Today is October 22, 2011. It has been 5 months since my last entry on this website. There is a reason for my long silence and failure to update. The first one is pretty trivial. I didn’t like the design of our site anymore and have been looking for a new one. The second reason is that I’ve actually been primarily using my other blog Vanessa’s Vignettes to update, because I wanted to change the content of this blog a bit from describing my experience as a parent to cataloguing Ezra’s progress. And the third reason is that I was simply too discouraged and overwhelmed to blog. Our Son-Rise program totally flatlined. But now in the meanwhile loads of things have happened and we will hopefully be back up and running very soon.
So where to start? The last entry was about the fact that there was no school in sight for Ezra. Well, in the meanwhile we have found a school for him. He had an IQ test done which showed two things, first that Ezra’s IQ is supposedly 67, and second that the IQ of an autistic child can really not be measured by locking him up in a room alone with a clueless stranger he’s never met for two hours, testing him as if he were a normal child, trying to get him to do things he finds boring. Yeah, good luck with that. So anyway, his super low IQ “qualified” him for a different type of school for the severely mentally and physically handicapped (they call that cluster 3 here). Ironically he was classified for cluster 4 which is for kids with ADHD and autism, but no school accepted him. They looked only at his score on the paper. It blows my mind that the government can give him funding and a referral and the school can simply say: er…no thanks, he looks too stupid for our school!!!
ANYWAY, I met with the psychologist of his current school. She looked at his papers and asked “So what’s wrong with your child that no one wants to take him?” My reply was simply that no one ever bothered to meet him. They were the very first to say, OK, well first let’s have him come to the school, so we can see who he is! I felt like doing a halleluja dance, and hugging her. To shorten this long story, they saw what we always knew, which is that Ezra is totally adorable, and super smart. They offered to help him if no one else would, and no one else did, so here we are. Ezra is loving his new school experience. He gets a catered individual program to fit his capabilities which are far beyond his class mates. The head psychologist of the school also told me after a few weeks that the IQ test was completely ridiculous and in no way showed Ezra’s personality or ability. HA!!! Not only that but Ezra, who everyone predicted wouldn’t learn Dutch, is soaking up the language like a sponge and within three weeks came home speaking Dutch. Is it perfect? No, but give him another 6 months! Is this school the ideal scenario? No. Ideally he would be in an English speaking school with kids that are typically developing so he can model them, instead of coming home modeling spitting, aggression, and vocal isms from the other severely autistic child (who I wish could also have a son-rise program). But the thing about this school is that the teachers treat him as smart and celebrate his successes, instead of cutting him down. I can’t say enough good things about his teachers and psychologists there. They are so kind, and totally awesome. I’m really grateful Ezra gets to go there.
We also have started the GAPS diet with Ezra and Micah. So far the main success we have seen is that they eat a greater variety of healthy foods, whereas before they ate mainly carbs. We are doing it mainly to heal his stomach lining which is damaged and can’t absorb nutrients right. Ultimately it should diminish his ADHD and autism symptoms as well. So far we haven’t seen any dimming in hyperactivity though.
Now to Son-Rise. Oh, how I love it. However, you read my blog about volunteers. Thanks to our totally fantastic MEE worker we now have funding to pay workers to come and do Son-Rise. We’ve given up on volunteers. This is just not really part of the Dutch culture, because they pay so many taxes, and expect the government to take care of needs like ours. But I’m not going to get into that now. We will be putting out adds in the newspaper to look for people.
Check back with us here for updates. I will do my best to keep updates to Ezra’s progress, and put my parenting journey on my blog.