Proverbs 3: 5-6
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pictures from Harsha

Harsha was able to get some great pictures of the boys the past few days!










When Nana and I picked the boys up today, Andrew said, "No home. I want more school." It was so cute!! They are so happy there and I am happy that they are so happy!!

Andrew Update

Here are a few updates on Andrew....

Andrew continues to show small improvements in his speech. He can say a lot of spontaneous things but he continues to repeat a lot of language as well. On some days the repeating is worse than other days.
Andrew LOVES Harsha! On days that he does not attend, he always asks to go. (We call Harsha, school.) Andrew says, " I want school" all the time! When I tell him we don't have school, he gets really disappointed but adjusts well to the rest of his day.

Andrew's sleep has improved a lot over the past months. He no longer wakes up in the night for an extended time period. Usually once or twice a night I hear, "Mommy! Mommy!" in the monitor. I go in his room, he takes a drink of water, and he is usually back to sleep a few minutes later. As bad as I hate being woke up by an almost three year old in the night still....I do love to hear him say my name:) It is so cute to hear him say my name.  I never take it for granted. I do hope and pray that one day I can hear Trenton say it over and over!

He still continues to go through periods where his OCD takes over and controls his days. On some days, I am the only one that can do anything with Andrew such as brush his teeth, change diapers, play with him, etc. On other days, he only wants Daddy, Nana, or Pop. If he does not want you, he will scream and say "No" over and over. It truly upsets him. In his mind he has to have the person that he wants or he goes into a huge tantrum and breakdown.

I see a change in his social play lately. He no longer imitates everything another child is doing when he is around them. However, he is very socially awkward. He likes to stand back and watch the other kid for awhile. He will walk up to the child, but Andrew will take his hand and hit the child or push him. I am not sure where this is coming from. When he is redirected and told that we don't hit other kids, then he starts imitating the actions of others. He really does have a long way to go with this area.

Andrew continues to do well at Harsha. His main goal at Harsha is to promote functional, spontaneous speech. He does well and works hard daily to meet his targets. When I received his report the other day I smiled when I read where Andrew colored a picture and said it was for Mom!

Andrew continues to receives speech and occupational therapy on Wednesday and Thursday! He does great and loves his therapies as well! I am not sure what we would do without our Harsha coaches and therapies!!  Mommy, Andrew and Trenton loves them all!!  We consider them part of our family!!

Keep up the hard work Andrew! Mommy loves you and you are a precious gift from God!





Saturday, October 18, 2014

Trenton Update


It amazes me of how different each and every person is with autism. What amazes me the most, is the difference between mild and severe. If one would really like to see this Momma get on a tantrum then ask my opinion of the high rate of autism. What do you mean you might ask? Well, I believe what one very knowledgeable doctor told me..."Cases like Trenton who are on the severe end are not 1 in 50...they are more like 1 in 500, maybe even 1 in 5000. There is much more milder cases than severe."

In my first two years of my autism journey almost every mom I met told me that it gets better as he gets older. Well, it is not getting better. In fact, it is getting worse. Yes he can repeat a word and if you ask him his colors, shapes, letters, numbers, animals, etc he can say the single word on a good day. But does he have functional speech? NO! Can he say help when he needs help? NO! Can he randomly say "mom"? NO! He does not have functional spontaneous speech at all. However, he did spontaneously say "Jenny" this week. She is one of Trenton's teachers in the ECE classroom!! This was fantastic to hear that he did that!!

He is getting worse to take places due to his aggressive, impulsive, hyperactivity. Each and every therapist that he sees on Wednesday and Thursday has noticed it and is very worried about him. He cries, kicks, hits, throws items during his therapy sessions. My conclusion is that he is getting a little more aware of what he can and can't do. Therefore, he is trying to get out of the task....which is very typical of autistic kids. I remember studying and learning all about this during my college years.
His sensory processing disorder is worsening. His whole body is wired completely different than ours and as he gets older, he can't control his body. Unfortunately, in many cases of severe autism it never gets better...instead...it gets worse. I really do fear this. It pulls at my heart strings each and every day.

I received Trenton's monthly report from Harsha. They are tracking his maladaptive behaviors which appear to have multiple functions.  Trenton has many targets that he works on there which falls in the categories of communication, instructional control, listener response,motor imitation, and social.  These are very hard for Trenton and he works hard every day while he is at Harsha.

I would have to say the biggest improvement in Trenton since starting at Harsha is holding my hand, which we call "Safety hands". They work real hard with Trenton on this and it is helping! He will hold my hand with no problem walking into Harsha, school, or therapy. My goodness....he even held my hand at the walk last weekend! I could not be more pleased with this!
With autism, our joys and triumphs are a far cry from the neurotypical child. On most days, I totally forget what Trenton should be doing at his age if it wasn't for autism. When I see something that reminds me, I am left in total shock and totally depressed. Both my boys were robbed in this life....and it sickens me every day to think how hard their life is.

Mommy did get some smiles when we played with some bubbles this morning!!





More smiles playing "blast off" with Daddy!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Potty!


Andrew is showing a few signs of being aware of the potty. Now, how in the world do I find time to potty train him when I have to be by Trenton's side 24/7??? Any advice would be appreciated!!! It is going to be extremely tough to potty train Andrew due to his autism. However, he is finally not screaming at a toilet and not kicking at it anymore. YAY...this is progress!!
He peed on the potty the other day. Mommy did a happy dance and he loved it!


Andrew gave the rest of his breakfast to Sulley the other morning and then lined up our chairs in a line with Sully.


Trenton continues to fall asleep anywhere and everywhere. However, he has slept really good this week!! YAY!!!



Dear Autism

Dear Autism,

You made me have one of the worst days yesterday. If I could take you and punch the living day lights out of you I would!! I have never in my wildest dreams have had such ill feelings in my life until you took over in my boys bodies!

A simple dental appointment should not be more stressful than my state teaching exams I took in college but it is! Way more stressful! A simple dental appointment should not make me sweat more than I did back in my high school basketball days! A simple dental appointment should not put the look of terror on my child's face. A look that is indescribable.

It took three adults to hold him down. He twisted, turned, and put his body in the most unimaginable positions trying to escape. Mommy could not say anything to calm him. It's as if I am not even around when he has this high of fear and anxiety.  Mommy has no role. He doesn't even want me to protect him. I am nothing when he is put into this type of situation. I SHOULD BE SOMETHING!!! I should be who he wants to run to. He should want me to protect him and hold his hand!!!

The screams and cries were as if he was being brutally and slowly murdered. The screams and cries started within three minutes of just simply walking into the dentist office.

He was so terrified he bit the dentist finger which then led the dentist to do an automatic reaction of pulling back his finger. However, he had a utensil in his hand which cut Trenton's lip. Once Trenton saw his blood...the scene went from  bad to worse.

However, it doesn't even stop there! Due to the fact that you left Trenton with severe sensory problems.....he can not tolerate brushing his teeth. Just  the simple act of brushing teeth feels like his mouth is being stabbed with knives over and over. Therefore, do you think it is a pleasant scene brushing his teeth? Heck no! Its a huge battle that I can never win. Unfortunately, he has some major teeth problems. Trenton will have to be put under to have his mouth worked on. His problem is not like Andrew's. Trenton's mouth problem is due to the lack of being able to brush his teeth properly. In fact, after we were done with the dentist, he looked at me and said, "Mom is it that bad every time you try to brush his teeth good?" I replied with, "yes". The dentist then praised me for even trying to brush his teeth. Trenton was the strongest 4 year old he has ever seen.

After the appointment, I had to listen to Trenton cry and fuss all the way to Salem. His body had enough of fussing and he fell asleep for the remainder of the trip home.  He kicked, swung his arms around, threw items across the van until he fell asleep. I was one stressed, tired, mad, angry at the world Momma!

Thus when we got home, he was so mad still, crying and upset. I thought for sure he could not be still angry about the dentist. I showed him his iPad and he hit the button for "school" and said, "school". He wanted to go to school and was upset that we were home. He knows his schedule and was mad that I had to cancel school for the dentist. He can't understand when I tell him that we have no school. He can't understand when I tell him he will go the next day....instead he just cries and screams. He is 4 years old.......he should not still be crying like a 4 month old not understanding everything.  You make Trenton's life miserable and mine autism! I will always fight against you to win back everything that I can in Trenton. I will succeed!!

As always,
A Warrior Mom


Trenton sucked on his blanket all the way home...
 until he eventually fell asleep

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lincoln

Andrew has had fun with Lincoln this past week.

They have rode horses together.



Rode a train together.
 Played on a playground together.

And slept together!











     Andrew never takes naps. However, we had Lincoln for a little while yesterday and he fell asleep and so did Andrew a short time later.....maybe we need Lincoln all the time!




Updates on everything will be coming soon! Mommy has been very busy and extremely tired lately to post...