Thursday, December 25, 2008

Little Brother vs. Big Brother

This morning started out very serene; much like the winter landscape photo on the post below. The boys woke at 8am and wandered out to the living room. I was still fast asleep until around 8:30 when I hopped in the shower. Then it was on to the job of opening up all the presents. Nick left that up to us-all he wanted to do was play with the stuff once it was out. I think he was a little too overwhelmed-but he handled it beautifully(aka...no meltdowns)Since things have quieted down, seems Nick is silently taking stock of the goods. He has been wandering over to Big Brother's pile of goodies and giving them the eye. He has even started the "sneak attack" approach. A certain forbidden item has caught his eye and when Big Brother is not looking, Nick does a quick snatch and runs to a part of the house out of view. Once the two meet however, it's "game on". Michael snatches back, Nick once again waits til Michael is distracted and the game continues. I could watch this for hours...it is like a game of chess...with Nick silently plotting his next move.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!


Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday! This time of year always tends to make me a little sad. For the simple reason of just autism. There are two times of the year that really do this to me: Christmas, and Nick's Birthday. Don't get me wrong, we still celebrate and have loads of fun, but it becomes blaringly obvious that we are still so far behind. I know I should be extremely thankful for all that I do have; but dang it, I just wish Nick could enjoy things like the rest of us-if only for just a day. He DOES enjoy things, I shouldn't say that he doesn't, but, one day I would like to hear from him how much he wants to bake some cookies,or, he wants hot chocolate after sledding-simple things like that.

We have had a few tantrums since school has been out. Poor kid, he got thrown into a family who likes to do things on a whim sometimes,and it rocks his little world. Yesterday he got mad because he had to stop riding on the sled and get in the car. He screamed all the way to the store. Today he was flying off the handle for most of the morning-the smallest things would upset him. His schedule is all flipped around, and we are doing things we don't normally do because it is Christmas.

By the way, Nick loves to go sledding. We found out the other day when I took both the boys out in the snow. We have had about a week full of winter storms, and there is about 6-8" of snow on the ground. Nick LOVES to walk in it, put his hands in it(of course, he discovers it is wet and then promptly wipes his hands on my sweater with such a look of distress that I have to laugh) and let it fall on his face. We are supposed to get 1-2" tonight, and another 1-2" on Christmas Eve. We are even supposed to get some on Christmas morning; so I am super excited. This will be the boys' first "White Christmas". We don't have much planned for the big day itself. Open presents, play with our new toys, and enjoy the day. For one day I plan to just enjoy the day and not think about anything but my three men. Happy Holidays Everyone!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's Beginning to look a lot Like Christmas....


Michael and I took a walk down the street, and I thought the tree was pretty.

The side of the house. I-5 is right on the other side of that cement wall.

Michael. Nick was standing in the doorway inside the house. He does not care too much for the snow.

Looking down our street from the driveway.

Our snowman was getting weighed down with the real stuff!
This was our first snowfall of the season.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Deck the Halls.....& our house!





Here are some pics of the house and our tree. I decided to take some before the rest of the lights went out..LOL! We lost one string during yesterdays storm.

Taking the boys to Target; and remembering why I shop online in December!

Today I had to take Michael to Target so that he could pick out a birthday present for his friends' party this evening. Temperatures were hovering in the upper 30's, so it was time to break out the heavy duty coats. We said our goodbyes to daddy; and were off. During the 15 minute ride there Nick manages to take off the brand new shoes that we bought him last week. We have yet to find a pair of shoes that he cannot wrangle out of. Not even the lace-up high tops. They might buy us a few more minutes at most;but they too come off. He has also managed to take off his socks, and his jacket. A regular Houdini this one is! We get to Target, and I spend the first few minutes outside putting clothing back on my four yr old. Today I am very thankful it is not raining!

We walk in and the store is chaos with all the holiday shoppers. I give it 20 minutes before we are on the verge of meltdown. I opted for a carry basket instead of a cart and told Michael to get it for me. Hoping against hope that this was not a decision I would regret. We had barely made it to the toy aisle when things started to fall apart. Michael accidentally hit Nick in the head with the basket; and Nick was wailing.
"He should watch where he is going! It is not my fault!" as I console Nick, who is carrying on like he has lost a limb. "Say you're Sorry!" I tell Michael. "Tell him to watch where he is going!" he retorts back. "Say you are sorry or you are not going to the birthday party!". He forces his lips to say "Sorry". We continue on with our journey-trying to think of what the kid would like. Michael is a few steps ahead, I am back with Nick who is poking at all the bright packages with his pointer finger. In my head at this very second I am thinking this classifies as a "point" of some sort(and no, I don't care what all the experts say right now, after TWO YEARS this is as close to a point as we have gotten; let me have this one.) Nick finds one of his very favorite needle toys-and I have to be the bad guy to say "All done" and take it away. You can imagine what comes next. Total loss of control. Fortunately, through the years, I do not get as flustered as I used to. Afterall, I have endured years worth of countless meltdowns-nothing shocks this momma anymore. After a few minutes, Nick regains composure(maybe realizing the fact that we are not about to leave?) and finds an Elmo doll to comfort him the rest of the way. Fine. Whatever. Works. We find our items, and we are even carrying home some birthday ribbon(don't ask, it was cheaper than the Elmo doll ok?) We made it home in one piece, and we accomplished our goal. It was a successful day!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Brrrrrr!

It is finally starting to feel like Christmas around here. We have had rather warm temperatures for the past few weeks now, and I was wondering when it would start getting cold. Well, we got our answer: This weekend. We are also going to get snow to go along with those lowering temperatures. This week was pretty nice and stress free. Last Sunday we spent the day putting up our Christmas tree and lights up on the house. Unfortunately, the wind and rain today blew out our icicle lights, so they are no longer lighting up. Not sure what happened, as all the connections still looked good; but oh well. We still have the other lights that we put up, and the yard decorations. I had the day off work, and I was able to catch up on the laundry and grocery shop before the weather crap really hits the fan. Nick had his usual appointment at UW this afternoon. Today was the first day that it was an hour and a half long. He did fine the first hour, but by the time the extra 30 min was up he was ready to go. He was stimming quite a bit, and not used to the longer sessions. I am getting sick of waiting for his OT to start. I was told last Feb that it would only be "4 months" to wait, now, here we are nearly 1 year later and no OT. I have called this place numerous times recently, only to get brushed off. Needless to say, we are looking elsewhere. Makes me so sick because I feel like we just wasted all this time WAITING; only to be let down AGAIN. Today, Nick's therapist at UW gave us some info for some FREE OT-to start in Feb. FREE is for ME! She gave us the paperwork to fill out, and the best thing is; we do not need a Doctor referral!! I also called up the special ed tutor today, and she starts next Thursday. Things are going to get better-I just have to tell myself that. We think he is finally ready to start potty training-we are going to concentrate on that when school is out for the holiday break. Wish us luck!! I will post pictures of snow when we start to get some this weekend.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Happiness is......

..Coming home after a long day at work and finding two boys sleeping peacefully
..Putting a tank full of gas in the Jeep and having it cost only $30 (that alone made me very happy! Last summer it was costing anywhere from $70-$80 bucks for that sucker!)
..Having the dishes done (the boys did them in the afternoon..much to my amazement)
..Having two containers of Take the Cake ice-cream in the freezer(currently everyones fave, that's the reason for the TWO containers)
..Being home before 7pm!(yeah for eight hour shifts!!)
..Having a happy,smiley, silly talking Nicholas all evening(I could just squeeze the livin' daylights out of him when he is like this..it is uber cute!)
..Seeing my two very energetic and noisy offspring chase each other around the house laughing as hard as they can
..Kissing each of their cheeks as they go to sleep
..Looking at the back of my little boy's head(his two swirly cowlicks are just too darned cute)
..This silly face
..And this innocent face

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Are you Tired?

"I'm not tired, are you tired?" was what I got from Nick for the first hour I was home. Every time I would answer him, it would spur him into going another round of "I'm not tired, are you tired?" Today at work, I got to talk on the phone to Nick before he went to school. Much of his conversation was scripted; whereas he would repeat what was said to him by daddy, but we still had a conversation...Nick style. Yesterday I came home to 4 small picture frames lined up on the floor in the hallway. What was even better was that the pictures were lined up right underneath the frames. We have come to love these sorts of things created by little man-when you see it, you know that he was there and he left something how he saw fit. All we did until it was bedtime was just walk over it-including Nick. We appreciate his contributions to our home-however odd they may seem to others. Now, we have to go help Nick take the dishcloth off the ceiling fan...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Finally Friday.....



With the refridgerator as his canvas; he created his own masterpiece this morning. He has been the grumpy artist all day as well. He was getting tired of being in the house all day just as I was, so I took him with me to Safeway to pick up two toothbrushes. You know, to replace the ones he so eloquently dunked in the toilet. They are electronic ones too, so we will see how that goes. Maybe he will like it better and let me spend more than 5 seconds on each side. He enjoyed the chance to go "Bye Bye" with mommy. He ran to the couch so I could put his shoes and jacket on, and then stood patiently by the door while I got ready. The whole way there he was gleefully chatting to himself in the backseat. It was wonderful to hear him go on like that. When he does that, I know he is happy. Michael had been getting on his nerves all day long it seemed. Nick was getting in the way a lot, and Michael would tell him "NO", then Nick would fling himself to the floor and start crying. This went on all day long. One of those days where I am happy to put them to bed at night!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A week to be Thankful; and a few phone calls

The week started off with a phone call from Nick's developmental Dr. I was not home at the time, so Mike answered the phone. We all know how guys are when they are supposed to take messages...Mike could not remember which doctor called back. Luckily, I had also e-mailed this doctor, and he wrote me back. I had told him about Nick having mushy and runny stools again, and how it had been going on for a week and we had gone through a period of normal stools after modifying his diet some. He asked if Nick had seen the GI doctor at Madigan yet(yes), and proceeded to tell me that unless he has pure diarrhea, mushy is still considered normal. How can we go from weeks of formed BM's, followed by weeks of mush and it be normal?? If he were sick I could understand. But he's not sick. I just want to know what is going on internally with my boy! I have not e-mailed him back yet, as I had other things going on the past couple of days that needed attention as well, but what do you all think of this?? Any comments would be greatly appreciated!

Also, we got a call back from his neurologist Monday. She wants to see him again in December. She thinks it is probably nothing to worry about as well. After all, don't a lot of kids have 15-20 spasms in a 2 hour period?? I am beginning to think everyone thinks I am making stuff up. She talked to Mike and he said he had not noticed anything. Of course! Nick is at home, and not in a stressful-chaotic-environment. From what I have read about seizures(and I have done ALOT of reading the past week) is that they can cause muscle spasms, and can happen in periods of high stress or excitement(a new school routine would fall into that category..don't ya think??) Anyway, his therapist at UW saw these episodes as well, and she mentioned that maybe he could see their neuro. I asked her today while we were there and she said that she would check into it.

I sat down with her today before we started his session and we discussed upcoming goals we would like to see reached. We want to revisit the whole potty training thing-but not the way we did it before. We discussed more about "trip-training"...where we take him to the bathroom every hour or so and have him sit on the toilet for a few minutes. We will see if the school will move their classroom to one that has a bathroom before we attempt this-because the school needs to be involved in this whole process. We are seeing positive changes in Nick as well. He is really trying to communicate with us on a new level. He is wanting things, and when he cannot reach them, he comes to get us, and looks specifically in a certain direction and will say things like "I want toy" or something of the like. He is able to follow a point and get things for us, and he even will help put away the groceries.He is able to undress himself and get in to the tub, his receptive language has just exploded this year and he is understanding nearly everything we say now.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and that means it is a day to be thankful for what we have. I am thankful that my children are healthy.
I am thankful that we have not dealt with any major side effects of Michael's meds
I am thankful to have a wonderful hubby who has been by my side through thick and thin.
I am thankful for my family-who have supported us throughout this journey.
I am thankful to have a few really awesome friends. I give a shout out to my "peeps" Dana, Cristina,Kristine,Susan, and Elyssa-you all are wonderful!!
I am thankful that Nick has not flushed the remote down the toilet,although numerous submersions have deemed in in-operable.
I am more thankful that the cable company is giving us a new remote for FREE
Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy the time with your families!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Back to Neurology we go

Good thing I did go to Nick's class today. He had about 20 more of those twitching and jerking episodes. I think the teachers noticed, but were not really comfortable yet to say anything. I am going to go again tomorrow and see if I can get a video of him doing it. None of the other kids were having these sort of spasms and it seemed to happen in the high-stress environment vs. being at home. So, I will be calling his neurologist again tomorrow.

Don't Mess with a Special Needs Mom!

Ok, here is what has been going on for the past few weeks. I got a call a few weeks ago saying that Nick would have to transfer schools. The reason I was told this was because there were too many special needs kids from our neighborhood going to this particular school and they were going to set-up a class for them at a school closer to us. I had already dealt with this school before when Michael went there-so despite being told that it was a "great school", I knew otherwise. Needless to say, the transfer was forced upon us, and we were to start there on the 17th. That gave the school TWO WEEKS to prepare for a special needs class. TWO WEEKS.

Fast forward to last Friday when all of us mothers met with our kids teachers and had a chance to see the classroom. The room itself was not made for these kids. There was no theraputic equipment such as a big bouncy ball or swings. Fine. Ok, we can deal with that. I asked if there was going to be a registered nurse at the school-I was told no. Wait a minute. "My daughter has seizures!" one of the moms exclaimed. No nurse-just one of those "health clinicians"-someone to basically put a band aid on a scraped knee. Strike one for the school. There is no bathroom connected to the classroom-our kids must be escorted down the hall, and use the school bathroom. No problem for typical kids. But, our kids are not typical are they? The trip to the bathroom has a greater chance of resulting in soiled clothes-not to mention the fact that Nicholas himself cannot tolerate public restrooms(which we are working on, but it has been a slow process). Plus, our kids like to be independent just like other kids, and having an escort to the bathroom just makes them stand out even more. Strike two. The school is not fenced in and is next to a major road. Our kids will not be able to participate in recess. Which they were doing at the other school-participating with the typical kids. My son won't have recess. "What's the big deal?" you might ask? Well, my kid deserves recess just like the other kids. Nicholas is more like typical kids than he is different. He likes to slide, and swing, and climb around just as they do. So, due to this little oversight by the school, him and his classmates are cooped up in the classroom the whole time and have no opportunity to mix with other kids their age. Not to mention that the school does not seem to have a plan once these kids get past pre-school. I have joined with the other moms and we are wanting to meet with this principle so we can discuss these things in depth with him.

I am angry. No one gave much thought into this at all. They uprooted these kids from a school they loved and was prepared for them, and put them in a school that was not. No thought was given to these children at all. No thought beyond "we'll just shove them in a room with toys and attempt to teach them". Why would they think any more of Special Needs kids? At the meeting, it was also said that the teachers would escort our kids to the classroom upon being dropped off. Great. Why is it that when one mom dropped off her child this week, that the teacher that was there just let him wander off?? Another mom had to step in and guide him to his class. Mike and I have some major issues with this school not being the least bit educated on autism-which is a major problem if you have a so-called Special Needs program don't ya think?? I am going to Nick's class today to observe what goes on, and hopefully us moms can get with this principle very soon.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words


This is what happened to my lap top while I was at Wal-Mart

Please help me to find the humor in this?! Calgon, I am BEGGING you to take me away. Far, far, far away.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Genetic Testing?

The neurologist called yesterday afternoon to give us the results of his EEG. He does not have seizures, but she did go on to say that he certainly does "shake quite a bit". She thought that we should have some genetic testing done-but that we could wait until after the holidays. She said the new test they have out cost like $1400.00
We have not done any of this type of testing yet on Nick because I questioned whether or not it would really matter? It would not change the way he is, so why bother? I used to think that, anyway. Now, I am rethinking that decision. We need to know more. I don't know what the tests will reveal, but if it could possibly help him more, then we are all for it. I want to know why he can do things so easily one week, then the next week he can barely do them at all. Two weeks ago, he could not identify any of the items that we had been working on for so long. Today, he identified those items, plus a couple more. It is the same sort of dance all year. He will have a good run of it for a few weeks, then, suddenly,it will be gone for a couple weeks and we have to gain these skills back. It is a frustrating process. We know that he knows these things, but he has trouble breaking through his stims. You have to physically hold his hands still, and hold his body to stop it-and then you can see him "come back". I wish we could get those under control so he can focus better.

It is too soon whether or not I can honestly say that the clay baths are helping. I do know that he has been quite irritable since the last bath Wednesday night; but he has also been more connected. We will see if he continues this, or starts regressing in a couple of weeks. I know it does something because I put my hand in the tub to swish the water around for a few minutes, and about an hour later I felt queesy and very tired(which were listed as side effects).

Well, I need to get Nick off to bed, and make Michael something to eat. Good night fellow bloggers!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Lots Happening Last Week

Boy was it a busy week! Thursday I went and did my work out in the morning since the afternoon would be busy. We did a spin session on a stationary bike, and do those ever kick your butt! After that, I went and did a review with my fitness manager for the end of the month.

Then, it was time to get a little housework in before Nick got home from school. Not very much happened with that, but it sounded good didn't it? At 12:30 we had an appointment for his EEG, and we are running late as always. I did not want him to go on an empty stomach, so I insisted on feeding him before we leave. And if any of you know Nick, you know it takes FOREVER for him to chew anything. I mean, he chews noodles like 45 times! We get to Ft. Lewis, and what do ya know? I get pulled over for a random vehicle inspection. Why today? Thank goodness they said Nick could stay in the car while they checked it out. We get done with that, drive to the hospital, find a parking spot(a miracle in itself) and check in. A few minutes late. They hook the leads to Nick's head, and we are under way with the test. He was pretty good during the test, due to the fact that I had also gone out that morning and bought him some little toys to keep him busy. We are now waiting on the results from the neurologist.

Friday was spent working on Nick's halloween costume, along with therapy. Here are a few pictures from Halloween!


Nick going trick-or-treating

Enjoying his costume!

Making the costume. Four strands of battery operated Christmas lights.

The whole family got involved.

We are keeping the costume for next year, and might add some things to it. Everyone commented on it! They all that it was very neat, and the kids who saw him were going "OOOOOOHHH WOW! That is COOL!"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Snapshot Sunday



Taken yesterday after our "family run". All the boys went with me to do some interval training at the track. Michael and I each did about 90 sit-ups and push-ups, as well as running 2 miles of intervals. Nick, followed behind us with Daddy and did about 3/4 of a mile himself! Maybe he will be a track and field type of guy?!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

From Babyfood To Roast Beef

This time last year it was impossible to get Nick to eat ANY table food. He would not even let you get near him with anything that he deemed "No Go"; which was basically everything. I was at the end of my rope, and since doctors could not give us any advice, I turned to our speech therapist.

Nick never explored anything with his mouth as a baby. Turns out that this is a necessary milestone when it comes to eating. He was also opposed to messing around with food with his hands; which is also a necessary evil when it comes to eating. At the same time babies are making a mess with their food, they are developing their mouth for the task of chewing. Also, Nick did not give two craps for what we were eating. In other words, along with not developing the skills needed for chewing things with texture, he also did not care that he was eating different food than we were. ALL these things combined,plus his autism-made it very difficult for us to introduce new foods. We spent the early part of this year with just ONE piece of cereal. After weeks of "playing" with it,he finally put it in his mouth and ate it! In my mind, we had just climbed Mt. Everest.

It seems impossible to think that less than a year later, babyfood is a thing of the past. Nick's faves are now things like waffles,pancakes, hot-dogs, Mac-n-cheese, and fruit cups. Last night he ate roast beef-and enjoyed it. We still face lots of issues regarding food-it takes him forever to chew anything; and new foods can be a challenge to get him to try, but he DOES it. YAY Nicholas! Way to go my sweet "bubby".

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Baby Steps....


That is the name of the game for Nick. We take baby steps towards progress. Big goals are broken down into numerous smaller goals. A few months ago, we had to lead him by the hand in order for him to go find his cup so I could fill it. We would lead him to it, bend him over, and with hand-over-hand prompting he would pick it up and we would lead him by the hand to the kitchen counter. That was a few months ago. It takes painstaking repetition and sometimes he would fuss about doing it, but the payoff came this week. He told me he wanted milk, I told him to go get his cup. He went into the livingroom(I am still in the kitchen) and came back with cup in hand and said "Look!" I don't think I could have had a bigger smile on my face. My boy brought me his cup. On his own. It was glorious. He did so many new things in the last few days. He now will do the hand movements to "Twinkle, twinkle,little star", and other songs, and he asked his first question yesterday! He asked "Where's daddy?" after Mike had walked out of the bedroom. My jaw hit the floor, and we immediately started playing "Where's daddy?" and went to find him. I get so excited when we can see measurable improvement. Cognitively he is maturing, and it is like a lightbulb has been turned on. I gave him a bath yesterday and he saw his reflection in the drain. He looked at it intently and then said "HI Nicholas!" We could never really be sure if he recognized himself in things like mirrors,etc. But now I know he does, and to me, that is a huge step cognitively. It was a great week,and we are hoping to see even more progress next week!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A Costume for Nick

Sorry I have not posted in so long! Life has just been going along pretty quietly here. Nick's headbanging resurfaced for a short time, but he lost interest in it rather quickly this time, either that or Michael just has not pissed him off too badly!LOL! We have an appointment with the Neurology clinic tomorrow, and honestly, I am not sure what I am going to tell them. I have not noticed any major jerks lately, but he did have some smaller ones during therapy last week. Not sure if his therapist noticed or not, but I did. When things like this happen and then seemingly go away-I start to wonder if I am just a neurotic mother. I know there may be nothing we could do about them, but I guess I just need confirmation of sorts that I am not losing my mind. And, I want to know what is possibly going on with my little boy!

Fall has definitely arrived. The trees are quickly turning bright reds,yellows, and browns and losing their leaves. We are getting ready for Halloween. Michael is going to be a ninja again, and Nick, well, we are making him a rather unique costume this year. I tried to find a costume for him, but nothing jumped out at me. He is not interested in super heroes, or other characters. Sure we could dress him up in some costume that we would deem "acceptable or appropriate". But, what would HE want? We had to think. When your child's objects of affection are things like microwaves,ceiling fans, and light switches, you have to be creative. The idea quickly came to light...literally. Nick loves colorful lights. Why not dress him in something we KNOW he would love! So, I went out with a different costume in mind. I found a black hooded costume robe that is his size, some multi-colored battery operated decorative lights in the Christmas section, and some fabric glue to glue them on. We also thought we could attach things like pinwheels, and other small toys that Nick likes. Now, that would be a costume that says Nick all over it! Maybe next year we can find a way to hook up his own light switch to his lights! I will post pictures when I get it all done.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Walking with Nicholas

It was a brilliant fall day outside today, so Nick and I took a walk down to the playground. He was so happy to get out of the house that he was flapping and running the whole way! He loved watching his shadow on the pavement and I loved watching him become so animated. His whole body was enjoying the moment, and I managed to catch some good pictures.






This was seriously one happy child! Hands were flailing and the air at the park was filled with Nick's happy bantering. It was a lovely afternoon!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

More Outrage....

It is sad that in today's world, people still find a way to blame autism on the parents. According to this guy, if you just tell Nick to stop acting like an "idiot" then everything would be fine. That Autism today is like Asthma years ago...everyone has it so they can get more money. HUH?? More money??? Is that what he thinks we get??!! What is even worse, is that this guy broadcast this show all over the country. I can't even think of the words to type how I feel right now. I feel like he might as well have called Nick an "idiot" or "moron" right to his face. People who know nothing about autism should keep their mouths shut. We have enough to deal with without people secretly "blaming" our "bad" parenting. These kids are NOT "idiots". Why he would even say this about children in the first place?

This just makes it that much harder for the public to see past the myths of autism. Here is the article that I am talking about:

http://mediamatters.org/items/200807170005?f=h_top

On the July 16 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Michael Savage claimed that autism is "[a] fraud, a racket." Savage went on to say, "I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, 'Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot.' " Savage concluded, "[I]f I behaved like a fool, my father called me a fool. And he said to me, 'Don't behave like a fool.' The worst thing he said -- 'Don't behave like a fool. Don't be anybody's dummy. Don't sound like an idiot. Don't act like a girl. Don't cry.' That's what I was raised with. That's what you should raise your children with. Stop with the sensitivity training. You're turning your son into a girl, and you're turning your nation into a nation of losers and beaten men. That's why we have the politicians we have."

Savage also stated: "[W]hy was there an asthma epidemic amongst minority children? Because I'll tell you why: The children got extra welfare if they were disabled, and they got extra help in school. It was a money racket. Everyone went in and was told [fake cough], 'When the nurse looks at you, you go [fake cough], "I don't know, the dust got me." ' See, everyone had asthma from the minority community."

Talk Radio Network, which syndicates The Savage Nation, claims that Savage is heard on more than 350 radio stations. The Savage Nation reaches at least 8.25 million listeners each week, according to Talkers Magazine, making it one of the most listened-to talk radio shows in the nation, behind only The Rush Limbaugh Show and The Sean Hannity Show.

From the July 16 edition of Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation:

SAVAGE: Now, you want me to tell you my opinion on autism, since I'm not talking about autism? A fraud, a racket. For a long while, we were hearing that every minority child had asthma. Why did they sudden -- why was there an asthma epidemic amongst minority children? Because I'll tell you why: The children got extra welfare if they were disabled, and they got extra help in school. It was a money racket. Everyone went in and was told [fake cough], "When the nurse looks at you, you go [fake cough], 'I don't know, the dust got me.' " See, everyone had asthma from the minority community. That was number one.

Now, the illness du jour is autism. You know what autism is? I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is.

What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, "Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot."

Autism -- everybody has an illness. If I behaved like a fool, my father called me a fool. And he said to me, "Don't behave like a fool." The worst thing he said -- "Don't behave like a fool. Don't be anybody's dummy. Don't sound like an idiot. Don't act like a girl. Don't cry." That's what I was raised with. That's what you should raise your children with. Stop with the sensitivity training. You're turning your son into a girl, and you're turning your nation into a nation of losers and beaten men. That's why we have the politicians we have.



Mr. Savage should have listened to his father.

Here is the LINK to sign a petition to FIRE Mr. Savage

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Dread of Soccer Season.......

It is soccer season again, and I find myself having mixed emotions. I love watching Michael play and practice, but it can be a painful reminder of how our lives are so much different. When you see a child younger than yours who is able to play a simple card game with his mom, or one who tries in vain to interact with Nick...but instead he walks away still spinning the blades from a long lost toy helicopter, completely ignoring all attempts to get his attention. Do their parents even realize what they have? Do they take for granted that they hear "Mom" a hundred times a day? Or that their child can tell them a story, or even tell on their brother/sister? Do they realize how I long to hear those things from Nick? That just even pointing to his nose takes weeks of repetition and numerous rewards. Don't get me wrong, I realize that we could have it so much worse, but it pains us to see how far behind our little man is.

"Nick is nearly five, but he babbles like a 15 month old" I said to Mike today. "But he IS babbling." he replied positively. That seems to be how things are with us. When I get down in one of my moods, he points out the positive things. I do the same when he gets down. Thank goodness we never seem to have these episodes at the same time..LOL!

Nick has a way of making me laugh at all the right times. Just as I finished typing this post, Nick grabbed Michael's juice box and finished it off! The best thing was HE DRANK FROM A STRAW and did not spill a drop!! Nick, you made mommy laugh tonight. Thank you sweet boy!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Chaos Returns....

Yep, I am back home again that's for sure. Chaos is just a normal part of my life. It started at 6:30 a.m. This is what time the little men in my life get up to get ready for school. It is a flurry of getting boys dressed, fed, teeth brushed, shoes and for now, light jackets on and backpacks ready. They were all shined up today with matching jackets from New Zealand, and their red backpacks. The bus arrived at just after 7am and I walked with them to meet the bus driver. It has been a different driver each year; and I am already missing the one we had last year. He was an older,grandfatherly like gentleman who always greeted us with a warm smile and a jolly "Good morning Nicholas!! How are you today??!" Maybe our new driver will eventually do that, but we are still getting to know each other. Michael sits with Nick in the morning,which they both really seem to like. There is a mountain of school paperwork that I need to fill out...eventually. Don't have the energy to do it right now. We had therapy at UW today and Nick did awesome! He pointed to his nose, clapped, bounced, and did puzzles. He must be learning songs in school again-he came home humming "Ole My Darling Clementine". He has a wonderful memory for music. He has become very animated over the last few months. He makes eye contact, loves looking at faces, and seems to be coming into his own. That is my little man. Right now he is enjoying throwing a Spongebob ball up in the air(a suitable replacement for his love of dropping things) and happily chattering away as it hits the floor. And yes, we are letting him throw small balls in the house-it is much better than him throwing remotes, telephones, batteries, and anything else he can get to...all for the simple pleasure of the sound it makes as it hits whatever is in it's path. It also has the plus of being something that looks like normal play! A few seconds ago he did manage to get a hold of the phone and hide it in the kitchen cabinet-Oy Vey!

Home Sweet Home

Just wanted to let you all know that I made it home this evening. I missed my little "bubby", and of course my big boys too. The first thing Nick did when he saw me was try to take my hat off, and put his hands on my face. He smiled with his whole body. I said hi to him, and he said hi right back. We got home and handed out the souvenirs. I had originally bought two stuffed animals for Michael since he likes them so much, but Nick took an immediate liking to the stuffed Kiwi bird so I now suppose that is his. Sometimes you just don't know what he likes until you try. He carried that around all evening. When you push on it's side it makes a sound like the Kiwi (the bird of New Zealand in case you were wondering). Nick would set it down and bang on it to get it to make noise. We even caught him imitating the birds noises. That ought to be a real hoot at school...I can just imagine him tweetering and clucking all around the place!LOL! Good thing his teachers have a sense of humor! Even with all the misgivings about therapies and the school district, I have to say that I really love his teachers. They always focus on the things he CAN do, and they really see his personality. My little man. When I talk to Mrs. R, his head teacher, she raves about Nick and how far he has come since starting the program. He thrives on lively, bubbly, spirited people who don't just see the diagnosis he has. Afterall, he is a little boy first and foremost. More people need to focus on the PERSON, not the AUTISM.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Almost home!!

Tomorrow I will be getting back home to my three wonderful boys! I got to talk to each of them today and it was so good to hear all their voices! I even had a conversation with Nick..bless his little heart. He was coached by daddy on what to say. It went something like this:

(with dad in the background telling Nick to say "Hi mommy")
Nick: Hi Mommy
Me: Hi Nicholas!
Nick: Hi Nicholas!
Me: How are you?
(Mike in the background: say I am Fine)
Nick then proceeds to speak some happy little jargon that I cannot understand; but find adorable anyway. He is using his happy voice, and whatever he is telling me is exciting to him.
Me: Really??! WOW! I Love you!
Nick: I sorry
Me: What are you sorry about Nick?
He makes a disgruntled sound, and this I know is the end of our conversation. I tell him I love him, and he says Bye Bye.

Goodbye sweet boys! I will see you tomorrow!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Feeling a bit defeated today..

You ever have one of those days?? I am having one today. All last week Nick had been doing great with his labeling of "car,spoon,cup,and ball". He got them right every time. Anyway, we went to therapy today and I told her all the wonderful things he had done since last session. Do ya think he did them this session?? NO WAY! He was fine the first few minutes, then, sometime during the alphabet puzzle, he just lost it. He had a hard time even completing the shape sorter; which is normally very easy for him. After that, he wanted nothing to do with anything and proceeded to lay on the trampoline and cry and stim. We could not even touch him. I felt so helpless because I could not soothe my own son. I had no idea of why he was acting that way either. He was fine in the waiting room!

After that ordeal, I came home to find my hubby standing outside reading a flier that had come in the mail. It was from the DDD advertising all of their "great" programs for children & adults with disabilities. Hubby proceeded to call them. Basically, from what we were told, that Nick is on another freaking waiting list-that he just got on it in June-they only take 100 kids per YEAR-and the ones who are deemed "emergencies" automatically go ahead of him. Somedays I just don't get it. WHY is it so hard to get help?? Time for me to get back into school so I can become part of the solution to this problem. I ended up taking the summer off. My original intent was to just take one semester off, but since I am going away for two weeks on the 30th, I am waiting until I get back to enroll.

Yes, you read that right. I am going out of town for two weeks. I leave on Saturday. Leaving all the guys at home by themselves is daunting to say the least. I have full faith that Mike can handle things though. For me, it will be two weeks of not thinking about autism. Although it is work related, I am going to try and relax somewhat. I might end up taking the lap top with me, so that I can e-mail and post pictures. NOt sure though. If I don't get on again before I leave, I wish everyone a safe Labor day and I will see you all in Sept!

Just a few minutes.....

I just got back from my run and I am savoring the last few minutes I can of absolute piece and quiet. Just a few more minutes is all I need to mentally prepare myself for the day. My "To-Do" list is always present, it never seems to get any smaller. Trying not to think and just BE right now.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More Random Thoughts...

I have been thinking about changing the name of the blog. I just feel like it has grown away from being just a "day in our life". I have reached a point of total acceptance of autism. I don't like some parts of it, but I accept it none-the-less. For the first year and a half or so I devoted any amount of spare time I could to researching treatments and supplements on the internet. This became my passion-it more or less took over my life. Now, we are at a place with Nick that we are comfortable with. For right now. You see, with autism, things seem to change on you just when you think you have everything figured out. Phases come and go just like with any other kid. Now, we are getting into the "I'm being naughty and I know it" phase. Nick loves to twirl things in his hands, and then crash them to the floor. He crashes everything to the floor nowadays..which can make for deafening noise in the kitchen. He especially likes how things go crash in there. But, with each passing phase, I find myself missing some of the things he used to do. I simply loved his Happy Dance. He stopped doing it quite some time ago, and I catch myself watching videos of this "long lost" stim with a huge smile on my face. I LOVE the stim he does now though. It is so endearing and unique to Nicholas. He comes right up to my face and puts his hands on my cheeks. There is nothing better than this "hug" from Nick.

Monday was a good day. I went to PT in the morning, and the boys decided to sleep in until around 9am. I went in when I heard the first stirrings of activity, and was greeted at the door with an exuberent Nicholas. He had been busy arranging the room as he saw fit, which included taking all his diapers out and lining them up on the floor in the middle of the room. He also had moved the air hockey table and his small dresser. He greeted me with "Close the window pwease". Yes, Nicholas, the window will stay closed because it is going to rain today. "It's gonna RAINNNN!" Yes, my lovely boy, it sure is. Sometimes, a little rain is just what we need.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Letting my thoughts out...

Today at work, the guys and I were sharing stories from our childhoods. Stories that included siblings and the trouble, and fun times had with them. Then it hit me almost like a ton of bricks...Michael likely won't have such stories of him and Nicholas. They have a relationship of course, they are still brothers. However; theirs is a drastically different relationship than most. I found myself getting extremely sad by this fact, and just for once, wished that we had a third child. I did not wish for Nick to be something he is not, but instead, a third child. Maybe that one would have been "normal", and then Michael could share stories with his co-workers? He mentioned in passing this week that he wished Nick was not autistic. He loves his brother immensly, but dealing with Nick and his "issues" can be very hard, even for us.

I know that Nick is only four years old now, and that a lot can change in the next 14or so years. We have to face some hard realities. Nick may never be able to live by himself, may never speak much better than he does now, may never do a lot of things. I don't think about this every day of course, otherwise it could be very depressing, but every now again these thoughts creep into my mind. These are the "what if's?" we face. Michael is patient, loving, caring, and has put up with more than his share some days. He has been dragged to numerous therapy sessions, had to leave events because they were too noisy for Nick, put up with Nick rearranging the bedroom in the middle of the night, and he has done it all without question. He is such a trooper. Some days I just wish he did not have to be.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Another hurdle overcome as a family!

We have been slowly getting used to our life without Maggi. A week after she passed, we received a card from the vet's office that had a lock of her fur and her paw print. A lovely reminder of a wonderful friend. I found myself getting choked up again as I once again touched her fur; which was wrapped in a little pink bow and taped to the card. We have missed seeing her in the back yard, but I know she is in a better place.

I have been trying to contact the doctor so that Nick can get another eval. His twitching movements have not gone away. One day last week when I was feeding him I saw his eyes start to flutter from side to side. He certainly was not moving them on his own in that manner and you could not get his attention during this time. When I did call the Dr; I got the receptionist who told me that a spot would not be available until Sept. I told her that he has been having these twitching episodes, and she then took a message for the Dr to call me. Other than these episodes, he is doing beautifully. He has become fascinated with the letters of the alphabet. He will spend countless hours lining them up, carrying them, standing at the fridge and saying what they are. During therapy Tuesday he persisted in grouping them on the mini trampoline and admiring them. He knows them all on sight, and even will say their sounds. He is simply mesmerized by them, and will protest if anyone tries to thwart his "organization".

Last weekend a neighbor told me about a drive in movie theater in Auburn. I looked it up online, and was excited about finally being able to see a movie with the whole family! Since Nick cannot tolerate the noise level in a regular theater, we have not been able to see a movie with all four of us. It was worth a shot, and MUCH cheaper than the theater we normally go to. We also got to see two movies for the price of one!! SCORE!! We piled in the Jeep, and the four of us spent a night at a drive-in. It was a great experience and it was nice to see a movie with my hubby! The boys ended up falling asleep during the first movie; afterall, it did not start until after 9pm, and our boys are on bedtime schedules. Their little bodies could just not make it past 10pm! We will find a way to have as normal life as can be with autism. It will not stop any of us!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Goodbye Maggi...

Photobucket

We will miss you!

Maggi earned her wings and went to heaven on July 25th at 2pm. She had come down with a uterine infection and was not able to eat or drink anything because she would just throw it up. We took her to the vet, and they said her kidneys were failing, she was severely dehydrated, and she would need emergency surgery to remove her uterus. She was so unstable, that they could not guarantee she would live through the procedure, and even if she did, she would likely have lasting kidney damage. Her body was in shock and her breathing was very difficult. We let her go gracefully to play with the angels. We kissed her and petted her all the way to heaven and told her how much we loved her. Nick has a way of saying poignant things at the right times, and this was no exception. Before Maggi took her last breath, Nick came over and put both his hands on her back/tummy. He did not play in her fur like he always did; but placed his hands on her and said "Belly" three times. He then went to lay on the little couch and said "Time to go night night". He just has a way about him that I have never seen before.

Monday, July 21, 2008

What Now??!


Yes, I know, I have neglected you; my blogger friends-but, I swear there is a good reason. Last Sunday, as I was preparing dinner, Nicholas was laying in his favorite spot underneath the fan. I looked at him and then I noticed something was strange. His head was shaking, and not in his normal way either..but it seemed like little jerks and then it was gone. Monday came and the head issue was long forgotten. He had a diaper with some diarrhea in it first thing in the morning-but again, nothing serious, as it was the only one he had. We are in therapy when the twitches and jerks come back. This time, they affect his whole body. They last maybe a second or so, but they kept coming. He did that like 10 times during the session. It was so bad that his therapist stopped the session a few minutes early and was very concerned about this new development. I got home and told Mike about the twitches. He had not seen them, so at the time, he did not think too much of it. That evening, when I was napping, Mike noticed that Nick's legs were twitching. At first he thought Nick was "dancing" on the floor, but then he realized that the rest of him was completely still. (Which, if you have seen Nick, you know that this is very unusual movement for him). I called his Dr the very next day, and was told to record every time this happens and all the details leading up to it, and what happens during it. She wants to see him sometime in August, but will see him sooner if he gets worse. He went most of the week without another episode, but had another on Saturday night as I was getting him dressed for bed. He was leaning on the bed, and again, his whole body jerked. I am hoping that the Dr will put in a referral for neurology and we can "see" what is going on. If she does not automatically put one in, I will request it. They are jerky, and come on too suddenly to be "normal". I think in the back of our heads we KNOW what these are, I just don't want them to get any worse. He is doing beautifully otherwise. He is using words, making requests, and trying to really connect with people. He has made some huge leaps in a rather short time. He is starting to not like having dirty diapers, and came to me a few days ago saying "Nicholas, diaper". Yesterday he was whining because he thought he had "Poo-Poo" in his diaper and he does not like that. Maybe he will be potty trained by five??!!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

America's Got Talent.....

Not sure how many of you all out there in blogland have heard about this extraordinary young man. He is 9yrs old and was diagnosed with autism when he was two. He would sing in the bus on his way to school and back. This was news to his parents because he did not speak at all. I could not watch this without tearing up. He is such a sweetie and I cannot wait to watch it this week to see how he does!

GO DAVID!! We are rooting for you!!!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Vacation...part 2

It has been an interesting vacation to say the least! Wednesday started with daddy calling the dealership at 8am to see what the heck was going on with our Jeep. The guy was getting fed up with all of our calls,but daddy did not care. He just wanted to get this whole thing fixed so we could enjoy our vacation! The repairman told him that he was several days behind on fixing cars, and he did not know when he could get to ours. Needless to say, this distressed everyone; especially mommy. We needed a car to get home with, since staying another week would be too much money. With all this stress going around I was getting rather un-hinged sometimes. Luckily, our friends understood, and did not take any of my outbursts personally. Mommy and daddy decided it might be best to upgrade our old Jeep;so we ended up trading in our old Jeep for a new(er) one. This newer one has all the luxuries! Anyway, we got the car thing settled, and then on Thursday we headed off to Silverwood Theme Park!!

We were excited about this day. My brother was especially excited since he was getting to ride the roller coasters for the very first time. All of us went on the first ride; which was some log splasher thing. I personally think they could have done without all of the employees talking over loud speakers...they were not using their inside voices! I tried not to come unglued; and I think I did pretty well. We all sat in this log thingie and went for a nice quiet ride..until we got to this big drop! We plunged down and that was the worst bath I ever took..no matter what daddy tried to say! I was scared for a bit, but I tried not to let mommy see, I was brave. After a few more rides, it was time to hit the water park. YEAH BABY, YEAH! That was MY domain!! We sunned ourselves, played in the lazy river, and ruled the toddler attractions! I was thoroughly over stimulated!! Mommy thought I would sleep easily that night; but she was wrong! I just could not settle down and she had to give me some of my sleepy vitamins.

The next day was the 4th of July; and we really did not do too much. We cooked out hamburgers(they smelled really good, so good in fact, that I never want to eat them, just smell them) and then went to meet up with our friends at their house. We went to Riverfront park to watch the sky light up. It was most fantastic!! If you love lights like I do; then you should see these lights!!! After you get used to the loud BOOM they make, it really is very neat!!! After the loud lights, we went back to the parking lot and waited for traffic to die down before heading home. I was introduced to "E" and "N"'s grandfather; who had a strange car that kept beeping. I tried my best to find out what it was so that I could fix it, but the dang thing would not stop beeping no matter how hard I banged on the seat. I never did find out what everyone was laughing about? I think that car is messed up and I tried to tell everyone that it was not funny; but they kept on laughing anyway. Maybe I missed something?? Nah, that car is totally busted!! Why else would it beep everytime I banged the seat?? Any mechanics reading this??

Today we just hung out again and relaxed. We are heading back home on Monday, and no; it's not funny!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Vacation Saga Begins....

We started our little journey yesterday just after 11 am. All went smoothe with the road trip, and we were all looking forward to an uneventful vacation. I somehow got stuck on the phrase "It's not funny" for about 20 miles. Everyone was laughing at what they thought was just a random phrase I was saying. I kept repeating "It's not funny" over and over again. We got to our friends' house and stopped to chat for a while before heading to find a campsite. Daddy turned the car off, and we all got out. A little while later, daddy went to start the car again, and all it did was "click,click". I mean, I tried to tell them "It's not funny", but did they listen to me?? Of course not. So, we had to get help from the neighbors to get the trailer off the car, and hitch it to one of their trucks. So, mommy and all us kids stayed with our friends and played while daddy rode with the neighbor guy to the campsite. We went to Wal-mart to get some necessities to last us until we could get situated with everything and collect our thoughts about the car thing. After a LONG day, we all made it to bed around midnight.

We woke up today and started working the car problem. Mommy called our friends so they could come and get us, and see what we could do to fix our problem. Daddy went to start the car again to humor himself, but the car just made the same clicking noise. Daddy called around to a couple of mechanic places and to the Jeep dealership, as well as scheduled a tow truck guy to come pick up our car. Mommy made a phone call to see if we could get a temporary loan to fix the car and pay for the tow truck costs, and possibly a rental car. She still wanted us to be able to do some fun stuff on our vacation,instead of just be able to fix the darned car. So, the tow truck guy arrives and we all go out to meet him. He tells daddy to try and start the car again, so daddy does. What do you think happens next?? The car starts! We quickly pile in to two cars, and follow our friends to the dealership. By the time we get there, their service dept. is closed, and so is the rental car places. Stranded. At the dealership. We figure out a way to get 8 of us back to the house, with leaving the Jeep at the dealership. After "T" dropped off his wife and kids plus my brother back at their house, he came back so that mommy,daddy, and I could go to the airport to get a rental car. This was fun for me...a big windstorm came and I was cracking up because the wind was spinning my pinwheel SOOOOOO fast!!! This was the funnest part of the day by far!!! Long story short, we got a rental car for a couple of days until ours can be fixed. After that, we went back to the house and all pigged out on pizza. Except for me; I don't care much for pizza. Too messy. Now, we are back in the trailer, getting ready for bed. It was another long day, but overall, better than yesterday. Stay tuned..more to follow!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

1 Week of Enzymes

They seem to be helping! Along with the rice milk. Today was the first day that I can remember that Nick had solid poo all day long. He is also not pooping as much as he was before. He was pooping sometimes four times a day; somedays he had a poop in every diaper. Mike is even convinced that enzymes seem to be helping him. Nick has also tried some new foods this week. He has now added ham and hot dogs to his growing list. Feeding himself is still a challenge that we are working on, but he has made progress in that area as well. Talking is more or less on his own terms. We have heard him say things like "oopsie" when he drops things, and he sings a new song now. It is a different version of the "clean up" song...Nick will sing "Line up, Line up". Today he did that while arranging drink cannisters in a square pattern on the coffee table. He has also taken a renewed interest in his fridge magnet ABC toy. "BEEEEE!" he will shout as he puts in the letter B and the song starts.

We are all excited about our upcoming vacation. We are going to visit our friends in Spokane beginning July 1st and will be doing lots of fun summer activities. One of those will be a trip to Silverwood theme park. We are all looking forward to some fun time together as a family. Doing "normal" family things.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Day #2 of Enzymes

Yesterday I went once again to Super Supplements to see what they had for kids. I was looking for something to aid in digestion. Something HAS to give with Nick's mushy poo. He has had problems with poo for as long as I can remember. It is never consistent-he normally goes numerous times a day, and one of those might be solid-the rest are mush. Not to mention he had started doing his little "humping" of the floor again. The Gastro tells me it is "normal", but I don't think so. Call me crazy...but you can't tell me that pooping mush daily is "normal". So, I am on the search to find things that can help ease our tummy troubles. I found KIDS DIGEST in a powder form. It is supposed to help enhance digestion and absorbtion-just what we need over here! He gets one little scoop full(and the scoop IS little) mixed in with juice once a day. So far, so good. He seems to be tolerating it well, and drinks all of his juice. I am just looking for something to help my poor bubby's tummy!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Hi there!

Mommy has not had a chance to update in a while. I have been doing all kinds of stuff too! Daddy and I invented our own little game and we just love to play!! We chase each other and he pats me on my behind and says "Butt!". Sometimes we even get my big bro in on it. One day last week while mommy was at work; daddy came up to me and said "Hi Nick!" and I called right back at him "Hi Butt!". Mommy says I am getting a sense of humor on me; but honestly he DOES say "Butt" all the time-so that must be his name??

I am also learning to feed myself. It is kind of tricky, but I think I am getting it. It is hard because I get so excited about learning a new skill that I tend to "Tense up" and then do lots of flapping. That's ok though, cause Mommy and Daddy (AKA BUTT) taught me a new phrase to tell myself when I get like this. I say "Hands Down" to my hands. 'Cause when they get to flapping, they have a mind of their own!

Last Thursday night my brother decided that he would get sick. It was pretty "hairy" here for a while. He was saying that his chest hurt when he breathed, and he had a headache and cough. Mommy thought she might have to take him to the hospital, but after a little medicine and some rest; he was feeling much better. I think he ate something at school that bugged his tummy. I felt bad for him-he was feeling so ill that he could not even play with me! He just layed on the couch the whole evening until he went to bed! He is feeling MUCH better now though! Well, I am gonna go for now-I just turned on the ceiling fan and I simply love to watch that spin! Have a great day everyone!!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Petition to Fire Ms. Portillo!

Okay all you out there in blogland, time to make a difference! Here is an online petition to FIRE that awful teacher in Florida from my previous post! Let's keep this going...
Just click on the word "FIRE"

Perfection...

It was around 7pm and Nick had fallen asleep on the floor under the ceiling fan. This is his most favorite place to be. He relaxes himself while watching the hypnotic spinning of the fan. He is at total peace with himself and the world. He often falls asleep under the fan in this manner. I went over to him and layed down next to his sleeping body. I took his "Nicholasness" all in. His long curly eyelashes, his button nose, his fine blonde hair, and his smell. His oh so sweet smell. Most four year olds have lost that "baby" smell-but Nick still has it. I lay beside him and kiss him gently on the forehead and on his cheek. He is simply PERFECT.

Sweet Alex Barton; the Five year old who was voted out of his class by his hideous teacher, you are PERFECT just the way you are! You have so many people who will stand with you and your family! The whole WORLD is in your corner little man!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Beyond Words...

I don't know if any of you out there in blogland have heard of this story yet, but it is simply disgusting and a prime example of ignorance. A teacher in FLORIDA had a 5yr old boy who is in the process of being diagnosed with high functioning autism (HFA or Asperger's Syndrome), stand in his classroom and be "voted out" by his classmates! FIVE YEARS OLD!! Read on in the article and you will hear how most people view kids like Nick. They are viewed as "disgusting", "disruptive", "violent", the list goes on. This is what we have to deal with. This is an outrage! It is 2008 people..why are these children being taught how to "hate" anyone who is different? This little boy has been traumatized in a way that NO FIVE YEAR old should! Autism is not "Disgusting". I cannot type right now...I am too furious and heartbroken.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

It's Potty TIME!


It's me Nick here! Just wanted to give a shout out to all the mommies in blogland-"Happy Mother's Day". Us kids would be nowhere without the mommies. So, all you kids and babies out there, give your mommies some kisses! I don't know about your mommies, but my mommy is just a gem. I am serious when I say that the woman does it all. She is so busy with my daddy,brother, and I that she hardly has any time to spin or twirl anything! That's just so much fun to do!! I think she should also just take time to watch the microwave-all those numbers, not to mention it spins on the inside. Pure satisfaction if you ask me. I ALWAYS have time to watch the microwave!!

See? Anyway, this same wonderful mommy is planning to ambush me tomorrow! She is planning an all-out war on my beloved dipeys(a.k.a. Diapers for all you grown folks) This CAN'T be!! She is wanting to get rid of these things and get me to wear UNDERWEAR!! BLECH! My brother wears these, and I must say, I think they are boring! I am so going against the grain on this one. I let her win the food battle, but that is where I draw the line! But then again, all the food tastes so good..especially cake! You all have got to try that one...you won't regret it! It's kinda weird, but it tastes soooo good! Maybe I will give this underwear thing a try; but that does not mean I have to like it! Well, I better get going before mommy catches me on her computer. Then I will really be in trouble!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

In the Trenches with Potty Training...

We had an appointment with the psychologist yesterday morning to discuss potty training Nick. To put it simply: It is not going to be easy. We are prepared to start intensively this weekend. She advised us to "set-up camp" outside the bathroom. Section off that part of the house, and put some toys, and a naked Nick as well as each of us from the time he wakes up; til the time he goes to bed. We purchased some strong reinforcers from Target. Since he does not care too much about any type of sweet rewards, we went for the material ones! We have started him already on a potty schedule. We have the schedule posted on the wall outside the bathroom and write down every time he sits on the potty and every time he goes. It is not going to be pretty this weekend; but if we get it done, that is one more major hurdle we have crossed. He is doing good on his supplements. Yesterday he came out of his room and said "Hi" to daddy as he passed by him. Today before he left for school he replied "I love you too" when Mike said "I love you!" He did not care for the vitamin supplements in his milk, so I have switched to putting them in his juice. That seems to be fine with him, and he drinks it right up. Other than that,not too much else to report. I have posted a video of Nick doing what he does best. He LOVES to spin our phones. If it ever becomes an Olympic event, he should take the Gold medal!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pleasantville

No, we did not move! But that is where we have seemingly resided with Nicholas the last few days. The last few days have brought some amazing results.

Monday: He had his ABA therapy at UW. We have been working since last summer to get Nick to imitate on a regular basis throughout sessions. He NEVER did it. I mean, he would do it once or maybe twice, but that was it. Monday, I kid you not, he did EVERYTHING she did..with very little prompting, in fact, it was almost none at all. She said the session was a huge success!

Tuesday: I can't count how many times he came to me and said "I want cup"; he is very good at that now. Did I mention he looked at me every time I called his name and stopped spinning objects?

Today: Another huge success. He went with me to get my haircut. Now, I dread taking him on these appts. because he has nortoriously hated the hair salons. This time however, he thought it was hilarious. He was looking at everyone around him, smiling at himself in the mirror, laughing at me when my hair was funny looking. Michael is having to constantly say "Nick! Get out of_____, or Leave _____ alone!" This morning, every time MIchael was out of his sight, he cried. Mike found them this morning sitting in their room together. He asked why Michael had not come out, and Michael said "Every time I left, Nick cried. So I stayed here."

We know that he will always be autistic-that much we accept. We are not trying to "cure" him. We just want him to get better sleep, and be healthier. If that makes him function a little better, then it is a plus.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sunday Ramblings


Some things are just better lined up.
I have changed up the blog a little bit. I thought it was time for something new. Well, it is going on Day 3 of Melatonin, and all I can say is, WOW! Nick has slept two nights in a row!! HOORAY! We started him back on 1Tsp. of Cod Liver Oil as well. He is doing much better. Today Mike was playing around with a thing of breath freshner and wanted to show Nick how he could get it to spin on his fingers. Nick saw it and suddenly said "BAM!". We were a bit confused until I noticed that Mike's hand was in the shape of a gun. I have no idea of where he could have seen or heard a gun before, (maybe from Michael and his friends playing), but something connected with him and he put it together.
He has also been coming up to me a lot more and saying "I want cup". I mean, not even stopping to think about what to say..just saying it so easily. Not just saying it, but looking right at me when he says this! Michael has even said "Nick is so much HAPPIER now!" Amazing what real sleep will do!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

2:41 a.m.

And Nick is still asleep. So far, so good.

In our quest to find natural ways to help Nick, we came across this:

It is basically vitamins. Click here for the link. For those who do not know, ASD stands for Autism Spectrum Disorder. I don't know if it will help him or not, but it is worth a try. The paragraphs below summarize the product.
Many children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Our ASD Vitamin/Mineral Powder is specifically formulated to help counteract these deficiencies.

Several other companies also offer vitamin and mineral supplements. However, these supplements have many disadvantages. Some of these supplements are sold in a liquid dosage form. The problem with liquid supplements is that many vitamins and minerals are not stable in a liquid for more than a couple of hours or days. As a consequence, the patient may not receive the correct therapeutic levels from a liquid supplement. Also, to keep costs down, most supplements are made from inexpensive forms of the vitamins and minerals. In many people, these inexpensive forms are poorly absorbed and some can encourage yeast overgrowth.

Another problem is that many supplements are designed for the general population. These supplements do not fully meet the unique nutritional needs of a patient with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, none of the supplements we have tried taste very good. As most every parent of a child with ASD knows, it is not easy to get a child to take a bad tasting supplement. When we set out to formulate our ASD Vitamin/Mineral PowderT, we made sure to avoid all of these common problems.

Because Lee Silsby's ASD Vitamin/Mineral PowderT is added to a liquid immediately before serving, the vitamins and minerals have no chance to degrade. In addition, we use only the best forms of the vitamins and minerals available, and our formulation was designed in conjunction with several DAN! practitioners specifically to meet the needs of the ASD patient.

Lastly, through more than a decade of flavoring children's medications, we have developed the ability to make almost any medication palatable. Our expertise in flavoring medications insures that our ASD Vitamin/Mineral PowderT tastes great. It is available in citrus flavor or unflavored to meet the requirements of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Our formulation is free of gluten, casein, soy, sugar, artificial flavors, artificial dyes, and preservatives.




Each dose of ASD Vitamin/Mineral Powder™ contains:Click here to hide ingredients...

Chromium (as Chromium Aspartate) 200mcg elemental Chromium
Selenium (as L-selenomethionine) 200mcg elemental Selenium
Molybdenum (as Molybdenum Glycinate) 150mcg elemental Molybdenum
Zinc (as Zinc Amino Acid Chelate) 30mg elemental Zinc
Magnesium (as Magnesium Glycinate) 100mg elemental Magnesium
Calcium (as Calcium Citrate) 420mg elemental Calcium
Vitamin B-1 (as Thiamine HCl) 10mg
Vitamin B-2 (as Riboflavin-5-Phosphate) 15mg
Niacin (as Niacinamide) 40mg
Vitamin B-6 (as Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate) 25mg
Biotin 150mcg
Pantothenic Acid (as Calcium Pantothenate) 100mg
Folinic Acid 800mcg
Vitamin A (as Vitamin A Acetate) 5000 IU
Vitamin C (as Sodium Ascorbate) 500mg
Vitamin D 200 IU
Vitamin E (as Vitamin E Succinate, natural) 200 IU


We got a call from the psychologist today, and we have an appt. set up for Friday at 9am. We got his stool sample results. Everything was normal.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Melatonin

Today I took Nick back to see Dr F. We had a lengthy discussion on how Nick is progressing. The words "Classic Autism" were thrown into the conversation. Basically it means that if Dr. Leo Kanner himself had seen Nick back in the 1940's; he would have diagnosed him with autism. Classic Autism is on the severe end of the spectrum, and comes with such things as Mental Retardation. I, for one, do NOT think Nick is mentally retarded. We will not give up on therapies of any sort. We will NOT give up on Nicholas. He wants to be seen and heard. I knew in the back of my mind that he fit more of the classic autism than anything else, but just hearing a doctor say it was very different. But, Doctors don't know everything. The brain is still very much a mystery, and autism is even more of a mystery. They don't know our Nick!

That being said; we did have some issues that need to be resolved. We started Nick on Melatonin tonight. Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the body to regulate sleep cycles. Kids with autism often do not produce enough of this hormone; and that leads to erratic sleep. Nick would spend sometimes 2 hours in bed stimming off toys, light switches(we had to unscrew all the light bulbs in their room-he figured out the switch cover and would constantly turn the lights off and on)or anything else he could find. Then, once he did fall asleep, he would not stay asleep. You can imagine how much a sleep deprived brain could function-not very well. It affects the short-term memory; so he is essentially having to re-learn everything from day to day. We are hoping the Melatonin makes recouperative sleep a possibility for Nick. This has been going on for a while, and we decided it was time to pursue options. We started him on 1mg tonight, and Dr F said we could go up to 6mg if needed. Wish us luck! Wish us SLEEP!!

Another thing we did was give Dr F a stool sample. NIck is still plagued about 1-2 times a week with mushy poo's. We want to make sure he is not having troubles digesting his food. We should know the results in a week or so. We also put in a referral for a visit with a psychologist. They are supposedly going to help us potty-train Nick. We shall see! It would be wonderful if he were to be out of diapers by summer!

Other than that; not much else is going on. I am also starting him back on Cod Liver Oil. Fish oils are very good for the brain-so we hope to see ANY improvement.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Word Full Wednesday

I am sitting here absolutely stunned at my four year old. He spends much of his days barely uttering a couple of sentences at most, and we spend much of the day trying to get him to talk. It is always a question of just how much information is making its way in, as he has a hard time getting it out (I hope that makes sense??) So, it is always a nice surprise to hear words coming from his mouth.

He is sitting here playing with his Fridge magnet toy and repeating every word it says. Then, he came up gleefully shouting "Cuppiieee, Cuppppieee, CUP! I want cup!" I think it is going to be a good day today!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Frustrated....very frustrated....

A couple of days ago I called Nicks' doctor to see if we could get a referral for a doctor in Portland to treat Nick. This Doctor came highly recommended by another mom and we were starting to get excited about doing some new treatments with Nick. We were going to do some of the biomed stuff. We just wanted to see if Nick would improve. We were not looking for some "miracle cure", but just improvement. Well, his Doctor just called me back this morning saying they would not cover anything like what we were looking for. They will cover the basic therapies like OT,ST, and ABA (which he is getting), but that's it. WE will have to cover anything outside of that. Just an initial visit to this Dr would cost $800. Excuse me while I bang my own head against a wall...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

HAPPY EASTER!!

Nick here!!! Sorry we have not updated in a while; but mommy has been super busy. She started at a new shop and they have been changing her schedule all around. She never knows when she goes to work one day whether her schedule will change the next. I really like the one she is on now though. She can get me and my brother off to school every morning, and pick us up. She also gets to take me to all my therapies--which both of us really love. Her lunch time is right around our bed time; so she comes home and says "goodnight" to us as well! During her off-time(which there is not much of as you all know) she is going to school, trying to see if I can go to Little Gym(she says it would be good for me),taking me to UW and Speech, and doing stuff together at home too! Whew...boy am I tired just from thinking of all that! I did some new things this week: I identified spoon,bus,and ball on my flashcards. I am learning animal sounds(I like to MOO like a cow, and oink like a pig) and I really like shapes. I surprised everyone at UW by blurting out "triangle" when I saw one!

We are having a quiet Easter at home; which is just what I like. Too much noise makes me crazy. I got a book and a stuffed ducky in my basket. I might even try some of this stuff that they call chocolate. I don't know about that stuff; but I really like the plastic,purple colored wrapper my brother's basket came in!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Does This Look Like "suffering"?



People read articles and watch TV shows where they always tell you that the individual "suffers" from autism. Yes, most people who are not on the spectrum or somehow involved otherwise, would say that this wording is appropriate. But let us reconsider what we think of in terms of "suffering" here. I realize that many individuals in the past and present DO suffer-but is it from their hands or the hands of others? Those institutionalized in years past would clearly fit the description of "suffering", but what would their lives have been like had they had the proper intervention and kept at home? That is not the face of autism today my friends. The word "suffering" is attached to autism not by auties themselves; but by us so called "neuro-typicals". We cannot fathom being happy or complete any other way-just the way most autistic people cannot fathom being any different. When I look at Nick, I do not see someone who is "suffering". Some might say "Well, he can't talk-so how do you know?" No, he CAN talk-just not always verbally. Look at his smile; he can laugh-and does so quite a bit. When he has fun-he jibber jabbers non stop in his happy tone of voice. For the most part Nick is like any other 4 yr old- He loves playing games like chase and peek-a-boo He likes waffles and yogurt He likes applejuice-and will even tell you "I want juice" He loves bathtime He runs the other way when it is time for bed He likes going to the park He loves-yes, he is autistic AND shows affection. He lives in a home where he is loved, he is happy, healthy, and is very much a treasured member of our family. So please, save the word "Suffering" for those who are truly doing so. Nick, as well as most people on the spectrum, do not think they are "Suffering" in any way.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Party Time!!

I ended up staying up until midnight on Saturday getting everything ready for the party. I baked the cake and let it sit overnight before I decorated it. It came out pretty good I think. So good in fact, that Nick actually ATE some of it! That was a very exciting moment-I think the last time he ate cake was at his second birthday. The only time he got a little fussy was when it was time to gather up all the kids to sing happy birthday to him. The noise level was too much, but he got through it and had some fun. Here are some pics:

The cake

The party room

Not too sure about this whole singing thing...

TOO LOUD! And did I mention there is a strange round thing in front of me??!

Hey, this cake stuff actually tastes pretty good!

I think I like this Birthday Thing!

Today I went through Nick's therapy room and got rid of some stuff. I organized it again(it had kind of gone amuck with things put in all kinds of places) and made room for the new items. Nick managed to dismantle the closet doors so they are laying beside the closet now. I am trying to air out the house as well due to it being 50 degrees outside and it was stuffy in here from months of cold and rain. The problem is that Nick really loves windows and screens(he has punched two screens out almost completely) so I have to really watch him when the windows are open. Michael is out playing with his two friends, and I am just listening to the TV right now. Not too much going on. Just relaxing after the weekend.