Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Field Trip

Andrew had a field trip today. I went along and was looking forward to a great time. Andrew and I had an excellent time. However, it was rather heartbreaking at the same time. Andrew did not engage with any of his peers the entire time. I watched as the other four and five year olds laughed and played together. Andrew was glued to my side. The more I tried to encourage him to play with his classmates, the more he got upset. "They don't like me." "They never play with me." are the words that came out of his mouth repeatedly.

I hope and pray this part of his life gets better!

He was really excited to see Tow Mater:)

This picture speaks millions to me....
The whole class has the same color of t-shirts to wear on field trips. This year the shirts are orange. Last year the color of his class t-shirt was blue. It took 20 minutes to get Andrew's t-shirt on him because it was not blue. He kept saying "It's suppose to be blue not orange." He had a very difficult time accepting that the shirts were orange and not blue this year. The first half of the trip, Andrew would not stop talking about the t-shirt. He tried repeatedly to take his shirt off. I wonder if his inability of being able to accept a different color shirt was part of his problem with not even trying to participate with his peers?!?

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Lining up

Andrew has started lining up again lately. I wonder what this means? I haven't seen him do this since he started ABA therapy two years ago.
I asked him why he lined his cars up, hoping he would say something like how he parked them or something along that line. Instead he said, " I just wanted to line them up. I like lining things up again." I said, "Oh you are parking your cars?" He said, "I am not parking the cars, I just want to line things up."

It doesn't surprise me that he has started lining up again. His autism is getting more evident as he gets older and he appears to be regressing in many ways such as with his OCD, fixations, etc.


The boys could not be more different in almost every characteristic of their autism. I read early on that when siblings had autism, they are often completely different. Wow...is it ever!
They have the diagnosis in common but how their diagnosis is portrayed is complete opposites.

I remember the first child I met after Trenton's diagnosis that had autism with the ability to talk. This child knew exactly how to talk, just like Andrew. The child was in my face asking me a hundred questions about everything that he could think of... that is exactly how Andrew is. I remember wondering what it was like to live with that boy because I was raising two boys who were unable to communicate at that time. Now, I know exactly what it is like.

Andrew talks a lot! The only time that I notice when he is very quiet is when he is uncomfortable or when his anxiety is rising.

Last week I was in Dollar General with Andrew and while we were checking out he noticed that someone had placed a book back in the wrong spot. He asked repeatedly why a book was sitting on top of the candy bars by the cashier. I answered him over and over. He started asking the cashier, "Why is this book here? It is not suppose to be here." The cashier answered his question but Andrew of course couldn't drop the subject and kept asking her over and over and asking other things over and over. The cashier literally stopped what she was doing, looked at me with the biggest eyes and said, "Wow. That's all I can say is wow."

That's just a small situation...so many other things happen daily with Andrew and his speech out in public. Andrew is all about talking to others and asking them questions that you probably shouldn't ask a stranger...

Andrew ask questions about everything and then his questions lead to more questions and then he starts talking about his questions and it never ends. He ask the same question at least three times and makes sure I answer it exactly the same way I answered it before. If I say something just slightly different then he calls me out on it and it makes him mad! For example, he asked me the other day how old I will be when he is 70. I answered 100. He asked me again, I said 100. He asked me the third time and I said old. Oh boy did he ever get mad because I said old and not 100.

He is still fixated on numbers and his conversations almost always revolved around numbers. I continue to have to answer daily how old I will be when he is 20,25,30,66,77,45....you name the number I almost guarantee he has asked me. Then he brings up someone else like Trenton or Nana  and we have to go through the whole scenario about how old he will be when that person is a certain age. It never ends!!! NO LIE!

If he isn't talking about people's age, he is talking about something that he can always turn into tons of questions.

Andrew loves to know his schedule and it helps tremendously with his anxiety. When we are discussing his week and if I need to mention something that will happen on a certain day, I can't say...."On Thursday this week you have OT." If I do, he gets mad and says, "What number Moochies?" I then have to say, "On October 6 you have OT." He organizes and balances everything out in his mind through his numbers.

Most of the time, I have to count how many yogurts he has left after he takes one to eat....or whatever he feels in his mind that he wants to know the number of. It is going to be very interesting if his number fixation sticks or if it is something that is just going on right now. One way or the other, Andrew sure does make up for what Trenton is unable to do and that is talking!

Trenton, on the other hand, has had a little more difficulty lately on being able to produce the few words that he can. Even his teacher during church mentioned this today. His speech therapist brought this up lately too.  He has a BIG stim right now and that is smacking his lips. I wondered if his new stim is playing a role with his inability to say the few words that he can. (Stim is basically a self soothing behavior.)

There is a big misunderstanding when it comes to autism. A large number of people think that if you have autism, you can't talk. That could not be any farther from the truth. One small part of autism is the inability to communicate or the inability to communicate appropriately. Trenton is unable to communicate. Andrew is able to communicate but at times he doesn't know how to communicate appropriately due to his inability to understand what is socially acceptable.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Be Still

One of my daily Bible scriptures that I received today was Be still, and know that I am God.’” Psalm 46:10a

I have thought about this verse a lot over the years, especially the last few years.
Is it hard to be still? You betcha. I know you, my reader, knows that just as much as I do. It doesn't matter what we face in life, "being still" is hard...being patient is hard.....it's all hard.

It is especially hard for me raising two boys with special needs as a single parent. Sometimes it is hard to wait on God to lead me to the next step in our life. It's hard to wait for certain answers for the boys when time is so crucial.

It's hard to be still when your child can't communicate and has so many daily challenges. As a parent, I want to help the problem and fix it right then and there! But, that is impossible.

However, we have to learn to be still and to see the beauty in the life that He gave us. God is in control of everything so we have to wait for him to guide us and to show us what is next in our journey of this crazy thing we call life.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


The boys continue to bond. Oh how I love it! I do my best to educate Andrew on Trenton's noises. The one big issue they have when they are playing together is when Andrew continues to do something that Trenton doesn't like. Trenton makes his upset noises but Andrew can't read cues like that so Andrew keeps on doing what he is doing and Trenton keeps getting more upset and the next thing we have is both boys having a tantrum. Trenton is crying cause Andrew didn't stop and Andrew is crying cause Trenton quit playing with him.  However, it will get better with time. I never thought a year ago that Trenton would enjoy his brother like he is these days:)

I caught them doing laps in the house holding hands:)
 We had lots of fun kicking a beach ball around and playing catch the other day.
 Trenton enjoyed waking Andrew up with me yesterday morning.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Ever since our journey began, the thing I heard the most from people was, "What do you do for yourself?" I would always get a lecture from people where they would tell me how I needed to take time for myself to rejuvenate, etc.

When our journey took us to Indiana almost two years ago, it was the first time since having Trenton where I was going to be "separated" from him. Before, I was on the road over two hours daily taking him to and from therapies. Now, I was going to live in the same town that had this amazing facility where I was able to drop him off for a few hours! Wow....that had never happened before. With that said, I was looking forward to the first time of being able to have time to rejuvenate and I wanted to use that time to reconnect with my husband at the time and to spend some family time with Andrew. Well, time was very limited after we moved. I had only a few hours daily away from boys and Trenton still wasn't sleeping good so the time that I was hoping for turned out to be much less than what I thought. I was sleep deprived and up around the clock still.  My husband at the time wasn't interested in family time so that time  turned into Mommy and Andrew time on Andrew's days off. I enjoyed that and still do. I never had that either before we moved.

A year ago Andrew started preschool. I had two hours while he was at preschool. During this time I started walking. I used to always work out before I had the boys and loved it. However, when babies came....and then autism.......and children who literally only let me sleep two hours per night there was no time and energy to workout. However, I had two hours and I made myself walk. During that time I started reading the book, Silent Running, about a family with two boys who are much like Trenton and they ran together as a family when their boys got older. This book inspired me to turn my walking into running.

December 2015 I started running. I looked up how to train myself to be a runner. I had a program in place. Wow....I couldn't run 15 seconds without being completely out of breath. Years of no sleep and nothing but stress had took a toll on me and my body. In the first three months I had lots of pulled muscles and injuries but I stuck with it. I am so glad that I stuck with it!!! I never thought a year ago that  I would be able to take off and run for a complete hour but I can now! I never thought I would love to run but I do! I LOVE IT!  Working out and running has done wonders for my stress. Trenton sleeps consecutive hours now so I have energy to run during the day. It is the first thing I do when the boys are at their destinations. I only have three hours each day without being with the boys, or in a meeting, or at therapy, or fighting to save our house,  or anything else that arises and let me tell you lots of stuff comes up with two kids with special needs. Therefore, I make sure to get my workout in the first thing because it truly inspires me for the rest of the day.

When I am running and struggling and wanting to quit, I think of the boys and their special needs. I think of people who are unable to use their legs. I think of the gifts that God has given to me and one of my gifts is legs that I can use!! That is my determination to keep pushing through. On some days, I feel as light as a feather sailing through the air. I feel like I could run forever and those are the days I am usually thinking of the boys and what we need to accomplish and thinking about their progress reports, etc.

So, let's go back to that question about what do I do for myself? Well, I run and workout. I finally had time to myself starting a year ago to do something for myself and it turned into running! I feel the best that I have in many years. It is a combination that I am able to get sleep now, less stress , I got an amazing schedule and routine going on with the boys, and the heartache and stress that I do have is worked out during prayer and running time.

I PROMISE you that one day I will have a post on here of Trenton and Mommy's first run together. I know that I will cry the whole time......happy tears of course!

Way to go Trenton!

After a long afternoon of promoting my book yesterday, I got to treat T-man out to supper. My parents brought him up to the event and he did very good. I would estimate that he lasted about 45 minutes before he started making his upset noises and leading me away. I am very proud of him!! Forty-five minutes at an event where there were a good number of people at, is amazing for him! I am one very proud Mommy! I just see all of our hard work paying off slowly:)
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9