Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Annual Physical

It's been a long time since I have posted!  Mostly just because I have been very busy.  I have been substituting for our school district both as a teacher's aide in special ed and in the clinic for the school nurses.  And I have been job hunting and taking an RN Return to Practice class at our local community college.  And last week I got a job!  I will be going back to work outside the home for the first time in 12 years.  I have very mixed feelings.  Excited to get back to work and back to nursing.  Excited to learn some new skills.  But sad to leave my stay-at-home mom days behind.  I am so grateful to have had the luxury of the choice to stay home with my kids.  Especially Alex.  I think about all those preschool days and years of therapy.  I'm not sure how I would have managed if I had had to work, especially since my husband's job requires some travel.  And I have said over and over "I don't know how those working moms do it."  I still don't know but I guess I will find out!

As for Alex, second grade is coming to a close and I have to say it has been a pretty successful year overall.  A couple interesting tidbits.  One of Alex's issues is his tendency to sometimes get obsessed with things.  Well this year I kept hearing over and over about this boy in his class, K.  I mean it was "K, this" and "K, that".  Naturally, I assumed this child must be the uber-popular type all kids seem to gravitate towards.  Well as I found out from my substituting, this boy is obviously autistic.  Alex thinks he walks on water.  He is a cute interesting little boy, just not what I expected.  How's that for me stereotyping and making assumptions?  I learn something new from Alex all the time!

Alex has really been doing well over all.  Like most kids, and especially kids on the spectrum, he does really well when there is structure and he knows what to expect.  He does well and communicates well with kids and adults he is familiar with.  Today I was reminded of his "spectrummy side" when we went for his annual physical.  First off I pulled him out of school which didn't upset him but nonetheless disrupted his routine.  We went to the doctor and I reminded him that when she asked him questions, he needed to look at her and answer her.  His way of dealing with an unfamiliar and therefore uncomfortable situation was to get extremely silly.  He answered her questions but made up fake answers.  He told he he doesn't brush his teeth, he doesn't go to the dentist, he doesn't wear a helmet when he rides his bike and he doesn't go to sleep at night.  He was goofy and ridiculous throughout the whole appointment.  I have to admit I was angry and annoyed even as I recognized this was his way of dealing with the unfamiliar.  He is just not capable of dealing with situations where he feels uncomfortable like typical kids can.  He often acts ridiculous.  I think this is an area I will work on with him.  Learning to deal with unfamiliar circumstances and people.  Many kids struggle with this but for kids on the spectrum it is a hallmark of their behavior.  Alex does not have meltdowns but often acts out of control, goofy and silly when he is uncomfortable.  It can be almost as bad as an all-out autistic meltdown.  By the end of the appointment he was running uncontrollably around the waiting room like a 2 year old while I "tried" to talk to the doctor.  By the time we got back to school and he was in his element again, he was calm and in control of himself again.  Clearly in his comfort zone.


  1. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Delighted to see an update from you Kris
    Loved the alex story about K
    Our kiddos are always teaching us something

  2. Kris I did not know that you work outside the home AND have 4 kids
    I am so so impressed !
    Thanks so much for your lovely comments always