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What Box - Insight From The Eleven Year Old

You know that saying

"You think outside the box."

Can I just say that I really dislike that, as does Logan and here are his thoughts.

I don't live in a box, I don't school is a box, I don't want to be in a box. And I don't want to be around a box. Can't we just have ideas without being placed in a box? Can't I just be me? I am happy just being Logan Autism or not, homeschooled kid or not. Sometimes when I say something people say it's because I am thinking outside of the box and I should be happy because who I am, well who am I? I am an 11 year old kid with ideas, I love science and space. That box is invisible, it's not made of atoms or carbon, it does not exist so why are we putting ourselves and others in something that is not there? Like my mom tells me we blew that box up years ago, she's very smart. 

Awww *blushing*

Holy Insight Batman! Has Logan given you something to think about? Don't box yourself in and don't float around it either, kick it out the door and to the curb. Be you...Boxless!

bombs,cartoons,dissatisfied,emotions,errors,explosions,gestures,mistakes,people,problems,Screen Beans® 

PDD-NOS...So Many Letters, Not Enough Info

When Dr.L first presented this term to me in regards to Logan my response was


Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) is a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), also called an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). PDD-NOS is one of three forms of Autism Spectrum Disorders. PDD-NOS is often called atypical autism. 

Still confused?

PDD-NOS is considered to be a "milder" form of Autism, sounds like a range for a Pepper or Salsa. I see it as a twinkle in the vast Autism Spectrum. I had the question asked to me who's son was recently diagnosed with PDD-NOS what it was exactly. Her doctor spoke to her in medical jargon and she needed the Mama version.

This is one of those diagnoses that stretches all over the Autism map. And sometimes it even isn't put on the Autism Spectrum, it holds it's own diagnosis. 

The two main components (if you will) are social functioning skills and communication skills. This diagnosis usually doesn't present itself until preschool age. Logan is always eager to communicate and form friendships with his peers just some times he doesn't know how to. He has become much more social since I began homeschooling and interacts beautifully with his friends but when we get out in to the public it changes. If he is feeling extremely uncomfortable his eye contact is out the window and he begins to speak very softly. When an adult is experiencing this they may be thinking 

What a disrespectful kid! 

These are scenarios that Phil and I immediately address, well not in the store but once we get in the car, we want to bring to his attention that he needs to try to make a conscious effort which we know is difficult but he needs to be aware of it. 

Behavior traits with PDD-NOS range from repetitiveness to restrictiveness.

When Logan gets stuck on one topic ie. Lord of the Rings, the universe, a specific television show or atoms we will hear about it 24/7 which can wear on a person and there are times when we attempt to divert the conversation in another direction. 

The next question I was asked was

Why isn't there a whole lot of information about PDD-NOS?

This is where us as parents need to step in and spread the awareness, share our experiences so others who have similar diagnoses or experiences don't feel alone. Logan always seems to have diagnoses that the doctor will say

This isn't common


He's an enigma

The three things I can share with you are this

(did I mention educate?)

Educate yourself, educate others and educate the world!

I can't even tell you how many articles and books (Sensory Perceptual Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome: Different Sensory Experiences, Different Perceptual Worlds by Olga Bogdashina)  
 I have read, how many movies (Temple Grandin amazing!) or television shows I have watched. We are entering in our 5th year since his unofficial official diagnosis and every day I learn something new or Logan will have a fresh new physical quirk and we learn all about it and embrace it. I never use it as a crutch or excuse and I am that mother who pushes her child no matter what because I know he can do it and you know what when he does something as small but huge to us he thanks me for "making" him do it.

Autism Spectrum, PDD-NOS, Sensory Processing Disorder these are just pieces of him NOT the whole, not who he is. Each child is their own individual no matter what that diagnosis is. 

Like Logan says

Autism doesn't define me, just call me Logan 


Do you have any books or movies to recommend? Do you find there is limited information on PDD-NOS?

Frog Legs Anyone?

In the words of my eleven year old

You are the most awesome mom and teacher ever!

after we dissected his first frog, well, his first anything courtesy of

I am always seeking new hands on curriculum or projects for Logan and since we are full engaged in to our habitat unit for science why not dissect a frog? We had to reassure our family frogs Mung Daal and Chowder that they were safe and weren't on the chopping block sort of speak I order the kit and POOF; a week later we have a frog to dissect!

The kid has mad scalpel skills, I was very impressed!

He went through each organ, observed and was very intense doing so. 

I have to admit I am not wanting anything meat wise to eat today so we plan on having pizza with friends for lunch ha!

Homeschooling Rocks!

Methods Blethods

To School or to Unschool,
that is the question?

Or is it?

Do you have to do one or the other?

Can you start out Traditional and change to Charlotte Mason? 

The answer is

You can choose what ever you want, that is the joy and beauty of homeschooling!

When I first started our homeschooling journey 3 years ago with timid disposition I stuck with what I recalled when he attended Good Shepherd. At the time Logan was very schedule orientated so I had every subject, every break and every test written out and scheduled for the week. I used a strict curriculum set and did not deviate from that. I was classified as Traditional.

Fast forward to present day

We are now more like Eclectic Schoolers/Unschoolers 

We use various online curriculum's, books, iPad apps, Kindle material, unit studies, timeline's and science kits. Every day life situations evolve in to a teaching/learning opportunity. My goal is this; I want my son to be knowledgeable of the real world and what it has to offer and for him to react in a moral, respectful and intelligent way. Now if that means I am allowing him to use a calculator for Algebra then so be it. He computes it all in his head anyway ha! 
Do I think that handwriting is top priority?
No, I don't.
We are advancing in technology daily and I want him to be able to be computer literate which he has been for some time, he loves anything tech based. When he goes to college they will be doing everything on a laptop or probably even an iPad not handwriting out 25 page papers.
Some people have *GASPED* at my lackadaisical attitude towards the above mentioned and that's alright. Again, that is the awesomeness of homeschooling.
Of course Logan does do his copywork and other writing assignments however, those are more for occupational therapy purposes then anything. Some days are tearful and others he is humming away happy as can be.

I am very aware that his learning style will continue to change as he gets older. Some aspects are still very scheduled and detail orientated but for the most part he has learned to "go with the flow" which is huge for my quirky kiddo. 

Middle school age is such a sensitive but yet volatile time in a child's life. They are influenced so easily and as parents we need to instill respect and an ethical compass. I see so many children Logan's age that have veered towards a very shaky environment without guidance from their parents or educators. They seek acceptance and approval from their peers; not acknowledging that there are consequences. 

I am so very thankful that Logan will have a different middle school experience than I had. Mine was filled with bad choices with the wrong people, with teachers who read out of a text books day in and day out, students shuffling from one part of the school to the other, girls punching other girls because she looked in the general direction of her boyfriend and boys smoking weed in the bathroom in between classes. 

Is that schooling?

I don't know what to call that.

I don't think you can break down every homeschool family in to a which method are you box. In some ways I think we are all of them mixed into a hodge podge of awesomeness.    

How to Make Friends - Logan Style

This is Logan's phrase of the century (thanks Regular Show) and him and his buddies say this to each other, British accent and all. When our homeschool group attended a field trip at our local Hardee's to learn about work ethics, responsibility, etc. there is always that open opportunity for new friendships; here is how my kid rolls.

Logan: Mom, I can't get these gloves off.
Matthew: *chewing*

Logan: *chewing*
Matthew: *chewing*

As they finished inhaling their food Logan began twisting on his seat, he swiveled right and possible new friend was throwing his items in the trash, Logan says

Ello Gov'nor

and then swivels to the other side. Possible new friend more then likely does not know what that means or why Logan just spoke to him in a British accent or called him Gov'nor but it must have intrigued him because

it began a conversation about Xbox, who has Xbox Live, what games, you know boy talk. 

Possible new friend and his mom are quite lovely and in the near future we will be having a Boy Xbox/Nerf Shindig. 

Though Logan's ways are quirky and interesting they definitely spark curiosity. And yes, I love capturing it all on photograph for I need visuals when telling the story to Phil. And as I am telling him about it in pops Logan 

Ello Gov'nor!