Saturday, October 29, 2016

Halloween 2016

Halloween weekend 2016 was perfect! A perfect ending to a stressful long process that I have been going though since my divorce and it was finally finalized this week. I don't get into a lot of details about a lot of things on here but boy can I just tell you that I have learned a lot about the whole system since my husband first told me he was leaving almost one year ago. The system is not set up to help anyone who is left behind after a spouse leaves a wife and two children with special needs. It was acknowledged clearly by the courts that I couldn't work based on Trenton's needs alone but at the same time it is impossible to get the help that you need.

 One thing that I have been working on since February was getting the house in my name which would have been impossible if it wasn't for a few special people in our lives who literally stop at nothing to make sure the boys and I are okay in this life. The whole process...what I have had to do.....the way I have been talked to because my only income is X amount from my ex husband which isn't enough to live off of so no one wants to approve me for anything because I  bring in X amount for three people. I have been looked down upon and talked down upon because my income is  X amount. It is seriously so WRONG how people judge everyone off of a stereotype. If only everyone knew Jesus this world would be such a better place. Stereotypes would not be known and the only thing known in this world would be good. Sadly, that's not the case.

Anyway, the house is finally mine.....which leads to only more problems now. However, I had papers to get the house in my name and I finally achieved that. I am looking forward to not having any more phone calls or faxing of papers to prove to loan companies that I am not a bum.......atleast for now. I am looking forward to not having to answer to people who know absolutely nothing about autism and why it is extremely hard for a single mother of two children with special needs that lives in a town with no family of why I can't work. SO LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING DONE WITH THIS WHOLE PROCESSS!!!!!!!!!!!!

So...celebrating Halloween surrounded by our loved ones in a community that has done nothing but support us was the perfect ending to a stressful, long process!


If you can't tell, our theme this year was Star Wars. We have Andrew to thank for that. However, he is the first one to tell you that he doesn't like Star Wars, he doesn't like to watch Star Wars...he just wanted to dress up as Stormtrooper:)

It was precious to watch Andrew see Lincoln and run to him and hug him. He is truly the only child that he is comfortable with.
Grandpa & Grandma Great with the whole crew!
Uncle Bob with the crew!
My special cousin, Nikki with the Star Wars crew:)

After we went to our few places to trick or treat (We can't do a lot with the Trenton so we do a few and that is his limit. He did fantastic!) we had our annual Halloween campfire and hayride! Andrew LOVED roasting his hotdogs with Pops.

 

Trenton and Mommy practiced going out in public today. We walked around town holding hands. He did great! He even stayed for a few minutes to watch the parade....although it was more like walking along side the parade for a few minutes and then he had enough.

The number one thing that made this weekend PERFECT was when Trenton walked up to me and said, " I love you." all by himself!!! I didn't prompt him....I had not said it to him first.....he just spontaneously said it! THIS. IS. HUGE!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2016

October 13

After preschool yesterday, Andrew and I went to the store to grab a few things. When we were checking out, Andrew did a little cough. He has had a lingering cough for the last two weeks.

Anyway, Andrew coughs and the cashier, to be nice, looked at Andrew and said, "Oh no. You must have that cough that is going around."

Andrew said, " I first coughed on October 13. That is October one three."

Cashier kind of looked at him funny and said, " I hope you get over it soon."

Andrew says, "Well. I've had it since October 13. That is the first time I coughed in October and I will let you know the last day that  I cough in October. It is 2016. In 2015 I coughed on a different day but don't remember what day that was. My Moochies takes care of me so it's okay that I cough a little."



Thursday, October 27, 2016

Halloween Class Party

I had another great day with Stormtrooper and his preschool class. What a big, fun day we had celebrating Halloween!


Good Job Trenton!

I picked Trenton up from Harsha Autism Center yesterday and heard the best news! His coach said he participated in parallel play with a few peers! Plus, he played Duck Duck Goose and Ring Around the Rosey!  Such a small thing... I know.....but it was huge to me!!! So proud of you Trenton!


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Field Trip

Andrew had a field trip today. I went along and was looking forward to a great time. Andrew and I had an excellent time. However, it was rather heartbreaking at the same time. Andrew did not engage with any of his peers the entire time. I watched as the other four and five year olds laughed and played together. Andrew was glued to my side. The more I tried to encourage him to play with his classmates, the more he got upset. "They don't like me." "They never play with me." are the words that came out of his mouth repeatedly.

I hope and pray this part of his life gets better!

He was really excited to see Tow Mater:)


This picture speaks millions to me....
The whole class has the same color of t-shirts to wear on field trips. This year the shirts are orange. Last year the color of his class t-shirt was blue. It took 20 minutes to get Andrew's t-shirt on him because it was not blue. He kept saying "It's suppose to be blue not orange." He had a very difficult time accepting that the shirts were orange and not blue this year. The first half of the trip, Andrew would not stop talking about the t-shirt. He tried repeatedly to take his shirt off. I wonder if his inability of being able to accept a different color shirt was part of his problem with not even trying to participate with his peers?!?

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Lining up

Andrew has started lining up again lately. I wonder what this means? I haven't seen him do this since he started ABA therapy two years ago.
I asked him why he lined his cars up, hoping he would say something like how he parked them or something along that line. Instead he said, " I just wanted to line them up. I like lining things up again." I said, "Oh you are parking your cars?" He said, "I am not parking the cars, I just want to line things up."


It doesn't surprise me that he has started lining up again. His autism is getting more evident as he gets older and he appears to be regressing in many ways such as with his OCD, fixations, etc.

Talking

The boys could not be more different in almost every characteristic of their autism. I read early on that when siblings had autism, they are often completely different. Wow...is it ever!
They have the diagnosis in common but how their diagnosis is portrayed is complete opposites.

I remember the first child I met after Trenton's diagnosis that had autism with the ability to talk. This child knew exactly how to talk, just like Andrew. The child was in my face asking me a hundred questions about everything that he could think of... that is exactly how Andrew is. I remember wondering what it was like to live with that boy because I was raising two boys who were unable to communicate at that time. Now, I know exactly what it is like.

Andrew talks a lot! The only time that I notice when he is very quiet is when he is uncomfortable or when his anxiety is rising.

Last week I was in Dollar General with Andrew and while we were checking out he noticed that someone had placed a book back in the wrong spot. He asked repeatedly why a book was sitting on top of the candy bars by the cashier. I answered him over and over. He started asking the cashier, "Why is this book here? It is not suppose to be here." The cashier answered his question but Andrew of course couldn't drop the subject and kept asking her over and over and asking other things over and over. The cashier literally stopped what she was doing, looked at me with the biggest eyes and said, "Wow. That's all I can say is wow."

That's just a small situation...so many other things happen daily with Andrew and his speech out in public. Andrew is all about talking to others and asking them questions that you probably shouldn't ask a stranger...

Andrew ask questions about everything and then his questions lead to more questions and then he starts talking about his questions and it never ends. He ask the same question at least three times and makes sure I answer it exactly the same way I answered it before. If I say something just slightly different then he calls me out on it and it makes him mad! For example, he asked me the other day how old I will be when he is 70. I answered 100. He asked me again, I said 100. He asked me the third time and I said old. Oh boy did he ever get mad because I said old and not 100.

He is still fixated on numbers and his conversations almost always revolved around numbers. I continue to have to answer daily how old I will be when he is 20,25,30,66,77,45....you name the number I almost guarantee he has asked me. Then he brings up someone else like Trenton or Nana  and we have to go through the whole scenario about how old he will be when that person is a certain age. It never ends!!! NO LIE!

If he isn't talking about people's age, he is talking about something that he can always turn into tons of questions.

Andrew loves to know his schedule and it helps tremendously with his anxiety. When we are discussing his week and if I need to mention something that will happen on a certain day, I can't say...."On Thursday this week you have OT." If I do, he gets mad and says, "What number Moochies?" I then have to say, "On October 6 you have OT." He organizes and balances everything out in his mind through his numbers.

Most of the time, I have to count how many yogurts he has left after he takes one to eat....or whatever he feels in his mind that he wants to know the number of. It is going to be very interesting if his number fixation sticks or if it is something that is just going on right now. One way or the other, Andrew sure does make up for what Trenton is unable to do and that is talking!

Trenton, on the other hand, has had a little more difficulty lately on being able to produce the few words that he can. Even his teacher during church mentioned this today. His speech therapist brought this up lately too.  He has a BIG stim right now and that is smacking his lips. I wondered if his new stim is playing a role with his inability to say the few words that he can. (Stim is basically a self soothing behavior.)

There is a big misunderstanding when it comes to autism. A large number of people think that if you have autism, you can't talk. That could not be any farther from the truth. One small part of autism is the inability to communicate or the inability to communicate appropriately. Trenton is unable to communicate. Andrew is able to communicate but at times he doesn't know how to communicate appropriately due to his inability to understand what is socially acceptable.







Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Be Still

One of my daily Bible scriptures that I received today was Be still, and know that I am God.’” Psalm 46:10a

I have thought about this verse a lot over the years, especially the last few years.
Is it hard to be still? You betcha. I know you, my reader, knows that just as much as I do. It doesn't matter what we face in life, "being still" is hard...being patient is hard.....it's all hard.

It is especially hard for me raising two boys with special needs as a single parent. Sometimes it is hard to wait on God to lead me to the next step in our life. It's hard to wait for certain answers for the boys when time is so crucial.

It's hard to be still when your child can't communicate and has so many daily challenges. As a parent, I want to help the problem and fix it right then and there! But, that is impossible.

However, we have to learn to be still and to see the beauty in the life that He gave us. God is in control of everything so we have to wait for him to guide us and to show us what is next in our journey of this crazy thing we call life.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bonding

The boys continue to bond. Oh how I love it! I do my best to educate Andrew on Trenton's noises. The one big issue they have when they are playing together is when Andrew continues to do something that Trenton doesn't like. Trenton makes his upset noises but Andrew can't read cues like that so Andrew keeps on doing what he is doing and Trenton keeps getting more upset and the next thing we have is both boys having a tantrum. Trenton is crying cause Andrew didn't stop and Andrew is crying cause Trenton quit playing with him.  However, it will get better with time. I never thought a year ago that Trenton would enjoy his brother like he is these days:)


I caught them doing laps in the house holding hands:)
 We had lots of fun kicking a beach ball around and playing catch the other day.
 Trenton enjoyed waking Andrew up with me yesterday morning.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Running

Ever since our journey began, the thing I heard the most from people was, "What do you do for yourself?" I would always get a lecture from people where they would tell me how I needed to take time for myself to rejuvenate, etc.

When our journey took us to Indiana almost two years ago, it was the first time since having Trenton where I was going to be "separated" from him. Before, I was on the road over two hours daily taking him to and from therapies. Now, I was going to live in the same town that had this amazing facility where I was able to drop him off for a few hours! Wow....that had never happened before. With that said, I was looking forward to the first time of being able to have time to rejuvenate and I wanted to use that time to reconnect with my husband at the time and to spend some family time with Andrew. Well, time was very limited after we moved. I had only a few hours daily away from boys and Trenton still wasn't sleeping good so the time that I was hoping for turned out to be much less than what I thought. I was sleep deprived and up around the clock still.  My husband at the time wasn't interested in family time so that time  turned into Mommy and Andrew time on Andrew's days off. I enjoyed that and still do. I never had that either before we moved.

A year ago Andrew started preschool. I had two hours while he was at preschool. During this time I started walking. I used to always work out before I had the boys and loved it. However, when babies came....and then autism.......and children who literally only let me sleep two hours per night there was no time and energy to workout. However, I had two hours and I made myself walk. During that time I started reading the book, Silent Running, about a family with two boys who are much like Trenton and they ran together as a family when their boys got older. This book inspired me to turn my walking into running.

December 2015 I started running. I looked up how to train myself to be a runner. I had a program in place. Wow....I couldn't run 15 seconds without being completely out of breath. Years of no sleep and nothing but stress had took a toll on me and my body. In the first three months I had lots of pulled muscles and injuries but I stuck with it. I am so glad that I stuck with it!!! I never thought a year ago that  I would be able to take off and run for a complete hour but I can now! I never thought I would love to run but I do! I LOVE IT!  Working out and running has done wonders for my stress. Trenton sleeps consecutive hours now so I have energy to run during the day. It is the first thing I do when the boys are at their destinations. I only have three hours each day without being with the boys, or in a meeting, or at therapy, or fighting to save our house,  or anything else that arises and let me tell you lots of stuff comes up with two kids with special needs. Therefore, I make sure to get my workout in the first thing because it truly inspires me for the rest of the day.

When I am running and struggling and wanting to quit, I think of the boys and their special needs. I think of people who are unable to use their legs. I think of the gifts that God has given to me and one of my gifts is legs that I can use!! That is my determination to keep pushing through. On some days, I feel as light as a feather sailing through the air. I feel like I could run forever and those are the days I am usually thinking of the boys and what we need to accomplish and thinking about their progress reports, etc.

So, let's go back to that question about what do I do for myself? Well, I run and workout. I finally had time to myself starting a year ago to do something for myself and it turned into running! I feel the best that I have in many years. It is a combination that I am able to get sleep now, less stress , I got an amazing schedule and routine going on with the boys, and the heartache and stress that I do have is worked out during prayer and running time.

I PROMISE you that one day I will have a post on here of Trenton and Mommy's first run together. I know that I will cry the whole time......happy tears of course!

Way to go Trenton!

After a long afternoon of promoting my book yesterday, I got to treat T-man out to supper. My parents brought him up to the event and he did very good. I would estimate that he lasted about 45 minutes before he started making his upset noises and leading me away. I am very proud of him!! Forty-five minutes at an event where there were a good number of people at, is amazing for him! I am one very proud Mommy! I just see all of our hard work paying off slowly:)
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Autism Acceptance Event

I had a great day promoting my book at an Autism Acceptance event in Terre Haute.  I spoke to some amazing families who are going through the daily struggles of raising children on the spectrum as well. I could talk about each and every one of them and how I relate to them but that would be an enormous post! However, I did get the pleasure of meeting this cutie, Nicolai.


I have never met someone so similar to Trenton until today. This little boy is exactly the way Trenton was at four years old. The second his Mom let go of his hand he was running away and not looking back. Wow! He is so similar! Such a sweet little boy who has an awesome Mommy. I also had the pleasure of meeting his step parent and she is awesome as well! This little boy and his brother is blessed with a great family who does everything they can for him.
The few minutes I spent with him just melted my heart. I have always had a love for individuals with special needs, which is why I was a special education teacher. I just can't wait for the day when I can go back to work and work with special needs people again. I know...I know...I have my boys but my heart is in it to help everyone!

The event had trick or treating for kids on the spectrum. Guess who came to see me at my table???? That is right...my two cutie patooties who is the inspiration behind everything that I do. Andrew was very excited that he got to go trick or treating already!!

 Lots of kids and adults were dressed up:)

The event also had firetrucks there! The boys enjoyed it....Andrew wants to be a firefighter when he grows up:)
 My nephews also came to see me at my booth today. Love them so much and wish I had more time to be an aunt.
 Andrew was beyond elated that his buddy, Lincoln came!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Love his smile!

Trenton has had some rough spots this week which means Mommy has to. However, it wasn't anything that we couldn't work through. Was it stressful? Yes. Is autism in general stressful? Oh my yes! But, it is amazing moments like the picture below that just erases all the pain away. It is like going through childbirth......you go through the worst pain possible and then you see your child and the pain leaves you because you see your beautiful baby. Moments where Trenton loves on me, snuggles with me, says my name, smiles for a picture...well it just simply erases the pain and anguish that we had earlier in the week with crying spells and so forth.  What an amazing journey I get  to be on with the two best boys ever!!!
I love his smile in this picture. Trenton can take good pictures when he is in the mood and when he sees himself. It almost always has to be a selfie so he can see himself smile.

New Jammies!

Andrew loves his new pajamas he got today!



Thursday, October 13, 2016

Motor Skills Disorder

Andrew continues to have difficulty making friends at preschool. Every day when I picked him up this week, except for today, he said, "I played by myself today Moochies. Nobody wanted to play with me." It just doesn't hurt him, it hurts me too.

One of the things that struck out to me when I was talking to Andrew about this was that he said he can't keep up with the other kids in his class. He said everyone is faster than him and can do things on the playground such as climbing that he can't do.  I put two and two together and his gross motor skills are just one factor that is hindering him from making friends. Andrew's motor skills have always been much worse than Trenton's. Gross motor difficulties is a very common problem with kids on the higher end of the spectrum. Andrew was very late learning how to jump and pedal. In fact, I have noticed the older he gets the more he does not want to ride a bike. I asked him why one day and he said that it is hard for him to pedal.  The older Andrew gets the more he refuses to do any type of physical activity because it is hard for him. He knows he can't do it and that others his age can do it. Therefore, it lowers his self esteem even more.

In general, Andrew is much more wobbly with his gross motor. He appears to be clumsy and most people pass it off as being clumsy. However, it is a much more serious issue than just being clumsy. The older he gets, the more his body grows, the harder it is for him to manage his body.

I've been doing lots of research and getting things together to help Andrew in this area. Here are a few articles that I came across that are very interesting. They explain this issue perfectly and it is a disorder all by itself for many people, Motor Skills Disorder. Motor Skills Disorder is a developmental disorder that impairs motor coordination in daily activities. Many kids with High-Functioning Autism  and Asperger’s experience deficits in motor skills development, which often manifest as abnormal clumsiness.

http://autism.lovetoknow.com/Motor_Skills_in_Autistic_Children

http://www.myaspergerschild.com/2013/09/motor-skills-disorder-in-kids-with-high.html

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/motor_skills_disorder/page3_em.htm#motor_skills_disorder_symptoms

I share this with you all tonight in hopes that the next time you see a young kid or adult that appears to be "clumsy"...they just may have a much bigger problem.

The more we educate the more aware others are! Knowledge is a big part of understanding others.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Struggles of Raising a Child Who is Unable to Communicate

I often don't post enough of the heartache and troubles that come along with raising a child who is unable to talk much. Trenton has got great at saying, "juice" when he wants juice....or "chips" when he wants chips....or "chicken" when he wants chicken nuggets. I am so thankful and grateful that we have achieved that because it wasn't but just two years ago that he was still holding my hand and taking me into the kitchen and throwing my hand to the fridge and expecting me to read his mind. Wow...have we ever came a long way! I am so blessed and forever grateful to the good Lord for answering prayers and giving this blessing to Trenton.

However, aside from that, it is still a huge daily struggle to figure out everything else. The other morning Trenton cried for a little over one hour without stopping. It was not a meltdown. It was not a tantrum. It was just constant tears. He couldn't tell me what was wrong. It is always a huge guessing game as to what is making him cry. Of course I ask him the same questions over and over as if he can speak back, "What is wrong Trenton?" "Does something hurt?" "Do you want a dvd?" "Does your tummy hurt?" and many more questions.

The hurt I feel watching him just cry and unable to tell me what is wrong is a hurt that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. No mother wants to see their child hurt or struggle.  When there is not the ability to communicate, it is the worst! I just can't even begin to fathom what it is like for Trenton. It is hard enough for me to watch him struggle and to not be able to help him. I just can't imagine being him.

A great fear of mine is that he has something terribly wrong with him and he can't tell me. For example, what if he had appendicitis one day? I've been down the road of having him extremely ill with earaches for a week before I took him to the doctor but what if it was something much bigger and worse? Not only is his pain tolerance much different than the normal persons (he can handle a lot of pain!) but he can't communicate to me!

He doesn't say "potty" if he needs to go to the restroom. Therefore, if we are out in public and he needs to potty, he just pees his pants. His anxiety and sensory overload takes over and there is no words that come out of him while we are in public. Again, I can't imagine having to pee and not being able to tell my mom that I have to go.

The list could go on forever. I am sure a lot of them you haven't even thought of but I have because I experience them almost daily. The hurt and pain of raising a child who is unable to communicate is real. It's a pain that won't ever go away especially as time keeps on going and he keeps on getting older, the likelihood that he will be able to do these things are diminishing which is why early intervention is the key folks! There is such a small opportunity to work with kids on the spectrum to help reach these major milestones.

Eric Church

Love my Little Eric Church!

Looking Back What I've Learned Along The Way

Here is the link to one of my articles that was published on autismawareness.com

https://autismawareness.com/looking-back-what-ive-learned-along-the-way/


Painting Our Pumpkins

We are starting to have some fall fun around here. Our first project with our pumpkins was to paint them:)

Andrew wrote his own name on his pumpkin and he did a great job!




Monday, October 10, 2016

Just One Bad Day-Hopefully!

I was just telling a few people over the weekend that I believe I have finally found the right combination and dosage of medication for Trenton. About six months ago we started this combination and it has really made a big difference in his behavior. There are times when he has his days where he is very hyperactive and running into walls, jumping all over the furniture, running constantly in the house, opening up the fridge and all the cabinets in the kitchen, and doing absolutely anything that he can do to keep his body moving. These days are going to happen from time to time because his body chemistry is totally different than a neurotypical person. His brain is wired differently and doctors have yet to find an explanation of why their chemistry and wiring can change from time to time.

Trenton had one of these days today. Even Harsha Autism Center mentioned his hyperactivity when I picked him up. Tonight, I saw things that I haven't seen in awhile. I have NO idea how I survived his first five years of his life. No idea! I do hope that today his body chemistry was just "off" leading his medicines to not work properly. Please let his chemistry be off for just one day and not the next few months. The amount of stress that this type of behavior brings is unexplainable!

Just last night I received the nicest text from someone complimenting me and how I "look" these days. My response was basically how great things have been going this year and I simply get sleep. Trenton's  behavior has been better and I get sleep.....WOW....it's amazing how good that is to a person's body!! Absolutely amazing!....so Please T-man let this just be one bad day!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Heroes

My Grandpa told me over the weekend that I was one of his heroes. My grandpa has a very well respected list of heroes and they are mostly men that he served in war with. To be on his list of heroes is one of the most rewarding things that I have ever heard. I am one of his heroes because of this little boy right here.....the way I have completely changed my life to help T-man....the way I sacrifice everything daily for him has made me one of my Grandpa's heroes.
Not only is my Grandpa and Grandma one of my heroes but Trenton is too. Trenton has opened my eyes to a whole new beautiful world. One that I never wanted but one that God gave me. I have never turned away from it nor will I ever. Instead, I look and find out what God is telling me to do and I do it. Thank you so much Trenton James for being one of the few people in my life that I allow to be named a hero.
My other hero is Lil A. Andrew has shown me more than I ever thought a person on the higher end of the spectrum could ever show anyone.  Thank you Andrew for being my other hero that is thirty years younger than me. I am the luckiest Mommy in the world to be able to give birth to my heroes. We have a hard life but it is a life filled with seeing the beauty in the smallest of miracles that I get to witness daily.

Perfect Friday & Saturday

We had the best time in Flora over the weekend. It was a short trip but a very good one. On Friday night Trenton went to bed early. Therefore, I snuck out and went to the football game. Do you know how amazing it felt to get out of the house at night!! Wow...it is a feeling that I can't even explain, especially when it is very rare when  it happens. That is just ONE of the many things about our life with autism that I just don't talk about enough. When you are forced in your home all the time, it is incredible to be able to get out. A simple thing that almost everyone takes for granted!

Anyway, I attended my brothers football game, he is the head coach, on a Friday night. The last time I tried was several years ago and  all I did was chase Trenton around the track while he fussed....so we didn't stay.
The look on Andrew's face when I told him that we were going to Uncle Brian's football game was priceless! I am not sure what made him smile more....the fact that we were going to a football game at night or the fact that Mommy and him were doing something at night! Oh it was awesome!!
For the past five years even if someone offered for me to go and do something at night, I couldn't because the boys didn't sleep, especially Trenton. I went on two hours of broken sleep every single night. Now, it is amazing! Trenton will stay in bed till 4 AM every morning unless he has been overstimulated and put in uncomfortable situation and then he has issues sleeping and occasionally there is flukes but overall I can count on him to sleep till 4 AM. Andrew goes to bed late so I normally get to bed around 11 and sleep till 4 and it is the best!!!!!! THE BEST EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was explaining this to a few people lately and they couldn't believe that I thought that was great. If you have been through what I have the past 5 years, so would you! TRUST ME!!

Anyway, on Saturday we went to a pumpkin patch and the boys did great! It melts my heart watching them together daily. I can really see what I am teaching them daily and it melts my heart!!!
They had so much fun together.....they giggled...they laughed....they held hands....they simply had fun and it was awesome to watch it!

Trenton waited on Andrew a few times and it made Andrew's day! Andrew's shoe fell off and Trenton picked it up and put it on for him! WOW!!!!! They really do watch out for each other:)
One time a little girl passed Trenton climbing up a slide and Andrew thought the girl was mean to Trenton which she wasn't but Andrew was being protective of Trenton. Andrew talked for the whole next hour about how he wasn't going to let anyone be mean to Trenton because that is his brother and he needs him! Seriously was precious! I teach Andrew to watch out for Trenton and to help him in life, etc. and Andrew is obviously listening and doing everything that I am teaching him.

The pumpkin patch in my hometown is the perfect place to take Trenton. He has been there every single year since he was 14 months old. It is never very busy, not noisy but rather a peaceful, quiet place which is the perfect combination for him. So thankful we have that place to go to! Plus, he is with me and anytime I am with him, it goes better:)  I am not only his mother but I am also his parent, his person that has done everything for him...that has went through everything for him and that builds one heck of a special bond!

We went back to my parents house and had lots of fun on Saturday. We even ended our night out of the house again!! Again, Trenton went to bed so Andrew, Nana, and I snuck out of the house. I showed Andrew some good, ole fashion fun of teepeeing! I had to explain a lot to him but in the end, he loved it! When we were all said and done he got in the van and said, "We rocked it." It was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend!

Andrew and I with my younger brother, Brent. Nana cut off Andrew's head but he obviously wasn't paying attention anyway.

 My cute pumpkins:)



 I asked Andrew what his favorite part of the trip to Flora was and he said...."My tractor ride and football game and teepeeing and just being there Mooches. I want to live there."
Andrew asked about every other day when he can go to Nana's house next. He also cries every time we leave and it breaks everyone's heart.








Thursday, October 6, 2016

Social Struggles

Andrew's social struggles continue to get worse. I take every single opportunity that I can to get him out in the public around other kids so I can help him. However, we haven't had any successful tries yet. In fact, it seems to make things worse when I try to give him help on how to play with other kids. He gets upset that what he is doing isn't appropriate. For instance, the other day he kept up walking up to random people and he would just stick his tongue out at them. He did this to several kids and adults and every single time the person turned their nose up at him and avoided him. Andrew got upset, of course, because he wanted them to play with him. When I tried to tell him that it wasn't the appropriate thing to do and I showed him what to do instead, he got upset. VERY UPSET! We have had numerous other situations that are similar to this one over the past few months. However, I just keep on trying to work with him and help him in this area.

Another issue that is rising with him is that he doesn't want to be around older kids. He was at the park the other day and a few kids more than likely a few years older than him, started playing by him. As soon as Andrew noticed the kids, panic took over. His eyes filled with fear, he screamed and took off running away from the playground. He kept saying, "No, no. I don't want to be by older kids." Needless to say, we left immediately because he was done playing.

Andrew has voiced to me on several occasions that he only wants to play with kids his age or younger. I've noticed that everywhere we are, he is attracted to the kids that are younger than him. I believe he feels more comfortable and has more confidence in himself when he is around younger kids which is very typical of kids on the spectrum. I have heard the exact same thing from numerous other parents of kids who are high functioning.....they always play and make friends with people younger than them.

For now, I will continue to work with him and hold on to hope that we can defeat this struggle one day.

Andrew is like many kids who have HFA or what was formerly known as Asperger's Syndrome in the fact that he has some major social issues. In the type of world we live in these days, social challenges definitely do not make it easy for anyone. One of the first things I learned from a Board Certified Behavior Analyst is that parents have to stay on top of this because these are the children that are often bullied and have a much higher chance of suffering from severe depression and suicidal thoughts. This Momma is trying her best to help Li' A in this area!

Peekaboo Mommy & Baby

Trenton loves his peekaboo animals again lately. What he loves the most is that he has a few bigger ones that match his smaller ones. We call them the "Mommy and the baby" and he smiles so big every time.



 They even go down the slide with him!