Papa Bear has still been on stay-cation this past week. I've tried not to hit him with much on the honey-do list, so that he could recover from the crazy schedule he worked, well, pretty much from mid-spring to now! (Not that there aren't big things I need done, but the man deserves a break!) It's just plain been nice having him around, and having an extra pair of hands to help with the kids. After two weeks of having him at home, I've been spoiled!
With Papa Bear around, we were able to move Fidget's bi-weekly ABA clinical meeting to the office instead of in home, which was helpful since this was one of the weeks that his clinical supervisor is also in with us. As usual, everyone is impressed by his progress! We discussed a few problem issues we were experiencing, evaluating what skills he has mastered, and setting updated goals. Since we were at the office with Dr. C, I was also able to ask her about something that had been kicking around in the back of my brain for awhile: the potential that Fidget may be 2e (aka twice exceptional, in this case both autistic and intellectually gifted). I was a gifted child, there are others in my side of the family who are, and Sunshine is presumed to be so. I know it is typically said that siblings fall fairly close to each other in IQ, and that autism and giftedness are not unusual combinations, given that both are just diagnoses where the brain is uniquely wired and the person thinks about things differently than most others. Literally everyone who has worked with Fidget has commented how smart he is, and how quickly he picks up new skills, so that made me curious. Dr. C said it is a bit early to speculate, but is something to be on the lookout for, and that probably in about one more year we could take him in for IQ evaluation. Upon telling this story to our new OT/special instructor from early intervention, who teaches the special ed class at our local elementary, she said she was glad to hear we are planning to homeschool him along with Sunshine because especially if he is indeed 2e then she isn't very confident how well the school system would be able to meet his needs. They would want to put him in either special ed or gifted, and likely wouldn't know how to handle a kid needing both!
Speaking of Fidget's educational path, I spoke last week with the director at our parish preschool, which Sunshine attended for three years. The ABA team feels that the best setting for him for the preschool years would be a neurotypical classroom, with a shadow which they can provide. Public schools can be funny about letting in an outside shadow, plus the only class they offer at 3yo would be special ed, so it was suggested we look for a private preschool. The director at our church preschool said they've never had a full time shadow like that, but that they do have speech or occupational therapists from time to time, so she didn't see where it would be a problem. Such a relief! Our hope is to start him next summer part time, mostly to help improve his social skills, and that likely he will be able to learn so much through imitation that by the time he is kindergarten age we can bring him into our home school and just address further social development through extracurriculars such as scouts and sports.
The four of us had a fun evening trick-or-treating in my mom's neighborhood on Halloween. Sunshine dressed up as an EMT, we made a fire truck costume for my wheelchair, Papa Bear wore a fire department shirt (he was gong to wear his bunker pants at least, but he was worried about possibly having to run after Fidget). And as for Fidget, he was supposed to be a fireman, but the little stinker refused to wear even a SINGLE piece of his costume! So he just wore jeans and a t-shirt that does at least have a fire truck, police car, and helicopter on it. Oh well, at least it is big enough that he can wear it again next year, and then we'll know to spend some time acclimating to wearing it before Halloween night!
Fidget is still trying to adjust to a recent increase in ABA therapy hours, so we kept it pretty low key over the weekend. We caught up on some chores Saturday, and that evening met my cousin and his wife for dinner. They were in from out of town, and it was her birthday, so we were glad to get together. (Their daughter is Evan's Godmother, so we're always excited to see her too!)
Sunday of course was All Souls Day in the Catholic Church. I hated that we never made it to mass for All Saints Day, but I woke up with a nasty ear ache, so we missed both mass and the All Souls memorial service for all our parishioners who have passed in the last year. We did at least make it to blessing of the graves, though. It was my first time visiting since Daddy's grave marker was put in place. Bittersweet. The deacon who married us and baptized Fidget came over to bless Daddy's grave. Deacon P is a veteran himself, plus the personal relationship we have with him, so that was extra sweet of him. Such a kind man.
Oh, not to be left out, we had a new addition to our family last week!!! No, not expecting a baby, but rather a four-legged addition! A stray cat wandered into our yard and was lingering around. We made certain no one knew him, then we took him to the vet who confirmed that he is healthy and doesn't have a microchip with owner information. So now Tuxedo Man (aka Tux for short) is all ours! Our other cat, Boots, still isn't keen on him, but I'm sure she will adjust soon.