Monday, December 22, 2014

Autism Awareness hand painting craft

Someone emailed me a picture of this little boys hands painted the colors that represent Autism, and I had wanted to try it on Brock for sometime. He had turned down the idea before, and the same picture showed up on my news feed on Facebook over the weekend, and Brock said all on his own that he wanted to try it only if I would with this is what we did after school. It was super messy, but a lot of fun. I like trying new things with him, and this turned out to be a success, minus the blurry pictures, and the hand prints on my walls..but so worth all the new colors in my house:)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Updates on a few things

I'm trying to post enough things for the next few weeks, as we have quite a bit going on over the Holidays, and I'm not sure if I'll be able to blog much, if at all. Some of you may be aware, but I haven't posted much personal updates concerning Brock. Brock was approved for special education back in November, and started after Thanksgiving break. He really seems to enjoy it, and really likes all of his teachers in there. Not to embarrass Brock, but he's quite the ladies man. He has his very first crushes, yes crushes as in more than one, and they all happen to be teachers. It's probably the cutest thing to watch when I ask him each day what teachers he's worked with, and when I mention a few specific names his face turns bright red. I ran into one last week when I dropped Brock off, and his face resembled a tomato, and he ran off. The males in my family tend to be flirts, so it looks like Brock was blessed with that gene. Brock and I also started seeing a behavioral therapist together, he specializes in working with children on the autism spectrum. He works close with the parent(s) too because most of it involves giving them the ideas to incorporate into their daily lives. We just started that a few weeks ago too, so I'm excited to see where it leads. After the first of the year Brock will be seeing a physical therapist too. His walk or gait is delayed significantly, so we'll be getting him help with that. With all of these added things into our schedules, Brock has been having a hard time behaviorally by the time he gets home, and his sleep schedule has been affected. We do a lot of yoga, and relaxation exercises to release the stress. I'm sure it will all calm down once he gets use to it. Until than I'm getting woke up by him every 2-3 hours at night. It sucks, but such is life. It's worse for Brock. But he's surrounded by love and patience. And this too shall pass. I'm really looking forward to Christmas break, because he really needs one. I have a book recommendation for those who haven't read it, I finally got around to it as my reading list has been quite large lately. I downloaded it on to my kindle, and I'm so glad I did. It's called 'The Reason I jump" by Naoki Higashida. He's a 13 year old boy on the Autism Spectrum who writes about what living with Autism is really like. The cool thing is he cant talk verbally, or write I think? Or couldn't at one point, correct me if I'm wrong. And his mom invented an alphabet grid for him just so he would be able to. Amazing. It's a short read at 150 some pages, and $8.99 on the amazon kindle app.

Christmas Concert

Brock had his first ever Christmas Concert last week. I was nervous how it would go for him, and he did awesome! It was simply amazing to see a few of his classmates help him when he'd stumble during some of the dancing they'd do during the songs. They didn't care that it would take away from their own little performances, they saw a friend in need and stepped up to help. I had tears in my eyes, watching the care his friends have for him shine through. His classmates parents are doing it right. I love how everyone in kindergarten are friends, and hope these bonds they have stick throughout their school careers. I couldn't get close enough to get great pictures, so I only have a few, but thought I'd share anyways. There on my Facebook page to as well. Most of my postings I leave public, because I'm not sharing anything secretive or extreme. I wouldn't add that my page is open for anyone to view.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Addressing the negative. It's not about you or I, it's about those without a voice.

       Anytime you make public posts, like a blog, or even on Facebook you run the risk of people not agreeing with you. I try to avoid posting any controversy subjects because I'm pretty firm in my beliefs, and I believe everyone is entitled to their own. It's frustrating for everyone I'd assume to go online, and see someone slamming their beliefs. Everyone is more vocal with their thoughts, because chances are you'll never or rarely be face to face with those people. Everyone who knows me personally knows I believe in God, I struggle and fall with my Christianity like everyone else. I'm a sinner who asks for forgiveness regularly. I try my best to be a good, fair person, and to see the positive in everything, but I'm not naive enough to believe there aren't people with cruel intentions. I've been on the receiving end of many unfair, cruel situations from the time I was a little girl, through adulthood. I've experienced, and made it through things that are only in peoples worst nightmares. I've had a poor me attitude, and thought God was punishing me many times. But then I grew up, and realized that I can either be angry with the cards I was dealt, or embrace the life I was given. I chose to embrace life, and that includes everything on my plate. I've heard through third parties not so kind thoughts, and opinions others have on me being so vocal about Brock having Autism, and my decision to blog about it. I can promise you the decision wasn't one I made overnight. I've only been vocal over the last few months, but knew since Brock was two that he had Autism, official diagnosis or not. He was officially diagnosed last April, and that diagnosis has opened many doors, and my heart to every single child who isn't given a voice. I've worked in group homes with women, and older teens who've been in the system their whole lives with all sorts of mental health issues ranging from schizophrenia, multiple personalities, and yes sadly even Autism that have never been given a chance. There's such a stigma around these ''disorders'' and people are literally clueless on how to treat them medically, or personally. Its my mission as Brocks mother to never let that happen to MY child. I'm his voice, I have the tools and the knowledge to get him every therapy he needs to live independently by the time he's an adult. It's also my mission as I said in my first post to have the people that know him on any level at all, to not skirt around him having Autism. It's there, and it's not going anywhere. Pretending it doesn't exist will not benefit him in anyway. I have an open door policy with my son that he can talk about everything, and anything on his mind..even with the communication barriers we face day to day. What may not make sense to me coming from Brock, is a real concern to him. Its not my place to say what feelings are right or wrong, its my job to guide him in any worry he has, even if he thinks there's a bug in his room that doesn't exist. I will pretend 'exterminate' the heck out of that bug to ease his mind. Because usually that bug he's talking about, is an issue going on that he can't voice like you or I could. Not an imaginary problem he's making up. By him seeing me doing these things, its building his trust that I will always take his concerns seriously no matter how big or small. I've had people tell me that so, and so think I'm blogging about Autism for attention, and I always reply that I am. It's true, but not the kind that they think. I'm not blogging for personal attention, I'm blogging to bring attention to what it's like raising a child with Autism. What daily struggles my child goes through to live in this crazy world. His fears are real, his worries are real, his anxieties are real. I will say this a million times if I have to. I'm not blogging for you, or I, I'm blogging for these people who don't have a voice. It's really small. I don't care if someone doesn't agree with it, I'm not going to stop. I would never give up so easily on my child over a differing opinion, or anything at all. That's the joy of being an individual, we all don't think the same. I don't force anyone to read, I post a link to my Facebook page once a week, twice if I'm feeling extra chatty. I've had numerous people email me and thank me, people ask for suggestions, and people who have had a relative with Autism who they had adverse thoughts of before, but are now going to read up more and see how they can help. I've had people thank me in person that I know, and some I don't know. In a month exactly of starting my blog I've had 4500 page views. That's a lot of clicks from all over the world in a short time. Even if only one person was reading I'd still write. That's my point. I don't talk about my personal life, or what vacations I plan on taking, or what restraunt I'm eating at. My relationships. Or lack thereof, because my life is 100% dedicated to helping and taking care of Brock.  Not that there is anything wrong with those things, I enjoy reading updates on the happenings of my friends, and families lives as much as the next person. It's just not for me. Just like every thing I've overcome prior to becoming a mother six years ago, I'm going in head first to this with Brock and he will make it to the top, I'm sure of it. As his therapist said on Friday, he has a type of personality that people will want to cling to and be around. It's true, my buddy is full of life, and he has a lot to bring to this world. I usually try to avoid addressing the negative, so this will be my only post like this, if anyone ever doubts my intentions. I'll let it lie here. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to learn, and read my weekly postings, I appreciate all feedback, and really do take others opinions into consideration. It makes it feel like we are less alone in this. I see Brock wanting to break free from his worries and interact in our world, are you willing and open to interact in his? And others like him?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Countdown

Brock loves countdowns.. We do them for pretty much everything. His birthday is our biggest countdown we do each year. Last year we started one 75 days in advance...a little crazy? Yes. Fun? Definitely. Imagine making 75 construction paper presents, bows and all. It's a wonder I don't have carpel tunnel. So it was inevitable we'd do one for Christmas. I'm not an artist by any stretch, but I love doing projects with Brock. Today we spent a good chunk of our day making this in between getting everything ready for school tomorrow. Each night he'll pull off a picture and it will reveal the days left until Christmasd. Granted I did most of it, since Brock isn't able too yet, but art projects relax him so much and we have some of the best talks during this time. What do you do to prepare for Christmas? Any fun Holiday traditions? One of our traditions is driving around looking at Christmas lights. Friday night I drove Brock through town and listened to Christmas music enjoying all the lights. Saturday we went to our towns lighting festival, we missed Santa but Brock wanted to eat mini tacos at the bowling alley so we watched from there. It's the little things. I dread Mondays because I miss him so much when he's at school. Maybe that will change when he's older, but I don't see that  happening. We also have some fun Christmas Eve and Day traditions, but I'll make a blog after those days full of pictures.

Mommy diapers

I hate Walmart. Not because it's Walmart and I think I'm too good for it, I hate it because everything that could ever go wrong on a shopping trip always happens to me at Walmart. I love living in a small town, but let's be serious the store options suck. Especially when you are in need of something unexpected and last minute, and the only store open is Walmart. I could always travel 30 minutes to a different town and shop elsewhere, but when it 's a school night it's not gonna happen, especially in my household. Like I've said before Brock gets agitated real fast when we deviate from his schedule, I try to avoid it as much as possible, but sometimes things can't wait. If we don't go on a planned outing, I know a huge meltdown is on the horizon..But if we go somewhere not planned its more manageable. He'll usually repeat phrases that have to do with the outing, real loud so he can get used to the change in his mind. I do weekly behavior charts for Brock at home, and if he gets so many points at the end of the week he gets a reward. This week his reward was a small toy, and I figured since we were going to Walmart, we might as well kill two birds with one stone. My mistake. I didn't get Brock properly prepared for this outing, and he was in a mood. I give Brock two choices in whatever price range he's earned, because multiple options will bring on obsessive behavior. He could either choose (2) Pokemon card packs or (1) Pokemon stuffed animal. All the way to Walmart he was going over the pro's and cons of each choice, out loud..he was so loud he was practically yelling. I have to talk him through these, because if he becomes to agitated I'll have to take him back home, and try again another time so he doesn't become to over stimulated, hence the minimal choices. But I couldn't turn around because I really needed to get to the store. So like I said above, I hate Walmart. It causes me anxiety. I've fainted and thrown up in Walmart before. Not even kidding, I was standing in the beauty aisle looking at hair products and threw up and fainted simultaneously. I have crohn's disease so if I don't eat  something small every few hours I get light headed. I didn't eat enough that day...but nobody wants to be the reason behind clean up in aisle 5. Last June I was going through some post op complications, I had a pretty big surgery in April and had some nerve damage, and vision loss. Which is why I have to wear glasses now forever. I had perfect vision up until my surgery. I was on my way to Walmart, and lost vision completely in my left eye. The scariest thing that's ever happened to me, and I had to be rushed to the hospital. Everything is OK now, besides poor vision. I've had Brock tell complete strangers that I am starving him because I wouldn't buy him a treat at 8 p.m. at Walmart, and I've had Brock also tell strangers that I won't let him use the bathroom because he really had to pee, while he was still in diapers. Brocks jumped out of the cart and hid under clothes racks at Walmart when he was completely anxious. So yeah, I have shopping anxiety when it comes to that store. So the other day when we finally got to Walmart, Brock started repeating his choices out loud again. I told him we would pick out his toy after I got my stuff since Pokemon stuff is right next to the registers. I put my stuff in the cart, and Brock decides to add my stuff to his list of things to repeat. One of my items (sorry TMI)  were pads, and curious George wanted to know everything about them. Obviously I didn't go into to much detail, maybe I should have, because Brock came to his own conclusion. Mommy diapers. So instead of chanting about Pokemon, he is chanting loudly that his mommy wears diapers. And I had to let him because I am not explaining periods to a six year old boy. Sure I told him that wasn't appropriate to say, but since everyone was laughing there was no stopping my little comedian. When we finally reached the registers, and Brock decided on a Pokemon stuffed animal...I thought we were in the clear.  No such luck. As the cashier is scanning the pads, Mr. Big Mouth himself decides to reappear and inform her that his ''mommy wears diapers, because she pees her pants..even though she's too old for diapers she just can't stop peeing.'' I lost it. Laughing. It was too much, and I couldn't hold it in anymore. Too much of our lives are serious that when things like this happen, which are more often than not with Brock cause he's a jokester, I let it go. Brock says all the time he just wants to make people laugh. So yes, half the world now knows when aunt flo visits me, but that's OK. We got a moment where Autism was just out of our minds for a minute..and we need those reprieves once in awhile or we'd go crazy. Not alot embarasses me but my six year old boy can sure bring on 50 shades of red faster than anyone else I know. What are some of the most embarrassing things your kids have said or done to you in public?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I took the plunge...

And...enrolled back into college. If all goes well I'll be starting January 5th. I've been praying for some sort of direction in my life and this has been in my head for over a year. I'm going back for Early Childhood Education with a special needs specialization. Half will be online, half will be on campus. Plus I'll eventually doing an externship for 25-30 hours a week. Hoping I can get one close to home. I'm trying to get everything worked around the times Brock's in school so we don't have a major routine change. He's been having some tough times behaviorally so I'm trying to make this as painless as possible for him. I asked his behavior therapist why he sems to do as good as he does at school and erupts once he gets home, and he thinks Brock is focusing so hard on calming his anxieties at school that at home with me is his safe, comfort place that he just let's it all out. It's been difficult, I hate seeing him struggle. We've been doing nightly yoga to help release all the tension. Last night he just laid on me and cried for a half hour, and when I asked what was bothering him he said a bug. That's the most difficult part is the communication barriers. This whole journey is why Early Childhood Ed. With a specialization in special needs is so right for me because I'm going to be the best I can for Brock, while being able to help others in similar situations will be the most amazing accomplishment I can give not only Brock and myself but others.