Friday, August 29, 2008

Just Cute

I have absolutely no "reason" for posting these pictures except to admire how darn cute my 6 year old still is :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008


You'll have to forgive me for posting pictures that are 2 weeks old. I kinda forgot about them! These were taken on the very last day that Jaina could attend Story Time this year. She's been going since she was 6 weeks old and we rarely missed a Thursday morning. I had high hopes of taking Jayce when he was a baby, but I honestly don't remember taking him much. When I tried again last year, it was a disaster. Utter disaster. We ended up not going for an entire year.

Now Jayce handles story time much better. I do have to keep him confined in a stroller (too much electrical equipment that all the other kids seem to avoid, but instead draws Jayce near it) but he is learning the songs they sing and being fairly quiet during the books. As with all things, I know they'll just keep getting easier and easier with time :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jayce's first day

In the car, on the way to school:

Walking to the door, clutching his "High School Musical" tote bag, which is just a plain denim bag with a HSM button on it :)

Pick up time! Thank goodness I was early, because the kids were already lined up in the hall at 10:20!

Here comes Jayce and Mommy!

So, how did his day go?

Honestly, I have no idea. Kinda frustrating. I mean, he didn't cry or try to leave when I dropped him off. He was happily engaged with some toy that the TA was showing him. When I picked him up, his nose was a bit drippy (Allergies or had he been crying??) and the only info his teacher gave me was, "He had juice and fruit loops for a snack." I assumed his behavior chart would tell me more about his day in his folder, but it wasn't filled out at all. Because of privacy issues, we aren't allowed to discuss things at drop off or pick up, so I hope I get some indication today whether or not things are going well.

When I dropped him off today, he wasn't so happy to go in. He said, "Jayce stay in car" and "All gone Miss H." and "school go bye bye?" but when we got there, he seemed okay. The TA helped him hang his little bag up and he followed her just fine.

My baby!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jaina's BFF

Jaina had her second sleepover ever this past weekend. Both the first time and this time included plans with her new Best Friend Forever Ravyn :) Rayvn's family moved here in June and we are thankful to have gotten to know them so quickly. They really just clicked :)

I think the girls had a fun time playing pretend all weekend.

Riding bikes and scooters:

Girls with Zinnias:

Ravyn giving me her best "helicopter" noise face:

Jaina said the sky looked like someone had painted it!

Sunbathing at 7:00 PM

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Farrell Barrell

My bestest friend in the entire world came to visit me a couple weeks ago :) I really don't deserve her. I mean, ever since she moved to Seattle, WA on May 22nd, 2002 (yes, that's just a mere 24 hours before the birth of Jaina), she has come to see me a billion times. Have I ever once flown out to see her? No. Cause I suck. And I never could fathom taking a 3 hour flight with an infant (and then a toddler, and then two kids, and then a child with autism) and battling the jet lag as well. Not to mention that Farrell is also a sleep tech, which means she works 7 pm- 7 am and sleeps most of the mornings away. Oh, and then there's that little thing about money. Do you know what it costs to fly from SC (or atlanta or charlotte) to Seattle?

But despite all those obstacles, Farrell comes anyway. It used to be a little more "worth it" to her to come all the way here. Rachel lived here for a bit. Tracey was still living here, as was Chrissy at the time. Now its just little ol' me and she comes anyway!

My kids call her Aunt Farrell and she loves them as much as they love her. We didn't do anything extraordinary. Farrell just slipped into our regular kiddie routine. We went to cooking club with MOMS Club, we toured the Arts Center where my mom works. We looked high and low for a decent coffee place for Farrell to get a cup! Basically we just hung out and caught up. Not that we needed to even catch up. Farrell is the type of friend that you just know so well, it takes about 5 minutes to catch up on all the latest gossip because she never changes (and yes, this is a GOOD thing!). We only talk once every month or so, but we keep in touch enough that I don't hesitate at all to call her my best friend.

Here are some pics from her trip :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

First Week

I guess the first week of school, albeit a fun one, was very tiring for Jaina! This is how I found her one afternoon this week:

Meanwhile, Jayce decided to review what he's learned from a book we just bought called, "No no, yes yes".

"No no, pull Alli's tail," says Jayce. "Yes yes, pet gentle!" Its an awesome book and I think some of the concepts are sinking in. But it would be much better if Jayce actually *didn't* do the "no no" things at the same time he's saying it!

All in all, it was a great first week of school for Jaina. Jayce's first week of school is coming up in a few days!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

We got TEFRA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am sure you've all heard me bitch and moan over the last 4 months about not having services provided for Jayce this summer. Well, that is all coming to and end. And not just because summer is ending! :)

We got a letter in the mail today with our Katie Beckett TEFRA/Medicaid card in it! For those of you without special needs kids, TEFRA is a version of medicaid that is not income based. Rather, its need based. You have to have some sort of disability to qualify for it. Its a great and lengthy process full of packets of forms, doctor's evaluations, and everything else under the son. We had a healthcare worker interview Jayce in the home and rank his "level of care" that he is able to provide himself (At 3, he should be able to help a parent undress himself and feed himself). Those daily life skill delays and his speech delay and his sensory disorder, and his official autism diagnosis, were enough to get us medicaid funds.

So, if you pay taxes, thank you for providing services for my son!

I understand why the cost of autism therapy is so high. Its a specialized service, most therapists have advanced degrees, coordinators and hospitals providing the services need to be paid. The travesty is the fact that most insurance companies will not allow funds to go to developmental delay therapy. I think we got approval from Brian's insurance last year to pay for 30 Speech therapy appointments. 30. For the entire year. Thank you, for letting my son have three months of speech therapy when he needs years, not months! And thank you, so much, blue cross/blue shield of south carolina, for only paying 50% of those therapy appointments. Would you like to know how much one week of Jayce's therapy at the hospital cost? Almost $1,000. Thats roughly over $50,000 a year for 4 hours of therapy a week. Yeah, we may not be low income, but we certainly can't afford to pick up the tab on that!

There is something called "Ryan's Law" SC Autism Ryan's Law which basically says that if you are an employee of the state of South Carolina, by law, the insurance company MUST pay for all therapies, including ABA (applied behavior analysis, which is the most expensive).

But, there, of course, is a loop hole. It didn't specify how much money it could allow insurance companies to provide. ABA providers can then say, "It costs $8/hr for 40 hours a week and insurance is only willing to give us $2/hr? No thank you, we will not accept your insurance."

But since Brian works for a private company that dictates its own rules, Ryan's Law does not apply to us anyway.
Individual policies, out-of-state policy providers and group plans of less than 50 participants are not required to cover ASDs by this law. We suggest you ask your insurance company to provide intensive therapy treatment options anyway.

I'm going to be making a call into our insurance again, because I want to put Jayce on the waiting list for ABA therapy in the next town over. Unfortunately, TEFRA will not cover ABA therapy due to something in SC called the "PDD Waiver". The PDD waiver allows children to receive 30 hours of ABA therapy a week... all paid for by the state. The catch? Well, first of all, there are only funds for 250 kids a year. Jayce is number 364. So, we are looking at getting funding from the waiver when he's 5. And all you psychology majors know that ABA therapy is MOST helpful before the age of 5. The other catch is, our lovely govenor, Mark Sanford, doesn't believe that SC kids actually *need* ABA services and is trying to cut funding for it.

So, if you are still there after reading all that mumbo jumbo and words with initials, I thank you. Life is good. Jayce will go back on the waiting list for the hospital to receive OT, ST, Feeding, and possibly PT. This is in addition to the school system providing services for him starting next Tuesday.

Here are some pictures I've been meaning to post from two weeks ago. This is Jayce and Carmen, his Early Intervention Coordinator (EI). We took pictures this day to submit to the company that Carmen works for, in hopes that Jayce's pretty little face will get on a brochure or something :) Carmen's been with us since the very beginning, almost exactly a year ago next week. We lost her for a few months while she subbed as a teacher in the special needs class, but we are so happy to have her back on our team! As you can see, she is the most happy and energetic person I know! And her love for Jayce (and all her kids) is really shown.

These pictures crack me up because Jayce was being so disobedient at the time! Carmen was showing Jayce her "sensory box" filled with dry rice. The goal was for him to be able to touch the rice in order to get the textured objects hidden underneath. As soon as he'd get one, he'd put the small rubber piece in his mouth! He knew he wasn't supposed to, he even said, "No no eat!" right before he did it! But with a big grin like that, you can't help but smile back!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Just playing around

I found this really cool website the other day and finally got a minute to play with it. FUN!

Jaina in January:
Art Museum by

Banana Circle:
Digital Cameras Fun
Created with - fun with your photos

Sit n' Spin:
Fun with your photos
Created with - fun with your photos

Digital Camera Fun
Get your own free sketch

More Jayce:
Digital Camera Fun
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Jaina, "paparazzi style"
Digital Camera Fun
Created with - fun with your photos

Digital Cameras Fun
Created with - fun with your photos

Monica and Farrell:
Happy Easter!
This Easter egg was created with