Thursday, June 9, 2016


This evening turning into an ... unusual  (? I guess that's the best word?) one. But this is a story I can't really tell in real life.

Susan is 14. She's on the autism spectrum, very much on the high functioning end. She got her first period last summer. It resulted in a cancelled trip to the pool with her aunt and uncle and she's been wearing pads when necessary ever since. I've repeated the sex talk we had a few years back, now that puberty is clearly setting in physically, and have provided Advil on request as well as steered Mr D and brothers away at certain times as she navigates figuring out the cycles of her body. We've also talked about the importance of tracking her period -- both so she knows when to expect it and because she will be asked at every doctor's appointment for the next several decades: "date of your last menstrual cycle?"

Recently, she asked me to buy her a box of tampons and teach her how to use them. There's a pool party coming up and we'd discussed the need to ensure that her swimsuits still fit in enough time to go shopping if necessary. She wanted to try on the suits, but is currently in the midst of that time of the month. (I think she was also concerned that the period might not be over before the pool party.) I agreed to buy her some and to talk her through the process.

That last part happened tonight. Mr D is out of town; Peter had taken Edmund with him to check out a nearby park where he might play soccer in the fall. After the little girls were down for the night, Susan and I had complete privacy, so it seemed like the perfect time.

The insertion part was a bit of struggle, but she got through it and (I think) felt confident that she could do it again when necessary. She did state that she'd probably stick to pads unless absolutely necessary. She confessed that, once inserted, she didn't notice the tampon, but she didn't like the process of putting it in and she was worried by the warnings on the package about Toxic Shock Syndrome. (That's my girl -- worst case scenario finder.)

It was the removal that she really, really struggled with. She said it hurt, pulling it out, and she couldn't do it. We spent about 30 minutes sitting in the bathroom, trying to find ways to help her relax enough as she said that pulling it out was hurting. (In the end, she suggested I talk to her about something to distract her and then pull for her. Whenever she tried to do that herself, she either got so distracted, she forgot to pull or stopped being distracted as soon as she started pulling.) She kept asking me if this was "normal."

Truth? I honestly don't remember. I've had IUDs since Edmund was born and it causes me to have virtually no periods at all. So, I don't think I've used a tampon in over a decade. And my "first time" use? Was about 30 years ago. All I remember was struggling to understand the printed instructions that came with them because my mother certainly didn't talk me through it like I did tonight with Susan. I'd told her it's normal to feel uncomfortable putting it in until you get used to finding the right angle for your body, but I can't recall ever having trouble with getting it out.

I'm pretty sure Susan is now hoping not to need to try this again any time soon.

Heaven help me when I have to do this with Lucy and Jill.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Dubious Milestone (#microblogmonday)

C (aka Jill) has her first ear infection at nearly 10 months old. She's coping pretty well so far with the antibiotic (unlike her sister who had explosive diarrhea and nasty diaper rashes with her first couple rounds of antibotics) and it certainly seems to be improving her mood!

Trying an idea I stole from Empty Arms, Broken Heart.  #microblogmonday

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Not Boding Well

Remember when I said Susan's IEP transition to high school meeting went well? (Bullet 5) Well...

At that meeting, we all agreed to make a specific change in one class that she's taking next year. (So, think of it as taking World History in 9th grade instead of US History.) There were good, long-term thinking reasons for the change and everyone in the meeting agreed to it, even though it puts her in a slightly harder academic schedule. We also agreed to remove a support class they'd inserted (without asking us. And her current teacher of that subject stated that a support class was not necessary) and talked about the elective options to replace that class in her schedule.

Last week, school got out for the summer. I happened to meet with one of the high school counselors about something else to do with Susan's schedule for next year and she read off the entire course list to me. The support class is gone and has been replaced with Susan's third choice elective (because the first two were already full by the time we got her out of the support class we never asked for or needed. Grr.). But the "history" change hasn't been made. I expressed surprise. I was told that the counselor couldn't change the schedule of a student on an IEP and I would need to follow up with the IEP caseholder (a rule that I'm sure is in place to prevent IEP caseholders being left out of the loop). Of course, we don't have a high school IEP caseholder yet and the counselor said I should contact the person who represented the high school in that transition meeting.

So, I did. He's not responding. I've also copied her eighth grade caseholder who is WONDERFUL, and she has forwarded that on to some others who she says can "hopefully get this corrected before school starts." I'm not OK with "hopefully...before school starts." I want it done before she gets her official schedule the week before school starts so she can walk her schedule and figure out how to get to each class. (We even talked in the IEP meeting about how she should do that --familiarize herself with her route and figure out the best times to take locker breaks. We can't do that if her schedule isn't right.) Today is the last day of post-planning, although the person I'm trying to reach is supposed to be working all summer as well. I tried calling today to find out when I might be able to catch him in the office. I got told that email is really the best way to reach him and he was already gone for the day.

This is not a good start to high school scheduling issues.