Monthly Archives: October 2011

Weighted Blankets

I have been debating purchasing a weighted blanket for Adrian since the psychologist who diagnosed him suggested we purchase him one. That was in April 2010. I had been researching and asked my children’s pediatrician what he thought in August 2011. It took me awhile because I had know idea who i should purchase a blanket from and if our insurance would cover it. I found out that our insurance company would possibly cover such an item if it was a medical necessity. We would need a letter from Adrian’s pediatrician stating why he medically needed a weighted blanket. I received the letter in August. We received a letter back from our insurance company denying our request. According to them weighted blankets have not been researched well enough to be deemed a medical necessity. It was stated that weighted blankets are experimental but that I should feel free to send them any research I find on the matter.

Sensorygoods.com is a site that I know and trust. We have ordered super chews and a neoprene vest from their company before. Adrian’s blanket arrived in three days. Not bad when shipping from Arizona to Michigan. 20111027-103907.jpg

The next week we ordered Adrian a weighted blanket. It arrived the following week and I put it to the test by washing it in my non commercial washer. I was pleasantly surprised. I had no problems. The weighted blanket took along time to dry however. I expected that though. I had this fear that somehow a weighted blanket would get damaged through washing and drying. That I would find small holes everywhere upon washing it because of the weight. That did not happen.

Adrian arrived home from school that day and saw the blanket. He ran to it and said it’s Mater and Lightening McQueen. He loves Cars and the color Brown so the blanket was a perfect fit. I asked for 7 pounds of weight because Adrian is 45.5 pounds and Sensory Goods recommends 10% of the child’s body weight plus 1 pound. I added a pound because Adrian loves deep pressure. At bedtime that night I made sure he had the weighted blanket on him along with Favorite Teddy Bear.

I was amazed!! I went to check on him 15 minutes later and he was asleep. Adrian has always been a horrible sleeper. It takes a lot for him to fall asleep and most nights when he feels like being read to it’s 4 or 5 story book nights then 30 minutes of tossing and turning, finally sleeping and then waking in the middle of the night. I dealt with his crabbiness all summer long. His refusing to go to bed or going to bed and then waking up at 2 am. I was having a hard time in general and he was miserable. This sleep after 15 minutes has happened every single night since he received the weighted blanket. My husband was also shocked exclaiming “I have never seen him fall asleep so fast.” I nodded in agreement.

Now that Adrian is safely in slumber mommy is having difficulty sleeping and staying asleep. A couple more weeks and I should be adjusted I just hope he does not readjust. That was my main concern when deciding to purchase a weighted blanket. Would it really help and for how long? Adrian received his blanket on Wednesday October 26. I will know in three months from that date. He cycles every three months. His interests change, his behaviors change, he often has regression issues. We are in a regression stage right now where he has lost some of what he learned six months ago. He just started going through regression in August. Hopefully the skills come back to him. We keep teaching him the skills regardless.

In time I will see how well the weighted blanket works for him. For now he loves it and it does help him sleep wonderfully. Thank goodness for companies like Sensory Goods who make affordable therapy items for families like ours.

Autism and Sick Days

This past Friday night Adrian started coming down with some sort of virus. He was coughing and had a lot of congestion and a stomach ache.

You can not tell with him when he is sick. He does not whine or sleep all the time like Jade is known to do. He wants to be up and moving around. Not even sickness stops this kid…

I have one main rule when my children are home sick from school they are not allowed on the computer at all. Adrian stayed home from school Monday October 24 and Tuesday the 25. Adrian is computer crazy. He was desperately seeking a Netflix fix so I allowed him to bring the iPod to his bedroom both days and he was allowed 30 minutes of wii time yesterday. He is so electronically inclined. If he is not allowed some sort of privilege he would go mad. We would be in meltdown mode all day for two days straight…

Which brought me to mom’s new rule: you are allowed an Ipod as long as you are resting in bed. No running, jumping, spinning, or computer time. Well surprisingly he followed that rule well.

My husband brought home some essentials 7up, Popsicles, and Mucinex kids. I think that is my go to med from now on. After three days of taking 10 ML twice a day the cough and congestion were pretty much cleared up. He still had some stomach upset which caused for the second day home.

Today I sent him off to school and realized I had called his school to inform them of his absence, emailed both his teachers, but somehow forgot to call his bus driver. She informed me this morning that children on the bus had been getting sick both days this week so far…

I was right it was a virus. Now I am just hoping he does not come home with it again. He does not get sick as often as he did when he was younger. Still even given how well he did at home for two days I am hoping he does not get sick again. Right now with no family close by school is the only place where he could get an illness. He is not an outdoor child at all. He hates walking 10 minutes to get on the school bus. We do not have children his age in our area and I am shopping while he and Jade are in school, which I can not even begin to tell you how great that is!!!

It amazes me how much growth Adrian has accomplished. The little boy I knew last year would have screamed and had tantrums until he got his way. Went on the computer or spent all day spinning or jumping or some other activity. He listens without melting because of a 30 minute rule I enforced this year and I am sure his teachers at school are helping immensely. We hardly ever see a meltdown ever anymore.

When we first started our Autism journey after Diagnosis almost 16 + months ago we had never heard the term meltdown before but Adrian had them and frequently. He was frustrated a lot of the time especially when outdoors or in public. I had know idea what Sensory Processing Disorder often referred to as SPD was either. Adrian and mommy have come a long way since the before days. I have learned how to calm him, and how to meet his sensory needs. We are about to receive his first weighted blanket. My goal is to help him sleep but maybe it will work in other mysterious ways too. I’ll let you know…

Siblings

I started this post two weeks ago and am now finishing!!

I am feeling frustrated today!!!

Today and for some time now my husband and I have been trying to find the best way to solve a problem.

Our beautiful daughter Jade is turning ten on October 25th. She has been having issues with why Adrian who is seven will not play with her. They are only 28 months apart so. Even so he is in first grade she is in fourth. He has an Autism Spectrum Disorder she does not. There are commonalities between them though. They both have BRE a type of epilepsy, both have ADHD and both have APD Auditory Pocessing Disorder. That and they love playing the computer.

Adrian like many other children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder has many problems interacting with people his own age. It is baffling to see him try interact. He wants to speak to other children badly but does not know how. I think that is the major issue with his sister. She try’s to interact but in ways he does not understand. She is always trying to get him to play Thomas UNO and he tried once but did not understand and lost interest. One thing he loves is wii sports. I am always trying to get Jade to join him for wii sports. He gets so frustrated with her though because she takes everything over and tries to run whatever they are doing. Needless to say he does not do well with her taking over. This results in fighting. Both kids are upset and nothing good happens.

My husband and I try to anticipate these fights and seperate the kids before things become too difficult. This is the most difficult part for us right now. Finding a way to navigate between both our kids. I think it is probably a common issue for any parent and even more difficult when have one or more children with special needs.

“Don’t Say That Word”

My son’s favorite phrase for the last two years has been “Don’t Say That Word”. My husband and I joke about it often!!

My son hates people saying any words he deems “Naughty Bad Guy Words”. Even if they are not swear words. He likes to dictate as much of the conversation as possible when he chooses to participate.

My husband and I were just discussing another feature of Adrian’s personality. Yesterday I was with my mother when she was talking about her college days. She was describing to me her test taking skills. There was a day where she had to take a test and the professor did a review of test material. My mother than went on to tell me that she scored a perfect 100 because she could remember everything the professor went over. Down to the paragraph and page number. This was 13 or 14 years ago. She has not mentioned if she can still do that, but did mention that her professor told her that that was a unique talent and asked how she was able to do so. My mother then told me she did not understand why everyone could not do so. She thought it to be a perfectly normal talent.

As I was listening to her all I could think of was Adrian. You see my 7 year old autistic son also has that high memory recollection. He can remember books his read verbatim and read them back to me without looking at the pages ever. So the thing I said next kind of shocked me. Mom that is an autistic trait. Do you think you could be? My mother has suffered terribly her entire life. She had the worst kind of childhood anyone could imagine, married an abuser and thankfully did as best she could to hold it together while raising four kids. She is not perfect but she loves us in her own way. She has always been distant and socially akward. I never even thought about autism and her until then. I always assumed by genetic defect that I passed down to Adrian was from my dad. Maybe it wasn’t though…

She will go with us when we head back to the genetic clinic this December. We are going to review because another child with mine and Adrian’s genetic defect has been found and also has autism. I think my mother maybe tested then.

I had realized I had a don’t say that word too. Autism. As soon as I saw the look on her face I regretted my word. Not that there is anything wrong with her reaction I can’t blame her. I would feel akward too. I had basically implied that my mother may be autistic. Heck I could be too. I don’t ever remember being like my son at any age I wasn’t bothered by people or noise. I did not seek sensory input. I do have the same gene defect though so anything is possible.

I am just saying that no matter how difficult don’t say that words should be discussed. Just like Steve and I discuss with Adrian and Jade the reasons not to swear or use other language. That everybody has accidental slip ups. That we are all human and make mistakes. I believe that it is important to lead by example and to discuss everything. Adrian has helped keep mommy and daddy in check. We all need reminders too 🙂

Taking Breaks…