Minor changes or major changes?

Yep, that was the question.

At the beginning of speech class called applied phonetics, our teacher sat in front of us and shared that of the 100 people in the class, only 15 would make it into the master’s program. She advised to have another option in mind. I thought about that for a week or so, as I knew it was competitive but didn’t realize how extremely competitive it is – figured if I had the 3.7 GPA I was fine. As the week went on I got more nervous about it, wondering if I should change something, so Wednesday of this week I went to see one of the advisors.

My one advisor is a former speech therapist of Chris’s and a very nice person that we have known for years. I have not yet met with my formal advisor for me with senior status, but just meeting with her gave me more insight, though she encouraged me to still meet with the senior advisor. She thought in my situation I would be very wise to choose a different major and then pursue the speech pathology as a master after graduating with a degree that could be used as a job.

I thought all of this over. I am not really a wimp (lol) and had to decide if I should really just drop out of this degree at this point (after finishing this semester) or if I should see it through and apply for the master’s. However, I am not as young as I was, with three years to gamble on whether I will be able to get farther in a degree that has no future as a bachelor’s. If I do a different, marketable degree, then I could be employed in that field in three years, and then possibly get employee tuition reimbursement to go for my master’s! So I decided to make a major change. But it is was not because I don’t like my classes, or think that I can’t do well enough.

After researching for a day I emailed some chairs of departments and set about to decide between the bachelor’s degrees of Special Education, Deafness Education, ASL (American Sign Language), and Psychology (though I thought there was a fifth? Oh well…). Once I narrowed down more about each degree, I thought that the course requirements in the Special Education (Moderate to Severe) were most fitting to what I was trying to accomplish, with courses such as Applied Behavior Analysis, American Sign Language, and Speech and Language Development being a part of the listed courses.

I don’t want to be a teacher standing in the front of the class though – I hope I can be a one-on-one or maybe a home schooling teacher where you teach virtually. And I definitely want to work with individuals with autism/and/or deafness.

So Monday I will be turning in my program of study form (or before if I can do online) in preparation for the registration date of October 10. God willing, I will still get my master’s in speech after I’m done with this, but good grief, I’m actually getting a teaching degree! Wow! It’s not anything I pictured myself doing . . .

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Senior year for 3 of us!!

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RJ is in the 4th grade now and starts Wed. in his autism class, with a new teacher for the 4th and 5th grades.  Hard to believe I have an older elementary school student now!  Will get pictures of all three kids and post soon.

Colleen is a senior!  All the festivities that go along with it we will be discovering – I know we need to get senior pics, and order her senior yearbook, and she’s talking about getting her class ring.  Then of course graduation, and the resultant party, and filling out a FAFSA for her this year, and visiting colleges.  Some sort of graphic arts is her plan as we all expected.

 

Chris is also a senior in a sense – he is going to be 21 this November and is in his last full year of school.  We want to also get senior pics for him, and whatever yearbook they may have.  He is changing schools and is going to be in a workshop program that should lead to an excellent adult workshop for the years after this where he does not have regular school anymore.  This school also has, I believe, a Homecoming and a Prom!  He has never done these things before so we are so excited.  He will also have gym and swimming.  He has not attended this school since 2nd grade so it is a sort of homegoing for him – he has had several different schools through his lifetime, all with different focuses, pros, and cons. 

 

Then me, I am classified as a senior at this point, strangely enough.  it is also listed that I am in “pre” speech therapy, so oddly enough as a senior they still have me pegged into a “pre” associates degree area, where I actually already have an associate degree.  This will change, however, after I maintain a 2.5 or above GPA for a while, and then I will be solidly listed as a speech therapy major.  I did get a 3.4 from the summer classes so I am at a good start – need to get up to 3.7 or 3.8 by 2 years from now so I can get into the Master’s program.  Classes – clinical phonetics, English grammar (online) and hearing science (don’t have the book yet).  I start back next Monday.  To drive to Kent two days a week.  Good thing I love a good country drive – should be fun in the winter (ha!)

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Yarping —

A cascading waterfall, flanked by flowers.

 

I have been wanting to post about this for ages, but could not find the book I was thinking of – but this may be part of the concept:

 

http://www.churchchrist.net/Sermons/Prayer.htm

 

“YARPING Stuart Brisco

Stuart Brisco came up with a great acrostic for those wanting to know how to pray

P = Praise

R = Repentance

A = Ask for others

Y = Yourself

Sometimes people get this backwards. But that isn’t praying… that’s yarping.”

 

It was about  35 years ago that I read a book shortly after I became a Christian in 1975, where the unusual theory of YARPing was first introduced to me.  I have always remembered it.  I don’t remember the name of the book, however, but seeing this quote inside the very long page on prayer that came up when I googled “yarping”, causes me to assume it was a book I owned.  I tend to remember that acronym, however, whenever I go to pray, as by nature I do believe we tend to pray in the wrong order.

 

It is difficult at times to put first things first, the P, for Praise, and just Praise God.  It turns usually into asking, or for yourself, or, less often, repentence, (which should be #2 and instead probably is last or close to it) and you have to purposely direct your mind back to praising.  It can also be hard to praise when everything is wrong and so difficult.  But I am so thankful for this acronym that I read about 35 years ago, in most likely a book by Stuart Briscoe, and hope I will always remember to pray and not yarp.

 

And do check out more of the prayer site, there are some really cute things on there as well, like this:

 

KIDS SPEAKING TO GOD
One little girl began her prayer like this: "Our Father, who are in heaven, hello! What be Thy name?"
A boy who thought he knew the answer to that question, prayed, "Our Father, who art in heaven, Harold be Thy name."
The prayer of another boy went like this: "Our Father who art in heaven, Hollywood be Thy name."
A girl whose visiting uncle was a horse player bowed her head with a plea that God "give us this day our daily double."
A five-year-old girl who was trying to cope with Sunday School and kindergarten at the same time came up with this charming blend of Church and State: "Give us this day our daily bread,
and liberty and justice for all."
Another kindergarten child asked God to "give us this day our jelly bread."
Then there was the little boy who prayed, "Forgive us our dentists, as we forgive our dentists."”

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21

Wow, somehow I did it.  Due to my just plowing into things at times, I got myself into a situation where I was doing schoolwork every waking hour almost.  Taking seven credit hours (2 5-week classes, 1 8-week class) sounded like a great idea in the spring.  Only seven credit hours, should be easy!  I didn’t think about the fact that I was taking them in a third of the time as usual so, duh, they would be accelerated!

 

So I just finished the equivalent basically of 21 credit hours (7 times 3).  I took about 21 also in fall of 84 – that was the last time I took so many.  I remember thinking at that time that I’d never do that again – that was quarters so must have been 10 weeks, and I was working too – ha!  I remember thinking I’d go nuts. 

 

21

 

I am proud of myself though.  As far as I know I got at least 2 B’s – hoping maybe one was an A but not sure.  Still working on the third class – have a B now I think but am pretty sure I can bring up to an A now that it’s my only class.

 

Happy to be able to breathe again and catch up on time with the family AND the housework!  And if I ever did get to the point I would go full time again, maybe I could make the Dean’s list again (only did it twice in my life).

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Just entering the world of autism phone apps–

Autism Apps (page 3) – Android


A while ago our speech therapist shared with us that autism applications could be found on the Apple Ipad, Ipod Touch, and Iphone.

Actually drafted this much of the post a while ago, planning to come back and add a lot of links.  But I haven’t had time to really put a bunch more together, so am going to post this much, just to give some first guidance.

http://www.androidzoom.com/android_applications/education/model-me-going-places-autism_udlo.html is an excellent social story program


http://www.androidzoom.com/android_applications/communication/vocal-slides_ijin.html you can indeed match pictures to sound files and the child can click on them – however they are not thumbnails. I need to find out if they can be.

These are free – I will post more free apps very soon, and also a few that don’t cost a lot as soon as I preview them.

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Overnights —

101_0016Actually took this picture at dusk in December, but it was a neat example of darkness outside and how I captured it with my new camera at the time.

 

But overnight, such a peaceful time.  You want everything dark, and quiet, and to sleep solidly and restfully.  And you want that comfort and peace and routine for your children.

 

I don’t understand why many children with autism cannot sleep at night.  Chris is up now, it is 2:45 a.m.  We thought he would be up – he has this weird giggle that starts about 5 or 6 p.m. on nights that he won[t sleep,and strangely enough like the beginning before they say “Wipeout” in that famous song.  Whenever he makes that giggle Rog and I look at each other and usually say, “Wipeout,” and then say, or think, “Up all night.”

 

I am glad when he stays up all night at our house, as that means the next night when he’s at Rog’s mom’s and dad’s back with him staying there too with him he should sleep.  We all need to share the care.  I just wish I knew why he doesn’t sleep.  We have tried about 20 different medicines many of which make all people sleep all of the time, seemingly.  But not Chris.  He is on melatonin but it doesn’t so anything – – – Clonidine worked for 6 years but wore off – we tried it again but it didn’t work.  Geodon worked for about 3 years, then wore off.  Those were the only two meds that ever worked.

 

http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/helping-your-child-with-autism-get-a-good-nights-sleep?page=2 may help some individuals who can’t sleep with autism.  Hmm.  I hadn’t heard of the ending item, bright-light therapy.  Maybe something to bring up as another treatment?

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17 years ago – Colleen’s birth

colleenbaby

 

Yes, another birthday today!  Amazing how fast it all goes.

 

Was just reviewing some entries from my journal from back then – actually 5-12-94:

 

“First things first, I’m 2 cm dilated (as of last Friday) and am working only one more week.  I’m ready to enjoy this summer off with my children.  It will be beautiful.  I know I will be tired and frustrated sometimes, with a new baby, more work, less sleep, Chris’s reaction, Chris’s speech delay, worry over finances.  Financially we are feeling pretty secure right now, but I have only eight more weeks of pay coming.  We must be very careful.  We’ve not charged anything since February/March except for my car repair.

“We are praying earnestly for Chris’s speech.  He still adds another word (some of past, some new) every one to two weeks.  But it’s trying how slow it goes.  He said “baby” at school yesterday, but didn’t say anything today.  I will list in a little while all his words as of now.  Praise God for them!  In January he had none.  Here are his words:

“January – present, 35 words:  Bye-bye, hi, waffle, see ya later, all done, night night, no, juice, come here, Ma Ma, Pa Pa, Mommy, Daddy, Baby, Bear, Big Bird, lay down, sit down, ears, nose, shoes, socks, binky, hot, cold, yogurt, ice cream, truck, up, binky night-night, car seat, thank you, cracker, horn, beep beep,

“Plus, one time he said to mama, “Now, where did they go?”  Now we ache to hear him speak several words daily, and to answer questions, and ask for things by name.  The words now are random and to himself, not as a real conversation with us.  We are grateful for the words, but pray for their increased purposeful use, and frequency.  Sometimes, especially when Chris has been quiet a lot and/or throwing things (today).  I cry for a while, a fear comes over me that he will never speak and communicate normally.  It is a scary feeling. . . . I have to face these fears, cry over them, then put them at Jesus’ feet and leave them there.  If this is what is willed by God (permanent disability) we must face it day by day through prayer anyway, so we will do that through this period of not knowing.

“Chris will be attending preschool for two more weeks, then we’ll be off for two weeks (with me and baby!) then will attend a Friday preschool for six weeks, then a gross motor movement class two days a week  for four weeks mid-July –> August.  This will be good for him – still a “summer break” from going four days a week, but something to keep him learning and occupied one to two days a week for a few hours (and give me a nap period!)

“The Lord really had worked some miracles – he is great and holy and is taking care of us, and we have a beautiful family:  a beautiful loving son Chris and a coming treasure of a baby (boy? girl?) and a wonderful husband (who I wish I could see more).

“I need to get this house organized and check over budget tonight and it’s 7:30!  I also need to make dinner!  I just spent the evening playing with my Chris and writing in here.  Chris and I played color matching, play dough (creepy bugs game!) and snuggled.  After dinner I will get him in bed 8:30 – 9:00 and start straightening.

“I dream of getting this house beautiful and organized!  Will take years.  Yard too!  Gotta make dinner.  The next time I write there will be probably ‘a waah!  a waah!’”

 

So similar, yet so different – 17 years ago!

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About running –

As the spring arrives, I have been thinking about running in various ways.

  • I have used it as a thing to worry about – as spring comes every year, the boys would get more boisterous about escaping the house and running off (or in Chris’s case, usually walking very fast).  As far as I’ve heard, Chris has not started yet this year with this; and here Ryan has not either.  But last year, it was very difficult with both boys, with both households having installations of backwards locks where we need keys on the inside to let anyone out!  This has not happened at all yet this year,but we wonder when it’s going to occur.  We are hoping and praying by this time the boys will be able to communicate by words or icons that they wish to go somewhere consistently and not feel they have to “escape”!
  • In Ryan’s case, I am praying when we go to the park this spring (whenever it dries out enough!) that he will not run away from us in the parking lots like he did last year, not that we didn’t hold his hand, but he did it in a different way, just suddenly taking off from the middle of the playground where he had been swinging or climbing, as a game where he would want us to chase him suddenly, but in a dangerous way, usually ending up in the street or parking lot.
  • In a different vein, with all the challenges we have been having, sometimes my (and all of our) thoughts can lead to wanting to just run away, run fast, run far, to a place where there aren’t quite this many challenges, where people think clearly and act rationally all the time, and there is no more pain and sickness, and sleep is sound and not interrupted, and – wow, sounds a lot like the heaven we’re waiting for, doesn’t it?  Yes.
  • Then of course running reminds me of exercise, and how little of it I’m getting at this point – lol!  Time to get the wii fit going now that I’m done with school in a week, and only going online for summer.  Time for the whole family to start getting fit –not necessarily running, but walking, indoor cycling, calisthenics, et cetera!
  • And finally – 1 Corinthians 9:24 – “24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

Lots to ponder as spring gets into full swing, my winter/spring semester is almost over, the kids’ school is winding down, Roger is healing in his body and preparing for when he will return to work, and I look forward to a break and time to get my house (and mind!) organized, and start a new semester.  May I not be so close-,minded with school and duty that I forget including time for us to enjoy the summer weather, playing outside in safe areas, and also making sure I take time to have devotionals, prayer time, and, yes, exercise.

 

Happy spring!  (this is last year, but they’re already budding now!)

 

Photo260

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The powers and exponents of faith

“Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 (2)

Our pastor yesterday was talking about faith vs. feelings, and how if you depend on your feelings to walk your walk of faith you won’t get very far.  He also compared the power of faith to the power definition in physics. 

Now, I have not taken physics, but strangely enough, when he asked, what is power, in connection to faith (and then to physics in his discussion) I immediately thought not of the traditional definition of power, but of powers in math.&#160 (I’m taking college algebra right now); He said, “what is power,” and I thought, immediately, exponents and logarithms.  HA HA! 

But then I started thinking about it, and it is not that off base.  One Christian has the power in himself/herself through Christ of the faith he/she has, and that is one person.But when you add exponents (powers) to a number, it not only adds, it multiplies.  At a very fast rate.

So as people of faith and prayer, standing together, what can we do?  Exponentially more than just addition.  Let’s move mountains through prayer.

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Transition to spring —

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The Snowmen (NOT CHRISTMAS, MOM! lol – she put the Christmas bow with them – “that’s not right,” as Ryan would say).  They are ready to go to the attic, all condensed and ready for their box as soon as I get it packed (Monday?)  Still have two lone snowmen decs on the mantle where half of them were before —

Bought these awesome bunny baskets – 3 of them for 3 kids – at Gabriel Bros.  ($2 each!)  Also bought the bunny hanger – loved it!!  The hyacinth (I think that’s right) was from Ryan’s spring concert – think I can finally put it outside if it’s not going to freeze again?  Also want to buy some daffodils and tulips in pots, to plant later in the fall.

Roger had his surgery on Monday, and after a brief struggle with temp and not feeling well from some infection he is finally feeling better today and is eating!!  So hopefully he’ll be home in a few days.  A new beginning to a new part of our lives in many ways – Roger with his body hopefully fully healed now from all the troubles he had from his gall bladder (this was related to that, from last year), and Ryan and Chris both adding new skills to their getting independent and ready to fly to what they will become, and Colleen getting ready to be a senior next year, with college decisions to make – wow.  And then me, on to Kent State in August – to take my first two speech therapy classes, phonetics and hearing science.  Another time of change. 

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