Monday, June 29, 2015

Sunglasses

 The TV was too bright for him so he put on his sunglasses and watched television until he fell asleep.
 This kid cracks me up!!

Mommy Video-2

Ok, so I really liked talking the other night! Last night was atrocious! I didn't think I was going to survive. Trenton had some big problems falling asleep. He was wide awake and wild. I couldn't control him. Andrew was waking up and having problems. I really didn't know if I was going to survive last night. Therefore, I needed to talk this morning!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dguKL-eFRyM

Autism: Where Hope and Courage Springs Eternal

I was excited last week when I was contacted to read a book written by an autism mom and to write a review on it when I am finished.   Below is a guest post written by the author, Pamela Bryson-Weaver.


Autism: Where Hope and Courage Springs Eternal

 

By Pamela Bryson-Weaver

Author of the book Living Autism Day by Day:

Daily Reflections and Strategies to Give You Hope and Courage

 

 Autism! That one word shook my whole world. Not that I am new to being a special needs Mom (my eldest son has Tourette’s) but, quite simply because autism was not yet that “popular” 17 years ago. When Johnny was diagnosed in (2000), my husband and I felt that we were facing a blank wall. I, on the other hand, wallowed in confusion and despondency and, yes, self-pity, too for several weeks. Truth be told, my dreams for my son died on that day and I blamed myself for that.

 Looking back, I had a hard time accepting that John, my sweet little boy whose smile and laughter can light a whole village, is not going to grow up in the same way I see neurotypical boys.  That he will have a hard time pursuing his dreams, that is, if he will even have dreams later on. I was also afraid of him being ostracized in school and be labeled something abhorrent. I dread the thought of him struggling to be accepted in a thriving life where normalcy only meant being neurotypical.
 
Each day back then, I woke up feeling miserable and hopeless. Accepting autism is never easy. I almost reached my breaking point but, I am lucky enough to have the constant love and support of my family. My husband never ceases to remind me that we should be happy, we were BLESSED twice—Tourette’s with Joshua and Autism with John. This is the best thing about having a friend for a life partner. You talk. You argue.  You even yell at each other but always, always ensuring that you both came out as better persons, better parents thereafter.


Another growing fear for me was that of growing old. It felt like a revering kind of fear. The enormity of the demand was staring straight at me and I was caught empty-handed. It was hard to accept that he may need me every waking moment of everyday, that he might never grow up to be  a responsible adult, and what if I died early. It was nerve-wracking! The weight of my fear almost robbed me off my sanity.

One good thing though is that I kept a journal to write down everything that came into mind. My journals eventually became the inspiration for my book, Living Autism Day by Day: Daily Reflections and Strategies to Give You Hope and Courage. My journey of this topsy-turvy world called “autism” is fraught with negativity but my journals helped me cope. It became my outlet for venting out pent-up emotions, and to note down whatever progress we had over the course of his therapies. It became my extension, my shadow in chronicling the events in our lives. 

 My journals are what kept me grounded so I would never lose hope and to always have twice the courage when facing difficulties along the way. It also serves as a simple reminder that amid all the difficulties, there is always another blank page to begin with. Life, with or without autism, should be like that—lived one day at a time. So, that’s what Johnny and I as well as the whole family do. We leaf through each page of our lives with hope and courage, braving whatever autism throws at us. 

 
Pamela Bryson-Weaver is the author of Living Autism Day by Day: Daily Reflections and Strategies to Give You Hope and Courage, a multi-awarded and bestselling book on Amazon. A staunch advocate for autism, she is also the mind behind the powerful website—www.livingautismnow.com—an online portal for parents, caregivers, individuals with ASD, service providers, and experts to interact with each other, to raise awareness, and locate the best possible services for them. Bryson-Weaver is uniquely qualified to speak on Autism as she is the past president of the Autism Society in New Brunswick, and has promoted a resolution on autism that was presented locally, provincially and nationally, and was passed nationally in Canada in 2004. To date, all children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in her province receive $20k per year for treatment. Married with 3 children, the main driving force in this advocacy is her youngest son, John, who has autism.




Personal Website: http://livingautismnow.com/ 




 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

I never know what he is going to say!

Andrew has asked me several times this weekend, "Can we go to Nana's house?" He has also said, "Mommy, let's go to Flora."  He said numerous times, "Let's go home to the grey house." My heart breaks for this kid. He does not like staying home on the weekends at all. In fact, the last time we were in Flora, he teared up when we were leaving. It is hard to live in a town where we do not know anyone that we can go to and play at their house for a few hours every Saturday like we did when we lived in Flora. It is hard for Andrew.

With that said, I wanted to do something but then again what can I do with the boys by myself?!?!? Well, I tried our small, fenced in park after church. No one was there at first so we stayed. The boys had a great time. After we were there for about 30 minutes, a father and his two year old son came to the park. He was the nicest man ever! He took Andrew under his wing and played with him and his son while I watched Trenton. This father has a teenage daughter with Asperger's Syndrome. Therefore, he understood somewhat.

It is always comical what Andrew randomly says to strangers. I think this particular father picked up right away that something was "off" with Andrew because Andrew ran up to them once they arried and said, " You are my friend. Mommy my friend is here."
This is not the only random thing Andrew has said to people lately. Ever since last Wednesday I have watched Andrew go up to people and say the following:
1. "I used to live in a grey house."
2." My mommy takes me to therapy."
3. He walked up to a lady in a store and touched her belly and said, "Oh is that your stomach?"
4. "I don't like you."
5. " My Mommy used to drive a black car."
6 "I like red slushies."
7. " I go to the bathroom."

He just walked up to complete strangers and said those lines. Every person looked at him and smiled but no one really knew what to say back. It is one of those autism things that I can laugh at! Poor Little A!!! I sure hope he builds up some social skills one day!!

Andrew had a new teacher today during kids church. She was nice and brought Andrew to me after church and she said, "I asked him what his name was and he said his name was Hulk. So I just called him Hulk the whole time."
I just laughed and told her that he just may have a different name every Sunday:)

Anyway, here are some pictures from our Sunday fun after church!

Trenton took his potato heads to the park with him:)



 His smile melts my heart!!! There are so many hard times and so many days I go without seeing his smile. Oh but how amazing it is when he smiles!!!
I look at these two pictures of me and my boys and all I can think about is how I am one of the luckiest Mommy's in the world!!!

Andrew pointed out a Cardinal in our backyard today. There have been very few days that I go without seeing a Cardinal in our back yard. Every time I see one, I smile!! I tried to explain to Andrew that Cardinals appear when angels are near......
I have always said that my boys are angels from God!

http://ourwanderlife.com/2014/02/10/cardinals-appear-when-angels-are-near/

Mommy's first video!

My first video! Hopefully, next time I will look better! Ha!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQD0NFPJ6A4

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Trenton

Trenton even put on the Minion glasses for a few minutes today.

I love how he falls asleep every night:)


Andrew

I love taking pictures. I took Andrew to one of the nearby parks on Friday and took a few pictures of him. He only wanted to stand. I had a few good ideas of him sitting down but he would not sit at all. He actually told me, "I don't want my picture sitting down Mommy." HA! Love this kid soooo much!





This is the only picture he let me taken of him sitting down and he actually isn't sitting. He was kneeling on a rock.


If he isn't dressed up as Batman around the house, you can find him in his Minion glasses and pjs.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Bogeys

I am so tired of all of this rain lately that I could just scream! It sure has made a huge damper in what I can do with Andrew on Wednesdays and Fridays. Although, after today I am not sure on what I want to venture out to do with Andrew anymore. His behavior is so unpredictable. I failed to mention in my post on Wednesday about his behavior. I don't think Andrew responded once to me calling his name on Wednesday and that carried over to today as well. At one moment on Wednesday Andrew had three adults other than me yelling his name to try to get him to stop running. Today, it was the same thing.

I took Andrew to Bogey's before we picked up Trenton. Bogey's is a family fun center. Although I think they have much more to do outside than inside but it was a place to take him so he can play inside sense it was raining again. To be honest, I wish I never even took him. I will forgo all of the stuff that happened before the "big" episode. Well, I will just say Andrew never responded to his name, hit lots of kids, hit lots of adults, and ran away from me several times.

I was on the verge of taking him and leaving before the "big" episode happened. Andrew was in the play area going wild with all the other hand full of kids. I guess Andrew didn't like what a little boy was doing and Andrew just started hitting him. The kid started screaming. I could not get in the play area since I was an adult so I was trying to get Andrew's attention. The boys parents started yelling at Andrew and I think all eyes were on us. Andrew finally stopped and I explained to the parents that he didn't know how to play with kids properly due to his autism.

I turned my back to grab my purse because I had all that I could take at the moment. Everyone in Bogey's was watching Andrew like a hawk. As my back was turned I heard the most horrible blood curdling scream from a little girl. My heart dropped because I knew it had to be Andrew and it most definitely was. Andrew was on top of a little girl kicking her in the face with his feet and he was not stopping. The next thing I knew he was pulling her hair too. I yelled, " Stop Andrew." and took off running in the play area. As I was running to the play area, the little girls father who just so happened to be the father of the boy that Andrew just attacked came running at me yelling at me. The father had a look that could kill. He screamed, "Get your son off of my daughter and control him."

I yelled, "He has autism. I am sorry."

Before I could reach Andrew, the mother of the little girl had already pulled her away from Andrew. I grabbed Andrew. I apologized to the family again and made sure the little girl was ok and we were out the door. Everyone...and I mean everyone in Bogey's was watching Andrew and I leave. Between the father yelling at me and me yelling back. It grabbed everyone's attention.

To make matters worse as we were walking out the door, Andrew took off running in the parking lot not paying one bit of attention to his surroundings and jumped in the biggest puddle of water.  I was yelling for him to stop but he never once paid attention to me. Andrew was soaked from his waist down. He just sat down right in the middle of the puddle and made me wade through it to get him.


Andrew has made such huge gains the past year but in a few areas I have noticed a decline in his behavior. I tend to notice it more when he is in a public place with a lot of commotion going on. I just don't think his brain processes all the stimuli very good and he blocks a lot out which would be the reason for him not responding to commands and his name.

Whatever the reason is, I don't plan on stepping foot back in Bogey's any time soon!

If that was the only thing that happened in my day, it wouldn't be so bad. However, I have listened to Trenton have a meltdown for the past hour. All evening I was pulling the boys off of each other from fighting and hitting. Neither boy knows how to stop and control their anger. My chest feels like it could explode from all of the stress and anxiety today. I can't hire help fast enough!!!!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Napkin



I know where this napkin came from. I just don't know who specifically wrote it. I found it at the most perfect time yesterday.

I just had a failed attempt in the bathroom with Trenton. It was a battle to get him to stay in the bathroom and about 15 minutes after we left the bathroom, he peed his pants.  After I finished cleaning him up, I was starting to hit rock bottom for the day. I was exhausted after two nights of being up around the clock. I was starting to feel like a failure with potty training Trenton and right in the middle of my deep thought, I found the napkin. It was perfect timing! Thank you! It was exactly what I needed to read:)

New Medicine

I have to say that after two days of this new medicine, it is working better than anything Trenton has ever been on!! He appears to be a little calmer. His coaches at Harsha Cognitive Center has noticed the change as well.  When I picked the boys up today, Trenton waited for me patiently while I spoke to a few of his coaches. It was the best that he has ever waited for me.

While at Harsha today, he requested to go to the restroom and waited for approximately 5 minutes until the restroom opened up and he voided in the toilet!! Way to go Trenton!!!!

He always fights me at home when we go to the restroom. Tonight, he sat on the toilet better than he ever has at home! I am keeping my fingers crossed that it continues!!


Here are a few pictures from today at Harsha.
I love my little speller!!!





Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Car ride video

Just a short clip on what my car rides are like. Trenton is making his "upset noises" and even saying a few words while Andrew is trying to talk to me. It might not appear to be bad at all but it is after very little sleep in two days!
I even tried giving Trenton the iPad which he is not suppose to have but that didn't even work to calm him down.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_2Ql-LRxMk

Busy Wednesday

Busy busy day!!!

The boys and Mommy was out the door by 7:30 to get Trenton to his 8:00 speech therapy session. This was after another sleepless night but this time it was due to Trenton not Andrew. Trenton put the Energizer Bunny to shame last night. I would not have been surprised if the cops showed up at my door last night wondering what all the commotion was. It was that bad in this house last night and it appears he is having some major issues falling asleep tonight. UGH!!!

With that said, I couldn't have had an easy car ride to therapy either. I mean that would just be too easy for me. Trenton got upset right before we left to go to therapy and it continued for the next half hour. I tried everything. I even tried giving him his iPad which he is not suppose to have. However, I was desperate! My nerves were shot from no sleep and the wildness of autism that I had to try whatever I could to get him to calm down. He eventually stopped during therapy and then it picked back up on our way to Harsha. I hope to post a video of his upset noises from this morning.

After we dropped Trenton off at Harsha, Andrew and I were on our way to the Library. Our library experience left a lot to be desired today. One of the workers at the library stared at Andrew like he had never seen anything like him before in his life. I can only imagine what this worker was thinking in his head. Needless to say, I can't imagine what this worker would think if I brought in Trenton!

Even though it was rough for Andrew today, we had a great time! We really enjoyed doing the art project today:)







After library we had swim lessons. Andrew did a good job jumping in the pool today with his coach catching him.

 After our lunch together, Andrew wanted to go swimming. We did not swim very long because we didn't have much time before we had to pick up Trenton. He was Mr. Ornery at the pool ignoring me and getting into lots of trouble from not only me but the other people too. Of course, he loved the sprinklers again.
Yes my days are CRAZY and SOOOO CHAOTIC but I love every minute of it!! Tonight, a few minutes before he fell asleep, Andrew said, "Thumbs up to a good day Mommy."

Moments like that make all the craziness worth it:)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Always a roller coaster ride...always!

When one boy sleeps well at night, the other one doesn't. That seems to be the story of my life. However, Andrew's sleep issues are much different than Trenton's until last night. Trenton was sleeping so well last night after he finally went to sleep at 10:30. I finally got to bed around 11:00 and Andrew was up at 11:30. I got him back to sleep shortly after and he was up again at 12:30 and did not go back to sleep until 4:15 AM!!!! He was tired but not tired enough to go to sleep. 

Andrew worked so hard for almost four hours of trying to go back to sleep. I have no doubt that we laid on the couch...then on the loveseat...then in his bed....then on the floor....then in the rocking chair....at least 20 times. It was as if we were playing musical chairs. Andrew has done this before but it has been a very long time since it was this bad. I hope that it was just a fluke!!!

As always I was very tired this morning. My nights, even though I am up most of the night, always seems to go so fast. I never feel "well rested". Those days are over with for me. Nonetheless, I start my day with the boys as if I slept well.  We always have a million and one things to do so slacking can not be a part of our day.

Trenton had an appointment with his psychiatrist first thing this morning. His hyperactivity, impulsive and aggressive behavior just keeps on getting worse. We tried the "no medicine" route but now I am ready to try medicine again. We have our new prescription and we start it tomorrow!!!

On our way to Trenton's appointment, I went through my usual conversation with the boys on how they had to be good because it was just mom and them. As always, Andrew is listening very closely and repeating back on how good he had to be. Once we arrived at the doctors office, I was excited and happy that Trenton was not crying this time. He knew right where we were and said, "doctor" once we walked in. Trenton paced up and down the waiting room making his anxious noises. He would occasionally go in the little play area where Andrew was at and then he would pace up and down the waiting room again. We had not been there very long and Andrew runs up to me holding his bottom and said, " I need to make snakes Mommy." (That is our code name for going number 2)

I take Andrew to the bathroom that was connected to the waiting room, thank goodness! I stepped outside and watched Trenton while Andrew was taking care of his business. A few minutes later I hear, "I am done Mommy."
I step back in the bathroom and help him wipe and pull up his pants. We wash our hands and out the bathroom we go. As soon as we walked out of the bathroom, Andrew says, "I need to make bubbles Mommy."( That is our code name for going number 1.)
At the same time he said this, the doctor was ready for Trenton. I told Andrew to be a big boy and go in the bathroom by himself and when he was finished to say my name great big so I knew to come and get him. Andrew agreed.

I stood in the hallway talking to the doctor through the doorway leading to her office so I could hear Andrew. As we were talking, Trenton was pacing up and down her office touching everything and climbing up on everything in sight. Finally I hear, " I am done Mommy." as Andrew comes running down the hallway with no socks, no shoes, no underwear, and no pants. He had only his shirt on running through the doctor's office as if he owned the place.
I apologize and go running to find his clothes. I find them and run back to her office and she is trying to control Trenton from climbing up on everything and Andrew who is naked from the waist down.

I get Andrew dressed and apologized again. I finished talking to her and we decided on a medication. As I was rounding the boys up, she looked at the boys and said, "Oh your poor Mommy. I have no idea how she does this daily. You two give her a run for her money."
She looked at me and said, " I hope this medicine helps Trenton. It will help you so much if it works. You have your hands full"
I said, "My hands are more than full and this is a good day. Their behavior here today was good for me. I was just thinking of how smoothly this went today."

The look on her face was priceless! What is normal and good to me is absolute chaos to others. I am just so used to the hyper active, impulsive behavior that it simply does not phase me anymore. I am reminded on certain days, like today, that I do handle more than what most people could never imagine.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Fire Trucks

Nothing makes me happier than seeing my boys happy!!! I had some pictures sent to me today of the boys from Harsha and the pictures rocked my world!!!

Approximately two weeks ago, Andrew asked me if he could sit in a fire truck. We live close to a fire station and Andrew sees it daily. Of course, when he asked me I wished I could pull some strings to get him to sit in a fire truck. With that said, I was beyond thrilled when I got pictures of the boys sitting in a fire truck today at Harsha!!!!! A huge thanks to Harsha and the Honey Creek Fire Station that made this possible at Harsha today!! They answered one of Andrew's wishes and didn't even know it:)









Sunday, June 21, 2015

Rough Weekend

When I go a few days without a post, I normally have some of our biggest supporters wondering what is going on. Well, I feel like I don't have anything to say tonight. The daily struggles sometimes leaves me without words.

 I know it is Father's Day weekend and I was hoping to share some great pictures from this morning of the boys with their father.  Today didn't turn out like I had planned and hoped for.
I just hope each and everyone of you had a great Father's Day with your family and children.

Jesus said, "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).

I have had a really bad day and it appears it is not going to get good any time soon.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Trenton

I just love waking up in the mornings and seeing this on my fridge!

 Can you find what he spelled in this picture?
 Always and Forever Trenton! His poor nose. It is finally looking better today.
 
Love my pictures of him sleeping:) My sleeping angel
 
Trenton working with one of his coaches today.

 Looks like Trenton is having a blast watching Elmo on the potty! Trenton spontaneously  manded "potty" today at Harsha and he went in the toilet!! Way to go Trenton!!
Honestly, potty training is the hardest task I have ever attempted with Trenton. It has made me so frustrated beyond belief. I have all faith that he will be trained one day, it is just going to take a very long time!

Andrew

It is never to early to start teaching your kids about the right things to do in life, even if they have special needs! I try to do this on our short car rides when both boys are strapped in and can't run away from me. Thursday morning on the way to Harsha, I was explaining that it is always nice to do nice things for others and how we should always think of others before ourselves. Andrew was really taking in what I said!

When I dropped the boys off at Harsha that morning, their coaches came out to the van to meet us. (They are always great to do that for me) Andrew was half way to the building with his coach and he turned around and said, "Mommy I will pick you a flower." He bent down and picked me another one of those white clover flowers that are in yards. He started to run to me and I met him half way. He looked me with a very serious face and said, "It's a big flower Mommy!"

I guess he wanted to do something nice for me:)
 Andrew had his second swim lesson today! He did GREAT! He even floated for a few seconds today!
 When it is Andrew and I in the van, we have a blast together! We sing, dance, and enjoy our time together. Sometimes we listen to the radio or some of his CDs. There is a certain country song by Carrie Underwood that he just loves! Every time we hear it, we both go crazy. We heard it at a stop light today so I was able to snap this cute picture of how happy he is when we hear our song!