Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

He's Heeeere!!

We have my Dad for three weeks! So happy!!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Spam Comments

I have been getting a few
"This a good post. I like you see my post too."
comments with dubious URLs attached, recently. I usually delete them without even looking, having once been directed to an Indonesian online sales site.

Recently, my mum complained that she had a received a message saying her comment had been deleted by the blog administrator. On checking the post, I saw that I had indeed deleted a spam comment on that entry, but was not aware of anything coming from my mum. It made me wonder whether spammers are hacking in and piggybacking on people's comments? Has anyone heard of this before? Has anyone of my regular commenters had a comment deleted by me and wondered why? (and never come back again so won't be reading this anyway....)

I'd be interested to hear your experiences.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Crafty Tuesday: Trial and Error Quilting

It's Crafty Tuesday and I am pleased to report that as a part of my debrief from a week with Slugger, I spent most of the weekend sewing, or thinking about it!

For all crafty types I'll cut to the chase and show you what I've done.

Yes, it looks familiar! It is my 'Annie' quilt from two years ago. That is how long it has been sitting, pinned together and waiting for me to have the confidence, or the nerve, to attempt the job of 'stitch in the ditch' quilting it together. I have to tell you it took me most of the weekend and a huge amount of quick unpicking and bicep work to get the thing to this stage.

I would hate to have been making a double quilt because trying to get this thing rolled up and under my sewing machine, was not fun!

I had wanted to be fancy with the quilting pattern,

but a few misplaced twiddly bits ( and the quick unpick) taught me to 'keep it simple' and, as you can see, I have.

I was surprised (and frustrated) by how difficult it was to keep the thing from puckering. I gave up in the end , after pulling out a few key rows and doing them again with differing tensions. Seemed to make NO difference at all! If any of you are quilters, I'd love to know your secrets.

Next up is the binding but it may be after Christmas before I get to that, for reasons I am about to explain. I am about to ramble now, so if you are here mostly to see craft you can probably click back over to Carrie's and check out the talent!

The other sewing project I've started is a dress for the BA's next Formal. She has been asked to partner an old friend's brother and the date is fast approaching. She has very definite ideas about what she wants to wear nowadays (no! really?????) and had her heart set on
a) something Grecian and
b) something black.
Needless to say, mother (moi) did not approve.

I've got to admit I feel sad when I see lovely young gals draped in black. They are so beautiful, they can wear any colour, why do they feel the need to widow themselves prematurely? Anyhoo, to this end I encouraged the BA to try on this dress when we went out browsing the other day.

She was mildly receptive and it was kind of within the price range (ok...there isn't really a price range and the tag on this one would pay my Teacher's Registration but hey....better than some!) but we both had to agree that the top did not fit well and was not overly flattering.

Thus we found ourselves in Spotlight searching out glamour material and a suitable pattern. There were a number of contenders but sizing and availability conspired against us; and then when we had finally chosen a pattern, we realised that it could only be done in extremely wide fabric (140cm+) and the fabric we'd chosen only came in a 114cm roll. :-( We eventually left in disgust but, as I had to return for more quilting thread, I did a bit more searching and made a unilateral decision.

She had identifed a few things she 'required' from her dress. It had to be long, it had to be slightly draped, it had to have a feature back. This one
fit the bill but didn't lend itself to the chosen fabric so I picked another one. Just like that. Well, the dance is in three weeks!

So we have a midnight blue satin jersey with a smoke grey chiffon to do that central version (in black and white). The BA echoes my own concern, which is that some of these patterns don't look like the drawings, but as we finally agreed, we can't afford a flash dress for this one. At least it will be unique. I have to say I am a little nervous about it but at approx $70 all up vs the $300 for the one she tried on in the shop......it's all about perspective.

And as a last comment on 'craftiness', which I interpret more and more liberally nowadays, here is one of the three holes I have to fill in our front room since the electrician came.
Anyone want to take a sweep on when I'll get them done?

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Crafty Tuesday: For A Change of Pace

After an eventful Monday where Slugger did a runner and left the school grounds, we are having a well earned breather. We managed to get his Mum to agree to sit in the staff room whilst he is at school, partially so she can hear/see what his behaviour is like, and partially so that if he bites, kicks, punches or spits at anyone, he can be immediately taken home. Interestingly, he did not make it into school today, the first day of this new procedure. Although I am desperate for a breakthrough with him, I have to admit it was a delightful day. I am human after all.

But I managed some sewing a week ago! Whilst the electrician was removing the dated chandeliers, I threw together this floaty drapey thing.

You will probably see more of this fabric as it was a windfall from school. The new Home Ec teacher was cleaning out the storage cupboard at the beginning of the year and gave a way two full rolls of fabric! This was one of them. Of course, halfway through the project I realised that the fabric has an obviously 'wrong' side, which isn't really ideal for this kind of drapey thing (what DO you call it?) but I figured, as a freebie, I could live with it.

I have another top cut out (which will have the same 'wrong side' issue, as it has a drapey front) and I am perusing other patterns to see what else I can use it for.

If you want to see what other crafty things people have been creating, click over to Crafty Tuesday at Barely Controlled Chaos.

Monday, 14 November 2011

What Will This Day Be Like......?

I wonder....

This is make or break week for Slugger. Will he be able to follow instructions without waving scissors in our faces or throwing glue sticks into the ceiling fans? Will he be able to find a safe channel for his anger? Will the other parents stop complaining and leave us to do our best? Will his family stop asking when he can go back into the classroom? Will any of my other pupils get a look in?

We'll see.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Total Meltdown and A Regret

Every day is an escalation.

Today, his mum was in talking to the Principal while we tried to deal with him. I had walked back into the room to find him twirling a metre ruler over his head and when I asked him to give it to me,
"Hey Slugger (smile, cheerful), may I have my ruler back please?"
he threw it at me. Luckily there was no harm done but he was in a foul frame of mind. As his Minder started to try and move him towards his work table, I ducked out to see another pupil in another class. On my way back in, Mum was leaving the Principal's office and approaching the classroom. I could see that Slugger was settling to work and I feared seeing Mum would break his concentration so I suggested she just go, without calling into the room.

He saw her out of the corner of his eye and he saw her leave without saying goodbye.

The destruction was truly spectacular to see. This 6 year old child up-ended large wooden tables (the type that seat 6!), kicked things around the room, swung chairs, threw things at the ceiling fans and topped it all off by locating the only two pairs of non safety scissors in the room and hurling them in our direction.

Through all this I kept saying to him "You're feeling angry, this is not a safe way to be angry..."
and he bellowed back through tears "I want MY MUUUUUM!!!! Where IS SHE????????"
"Shall I phone her to come?" I asked.
"NAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWW" (more tears and throwing things)
"Well how can we get her to come if we don't ring her?"
"NAAAAAAWWWWWWW (throw, swear) DON"T YOU PHONE HER!!!!!!!!!"

Now, this may seem illogical, to those not 'in the know', but 'phoning his mum' is a threat we have been using for some time. In the early days our line was 'if he's violent, he goes home'. Foolishly, the Principal bowed to parental pressure when the mother eventually got sick of coming to pick him up. Additionally, I guess there was the issue of actually giving him practice at following the rules and accepting the consequences here. Not that it seems to have helped.
So, even though he desperately wanted his mum, he did NOT want us to phone her as that would mean he was in trouble and would have to go home.

The violence continued.

Eventually he bellowed from the depths of such heaving sobs it would break your heart:
"She went home (sob) and she forgot (sob) to say (sob) goodbye to me..."

I felt like such a heel.

All the kid had wanted was for Mum to say goodbye to him. He probably would have cuddled her and got back to what he had been doing (errrr.......which was throwing a metre ruler at my head...). Here is where we come unstuck. We keep looking at things through adult's eyes. Why should Mum not saying goodbye matter so much?

But it does. It matters a LOT. Because for Autistic children the world is so unpredictable, there have to be some things you can rely on. And when THOSE things fail you, it is akin to the end of the world. I should have known better.

But I apologised to him and then we made him help clean up the room. And all the time he kept asking, in typical Autistic fashion, with no idea of the impact he had had,
"Why hasn't my teacher come down to see me?"

Tomorrow it is my day off and I am actually going to take it. I have an important wake to attend. As a result, Slugger's minder has decided he doesn't feel safe, coming in for the day and who can blame him. It is definitely a two person job. Slugger will be kept at home tomorrow.

image credit

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

And Yesterday He Bit Me.....

Slugger's been at it again.

But we did get a win. He didn't get what he wanted and after 10 minutes of chair throwing and table clothing ripping, he sat down and got back to his work.

Today, as two new families waited in the foyer for meetings with the Principal etc, Slugger streaked through the double doors and out the other side with his minder in hot pursuit.

We all just shrugged and went about our business.

He has two weeks to make a breakthrough, according to our Principal. After that he'll need to look for a 'fresh start' elsewhere.

I am really hopeful we can make a difference here. After all, I don't want those incisor marks to be in vain.....