Struggling

I should be writing about our wonderful visit with our Defeat Autism Now! Doctor. However that will have to wait as I am struggling right now with getting my son the funding he deserves. Basically our preschool ABA services are coming to an end in January. We have very blessed that our government has agreed to pay for this and support my son through this program for 3 years. I know this is more then most people out side of Manitoba get. However, if my son were to go off to public or private school after this he would automatically receive 3 addition years of level 3 funding and 2 additional hours a day after school of ABA sessions in our home. Basically I told them would have full intentions of homeschooling, so he will not be in school, however I would like him to receive his 2 hours a day for after school ABA therapy. Well no one has apparently tried this before. Of course the first answer is no. But I know they make exceptions all the time so it is my job as a parent to investigate the matter more. I’m actually saving the government thousands of dollars by homeschooling him, and to me it would make sense for them to allow this to happen. However as usual legalistic get in the way.
So after being on the phone with my social worker, she seems to have hit a brick wall with her superiors, so now I contacted MFEAT “Manitoba Families for Effective Autism Treatment”, sometimes these people can write a few letters and get things moving.
I guess I never realized how much you have to fight for your rights as a homeschooling parent. It seems I’m in a position now that I may have to send my child to school in order to get therapy. Its frustrating to have everyone force putting him in school down my throat. Even though I know he is doing amazing at home.
So I have a lot of thinking to do.

Update!

Well the weather has been so beautiful here in Manitoba that I’ve been busy spring cleaning, getting out out of control yard in check and playing outside with the kids I haven’t had much computer time. So here are a few bullets to update everyone with whats going on.

  • Hubby crashed my car. Yikes! He’s perfectly fine, Thank God. The car is well, were still waiting to see if the insurance company will repair it, or if its a write off. I pray it is fixable.
  • Wesley is doing amazing! He had a dental check up today at my old work. No cavities! It was nice to visit with my old co-workers. But I’m glad I’m no longer working there, I’m so much happier being at home with my boy.
  • I made the TOS Homeschool Crew for 2011-2012!! This is very exciting for me. Last year I applied but like I thought I was not accepted. I was a first year homeschooling Momma, and my blog was very new. But I made it my personal goal this year to make the team and I’m so honored to have been accepted!
  • One thing that is creeping up on me is the fact my son turns 6 next month! We are having a Transformer birthday party at McDonald’s. A friend of mine did her son’s birthday party there last month and it was a blast. Plus it seems to be more cost effective and I also love the fact there is someone there to set up and someone to clean up and my house stays in one piece.

I hope everyone has been enjoying the spring. I’m busy praying for the people who are suffering from the floods in our province. 

ABCmouse.com Learning Academy Review

Wesley and I had the chance to review ABCmouse.com Academy. This is a curriculum designed for children in preschool, Pre-K and Kindergarten. The site is not intended to replace traditional schooling and the team encourages both parents and teachers to use the site with their children. While using ABCmouse.com Academy your child will be exposed to Reading, Math, Beginning Science, Geography, Art and Music.

“The Step-by-Step Learning Path presents the full ABCmouse.com curriculum in a carefully designed program of more than 350 lessons in six levels. As your child completes each lesson, he or she is guided to the next one and is motivated to continue learning by ABCmouse.com’s Tickets and Rewards System”

While going through the program your child with receive ticket for each activity they complete. Your child can then take these tickets and exchange them for items for their room or aquarium.

Different Ways to Learn with ABCmouse.com

Art: With many different types of art activities—including coloring pages, dot-to-dots, paint-by-numbers, traceables, and printables— ABCmouse.com helps children learn reading, math, and other subjects while they are expressing themselves artistically. 

Books: The hundreds of traditional and original stories and nonfiction books in ABCmouse.com’s library will open doors to worlds of knowledge, adventure, and fun for children. Every concept of the ABCmouse.com curriculum—whether it is the sound of a letter, the sequence of counting 1–5, or the seasons of the year—is explained in child-friendly language in one of our library books.

Songs: ABCmouse.com’s music collection features original songs about every letter of the alphabet as well as newly produced and recorded children’s classics. The variety of music on the site not only serves to reinforce the other curriculum subjects but also to introduce children to a range of musical styles and themes. Your child will love to sing along!

Puzzles: ABCmouse.com’s curriculum includes hundreds of jigsaw and cutout puzzles that help children learn and remember important ideas and skills in reading, math, science, art, social studies, and music. There are puzzles for every letter of the alphabet, sight words, stories, the numbers 1 through 20, shapes, zoo and farm animals, and many, many other topics.

Games: ABCmouse.com includes hundreds of games and interactive learning activities, each designed to be fun and educational at the same time. Your child can play games to learn the alphabet, to learn new words, to learn about numbers and shapes, and even to learn about the planets! Since all of the games on the site include voiced instructions, they are easy for young children to learn and play.

Printables: ABCmouse.com has printables for every subject: reading, writing, math, colors, art, music, beginning science, social studies, and more. Encourage your child to continue their learning offline with printable activities, such as letter and number tracing, coloring, dot-to-dot pictures, paint-by-number drawings, mazes, and pattern recognition activities.
Overall what did we think?
Wesley loved it! Token systems work wonders for him, so he selects an item for his aquarium he would like to earn and then he keeps working at getting enough tickets. When he saw he could purchase a castle, he sat there and did enough lessons to earn 125tickets! In one sitting! Then the other day he discovered if he did a exercise a few times the star turns from white to gold. Another great motivation!
One thing I would love to see in future versions of this program is the ability to choose and set what level the puzzles are presented in the parent section. I found Wesley wanted to do the really easy ones when I wasn’t looking. I would love to be able to block 1-6 and have him choose between 7-10.
You can try it out $7.95 for one month or buy a one year subscription for $79(equals 2 months free). I think that is a very fair price, especially if you have more then one child because your subscription allows access to 3 children accounts and 1 parent account.
Even though Wesley is reading already, the books are great for him and he enjoys reading along. For us the major part that drew me in was the Beginning Science, Geography, Art and Music. My son and step-daughter were sitting around this week learning about Seals!
Thank-you ABCmouse.com for allowing us to review you great site!
I was provided with free access to the ABCmouse.com website in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not paid, nor was required to write a positive review.

TouchMath Tutor First Grade Software Review/Giveaway *Closed*


Well Wesley and I were very lucky to team up with the great people from TouchMath to review their NEW TouchMath Tutor First Grade Software.

This software showcases vibrant graphics, cheerful music and sound effects, and a true hands-on approach. TouchMath comes to life onscreen while students become so eager to complete each activity they won’t even realize they’re learning critical math concepts! It was developed for use on classroom/home computers –– both with traditional mouse/keyboard functionality AND those computers with touch screen capability. The software is also compatible with Interactive Whiteboards for classroom use. Students are enthralled with the creative imagery as they play to learn: Touching/Counting Patterns, Number Concepts 1–100, Odd and Even, Place Value (11–99), Addition and Subtraction Facts with Objects and TouchPoints, Addition with Counting On, Double-Digit Addition and Subtraction, Addition and Subtraction Fact Families, Addition and Subtraction Word Problems, and Backward Counting (18–0).

TouchMath in our option has done it again, only this time better! The slight glitches from the Kindergarten edition have been corrected. Children no longer have to start from the beginning if they let go of the dot before its placed in the right place. Wesley loves working and filling up the “fuel gauge” at the top of the screen. Sadly my computer kicked the bucket so we lost all of our progress. But Wesley didn’t seem to mind redoing the exercises.

We really liked the explanation videos. They were very clear, interesting for the child and short. I was also impressed that after using the program for only a short time Wesley was already learning about adding 2 digit numbers without any numbers to carry over. Like the Kindergarten software this program was a great introduction for Wesley. It introduced the topics, so when we sat down to worksheets he already had some knowledge and the solution came to him much quicker. I’m sitting on pins and needles waiting for their Digital Grade One Math Kits to be released later this year, so I we can start working on some more of the skills he is learning with the software. For now I plan on ordering some of the downloadable worksheets to hold us off.

Personally after many hours on Google, a few hundred dollars wasted on other math programs that didn’t work for us, TouchMath is a fun program both my son and I both like. We have finally found a good fit for our family. Once the dots are patterns are memorized your child can use this technique when working out math problems on their own. Math is coming a lot easier to my son now since starting TouchMath.

Some people are concerned about the Double TouchPoints. I was too, but I find that it makes the numbers look neat and tidy, and that makes it easier for the children to work out the problems. From talking to other parents who use this program and from my own experience with my son, children learn the order in which to count the dots very quickly. Using the software my 5 year old had it figured out in only 45mins and he retained that information.

For parents who are required by their state to keep records will find the Student Assessment and Teacher Options very helpful. It records your child Pre-Test and Post-Test scores and there is a print option available so you can provide a copy in your end of the year report.

Overall Wesley and I would recommend this software to anyone doing math at a grade 1 level. Its fun, interactive, colorful, and best of all extremely educational. The theme song is catchy too, Wesley and I sing it every time we start the software up.

Would you like to win your own copy of the Grade 1 TouchMath Software?
If so complete one or more of the following calls to action. Leave a separate comment for each call to action and make sure to include your email address so I can contact you.
– Head over to to the TouchMath Website and let me know of their another product you might like to try with your children
Like TouchMath on Facebook
Follow TouchMath on Twitter
Join TouchMath Champions forum
– Follow Doman, ABA, Dayhome and Homeschooling Momma publicly
Contest is open to Canadian and Americans till May10th,2011 @ 11:59pm
Thank-you to the people at TouchMath for allowing me to review their product. I was provided a free copy of this software in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not paid or required to write a positive review.

Congrats! The winner is

Tracy said…
I would love to try the Kindergarden program.
April 25, 2011 7:15 PM

Readeez Review/Giveaway *closed*

Wesley and I have had so much fun reviewing Readeez Vol 1& 2 as well as Songeez. I’m telling you there has been A LOT of singing and dancing going on in my house.We were sent these videos and the cd online. I received a link and just downloaded them on to my computer. From there I was able to load them into iTunes and then on to my iPhone. These downloads are designed for your computer, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or AppleTV.

Readeez are a great resource for parents because:

1. They’re truly entertaining. Kids adore the original songs and characters in Readeez. They love watching—and the more they watch, the more they learn.
2. Words are the stars. Text is the dominant element onscreen. Big, clear text. In fact, Readeez are more like books than they are like other videos.
3. Readeez use SyllableSync. With this breakthrough technique, kids both see and hear each syllable of each word. Simultaneously.  

Well right away Readeez was a hit because Wesley could watch it right on my iPhone. Wesley loves my iPhone, and now that he can watch Readeez on it, he maybe on it more then I am. After he realized it was on my computer, which I can hook up to our TV, well Readeez became one of his favorite shows.

I find with one of my daycare kids(5years old) who is allow to watch pretty much anything at home and plays Call of Duty, is very hard to get him to enjoy any sort of educational videos. Well Readeez is officially cool with this child, he often request to watch the show, and if I feel they have had too much screen time, I just through on the CD.

Yesterday my son and my 5 year old daycare child were playing Tonka Trucks in the backyard and suddenly they broke into song. This is what they were singing. The neighbors must have thought they were nuts because they were singing with such emotion. I wish I could have caught it on video camera.

My personal favorite song is this one:

There are so many others, the kids have too many favorites to list here. But I would suggest everyone head over to the Readeez Website and check them out for yourself. And with Readeez Vol 3 coming out next month, I know I will be ordering a copy for my son, he’ll be thrilled to receive it for his birthday in June.
But be forewarned, these songs are catchy. You might find yourself washing dishes and sing to yourself “Circle and Square” or “Something Big In Mind” your husband will look at you wondering if you’ve snapped. Or shopping at Walmart and your child and you will break out and start singing “Modes of Transportation” in the Hotwheels aisle.

But in all honestly, your kids will have a new respect for words. For parents that are using the Doman method with their child, this is a new fun and factual approach to spice up your program. The words are large, clear and easy for young eyes to see. They also appear quickly across the screen, so in my option are great for right brain absorption.
Would you like to win the download-able version of Readeez Vol 1,2 and Songeez?
Complete one or more of the following calls to actions. For each one leave a separate comment with your email.
Like Readeez on Facebook
Follow Readeez on Twitter
– Follow Doman, ABA, Dayhome and Homeschooling Momma publicly
– Tell me which Readeez you watched on their Website is your favorite.
Contest is open WORLDWIDE, and is open till April 30th,2011 at 11:59.
Thank-you Michael at Readeez for creating this fun DVD and CD set. We have had a LOT of fun reviewing your product. 
Disclaimer: I received a download copy of Readeez Vol 1,2 and Songeez in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review.

The winner is Tracy! Congratulations!!

DAN! update

Well we finally figured out the mini-seizure issues. Turns out Wesley has minor inflammation of the brain. Which is apparently fairly common with children on the spectrum, just like inflammation of the digestive tract is normal. Because of shipping delays we were without Guna-FLM for a few days, and oddly enough the mini-seizures came back full force. I haven’t to see one of these seizures but his tutors tell me its pretty scary. His eyes roll back and he is just out of it. They only last 10sec-45secs, but its enough to scare everyone. Except Wesley, he doesn’t seem to notice. Apparently the part of the brain that is typically inflammed is also related to speech. Oddly enough these mini-seizures almost always happen during the intra-verbal part of the sessions.
So we started him on a higher dose of Guna-Flam and I also am to go to the health food store and buy some HEEL-Trameel to keep in my cupboard. This product is like Guna-FLM, so if I ever run out again and the DAN! can’t get me Guna-FLM quick enough we have this. stuff. She likes Guna-FLM better, but the other product HEEL-Trameel does the basically the same thing and is easier to get.
She said as awful as it was for Wesley to have to go through these mini-seizures, we at least now know WHY he is having them, and when we reevaluate his plan this summer, this will play a big part of it.
Now I just have to pray for God to help us afford to drive out to Calgary this summer. I’m blessed to know that we always have a place to stay there for free. But last time flying out there was over $1200. The drive would likely be $300, the appointment would be covered, and then supplements, well that’s where it gets pricey. But the goal is to get a hair analysis done before we leave so we can review the results. Our hopes is to wean him off some of the supplements that have done doing what they are going to do, and evaluated what we need to do next. She has a few ideas, but needs to ask all the right questions and get a look at where Wesley is now.
She is actually very happy with how well Wesley has responded to treatment. Changes are harder for me to notice because I’m with him day in and day out. But people who haven’t seen him in a while really notice a difference in his language.
Things I notice are
– he is eating a lot more. The variety of food has increase. and he is finally gaining weight and fulling out a bit.
– I’m able to have a conversation with him, and he is try to start conversations. He also tells me about things that have happened during his visits with his father or grandparents.
– Temper tantrums and behaviors have decrease 10 folds
– He can function the next day if he goes to bed at 9 instead of 8. Before even the slightest fluctuation in his bedtime would make the next day a living nightmare. Now he can even get to bed an hour and a half past bedtime and be fine the next morning.
Thank-God we took the chance and went out to Calgary. It was worth the money.

New Tutor!

Well we got some great news! They hired a new tutor for Wesley! So we lose our current tutor on the 8th of April. And our new tutor should start April 29th. Meaning we are only going to go two weeks without a second tutor. It makes me so sad to lose our current afternoon tutor, as she is fantastic with Wesley, however I’m glad the process in which to hirer a new tutor went faster then usual.
Last night I asked Wesley where he wanted to go for dinner and he told me. “First Mom we go to “dollargrama”(dollarama) for batteries for my playdoh machine, then we go “Hamburger King”(Burger King).”LOL I love when kids say things wrong.
This morning Wesley woke up and insisted on playing with his Play-Doh Mega Fun Factory. He played with it for HOURS, only stopping to eat breakfast and lunch. Then his afternoon tutor came so he had to go upstairs for school. I think I’ve written about this before, but to watch him play with Play-Doh makes me so happy! When he was younger, his tactile senses were so sensitive he would freak out a the touch of Play-Doh. His daycare actually put globs of the stuff on light switches to prevent him from playing with them.
Overall I’m happy with the way Wesley’s homeschooling is going. We are finally in a great routine. And if we miss a day its ok! I think keeping data for ABA on stuff that we do has really helped me stay on top of things.

MACHS Homeschool Conference 2011- Keynote Speaker Andrew Pudewa

Homeschool Conference 2011

What an amazing experience! This weekend I was able to attend our local Christian homeschooling group, MACHS, homeschooling conference. It was held for two days at Calvary Temple in Winnipeg.

I have to say this conference was AMAZING. Much to my excitement the keynote speaker was Andrew Pudewa, the director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing. While this was very impression, what really got our attending was the fact he was trained under both Suzuki and Doman. He actually worked with my hero Glenn Doman(author of the book “What To Do About Your Brain-injured Child“) at The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential.

Another early learning mom, who happens to be a good friend of mine, and I had the opportunity to talk to him after lunch.

Ok ok… We may have formed an attack to corner the poor man to try and pick his brains. He was busy looking for his missing cufflink, so we took this opportunity that he was in one area to speak with him.  As brief as it was, he was able to tell us about some interesting things.

– According to him, the IAHP is not open to new research. They have the mentality, if they didn’t come up with it they are not interested in it. After hearing this, I also heard something similar from somewhere else. This is really sad to hear and I hope it is not true because there is still so much to learn about the human brain. By limiting their interest in other studies they will eventually become dated.

– We talked about EK flashcards. He went on to tell us how the connections are made. Basically if you never saw anything you wouldn’t think about anything. By showing EK bits you are providing your child the chance to think about something, there for making connections in the brain.

– He also told us about another person that he use to work with at the IAHP that left the institute and opened his own clinic the Family Hope Center. I’m under the impression the founder of the Family Hope Center was fed up the IAHP would not consider new research on Brain Injured children. Another thing that seemed to bother them was the fact that the people who are now in charge of the IAHP are Scientology and as a devout Christian he did not agree with the way it was run. So I spent some time on their website and decided to place a call. They were already closed for the day so I left a message. I’m interested to see what this place is about.

We then spent time listening to the keynote speaker sessions, wondered around the 3 exhibit halls and ate lunch. I managed to control my spending habits. I bought Wesley a new bow for his birthday, 2 workbooks and and parents guide. I loved there was so much about Suzuki music this time around. I’m not sure if they will be able to beat it next year.

Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links.

This is an old entry that was for some reason not posted the other week

Ok so I’m back in business. New hard drive in the computer and were good as new!
Today I had an extra little one to watch. I was excited when one of my first daycare children’s mom called me and asked if I had a spot available for the day. I agreed as long as he was dropped off after 9am and picked up before 3pm as that is Wesley’s tutors hours. So seeing as he is busy working, I only had 3 other little ones to watch. Well of course first thing in the morning Welsey’s tutor called in sick. So I have 5 children to watch today. Yikes! Thank God one of the parents brought me a coffee, and that kept me going. All and all it was ok since all my children are well behaved.
Wesley and I have Suzuki violin lessons tomorrow. I was suppose to start playing with him this week but the bow that came with my mom’s violin is awful, so I’ll have to go tomorrow and buy another one. Then after lessons he’s off with his dad.
Wesley didn’t have any mini-seizures today, but seemed a bit spacey from time to time. I’m hoping this new remedy the DAN! doctor sends us will balance him out. We stopped the digestive enzymes today. So far so good, he seems to be just as hungry. Hopefully his digestive system can take over from here. Our plan basically is to support the body in a way that it can do the work on its own eventually without supplements.
After the mini-seizure incident, a friend suggested I look more into cross-lateral coordination training. Glenn Doman talks about this in his books How Smart Is Your Baby?: Develop And Nurture Your Newborn’s Full Potential, What To Do About Your Brain-injured Child, and How To Teach Your Baby To Be Physically Superb: From Birth To Age Six; The Gentle Revolution. I’ve been thinking about starting a crawling program with Wesley, but time and time again I fail. So I think tomorrow, I’m going to go shopping and try and buy a bunch of those big square mats that interconnect and start a crawling program next week. I also contacted a Brain Gym instructor in our area but sadly I honestly don’t think we can afford it right now. I also have to think that I would love to take the course at the IAHP on Brain Injured children. But I’ll continue to pray and hope that the right answer will come to me.

Why boys and girls learn differently

This past weekend kizudo and I went to a homeschooling conference. I have to say it was amazing! Kizudo and I were in our glory I think its safe to say as the keynote speaker Andrew Pudewa, was trained under both Suzuki AND Glenn Doman!! Anyhow I plan on writing more about how we cornered him after one seminar and picked his brain for a little bit.
Anyhow one thing he talked about was how boys and girls see and hear things differently. So when your son is making that tiny clicking sounds that drives any mother NUTS, he doesn’t know he’s doing it. Girls tend to hear softer sounds then boys. Same with visual. Boys tend to draw verbs, they want to draw explosions, erruptions, things going fast, crashes. They don’t want to draw a plain old house, they want to draw the house that has been blown up to a million little pieces. Or a rockets moving at the speed of light. While girls want to draw nouns. They want to draw horses, and kittens. Girls will use every color in the box, while boys tend to use one or two colors.
Even in writing boys tend to use more verbs and adjectives. They want to write about how fast the dog can run, they really don’t care what color or texture the dogs fur was. While girls use more nouns and adjectives. They tend to describe in detail what color the dog was, was he happy or mean, what did the yard look like, what was the weather in the scene.
This was all real food for thought for me…
He also talked about how studies show that children do better in school if they split into classes by gender more then age. He also talked about how boys need to move while they learn, so in a class where chairs became optional, marks went up. You might find one boy leaning over a desk, one curled under the desk secret agent style. But they were all working, and excelling in their studies. 
He also talked about how the theory of fight or flight in stress situations ONLY applies to males. When these studies were being done, they only used male mammals, because females had more variations because of their monthly cycles. Now that they have started doing some research using female mammals, they discovered females appear to tend or befriend. When males are stressed they tend to stand and move around, females tend to hid, disappear, sit or lie down.
Andrew also cleared up some stuff for me about my hubby and son’s NEED to fight. To me it is ridiculous to wrestle every night in the living room. To me I just keep thinking someone is going to get hurt! Well turns out males need to play fight. While women brains tend to get foggy during moments of pain (obviously to forget the pain of child birth), pain clarifies the male brain. He used the example of men in war being shot. They need to think clearly to get themselves to safety.
Well needless to say when I came home I understood why my son and hubby are they way they are!