Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Camping They Will Go....A Camping They Will Go...Hi Ho The Derry Oh....A Camping They Will Go!

These 2 goodlooking guys are leaving in the morning to go camping for 3 days.....
They are going on the 4th grade trip with the entire 4th grade class!!! They will leave tomorrow at 8:00 am and return Wednesday at 5:00 pm.



The little ladies and myself will hold down the fort here!!! Remember my post, from last week, about Cal's haircut????? Well it was all in preparation for this trip. Actually there has been a lot of preparation for this trip. Fortunately his school, his teacher, and the outdoor learning center where they are going camping have all been very accomodating. As for the prep for this trip....here we go:
-As you know from reading my post about the haircut, Cal doesn't do showers.....HE HATES THEM!!!! Therefore NPayne shaved his head to keep his hair from getting too dirty, disgusting, gross, stinky, nasty, well you get the picture while they are gone.
-Since Cal has a very limited diet, by his own choosing, the camp is providing the foods that he will eat, in addition to the food that they are providing for everyone else. I think that was NPayne's biggest concern...what is he going to eat? Now you might think....if he gets hungry enough, he will eat what's there....well you would be thinking incorrectly! We have tried that route, and well....he just doesn't eat! And really going on a trip, that Cal is not sure about, is not the place to test the waters as far as food goes. A typical day for Cal, as far as food goes, is something like this....well actually it's exactly like this; because he has autism, and he's extremely routine in about everything he does....Breakfast: 3 blueberry waffles, have to be blueberry, and nothing to drink! Lunch: blueberry nutri grain bar, again has to be blueberry, peanut butter crackers....here he is a little flexible, because he will eat the toasted crackers or the cheese crackers with peanut butter, a chocolate chip or a shortbread cookie, some other variety of crackers (saltines, goldfish, or pretzels) and water. Dinner: french fries, and then later on 3 more blueberry waffles! He doesn't snack much, but when he does he will eat....about any variety of crackers, milk, V8 Splash, OJ, sometimes cereal (cheerios), and that's about it.
-Cabin placement was something else that was carefully orchestrated. NPayne and Cal were placed in a cabin with boys who are somewhat very calm in nature, along with, parents that either know Cal or know about Cal's autism. NPayne has also been freed from the duty of chaperoning any of the other children. He is mainly just in charge of Cal!!
-A quiet place has been set aside for Cal and NPayne to retreat to if needed. Cal has a definite need for this....every day after school, he goes to his room for about an hour and just hangs out. The girls are all eating their snacks, doing homework, etc.; and he's upstairs having some much needed down time. At school, he also gets sensory breaks and is allowed to go to the motor lab when needed. The quiet place provided is also in case he becomes extremely upset about something which usually results in a fit. At home, if he gets extremely upset about something which has happened quite often as of late....which I think is largely due to his lack of sleep.....it's very challenging to calm him down. NPayne literally has to sit on him or squeeze him really tightly which applies a lot of pressure on his body. It helps even out his vestibular system, and although he screams his bloody head off while it's occuring, he will calm down almost immediately thereafter. When he does have a fit, it's actually frightening to folks who have never witnessed it....he can become violent by throwing things and trying to hit or bite....he gets a very crazy look in his eyes....and he screams his little lungs out! It's the only time, in our house, that the girls really don't know what to do to help him; so they usually do nothing but leave him be. He is getting bigger and stronger, so it's really getting difficult for me to apply the pressure he needs to help him settle down. When he was a baby I would put him in his crib until he calmed down, because he would break things and bite me; and after a fit....we knew our day with him was basically over....in other words, we wouldn't plan on leaving the house; because we knew any little thing would send him in a frenzy again. As he's gotten older, his fits are much fewer; and he is usually able to regroup and go on about his day; BUT he has been having more lately due to being just plain exhausted.
-Cal's learning group was also strategically planned out by his teacher....placing him in a group with the children he loves to be with and with the children who can persuade him to do things when the teacher can't. Most all of the 4th graders love Cal, and they are all very accepting and helpful with him! He isn't actually expected to do the written work in the outdoor classes or even stay with his group, but knowing NPayne....I bet he makes every attempt to get him to stay with his group.
Until today, Cal was really uncertain about "going camping" with his classmates. NPayne would mention it to him casually all last week, and Cal would say in a very distraught way..."WHY?" But today, he came up to me and said, "Mommy, I'm going camping with my daddy!" To which I replied, "Yes I know....it's going to be fun!" To which he replied with a smile, that looked a little uneasy and a tone that was one of self persuasion, "YES!" As NPayne said, if I can get him on the bus without a meltdown....I think we will be okay! I know they will be okay, but I'm still going to pray for smooth sailing for NPayne and Cal! There will be a lot of "new" things and adjustments, so I'm praying that he is able to take the majority of those in stride.

2 comments:

The Blankenship Family said...

I will be praying for both of them (and you at home) this week! I know God will be with Neil and Cal and there isn't anyone better able to take this adventure with Cal than his Daddy! Best wishes!

Following Him said...

I remember the 4th grade trip like it was yesterday. I pray that NPayne and Cal have the best time in the world. I believe Cal will do GREAT and with dad there, he will be great :)
I am so glad the camp is very accomidating too. Looking foward to picts :)
~Elyse~