Saturday, August 27, 2016

Love

Love is patient!!! We all know where we have heard that from in 1 Corinthians. Perhaps you have heard, "Good things come to those who wait."

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things can also be found in 1 Corinthians.

Love has spoken more to me in the last six years than it has ever in my past. I have seen what love can do and what love can conquer when love is patient and I have seen what happens when it isn't real.

Since 2009, I wanted nothing more than to have a happy family of my own and I thought I was getting that in 2009. God teaches that we have to be patient and I have learned more about the word patience than the average person.

For instance, ever since I got married and had children, I wanted to do what typical families do. However, that wasn't possible due to the boys' diagnosis and still isn't possible now because my husband left and divorced me.  Times were tough....and still are but I haven't stopped. I am enduring what God gave me, having patience, and believing in what can happen. However, it is possible now for the boys and I as a family of three and it is starting to happen!

One year ago, I didn't know what it felt like to actually get some sleep at night. I longed for that! Now, I am finally getting it:) (I forgot what it felt like to feel human and now I remember!)

One year ago, I still wasn't able to do the simplest of task with the boys by myself. For example, taking the boys just to therapy was almost impossible and required the staff to come outside to the van to help me get inside so one of them didn't run away into the busy road. Now, we accomplish this daily by ourselves.

This summer we have went to a playground by ourselves on several occasions, stores, doctors, and today we went to our amazing neighbors house by ourselves and swam in their pool. WOW!!! Seriously, good things are coming to us. They are small and will never be typical but we are very blessed and grateful for what we are receiving these days. It would have never been possible without love. When love is real, it can conquer anything! God is blessing the three of us. Our love is real. Our love is patient and it is proving what it can do! The boys know too. They know that I believe in them...they know the love is real, genuine, and hopeful love. I teach them and display this every day in my actions. God is working through the three of us and we are achieving things that I have wanted for so long!!!

The boys and I are conquering so much in 2016!! To some people it is nothing but to us it is SOMETHING!!! Patience is the key.  I will continue to pray and hope that our life just keeps on going up and up from 2016 on!!!


A few snapshots from our day!
We were at the playground by 8 AM. When our day starts extremely early, 8 AM is like the afternoon for us!

 The bond that these two are getting is so sweet. Again, it is nothing like the bond of two typical brothers but the smiles they give each other, the way Andrew looks out for Trenton, the way Trenton admires Andrew is just simply amazing to watch daily. I have encouraged this a lot in our life but it has really taken off in 2016.! Children with autism watch and learn just like neurotypical children do.  I talk to them a lot about how to love one another, etc. They both understand what I am teaching them and it is really showing these days!!!





Friday, August 26, 2016

Andrew Pre-School Orientation

Andrew and I had his orientation last night for pre-school. I've been talking to Andrew a lot about school all summer long. He needs a lot of preparation for "new" things. He had a hard time understanding why he was going to have a new teacher and new students in his class. But, after three months, I have him ready to start pre-school at Memorial again this year in the 4 year old class!!

Anyway, orientation went okay. I do believe that we may have some struggles and challenges this year but again that is common with high functioning kids on the spectrum.

Tonight, during bath time, Andrew says, "Moochies, I was nervous last night."
I talked to him for a while and gave him my whole speech like I always do.
Then he said, "Moochies, I was the only one nervous. Nobody else was nervous except me."
I said, "How do you know they weren't nervous? I am sure they were nervous like you."
Andrew says, "No. I was the only one nervous. They did stuff and I couldn't do it and no one talked to me. Can you just go to school with me Moochies?"

We continued to talk for awhile. He broke my heart. He is one nervous little guy about any kind of social setting and his challenges in this area really show when he is around other neurotypical children.
Often, Andrew gets so nervous and is unable to talk. He will get this look in his eyes and he just goes mute. He is afraid to talk and comes upset. Sometimes, depends on his mood, he will just become an extreme follower and copy every move that everyone  makes.
He conveys to me about how  his body does not allow him to talk. It is very interesting to hear him talk about what he feels like. I am learning from Andrew daily and I apply what he says to Trenton as well.



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Way to go Andrew!

Two years ago I walked Andrew into Harsha Autism Center for the first time. Two years later I walk him out on his last day in their intensive program. On August 4, 2014, Andrew was seen by the BCBA at Harsha Autism Center and it was recommended after her evaluation that Andrew attend 35 hours a week to receive direct ABA therapy. Andrew had primarily echolalia speech at this time and had splinter skills in almost every area. Andrew had many challenges due to his autism and it was very noticeable which is why he was accepted into an intensive ABA therapy program.

I took  two pictures of his first evaluation...

Now, two years later, I am happy to report that he caught up to his age appropriate levels!!! Through his hard work, he has overcame echolalia and can have a full conversation with anyone. He tests where he is supposed to be at!!!! He has caught up with his typically developing peers!!! I am so proud of him!

I think back at everything that we have done the past two years and it brings tears to my eyes. It hasn't been easy getting two boys out of the car and in the car ,especially a year or two ago when they were younger and had higher needs. We started our journey attending Harsha Autism Center when we lived almost two hours away. Lil A' has came a long way and I am ONE PROUD MOMMY to escort him out of HAC on his last day of their intensive ABA program.

Andrew no longer needs the intensive ABA program, but it doesn't mean that he doesn't have autism anymore. His needs are high functioning and he still has challenges. Andrew isn't fully done with HAC. He will attend their social classes when those get up and going one day. Any type of social building classes is the kind of help that Andrew needs next.

The joy I felt today is amazing! I am just so proud of him. I think back to even one year ago and how much he has overcome since then is amazing!! So proud of you Andrew!!! I know you are going to keep on doing many great things!!


Andrew was the Harsha Autism Center's first kid to advance out of the intenstive program. It's very neat to be the "first". I love how they are going to have all of their kids put their handprint on this gown on their very last day. Hopefully, many years down the road, I can bring Andrew back to HAC as a grown man and he will see his handprint and all the other handprints of kids who have beat challenges to advance to the next level in life.

Here is Andrew with his lead coach, Lisa. I can't talk highly enough of HAC and Lisa. Andrew and Lisa have a very special, unique relationship. She has helped him blossom in many areas and I hope she knows just how special she is to him and me! Our therapists are part of our family. They are people that we will never forget.
 When I walked into Harsha today and was greeted with Andrew wearing the gown and cap that will be worn by others on their last day just made the tears come instantly. Of course, I had to get my picture took with this cute little boy..
Thank you so much Harsha Autism Center for everything that you have done to make this last day possible for Andrew. He wouldn't be where he is today if it wasn't for your amazing support and dedication to him.

He isn't going too far as he is back there tomorrow for an evaluation!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Preparing for the dentist

Here are some tips on what to do before you take your child with autism to the dentist. It's my second article for this website!!

http://www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2016/08/22/preparing-autistic-child-visit-dentist/

Bath Time is Serious Time

We take our baths very serious! Can you tell?

Where did that come from?

Nothing has ever stopped me dead in my tracks like Andrew did yesterday morning.  I don't even know where to start to be honest.
I have often said and even did a post once or twice before on how I believe that people with special needs are truly God's angels in disguise here on Earth. My boys have not only brought me closer to scripture but they have made me understand a lot of things in the Bible much better.

I also think that some people with autism have a 6th sense. I have many reasons why I believe this in both of my boys.

Andrew,my 4 year old son, sent goosebumps up and down my body yesterday morning. My breath was literally taken away from me, tears filled my eyes, and I froze looking at him in amazement.

Andrew has always been very mature for his age in certain areas. He will often talk like a mature adult. However, what he said this morning would leave almost anyone dead in their tracks. I am sure many adults would never say what he did nor be as mature to say what he did and he is only 4.

I often wonder if Andrew has a small percentage of a savant in him and he will go far in life with areas that no one would have ever imagined at one point in his life.
I won't disclose everything and won't say exactly what he said so no one has any hard feelings but WOW! In a nutshell Andrew told me that he is trying to teach  someone by his example even though he is just a kid, he is being an adult. .....HELLO!!!! What four old says he is doing adult stuff to teach other adults. WOW!!!

Like I said, I am not saying word for word but his words came out of no where! We were getting in our van ready to pull out at 7:15 on our way to OT and the words just flowed out of his mouth. I am still in shock truthfully.
Never has anything remotely close to what he said ever been taught to him. It is more like a young adult lesson and words but a four year old. Andrew has often shown and said things that are very "deep" for his age and it simply shocks me every time. His depth of understanding things in life just blows my mind. He doesn't have to be told anything, he just simply knows.

His maturity and big word choice is very common for high functioning individuals.  It is just amazing what him and Trenton teach me every day. Simply amazing!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

First Event & Pictures

I had my first event as an author this weekend:)
I just love helping others and I feel this is my way to not only help my boys but to help others. It is AMAZING where your life leads you when you let God lead you and accept it. I am very blessed. I wish the boys could have been in the picture but they weren't. I was so tired in this picture. Trenton was up the entire night on Friday. He was so stressed and couldn't settle down. It has been two months since he had a night like that. Of course, the night before his birthday and the night before my event. That is okay. I am used to doing everything on little sleep. It is something that you just get used to after awhile:)
Trenton and I before church this morning. He may not be smiling but I know he is on the inside. He stood there for the picture so I can't ask for much more!!
 Mommy said something funny right here and I captured the picture at the perfect time. I think this picture is the best picture he has ever taken. He is with his Nana and Pops in the below picture.

My words of encouragement today.....Be happy with your life. It is what it is and make the most of it with God leading you!