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.