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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer Camp Part 2



Here's Alex about 3 minutes after he got home this afternoon.
He plopped down in front of his laptop to chill out.
His expression is a little intense, but he can look like that a lot,
 even if happy.  What I noticed was that his fingers were crossed.
His little body language that there's a some anxiety going on.
A few minutes later he galloped through the house,
shrieking like a wild Indian.*  And then, after letting off that
steam, getting a snack and a cold drink, he was all smiles. :)

I wanted to share a little more about yesterday.
Back when we took our tours, we visited all the rooms.
Each is categorized according to disability and the severity of it.
There were three rooms for people with autism and one for
Downs Syndrome.  The three for autism looked incredibly boring for
our guys.  I didn't notice any people that were verbal and many of them
looked overly medicated...sleeping or laying their head down.
One room was for the more violet, with padded partitions surrounding
each person and they were corralled in their work stations with
an aide on the other side of the desk from them.  The talked in
extremely quiet voices, obviously not to upset anyone.
Some young men were big...several hundred pounds and over 6
feet tall.  You could just tell they were very cautious about us
even stepping into the room.  We made sure and requested that
out boys not be put into there! ha.  And actually the room with
mostly Downs Syndrome young adults looked like the most fun.
They sing, dance, play Wii, and all kinds of activities.
So, that is where they were placed.  There is much more
interaction there and I think it's a good fit.  Not all of them
are verbal.  And several are in wheel chairs.

I like the instructor in this room very much.  She's a lovely middle aged blond, 
very sweet and gentle and conscientious.  As we talked during the
day, she told me that she takes in stray animals and was almost 
embarrassed to admit that she had 10 cats, some birds, turtles and
a couple of pet cows. haha.  So, of course we had something in
common right off the bat.  :)  "Only 10 cats?", I asked her!  haha.
 The aides were great, too...one man
and one woman...probably 60ish and really good with the class.

But there was some ugly parts...one I'll share.  Mid morning I took
Spencer down the hall to show him where the bathroom was.
Since this isn't school and they are adults, they are allowed to go
when they want and alone.  He went into the men's room and I waited 
in the hall, a couple feet from the restroom door.  After a minute,
a loud, violet young man, probably the same age as my boys, came
bounding down the hall.  He gave the middle finger to all that were in the cafeteria
 through the windows across from us and slammed the men's restroom door
 open and went in.  Well, he looked like he was about to explode!

I hadn't had to confront an irrational and violent person 
since my repo girl days.  haha. But my boy was in there and I didn't
 care if it was the men's restroom or not! 
 I didn't hesitate one second and took two steps toward
the door as I heard him slam a stall door.  But he came back out, almost
running into me as I was going in!  He beat his fists on the
cafeteria windows and finally a teacher and aide came to get him.
Spencer came out and seemed completely oblivious to the whole
situation and we made our way back to his classroom, walking past
the two staff members and the angry kid.  I made sure they saw
that we were going to walk by, so we would be safe and I
put myself between them and Spencer. Geesh!

I told our instructor when we got back in to the room what had happened.
What's the point of requesting not to be in the room with the violent
ones if they are allowed to roam the halls and go into the bathrooms
without an escort?  She totally agreed and called the administration
right away and told them what had happened.
So, just for that reason alone, I was glad I had been there and
could call that to someone's attention!

Part 3 will have to wait....
I want to share with you about Caesar and his train stuff. 
I thought on Monday that this was the 'bad' of the
good, bad and ugly but we will just have to see 
what comes of it.  More tomorrow! :)


*  Is it OK not to be PC if we are part Cherokee?  haha.

59 comments:

  1. Glad you were there...
    Waiting for the next installment!!
    Hope you are feeling more calm today, Betsy...

    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    Replies
    1. Hey, #1~ :)

      I did feel better today...there is a benefit from not being there watching every minute. haha.

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  2. I was thinking of you all day, very scary stuff, good thing you were able to force them to address this, I wouldn't think it was safe for anyone including the angry boy, he might to himself harm,

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    1. well, thanks so much for thinking of us. Things must have gone well, or I would have gotten a phone call. Everyone is happy tonight and that makes me happy! ha.

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  3. Oh dear I was exausted when I finish to read! glad you were there, hope the thing are all days better, well the most important the kids are well, and Alex I remember he crossing his fingers !
    how many days are the camp??

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    1. haha. I KNOW!!! Now you know why I was so exhausted and crying! ha. Crazy! Yes, the boys are well and happy. And like I said, I do like their class and teachers. It will be good!

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    2. Yes I know dear. Listen I m praying all nights by the kids and you:)

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    3. thanks..that means a lot. :) And you remembered about Alex's fingers crossing? So funny that he does that.

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    4. Yes I remember he crossed fingers LOL when he is worry or with anxiety,
      Ditto is funny when he is with anxiety he walks around all house LOL make me nerveous sometimes:) all we have some things ......

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  4. You are being very brave. I lift you and yours up in prayer everyday. Dottie

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    1. Really? Wow,...thanks, Dottie! We certainly can use it. Even this mama bear needs a guardian angel to help! ha.

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  5. Two big long rants in a row
    And yeah really need a cow at your show hahaha
    That would add to the zoo
    And give something for the kitties to view
    Yikes to the guy as well
    My uncle would just chuck things and yell
    So all you had to do was duck and cover when that came due
    Of course he was maybe spurred on by me a time or two lol

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    1. I promise later in the week
      to only post a picture for you to see.
      No words at all
      to even it all out at my stall.
      haha.
      Teasing your uncle, now that I do believe!
      I hope his aim was good, hitting you in the knee.
      lol....

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    2. Oh he hit me a time or two
      Can't say I didn't deserve it at my zoo
      But he took delight
      In picking a fight
      And the cat has a picture post planned friday too
      Part of whoopdi friggin doo

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    3. Well, Friday you can do 'what the frig'
      and I'll just post something beautiful, like a twig.
      hahahahaha,.....

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  6. I admire the fact that you remain so involved with your boys and wanted to stay with them the first day. Not many parents would do that at this age. Prayers for you to remain strong to help them continue moving forward in life. I hope camp goes well for the remainder of their time.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I know I'm in the minority. No other parents were there for the first day. ha. Thanks for the prayers...I do have a good feeling about it despite a few hiccups the first day. That is to be expected and that can happen anywhere!

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  7. wow. That is kind of scary about the violent ones being unsupervised in the hallways and bathrooms with everyone else. Glad you were there, too, Betsy.

    And, glad Alex was able to let off his steam and relax. =) blessings ~ tanna

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    1. well, hopefully the unsupervised hallway walks are a thing of the past!

      Yep, Alex was just fine after a few minutes. I've seen him at a worse place, so all was good. lol....

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  8. well i am kinda glad he was oblivious to that...and that you confronted it...and when you started describing alex i was hoping nothing serious happened...ha on blowing off his steam as well...smiles.

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    1. yeah, me too. And he wouldn't know what flipping you the bird was anyway. ha. And I'm really glad I didn't have to get black and blue to keep him safe! Good grief. Ah, see...you're like me...hoping nothing bad happened..so hard when they can't talk! Sigh! But all is good. Everyone is happy tonight. :) They have done remarkably well with such a HUGE transition. I'm so proud of them.

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  9. Wow, you had an interesting day on Monday didn't you? Just when you think life can't get any crazier......... Keeping you and your boys in my prayers!

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    1. verrry interesting! And I'm not done telling the whole story! lol....

      Thanks for the prayers...never a dull moment here, that is for sure! :)

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  10. Wow Betsy! I love to see the way you 'fight' for your boys! I know that our lives are completely different but there are still days when I feel like people need a reminder not to come between this 'Mama Bear and her Cubs'! haha

    I hope their Summer Camp experience stays pleasant and brings you all much joy! Blessings to all of you!

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    1. lol...oh, i know! I try to look like a little lamb most of the time, but I can growl and get on my hind legs if necessary. hahaha, Grrr! I think all moms have that protection instinct in them. :)

      I hope it stays pleasant, too. I'd be thrilled if they loved it!

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  11. I'm glad you were there to expedite some 'room monitoring'. Haven't there always been hall monitors and bathroom monitors at school..there were when I was in school many years ago.
    I have to say something that came to me when I was reading that Spencer didn't seem to be bothered by the violent kids actions...now you know I have no filter..heehee, but I thought that perhaps Spencer has seen his teacher throw fits like that and he is used to it. You know I don't mean that but it did come immediately to mind.
    I was prepared to cry when I saw this post come up, but my thought made me laugh instead.

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    1. yeah, but this isn't school...it's adult day care/camp...so things are a little different.

      a fit? no, never..of course not.

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  12. I hate letting go of my kids. I often find myself worrying about one or another. Giving them back to Him is hard, just plain hard.

    Praying all goes well and your boys come home smiling every day, even if they are tired.

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    1. Spencer already asked to go to bed...I think he's tired! :)

      Yeah, giving them back is hard..but it's the only way, isn't it?

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  13. Being involved is so important.
    Being involved when you have special needs students is really important.
    I wish more parents were as involved.

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    1. I totally agree! But to moms like you and me, we can't imagine being any other way! :)

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  14. I'm so glad you were there! Now I'm wondering what more you have to share.

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    1. lol...now you know why I was so exhausted! ha.

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  15. Thank you for sharing...just found your blog and appreciate all the info..I have triplets with autism that are almost 5 yo....I haven't heard of anyone else....would love any advise....thank you

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    1. It's going to be fun having you here, Julie! I agree, we are an elite club! ha. :) Advise in a broad sense off the top of my head this morning would be to take one day at a time, keep your sense of humor, and follow your gut..nobody knows your kids like you do. And that coffee is your friend. :)

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  16. It's funny you should mention the crossed fingers, because I was wondering if Alex had crossed his fingers the first day when everything was so new. Hope the incident you experienced is not repeated in any way and I am glad that were on the scene to see the potential of what the boys might experience. They seem to be adjusting so well... only two days! You must be proud. No, I have not made it up to my rooftop yet - a few days of rain and running errands and doing things I don't seem to have time to when I am working. But also much napping! I do love naps. And Julie... you have hit the jackpot by finding Betsy. I know she will have much to share with you. Blessings to you.

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    1. They amaze me in this adjustment...I think it really helped that we toured last month and that I went with them the first day. Once they are comfortable, they really are fine. They were happy to go again this morning!

      The first week of vacation is usually busy...running errands and doing things you haven't had time to do! Naps are good...hopefully the weather will cooperate and you'll get on that roof soon! :)

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  17. I think the wide range of the autism spectrum is one reason why it is so hard to find an appropriate placement for our children. Just because a place takes kids with autism doesn't mean that it will be a good fit for your child. In your case, you found the best fit in the Down's Syndrome room.

    Hearing about that incident with the violent young man makes me understand why you will have some trepidations. Hopefully incidents like that are contained and handled better than that one was. But hearing this also makes me wonder what my son will be like when he is older... hopefully he will be able to control his anger as he gets older, and bigger, as I hate to think of him ever becoming the scary young man.

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    1. Exactly...the range is so wide, the title hardly tells you anything anymore!

      Kai has come such a long way in dealing with his anger...such a huge difference that when I started reading your blog! I would imagine he will continue to improve with the next big hurdle being puberty. That's when our Alex had some trouble with tantrums and rage. A tweak on his medications really helped. It would be great if during that time, you didn't have any major life transitions for Kai...like changing schools....although I know some things are not in your control. ha. I wish you all the best there...and aren't you glad you still have a few years? lol...

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  18. I don't know.
    We had autistic children in my sons elementary school and they came in with a helper but they did just fine and they were very smart. In highschool I saw this nice young lady with downs syndrome and she used to come out to wait for her Mom to pick her up.
    Every one was so nice to her and she was doing real well with normal kids.
    They do so much to day with these children and you can't help but be proud of them.

    You have to think that you will not be there one day so you have to let go so they learn other things.
    and be with other people. I agree that they maybe will have a lot more fun with the sweet down syndrome kids and I don't really like the idea of giving drugs to these kids so they stay quiet and sleepy.

    Your boys sound like great kids and they have a wonderful Mom.
    I think if there is enough supervision to stop bad behavior, it should be a good experience for the boys but I share your feelings about wanting to be around just in case.
    I am that kind of Mom too even with my kids just because the newspapers are so full of crime stories.lol
    With kids, it doesn't matter how old they are, a Mom will always be a Mom.

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    1. The boys' friend Heather that graduated with them has Downs. She is sweet...and funny...and full of personality. She was mainstreamed more than my boys and she was really well liked.

      My guys take medication but people wouldn't know it from any adverse symptoms like sleepiness. I agree, they shouldn't be overdone so that they sleep all day. That makes me sad. And the angry ones, I usually think they need meds tweaked, too...like Alex. I feel bad for them...it's got to be so frustrating to be in their bodies. :(

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  19. Awww Spencer and his crossed fingers! Glad you are all home safely after such adventures! Take care
    x

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    1. they are doing great! I'm breathing easier. :)

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  20. It annoys me about the violent boys but at least you expressed their concerns and hopefully will make some changes. It's going well in my opinion Betsy and I hope it continues to go well. I find it awesome that you and the guide share the same love for animals, and not just casual loves, intense full on loves, she sounds like an amazing lady.

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  21. Betsy, I'm sure this is an extremely stressful time. I remember "letting go" of my kids, and grandkids, when the time came, and that was stressful enough. I can only imagine what you must be feeling with the boys right now. Bathe them in prayer, and trust they will be "watched over" as promised. Sometimes that's all a parent can do.

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    1. Thanks, Don. I really appreciate that advise...

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  22. Wow. So glad you were there when this happened! And hopefully they'll correct the problem. Looking forward to your next installment.

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    1. yep...now you all know why I felt like I needed to be there. :)

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  23. So glad that you are "getting your feet wet" with this program and really HOPE it will be an excellent thing for the guys. I had to chuckle about the kid in the bathroom...can you imagine the teacher calling and saying "THE ONE DAY WE HAVE A MOM IN HERE with NEW students YOU LET THAT KID GO FLYING AROUND UNESCORTED???! WHAT were you thinking!?!?!?" I am GLAD you were there to make it known and someone got a "talking to...!"

    Caesar?? I know a Caesar there...

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    1. I am quite sure that you have that phone call down word for word. lol.... And the director was one of the staff that came to the rescue. I'm sure she was dying that I saw it all and complained. lol...but that is good...they need to be on their toes!

      Yeah...Caesar! I'm sure there is only one. haha.

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  24. It will get better day by day, Betsy! Such a big step for the boys AND for you! You are so used to being on guard all the time. Now you must also give yourself a little time to adjust to this new situation. What about working your 'nice things' list, while the boys are away? Some more coffee? Did you ever try techniques to relax, like yoga e.g.? You are such a great mom for your three boys, but it is very important to be as good as you can to yourself, too! You deserve it and it helps to keep your energy, too. And, you said a very wise thing here yourself: take one day at a time! I´m sure you will all be doing well!
    Best wishes
    Christel


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    1. Yes, you know me all too well! Why is it so hard to relax and do something for me? haha...but I'll have you know I did have coffee on the porch swing this morning and enjoyed the beautiful weather before leaving to run errands. And that is something on my list! yay! haha.

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    2. It´s hard maybe, because for so many years your focus has been on doing an overwhelming lot of things for others. With emphatic people like you this gets a very strong habit! But you do know, Betsy, that you can start new things every day and that the best day is always today. So do have beautiful moments!
      Take care
      Christel

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  25. This sounds like a big challenge for you all. I guess the benefits that will come from it may be tempered with a few negatives and I do sympathise with your fears. Hoping in the end the boys settle and it works out well. I'm glad you can write about it here. Be assured of my prayers.

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    1. No anxiety at all when they got home today...each day is a little better than the last! :)

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  26. Hi Betsy .. reading this after your 3rd post ...as you know I'm going backwards ... I'm impressed with the administration of the Summer School - it sounds like they are very aware of what might happen and are prepared to deal with things .. I do admire people who work in that sort of environment. I too can understand why you want to be around to settle things in ... now back to the first one .. cheers Hilary

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