Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween Weekend

The boys and I came to Flora this weekend to enjoy the Halloween festivities. Since Daddy works evenings and weekends, it would have been impossible to take the boys trick or treating by myself. Plus, neither boy likes to go up to unfamiliar houses due to their anxiety. Therefore, we went to the same places that we have their entire life in order to enjoy just a few minutes of "normal" life.

Today, we went to the Fall festival in Louisville that we have always tried to do the last three years. Trenton did okay for awhile but I had to leave and take him to the van. We sat in the van while Andrew finished enjoying the parade with Nana and Pops. I could not imagine trying to do these type of "normal" things in a bigger area where there is even more people and more stimulation. I ended up having to carry Trenton to the van. I was in a dead sweat by the time I reached the van. He is getting so  big....very soon we won't even be able to try things because I won't be able to carry him. He is getting so big these days.
It was difficult to keep Trenton there as long as I did today. I am starting to think that Trenton may be one person with autism that just can never go and do "normal" holiday activities. If that is the case, then that is perfectly fine! After all, he is the one with the disability that does not allow him to do things. I had 30 years where I could enjoy simple outings and I just feel blessed and grateful that I had that. Trenton will never have that. Therefore, if Trenton can't do things, then as a family, we will just do what we can in order to show support to Trenton and Andrew. Andrew can do much more than Trenton. However, I am really trying to make Andrew realize the importance of being grateful for what he can do in life and to be compassionate of Trenton. Trenton is way smarter than most people realize, Andrew too. They need to know that they are supported 100% of the time.

Here are a few photos of our very short trick or treating experience!

Aunt Barb and Bob always have special treats for them:)


 Nikki always has her special treats for them at the police station!
 They even got to see a police car.

 We ended our night with a hayride! Andrew loved the hayride he went on last Friday with me at the pumpkin patch. With that said, Andrew asked Pops to give him a hayride on the farm:)



 I was so proud of Trenton today. He followed me into the bathroom. I used the restroom and walked to the sink. As I was walking to the sink, Trenton said. "Mommy." Then he smiled great big and said, "Mommy wash hands." Oh I was so excited!!!!!!!!! I LOVE when he has a moment where his brain lets him say words!!
 Andrew filled up his pumpkin within the first 15 minutes of the parade this afternoon!! We came home with so much candy. Andrew even said at one point, "I'm tired of picking up candy."
 He had a lot of help from Pops. He had to point out the candy. Andrew was not the best at paying attention to where the candy landed.





Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pumpkins

The boys loved their pumpkins we did tonight! Trenton did amazing for this picture!
 I did the puzzle piece first and then Andrew said, "Do a heart next Mom."

How perfect...a puzzle piece and a heart!

Memorial Preschool Halloween Party

Parents can attend the parties at Andrew's preschool. So of course, I went to his Halloween party today! The whole preschool lined up and went across the street to the small mall and gave the parents, grandparents, and other family members a parade. It was so cute!!




 Then we went back to his class for some Halloween snacks!



I loved spending my morning with Andrew at his Halloween party!

Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders



Here is some information I pulled from one of my sources. Yes, autism is a whole body disorder! There is so much more that goes in autism than what I talk about on my blog....there is simply too much to discuss daily which is why I just pick and choose what I feel is the most important of that day. Please let me know if you have any questions on anything. I am full of information...it helps my children to the fullest which is why I am dedicated to educating myself.

Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders are among the most common medical conditions associated with autism. These issues range from chronic constipation or diarrhea to irritable and inflammatory bowel conditions. They can affect persons of any age. But in the context of autism, they have been most studied in children.
For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently found that children with autism are more than 3.5 times more likely to suffer chronic diarrhea or constipation than are their normally developing peers. Other researchers have found a strong link between GI symptoms and autism severity in children. Some experts have even proposed that toxins produced by abnormal gut bacteria may trigger or worsen autism in some children.
Understandably, the pain and discomfort caused by GI symptoms can worsen behavior and even trigger regression in persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This may be particularly true of nonverbal persons who have difficulty expressing their distress.

Treating GI Disorders in Those with Autism

Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network is dedicated to enhancing the ability of pediatricians and other doctors to treat associated medical conditions including GI disorders. The ATN's GI Committee has been drafting treatment guidelines for diagnosing and treating constipation, chronic diarrhea and food allergies. (For an Autism Treatment Network clinic near you, please see our ATN directory.)
Chronic constipation: Periodic constipation is normal, but chronic constipation can be a serious condition. It is typically defined as constipation lasting two weeks or more. The abdominal pain associated with constipation can be considerable. Tell-tale behaviors can include arching the back, pressing on the belly and gritting teeth.
Causes of chronic constipation can include a restricted diet that provides insufficient fiber, certain medications and sensory or behavioral issues that interfere with regular toileting. Other contributors can include anatomic, neurological or metabolic problems or abnormal gut motility (a sluggish intestinal tract). Medical tests are needed to identify such underlying causes. Treatments can include both medical and behavioral interventions.
Behavioral management includes dietary changes (increasing fiber, eliminating constipating foods) and management of toileting behaviors (such as teaching a child to sit on the toilet after meals). Medications may include soluble fiber and laxatives such as mineral oil, magnesium hydroxide or sorbitol.
Because constipation is particularly common among children with ASD, Autism Speaks ATN GI Committee has prioritized the development and testing of its constipation guidelines, or “algorithm.” This algorithm guides pediatricians in diagnosing and treating this common condition in a step-wise manner. It also helps them determine when a child should be referred to a GI specialist.
Chronic diarrhea: As with constipation, periodic bouts of diarrhea are normal, but chronic diarrhea (two weeks or more) can be serious. Chronic diarrhea may have a number of causes including intestinal infection, immune dysfunction, inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis), irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease (gluten intolerance), food allergies, lactose intolerance or excessive consumption of certain foods such as apple juice. In some instances, diarrhea can actually occur as a consequence of severe constipation.
Treatment depends on the cause. For instance, diarrhea due to food allergies, lactose intolerance or celiac disease is usually treated with dietary restrictions. Other times, medications or (rarely) surgery are warranted.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): GERD results when the muscle between the stomach and esophagus (food pipe) is lax. This allows partially digested food or liquid mixed with stomach acid to move up out of the stomach. Red flags include throat discomfort and/or feelings of “heart burn.” However children sometimes experience GERD pain in atypical ways, and nonverbal persons can have difficulty communicating their distress.
In persons with autism, GERD pain may result in increased self-injury or other challenging behaviors. It can be helpful to note if such behaviors are triggered or made worse when the individual is lying down (a position that can worsen reflux). Other telltale signs can include unusual body postures or behaviors such as straining the neck, pushing out the jaw or tapping the throat. Other signs may include hoarseness, chronic sore throat, cough or heartburn, dental erosions, food refusal or disturbed sleep.
Such issues should be discussed with a doctor, who can refer to a GI specialist if needed. Helpful behavioral modifications include elevating the head during sleep, avoiding food near bedtime, eating smaller meals and avoiding foods that tend to trigger symptoms. GERD-easing medications include antacids, histamine-2 blockers (Pepcid, Zantac, etc) and protein-pump inhibitors (Nexium, Priolosec, etc). When GERD is severe or chronic, your physician may perform tests to identify acid levels and tissue damage in the esophagus. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Constipation Issues....I think!

It has been almost 24 hours of off and on crying for Trenton. This Mommy just can't hardly take it anymore! His crying is nothing like a meltdown or tantrum. It is the huge crocodile tears, huge frown, and babbles that come out of his mouth.  Oh how I wish I knew what was making him cry for the past 24 hours. However, as always, I think I know. I am very aware and keep mental notes of the boys daily. Trenton has had constipation problems lately. He hasn't had a BM lately. Trenton went from having loose stools constantly to finally getting to where he was going once a day...FINALLY. But now, we are battling the other issue. From what I have read, it is either one way or the other with kids on the spectrum. From what I have seen the past two weeks with Trenton and his constipation, I would rather have his loose stools back!

With all of that said, I believe he is distressed and is in some constipation pain. He doesn't touch or point to what hurts like most children would. When something hurts he just stands and cries. It makes me ill just thinking how frustrating that has to be. It breaks my heart to see him crying and not knowing why the pain isn't going away. I know he must be so confused and as his mother, I would do anything to make it better.

He cried through his whole speech session this morning. From what I know, he is doing a lot of crying at Harsha today.
Let's pray and hope for a BM soon!



Monday, October 26, 2015

Bedroom

It has taken 5 years but I think that Trenton has finally learned how to fall asleep in his bedroom. I think Trenton has fallen asleep in every room of our house except for the utility which means I have slept everywhere except for the utility as well. I think back to what I have went through with him in the night and it is just simply something that no one can understand except for another autism parent.

This morning I was talking to another autism mother. Her son is a young man now. He still wakes up in the night and doesn't sleep through the night. Fortunately, she said that he has learned to stay in his bedroom. However, when he was younger like Trenton she said he would run wild in the night going all over her house just like Trenton.

Nonetheless, it has been hard work to achieve this but I have finally got Trenton in the habit of staying in his bedroom until he falls asleep. This does not mean that he just lays in bed until he is able to fall asleep. He will lay in bed for a little bit and then he will lay on the floor. Before I know it he is up and pacing in his room...then he is back on his bed....then he is cuddling in a corner of his room on the floor.....then he is laying in the middle of his floor on top of his stuffed animals.....then he is back in his bed and so forth. I can not be happier with this small accomplishment! Something so natural and so simple hasn't been simple for us. Instead it has been one of my worst nightmares on this journey.

However, I couldn't be happier to say that Trenton stays in his room until he falls asleep. Plus, when he wakes up in the night,  I have forced him to stay in his bedroom as well. I am in his room with him and I have to lock us in his room otherwise he would be running all over the house. It was torture to try to get him to stay in his room. However, through all the sweat, tears, tantrums, meltdowns, and everything else that Trenton and I have went through, we have accomplished staying in his bedroom with his door locked when he is awake in then night. When he finally falls back to sleep and if Andrew is not up for the day already, I open  his door and try to get what sleep I can.


Ever since he got the purple monkey that is in this picture with him, he takes it everywhere with him around our house. I am surprised he has not taken it to Harsha with him but he hasn't. It is just by his side at home:)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Pumpkins & Trunk or Treat

We did some more Halloween activities this weekend!

On Saturday the boys and I painted pumpkins!


Andrew was proud of his big pumpkin. He told me what to do and I did my best. I am by no means an artist!
This evening we went Trunk or Treating at Andrew's preschool. I was nervous about it all day. Something like that can't be planned. We just have to go by whether Trenton can do it at the time or not. Around the time we would be needing to get ready, Trenton was calm. Therefore, I decided to brave the storm and do it! I am so glad I felt brave because Trenton did excellent!! I was so proud of him and Andrew! Trenton did so well, we  stopped at another Trunk or Treat on the way home....one that we were not invited to but who cares right?!?!?! My child was actually doing it and we deserved to go Trunk or Treating everywhere whether we had ties to the place or not:)
Leaving our driveway and hoping for the best in this picture!





Love my Spiderman and Robin!!
They were so excited to look at all of their candy!
I'm so thankful that God blessed us with this great evening!! God is good!

Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Lots of Crying & Sad Moments

Trenton had a very calm week. He had at least 3 days this week where he had extremely sad days. He did a lot of crying off and on at Harsha and at home. I believe Friday was the worst of his "sad" days. He asked for "Mommy" while crying again. His coach was texting me and we were trying to figure out why he was sad and crying. It tears me up on the inside to see him and to hear about his sad moments.

When I went to pick Trenton up on Friday afternoon, he had been good and had not cried for a good period. However, when he saw my van pull up, he bursted out in tears. He came walking out to the waiting room crying and walking straight for me. Obviously, we don't know why he started crying when he saw my van because he can't speak. Although, I am fairly confident I know why. It is not because he didn't want to go home. He spent a good part of his day crying and asking for me. Nonetheless, I think he was so relieved to see me he just bursted out in tears.

I am sure we all have been in a situation where we are upset and then we see a loved one and we just let it go...we break down and sob. I think this is what Trenton did. After a good while of crying and asking for me, he knew I wasn't coming till pick up time so he forced through his day. When he finally saw me, he lost it:)

I had a very rough evening and night with the boys. Trenton did a lot of crying Friday evening just like he had done all week. He took my hand at one point while in tears and placed my hand on his left temple. I would guess he had a headache. I can't express how difficult it is to figure out what is hurting him or where he is sick at if he is sick. It is terrible. It is excruciating pain to watch your child suffer in life. I just can't imagine the frustration that he goes through trying to communicate.

He went to bed around 8 last night and was up for the day at 11:30 PM. He had a very rough night! He took a nap around 6 AM this morning right when Andrew woke up...of course:)

I have thought about all of Trenton's "sad" moments and days a lot today. I kept on comparing Trenton to a story that I saw on the news this week. It was about a young couple who was engaged to get married. The future groom was in a car wreck and he was left quadriplegic. He ended up marrying his fiancĂ© and she spends her life taking care of her husband. The man who was doing their interview asked the man what it meant to have his fiancĂ© stick by his side and still marrying him and to devote her life taking care of him? The husband used a device that spoke for him and he said, "How long do you have? It'll take all day to tell you how much I love my wife.
 When the device spoke his words, the husband showed no emotion on his face. None whatsoever because due to his disability, he was unable to smile or to even have "life" in his eyes. However, his heart was full of nothing but love for his wife but he simply couldn't even smile to let her know. He reminded me so much of a person with severe autism. I truly do believe that Trenton is full of nothing but love for me and all of his loved ones, he just simply can't show it. Even when he was so excited to see me on Friday that he cried, he just simply couldn't even give me a simple hug. Nothing...just like the husband who was parlayed.....but I know he loves me more than any words can say or more than any actions can prove.

Even between all the sad moments, he worked hard this week at Harsha. He asked for help while working on the steps of brushing teeth!
Plus, he had a great week with his potty training at Harsha. Not so much at home but he is doing well there!


Friday, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Works

Andrew and Mommy had a great time today at Pumpkin Works! It's amazing the difference in mild and severe. I would never be able to take Trenton to a place like Pumpkin Works. I long for the day when I can...even if he is a 50 year old man, if he can finally handle it, I will take him:)

Andrew completely wore me out there! He definitely enjoyed himself. I am so blessed that God gave me a child that I can enjoy taking places even if it is a little harder than the average child.


 









The corn maze even had a Frozen display. It was perfect for Andrew because he is really into Frozen again right now.
We even took a hayride. Andrew loved it!! The smile on his face when we rode through the woods was priceless!
During the hayride, we stopped at the pumpkin field and everyone got to pick out a pumpkin.
Andrew was proud of his pumpkin.



Andrew enjoyed the different slides they had there.
He really enjoyed the corn room! What a good sensory break!




Earlier in the day, Andrew had pancakes! He even got to decorate his pancake like a scary pumpkin!




I never know what Andrew is going to say. He can say some of the sweetest and strangest things ever! Today while we were eating breakfast Andrew looked at me and said, " I'm so glad God gave me you." I am fairly certain that I have probably said this to him before. It doesn't matter how long ago, he still remembers and said it to me. So sweet:)

A bad wreck happened right before us yesterday morning. We were stuck in traffic for about ten minutes. We were so close to the wreck that we could see the man trapped in his vehicle. Andrew was focusing on the fire trucks and ambulances but he finally noticed the man. Andrew said, "Mommy that man needs a band aid."
Today, Andrew said, "I wonder if that man got his band aid, Mommy."

A few days ago I asked Andrew if he wanted cereal for breakfast. Andrew said, "My head wants cereal but my stomach doesn't want it."