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Storygirl

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Storygirl last won the day on April 11 2019

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  1. I thought it would confuse my children. Or, more exactly, not that they would be confused, but that a simpler approach with less jumping would be retained better by them. So I chose not to use SOTW. I didn't have anyone warn me of this, but made the determination myself. I think this can be a problem for some children and not for others. There is no reason that you have to use SOTW. And there is no reason that you have to agree that what is a problem for someone else will be a problem for your children. If you read some of the book yourself and consider what kind of learners your children are, it may help you make the decision.
  2. DH knows that I need them, but we've had 15-18 years of practice. He's always been a hands-on dad when he is at home. But in the early years, we did have plenty of conversations where I had to explain to him what I needed. We are an adoptive family, and our kids are closer than normal in age. When we brought home the two youngest at the same time, DS15 was only 18 months old, and we were just beginning to realize how young for his age that he was. It was like having triplets (when they were toddlers and preschoolers, people thought they were triplets), and then my oldest was less than four. It was a pretty intense time for me, and DH had no choice other than to step up. But I still had to explain how and why I needed him to do certain things. And we went through a fairly long period where, even though he knew that I needed time away, he would project unhappiness about it. I used to have to say things like, "When I need to go out to a movie, if your response or expression is unhappy, it makes me feel guilty, which cancels out the benefit of me going." I specifically remember a few times when we had taken two cars somewhere, and I begged DH to take all four kids with him in one car, so that I could have a slice of time in the car alone, and he really didn't understand that, and I had to explain. Lots of discussion about this over the years. Now DH still deliberately shoulders more of the burden of interacting with the kids when he is at home. He does the evening and weekend driving. He does at least half and perhaps more of the homework help. He oversees the bedtime routine (we still have a supervisory and stressful role at bedtime with one of our teens). He tells me, "You should go to a movie," periodically and lets me sleep in every Saturday. He supervises chores. So he's learned some of the things that I need, but only because we hashed it out over time. It was never intuitive for him, and we both had to work on communicating. After so many years, many of these ways that he provides a break for me are built into our routine now. However, he is the opposite.of me. He never never never never -- has never once -- said that he needs to do something for himself. Every so often, perhaps once a month, he will ask that I do the evening routine that night, because he needs it not to be his night, because he is tired or is having trouble keeping his cool with the challenging kid. (We both do this task but take turns.) I can tell that he is also tired and worn, but he asks for nothing. That's part of the reason why I would hesitate to take a vacation without him. He deserves one just as much as I do. I think he would benefit from having some more stress relief in his life, but since he doesn't talk about his needs, I don't know if he feels things that he does not express, or if he does not identify for himself what would help. Either way, it would be good for him to be able to express things more openly. He is very quiet, and I'm the talker in our relationship. I think he is hesitant to ask for breaks, because he knows how much I have needed them, and he doesn't want to burden me.
  3. There are some good ideas for me to think about in here. Thanks!! I do love the library 🤩. When I am in the house, I definitely feel the weight of all of the things that need to be done hanging over my head, so choosing to be out of the house might make a difference for me.
  4. All of the intake appointments I have been to for my kids have been long. An hour or more.
  5. I also write things down in detail before intake meetings like this. Not only as a reminder to myself, but also so that I can give a copy to the psych. I can see why you think it's uncomfortable to bring up ASD, since you haven't discussed it with your daughter yet. Talk to her about it on the way to the appointment. You can explain that some traits of OCD are similar to traits with autism, and it takes someone really knowledgeable to sort it out. And that sorting it out will help her figure out how to handle things better. And that no matter what kind of diagnosis she might get, that it doesn't change who she is; it just gives her more information about herself. You do need to ask directly about ASD for the doctor to know that is one of your concerns. Ask what specific tests they might use. There are a few important things for you to know about diagnosing autism. First, for people who might be on the line, there are some who will NOT diagnose, while others would diagnose, so borderline cases can be tricky to get diagnosed. Secondly, girls can be harder to diagnose. Thirdly, psychiatrists are not typically the people who specialize in diagnosing autism. It's more common, I think, to go to a psychologist or a neuropsychologist or a developmental pediatrician, or an autism center at a hospital that uses an approach involving a team of specialists. Going to a psychiatrist is a GOOD FIRST STEP. But they might not be the best person to sort out the autism issue for you. If this psychiatrist says they don't suspect autism, I would not take that as a final answer, personally. For a definitive answer, you would like someone who takes a full history from you about past concerns, going all the way back to when she was a baby. Part of the diagnostic criteria is that there were indications of issues very early on, even if those symptoms are not presently a problem. For example, early speech development issues, early signs of sensory differences, delays in the child's ability to play and connect with you or others when a toddler (for example, obsessive interests in particular toys or playing alone instead of interacting with people). After the full history, an autism evaluation ideally should include a test called the ADOS. You want to ask about this specifically and also ask how much experience they have with evaluating girls or what they look for in girls that is different than what they would see in boys. If they say they use a screening tool called the GARS -- which is a questionnaire for the parent -- know that many do not consider the GARS to be reliable enough. (The GARS missed diagnosing my child, who was found to be autistic using the ADOS, and that is not uncommon at all, which is why I mention the GARS specifically as one to be leery of). If you do not feel satisfied that you will get a full answer on the autism question from this psychiatrist, please PM me, and I can give you an idea about where else you might go. It's possible to have BOTH autism and OCD or anxiety. You might get an answer about the OCD question from a psychiatrist and still have to go to someone else to decide about autism. It's very common to have to see more than one specialist to figure things out. I think this is a great first step!! Just don't be surprised if it does not give you the full picture.
  6. I am ten years older than you, sigh. And I've always been a low energy person with high energy kids. So I am also way worn out. Yes, I totally agree on the need to recharge and just be me. I totally totally feel that need in a big way. I only get that in little bits here and there -- like going to the movies, which I mentioned. Sometimes little bits are all that we get. Sometimes it's not enough, but it has to do, for now. And I remind myself of my blessings. I used to keep a journal, where I would write down three things I was thankful for on that day. This is when the kids were little. I should do it again. It was a nice way to reflect on the positive parts of life.
  7. Oh, I would love to feel like I am doing enough!! That would be a great feeling. I'm glad you are at that point now!
  8. This seems crazy to say, because I am alone all day when the kids are at school, but I don't have enough alone time. I am just weird, probably, but when I know that the kids will be getting off of the bus at 2:30, even if I have the school day to myself, I am still anticipating their return throughout the day and calculating where we will need to go and when we need to be there, and wondering how much homework stress we will have, and how I am going to get supper on the table, and it is just different than having a day off. Needing time alone is also why I stay up too late, after everyone else is asleep. I think it is actually not so much that I need time alone, because I am happy to be with DH. It's that I would do better over all if I didn't have stress hanging over me. I think the real question is how well I manage stress -- which is not well. I do go to the movies by myself once or twice a month, while the kids are in school. It's like a two-hour vacation for me. I would not enjoy being on a real vacation by myself. I might enjoy going somewhere with my sister, but I would miss not having DH along, and me missing him would spoil it some for me.
  9. DH would be fine with it, though he would probably need to take off of work, since the kids usually have activities they need to get to after school. I would rather that we spend his vacation days together. And I would not enjoy myself, knowing that the rest of my family -- especially DH -- were back here doing the normal things. Our days are just tiring, even with both of us actively involved, and I know that me taking time off means more work for DH. He is very involved with all of the kid things, except when he is at work. He needs a vacation as much as I do. He and I really could use a vacation for the two of us, but it's not going to happen any time soon. In November, our oldest will be at college, and the three youngest will be on a band/choir school trip for a few days after Thanksgiving, so we should be able to get away then, from Sunday through Wednesday. We have not been away, just the two of us, for 10 or more years. Plus, I have just not ever wanted to travel alone. I need to be able to have a companion to enjoy the experience with.
  10. We use a bell, too, though we have the teacher's desk style. It's pretty cute when she rings it. We keep it on the floor right near the door. She is almost two now and has made up her own signals to tell us that she needs to go out, so she does not always use it any more. But she will still ring it when we tell her "ring your bell!" and she knows what it signals. I can't recall now how old she was when she was completely trained. But for the first few months, we did take her out A LOT, and she had some accidents for awhile in the house.
  11. I do think I would be worried about the long-term implications. If this is seen as a step up in independence from living with her parents, but it ends up being the highest level of independence she can achieve, then what? What if she is 100% happy living with you indefinitely, but you would rather not? I think there are a lot of things that could go wrong, but I am thinking here about what happens if things go so right that everyone expects the situation to continue without a plan for the next step. Would you be willing to have a tenant forever? Is your daughter happy with the idea of this friend living with her? I would also ask a lot of questions about what kind of supports she needs now while living with her parents, because someone will still need to provide those supports. Are they expecting it to be you, or are they just thinking you provide the room and otherwise be hands off?
  12. For six people, a weekend trip that like is really expensive. DH and I can't get away together without the kids, because one of us would have to stay here with the kids. I wouldn't go alone. But it's the kind of thing that I would like. I have a little dream of having a retirement home in Orlando someday. Very likely that that will never happen, but one can dream.
  13. Not to be a downer, but I haven't figured it out, yet. I can name things that would help me, but I can't seem to obtain them. I think I need a lot of uninterrupted sleep -- as in 9 to 10 hours per night -- but I average 6 hours per night. I need sunshine, but I live in a climate that doesn't provide that for much of the year. We take a vacation about once a year, but only in the summer now, due to school schedules. I need a motivating personal project that is just for me, and plenty of time to do it in. Which means that I need the other aspects of my life (housekeeping, cooking, general stuff) to feel like it is all under control, so that I can devote time to my personal project without feeling guilty or letting other things pile up. In theory, I like to do things like scrapbooking, but in reality, I can't bring myself to commit to a big project. I am one of those people who would like to write but never does it. I do read a lot, but only in spare minutes, so it takes a long time to finish a book these days. I could use periodic vacation time away from my kids, because interacting with my kids often counts as work for me (even though they are all teens, now and even though we no longer homeschool). I am an extreme introvert, as you may be able to tell from the above answers. But I also need to cultivate some friendships in real life. I don't have any, though I do have a couple of acquaintances that I would like to get to know better. I am horrible at sustaining friendships, for some reason, and always have been. I hate to exercise, but need to do that, and also other things to improve my health. So there you go! The things that I identify as my needs are things that I don't manage to do for myself. I do think it's good to reflect on these things, because I think that we moms tend to overlook caring for ourselves, or consider it less important than caring for others.
  14. I think that seeing a clear path forward and progress being possible are really big things!! I can see how that would help with an optimistic outlook. And this might be too simplistic, but perhaps the change from winter to spring could be making a difference. I am definitely more glum about everything in December and January. And as March approaches, I can see the end of the school year approaching, as well, so it gives a feeling of having a goal in sight. Even though your goals sound like they will stretch through the summer, seeing spring approaching can be motivating!
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