didn't see a single person on the whole way up the trail...everything was covered in newly fallen snow and we were making new tracks.  At times we would walk next to some fresh deer prints.  There was only one hiker that had hiked in front of us and he was waaaay up there--we didn't meet up with him until we reached the top.  I love the feeling of being alone with Vince and the peace of viewing nature in isolation.