Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Slideshow

A slideshow of our year in review. I put this together really quick so it may not be the best.


http://www.photoshow.com/watch/sQ7uc2rk

Goodbye 2015

As we say  goodbye to 2015, I can't help but think about all that has happened this year. This year has definitely had its ups and downs. I have learned that some of my fears heading into 2015 actually helped me learn a lot more about myself. I am not going into every high and low of 2015, but I do want to point out that God sure has blessed me and the boys. We were lucky enough to have another healthy year together and that is all that matters. Our days are not exactly like I imagined my life but when it comes down to it, it isn't about what I want or what I want for my children, its about what God gives us and finding the joy in what he provides for us. Our life isn't easy by any means but we make the most of it. I embrace my boys and their challenges and we live our life to the fullest. We take advantaged of what God has provided us and we are determined to get the most out of our life while helping others.

If I could think of one big accomplishment that I did this year, it was getting Trenton trained to fall asleep in his bedroom. It only took 5 years but right around his 5th birthday was when he stopped falling asleep all over the house. I can't tell you how HUGE this is for Trenton and I!! The second biggest accomplishment was getting him trained to stay in his bedroom at night when he is awake! WOW! This one was really not easy to accomplish and  I still have to battle him in the night with keeping him in his bedroom but we manage! It is not pretty and we are nothing but quiet but almost every night we do manage to stay in his room.

I know it may seem like such easy, simple, human-nature task but they were very difficult for us! Like I said, it took me  5 years but we finally accomplished it! I am looking forward to what the next five years brings us?!?!? Hopefully I can say that he is sleeping through the night EVERY night:)

The big thing I accomplished with Andrew this year was getting him out in public! I took advantage of this immediately after moving to Terre Haute last year. This was really not easy either. Thinking back to the year as a whole and everything I went through to get Andrew over some of his social challenges, it is a wonder I have any hair left. Oh wow....the stories I could tell about what Andrew put me through this year in public. HA..I have to just laugh at them or I would go crazy:)

Most importantly, we had another full year together! Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Each day God gives us is a blessing! As long as God continues to grant me and my boys good health and many more days a head of us, then we are the luckiest people in the world. I will take that along with all the challenges autism brings any day:)

 Our selfie with Pepper:)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

We need our normal routine back now!

The quote, "When you've met one child with autism, you've met one child with autism." could not be more true when it comes to autism.

I have pushed myself to do many functions  the past few years when I knew exactly what I was getting myself in for afterwards. However, I always put others first and thought of everyone else so I did it. It gets so tiring trying to explain the "aftermath" to people. Some chose to listen and understand while others just don't get it and never will.
I could only imagine how hard it would be to understand the "aftermath" when everything seems to be going so well at the time. Autism is very hard to understand in the first place.

The boys, particularly Trenton, appeared to be managing all the Christmas festivities just great when they were going on. While some individuals with severe autism can not handle it at the time, others can. When they handle it well at the time, they release later. This year the boys had two Christmases back to back days and I will NEVER do that again. Both days the boys handled the extra stimulation well. They managed the out of routine schedule great. However, by Sunday this week, their bodies, especially Trenton, had enough and he started releasing. It was three days of releasing at home. Trenton could not focus on anything at home other than his new toys. It controlled his life at home. If I needed him to do something else, he went into a tantrum or meltdown. It has been terrible! Bringing in one new toy isn't bad but when we bring home twenty new items, he can't handle it. Next year I am going back to what we did when he was 2 and 3 and that is open one present a day and I am NOT going to feel guilty about not participating in Christmas. I am the one that manages the aftermath so I get to call the shots! Seriously.....Trenton was awake at 3 AM on Monday pulling every new item out of his closet and lining them up all over the house.  He was so focused on his new items that he couldn't get his brain off of it. He was like a drug addict having withdrawal....it wasn't a pretty sight.
When he was at Harsha this week, he did great....which makes sense to me...no new items there....no new toys there....no one there participated in his extra stimulation on Christmas and the day after so he was happy as a lark and had a great week. However, when he got home and saw his new toys, he went into sensory overload all over again.
When Trenton and Andrew are stressed, it is not good for either one of them. Trenton will pace and become restless and make certain noises out of his mouth. Andrew normally becomes more timid, shy, and picks his nose.  When Trenton is in distress he can't just come out of it like a neurtoypical person can. It will take him either all day to de-stress himself or a few days. Trenton has been extremely irritable at home. I haven't seen him this irritable in a very long time.

 Tonight was the first time in a few days where he seemed to be getting back to somewhat of a normal routine at night.

Below are two very short clips of Trenton's behavior since Christmas. The behavior that you see is what he has done the past few days. Needless to say, I can't wait till January 4th when everything is back to normal!! My boys have a hard enough life and just the slightest "out of their normal routine" function can dictate their whole day, week, or life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HlQcUobiTs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERA3haupMsQ


Individuals with mild autism cope with their anxiety well at the time but they tend to bottle it all up. It has a detrimental affect on them and leads  to high depression and suicidal rates which is so very sad. Andrew just like others with mild autism blends in well with others. However, last night Andrew made it very clear to me that he needs his routine and normal life back too. Andrew could not fall asleep because his mind was on his schedule. He kept saying.." I need my schedule back Mom. I need to go to pre-school and then Harsha and come home and play with you. Is that going to happen tomorrow?" His mind could not focus on anything else. He talked about his schedule all night long!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Die A Happy Man

Have you heard the Country song, Die A Happy Man by Thomas Rhett?
It is my new favorite song. It has such a powerful, strong message! Thomas Rhett wrote the song for his wife. The love that he has for his spouse is amazing! What he says in that song is so true!!!! We don't need fancy vacations or a huge dream house. We don't have to drive the most expensive car.  If all we have are the people that we love in our life than that is all we need!

Chorus
And I know that I can't ever tell you enough
That all I need in this life is your crazy love
If I never get to see the Northern lights
Or if I never get to see the Eiffel Tower at night
Oh if all I got is your hand in my hand
Baby I could die a happy man yeah


Every time I hear this song I get chills. It is so true! Materialistic items, vacations, extra-curricular activities do not mean  anything. The important things in life is family and spending every day with the people you love!
I am lucky enough to spend every day with the two best blessings ever! Of course I would love to take a vacation....before I became a special needs mother I had lots of places I wanted to visit in life. I had lots of items I wanted to check off my bucket list. However, I am very confident that I will never accomplish any of them because special needs children changes things. But, just like Thomas Rhett says.....If  I never get to ......it's okay. I'll still die a happy person because I get to spend every day with the two most amazing sons ever! Family is all that matters:)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

One Year Ago

One year ago today we moved to Terre Haute. I remember the excited but scared feeling moving to a new town with no family and friends. Nonetheless, it was for the boys, especially Trenton. We had to do it for him to have the best life that he can possibly have. As his mother,  I don't think God would expect anything else from me. Our autism journey was leading us to Terre Haute and I had a choice to take the path there for the boys and make it work or take the more selfish path and stay around family. Obviously, we all know which path I took. It is truly amazing how ALL THINGS ARE POSSBILE WITH GOD!

However, if someone would have told me one year ago when we were moving that I would find myself in the  middle of a divorce one year later, I would not have believed them. It is truly amazing how much can happen in one year.

The one thing that remains and will always remain is my loyalty and love to my children. I never wanted to look back and say, " What if I moved to Terre Haute? What kind of life would Trenton have?" I can definitely live the rest of this life with none of those questions. No regrets!!

Nothing makes me happier than knowing that my son who needs ABA full time is getting it!!!  If that means making it work in Terre Haute for the rest of my life on my own, than that is what is going to happen! We are a family that puts all of our trust in the Lord!


Besides everything else that goes along with the holidays, I sure did enjoy my Christmas with my two angels:)



1 Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.1 If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides,2 so that in all things God may be praised3 through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Ball Pit

Trenton's body continues to crave a lot of sensory input. Lately we have spent a lot of time in our sensory room.  We had a great time to say the least in our ball pit last night. These two boys always know how to bring a smile to my face!!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Sorry. Sorry.

Are you ever bothered by something and you just can't get it off your mind?

Over the weekend while Trenton was crying, kicking and having a tantrum (this is his way of communicating) he yelled out, "Sorry. Sorry." Oh how my heart fell immediately. My eyes filled with tears instantly. I just can't stop thinking about it! He does not want to behave like he does at times but it is simply what his body does. I am confident that every time he has tantrums and meltdowns, he is saying "sorry" in his head. It just simply doesn't come out of his mouth every time.

I can't stop thinking of about this whole situation. It was heartbreaking to watch him behave like he was while saying, "Sorry. Sorry."
I can't imagine living in his body! Trenton is my inspiration! He pushes me to be so strong every day!

Items

Before he fell asleep, he lined up his items just the way he wanted them. Love this boy so much and love every unique thing about him:)


 Psalm 127:3-5 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Whew! What a week!

Whew!!! What a week! Between two dental appointments, one hospital appointment that involved anesthesiology, a Christmas program, and two Christmas parties...it has been one busy week! Needless to say we've had lots of difficult times and a few times that involved four people holding Trenton down in a hospital bed while he was in a complete meltdown with sensory overload. Oh and we did this all after having horrible, sleepless nights with both boys. However, we have had some fabulous times as well. We focus on the good and that is what keeps us going:)  There is nothing better in the world than taking care of my two sons! The difficult times seem to disappear between all the hugs, kisses, and love I get from my two favorite people in the whole world.


We played with lots of play doh today. Andrew grabbed the play doh scissors and wanted to give Mommy a haircut while I took his picture. Ha...he cracks me up!

Nothing melts my heart more than hearing Andrew say, "Mommy, you are a good Mommy." I think he tells this to me every day at least 5 or 6 times a day.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Video

The following link is a video of what life is like many of days. For one complete hour yesterday both boys were crying and wanted me only. Andrew was irritable from his procedure he had done yesterday morning. His anxiety was going wild from the extra sensory input that he had yesterday. Trenton was extremely exhausted after a total sleepless night on Sunday. He was so tired but his body was not able to filter out the extra stimulation that he had to let him sleep. Trenton and I had about 2 hours of sleep in a 30 hour period. Therefore, when he is already tired from lack of sleep, his body sometimes does not filter out the world and relax. I only recorded a real short minute of his meltdown. This was after the dangerous part of the meltdown and he is "calming"down at this point. I do not and will not record the "heart of the meltdown" because I am up and making sure he is not going to hurt himself.

My parents were here for the day on Monday. My mom got Trenton to his therapy while my father worked on the house and I was with Andrew. Unfortunately, it doesn't matter if I have 20 people to help me...when both boys are tired and have capped out on their sensory input from the day....this is what Mommy gets to handle. Unfortunately, some things such as doctors, dentist, etc...can't be helped.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjpyl5XKuaA

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Smiles

Trenton is very in tune to the world and people around him. Like I mentioned in my last post, he is very protective of me. He is very in tuned to his environment and what is going on. He  can't express things like neurotypical people do so he communicates through his behavior. I can tell exactly what Trenton is feeling through his noises and behaviors. I have taken enough notes through the years to know exactly what is going on with him, how he is feeling, and why. Actually, I learned how to do this in college...ABC (antecedent behavior consequence.)

If Andrew is very upset about something and I am trying to take care of him then Trenton gets very upset. Trenton is unable to verbalize and do the things that most neurotypical people do to calm themselves down. Therefore, Trenton cries, hits, destroys items, goes in meltdown, or does all the other autism behaviors that most children with severe autism do.
Mommy has been very down lately and I 100% know that Trenton has picked up on it. I could tell through his behaviors. However, we had a GREAT weekend! Trenton has been so happy the last few days, especially this weekend. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE seeing him so happy:)


Look at his smiles in these pictures! LOVE IT!!!!
 All smiles first thing this morning!

We had some of his animals friends joining us in the living room this weekend.


Luke 6:38 
 

"Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure--pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return

Friday, December 11, 2015

"Sixth Sense"

Trenton and I have a very special bond. Honestly, the bond that we have can't be explained in words. I have really found out lately that even though he is non-verbal and appears to be in his own world most of the time, he knows exactly what is going on. He knows exactly what his mommy is feeling and he is extremely protective of me. I have heard from numerous sources that children who are severely affected by autism tend to have like a sixth sense with "their person". I am Trenton's person and I most definitely think he has a special "sixth sense" with me:)


Top 100 Best Websites for Speech Pathology

I am elated to make the top 100 best websites for speech pathology for the second year in a row!!! WHOOOHOOOO!!! That is what this blog is all about! I am very excited that people are learning from my boys!

http://kidmunicate.com/best-speech-pathology-websites-and-blogs-2016

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Autism & Spinning

 Many children like to spin. For children with autism, spinning can be soothing. They like the repetition of the spinning motion. Spinning can also serve as a response to their vestibular and proprioceptive sensory problems.
The past few weeks Trenton's sensory problems have been out of whack! He has been battling some strong vestibular and proprioceptive problems. In other words, he has had difficulty feeling his body in space. A huge indicator of this is when he wants a lot of deep pressure. We have been doing lots of deep pressure techniques at home lately.
When Trenton gets over stimulated while having vestibular and proprioceptive problems, he spins non-stop. I know children like to spin. However, it is a whole different ballgame for Trenton. He will spin for a very long time without getting dizzy. Below is a real short video as an example of what he looks like spinning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QlOnJXl-IY

The video can look simply like a child who likes to spin. Sadly, Trenton isn't doing it for pure enjoyment. He is doing it to help feel his body and to calm his sensory and anxiety problems.


The below link is a great website that discusses sensory processing disorder.

http://www.whattoexpect.com/developmental-delays-in-children/sensory-processing-disorder-in-children.aspx

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Best Gift of The Season!


I’ve seen a lot on the internet lately about the understanding Santa Claus who got on the floor with the child with autism and played toys with him. I know that little boy’s parents were beyond thankful for what that Santa Claus did for their child. As a fellow autism parent, I am very grateful for that outstanding Santa Claus and very happy for the parents to do something "normal". I know all too well what that feels like!

I don’t have a story about an understanding Santa Claus but I do have a story about some understanding people. Yesterday was the first time I have had a stranger help me out in the way these people did. It was the first time that NOT everyone was staring at me in disgust. I actually had some “angels” nearby who helped me when I needed it the most.

After church on Sunday I took the boys to see Santa Claus at the mall. I walked in hand in hand with Trenton sweating bullets of anticipation of not knowing how it will go. My parents were walking with Andrew and taking care of him so my focus was on Trenton. I was so proud of the way he walked hand in hand in the mall with me right to the Santa Claus line. Unfortunately, we were about 30 seconds late of being able to walk right up to Santa Claus. I just wanted to scream, “No, please stop. Let us go first.” As I watched the other two families beat me to the head of the line.

Just as I expected, Trenton was not going to wait. He kept pulling his body away from me, making his upset noises, throwing himself down on the ground, kicking, and trying to grab everything in sight. His noises were growing louder and louder. I didn’t focus on anyone around me other than Trenton. I took Trenton out of the line while my mother stood in line holding our spot. Within seconds, the people in front of us said that we could go ahead of them!!!!!!!!!

What?!?!? Someone actually understands and is not judging me!!

“Thank you! Thank you!” I kept saying over and over. Never before in my life did I want to hug and kiss complete strangers.

“Oh thank you. You don’t know how much this means to me. He has severe autism and can’t help it.” I said

One lady looked at me with such empathetic eyes and said, “Trust me honey. I completely understand.”

Trenton sat on Santa’s lap and I did get a picture of the boys with Santa. However, what happened after Santa’s lap got everyone’s attention in the mall. Trenton wanted the animal the photographer was holding to get the children to look at the camera.  We caused a scene. I can’t even begin to describe what happened but it happened. My purse flew off my shoulder with all of my items dumping out while trying to handle Trenton. I ended up having to pick him up and carrying him out parallel to the ground with kicking legs and swinging arms. I think everyone could hear his noises, cries, and screams bouncing off the walls at the mall. Thank goodness for my mom who was picking up the pieces after us such as his shoes, toys, etc.

After getting in the van and getting Trenton strapped in his car seat, he continued to fuss and cry. I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Was that even worth it?”

Well, the answer is yes! Yes it was worth it. The smile on his face walking into the mall was priceless!  It was more than worth it!!

To the family who let us go ahead of them, thank you! You will never know how much that meant to me. Your act of kindness and empathy was exactly what I needed. It is not easy taking a child with a severe hidden disability out in public. For once in my life, we had someone help us and not judge us. Thank you thank you! You gave me the best Christmas gift that I will get this season! I wish I knew who you were and where you lived because I would love to bring you a gift to show you my appreciation!

 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Happy Pacing

I have received a lot of feedback from people ever since I started blogging about autism that they like videos because it helps them understand some characteristics of autism better. I haven't done many  videos lately at all. However, I found one from this summer. In this video you will see what "pacing" looks like with Trenton. When Trenton is in a good mood and is waiting in a place that he is familiar with, he does happy pacing. In this video you will see what happy pacing looks like for Trenton. He is unable just to sit and wait at therapy before his therapist is ready. Therefore, he paces. Most of the time it is happy pacing. However, if he is having a difficult morning he paces while screaming and crying.
I could not figure how to turn the video around so you may have to tilt your head:)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bz4LHUTGfpQ

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Please stay tuned.

I'm getting several messages wondering where I have been. I just wanted to let my followers know that I will be back to blogging one day soon. Please stay tuned:)
I'm just taking a little break right now due to family issues.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Sensory Overload Video

This sensory overload video was done in a store. However, this is what it is like for the boys when they go to unfamiliar houses with people in it and everyone is talking. It is what it is like everywhere except for the comfort of their own home. Unfortunately, Trenton can even get sensory overload in his own house. The plus side in being at his own house, he is able to go to his bedroom which is his "safe" area to help him calm down.
Sometimes the sensory overload can happen immediately or it may take a few minutes to an hour to happen. It depends on their day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcS2VUoe12M

This next video is what it is like for a person with autism to simply walk down a street. Once again, I have no doubt that this is what both boys experience. For the most part, Andrew verbally tells me everything that the person in this video thinks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plPNhooUUuc

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Day My World Stopped

To the families who are just receiving their child's diagnosis, hang in there! Here is a short summary of what it felt like on that life changing day. I hope you can find some comfort in reading this.


I remember the numbness that overcame my body after hearing the words, “Trenton has autism.”  It was August 2, 2012 just two weeks shy of his second birthday. I knew in my heart that he had autism but hearing it from a professional takes the waves of emotions to a whole new level.

We had already been through hell and back in Trenton’s first two years of his life. Nothing made sense from what he had put us through the past year. Yet, it all made sense now with one word, autism.

As I felt my body go numb, I could feel the room spinning around me.

“Don’t pass out Angie.” I kept telling myself. I looked at the doctor as she was talking to us but I can’t exactly tell you what she was saying. Her lips were simply moving to me but I didn’t hearing anything after the word autism.

How could this be happening? Why my child? Why God why?

I finally collected myself. “What do we do now?” I asked fumbling over my words.

The doctor went on to explain how she would write a script for ST, OT, and ABA.  That’s it? I kept asking myself.  Finally, I asked her what I had been thinking and sadly, she said, “Yes that is it. Just get him in as much therapy as possible in order to give him the most productive life that he can have.”

Soon we were walking out of her office with only a script for therapy. How could this be happening?

The two hour car ride home that day was silent. Not one word was uttered between my husband and I. Our world seemed to have stopped. Yet at the same time, every one else’s was going strong.  I kept looking at our sweet little boy in the back seat. He was so precious. So sweet. Yet, he just received his life changing diagnosis that would forever rock our world.

The days following his diagnosis seem like a blur. I was a special education teacher at that time and I started my school year. I walked into work every day after being up all night with my child who never slept. I was sleep deprived to say the least.  I heard story after story of everyone’s fun summer vacations. I heard about everyone’s fun weekends. Their life was still going on but mine had still stopped! My child just received a diagnosis of autism. How can the world still keep going?

I learned rather quickly how to face my fears and how to put one foot in front of the other foot. The world that stopped for me slowly started up again. However, the world I once knew was gone and we welcomed a new world. A world full of OT, ST, and ABA quickly started.  I soon realized that our new world wasn’t so bad even during its times of tribulations and trials.  It may just be a little harder than the average family but it is an amazing world once you accept it. It is a very unique journey that God blessed me with and I am forever thankful!

I will never forget how I felt the day of Trenton’s diagnosis. Unfortunately, I went through the same numbness with my second child a year and a half later when he received his diagnosis. The world may stop for you during your child’s diagnosis but once  your world starts up again, it is an amazing ride.



Sunday, November 22, 2015

Potty Training!

Since March of this year I have seen more of toilets than I have ever wanted to see. I have said the word, "potty time" enough times that if I got paid by how many times I have said it the last 8 months, I'd be rich. I have been peed on, hit at, kicked at, scratched at, screamed at, and even my hair pulled at so many times that I have just wanted to crawl in a ball and cry at the end of each day. Just when I was on the brink of feeling like a failure when it came to potty training a child with severe autism, I finally saw the light this weekend! I got a glimmer of hope!

After talking to his team at Harsha, we decided to change things up at home. I ordered a portable potty and it finally came in Saturday morning. I put the potty in his room and that is where he went all day on Saturday and Sunday. One of my biggest challenges with Trenton at home was transitioning him to the toilet in the bathroom from where he was. Most of the time he would be in his room. Trenton put up some huge fights to not leave his room to go to the bathroom. Potty training was going no where at home until the portable potty came in! He gladly sits on the potty in his room and smiles and pees!!!!!!!!!!!!! Today, he didn't have an accident until 6:00 PM!!!! DO YOU KNOW HOW AMAZING THIS IS?!?!?!?

He is unable to communicate when he needs to go so it is a matter of taking him to the toilet every 30 minutes. It has been brutal and exhausting but I finally felt a glimmer of hope for Trenton this weekend! We still have many months if not years of potty training him but I can see progress and it is awesome!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Andrew's final birthday party

Andrew celebrated his birthday with the Conrad's today!! The boys had a great time with everyone. Once again Andrew was blessed with some great gifts.

Andrew was such a sweet little boy and let Trenton open half of his gifts. Andrew can be such a great brother:)


Reading his birthday cards with Uncle Sol.
Oh, What's that Grandpa!!!!
 It's a Spiderman scooter!!

Andrew was too excited about his gifts, he wouldn't look at the camera. He just wanted to look at all of his gifts.


Trenton loves the Spiderman scooter too!
I love Trenton's face in the background of this picture! Trenton loves birthday parties!!!
Putting together his Spiderman Lego set.

Trenton did an amazing job playing with toys today! It was the best day that he has had in a long time playing with appropriate toys!!! It is amazing what we can get excited about!!



Friday, November 20, 2015

Better to give than to receive

Andrew has been talking a lot about Christmas ever since he was at his cousin Lincoln's house last weekend. (They had their Christmas tree up so that triggered it.) Anyway, as Andrew and I were talking about Christmas on Thursday, I explained how it is more important to give than to receive. I asked him if he would like to help some less fortunate kids and he said, "Sure Mom!"
I said, "You know how you love to open presents?"
Andrew says, "Oh yeah, Mom. I love presents."
I said, "Well, would you like to help Mommy buy some presents for some kids whose Mommy and Daddy can't afford presents?"
Andrew says, "Oh they don't have money for  toys?"
I said, "No, some parents don't have money for toys so we should help them so they have toys for Christmas."
Andrew says," Ok, Mom. But can you save money for me so I can have some toys?"

I also went on to explain how some people don't have a lot of money for food either. Andrew said, "They have mouths to eat with right?"
I said, "Yes they have mouths but just not money to buy food with."
Andrew said, "Ok we need to buy them food as long as you save money to buy me food too."

This morning when Andrew woke up the first thing he said was, "Let's buy toys and food for some kids today."

I found a great charity place in town and Andrew and I bought some toys for the less fortunate kids and we bought some food for a Thanksgiving drive.



Here he is buying a toy:)
 He picked out green beans, corn, and spinach:)

Andrew with his three bags of toys, socks, and bath bubbles:) He made sure he carried all three bags into the charity place and handed them to the lady. He said, "These are for the kids."
 He walked into the store and dropped his two bags of groceries into the Thanksgiving food drive container.
 I was beyond proud of him today. If I had tons of money, Andrew would have spent it today on others and not himself. He kept on picking up toys and he would say, "The kids would like this Mom."
It is amazing what a person can teach a young child. This world is becoming more scary by the day. If more people would just teach their children at a young age about how to treat others, than maybe this world would be a better place!

Later in the day, Andrew ask me, "Do the kids have their food yet Mom. They need to eat it."
I just love his big heart!!!  I am really trying to teach him to always put others first:)




Thursday, November 19, 2015

Holidays & Autism-It's that time of year again

My article at Autismawareness.com this week is titled, Holidays and autism- It's that time of year again. Click on the link below and enjoy it!!


http://autismawareness.com/holidays-and-autism-its-that-time-of-year-again/#.Vk5qaHldHIU

Job

Have you heard the saying, " They have the patience of Job." Many people may know where that comes from but to the ones who don't, Job was a man in the Old Testament. He had everything. He had a large family, great health, wealth, and every blessing that anyone would ever need. Satan didn't like it. Satan told God, “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.  But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face” (Job 1:9-11).

God accepted the challenge from Satan. God knew that Job was a righteous man and that he wasn't just a follower of him because he was blessed. Before he knew it, Job lost everything. He lost his family, wealth; he simply lost everything.

Here we can plainly see Job’s reaction:  he worshiped God, he said that he came into this world with nothing and will return with nothing, the Lord has taken away all he had except his wife – and his wife told him to “curse God and die” – and Job also blessed the name of the Lord.  In all of this, “Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong!”   He blessed God’s name, he worshiped God, and he did not sin.  Satan must have been angry at Job’s response.  Job suffered unjustly and yet he did not blame God or say, “why me?”

Job is an amazing example of how we all should be during our trials in life.  I believe that our trials and tribulations only make us stronger if we allow them to. However, it takes a believer and someone that has faith to turn their trials into triumphs. There is not one week that goes by that I don't think about Job and how he conducted himself during his trials in life. What an amazing example that is provided for us to follow. When I have my times of getting down, I think of Job and I am immediately ok! Job is one of my heroes of the Bible! He is a true example of how people should live. He didn't blame anyone for his trials. Not one person! Not even God. What an amazing man he was. He simply grabbed the bull by the horns and lived his life to the fullest during his trials. Wow! What an amazing example!!!

Just think what kind of a world we could live in if everyone had the patience of Job!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

My Little Indian

My adorable Little A dressed up as an Indian today for school. I bet you can't guess what they are learning about this week?


We had fun before school and I showed him how to do an Indian dance.
He had a blast dressing up with all the other little Indians and pilgrims at his school today.

Andrew

I have talked a lot lately to Andrew about Trenton. Yes, Andrew has challenges himself but he is smart enough to understand things. This is my conversation with Andrew.

Mommy, "Andrew, one day Trenton may need you to help take care of him. Will you do that for Mommy."
Andrew, " So I will stay home and take care of Trenton like you take care of me and Trenton?"
Mommy, "Yes. Do you think you can do that?"
Andrew, "I will stay home one day and be a Mommy and take care of you and Trenton."
Mommy, " You would be called a Daddy because you are a boy."
Andrew, "I will stay home with Trenton and you and be a Daddy."
Mommy, "Sounds like a plan to me Bubba."

A little while later Andrew says, "Don't ever leave me Mommy. I want to live with you forever."
Mommy, "One day you may want to live by yourself like a big boy."
Andrew, "No, I want to live with you. Don't ever leave me like the autism walk, ok?"
(Andrew was very upset the morning of the autism walk. He ended up adjusting without me around but he has been a bit traumatized. He brings it up almost weekly. He dealt fine without me that day but his anxiety was going strong inside of him without me. He finds a lot of comfort in me. After all, I am the always there to help him and do whats best for him.)

Andrew had a talk with Uncle Brian over the weekend about Ledger and it was so sweet. Here is my conversation today with him about Ledger.

Andrew, "So Ledger will talk one day when he is big."
Mommy, "We hope so. Not everyone is blessed with the ability to talk but we hope and pray he is."
Andrew, "We are thankful we can talk."
Mommy, "Yes we are."
Andrew, "We hope Ledger can talk one day when he is big."


On Friday night on our way to Flora, Andrew randomly touches Trenton and says, "We will get you to talk one day Bubba, I promise."
My eyes filled with tears instantly! I am so proud of the way Andrew is with Trenton. Not one days goes by that I don't talk to Andrew about Trenton and this just proves that I am doing the right thing.


Last week when I went to Harsha and his preschool to his birthday parties, Andrew thought it was the best thing ever. It was amazing the way he would run up to me and say, "My Mommy is here!" and jump into my arms. After both times he said, "Thank you for coming Mommy. That was so nice and sweet of you."

Andrew has really listened to me when I have enforced manners and thoughtfulness! Love this boy so much!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

50/50

Approximately 50% of the time, I watch Trenton cry for an extended period of time before he falls asleep. Sometimes his tears can be during a meltdown. The meltdown is usually caused from Trenton being frustrated with his body and sensory problems. The meltdown can also be caused out of frustration of not being able to fall asleep.

Other times, his tears are sad, quiet tears. Both types of tears are heartbreaking to watch. These tears last for a few hours as well. I'm not sure which type of tears are harder to watch. Both are gut wrenching for a parent to have to watch their child go through. I am fairly certain that his sad, quiet tears are from being mad with the fact that he can't fall asleep. It takes lots of time for Trenton to fall asleep.

Not only is it gut wrenching to watch but it is very mentally draining. No parent likes to watch their child suffer with anything. We want to make things right for our children. We want to make things better for our children when they are enduring hard times. We want nothing but the best for our children. Every single night I am reminded that I can't make it better for Trenton. Trenton and I are reminded every single night just how rough life is.

It is one thing to watch your child suffer and cry when they can communicate. When Andrew is frustrated with his challenges he can talk to me. I know that he is understanding what I am saying. With Trenton's inability to talk back to me to let me know he understands what I am saying just makes it extremely harder....It makes the challenge and the mental pain excruciating.

I am very grateful and thankful for the other 50% of the time when I don't have to watch Trenton's meltdowns and sad tears. It is amazing to me how different his nights can be.


James 1:12
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him

Monday, November 16, 2015

Our Life With Autism

Please click on the link below and read the article. It is an article that I wrote for, Her View From Home. If my article gets lots of clicks, I can become a monthly writer for this website.

Thanks so much for the support.

http://herviewfromhome.com/our-life-with-autism/

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Birthday Party

Andrew celebrated his birthday this weekend with Mommy's family. Andrew was born less than four hours away from sharing his birthday with Nana. Therefore, we celebrated her birthday too. It was a fun-filled day!




 Grandma & Grandpa Great even wore the party hats:)


 Andrew was very thankful for his gifts.

 He had to cover his eyes for one gift....
 This was his reaction when he saw it...

 Andrew loves his Spiderman bike!
 Andrew gave Nana her gift that he picked out for her and it was a Superman doll....lol!



 Enjoying a bike ride!!

 The boys loved the pinata!

The highlight of the day was Trenton walking around saying, "Happy Birthday to you." IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Andrew

At four years old, Andrew is a hoot!! He brings so much spirit and life to our family. Yes, he has his share of trials due to his mild autism but he has so many strengths at the same time. Andrew's progress has been incredible since starting therapy and especially since starting ABA 21 hours a week one year ago. In less than a year Andrew overcame his echolalia through his hard work. It is truly fascinating to look back at  his first four years of life to see his progress.

Here he his with his preschool teacher making a craft before his birthday celebration yesterday morning.

 He had a great time celebrating with his class.
Below are a few  things that Andrew is working hard on at Harsha.

 Waiting (EFL): Andrew will wait for 11 minutes after requesting a highly preferred item or activity.
• Group (VB-MAPP 9-M): Andrew will sit in a group for five minutes without disruptive behavior or attempting to leave the group.
• Intraverbal (VB-MAPP 15-M): Andrew will answer four different rotating WH questions about a single topic for six different topics.
• Intraverbal Associations (H9): Andrew will fill in the function when given the item.
• Intraverbal Associations (H8): Andrew will fill in the item when given the function.


I love how Andrew sees the world! He shows such innocence through everything. Individuals with mild autism take language literal and can not understand the other ways that  neurotypical people use language. A few examples below...
  • His coach told him he was going to turn into a cookie and he really thought he was going to.
  • I told him the other morning that he looked "sharp" in his outfit. He got really upset thinking that his clothes were actually sharp and going to hurt him.
  • He told me yesterday that his lead coach had to leave to take care of her son and that he didn't like that. He didn't like that fact that she had to leave so I explained to her that she was a mommy too. Andrew said, "No she can't be a mommy, she is a coach."
  • I said the other day, "Oh I got myself in a pickle. Andrew said, " No don't get in a pickle Mom. I want you to stay being my mommy. I don't want you to be in a pickle then you can't be my Mommy."
  •  The other morning the sun looked orange and Andrew flipped out in the car. "Mommy, the sun is yellow not orange. Turn it back to orange." he yelled.
  • I took him to eat at a restaurant called, Cackleberries one day. Andrew thought he had to eat berries there. The same goes for Applebees. He told me he had to eat apples there. He also wanted to know where the bees were.
As you can see, it is always interesting with Andrew around:)