Monday, February 16, 2015


I hate that I've neglected this blog for so long. No real reason for it, except generally being busy, but that's a poor excuse. Hoping to be better.

Last week, A and A turned six. just seems so much bigger than five! This year, they really seemed to grasp the concept of getting older and that aging means growing both physically and intellectually.  Every time they've been able to do something in the past week, they attribute it to being six now, which is adorable.  In fact, the first thing Amelia did when she woke up on her birthday was to feel her teeth; she thinks that now that she's six, she will start losing her baby teeth.  She was a bit dismayed to find that they were still snug in their places.  In time, darling time.

So..without further ado...the kids at six.

At six, Amelia loves ALL THINGS related to big cats.  Lions, tigers, cheetahs, panthers, panthers, name it, she loves it.  She has a memory that doesn't quit and knows many various facts about each cat.  She loves pretending to be a lion and watching all of the Lion King movies, and then reenacting them with her brother.  She received a lion tail for her birthday (made by Nana), and that has become her prized possession this week.
Clearly I was just as excited to see the tail as she was. I knew my girl would love it. 

She's not sad. this is her "I'm about to pounce" face.
Post-pounce. She hasn't mastered being lady-like when she wears a dress. Ignore Weird Al back there.
At six, Amelia is excelling in school.  She is a reader, a strategic reader, which means a lot to her Literacy Specialist mama. She loves learning, and pleasing her teacher. She struggles with handwriting still, but we put a 504 plan in place to ensure that she has access to all resources needed to help her tiny hands be successful in school. These include shortened writing utensils, a smaller computer mouse and keyboard, modified writing paper, extended time for writing, etc.  She is obedient and completes her homework independently and willingly. She loves her teacher and her classmates. She has no problem telling bigger kids in the after-school program NOT to pick her up and that she is a big kid just like them.  She's stubborn, and independent, and confident.

At six, Amelia understands that her brother is different.  She doesn't know the term "autism", per se, but she recognizes that his social needs are different than her own.  She recognizes, when he's asking her to 'say something', like a line from a movie or an answer to a question, that he needs it to complete whatever is happening in his mind, and she can respond to his requests without missing a beat in her own play activities. She understands the need to sometimes ignore him, especially if he's melting down (because at times ignoring is the only way to bring him out of it), and recently during an episode of homework-induced frustration on both Anderson's and my part, Amelia looked at me quite sincerely and said, "Just 'nore him, mom. Just 'nore him."  She's patient, and kind.

At six, Amelia is sweet, and smart, and funny. She laughs maniacally at commercials like this one and has a belly laugh that won't quit. She's shy but outspoken, laid back but indignant. She's amazing and miraculous and so much more than I could ever hope for in a daughter.

At six, Anderson is funny, quizzical, and unpredictable.  He is verbal, and his main interests are driving on the interstate and listening to the different sounds that the tires on the road can make, and whatever his sister is interested in at the time.  At six, Anderson is obsessive and stubborn, expressive and very real, in terms of his feelings. What you see is what you get, all the time.  He has a very advanced sense of humor; his ability to understand what is funny and what makes people laugh is so refined that it's even noted in his IEP minutes. He's the funniest kid I've ever met.
At six, Anderson's most typical form of play, or communication, remains echolalia.  He can most often be found playing school, pretending to be any one of the teachers he interacts with on a daily basis.  He seems to fixate on reprimanding students, giving them "oops notes", which is what his teacher sends home when a student has been in trouble.  He can be a sharp-tongued teacher at the drop of a hat, and will give you the "teacher look" with such voracity that you actually believe, for a moment, that you are in fact in school and in trouble. Quite honestly, it is a bit heartbreaking that he seems to focus on only negative school situations, instead of the many positive ones that happen every day.

At six, Anderson has made more academic progress that I expected, which isn't to say that I underestimated him, but I am well-aware of his attention span.  He is also a reader, and he excels in math, able to count well past 100 and understands the concepts of numbers.  He struggles to function in a learning manner in a large group setting, prompting me to ask for an ARC meeting to add resource minutes (pull out to special education room) to his IEP.  Anderson struggles with comprehension, and written expression, and will start receiving one-on-one instruction in both this week.

At six, Anderson is unpredictable, in that taking him in public is dicey. Sometimes, I want to put him in a shirt that says, "Hey, I have autism!", so that his comments which can seem highly inappropriate are more likely understood by the general public. He's also kind-hearted, and conscientious, and he doesn't like the thought of doing something that would be perceived as bad, or wrong.  He's loving and adorable, and he keeps life interesting.

So, they are six.  They keep me busy, and tired a lot of the time, but they're the best things that have ever happened to me.  They keep me humble, they keep me broke. I wouldn't change one thing about them--not one thing. They're perfect.