It feels like we have had a lot of challenges in our house this week. I wouldn't say I am overwhelmed about them although I am perplexed about some. I know as a family, especially one with two autistic children, we have had a lot of change lately and that is definitely a contributing factor. We have taken more time off school than I had thought we would and we are therefore experiencing the challenge of getting back into our routine.
Tyler has been having some trouble with his focus and I think quite frankly is a little unsure of what he thinks of his 7th grade work. I am thinking we may have to make some adjustments. He is struggling in reading to a point that has me a little concerned. This has been a evolving issue over the last year or so. He repeats his sentences over and over and sometimes even just a part of the sentence. I have talked to him about this in great detail and he seems to feel it is a lack of focus. I am wondering if it is a visual over stimulation issue. We just finished reading the Morning Star of the Reformation for Bible and as long as I sat by him and ran my fingers along the page as he read he does fine but as soon as I stop he starts repeating again. This means even if he does read without me it takes him forever just to finish a small section. My husband suggested and we are going to try using a piece of paper with a space cut out that he can move along the page as he reads so that he is only seeing the words he is reading. I hope that works. Currently we are using Bob Jones 7th grade Literature and Reading Detective B1. Last year he used a 6th grade Spectrum reading workbook and did fairly well but they don't make a 7th grade book. Maybe I will have to explore other options.
He is also having some issues in math which really perplexes me. Math is usually his best subject. He doesn't like to write a bunch and so he has been trying to take "shortcuts" in his math work. I caught him today and explained to him how he is going to get himself confused and have a lot of trouble when the problems later this year build upon what he is doing now.
There are lots of things he is doing well at though and perhaps I am just worrying too much. I tend to do that! I also wonder if it's just part of puberty. I definitely see a lot of changes in how he sees things and expresses things lately. For example, he has been super concerned with what he wears lately. This same boy couldn't have cared less just a couple of months ago. We did have a nice talk about it all tonight though and I reassured him that these changes are normal and he is okay. I still remember being 13. It's just a tough age!
Christian has been a lot of work this week. Both his sleep schedule and his moods have been erratic. His moods and my schedule to work with him have not been aligning at all. He has been bouncing off the walls every time I am ready to sit down with him. It's not that he isn't interested in interacting with me but he wants it on his terms and time schedule. On the up side of that he is a lot more interested in some of the activities I have for him. He is still liking to do the Barney book I made for him. He is also interested in cutting with his loop scissors and although we haven't tried them yet he keeps checking out the new scented paint markers I got for him. I think we are going to try them tomorrow.
Christian is also still eating wood. I can't tell you how much this distresses me. I would post a picture of just how much he has chewed up his windowsills and door frames but I just can't bring myself to actually put a picture where I would have to look at it again. We did order some vinyl corner guards for some of the moldings. They were rather expensive though so we only ordered them for what he was chewing on at that time. I took a while for them to arrive and I immediately installed them. He actually cried while he watched me put them on. It was similar to watching someone with an addiction. They work great but unfortunately he has found other places to chew on that we didn't cover. (Huge sigh here!) I can order some more but it will take a while for them to arrive and in the meantime I can't stand the thought of him eating more paint and wood. We are going to check out Lowes and see if they have anything that might work. These are just not things you have to worry about if you have a typical child so it is hard to find someone who might know what would work.
Tim started his new position as an instructor. He is also getting ready to re-enlist. This might be his last enlistment in the Marine Corp so he is trying to decide somewhere special to have the ceremony at. He has been in for 18 years now. It will be a very strange feeling some day to just be a regular civilian family.
The biggest challenge for me right now is just figuring out how to get back into a balanced routine. It is a bit frustrating because it doesn't seem to me that it should have changed all that much. I am not sure why I am having such a hard time with it. It feels like all of a sudden I have less time in the day. I am praying about it though. Maybe I am just putting too much into my days that doesn't need to be there. I have been guilty of that before. Fall is just around the corner though and it is always my season so I am looking forward to that. Until then we just keep taking one day at a time!