Friday, June 19, 2009

Home Graduation Portraits

I convinced Thane that he loves me enough to put his cap and gown back on for some pictures. He tried the judge approach and wasn't wearing anything under the robe! He was trying to figure out if there was a way to peel the diploma open, but his thoughtful looks are just as cute as his smiles.

Thane's Preschool Graduation

Thane graduated from Coastal Kids Preschool this morning. He was cheerful, but overwhelmed. I felt kind of bad for him since he was really excited and proud, but lots of people, lots of noise, lots of flashes going off. He needed support, but he did pretty well considering . . . and he looked cute!

Walking in . . .

Getting nervous, starting to hide behind sleeve.

Needing support from Miss Laurie.

Off with his hat and trying to be calm.

Getting his diploma from Miss Priscilla.

The diploma made him look proud!

And happy!

It's hard to capture in a still image, but he was waving it around and then doing visual stims with his diploma.

Here's the diploma!

Braeden as Milo

Photos of Braeden and friends on stage at The Waldo Theatre in "The Phantom Tollbooth." Braeden played Milo and is below in the red shirt and jeans.


I am trying to upload photos, but satellite internet is not cooperating (for the record, HughesNet is awful). So since I am trying to update my blog a bit, probably the biggest news around here is that Thane's place on the autism spectrum has been refined to Asperger's Syndrome.

It's nice to have a more targeted diagnosis than PDD-NOS, and Asperger's is something we've wondered about for awhile now. When he was 2 years and 8 months, he was moderately speech delayed and that generally rules out an Aspie diagnosis. When re-evaluated at 5 years and 5 months, his language is no longer delayed other than as it relates to social speech. He continues to be very concrete, and will still say, "No, I'm Thaney," if you refer to him by anything other than Thane, Thaney, or if I call him Lovey.

The team suggested that he attend public school. He does require extra support, which generally isn't available in private schools nearby, unless the school is specifically for special needs children. The problem with a special needs school is the lack of typical peers.

One of the reason's I haven't posted here in awhile is that I couldn't think of much positive to say about the thought of transitioning Thane to Kindergarten. I don't think Child Development Services nor the school district prepare parents well (though, in fairness, it is more the job of a case manager, which we don't have because we don't have MaineCare and can't get one without it. This is something I find really stupid because it means I have to accept subsidizing in order to get services, rather than allowing me to pay out of pocket.)

Thane visited the school where Braeden goes and that was a bad fit. I really should have known beforehand that it was a bad idea, but the thought of both children in the same place was so appealing. It was a bad experience for Thane, and one that has left me feeling guilty and questioning whether he was even safe there. Obviously he survived, but I want more for my little guy.

So it looks like as much as I dislike public school and it's factory mentality, our district seems to be offering the right things. He'll have a one-on-one, he'll be allowed to arrive late after the crowds. A one-on-one will meet us out front to walk him in from the car. He'll get speech and occupational therapy. We will keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. It has taken a long time to reach this decision because there are so many pros and cons related to the various schools around here. I just hope we've made the right choice!

Catching Up - 1st the Award

I was given this award by a friend who is also one of Thane's former teachers. She has a son with an autism spectrum disorder as well and I like reading her blog when I am not spending my life in my car. I have found I can read email and check Facebook from my Blackberry, but blogs are harder to do.

In turn, I will pass this award along to my friends . . .

Alicia, Jettison Junk
Ginger, Adventures in Autism
Kimberly, Altering Life by Holding It Still
Michelle, Welcome to O-Ville
Liz, One Silly Mama