Monthly Archives: September 2011

Amazing Days

I have not been writing a lot lately…

Adrian’s start to first grade has been anything but smooth.

He locked himself in the teachers bathroom and flooded it by running the water and plugging the sink about two weeks ago. He has done this once at home before but never at school. Water has always calmed him.

Then I got a report from his teacher that an aide will go with him for “specials” gym, art, ect. Because he can not handle these on his own. I did not think he would be able to as he often gets distracted and forgets what he is doing. He has a hard time following directions from anyone but me and even I have difficulty getting him to listen.

My husband had him for the afternoon while I dealt with an emergency. He took Adrian by himself shopping at Meijer. I was surprised when I got home and he said Adrian was stimming a bit but had no meltdowns in the store even after he asked daddy for a toy and batteries and daddy said no. My mouth almost dropped to the floor!!!

He has had fewer meltdowns every time we go to the grocery store. Two things that always trigger meltdowns though are saying no and lines. My husband said the woman behind him in line asked him if Adrian had Autism and he said yes how did you know? and she explained that her nephew also has Autism.

Adrian and I wait for his bus everyday in the office of our community and there is an older woman who sometimes runs the office who asked this week why Adrian rides a different bus then the rest of the children. I said because his bus is a special education bus. She looked at me and smiled and I started to tell her why. She said oh my Grandson is six and he also has Autism. Then I was on the phone with a nurse from Children’s Special Health Care Services a program which helps to pay specialist costs. Both of my children receive it because of Epilepsy. She was asking what disabilities Adrian has an I said he has Epilepsy, Kidney Disease, G.E.R.D., ADHD and Autism. I did not get into his Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Auditory Processing Disorder because most people do not tend to know about those. He also has a mood disorder and sleep disorder. Anyways she said after I said Autism “oh it’s a very common thing to hear nowadays how sad” yeah it is sad and a challenge and
Probably the greatest gift I’ve given I wanted to say instead I said yeah and ended the call.

There will be people who always comment on how sad Autism is and then there will be people who know a little about it because it has touched their lives!!

For me I chose to focus on positives because that is how I will help my son most efficiently. If I dwelled on the sadness I would never have anything left. Depression would have swallowed me never-ending.

There are some people I have met who want to stay stuck in those bad moments. I can not have a pity party I don’t have time! If I only focused on the negative Adrian would not be as far as he is today. We would still have a boy who screams and yells because he can’t speak or breaks things because he is too frustrated and doesn’t know what else to do. He would not be trying to write or use the toilet or love his sister, daddy and I. We still have moments where he is absolutely frustrated but those are few from where they used to be.

Instead I have a son who saw his daddy was there to pick him up on Thursday and said Dad I’m so happy to see you! Then I came home at 6:00pm and the first thing I heard was Adrian saying mom your back I missed you so much. If that wasn’t enough then I went through Adrian’s backpack and found a happy note that said Adrian had such a good day today!!! The rest of the week until that day had been tough! So my son had an entire day without an accident or meltdown!! Amazing!!!!!

So for anyone who is sad about Autism I hope you find amazing days too!!!

Disorders and childhood

Last month we went to a kidney appointment for our son. I have often wondered since he was diagnosed with Autism whether or not his Renal disease was related to his Autism. We have already found that he has many other conditions that are in part related to Autism.For instance his ADHD. I was just reading a study this week that shows that ADHD and Autism are related. I have posted on this matter already.

His mood disorder seems to be directly related to Autism as well. I can not tell you how many times I have heard other parents say that their Autistic children also have mood issues. Then there is epilepsy. Adrian’s sister also has epilepsy so I expected he would have it as well and sure enough he does.

Auditory Processing Disorder(APD) seems to be another one that some children with ASD and ADHD have. Then there’s Sensory Processing Disorder(SPD). Both of which Adrian has.

I am wondering why all these diagnosis seem to go hand in hand. This question invades my thoughts every time I see some sign of one of my son’s many disorders or the three that my oldest child has.

These disorders interrupt all activity as I listen to my oldest child talk as fast as any person ever could or watch her run or jump. Two normal things that normal children would do but add in a little ADHD and some auditory issues and you have a potential disaster. A child who is so distracted she doesn’t hear or see a vehicle coming. Adrian is ten times worse!!! He has no fear of danger or being hurt so even not being distracted can cause him to walk in front of a vehicle. It is a scary thought for parents everywhere who are raising children with special needs.

Both of my children are also epileptic and that comes with an entirely new set of worries. What if my child seizes while no one is near, what if my child falls while seizing, what if the seize doesn’t stop, did my child take all of their medicine today, do we need a new medicine, will insurance cover this medicine? To worry is to be a parent. That is often how it seems.

Autism and School

Things have been crazy in the Treptow house as Jade and Adrian both started back to school September 6.

Both of my kids are in different schools this year. Adrian moved up to first grade which is in a different building then Kindergarten was. Jade who was in the first grade through third grade building moved to the fourth grade through sixth grade building.

Jade has been doing great!! Adrian not so much! The change in schools for him also comes with a change in schedule. Instead of attending half day like in kindergarten the first grade attends full day. As anyone raising a kid on the spectrum probably knows change is difficult for children with ASD especially a change in routine.

Yesterday I was waiting with Jade for Adrian to arrive off the bus. When he got there his bus driver apologized for being late and proceeded to tell me why she was late….
It seems that Adrian after having a rough day locked himself in the teachers bathroom and overflowed the bathroom sink. A lot of time was spent trying to get him out. Let me say this we don’t have locks on any door except our front and back doors. Adrian does not have a lot of practice with locking and unlocking doors. That being said I am wondering how he was allowed to wonder into a teachers bathroom and lock himself in.

I know why he plugged the sink too. He has a fascination with water. He try’s to “keep” it in one area. We have had our issues with this problem here at home too. This is why I can be seen running down the hallway to the kids bathroom on any given day if I think he has been in there for longer than needed.

I want him to have his individual space to do what he needs to without my hovering. Sometimes I am just too dang busy too hover. I want him to also know that I am there if he needs me. He is always shouting mom and then whatever he wants anyways 😉

For this episode at school he got grounded for an hour the longest he has managed to stay away from his privileges. His privileges are the wii, computer, television, and mom’s iPod touch. He does not place value on being outside at all. In fact he hates being outdoors period. Our daughter loves being outside. Just another of the many ways the two are different.

Right now I can hear them playing wii golf. Adrian just got a bronze medal and Jade said “nice job get down here and give me a high five”. They are so sweet to each other. For awhile I thought Adrian’s meltdown’s might ruin that but it hasn’t. I am quick to make sure they apologize after fighting and that they respect each other. Those are things that never were encouraged while I was growing up in a crazy mixed up household.

I went off track again though. Adrian causing problems in the bathroom at school is a prime example of sensory seeking behavior. He does this sensory seeking to calm himself down when he is upset. Here at home we pull out his Underarmor shirt, a neoprene vest, or a piece of material his O/T gave us that we call the body sock. It is like compression nylon that is used for diabetic feet, but not nylon. He also has his favorite fleece blanket that he carries with him everywhere. I am working on trying to get our insurance to cover a weighted blanket.

This sensory seeking takes place in all new places we visit. He must visit the bathroom of every new place and flush the toilet. He will put his hands over his ears because the noise is too loud but he still has to flush the toilet. Once on a trip to the restaurant Red Robin he flushed the toilet and immediately started screaming because it was really loud. He then flushed it again because his sensory seeking drive was so high.

We mostly avoid new places because of Adrian’s sensory seeking. We did take him to a restaurant we had not been to before last month though. We got a table in a back corner and he was fine except for moving around in the corner. He always needs some sensory stimulation even if it’s small movement. I really believe that his body demands it. We jump or walk or I carry him when things get to be too much.

On the day he came home after locking himself in all he wanted was for me to carry him. I did for awhile on our walk home from the bus stop. It’s nice to know that my child with his limited speech phrases and non answering of basic questions such as why did you lock yourself in the bathroom? His answer because i’m not supposed to. Can let me know what he needs by saying mom carry me.

I learn more everyday just from listening and watching Adrian. Having a child with ASD is a beautiful and utterly exhausting gift. You get to see things no one else could show you. That’s the plus side of autism.