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. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Our Children are Gifts!

This morning I woke to read another wonderful Blog, Diary of A Mom, which by the way if you get a chance to read it, do so. A new post was on her Facebook page and it caught my eye. Why you ask? Because it was different than her normal introduction. It started out "Murder is Murder". As you can see why I would feel the need to read more. As I read it was about a woman that had murdered her own son, how a person was asking to be understanding about what she had done. I had not heard really about this case, while I have posted on my Facebook several recent incidents of horrible acts upon children with special needs, I felt I should know more about this case. So off to Google I went. Alex-Spourdalakis, is a mother who killed her 14 year old son, stabbing him until he died. He could have lived, he should have lived. I always wonder why people ask that mercy be showed to people who have done such horrible things to someone that has special needs. Tell me, when did she show her very own son mercy? He suffered through every single stab wound. It didn't help him. It only helped her because she would no longer need to care for him. That was not mercy, I can only imagine the treatment he suffered prior to his death.
Just yesterday on my Facebook I posted a very sad story about a five year old girl with Autism in New Mexico, watch the video and decide what you think about the conditions and what they mother says. I will say, I am pretty sure law enforcement know the difference between pudding and poop!
 It always breaks my heart when children are hurt and abused. Here locally another child was abused as well as an adult again by a mother. DCF: Autistic victims safe after alleged abuse. While there are sadly a thousand stories like this all over the world right now, I wish that there was none. It breaks my heart. Let's be very clear here, I understand that taking care of a child who has special needs is challenging, I have two boys that have Autism, so I get how challenging life is. I get that there are days that you wish that you had a "NORMAL" life, although I am really not sure what that is.

If you feel overwhelmed, take a time out for yourself. Hurting or killing your child will serve no purpose. It will not help you or your child. So back to the beginning of this post, where someone was asking for mercy for someone that has harmed or murdered any child. I am sorry, no I cannot show sympathy. I love my children. And in closing yes, Children are gifts. We should treat them as such. Okay so there is my rant for the day. Until next time.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mommy Time!

        A lot of times as parents of kids with Autism, we seem to put our own needs and care on the back burner. We say, once the kids are taken care of we will go to our own doctor or take a day for ourselves. Normally that day never comes. With Autism it seems there is always something that comes up.
        Why do I say this? Well, I am of course guilty of saying I will go to the doctor, or take that Mommy Day. And then something comes up. Either my youngest is sick or something else comes up. So my doctors appointments get rescheduled and rescheduled until I just decide I just can't go and cancel them. This past weekend, I was taken to the hospital with severe pain and bleeding. I learned some very heartbreaking news. I am not sure that the outcome would be any different had I gone into the doctor last year like I was supposed to. Or gone every six months like my little sister said to. But here I am. Listen up all you Moms AND Dads take care of yourselves! Take care because we have these amazing angels to take care of! I am lucky, and I will have surgery and be okay. But sometimes, some are not as lucky. So go to your doctor, get a check up. If you are feeling off, take care of yourselves.
         Even if you just need a day off, take one. For all those family members and friends of families with a child or children with Autism, offer to help out even if it's for a few hours. Those few hours really can make a huge difference. We all need a break, so offer up some time. I promise it will mean the world to that Mom and Dad that you did that. 
         I love to read. Any chance I get to read, I will take advantage of it. With my iPad in hand I snuggle up on the couch and read. That is my get away. The great getaway. With that said, I just finished reading a book. A great book that I loved! "Soul Finding" by C.L. Crowe. If you get a chance check it out. Great book. Great person! Great MOM.......
        Take the time, read a book, go for a run, have lunch with a friend, watch a movie. Do whatever it is that you want to do, just take that time out for yourself. I know it's hard. As a mom of two boys with Autism, Lord knows that I know it's hard. You still NEED to do it.