Monthly Archives: January 2012

Mysteries

Last night I like most other Autism Mom’s that I know tuned in to watch Fox’s newest show Touch. At first I was not sure how well this show would go over. Single widowed dad, son who can’t speak, throw in a mysterious knowledge of numbers, and a social worker and you have Autism right?? I think this show is all about the mysteriousness of autism that we will never understand. Our kids will never be exactly like your average neurotypical child and in my opinion that’s okay. I am glad this show is for showing people about autism. That being said when it starts again in March I hope the writers make it somewhat more realistic. As a parent with a child on the spectrum I move from one extreme to the next. There maybe days when my son can carry on a complete conversation and other days where all he wants is to spin or jump or run. For my husband, daughter and I that in itself is often a mystery. What drives his body to do things that we can not possibly do? for instance he can spin in circles for 10 to 15 minutes never getting dizzy where as the rest of us are dizzy after 5. He loves to play computer games and often picks ones that are complex and sometimes beyond the level of my husband or I. At times when he chooses he makes his sister the center of his world and focuses only on her and what she wants to do. This is without the dread meltdowns no one wants to hear about. When I ask him to comply with a simple task however you would think I was requesting that he be forced to do hard labor. He does not play well with others so the fact that he does so with his sister is amazing in itself. I am convinced that you will never see the messy side of Autism either. Seriously who wants to think about poop being cleaned up? Certainly not me, but it happens as most who have a child(ren) on the spectrum know.

In fact that is what this post is borne of. See my son as wonderful at expressing himself as he is since he became verbal at age 4, had an accident. He woke me up at 2:45am to tell me he wanted to use his iPad. What he didn’t tell me is that he had had an accident. I somehow fell back asleep after getting up to check on him. At 3:20am I must have heard him again because I got back up. I got up to check on him and walked down the hallway only to step in poop. Yeah it’s nasty, but it happens. After cleaning my foot so not to spread it elsewhere I went to his room. He was awake and hands covered in poop with poop on the wall and I needed to was all bedding. First stop shower, we needed soap and lot’s of it and a washcloth of course. He prefers body poofs. Then a finger nail trim which he can not stand, but I do not want poop lingering under his nails so I insist. What a surprise I have, NO MELTDOWN!!! He lets me trim his nails without a problem. In this house that never happens. Then back to the bathroom for another hand scrubbing just to make sure and tooth brushing also to make sure. Then dressing in pj’s and next a trip to mommy’s bed since all his linens are being washed. Right now as I am writing this he is in my room snuggled up playing Arithmetic Invaders on his iPad. Another mysterious thing about Autism. How a seven year old child can get four hours of sleep sometimes less and stay up for the rest of the day. If I get less than six I am wreck. Yeah I’m a wreck most of the time…

I often worry a lot. Not just about Autism. How Jade is adjusting? When the next seizure for either of them might be? If I made sure I gave every does of medicine and the correct amount? How each child is doing in school? Whether or not they are happy? There’s a lot of worries that keep parents of typical children up at night I can only imagine. Neither of mine are typical however so I am not at all sure what they would be. Probably the same as mine without all the special needs concerns.

They ought to put all of that in a TV show and then some to show what parents really go through. I think the least of anyone’s concerns would be having a brilliant genius child who calculates accidents with certainty and brings people together. I would however be concerned with a Social Worker who tells me my child doesn’t know me. Especially upon her first meeting of said child. When children like mine bond to someone it’s strong and sticks with them. Maybe that’s why they are so carefully guarded in the first place. My son reminds me of things that happened well before he ever even spoke his first word. He was there waiting and watching and never forgetting anything. In a world where people equate intelligence with speaking a child like mine would be forgotten and labeled the dreaded MR (Mentally Retarded) when he is anything but. I have seen some people who speak well that have less knowledge then my son. They are not labeled MR. That portion of the show really got to me. It is for that that I will keep watching most likely. Maybe a TV show will bring understanding. Understanding often comes from the most unlikely source. Only time will tell…..

Growing

January 11, 2012

Today has started as a nervous anxious day! I received a phone call this morning from Adrian’s bus driver asking if I would be okay with him riding on a new bus without a carseat and just a plain seatbelt for the morning only. There was no other bus that could pick him up this morning. I understand they have been short bus drivers because of personal reasons. It is just really scary for us.

Last year during Kindergarten 2010-2011 Adrian started the school year in a regular seat belt. Not good! He was removing the buckle and getting up and wandering around the bus. We did not know at the time. Then one morning I noticed that it looked like he was laying on his stomach on the bus. I called the Special Education Director to report what I had seen and ask what was to be done about it. Adrian was promptly put in a built in car seat after that.

He returned home that day in one piece. His bus driver assured me there had been no incidents of unbuckling. My son is growing, changing, maturing. When we first started I was unsure of so many things, now sometimes I still am but Adrian shows me in every thing he does that he will be okay. I can only be a helicopter parent for so long. With kids like ours the lines of can he/she do this, do they need help with that blurs. I know I still do a lot of things for my son that he can do himself and sometimes that’s okay but other times I need to step back. It’s a delicate balance.

If I see he is struggling though the Mommy in me takes over and he never wants for anything. I would do the same for my oldest too if she let me! She always lets me know when to back off. I hope he will too when he’s ready….

Autism & the iPad

This is a post I have been writing awhile.

This Saturday I attended an Open House for Smart Apps For Kids. I am preparing to find apps to use with Adrian on the iPad we are purchasing him for Christmas. This app Open House is the second app party I have attended. A4cwsn held an app party in October. I had not attended one before so I was not sure what to expect. It was wonderful and that is how I found Smart Apps For Kids.

For those of you who have not been to or heard of an app party or open house before here is a brief description:

App developers attend the party to display their apps. The person\s hosting the party or the app developers will post apps and codes. If you are lucky and fast enough to get a code you get that app. Then you redeem the codes on itunes. I claimed three app codes Saturday night. Some of the developers also lower the price of their apps for the party. For example I purchased a 49.99 app called NeoLithix space-board apps for 24.99. Half off is an amazing deal!!! There are also giveaways where you enter for a chance to win apps or gift cards. You can find videos to review apps before you buy them. I mostly attend to find out what apps there are.

We started out with one app by Good Karma Apps, First Then. I purchased this app last year after Adrian’s OT suggested that he needed a visual schedule. This app lets you use your own photos which I love.

At the app open house I purchased several apps. NxtApp 4 Kids, Dexteria, 1st Grade Digital Workbooks – Space Board Level One, Kidoodle: Pirate Scribblebeard’s Treasure, and Alphabuild.

Since attending this app party Adrian has received an iPad for Christmas and we have been using a lot of the apps mentioned above. I have to say Adrian’s favorite has been one I picked up after he got the iPad. TeachMe 1st Grade by 24x7digital LLC. He loves the fact that he earns coins for correct answers and that when you do subtracting you can place the numbers in the trash can. He has been writing words in this app too. TeachMe 1st Grade.

I have loved seeing him so excited about learning. He claps when he earns a coin or spells a word correctly. The iPad has opened him up and let me see more of what I knew he could do. It’s amazing to see your child having fun while learning.

Calendars and Autism

This past two weeks my kids like most have been on break from school!

The first week Adrian was sad! He talked about his teachers and the things he was missing at school. We had received a calendar from Disney Movie Club with our last purchase for the year 2012. The calendar has Disney characters as a boarder. I decided to try something new. As Adrian will tell you he is a kid obsessed with dates, times, and not to be forgotten numbers as he so often reminds me. I took the calendar and marked all the important dates for school on it and taped it to his bedroom wall.

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Now if I ask him what day he goes back to school he will say Tuesday January 3, 2012. When he saw what I had done he said “Thank you for putting a calendar on my wall mom”. He loves to look at the calendar and see which day is next. I have been told by every teacher he has had that calendar time is very important to him.

I have used his love of calendars for my own mommy purposes! We plan for weeks when he has doctor appointments, dentist appointments or hospital stays. When there is a change and i can tell him what to expect and on what day he is more cooperative and does not have a meltdown. For example I had to come to school to pick him up early a few times this past three months because his sister had dental visits. I reminded him everyday for a week each time that he was not going to ride the bus home and that mommy would be picking him up from school. Every time where he would have instantly melted before, because moms don’t belong at school, he was completely fine and yelling mommy with his big goofy grin!!

He has made such great improvements from staff at school helping him and mommy tweaking everything I can possibly to fit specifically him. Our latest adventure will be learning through iPad. I’ll write more on that later. Thank you for reading and I wish you the same great progress with your kids! Happy 2012 🙂