Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween for ALL!

What a wonderful weekend of laughter, happiness, fun and surprises! We don't get many weekends like this. Most times it's kids who are struggling to have a good day as routine is changed for the week. But this weekend, we celebrated eight years of blessings with Evan in our lives. We celebrated, Chris standing next to me (our "non-verbal"son) and count from one to ten like it was "normal"......I sat and looked over at my husband and said "did you just hear Chris?"
He looked at me and said "wait that was Chris? I thought it was Evan!" As you can imagine we cheered Chris on and celebrated his progress and loved every ounce of happiness that he showed as we cheered him on. This seems to be his "break out" year. So many milestones that he is finally meeting. In a way we feel overwhelmed with how much he has progressed in the last few months. Should we dare get him a Halloween costume and see if he will wear it and go trick or treating? Will it be too much for him to handle? It's worth a shot I guess. I guess that is for another post. Yes?
Another fun thing we did this weekend is we as a family went to the Pumpkin Patch to pick out the pumpkins. It's moments like this that we cherish, when we can go together as an entire family on an outing. We of course worry about overload and meltdowns. Evan was so excited and began to wander around looking at all the pumpkins making sure that whatever pumpkin he chose it's the perfect one. Chris held my hand and we walked around. He was gracious about posing to allow us to take pictures of him and Evan. Even with all the other people, the sound of traffic as it drove by, he stayed so calm. He not once chose to dart away or run off. He just looked and walked with me. I said, "pick out your pumpkin!" and you know what! He did! It was just perfect! It was a good outing for all of us. And for that I thank God for it.

So after all that fun, we went home and looked for ideas to carve into the pumpkins. Chris chose a cute Mummy, and Evan chose Masterchief from Halo. Dear Lord that was a hard one! 

Okay so the last one was Mommy and Daddy's pumpkin.....and of course the boys may have picked out the designs, they would not go near the inside of those pumpkins. Maybe next year, they passed again this year! We had a great time either way. 

Ahhh...the final point for today is, it's almost Halloween. With that in mind, if you have a child with Autism, share with others the following, if you are someone who doesn't have a child with Autism, read it, and share it with others. I hope and pray that ALL children are able to enjoy Halloween this year, and hope that everyone gives that understanding to our children and be kind to them! 

Have a great Halloween! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How they Amaze Me....One Day at a Time

I have been so busy with school and the kids that I haven't been able to post anything much has happened and I feel like I don't know where to begin. On October 8th we were in a car accident. Thank God both boys were uninjured in the accident. I on the other hand have been placed on light duty with life...So far two slipped disks in my neck, shoulder and knee injuries that I need to see the orthopedic surgeon for. But I will take the hit instead of having either of my two children being hurt.
Friday is Evan's 8th Birthday! I can't believe he is going to 8 years old. It really does feel like yesterday that my son was born at 11:59 AM on Tuesday October 25, 2005. I remember how tiny he was that day. I knew I was looking at the most beautifully amazing child on the planet as I sat in awe of him. My little blessing. Now he is only ten inches shorter than me, his feet are officially bigger than mine, and his personality is outgoing, funny, head strong, and loving......He is beginning to love the cuddle time with me. Finally almost eight years later, I get the snuggles and loves that I always longed for. His IEP went wonderfully. He is at grade level in his academics. His behavior is not. So that is what we are going to work on right now. See for yourself how my little guy has grown.

As a mother watching your child grow, you really are amazed at all the new things they do. I have learned through this journey how precious each and every milestone is. The first word (not Momma) Dinosaur. His first friend Aden. (still the best of friends) First day of school. The first time he spoke a sentence. The first time he looked me in the eye. And of course the first "I Love You Mommy". Still stay in my mind and heart as they will forever. I will never be able to forget the first or following seizures. The hospital trips, ambulance rides. The specialists. The tests and tests and more tests. The fear of not knowing what is going on and not being able to help your child. What I did learn from this journey is, we are okay. And we will be okay. We got this. I tell my boys this all the time. We got this. There will always be days that I hate Autism. Those days that it rears it's ugly head to prove to me that it's still there and no I can't forget it. I no longer however feel bad about their Autism. I am too busy praising them for all the amazing things that they do. Loving them. And most importantly having them love me and show me and tell me that they love me. Yep I am blessed that these two amazing angels are in my life. They teach me the best lessons in life each day. I am a better person because of them and thankful that they are there.
What I hope that you take away from todays blog is, always remember who they ARE, not the disorder they have. Look at them and see the amazing person they are. Love them and be there for them.

To Evan and Christopher....Mommy loves you to the moon and back. Always and forever!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Who Are You? Shameful!

My it’s been forever it seems since my last blog…a little behind but bear with me. This blog isn’t just about Autism…it’s about people treating others with DISABILTIES terribly! Not just those with Autism, but with any disability. I have a few videos that I want to share with you as to prime examples of people who really need to learn about disabilities, compassion and understanding and most importantly acceptance.
As a mother of two children with Autism, each day I worry that they will be treating badly by someone who doesn’t know about Autism, understand it and does not possess the capacity to accept it. While I personally feel that these are all characteristics that all human beings should possess. With that said, there are a great number of people that are lacking in these areas.
As I am sure many of you have read or at least heard about the horrid letter that was left in a mailbox of a woman whose grandson Maxwell lived there and also had Autism. The letter which I will attach to my blog as well as a video story on the issue, was so vile, horrific, and cruel. I cannot imagine ANY mother telling another mother that she should euthanize her own child. My statement to the “author” of the letter is “Have you lost your ever loving mind? You know you were wrong when you wrote the letter or you would have left your name! How dare you think for one second that you have the RIGHT to say something like this to anyone especially about a child. Shame on you for the vile things you put on that paper. Your children, will treat people with disabilities the same way you do, because you teach them to. I just want to say one thing to you. The statistics show right now 1 out of every 31 boys will be diagnosed with Autism. One day you will know someone or love someone who is going to be diagnosed with Autism. It’s a reality, so don’t say it won’t happen. It will! And then what, will you ask that others not treat that INNOCENT child the same way you have treated MAXWELL and his family? Will you demand they be treated fairly. Be treated as any other child? How hurt will you feel when that child is in tears because they were treated badly because someone else’s parents taught them to treat him the same way you are treating your children now? Will you demand that they not be treated that way?
I don’t expect to be treated any DIFFERENT than you expect to be treated. I don’t expect my children to be treated any DIFFERENT than you expect your children to be treated. That isn’t asking for special treatment. That is equality. If you need to look up the meaning take a moment and do so. Do the right thing here, if you don’t want to admit who you are and that you wrote that letter, learn, and I mean REALLY learn about Autism and begin teaching your children to be accepting of it, teach them how to understand the differences and above all teach them to befriend a child with Autism and be good to them. That is my wish for you. Not to be humiliated or hated by everyone, just to learn about Autism and accept the differences and teach your children to treat others better than you yourself have done. 

Now a video that I viewed this morning just burned my buns! I appreciate all service given by all military members, police officers, EMS and firefighters. These wonderful people risk their lives each and everyday to keep us safe. And sadly many times while they may come home alive, there are injuries, that we may or may not be able to see. For the man in the video, the war he fought overseas caused him to have PTSD. For anyone that does not believe it’s real, do me a favor, go get on a plane, go to any country where the is war, and stay there for one hour. If you don’t come back all freaked out let me know! Or as with my above advice, research and learn about PTSD. Okay off that rant, the American Hero in this video, went to breakfast at a local diner, and yes took his SERVICE dog with him. And was sadly thrown out. The owner called the dog a fake service dog. I am sorry, can you tell me how you know the dog is a fake service dog? Last I checked there were a variety of dog breeds used as service dog, and while you may think of one breed as the usual service dog, it’s not so. Variety of dogs, variety of needs for service dogs. Get it? If not I again encourage you to do a little research on the matter. And for the refusal to say sorry to him and his fake service dog…..I am sorry that you will lose business over the ignorance that you apparently feel the need to force on others and I am sorry you refuse to educate yourself on the issue. When you are sitting there the day it hits you that you were wrong and now you have lost more than just a customer, think back to the day you stood in front of the camera and said those words. Yeah that will be your oh crap moment and you will wish for a time machine.

Why bring up these videos, these issues? People, businesses, everyone needs to understand that while there is physical disabilities, some are invisible. You may not see anything wrong with my kids, you may only see the kids running around the playground, hugging their mother or playing with their friends, and then wonder why are they parked in the handicap spot? How can that woman park in that spot! Well let me tell you, when is the last time you attempted to try an carry someone who weights almost a hundred pounds and is tall as you across the parking lot because something caused them to go into sensory overload and they are having a meltdown. How about the child that does not understand danger, doesn’t speak because he is non-verbal and darts out in the parking lot traffic? I do I do! Not every disability can be seen. Next time you think why are they taking that spot, why are they bringing that dog in here, why doesn’t she/he/they do something to get that kid to stop throwing a fit, if that were my kid they wouldn’t behave like that…..THINK….you don’t know what the situation is, so how do you have the right to judge them…..

And the last story of the day…To the person/woman that was intoxicated at Coconut Point Mall this week, and threw a young boy to the ground in the parking lot and then felt it was okay to DRAG him across the parking lot by his HAIR…..there is not reason that this should EVER happen. I hope and pray that you are punished to fullest extent of the law and that never will you ever be allowed to have that child back with you again. Being drunk while having that child, NOPE! And to treat the child in that manner. Sweetie, shame shame on you! The child was taken to the hospital for treatment and is in the custody of Department of Children and Families. 

Okay so I promise to blog more now that the kids are back in school…….until next time!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Looking Back

I was sitting today and thinking, how far the boys have come from the beginning of our journey.... I look back to that first day when Evan was 17 months old and I woke up to him having a seizure. I woke up to the beginning of a nightmare that I didn't know how to handle. I thought about his second seizure just twenty days later that went on for over ten minutes in the ambulance. The paramedics were not sure if he lost oxygen. I thought about how I couldn't get into the hospital room while they were working on my little boy that was just laying there still. I didn't know if he would wake up or what was causing my angel to have seizures. I waiting outside his room and then felt relief when the nurse told me I could go in. He lay there like he was sleeping. Tubes and wires were everywhere on him. I didn't know what the doctors were about to tell me. He made no noises or moved around. There was just silence and everything was completely still. I remember how I wanted to pick up my angel and hold him. When the nurse looked at me and asked, "do you want to hold him?" I of course jumped up and said, "YES please!". She came over to the other side of bed and said, "let me help you" I thought, I can pick him up on my own, then thought she meant with all the tubes. But no what she meant was help pick him up. He had no muscle tone what so ever. It was like picking up a rag doll. I had no words for what I was thinking of feeling at that moment. The tears just poured down my face as I held my angel in my arms. I kept saying, "it's okay, Mommy is here and she loves you. Please wake up baby, please wake up." They would take my son to get multiple tests and scans and no I wasn't allowed to go with him because I was pregnant with our second son at the time. I would spend the next year and half watching him regress and no matter what I did, I couldn't stop it. No more words. Only screams and scratching, kicking and biting. The night terrors were a nightmare. We couldn't have anyone come over to visit us, he would just scream and run and hide underneath his bed. He wouldn't stop screaming until they left. We couldn't go out in public; he would lose it in the stores. I felt helpless and lost. I would also live in fear that my second son would also begin to display these same symptoms. I feared another seizure would happen. Something I assure you don't want to ever see your child go through. 
Once we were finally referred to a specialist and found out he had Autism. Our first thoughts.... What is Autism? We would soon go home and research Autism. And cried our eyes out because none of the information that we found seemed good. The ideas that we had for our child, were now gone. We sort of felt like we were mourning the loss of our child. I cried for several days. I asked why my child. He didn't deserve this. He is so innocent. It's not fair! 
Then one morning, I looked at my son, and decided that enough was enough. I wasn't helping him by sitting in the house and crying my eyes out. I had to get up and get him help. What ever needed to be done, it would happen. I would make sure that it would happen. The reality of how expensive that help would be would hit home very quickly. And understand that we couldn't afford that help that our son so desperately needed. We just didn't know what to do. 
We soon began our Autism journey, for both of our sons' it would turn out. IEP's, OT, Speech therapy, Neurologists, Psychologists. So much of our lives became about getting the kids the help that the needed. The hell that we lived in, and we felt that no one understood. I can't tell you how many times we heard the "they don't look like they have Autism." I still would love for someone to show me what Autism "looks" like. Actually I know what it looks like. Both of my kids. All the kids and adults with Autism, that's what it looks like. I heard, don't use their Autism as an excuse for their behavior. Of course this would come from those who knew nothing about Autism. I would soon stop talking to most if not all of my former friends. They just didn't understand nor would they ever understand. 
This journey, we are all on it, and I have seen such improvement, achievements by both of our boys. I am one very proud mother of the both of them. They are my heroes. They are the reason I am becoming a teacher. I love them with all my heart. I know that it's so scary when you first get the diagnosis. All I can say is never give up hope! Never give up on your child. I have learned that they will teach me so much more than I thought I could learn. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Milestones and Summer Fun!

I have not really had a chance to sit down and write a blog for awhile. We have been so busy having a blast this summer. So many firsts. And we are celebrating them all! I hope that all had a great Independence Day. It is my Mother's and Grandmother's Birthday! We celebrated them both with fireworks and great friends and family.
I broke down and cried a couple of times as I miss my amazing mother each day. I can't believe she is gone still. But I take with me each day the amazing love and joy she showed me over the years. Because of her I am a loving mother that loves to be affectionate with my kids because that is how she raised me. She was my hero. She still is.
On to the big news of the SUMMER! Most of you don't know, but while Evan was potty trained years ago, we have always struggled getting Christopher potty trained. Until NOW! Over recent weeks he seems to take his diaper off, bringing us a new diaper when he has poopy pants so we were thinking. If he knows when he is dirty and wants it off maybe he is getting ready to get potty trained. We decided that we would go ahead and try to potty train him for the one millionth time! We were honestly doubtful as all the other times that we had attempted it, we ended up in complete and gross failure! With hopes and wishes and lots of prayers we put underwear on him and even pulled out the training potty and took it to the bedroom just in case.
The first day was met with only ONE accident all day. And of course it was a poopy. But we were excited that the rest of the time he was sitting on the little potty in his room and going. So the second day was not as good. We had more accidents and well we were worried that it again would end in failure. But we refused to give up so easily. So the third day went well, only one accident and he even wanted to sleep in his underwear. While I of course was worried about this idea, we decided to give him a chance and see what happened. If he had an accident in the middle of the night we would take care of the bedding and put a diaper on him.
When we woke up the next morning, there were no accidents! Dry underwear! Already a great sign if you ask me! So the fourth day, he was with Grandma, but he did great still, except when he knew he needed to poop and gave her a diaper. Thankfully she called me to tell me he peed in the potty and told me she put the diaper on. I knew his game. If he knew he needed to go, he can go in the potty! So she pulled it off before he could go in the diaper. The rest of the day went well.
Day four again he woke up with dry pants! So this is the big day! He went and got his little potty out of the room, and we followed to see where he was taking it, he marched right into the bathroom, placed it on the floor, pulled down his underwear, and then sat on the big boy potty and peed and POOPED in the potty! Yes that is right. He independently went to bathroom all on his own. He now goes potty on his own, in the bathroom! We have not had a diaper in five days! None! We are so thankful for this wonderful event in our little guys life! He will turn six in less than a month and we honestly feared that he may never get potty trained.
So have you guessed what the Mommy lesson is here? That's right! Never give up hope! Always believe in your kids. They inspire and amaze me each and every day. I love them with all my heart!

Oh and how could I almost forget about my Evan! So proud of him major achievement this summer! He spent each day out in the pool. Trying to learn to swim. Seriously this kid went from not be able to get in water above his waste to learning how to swim at water level and under water! I can't even do that! He now swims much better than me! I am so proud of him! He faced his fear of the water, and while he had challenges and became frustrated in learning how to swim, he continued to try and practice! I always tell him never give up! I love that he didn't give up!

So there you go, we have had such milestones met and accomplishments made this summer! I couldn't be more proud of my two angel babies! I laid in bed last night, and thought how blessed I am that they are in my life. I thanked God for blessing me with these two amazing angel babies. I thanked him for giving me the heart to love them. The patience to take care of them. I also thanked him because when he blessed me with them, they changed me as a person. I have learned so many amazing things from them.

Until next time!!!!!!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lessons Learned

Over the last six years, on this road of Autism, we have learned many lessons. And to be fair, we learn new lessons each and every day. I do not claim to be the know all of Autism, I don't claim to be the perfect mother at all. I make mistakes each day. I can forget something or put the wrong food on the plate because it's been a long day and I seriously just made it longer.
Last night another important lesson. Have you ever been so busy during the day that the moment you finally sit down you remember that you needed to do something and when you remember finally it's too late to do anything about it? That was me at 8PM last night. I sat down to relax after cleaning the house, pool time with the kids, running some errands (well almost all of them), more pool time, dinner time, clean up the house again, get the kids bathed and rest for a few minutes before bedtime for the kids and I remembered I FORGOT to pick up Chris' medicine from the pharmacy. You know the medication he needs to take to go to sleep...yeah that medication is still at the pharmacy. So here is me, jumping up to call to make sure it's ready. What! They are closed! Oh that's right the prescription is at WalMart Pharmacy and they close at 7 pm on Saturdays. Of course!
I prepared myself for a very long night! Mind you he woke up at 6:30 in the morning. He finally crashed and I do mean crashed around three this morning. And of course woke up at 7 this morning. That's right, four hours of sleep. I guess I should be appreciative of those four hours,  I could have no sleep, but a part of my body is screaming at me saying you need to sleep! Oh and don't forget to go get his medication today!
Lessons learned. So many things that we have learned along the way. For instance, don't forget their favorite toys when we go somewhere. And please never let it be forgotten at the school on a Friday. Always have OREO's in the house so no meltdowns happen. Pray that there are no loud or weird noises that is going to upset Chris. Keep the phone away from Evan as he just learned to call 911 and feels the need to call them to bring him Halo Masterchief costume. Make sure we have strawberry syrup for their milk. Make sure that all the locks, you know the locks that make this house more secure than a prison, make sure that they are all locked up. They are there for a reason. Make sure that iPads, iPhones and any other electrical device is in a military grade case or it WILL get broken and it WILL cost you a lot of money to replace. Money that most of us don't have to waste on a replacement.
Whatever lessons you have learned along your Ausome journey it's important to remember the fun and amazing parts. I love the smiles and laughs that my kids give me each day. The wonder that they share with me. The lessons that they teach me all the time. I am blessed to have these two angels in my life. I am blessed by the amazing people that have come into our lives since we began this journey. I am blessed and thankful for everything that I have and appreciate that with each day I see my boys grown and progress. I am thankful.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fighting Each Other

I don't know if this is a rant or a plea. Yesterday on one of my favorite support pages on Facebook, Autism Parents Support and Discussion Group, there were multiple posts about pages of hate against those with Autism and other disabilities. The posts were asking for help. I saw when someone said something that others didn't agree with they became just as bad as those who create these horrible pages. It really broke my heart into a million pieces. Cries from others to stop and telling them that we need to stop fighting each other, sadly fell onto deaf ears I felt. Some chose to leave the page because it was becoming so horrible.
  I want to make something very clear, to all parents, advocates, family and friends of those with Autism or any other special need, if we for any reason behave in such a way that we call names to others who may not agree with us, WE ARE BECOMING EXACTLY WHAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE STANDING UP AGAINST! There is no debate it is what it is.
  I was so worn out yesterday, and just by asking them to stop we became victims of their own hatred. I still haven't decided if I will stay on the page but I do know that it was a great place before yesterday. The reality is, that there are those out there that find it funny to make fun of others. They take joy in hurting others. And yes sadly our angels the ones we treasure so much fall victim to their hate and cruelty all too often. As parents and loved ones we would love to stop all of that hate and make them see how much pain they are causing. Hoping that some light bulb will come on and they will never do it again. The reality is, it's just not going to happen. We can protest and demand that Facebook take down their page. And it may come down. But mark my words they will make another one.
I never saw one of the pages that they referred to. Many of us had not. I am not saying since I didn't see it that we shouldn't say something. What I am saying is, we all have different opinions about how to deal with a situation. But what I witnessed yesterday was like a witch hunt. It was as if one person would attack and others would follow. What makes this so sad is it makes us look like jerks that cannot be taken seriously. I personally want to be taken seriously. I want to have my voice heard with the law makers about the kind of hate and terrorizing that is done by the people behind those pages. I don't want to fight with the same person that is supposed to be by my side to help fight against it.
  As parents of children with Autism, we have been told, pick your battles. I am challenging each of you pick your battles. Don't battle each other. Don't belittle others that do not agree with you and what you are doing. Accept that their have their own opinion and thoughts on the matter.
  On this same page I saw a picture of a young boy who was in the hospital because his caregiver at a facility abused him. I could see the bruises the shape of their fingers, it broke my heart for him and for his family. I sat and cried for them for a long time. And then I thought back to yesterday. This is what we should be standing up against. This right here is where our voices need to be heard in a huge collaboration! STOP THIS! My hope is that this is where we all use our voices. Against those that hurt the ones we love, not against each other.

So there you go, still not sure if it's a rant or a plea, but there you go. Until next time, I am going to snuggle watch a movie with my two precious gifts while we listen to the rain outside.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Being Thankful

I failed to mention that I am going to school to become a special education teacher. The last few days I have had the wonderful opportunity to complete my observation hours at an amazing school for children with exceptionalities. Here is what I learned, first I am certain now more than ever that this is the right choice. The next thing I learned is that the staff at this school love their jobs and have amazing dedication. The facility was  way more than I could have imagined. And the kids, oh my gosh the kids! I don't think I met one student that didn't melt my heart! Wonderful and amazing kids. They all taught me so much the last few days. It made me happy and sad as the day came to a close because the kids gave me hugs and asked me to please come made it all more touching as after bath time tonight Chris showed me my iPad and he wanted a new Thomas the Train game, I told him he had to say "choo choo" first. He showed me, he SAID IT!!!! This is  one Mommy  that pressed that purchase button in a second and smiled as I did so

I am so proud of all the accomplishments that both of my boys have made. I am thankful for the many blessings we have been given. How can we not be. I want to tell each of you that when it is those times that are challenging and you feel so defeated, please remember its one day at a time. One step at a time. One breath at a time. Have faith that it will get easier. I live a life that most may see as too much but it's my life and no matter what, I am thankful for both my boys, and proud of all that they do! I wouldn't be who I am if it were not for them. I think I am a better person than I was because of them, so to my two favorite guys on the planet, THANK YOU AND MOMMY LOVES YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Gotta Love It!

There are good days, and there are bad days...and then there are days that are just okay. I haven't figured out what today is. Chris has become stir crazy in this house, but I know that if I let him out the door, he will make a b-line straight for the pool! Why is this a bad thing? Because as always with my little accident prone child, the one that fears NOTHING! He was outside yesterday and managed to find something that since that time I have NOT been able to find to literally slice a huge chunk out of the bottom of his foot! He started screaming and I ran to him, saw him bleeding, scooped him up and raced inside. Cleaned up his foot, put some medicine on it (yeah that went well!) and then bandaged up his foot. I decided for extra safety put a sock on his foot. Why is this a problem? Because on top of his Autism he has a lot of sensory issues. So socks bandages...NOT HAPPENING! So running all over this place inside and out with a wound on the bottom of his foot makes for a sure visit to the doctor. No matter how much I clean it, medicate it, and bandage's not working....So guess who gets to see his most favorite Pediatrician tomorrow? Yep you guessed it Chris! All because he doesn't want a bandage on his foot! And is he cranky! I know he hurts, and I wish I could make it all go away. But gosh bless him, he just doesn't understand that he cannot take the bandage off. It bothers him so he wants it off. So back to the original question, why would it be so bad that he got into the pool? Can you imagine how it would feel to have the chlorine hit that wound? I can already see him screaming....

On to even more fun! Evan and his daddy seem to be at odds today. Everything gets Evan mad at him today! I am seriously tired of playing mediator between those two. Can we just call it a night and be done with this day! I have been to the doctor for myself, found out that the furniture I ordered won't be in for another WEEK! And dealt with two kids with Autism, a husband that I swear has Autism, and the heat! I love my family, and appreciate them more than anyone could ever imagine. But right now, I would love to have them all sleeping soundly. Quietly in their beds so I can do my homework, get ready for my classroom observations tomorrow and maybe just maybe find some time to watch the latest episode of the Client List. Is that really too much to ask?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

I Love Firsts!!!!

     I love firsts with my kids. I enjoy each and every one of them. I think that I treasure them more because of their Autism. Today was one of those days that my kids show the world that autism didn't win and that they can and will live a happy life. We were invited a friends' sons' tenth birthday party at a local "fun zone". Loud music, flashing lights and lot and lots of know everything that makes for a a major meltdown! We decided to at least try because Evan was so very excited about going....we got there and music blaring! Thankfully Evan was excited! Stemming alot but he was happy to be there! He allowed the attendant to put the wristband on. Good. We bought he tokens for the games and off he and the other kids went to play games and have a blast! I of course rushed behind him just to make sure he was okay. And he was! He was running and laughing and having a blast with the other kids. Lazer Tag was fun! I thought oh no those noises are going to drive him crazy! Nope! He did great! Had a great time!

       We then went over to have pizza and soda. I began getting worried because I knew that the cake would be next. Evan hates that song. I went up to him at the table and quietly whispered, "They are about to sing the Happy Birthday song, you want to step away?" his reply so simple and firm "no I want to sing." I stepped off to the side near enough that if he needed me I would be there. He happily sang the song with the other kids. I happily watched as my little boy was doing something that he once would have a meltdown at the sound of that song. I know there were tears in my eyes, and yes I know that some of the other parents noticed and didn't understand. But it was okay because, I did.

     After the cake came presents, he was so excited when his friend opened the gift from him. They both cheered when he opened it! I cheered too! So it was for a different reason, they didn't know that! After cake and presents, the boys decided they all needed to ROLLER SKATE! What! Okay, this Momma just went into freak out mode. I pretended to be very calm about the whole thing, went with him to get his skates and helped him put his skates on. Oh my wobbly little guy! He was not used to have those skates on. We went around the rink, he kept saying "Mom, don't leave me!" I won't and didn't! After one lap, he was done! Sorry no pics, this Momma was too busy being there for him to take a pic! And off to play some more games and have more fun with the other kids. The last and final bit of fun was bumper cars. Dear Lord help me! Amazingly he did great!

     Overall it was a great day! No meltdowns. And even more important he had a great time with other kids and the other kids had a great time with him! I am so very proud of him and all the firsts that he had today.
     And I am thankful for each and every one of those moments that I was blessed enough to share with him today.