Saturday, February 25, 2017

I buy Trenton's snack in huge quantities! He can go through about three of these boxes a day......
I know some people won't understand this but its a real struggle of autism. No, ASD people don't eat when they get hungry. They can't help it. People with ASD end up in the hospital all the time on feeding tubes, etc because they don't eat. They don't feel hunger like we do. Their brain is a certain way and only eat certain foods. I have watched Trenton lose weight and not eat for a few days because I didn't have what he wanted. It is a real struggle of autism.

Sickness

This picture was from Monday night I think. I have had lots of snuggles and love again this week from the boys. There is nothing better in life than cuddling up with the two little humans that I brought into this world.
Trenton was still  not feeling the best and Andrew was on his way to getting very sick in this picture. Andrew has been a very sick boy this week. He has been in and out of the doctor. He hasn't been at school or therapy all week. However, he is on the mends now. We are just waiting for some results from test that he had done.



Monday, February 20, 2017

Crummy

T-man spelled crummy. I guess he still feels "crummy".
He spelled this word a year or so ago when he didn't feel good. I just love it! I wish he could spell and communicate more. It's the first time he has spelled a word to communicate in over a year.

 My heart aches when Trenton is sick. He is much like a newborn baby when he is sick. He can't tell me where he doesn't feel good...it is just a huge guessing game. I have tried every form of communication that I have and he just can't tell me. But, he an spell crummy. Autism is such a mystery!
However, I sure did get lots of snuggles with him today:)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sickness

I am heartbroken when he is sick! There is nothing that can describe taking care of a 6 1/2 year old when he is sick and can't communicate to you! It is so gut wrenching and heartbreaking!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Andrew

Since I was able to be with Trenton at his lunch time today at Harsha, I took Andrew out to lunch after preschool today before we picked up Trenton. 

He had a lot of questions about Valentine's Day. I told him what it was, etc. Therefore, I thought I would start teaching him how to treat a woman so I had him take me out to eat and had him "pay" for the meal. As we were paying Andrew said, "I don't want to spend 20 dollars on you." LOL! It cracked me up! I said, "Well you aren't, we are getting change back." Andrew said, "Oh good Moochies because we might need that money to buy me a toy."


Us on our lunch date!!
This morning Andrew said, "Moochies were you married to my dad?"
I said, "Yes I was married to him."
Andrew says, "Well I think you should get married again but this time you need to marry me so don't get married till I am old enough to get married."

He just melts my heart daily!!!

Trenton's ABA


Below is a link to a great article on the importance of parent involvement in their child's ABA therapy. Parent involvement is important because it helps to ensure that the behaviors learned generalize into the home environment and that everyone is using the same technique 100 % of the time.

http://www.bhcoe.org/single-post/2016/07/14/The-Role-of-Caregiver-Involvement-in-ABA-Therapy


I spend time with Trenton weekly at Harsha Autsim Center. Here are some pictures from our community outing today. I just love going with him and spending this time with him and watching him learn and get better! One year ago he wouldn't have been able to tolerate a new environment for a half hour but he did today! Super proud of you T-man!! Keep up the hard work!!


 He loved his pizza today for lunch! So glad to share his lunch with him on Valentine's Day:)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Attitude

Attitude, the position you decide to take toward life, circumstances, people, and absolutely everything!
I have heard coaches and teachers tell kids before, "You need to get an attitude check."
Sadly, a lot of people need to get some "attitude checks."

Don't get me wrong, we all have bad days or bad moments where we have a bad attitude. I have before and I am confident that you probably have too. It's natural. We are human! It simply happens.

We choose our attitude. Nobody gives it to you but you!

Some things happen in life that brings us to our lowest point and maybe an unpleasant attitude happens.  Your attitude has the power to make or break your day....or even make or break your life! Attitude has the power to control everything. It can either rob you of many blessings or reward you with many blessings.

So where does the attitude come from? It comes from something that happened in your life...it's from something that happened to you, your child, your family or friends. It is simply how you choose to behave toward a situation.

Some people go through the unimaginable....maybe it was the loss of a job, loss of a loved one, health diagnosis of some sort, some kind of life changing event, or maybe their child was born with a disability that will forever challenge them for the rest of their life. No matter what trying situation happened in your life, you choose how you respond to it.

In the beginning of our autism journey, I was a sleep deprived, desperate mother looking for everything to help my boys. It is very hard to accept the diagnosis of one child....then your next child. The battles are indescribable. It is so mind-boggling that is just can't be described to where anyone can picture the day in and day out needs of a child with type 3 autism (severe) and type 1 autism (mild) while being a single parent with no help.

However, the diagnosis are here to stay. Life happened and it brought challenges and heartache. Maybe your life happened and it brought the same. Maybe something incredibly horrible happened to you that no one understands. Whatever happened, we have a choice on how to live the rest of our life. Are you going to embrace the life or are you going to have a bad attitude?

There is much about life that we can't change. But, when you have the right attitude, everything around you changes and life takes a better route in an unexpected journey. It's like dancing in the storm! It's finding the rainbow in the storm.

I have found that when I walk in my faith, it is so much easier to keep the right attitude and to simply pray for the ones who don't.

Romans 12:2 tells us to not conform to the pattern of the world. So basically, don't let the bad things in this world control your life!

Below are some pictures of the boys and I the other night before bed. What the pictures don't show is what happened before the pictures which was the challenges of having a child not able to tell you what they want and all the other trials of autism. I was on the verge of tears before these pictures. But, I reminded myself that "It is what it is" and I can't change it. Instead, I can only move on, do what I need to do, put my faith in God and know that he is always helping us. With that said, I kept a positive attitude and had a great time before bed with the boys. My attitude could have easily went the other way if I would have chose for it to but I didn't. Our whole life could be fueled by a bad attitude...hating everything. But, the boys and I don't chose that life. We are putting our trust in the Lord and maintaining the best attitude that we can have.

If I had the chance to chose this life with the trials of autism or a life with no autism...honestly...I would pick this life! It is hard. It is heartbreaking. It is down right gut wrenching. But, I have met some amazing therapist and coaches that I would have never met before. I have met some of the most amazing people because of autism. I wouldn't know how to really appreciate the small things. I wouldn't see the beauty in the world that I see now.



If it helps your attitude to cry when no one is around, then do it! I am not saying that I don't get down because I do. My boys have a life of trials and that is hard on a Momma! It is not easy to go through life knowing your oldest son will probably live in a home for disabled adults one day. It isn't easy watching your children have so many trials but I choose how I will respond to the world!

I know life is hard. I know it can be unbearable at times but we can't change it. All we can do is pray, put our trust in the Lord, and have an amazing attitude in life. After all, our attitude is our inner soul.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

I understand

The other day I was in a waiting room with Trenton and he was having a very rough time. I am sure many of you who are parents of children with autism understand how challenging waiting and being out in public can be!
Anyway, we were waiting in the waiting room at Riley's in Indianapolis. Sometimes Trenton can wait great with no problems. However, this particular morning, he was not able to wait.
We have fifteen minutes until his appointment time and time was moving at a snail's pace! Trenton was stomping his foot, crying, swinging his arms, and pulling me towards the door. Of course, the waiting room was full and people just kept on entering the room. I am always in fear that someone will pull out something that Trenton wants because I know what can happen and it is not good. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened:(

A lady walked in carrying her child in a car seat with an owl toy attached.

"Oh No!" I say to myself. "Why does it have to be an animal?!?!? NO. NO. NO! Not today. Not while he is in this mood"

 I knew instantly that once Trenton saw it, it would grab his attention....and I was right.
"No, T-man. Not yours" I said over and over while pulling him away from this poor babies car seat.
Each time I pulled him away, his cries got louder. He grew more angry.

Then, another family walks in with a girl holding a stuffed animal.
"No!!!!" I scream in my head. "Not today. Please people, not today." I say to myself.
"Please NO NO NO don't look Trenton. Please don't look over there." I'm saying over and over and then it happened.

HE LOOKED OVER THERE!

Of course, he wanted the stuffed animal.

"No, T-man. Not yours" I said over and over while pulling him away from the little girl.

By this time he was in a meltdown. He was fussing, making his mad noises, hitting me, and getting more defiant by the moment.

I could feel all eyes on me. I don't look at anyone anymore. I don't care what people think or what they "think" is going on. I just simply don't look at people. I've had enough bad looks and comments flashed my way that I just simply don't bother to see what the people around are doing.

After all, we were at Riley's Hospital so most of the people there were there for some type of health issue or disability.

However, this particular moment in the waiting room turned out just a little brighter. While I was managing Trenton's meltdown and sweating through my clothes......a lady walked up to my mother and said, "I understand. I have a daughter with autism."

In that instant, this woman just made my day by a simple sentence! I didn't have to tell anyone that he had autism. I didn't have to wonder if this woman thought I was a bad parent, she simply understood and she wanted us to know that!

Next time you see a parent struggling with their child in public, I encourage you to simply ask the parent for help or let them know that you "understand". It made my day and I am sure it would make their day:)



Article

In case you missed this article on my Facebook page, I thought I would share it here. It is a really great article!!

https://www.verywell.com/why-high-functioning-autism-is-so-challenging-259951

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Cabin Fever

The boys and I survived another weekend! (Well almost survived because I guess its not really over yet.) 
In my life I have heard people say over the years that they have "cabin fever" during a snow storm, etc. Well, if you have ever felt that way....all I can say is picture yourself feeling that way and living that way every single day of your life. Many autism families feel this way. I sure do. The boys and I are trapped in our home every weekend, except for going to church.....we can do that only because we have an amazing church that helps us.

Many autism families may not feel that way. If it is a two parent household, then it would be a totally different story. Even with a child who is severe and isn't able to go places, it would be different because the parents could take turns getting out of the house or the parents get out together with the kids. However, I am a single mother. Therefore we are trapped in our home unless my parents are there to help us. When my parents are visiting we take full advantage of learning opportunities.

Someone said to me one time, "Oh I see from your blog that Trenton is able to go places now. I am sure it is so nice getting out of the house" 

I think I need to express  here that even though he is able to go into a few places now, doesn't mean it is a relaxed situation. Often it is WAY more stressful than sitting at home and that sounds much better than the stress of getting Trenton out in  public for a short while.  Sometimes he simply doesn't walk into the place. Sometimes he last ten minutes and sometimes he last 25 minutes in a restaurant. However, if he last 25 minutes in a restaurant I am pulling him down from standing in his chair at least 20 times......I am moving every item from the table such as salt, pepper, ketchup, etc because he just wants to dump it all out......if he sees someone at another table that has something that catches his eye it is all downhill!  I am redirecting him to "stay" in his seat numerous times with the verge of a meltdown getting ready to start. I am pulling out every gadget and fidget to keep him occupied.....trying to color on paper, etc.  Most of the time, I don't eat. I get my food to go because by the time the food comes, Trenton is ready to go. Then if I attempt a store after the restaurant experience, he is normally stimulated too much so he sees an item that he wants and he will push items off the counter and have a complete meltdown in the store...then it is not unusual for me to leave the store while carrying him over my shoulders. Therefore, none of this is possible without another adult to help. Thankfully, I have amazing parents that help me with this and they always have from the beginning. A lot is possible, it just takes more than a mom!

Sometimes we get lucky and if I do a store with him, he will  walk through it just fine. However, we have to walk quick and not "practice" too long because that is when he will start to see something and the tantrums start.

So.....yes I talk about taking Trenton out but it is not a relaxing experience! Please understand why "cabin fever" is a non-stop everyday feeling for us.


On Friday, I introduced a new restaurant to Trenton. He did okay. He wanted to go about 5 minutes into our experience. However, through hardwork and sweat, I got him to stay for about a half hour. This is very good, especially for a new place!

Here the boys are at the new restaurant for Trenton! I had to give him his items of the day right away to try to keep him in his seat.



Even though every single thing in our life is hard, I focus on the positives and that is what gets me through!
Saturday morning Trenton gave me the best gift ever! I heard him go into the bathroom so I dropped what I was doing with Andrew and ran to the bathroom. As I walked in, Trenton was sitting on the toilet and he looked up at me and said, "Happy birthday." and got off the toilet with two arms out and hugged me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was AMAZING!!!!!!!!

I would do anything to know what makes him have "clear" moments. What makes him able to say it three days after my birthday? What makes him able to hug me in that moment so unexpectedly? Oh how I wish I knew the puzzles to autism!

So, yes times are hard in our "cabin fever" life but I really do appreciate the most simplest of things in life such as a random hug!

Friday, February 3, 2017

My Birthday Gift

Andrew may have some challenges in his life due to his high functioning autism but he has a big heart just like his Momma:) The first thing on the morning of my birthday (Wednesday) when I went to wake him up he said, "Moochies, it's February one. It's your birthday. Happy birthday." I told him thank you and he went on to ask me when my birthday party was. I told him I was a big girl and didn't need a party. He then asked me where my presents were. I told him that Mommy didn't have any. I told him that birthdays was not just about presents and that I already had what I wanted, him and Trenton.
Well, when I picked him up from preschool that day, he couldn't wait to show me what was in his book bag. I could not pull out of the driveway until I opened my present he had for me in his book bag. Apparently, he told his teachers it was my birthday and they let him pick a gift from the prize box for me:) The gift was in a bag. When I pulled out the microphone that he had picked out for me he said, " I picked you out a microphone because you like to sing. I also got you one whole dollar because you need money. I made my teachers get that for you from me because you needed a present on your birthday."
Andrew has such a big, kind, caring heart. It makes me so proud!!!
He then wanted me to take his picture with me with the gifts he got me:)