Sunday, April 01, 2007


The middle school that the boy child will attend next year had tryouts for sixth grade band yesterday. It was kind of a neat setup, and much different from my experience in joining the band (way back in the Jurassic, you know). There were several tables set up in the gym, with an instructor and several related instruments at each table. The kids were encouraged to try everything and they were rated on a scale of 1 to 10 for each instrument. Then, when they had tried and been rated on everything, they sat down with the band director to determine which instrument they would play in the band.

The first thing the boy tried was flute, and he did okay. He got a 5. He had a hard time holding his mouth the right way to make the sound come out (the instructors did provide a lot of tips on mouth position and whatnot, so the kids weren't flying completely blind).

The next things he tried were the oboe and the bassoon. He actually did really well and got 8s for both. I was very impressed! I had always assumed they were hard to play because the reed looks so funky, but he got a really nice sound out of both of them. (As an aside, I had no idea a bassoon was so HUGE! I think it would have come up to at least his chin if he were standing.)

Next we went to the brass table, where he was able to try a trumpet, a French horn, a trombone, and a baritone/euphonium. He did okay on the trumpet (a 5), which was the instrument he had been leaning toward up to that point, but he got 7s on the rest of them, I think, and kind of fell in love with the baritone. He really liked the deep, low sound it made.

After that we went to the percussion table. Percussion is VERY competitive -- a lot of kids want to do it, and there are only 12 slots for incoming sixth graders. I could tell the boy wasn't super happy with his performance, but he really did great and got a 9 out of 10! Very exciting!

At that point there were only three instruments he hadn't tried -- clarinet, saxophone and tuba. The clarinet and saxophone were at the same table, so we got in line and waited. And waited. And waited. Holy crap, that was a long/slow line. The instructor there turned out to be one of the other band directors, and he was really great when it came to showing the kids how to position their mouths and blow and whatnot. They started on just the mouthpiece, which he then attached to the instrument and played scales or a little tune while the kids blew, so it actually sounded like they were playing something.

Unfortunately, the boy had had just about enough by this point. The gym was really noisy, as you can imagine, and as people finished and left the air conditioning got really cold and was blowing kind of forcefully through the vents. So he was in sensory overload pretty much, making the vocalizations he makes when he's feeling really auditory defensive and dealing with the cold wind from the air conditioners. I tried to talk him through it and spent a lot of time applying deep pressure to his neck, shoulders and back, which tends to calm him. He had his hands over his ears the whole time we were in that line. Oy.

Anyway, he finally got up there and tried the clarinet. And he sounded great! I think he got an 8. He tried the sax but wasn't getting quite enough air, I don't think. I can't remember but I think maybe he got a 7 on that one. He asked to try the flute again since it was the first one he had tried, and he got a much better sound out of it this time.

So finally, we were down to the last instrument -- tuba. At this point the boy was leaning heavily toward the baritone as his instrument of choice. He sat down, tried the tuba, and fell in love. I think he liked the baritone up to that point because it was the deepest one he had tried, tone-wise, but of course the tuba is even deeper and he really loved it. Once he figured out how to blow, he got a really nice sound out of it.

So, the next step was to visit with the band director, but the line was long and we decided to step out of the gym and walk the halls for a bit to give the boy a break. We found the drinking fountain, admired some murals, etc. and then went back and got in line. When it was our turn to meet with the band director, she looked at his ratings sheet and then used her laptop to pull up the scores from a music aptitude test the boy had taken a couple of weeks ago. She excitedly declared him "musically gifted" and told him his score was 95 out of 100! He scored 100 in lots of the sub-categories, apparently (pitch and melody are the two I remember, but there were more) and his lowest score was an 87 in I think syncopation? Or something? She explained that it involved following a beat. The boy can KEEP a beat really well, but following a beat that changes takes a whole heck of a lot of auditory processing skill. Still, 87 doesn't suck, so yay boy child!

(This is where I insert a huge mom brag, because hey! My boy is musically gifted! We always thought so, but neither DH nor I possess a whole lot of natural talent in that area. In fact, I myself possess NONE. I am tone deaf. That band-joining I mentioned up there in the first paragraph? Yeah, I got kicked out a couple of weeks later for lack of talent. I always thought it was amazing that the boy could sit at the piano and just make something up and have it sound like a real song by an actual composer, but for all I knew everyone who wasn't me could do that. So it was really neat to have an objective measure of his aptitude and skill in this area, and to have confirmation that he really is talented. Preen, preen.)

ANYWAY. The boy said he was in love with the tuba and the band director was thrilled. I guess they don't hear that a lot about the tuba. So while a lot of kids have to wait a couple of weeks to hear what they get to play, since they only have a certain number of slots for each instrument, the boy was told he could play tuba for sure. The school will issue him one for home and one to keep at school, so he won't have to carry it back and forth. He is so excited!

I am excited for him, but holy crap, he is going to have to practice that thing IN MY HOUSE. Time to buy some earplugs!

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Square one

As in, we're back to it, apparently.

Our beloved Dr. H, the boy's psychologist who is also Doctor #1 in the scenario below, dropped our insurance in December, thus leaving the boy without a therapist. Fortunately he has MOSTLY been okay, apart from some weirdness at the end of December/beginning of January (in the form of violent ticcing), so there's no huge hurry to find him another. But, you know, it needs to be done.

Doctor #2, the child psychiatrist it took 6+ months to get the girl in to see, has dropped our insurance as of this month. This is fairly devastating because we REALLY liked him, and so did the girl. There are precious few child psychiatrists in this town, and fewer of those are taking new patients, and fewer of those have waiting lists less than a year long, it seems. And now, EVEN FEWER of them are on our insurance plan, which apparently all doctors everywhere HATE, but we have no choice because it's the only one offered by DH's employer. I think perhaps a letter to his human resources department is in order.

Anyway, the upshot is that now we have no one other than the pediatrician who can prescribe meds for the girl if/when she needs them.

DH and I had a long talk about Doctor #3, another child psychologist who was set to test the girl, and realized that neither of us really liked him much at all. Or rather, he did not inspire confidence in us. Many of the comments he made during our initial visit led us to believe that he does not really keep himself up to date on the current literature, and there's no way that can NOT affect his testing of the girl. So we canceled it.


The goal is to find a therapist sometime in the next couple of months (i.e., before school is out for this year) for BOTH kids and get started on some behavioral therapy. The boy still has the occasional perseveration issue, and the girl needs to get mastery over her wildly swinging emotions if at all possible. A secondary goal is to find someone to test the girl before school starts up again in August. We still don't know what it is that she even HAS. It would be nice to pin that down so we can start targeting it instead of taking this scattershot approach to helping her that we've been taking so far. We are looking for the full battery of tests, including learning disorders, so we need that info before she starts school.

SO FAR, she has been on a mostly even keel since winter break. She's having a good school year and I hear less and less every day about kids being mean to her. And the boy has been doing really well, also. His weekly meetings with the school counselor help with that a lot, and we are having a meeting after spring break with both his current counselor AND the new one he will have when he switches schools next year. Of course, over the summer he won't be seeing either of them, which is why we want to find a therapist before then.

In essence, we are taking a little bit of a breather before we launch into the therapist search YET AGAIN.

It's hard to look beyond that right now.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Car trouble

Imagine you have a car that you absolutely love. It's completely unique -- no one else has one exactly like it and you can't believe it's really yours. You feel so lucky to have it.

Imagine, however, that the car is making a weird noise that you know it's not supposed to be making. It sounds absolutely horrible, like it's going to fall apart, and the longer you have the car, the worse the noise gets.

So suppose you take the car to a mechanic. But when he tries to take a look at the car, he can't get it to make the noise. You try to describe the noise to him, but he can't really tell what's wrong with it from your description and nothing is showing up on the diagnostics.

But the car is still making the noise, and you're getting more and more worried about it, so you try to take it to another mechanic. However, you're having a hard time finding a mechanic that actually works on that type of car. The ones who do have a waiting list several months long. Meanwhile the noise is getting worse, and you're hoping the car doesn't just up and die before you can get someone to take a look at it. You try reading books about cars and all the different things that can go wrong with them, but you're not a mechanic so you really have no idea what to do to fix it.

When you FINALLY get the car to another mechanic, he can't get it to make the noise either. So you go through the long process of getting the car in to yet ANOTHER mechanic, and this one ALSO can't get the car to make the noise. Every person to whom you try to describe the noise has a different idea of what might be wrong with the car, but nobody knows how to fix it. Meanwhile, the noise is just getting worse and you're worried sick about your car.

That car is the girl child. Yeah, that's right -- I just compared my daughter to a car. It's the best analogy I can think of for what we're going through over here.

We have been to three doctors so far. Doctor #1, a child psychologist, told us she met the diagnostic criteria for pediatric bipolar disorder and that we might want to consider medication. Doctor #2, a child psychiatrist with a 6+ month waiting list, isn't convinced she really is bipolar and doesn't recommend medication at this time. He thinks she might have an anxiety disorder along with something called cognitive distortion. Dr. #2 referred us to Doctor #3, another child psychologist who is going to test her but who thinks she might just be depressed because he says he has never seen a child her age who was actually bipolar. This concerns Doctor #2, who by the way might be dropping our insurance plan like IMMEDIATELY, which would mean we would have to find ANOTHER Doctor #2 and possibly another Doctor #3 to do the testing. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Meanwhile, the girl child is still WHATEVER she is. She's actually been on a fairly even keel lately, but she goes through definite cycles so the chances of her being in crisis again at some point are pretty damn good. The puberty clock is ticking, and I worry that if we don't get her diagnosed and get some sort of therapy or treatment plan going before those hormones hit, she is going to end up in the hospital with a social worker and God knows what else.

So that's what's been going on over here, pretty much. In case you were wondering.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Speed bumps

Wow, it has been kind of a crazy week here in the Anthrope household.

Monday the boy child got in trouble for hitting another student and disobeying his teacher. Here's what happened: the boy has been playing this game at recess wherein another boy who we'll call Sylvester has claimed one of the playground structures as his "castle" and has hired the boy child and a few other boys to act as "guards". The guards are supposed to collect a fee of two quartz stones (which are all over the playground) from any child who wants to play on this structure. In return, Sylvester pays the guards in more quartz stones. The boy told me about this game several weeks ago but I didn't think too much of it. I was just happy to hear he was playing with other kids instead of moping around the playground by himself.

So, on Monday a little girl wanted to play on Sylvester's castle but refused to pay the fee, so the boy child slapped her. When his teacher tried to talk to him about it, he became very upset and uncommunicative and started throwing rocks. She told him that wasn't safe, and he immediately threw another rock. The teacher became very frustrated and called us to talk about it. I wasn't home at the time, so DH said we'd discuss it and one of us would email her.

We talked with the boy child extensively about what had happened. He said that Sylvester did not tell him to hit anyone who refused to pay and he wasn't able to tell us why he had done that. My impression was that he got a little too caught up in the game and took his role way too seriously, which tends to happen with him when he's role-playing (which is why we don't own an Xbox or anything similar -- we need him in the real world!). As far as the rocks were concerned, he said he threw one rock into the air out of frustration. When the teacher said that wasn't safe, he thought she meant it wasn't safe to throw them into the air. So he immediately threw another one and aimed it at the ground so it couldn't hit anyone. It was only after he threw the second rock that he realized the teacher was telling him not to throw rocks at all (because she hadn't said that!).

So. We talked about good choices vs. bad choices, how the hitting thing was wrong, yadda yadda. I emailed the teacher and explained the boy's version of events (including the background about Sylvester's game, which I don't think she knew). Then I gave her some additional info on his disability, like the thing where he needs VERY SPECIFIC instructions. If you want him to stop throwing rocks altogether, you have to come right out and say that or he will misunderstand. I also told her that the boy doesn't handle pronouns well so you do have to be extremely specific (i.e., if you just say "stop it" he has no idea what "it" is -- he will just get very confused and stressed which will likely cause him to act out MORE as a self-stimming kind of thing).

She had asked for our suggestions on how to handle the situation, and I told her that we would leave any school-related consequences up to her but that we would prefer they be instructive rather than strictly punitive. I suggested that if he needed to sit out of recess, he do it in the counselor's office and use that time to talk to her about what happened and what other choices he could/should have made instead of hitting. Usually kids who have to miss recess for punishment just sit in the principal's office, and that will do no damn good whatsoever as far as teaching him anything about what went wrong. I also suggested that he apologize to the girl he hit, either in person or in writing. That would be an exercise in empathy, of which he has very little because of his disability. It turns out that the teacher followed my suggestions so that's all well and good.

I always feel a little weird when stuff like this happens, though. So much of the boy's behavior is tied directly to his disability, and I will absolutely take every opportunity to point that out and explain in detail exactly what is happening when he behaves a certain way. They seem to know very little about Asperger Syndrome up there and I feel it's important for them to realize that while he is extremely high-functioning academically, he really does have severe deficits that affect EVERY AREA of his life. Grades and test scores do not give a true or complete picture of how he functions at school, and I will hammer that home as forcefully and frequently as I need to.

On the other hand, I don't want to sound like one of those parents who insists their child is a little angel who never deliberately misbehaves. He does! It's just that USUALLY, whatever is happening has something to do with his disability -- the perseverations, lack of social skills, executive function deficits, etc. Particularly at school where he is in approval-seeking mode.

ANYWAY. We are only up to Monday, and there's more!

Tuesday was just the boy facing consequences at school, which went fine.

Wednesday is the day the girl child has an art class after school, but this week she forgot about it and went outside for car pickup after school instead. I don't think she realized what day it was until I showed up with only the boy's name on my little window card. She was VERY upset. It was raining hard that day at dismissal time so it took a long time for me to work my way through the car line to get them. By the time I got there, she had missed 15 minutes of the art class. I told her she could go back in and do it, but she didn't want to. She was a little too freaked out to handle it, I think. So all the way home in the car she was screaming and melting down and freaking out in a major way, which of course set the boy off, and this ended up going on for FIVE HOURS. Five hours of a full-on bipolar meltdown. And she wanted me with her, like RIGHT with her, practically physically attached, the whole time. I am trying to learn how to handle things when this happens, but I'm still not very good at it. It is so unbelievably draining. I have to stuff all of my own issues down deep so hers can fill me up and I can respond the way she needs me to. But we are talking five hours without any sort of break at all, not even for a minute. Not even to PEE. Oy.

Thursday after school she did it again, but this time it was over her homework and it only lasted maybe two hours, with a break for taekwondo (which I think was good for her as it gave her a physical outlet and kind of derailed her emotions) in-between. Today was okay although after school, a brief playdate, and a Halloween party she was starting to lose it by bedtime.

She is not in a good place right now and I don't know what to do. She worries me to death, this kid. I HATE seeing this disease just eat and eat at her the way it does. We still have an appointment with a child psychiatrist in January but we have not been able to get her in to see anyone sooner than that. She's not bad enough to take her to the hospital or anything -- she has never threatened to harm herself or anyone else -- but she is just completely out of control sometimes and I know it scares her probably even more than it scares me. I just want her to be happy! Argh!

Wednesday was by far the worst -- her meltdown set the boy's sensory defensiveness into overdrive and and one point I had them both screaming at the tops of their lungs and completely unresponsive to anything I said or did. They both had their disorders firing on all cylinders and I was caught in the middle of it, trying to give them both what they needed but unable to reach either of them. That was a BAD DAY.

Whoever said "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" did not have a bipolar kid, I'll bet.

Anyway, the weekend is here so maybe we can keep things on an even keel for a couple of days at least. And then Monday it's back to school. Oy.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Okay, so we had the 504 meeting on Monday and it went pretty well, I think. DH and I both went, along with the vice principal, the boy child's teacher, his counselor and a special aide who acted as secretary for the meeting.

First we explained the boy's problems with executive functioning. This is his major deficit and it governs his ability to organize and to generalize. This is why it is nearly impossible for him to remember what he needs to do at the end of each day in terms of getting all of his homework papers and stuff into his backpack. It also affects his ability to get started on assignments and to ask for help when he needs it.

We stressed that the most important thing for the boy, particularly when it comes to teaching him these skills for which his brain is simply not wired, is consistency. He needs a routine, and it has to be done the same way EVERY DAY so it will become a body memory. That's the only way he's ever going to be able to do this stuff independently.

Anyway, everyone seemed to be in agreement and so the meeting went very well. We were able to get the following:
  • Extra copies of all the boy's school textbooks that we can keep at home. I read this suggestion in one of the AS books (can't remember which one, sorry) and it made a ton of sense. Half the time when he does remember to bring home his homework, it will turn out he needs a textbook to complete it and he will have forgotten the book. Or vice-versa. This makes one less thing he has to remember to bring home, which alleviates a lot of stress for him.
  • A checklist that the teacher will use with him at school. This spells out explicitly what he needs to do at the end of each day (write his assignment in the planner, put his homework in his homework folder, put the planner and folder in his backpack, etc.). The teacher will go through this with him step-by-step at first to get him started, and she will sign off on the checklist when it has been completed. Then we'll also sign it at home. Eventually we hope he will be able to complete the checklist independently.
  • An aide who can be available to accompany the boy on field trips when I can't go. I decided to ask for this just for the hell of it. It's something he really does need, but I wasn't sure we'd be able to get it. Turns out it was no problem at all! Yay! This relieves a ton of stress for ME because I have worried myself sick on every field trip that I've had to miss. There are so many things that can (and have) set him off when he's outside the routine of school, so this is really pretty huge.
  • Continued weekly meetings between the boy and the counselor to work on social skills training (they have been doing this since last year and it has been working out GREAT).
  • A meeting between DH, myself, the boy's current counselor and the counselor he will have in sixth grade, to be held this spring. This isn't actually part of the 504 plan; there was some mumbo-jumbo about them not being able to officially set that up for some reason. However, the counselor, who has been WONDERFUL and in every case has absolutely followed through on what she said she would do since the beginning of last year, has promised that she will set this up for us. This will let DH and me have face time with the new counselor and kind of open the door for the boy to be transitioned from his current counselor to the new one. It's really important that when he moves to middle school he has at least one adult that he knows on campus who can be a "safe" person for him, especially during those first few weeks.
In addition, his teacher has rearranged the desks so that he sits closer to her and she can keep better tabs on him for in-class assignments. He literally does not know where to begin sometimes and has trouble figuring out what steps go in what order. We all agree that he is EXTREMELY bright and can absolutely do the work (and get an A, usually) once he gets going; he just needs a bit of prompting to keep him on track sequentially.

I've forwarded some general info to his teacher about AS and highlighted the bits that particularly apply to the boy. We've also asked that in-class partners/groups be chosen by some arbitrary system rather than letting the kids choose. Like many kids with AS, the boy is often left out in the latter case -- not necessarily because the other kids don't like him, but because by the time he figures out what "choose a partner" means and what he needs to do to make that happen for himself (both from a proactive and receptive standpoint), the other kids are already paired off. It's part of the whole social skills deficit thing. So hopefully the teacher will make a few changes there.

Anyway, so far, so good. We're in the trial phase of all this now, so we'll see how it goes.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Here we go

We finally have a date for the boy's 504 meeting -- Monday! I'm freaking out just a little because I feel like there is so much stuff I have to cram into my head before then. I really need to take some time this weekend to write out some goals and strategies and whatnot.

Most of the books I've read have been SUPREMELY unhelpful when it comes to advice on how to write a Section 504 plan. Typically the advice consists of: don't do it. Get an IEP instead. Uh, thanks? We may end up having to push for one eventually, but in the meantime, it would be nice to have some ACTUAL strategies for the 504 meeting. Since the boy is fortunately so high functioning in so many areas (except for the ones where he's really SEVERELY impaired, like organization and reading nonverbal cues), we have the luxury of being able to try out a few things and establish a paper trail on what works and what doesn't. So yeah, it would be nice to have some acknowledgement in the literature that sometimes it's okay to TRY the 504 route before you get all up in the school's grill with hearings and consultants and whatnot, particularly when MOST of your kid's needs are already being met.

But what do I know? I'm just THE PARENT.

The boy also has an appointment with Dr. H today, the first one in about six weeks (we had one scheduled for a couple of weeks ago, but the doc had to reschedule). I honestly think the boy is doing great and wonder if maybe we should just put Dr. H on call if any problems come up rather than keeping a regularly scheduled appointment with him. I guess I'll talk to him about it at today's appointment.

Other than that, things are moving right along. The only issue the boy is having lately is remembering to bring home his homework. He finally gets caught up, then he forgets it for a couple of days in a row and we start all over again. His teacher is supposed to be helping with this but that's the main reason for the 504 meeting/plan -- to get an ACTUAL plan for dealing with this on paper so that everyone on the boy's "team" can reinforce it using the same procedures and the same language. Because that's what he needs -- rote routine and consistency.

The girl is doing very well in school this year but her spelling is still a major issue. At the end of first grade, she was on the low end of the "normal" range for spelling for her age group. The assumption was that she would catch up in second grade, but that never happened because frankly she had a horrible teacher. Now her third grade teacher, who is wonderful and as I mentioned before was the boy's teacher for this grade, is concerned and THANK GOODNESS someone up there finally is. We've come up with a temporary plan to help her catch up, and I really hope it works. Today is her first spelling test since putting the plan into place so I'm really curious to see how she does.

I've been trying to spend a lot of extra time with the girl lately and it seems to have done wonders for her mood. DH and the kids got me the first three seasons of Bewitched on DVD for my birthday last week, and so the girl and I have been watching them together. This has led to a lot of discussions about what things were like when I was a kid, which the girl loves for some reason. She is so funny!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The long-awaited back-to-school update

Now that we're a month in...

The boy child is doing great. He loves fifth grade so far, especially since they do math and science every single day. So far he's doing a pretty good job of remembering to bring home his homework and folder and all that, and this year I'm actually keeping track of the days he forgets it so I'll have that info when we meet with the admin folks about his 504 plan (more on that later).

My cautious optimism about his teacher seems to be paying off. It turns out she's good friends with his teacher from last year and the two of them have been trading information back and forth, which is really good. There have been a few minor incidents but his teacher and I have communicated and we seem to be on the same page as far as getting the boy what he needs to succeed. I've been told by the vice principal that the 504 meeting will be sometime in early October, which I guess is okay, but I'm going to become a squeaky wheel if I don't get an actual date pretty soon.

In other news, the boy is doing a robotics class after school once a week and he LOVES it! We tried to get him into this class last year but the signup procedures were wacky so we missed out. Another boy from his class is in it, too, and they've been partnered up so we're hoping he'll make a new friend. Speaking of friends, the boy child was invited to a birthday party this week! A boy in his class whom he's known for a couple of years invited him to a small party at his house with just a few other boys. The boy child was thrilled and he had a great time at the party. I was so happy for him. If you read this blog regularly or know us in real life, you know that the boy hardly EVER gets invited to parties or playdates, so this was a BIG deal. Yay!

Also, the really big news is that he has graduated from occupational therapy! Once it was obvious he had the bike riding thing down, there just wasn't much else for the therapist to work on with him. He has mastered so many things in the past few years that he's beyond where he would really need to be to receive therapy. Of course, we can always start it up again if new issues arise, but for now he's going it alone. We still see Dr. H every 4-6 weeks just to check in, but honestly, I'm not sure how much longer we'll need to continue that either. The boy has just matured so much and is doing so well! (Gosh, I hope I didn't just jinx it!)

The girl child is also having a good year in school. It took her all of one day to get over her fear of the car-rider line -- when she came home on the first day of school, she told me that she loved it and wanted to keep doing it. I guess most of her friends go home that way, too, so she always has someone to sit with while she's waiting for me. Academically she's bringing home really good grades -- even her spelling has improved! Third grade is the first year they get actual number grades at our school, so I'll be very interested to see her first report card.

She was having a conflict with another student at the beginning of the year, but that seems to have been taken care of. I guess this other little girl is a bit of a bad seed and was really targeting her. Unfortunately the girl child's teacher from last year was worse than useless when it came to stuff like this -- she considered any reports of bullying to be tattling and would not get involved at all. So the girl wasn't telling her teacher about it, figuring nothing would come of it. Fortunately, as I said, this year the girl child has the same teacher that the boy had for third grade and we KNOW she does not stand for anything like that. So I sent her an email and that seemed to take care of things. Whew! This is otherwise a good year for the girl socially because her best friend is in her class, along with several kids she's had in class previously (all really nice kids, too -- none of the ones who have picked on her in the past).

The girl is also doing some extra-curricular stuff this year. She's taking an art class after school once a week. She's only had one class so far but she LOVES it. Yay! She is so creative that it just blows me away. I did not get that gene at all; I think it skipped from my mom over me to land on the girl.

Unfortunately with school starting up again she is back to rapid-cycling with her moods. I don't think it's quite as bad as it was last year, for the most part, but that could be because we know what it is now and have learned to handle it a little better. DH is so much more patient with her than I am, though. I may end up in therapy myself before this is all over! She just pushes every single button I have and it makes me crazy, and then I feel bad that it makes me crazy. Ugh.

Both kids are still doing taekwondo. The boy child should have his first-degree black belt in November, and the girl will have hers a few months after that if all goes well (she started later than the boy did). The class schedule has changed such that they only have it twice a week now, and together with the boy stopping OT that means we have a little bit more free time after school now, which is REALLY nice. We're still busy, but since their robot and art classes take place at the school, immediately after school lets out (no coming home, then going back), it has really cut down the amount of time we have to spend in the car. Woo!

Well, that's about all I have the energy for now. We have teacher conferences next week so I'll know more then about how things are really going for them academically. Overall, though, they're doing great!