Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Aggressive Behavior

Autism has many characteristics. It goes way beyond the three basic traits that most people think of such as  communication, socialization, and behavior. I hope to do a post and outline of all the traits of autism. However, in this particular post, I want to focus on aggressive behavior.
Behavior is a form of communication.  All behavior is communicating. Individuals with classic autism can have aggressive behavior? But, what exactly causes the behavior?

Sometimes behavioral responses are simply a reflex. Sometimes it is likely from a underlying biological process that results in behaviors that are out of the persons control.

Many behaviors are a response to a previous experience. They remember how they felt in a certain situation, therefore, they continue in that behavior. For example, if they were in a situation that left them with high anxiety, something that is not "normal" to their routine, they develop anxiety and maladaptive behaviors. The behavior is a result of their inner anxiety. Once that has taken over the individual with autism, it is hard to revert back to how there were without that anxiety and behavior. The individual learns to walk on eggshells and they are a bomb waiting to explode because they remember all too well the disruption in their routine or that situation that makes them feel that way so they live their life on edge, resulting in maladaptive behavior that is beyond their control.

If the individual is unable to communicate, it makes the possibility of the behavior being aggressive a likely possibility.

Research proves that an individual with autism shows aggressive behavior to their caregiver twenty percent more than to individuals they are not as comfortable with. Research also proves that if the child displayed aggressive behavior at a young age, it is likely to come back as the individual gets older.

This picture is from 2.5 years ago during one of Trenton's aggressive behavior moments. He intentionally ran through glass. I took a picture after the episode was over of the huge glass pieces.  He has done this three times. I have no doubt that he was not in control of his body and this was done out of his control. Trenton has lots of moments of aggressive behavior from his past which makes sense that he is regressing back to aggressive behavior.




Individuals with autism are 40 percent more likely to die from injury than a neurotypical person. I believe this to be true! I have to be on guard with him 24/7.
Trenton acts fine one second and the next second when you least expect it, he is engaging in aggressive, dangerous behavior. He can't be trusted.  Sadly, for the past two years I was able to  get to where I could trust him in a few situations. However, he has regressed and I can't now.

In a study of 1584 child with autism ages 2 to 17, shows some interesting information in this area.
This particular study shows that children who have had sleep challenges and severe sensory issues are much more likely to display aggressive behavior than children with autism without those challenges.
All of those studies makes perfect sense when it comes to Trenton.

So what is a parent to do?
Do the best you can to keep life strict and to a routine!!
Do your best to prevent over stimulation and anxiety.

People with autism often report that they find the world confusing and anxiety producing. Many of the successful supports for increasing appropriate behavior involve creating more predictability and safety.

From all the information I have read, studied, and the numerous parents I have spoke to, a lot of this information makes perfect sense.
There are key ages in an individual with autism where their bodies and brain waves are changing. Most of the time, it causes regression and aggressive behavior. Of course, puberty age is a huge one. However, another age where a lot of things happen in the autistic person body is around the age of  8-9. I often wonder if Trenton isn't starting his period early......



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

He Slept!

After that terrible day with uncontrollable behavior....he slept all night long!!!


Behavior

Incase you missed this post on Facebook.....

I walked in my house and sat down on my couch at 1:30 PM this afternoon holding back tears. I was so emotionally and mentally drained from what I had just went through at ST & OT with Trenton that I simply felt nothing! My body was numb to everything. The stress of this life had took over and left me numb!
Trenton's behavior has declined the past month and a half and seems to be getting worse. He got fixated on an object during ST this morning and was not able to move past it... which led to very aggressive, dangerous behavior. I won't go into detail but it was very severe aggressive, dangerous behavior to the point that he put others around him in danger. He put himself in danger. I was afraid to walk out of the building to our van afterwards because it is on a busy street and he was so aggressive if he got away from me, he would of ran right into the busy street. He does not know danger. (He keeps getting bigger and stronger. What am I going to do when he becomes a teenager????)
After ST & OT, I had to walk him into Harsha Autism Center without a shirt on because he ripped it off of himself in the van. (I found out today that it is time to get "autism proof" seatbelts and all the good stuff to make driving with him safe)
Needless to say when I got home at 1:30 and finally had one hour to myself before Andrew got home, I just sat on the couch, replaying the entire morning....drained! Then I got a call from Harsha Autism Center informing me that they had to do three physical restraint holds on Trenton so far today because his behavior was dangerous, aggressive, and put others around him in danger. UGH!!!! Life with classic autism is so hard!!!
I had some people tell me right after Trenton was diagnosed that it gets better....well...it doesn't actually get better for some people. To some families it does! To some, it doesn't! Some areas gets better and then regression comes in one area but it makes everything else impossible.
To those who understand the aggressive behavior side of autism...it is a huge stress and worry. I know you understand what I am talking about.
I was just thinking last night about what his life is going to be like if he keeps on regressing like this.....of course that led to "what will happen to him when I die."....that led to another thought......UGH! It NEVER gets easier!
If you are having a day......a month...two months like we are.....you are not alone! I am living like this and we know many other families are too! So, hang in there! I will keep you in my prayers!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Family

We had some visitors on Saturday!! Andrew was beyond excited to play with Lincoln for the day.
We played around the house and ventured out to a few places. Trenton as always was included but was not able to handle it. Therefore, like every family outing is, Trenton spent some time in the van while everyone else enjoyed the event. Family outings and life in general will never be normal. However, we adjust and thanks to my family, we are able to do some things.


I don't get to see this little guy enough. (my nephew)
 I told boys to give a thumbs up or a thumbs down to the Cubs. LOL! Andrew made sure he gave them a thumbs down:)
 Love my family! Uncle Brent from STL made the trip over for the day!

 Trenton in the van.....it seems to be the normal lately. I pray and hope he gets back to where he was at places in public.
Ephesians 5:20 - Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Like I mentioned earlier, we will never be the typical, normal family and we will never do things like most families do. Yes, it hurts and gets me sad when Trenton can't do things. But, we are beyond blessed! God has been very good to us. We are so thankful for what we have!!


All the boys were all about Uncle Brent!


Friday, October 6, 2017

Mommy Miss You

If you follow and have seen all of my post, you know Trenton has been struggling in many areas lately. When he is in a hard phase, I struggle with the emotions of autism more than usual. However, T-man really does show me daily that he loves me and appreciates me! You can read my post below to see how ...he shows me this:)
What he did yesterday is not in my previous post because I wrote it yesterday. But, it is the icing on the cake to the attached post!
He did his normal phone call to me when he was upset at Harsha Autism Center. (I explained this process in my attachment.) He calmed down after hearing my voice like he usually does. However, what made it even more special today at pick up time was not just his smile that lit up the room when he saw me but it is what he said!!!! Yes....it's what he said! In the middle of all of his happy noises when he ran up to me he said, "Mommy miss you." I AM NOT KIDDING!!!!!! I know it is exactly what he said!!!! In fact, he clapped his hands all the way home and said it a handful of other times, too!
Trenton really does feel secure with me. I am the one that knows exactly what he wants all the time. I know what his noises mean. I know what his sounds mean. I know him way better than anyone else. I can't imagine being him and not able to communicate and express things in this world. Therefore, I can't imagine his anxiety that he has when his security, which is me, is not around.
When I was walking him from the building to our van, he looked at me and said, "Mommy, Trenton, Andrew." Andrew was in the van waiting on us and when I told him Trenton said his name, he was the happiest little boy ever!!!!! Andrew loves his brother so much!!!
I never would have dreamed a year ago that Trenton's body would let him have such a clear moment to express this! It may never happen again. However, I will always cherish that moment, forever!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

How They Show Me Love

Actions speak louder than words. I have always said this and it speaks volumes to me now, especially with having a child who is able to communicate very little.

Trenton often request for me throughout his day. Almost every day I hear from either his teacher or therapist that Trenton was saying my name verbally and on his AAC device. I can't tell you how much this means to me. I used to pray and beg God to hear his voice and to hear my name roll off his tongue. Now I do daily and it is simply the best feeling ever!!

It is not uncommon, especially for the past 5 weeks, for Trenton to get upset and cry during his day. He sometimes request, while at therapy, to call me or his therapist ask him if he wants to call me. Therefore, Trenton with the help of his therapist, calls me. It makes my day to hear his sweet noises on the other end. It hurts to hear his cries and to hear him crying and saying my name. However, he normally calms down after he calls me!! To have a child whom you can't have a conversation with.....and who can't express or show love..... to experience something as little as him calling me with his therapist so he can hear my voice to calm down....wow! I can't even describe how it makes me feel! It definitely is a reminder that I am his person and he REALLY does LOVE ME! I am so proud of him that on some days he has the ability to calm his emotions after hearing my voice on the phone. It is just simply ONE of the best feelings in the world to me! It is one of those things that some parents take for granted but parents, like me, know how special and big this really is!

Another amazing reminder that he loves me is every time I pick him up, I get the most amazing smile from him. He doesn't show emotion most of the time which is common with severe autism. Sure, I know when he is happy and when he is upset from his noises and actions but he doesn't just come up to me and hug me or kiss me. But, he NEVER fails to greet me with the most amazing smile! It is the highlight of my day! Every. Single. Time!

Trenton is only away from me three different times. Those times are a few hours on Monday-Friday when he is at school, a few hours Monday-Friday when he is at Harsha Autism Center, and Sunday afternoon when he is at his dad's house. Every time I pick him up at all three places he couldn't smile bigger and is ready to come home to me. Honestly, I am not sure what is better....hearing my name daily, crying for me and me being able to comfort him, or that big beautiful smile?!?!?! It's all pretty amazing!! The words and actions of a child with classic autism is all simply amazing! AMAZING! This is the times that help me get through all the rough times we go through!

And...by the way....two nights ago I said to Trenton, "Oh Trenton. I love you so much. I sure hope you know what love means. Do you love Mommy?"
He shouted, "YES!"

Oh yeah....God is good!!! We have had a lot of rough times the past month but I still see my blessings in those rough times!


Here is a picture of Trenton on the phone with me!!

Andrew, on the other hand, is all about telling me how much he loves me all the time.

"Moochies, you are the best." "Moochies you take such good care of me." are some of the examples I hear from him.

He says many other things daily. The way he expresses his love is in a totally different way. Andrew hugs. Andrew kisses me. He does it spontaneously and when I ask him. His emotions are like a typical person. Andrew draws me pictures and tells me he did it cause he loves me. Andrew thanks me for things.
In many ways, I do get the best of both worlds. I experience normalcy with Andrew and I get the special, unique ways with T-man!



Monday, October 2, 2017

Every Day-Not Just Today

James 1:2-3King James Version (KJV)
 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

As the nation comes together to pray for the Las Vegas victims and their families, I can't help but ask myself how many people may say a prayer today and then wake up tomorrow and not pray again until the next hard time in life?

How many people may turn to God today and by next week they are back to their life and they don't think they need God?

We all need to remember that God is the creator of this world! Our life is not our life! It is God's life. God picked you for the role that you live. He gave you a Bible to know what to do. Then, he gives you free will.

God tells us many things in the Bible and sadly, many people don't do them. Look at how many people do not follow God's word. It is all around us! God wants LOVE! God wants people to think of  others before themselves. We all know how selfish the world is....do you really think God is happy with the world he created? 

Do you think a coach is happy with his players if the coach provides them all the details on how to run the play and then they don't do it right?
Do you think a movie director is happy with his actors after he gives them the script on what to do and then come show time, they don't do it?

No, not at all!

Do you think God is happy with the world he created?

No, not at all!

This is why we are told in Bible to be grateful of hard times. But why you might ask?

In difficult times, you see people coming together. You see "The Good Samaritans" coming out. You see people turning to Him. You see people taking care of the weak, the hurt, the injured, etc. You see people living like God has instructed us to live. So....sadly.....God allows things to happen to wake up the world! People need a test from time to time. Many people are handed test every day but they refuse. Sometimes real big bad things have to happen for God to test people even more.

Until everyone starts living like God designed, we will always see unfortunate events like Las Vegas, all the terrorist attacks, church shootings, etc.

As I have said before, Trenton was one of my test. Divorce was one of my test. 
I believe I have responded how God wanted me to. Before autism, I didn't pray like I do now. I have a much deeper appreciation of a healthy body. I have a deeper appreciation how life can change before you know it. I have a deeper appreciation of needing my amazing God. I have a deeper appreciation of what it means to put others first....etc....etc....etc.

God wants us to all have that deep understanding. He wants everyone to do what he says.

Romans 8: 28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

God says that ALL things work together for those that love him. If you are under a tragic event.....if you just got life changing information.....if you are taking care of a forever baby for the rest of your life....battling cancer.....sudden loss of a loved one.....it will be ok. God works for us as long as we are working for him. So take that "test" and do good! 
Yes you will always be affected and may never be the same again....but you are being tested by God.....you need that test!

Romans 8:18
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

This world isn't ours! We live the role that God gave us, remember? So lie your role...accept your trials....read your Bible....follow God's word....and focus on the life that really matters, our eternal life.

Let's not need God just during your hard time....NEED GOD EVERY DAY LIKE HE SAYS!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Picture

Trenton kept putting his arm around me Saturday afternoon and he would say, "picture."

Seven

Seven.

Seven days a week, I am with my son. (Minus the few hours at therapy and the few hours he is with his dad on Sunday afternoon.)
Seven nights a week I fight the battle of sleep and autism. I fight it alone with Trenton. No one to help.
Seven days a week, I lay my head down on my pillow at night fearing what the night might bring.
Seven days a week, I sleep with my son in the same bed due to his disability.
Seven days a week we are locked in our house all day.
Seven days a week we battle sensory challenges and follow a sensory diet.
Seven days a week, I clean up urine and feces.
Seven days a week, I fix him the same food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Seven days a week, I have to drive thru McDonalds.
Seven days a week, my guard is always up.
Seven days a week, I am with my son.
Seven days a week, I make every decision on what is best for my disabled son.
Seven days a week, I fear my death and what will happen to him.
Seven days a week, I battle all the battles of autism. I'm fighting for my son in school, therapy, insurance, waivers, and the state paperwork.

Seven days a week, I am taking care of a forever baby.
Seven days a week, my son depends on me. I am his person. I am his security. I am the one person he trust.
Seven days a week I have question after question that floats around in my head.
Seven days a week, I have chronic stress.
Seven days a week, I have extreme exhaustion that comes with parenting a special needs child.
Seven days a week, I am reviewing ST,OT, ABA, and school notes.
Seven days a week, I am documenting notes on his ABC chart.
Seven days a week, I am protecting my child who does not know danger.

BUT

Seven days a week, I see the face of an angel.
Seven days a week, I get to smile from my sons.
Seven days a week, I see beauty and innocence.
Seven days a week, I am very blessed.
Seven days a week, I see hope.
Seven days a week, I see joy.
Seven days a week, he makes me laugh.
Seven days a week, I realize how much better he makes me.
Seven days a week, I see love and show love to my boys.
Seven days a week, I walk a hard battle but an amazing battle
Seven days a week, I see strength I never knew I had.
Seven days a week, I witness a fighter in my own son.
Seven days a week, I live in the most special, amazing bond that can not be described to anyone. A bond only a mother and a non-verbal child can experience.
Seven days a week, I am part of an amazing group of "Autism Parents"
Seven days a week, I get joy from helping my child with severe autism and high functioning autism.
Seven days a week, I am given a task and I accept it.
Seven days a week, we celebrate a tiny success.
Seven days a week, I am loved more than anyone can imagine!
Seven days a week, I am reminded how blessed I really am.

I wouldn't have it any other way!


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Andrew

Andrew: "Moochies, you are the best ever."
Moochies: "Thank you Andrew. That is so sweet of you to say."
Andrew: "You are like a guy and a girl. You are like a mom and a dad."
Moochies: "What makes me like both?"
Andrew: "You like sports and help me with sports so your like a guy. You like the color blue and blue is a boy color but you're a girl. So you are like both."

LOL!! Lil A you are so funny!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Andrew's Picture



Andrew drew me a picture the other day. He said it was a picture of him handing me flowers. He is a sweet little boy!! He gave it to me on one of the worst days we have had in a long time....he knew Mommy needed a smile!


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Eye Dr.

When your child can't communicate, many things become guessing games. For awhile now Trenton has cried for no reason. During these episodes, he will say, "hurt", "eye hurt". This always left me thinking, "Does his eyes hurt?" Or "Is he saying, I hurt?" Or "Is this his way of saying he has a headache?" The questions....so many!
Long story short...his doctor referred him to a specialist in Indianapolis. Trenton had his appointment today to check out his eyes. Since no one has e...ver been able to perform a basic eye exam on him, he had to see a specialst....which is normal in our lives. Trenton sees many specialist as I am sure many of your children with classic autism do. Not many typical doctors are able to perform exams on non-verbal classic autism individuals.
Anyway, the appointment was two hours long. It was brutal but we survived. Trenton screamed at the top of his lungs in the waiting room. He cried. He ran. He paced. He hit. He kicked. He had an autism meltdown.....but...we survived only through the grace of God! It was the kind of appointment that left me in sweat everywhere!
Good news is that his eyes are great! So as of right now, I am guessing he is suffering from headaches during these episodes.
After today, I am really not sure how I will ever be able to manage these appointments as he gets older. It was much easier when he was smaller and not as strong. As a single mother, I have no choice and I am sure we will survive somehow.
Today was rough but hoping and praying for a better tomorrow!
Oh and while I was gone all day at his appointment....I came home to a freshly mowed yard!!! Woot Woot!!! My dad made the two hour trip to mow my yard!!! So thankful for my parents! The boys and I make it on our own but if I ever need them, I just need to call and they are here!

T-man wanted my glasses. He did not like getting his eyes dilated.
 Nana let him get a new stuffed animal after his appointment.
 We needed comfort food after our day

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Most Perfect Brother

"I have the most perfect brother in the world, Moochies." Andrew said Friday on our way home from Harsha Autism Center.

Andrew LOVES his brother!!! I instantly cried. I talk to him all the time about Trenton and Andrew is getting more and more understanding as he gets older.

Friday, September 22, 2017

I volunteer in Andrew's class. He loves when it's my day to be at his school!


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Classic Autism. It's Real. It's Out There

Autism. One word describing a thousand different stories.

How can one word describe so many different types? How can one word describe a kid that can speak and a kid that can't speak? How can one word describe a child that can sleep and a child that isn't able to sleep?

I am not going to lie! I HATE autism being one word to describe so many different people and let me tell you why.....

My son, Trenton, has classic autism. Some times it is called severe autism and now the technical way to describe it is level three autism.
My youngest son, Andrew, has a diagnosis of autism, too. Some times it is referred to as high functioning autism, formally known as Asperger's Syndrome. To many people, he is just the "different", "quirky" kid.

Andrew is in a regular classroom and can learn just like any other typical child. The only thing is he had mountains to climb when he was younger and he climbed them! However, he simply has a few unique things about him that he will battle with in life. He will manage those and will make it through life.

Trenton is a different story! Two boys with the same diagnosis but two TOTALLY different outcomes.

Personally, I enjoy watchin the T.V shows these days that have individuals with autism on it. I was flattered when Sesame Street came out with their character with autism. However, where are the classic autism cases? Where is the media and TV shows displaying a mother wiping the bottoms of her teenage sons? Where are the shows showing a child playing and rubbing his feces everywhere?
They are few and far between compared to the high functioning autism that we see in the media.

Where are the stories of mothers fighting sleep deprivation because they are up all night?
Where are the stories of the single mothers who are left by themselves not able to work because of their child and left forever in poverty?

Where are the stories of meltdowns and behaviors?
Where are the stories of grown men in pull-ups? Or the individuals with self injurious behaviors?
We don't hear the noises....the groans and moans of a non-verbal child with classic autism!

We don't hear about stories of families living behind special  locks to keep their child in the house. Or the service dogs trained to protect them.
We don't hear the stories of people with classic autism escaping from their house and being killed.

We don't see or hear of the stories of mothers being kicked, hit, and abused from their child.
There isn't reality shows of families raising children and taking care of grown children with classic autism. If we did, it would open the eyes of many people!

For five years I have attended autism walks and participated in any type of autism event that I could. However, it just left me bitter. My son was always the one that couldn't handle it.....the one having the meltdown....the one that had to leave...I rarely saw the individuals like my son. You know why? Because they can't! Their bodies don't allow them to.

My son's autism isn't how the world portrays autism. It's not like 90% of the cases of autism that we hear about.

My son has the type of autism that leaves me with a forever baby....even when he is a thirty year old man, he will be like a baby. The only difference is instead of weighing ten pounds, he will probably weigh 200 pounds.

Instead of wiping a little bottom, I will be wiping a grown man's bottom.
Instead of calming down a fifty pound meltdown, I will may be calming down a 200 pound meltdown.
Instead of a cute 7 year old taking his stuffed animals everywhere, he may be a 17 year old taking his stuffed animals with him.

Classic autism is 24/7 care from the time of their birth to their death.

Classic Autism. Severe Autism. Level Three Autism. Whatever you call it,  it is real.
Autism isn't just the "quirky" kid. Autism isn't just the kid that everyone calls "different". Autism isn't just the kid with OCD and anxiety.
All autism cases are challenging and come with struggles. I know! I am raising both ends of the spectrum. However, the difference from one end of the spectrum to the other is a totally different ballgame. They aren't even in the same playing field.









Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Happy Video


A link to a short video of Trenton's happy noises and giggles! It makes my heart so happy when he is like this!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Guz1jREf-lU

The Questions

Are you the parent of a non-verbal child? Maybe the parent of a child who can only say a few words? I just want you to know, I understand you! I understand the questions, thoughts, and emotions that you have. It goes far beyond our child not being able to tell us what they want....WAY BEYOND THAT!

I wonder if he has a headache? Does he feel dizzy when he is sick? Is he queasy today?
Does he have body aches when he is sick?
Does his throat hurt? Does his ear hurt?
Does he have water in his ear after swimming?

When he is on medicine, I'm suppose to watch for side effects....How can I do that?!?! He can't tell me he has blurry vision, dizziness, upset tummy, etc.

Do you ever have an itch that you can't reach? Don't we all? Trenton can't tell me to help him with that.

I wonder if he is saying, "I love you too, mom." in his head after I say it to him?

I wonder what he dreams about? He can' t tell me if he does. I wonder if he has bad dreams and wants to tell me about them? Does he know a dream from reality?

Can he see okay? I wonder if his eyes are good or does he see things blurry? No one has been able to do an eye exam on him.

On the days that he is at home all day, I wonder if he ever wonders if he can go to Nana's house. I wonder if he wants to go to the park? Zoo?

I wonder what juice is his favorite? What kind of cake does he like best? White? Chocolate?
I wonder what his favorite episode of Sesame Street is? Will he ever be able to tell me?

What's his favorite color? Do certain people annoy him? Does he have a favorite therapist?  I wonder if I am annoying him in the van while I am singing out loud?

I wonder how long he has been holding his urine? I often find myself wondering after I notice his potty dance when we are out in public?

Often times you ask the people in your vehicle if they are warm or cold. I wonder if he is cool enough? I often ask myself in the summer time. I wonder if he is warm enough now?, I ask myself in the winter?

He loves animals! I wonder what his favorite animal is?

Does he wish he had friends? I wonder if he likes someone at school or at Harsha Autism Center and want to have them over? I know he doesn't play with other kids but deep down I know he likes to be around them.

Does he know he is different? Does he wonder what it is like to be me?

I find myself sad on some days. I know he wants to talk but can't. I long for the day for him to walk up to me spontaneously telling me that I am the best mom ever!! Doesn't every mom want to hear that from their child?!

He can't me he doesn't feel good....or that he just simply feels BLAH!
He can't me those type of things! Will he ever? Or will he forever live trapped in a body?





Monday, September 18, 2017

Sleep

This is T-man this morning. He fell asleep ten minutes before the bus comes. I was begging and praying for him to go back to sleep at 3,4,5 AM but he couldn't. Instead he ran circles around my house, squealing, and doing his thing non-stop at 100 mph. He doesn't stay put in one spot for more than 2 minutes. IT IS EXHAUSTING BECAUSE HE IS 24/7 CARE AND HAS TO BE WATCHED ALL THE TIME! When he moves from room to room every two minutes at 3 AM.....IT"S NOT FUN!
Autism is a struggle folks! ONE. BIG. STRUGGLE.
His sleep challenges are NOTHING like they used to be so I will take what he does now in a heartbeat over what we have been through. However, I live my life in fear every single day and night because I am so afraid he will go back to literally not sleeping at all. Right now, he wakes up for the day any time between 2 and 330 AM and we are up for the day. UGH! I hope this will pass soon.

I never know what each day will bring with severe autism. NEVER KNOW! I just live for the day and take what it brings and hope and pray for a better day the next day.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

What Would Jesus Do?

John 15:13
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends

I am left in goosebumps every time I think about Jesus dying for me....for you....for all of us! The above verse is a very inspirational verse....there is nothing that can describe a love so strong that you would die for that person....that you would give up your life! Amazing!

I don't know if I will ever give up my life for anyone. I guess we will have to see how life plays out for me. I have most definitely died to my Earthly life that I dreamed about.  I have died to a life of ever making a choice for myself.  God blessed me with a little boy who has autism so severe that if I want him to be the best he can be in his life, I have to make every choice for him...not me!

I was scared to death when I picked up and moved to Indiana with the boys. I didn't know one soul! I was by myself. I wanted so badly to stay in Illinois where my life was. Our only family and friends were there. But, God made it possible for me to move to Indiana to give Trenton what he can't get in Illinois. So I did it! I died to the life I wanted.

What would Jesus do if he were me? Would he stay or would he go the land that would help his child? Jesus makes it clear in the Bible what he would have done and that is exactly what I did.

Various prophets in the Bible are called to go to places. Most of them were scared and had no idea what God was doing for them. God called and told me, through other people, to pick up and go to Indiana. I still don't know why God has done the things in my life he has done. I probably won't ever find out. But, it is what it is. We are called to live our life for God and to live like Jesus. He gives us our life but leaves us with our own free will in order to find out our true character and heart.

Some people are given more obvious trials in their life such as autism. Other people are given lesser trials. However, we are all placed with situations in our life that God uses as a test. A test of our character to see if we really have Him living in us. Some peoples test are more direct, such as their child or a loved one. Others test are more indirect. It could be a stranger that crosses your path, a neighbor from down the street, an acquaintance, etc. In one way or the other, we all face circumstances that define our character and who we really are.

If Jesus living in you? Are you making your free will choices in life to please him? Is your choice what Jesus would do?




Saturday, September 9, 2017

Zebra

He normally takes some items with him. However, he wanted his big zebra on Friday.



T-man on Google

I went to google something the other day. I guess Trenton had just been on Google earlier. LOL!!! At least he wrote my name in there:)


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Faith-Doubt-Fear-Anxiety

Hebrews 11:1
 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen

Faith. It is hard to hold on to on some days, especially everything I have gone through. 
Have you ever harbored doubts about your faith? It is okay to admit it. In fact, many of the great heroes from the Bible had doubts at some point in their life. 
I have full faith that God has a plan for my life and that he is working through me to reach others. However, when hope leaves you at times that the dreams you want may never come true, it leaves you with doubt.

Abraham and his wife Sarah are two of the most important figures in the Old Testament. Both followed God faithfully through a lifetime of challenges and trials. But they couldn’t quite bring themselves to believe one promise God made to them: that they would give birth to a son in their old age. In fact, they both laughed at the prospect. Once their son Isaac was born, however, Abraham’s trust in God had grown so great that he was willing even to sacrifice that promised son if God asked.

We live in different times than the Bible era. We don't hear a voice from the heavens like they did. I sure wish I did. I wish I could physically hear God's voice. 

Whenever I am going through a time of difficulty, when it seems that God is ignoring my prayers, its the time to be on guard. It was in the middle of enduring fiery trials that Peter wrote, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” Then he added, Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. (1 Pet. 5:8-10).

Our trials do not mean that God does not exist or that He has lost control as the Sovereign of the universe. We have to hang on by faith, knowing that He will use our trials to strengthen and establish us. As Peter tells us, “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God … casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.” Don’t doubt God’s sovereignty or His love when you go through extended trials.

It's hard not to doubt. It's hard! Really hard! Just like you I want to shout, "WHY", "Aren't I strong enough, Lord? What more do I need?" 

I want to shout that every single day. However, I don't shout it. I just talk to him about it. It's hard to cast all that anxiety to him. Really hard. On most days I probably bend God's ear talking to him more than anyone. I search for meaning of my life. I have made lots of mistakes in my life. I am not perfect. The only one perfect human was Jesus Christ. The rest of us are nothing but sinners. In reality, I don't deserve what I want in life. I've been blessed with more than enough.
However, I am human so I have struggles with casting all my anxiety and doubts away to the Lord. I let it weigh on me daily. Some days, I let it control my life. Am I wrong by doing that? Yes. But, I find comfort that many of the great prophets from the Bible struggled with doubt, fear, and many of the issues that we struggle with.

When life really gets me down, God blessed me with my one true amazing angel from heaven and that is Trenton. He sure is my daily reminder that I am blessed. I am a fighter because of him. Because of him I know God better and have a much better daily walk. So in the middle of my anxiety, doubts and fear.....I have learned that I am one lucky woman!

Death-Leaving Behind a Dependent Child/Adult



There is one thing in life that is a guarantee that we all will do and that is die. We all have to face death. There is no escaping it. Once we all realize in life that we will eventually die, we hope that we and our loved ones follow the natural cycle of life. Our parents raise us and take care of us and then when our parents are in their final days, we take care of them until they take their last breath. In most cases, you get the return by your children who take care of you in your final days on Earth.
That is what we say is the natural cycle of life and death. We all hope for a peaceful death for our loved ones and ourselves.

What about families raising children who will always be dependent?

I will tell you that death for a mother raising a child who will NEVER be independent is a scary thought. It weighs on us daily. We do our best to not think about it but it is always in the back of our mind. There is a laughing joke in our autism world how we want to die the day after our child or how we want to live to be 120 years old so we have taken care of our dependent child during their entire life. I've seen the memes on the Internet that says these things. They aren't made for no reason at all. They are made because it is a real issue! It is real thoughts that parents like I have.

No parent should ever have their natural cycle of life interrupted by burying a child. Whether it is a baby, teenager, or young adult...no parent should bury a child. I have no doubt that is one of the worst pains a parent can go through.

Another pain that no parent should have to go through is the pain of closing their eyes in death knowing they are leaving behind a child, who is a grown strong man, but who is a dependent. Every mother dreams of having a healthy baby that will grow up to be a healthy, independent person. What happens when the natural cycle of life is broken?

Who is going to take care of them? Will he end up in a facility where they are mean to him?
Will he wonder where I am for the rest of his life? Do you think he just thinks I walked out of his life? Who will manage his Social Security? Will people take advantage of him and steal, abuse him?

The questions. I could go on forever.

So do you understand now why a special needs parent of a dependent child fears their own death?

My decisions in life aren't made for myself. They are all based on a little boy who has a disability so severe that it will never allow him to be an independent man. Instead, he will always be dependent on me, his Mom! I have a child for the rest of my life!!!

Every thought that goes through my mind.....every decision I make is for him. Will it better him when I am dead? What can I do now to make him just a fraction better for when he is on this Earth without me?
For example, could I put him in a full time special education program and save money on less therapy? Sure I could. But is it what is best for him? NO! What is best for him is the intensive one on one ABA therapy that is scientifically proven to make a difference in kids like Trenton. I have witnessed what full time ABA has done the past three years for him and it is amazing!

Will I forever live in poverty just to make sure he can get the therapy he needs while it is accessible to him,  while he is still in the early intervention part of his life? You betcha!

It's sad. It's a life I wouldn't wish on anyone. But, a single special needs mother lives daily with one of the most dreaded, worst pain that any parent will endure and that is closing their eyes in death leaving behind a dependent child/man.

In a way we all dread our death. No one wants to leave behind loved ones even if we did live a long, healthy life with healthy independent children with their own families. Even when life is perfect with no barriers, no one is ready to leave their loved ones and no is ready to say good-bye to their loved ones.  So you can only imagine what it is like for parents like me. You can only imagine what it will be like for individuals like Trenton.

I think about it daily. There is rarely a day that goes by where the question, "What will happen to Trenton when I am gone?" doesn't cross my mind.

Here is a link to an article that I was asked to write a few years ago on this topic.

https://autismawareness.com/what-happens-to-my-children-when-i-am-gone/



Friday, September 1, 2017

Behavior Chart


He is very proud of his good behavior chart!!!! Keep it up Lil A. Moochies is proud of you!

I See Our Story

As most of you know, I share my story! I believe in people talking about their life and sharing their story to others. You never know who you are going to inspire or who you might help. After all, people have always shared their stories. The Bible is full of stories about people's lives.

I took the above picture before school one morning this week. I love this picture for many reasons. Most people would glance at the picture and see a loving mother surrounded by her two children. I am always surrounded by my boys. Were one goes, we all go!
But, if you came across this picture somewhere and didn't know us, you would have no idea how strong the three of us really are. One would have no idea of the perseverance we walk through daily. You wouldn't know how courageous my boys are.  It is so easy to see a picture somewhere of a happy family, like mine above, and go on to the next picture you come across on Facebook or wherever you see the picture at. Although, I believe a picture can speak many words, a picture also doesn't tell the other details.

Maybe it is the kind of week I've had......or maybe it is a post I read on another woman's' blog who inspired me to do this post...I'm not sure but I want to talk specifically about what you don't see in this picture.

I look at this picture and I smile, just like you:) But, I also see the tired look in my eyes. I see a mother who  has thrown her hair up in a ponytail good enough to look decent enough to rush out the door to put her two boys on the school bus. 

I see a mother who hasn't done one thing for herself in life since she has had these two little boys. Before she thinks about herself, she always makes the decisions on what is best for her sons.

I see a mother who stays up late working on her son's AAC device to make sure it is where it needs to be,  working and preparing for a service dog, and all the other things that come with a child with severe autism.

I see a lady whose ex-husband left her and her children in the middle of one of the hardest times in their life. However, I see the hard work the mother has done in two years since that day and the progress is remarkable!

I see a mother who has worked very hard to get the sons to overcome their fears and regression from the divorce.  I see the two little fighters in them!

I see a mother who has man-handled autistic meltdowns, public humiliation, sleep deprivation, isolation, loneliness, social communication meltdowns, anxiety meltdowns, two full years of intensive potty training. I have been pooped on...peed on....hit at, kicked at, scratched at....muscles torn and a body full of aches from handling the behavior issues of autism all by herself.

I see a lady who has made phone call after phone call to insurance companies, therapy offices, state offices, school systems, and about any other organization that has anything to do with autism in a 500 mile radius, fighting for her children.

I see a mother who stays up late researching autism to find out exactly what she needs to do in any kind of situation that might arise with her children.

I see a lady who does all the work of preparing and prepping for their life!

I see two little boys with a lot of sensory problems. I see a little boy who has a hard time making friends. I see the other little boy who lives in his own world daily.

I see a little boy who keeps getting bigger and bigger who doesn't know danger.
I see two little boys who get overstimulated easily and can't control their behaviors due to it.

I see all the tears shed from the lack of being able to communicate.
I see their quirky and unique behaviors.
I see their strengths, their weaknesses, and their love.

I SEE OUR STORY!

Yes, I love this picture! It is a beautiful picture of what my life looks like.....two little boys who are always by my side! It shows our adorable family of three and how we can look so normal in pictures and fool the whole world. However, what goes on behind the scenes is what really matters in life. It's the fight behind the pictures. It's the actions in your daily walk that a picture can't show.

Even though I may feel tired daily and wish I could make one decision for myself in life, there is nothing  I would rather do than to raise these two boys up in life! The love we share is unstoppable! We have our little family traditions and cute sayings we do for each other. Deep down we are a family, just like yours. We do things much differently. We toot to our own horn. It all has became our normal!
Our life is definitely not the white picket  fence American dream life. The three of us battles trials after trials daily. However it is one amazing life and I wouldn't trade it for the world!

So what is your story behind that happy, loving picture of yours? Don't be shy. If God granted you the ability to be able to share you story, share it! Help others!

God has blessed me in many ways. I am one very lucky autism mom!


Paul

Sometimes it just appears that every one else gets the things they want and you are left by yourself on a journey far from what you ever thought you would live. Often it leaves you feeling alone, sad, and thirsty for just a small portion of the dream you want. However, I know I am not the only one and I have a lot to be thankful for even if I never get just a portion of normalcy.

 Paul, an apostle of Christ, suffered many trials in his life. Yet, he remained faithful to the Lord. Paul found himself leaning more on the Lord through his trials His suffering and heartache motivated him even more. I often find myself much like Paul. The more and more things just fall apart and get hard, the more and more I lean on the Lord to guide me and help me through this life.

Paul maintained his faith while in prison.  During his imprisonment, Paul wrote four letters that survive in our New Testament. They are Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon.We are the beneficiaries of Paul’s spiritual wisdom forged in the crucible of personal suffering. These four letters are among the most hopeful and encouraging letters that he wrote. They help us understand how we can find joy in our trials and peace in our suffering.

Paul went through his trials and sufferings to help us! There is always a reason behind your trial and your suffering.  I often think that my life turned out like it did because the Lord knew I had the determination to use my life to help spread His word, His Love, and to help others find the joy and to become content with their life.  Paul learned to be content with his life, and so should we. Paul is a great example from the Bible to learn from.


Paul pleads with the Philippians while in prison: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
At one of his lowest points in his life, he is writing some of my favorite verses in the Bible. Thank you Paul for suffering you trials in order to help me and others like myself!


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Animals

Trentons animals are going everywhere with him again lately.
 They even waited for the bus by the front door with him.
 Of course, he packed them in his bookbag for school.

 You betcha.....they went to therapy too!




Monday, August 28, 2017

Texas



As the nation watches and prays for Texas, my mind takes me one step deeper than it ever used to when I would watch national disasters. Everyone watches the news sitting in front of their television sets shaking their heads in disbelief. I say what you say, "Those poor people." "I can't imagine."

No-one can put themselves there and no-one can even begin what it is like to be living through that disaster, unless you are them. As I was watching the news the other day, I watched as they were airlifting babies from one hospital and sending them to other hospitals. I have always prayed for people living through disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey.

Now, as mother of autism boys, I can't help but think specifically about autism families!

So many people's homes are destroyed and you know that there is a good hand full of families who are raising children with autism who have had their homes destroyed or forced to evacuate their home for awhile.
How can those precious kids and adults with autism ever begin to understand! Individuals with autism LOVE their home. They LOVE their belongs. They LOVE their routine in life and all of  sudden it has been interrupted for days!
The majority of people with autism get more attached to their belongings than anything else in this life. It is what comforts them! All of a sudden it is taken away from Mother Nature. I can't even begin to imagine the anxiety that this brings to them and their families.

For example, the boys spent the night with their dad for the first time this past Friday night. Their dad called me  Saturday morning to come get the boys. When I arrived, Trenton was ready to come home.  I could see the anxiety and uneasiness in him when I arrived.  He hadn't been in his home with his belongings and his normal routine for over twelve hours and he was ready to get back to it. For some families in Texas, their kids won't be able to go back for days! I can't imagine how this will affect them!

Another example is when we lost electricity for about seven hours this past summer due to a storm. Trenton was beside himself because he loves to hang out in his room, with his animals and belongings, and watch his videos through the internet. He couldn't do that! He had some anxiety because his Wi-Fi was taken away. (As we all know in the autism community that Wi-Fi is crucial to our kids) There are numerous kids with autism that aren't able to do the things that comfort them during this disaster! I. CAN'T. IMAGINE!

Andrew, who is high functioning, suffers greatly from over stimulation and does not handle a change in routine well. I can't even imagine how families raising kids with high functioning are handling this. This is a major interruption in their lives! If you are reading this and have a child with high functioning autism, I know you understand exactly what I am talking about here!

Putting a child with autism in a situation that produces anxiety only causes more problems and challenges. When you are not able to reduce that anxiety due to a natural disaster.....that only means that individual has to live in that anxiety filled life for an extended amount of time which can lead to regression from therapies, etc.  There is so much to think about when disaster strikes autism families!

Yes, this Hurricane Harvey situation is very sad for everyone. Unfortunately, some families have even more difficulties and trials to handle during this crisis already. It's not that autism is enough....but now some have been forced away from the exact things that comfort and help their disability. It makes my heart hurt so much for them!

As we all come together and pray for Texas, lets remember the people who are already fighting daily battles and this just makes it so much worse!
Before autism entered my life, I would watch natural disasters like this and not think about the families of special needs children or the families who have other heartaches going on. A disaster like this is not good for anyone but it really isn't good for the people who are already fighting battles and daily life challenges, such as autism.

May God Bless the people in Texas!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017

Self-Stimulatory Behavior



Self Stimulatory Behavior is a huge characteristics of autism. It is repetitive stereotyped behavior that does not appear to serve any other function other than sensory gratification.  It can involve any of the senses. These behaviors often occur in situations where the child/adult is bored and/or stressed.  When bored, everyone will engage in different types of self stimulation. Most of the time you might find yourself tapping your foot, shaking your leg, biting your lip, etc. The typical person is able to do their self stimulatory behavior while attending to their task on hand. However, individuals with autism are not able to. Their ability to attend to their task is dramatically reduced which often causes problems. Their mind concentrates on their self soothing behavior and nothing else. They block everything else out of their mind.

Often times, people with autism do not find other people or the environment pleasing. Therefore, they get wrapped up in receiving gratification.  The behavior is done to block out the environment around them and/or to self soothe due to their stress and anxiety. Often it can be a source of communicating to us to correct the problem, reduce the source of frustration, stress and anxiety that is making them self soothe.



Often Trenton self soothes by making noises out of his mouth (verbal stimming). He also will visually stim by placing objects in front of his eyes, looking at his hands. He paces and runs. He holds items. He applies pressure to his stomach area. He also obsesses over a certain item or video. He splashes water form the sink.
Andrew often self soothes by playing with his Cars toys. He talks about the same things over and over and obsessing over whatever he decides to obsess over for that day. 

The obsession self soothing often gets worse over time. As you can see, what the boys self soothe over involves a variety of senses. Both boys completely block everything out around them. It greatly interferes with learning and the ability of the child to pay attention to his/her surroundings which then lead to another problem area.

Reducing self stimulatory behaviors will be one of your greatest challenges. Trying to eliminate this throughout the day will be impossible. Although reducing it is vital. Implement a plan if you are able to. I would suggest to talk to your child's therapist, ABA therapist preferred, to come up with a plan.

Both boys used to self soothe by lining up items. However, for the most part, they don't do this anymore.



Train Your Child Up

Proverbs 22:6
Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Being a parent is very hard work. We have a responsibility from God to raise our children up in the correct manner.  More than likely, if you train your child up correctly the likelihood of the child turning away from what he has been taught is slim. It does happen but more than likely the child will go back to the way he has been taught.

In Ephesians 6:4 there is a direct commandment to the fathers of the household.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; instead, bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

As a single, Christian mother this verse drives me to be even more to my boys. They don't have a father at home that is going to train them up in the Lord and to discipline them. I have double the duties and it keeps me busy! However, I have a responsibility to my boys to serve both roles in the house. 
I know there are many single mothers out there that are struggling! Just know that you are not alone! I am single raising two boys with autism by myself and doing my best to be the Godly woman and live my life by all the commandments of our Lord. I need to provide for my boys. I have to do what it takes and most of the time that is sacrifice! If I can do it, you can too! In fact, life has never been better till lately. Find the balance you need to get it all done and it will get done!

As we are adjusting to our schedules the past three weeks, we are finding time for the Lord each day. Andrew gets a daily Bible lesson after school. We have the best time during our Bible lesson. Most people put God last in their life.  We will always put God first and make sure that even though they are little kids, they need God and his instructions taught to him daily!
Please know folks how important it is to find time with the Lord daily!


Andrew was very proud of making the discipline, Andrew:)



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Elijah



I LOVE to read the scripture. The answers are all there for us. We often have so many questions about our life but if we really open our eyes, open our Bibles, we can find answers. It may not be the exact answer we are looking for but we find EXACTLY what we need to help us.

There are numerous people  and stories in the Bible where I get a lot of inspiration from. When people often ask me, "How do you do it? How have you gone through what you have in life and still keep the faith in the Lord like you do?"
My answer is very simple. I trust in the Lord. I read the Bible. That is exactly where I get my inspiration and strength.

I often will read a story and apply it to my life. I do it with almost every story. The person from the Bible that I want to talk about tonight is, Elijah, a prophet of God. What an amazing man he was!
At times in his life he was bold and determined and at other times he was iffy and fearful. Much like me! Much like my life as a single mother raising two boys.
One thing for certain is that Elijah knew the power of God. God used this man to teach us many things.
Elijah lived an amazing life. He was fed by ravens. He saw the widow’s supply of oil and flour miraculously never run out. He raised her son back to life. And he faced down the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel.
What was it about Elijah that made his prayers, his life, so powerful and effective? What can we learn from the life of Elijah to help our own prayer lives?

Elijah learned to be completely dependent on God.
Elijah was brave! He spoke and asked God things with the most incredible faith. He believed God was faithful and would answer his prayers. Elijah prayed fervently until he saw his answers. He knew answers didn't come immediately. He knew he had to pray repeatedly until he saw his answers.

How can I look at Elijah and relate it to my life?
Elijah demonstrates to me that I must pray with full obedience and trust in the Lord. I must pray and pray and pray. I must never give up on praying!  I must have an attitude that I know that God will answer my prayers.

So many people give up. Whether they have been going through trials for a  few months or a few years, they give up. They don't trust in the Lord like Elijah did.

Elijah faithfully carried out God's mission in the times of hardship. My life is full of hardship but like Elijah, I won't give up. I trust God on the mission he has planned for me and my sons. The more I pray with full obedience to God, the more I see how God is directing me in my life.

Just like how God used Elijah to be a blessing to a poor widow, God has blessed me with many people who have blessed me and my boys. In fact, I also believe that God is using me and my boys as a blessing to others. God uses the most unimaginable situations to mold us and to provide for us. For example, since my divorce the boys and I have struggled financially. I am unable to work because I need to be with Trenton and to help him. We may not have two extra pennies to rub together but God has provided for us because of my obedience to him. He is providing for the boys and I in some of the most unimaginable ways, just like he did to Elijah and the widow.

There were times when Elijah wasn’t sure what the Lord’s leading was. He did not always know how God was going to work, but he knew enough to trust. Just like Elijah, I am trusting the Lord in how he is going to lead me in this life. I am not sure at times, much like Elijah, but I will keep on trusting and obeying the Lord.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Birthday Boy

My beautiful baby boy is seven today. It seems just like yesterday, he was still growing in my belly. I loved being pregnant. He was an active baby in the womb, just like he is now.
If someone would have told me when I was pregnant how much my life was REALLY going to change, I would not have believed them.  Of course your life changes when you have kids but its a whole new level of change when you are raising a child with special needs.
From the moment they first placed him on my chest, I learned love on a whole new level. It was the beginning of truly understanding what sacrifice means. This was the first of many nights without sleep. It was the beginning of a whole new rollercoaster life. A life where I barely keep my head above water on most days. However, it's a life of many blessings and miracles. Not everyone gets the pleasure of raising a innocent angel from the Lord.

 
Even though the majority of our time was spent crying as a baby and toddler, I treasured the happy moments when they happened and took every opportunity for a good picture. I do the same now:)
Just like now, he loves to run around on the farm at Pop and Nana's farm.

I loved every line you have made and still make.
Trenton has such an amazing sense of humor. I have the pleasure of seeing that. I am sorry that most people don't know his silliness and love for life like he has. It is locked up inside of him most of the time. But, I get the pleasure of seeing it every day! I witness it and it makes my heart swell:)
I love how he can spell words and has since you were 2 1/2 years old! You are so smart, T-man!
Trenton enjoys to play in the snow, just like his Momma.
I will never forget all the nights I pushed him in his swing to calm him down. The nights were so long where he cried and meltdown. But, we made it through them together.
This was the first time he enjoyed people singing Happy Birthday. I will never forget when he turned four! The first birthday he didn't cry through!

Yes, we have autism but Mommy sure likes to take advantage of fun times when we get to have them!
Almost every night he used to just dropped and fall asleep wherever his body let him! Wow, we have came a long way T-man.
 I love to watch him play. I always have and always will. I learn so much from watching the way he interacts with his toys.

I always love to share a few pictures on his birthday of the T-man in action over the years:)