Monday, June 30, 2008

Aaahhhhh

I got to read a magazine article today. I whole article! Granted, it was from an old magazine, but still! I haven't read an entire magazine article in it's entirety since Casey had surgery a year ago. Boy did that feel good.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Time to get Zaney

One of our local favorites came home yesterday to give two outstanding performances. Dan Zanes has become a favorite around here. Particularly his song "Hello" . Some of you might know him from his early The Del Fuego days, while most parents know him as the lovable singer on Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. Mr. Zanes has done this for a couple of years now. Ticket sales benefit The Friendly Kitchen which is a local soup kitchen. I believe Mr. Zanes mother runs the Friendly Kitchen.



Our very good friends Kelli, Mike and their two boys, Chase and Carter (you can find them in the blogosphere here ) joined us for the 4pm show. The performances were done in the high school theater with no A/C so needless to say, it was very hot and muggy. The boys did exceptionally well. They all behaved themselves and enjoyed the music. About an hour into the show, all of us were hot and sweaty and decided to bail. Friendly's Ice cream, here we come! The skies opened up and poured down while we all enjoyed some yummy ice cream. All except our boys who don't really care for ice cream ( I know, can you believe that that's possible? ). They both had meals. Casey chugged nearly an entire cup of milk and proceeded to throw up at the end of the meal. What a great way to end a great day! Enjoy the pics (courtesy of Kelli since my camera sucks!)



Monday, June 23, 2008

Apple doesn't fall very far

Since Wesley has been diagnosed and I learn more and more about autism, I start to wonder. I know all of us have sensory and autistic tendencies, but I wonder just how much is a tendency and how much makes you actually have either of those.

I'm sharing deep here so bear with me for a moment. I've always felt socially awkward. In grade school, it wasn't always easy for me to make friends or make myself available to make friends. Even now in adulthood, I find myself wishing I could join the other Mommies on the playground, but I don't know what to say. I found it difficult to go up to people and start conversations. In my mind, the starters never sounded smart or eloquent. Maybe they aren't supposed to be. Eye contact was never especially easy for me either. I try hard to make and maintain eye contact, but sometimes it's just overwhelming and I have to look away. I know how Wes feels and how much he's achieved with that small feat.

Social ques are tricky too. I pick up on them, but don't always interpret them correctly. Tim can attest to that I think. I don't always 'get it' when people are sarcastic and sometimes my joke aren't understood either.

There certainly is a bit of OCD here. I like things the way I like them and sometimes to such a degree that Tim and I argue. I can't stand clutter and crumbs being everywhere. I'm not the best housekeeper, but when they start to pile up, I go on a bender. Clothes need to be washed, dried, and put away. After eating, the table must be washed, chairs cleaned off and floor swept. My wonderful husband doesn't see the need. He's not OCD. I also feel much better when I know what's going to happen. If we make plans, I like to know where it is we're going, how long it takes to get there and get home, how long we're going to stay, and what can I expect there. Not as bad as it sounds, but I still like to plan. It makes me edgy when a monkey wrench is thrown into the plans. I'd say Wes has the same issue but to a more larger degree.

Does all this mean I may be on the spectrum somewhere? Maybe. It certainly leaves a bad taste in my mouth because the blame game starts. Am I the reason for my son having autism? His genes came out clean in the wash (he's been to a geneticist), but maybe there's something else there. Food for thought.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Climbing on the soapbox for a moment

For those of you who read my blog, you know I rarely ever talk about news stories or who said what or did what in the topic of autism. With the exception of Ms. McCarthy, but we won't go there. I've had just about enough of these stories about our exceptional children being disregarded and tossed aside in the schools.

The most recent, a story of an elementary school leaving out the special needs students and special needs teachers in a year book. Okay, so maybe, just possibly, it was a mistake. Did it seriously take a nation of angry people to get you to realize it and fix it?

And how about this one, a special needs kindergartner was voted ( Survivor style) out of his classroom by his teacher and his peers. Little did the teacher know that the mother had sent her son to school with a digital recorder hidden in his clothes because he had been complaining about this teacher.

On a bulletin board I sometime visit, there was a post from an actual teacher complaining about a child who is special needs that had been crying in her classroom. So what did this teacher do? She put her out in the hallway and locked her classroom door because she didn't want to deal with it. You bet your ass I posted a comment.

This wonderful blogger here writes about her beautiful boy and her struggles with his school system. It just sickens me with what she has to deal with just to get her son included! And it's not just the school, it's the parents as well! How sad this should make all of us.

Why aren't our children treated like everyone else. No, they aren't like everyone else, but who is? I'm glad my son is different. I'm so happy that he's given me the chance to see this world in a whole other light that some aren't able to. And on the flip side, I get to experience a typical child too (God give me strength). Our children, our extraordinary children, have turned this world on it's toes. We, as parents, will not let them sit in the back of the classroom or worse yet, in another room, and not given the same opportunities to achieve and show the world what they are capable of. I can't speak for everyone, but damn it if my son doesn't surprise me with what he can do every day. I hope that never changes. I hope that every parent who has an extraordinary child allows their child to surprise them every day. Cherish those. Refuse to let anyone tell you different. They are in those tiny bodies just begging for someone to help let them out. It takes more than just the parents. It takes family, teachers, and the community. Remember the saying "It takes a village to raise a child", so include my child.

Okay, stepping down. I feel better.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Our next venture

We're moving on to trying something new. Cranio Sacral Therapy. I've read into it, but still don't quite understand it 100%. What I get is that it's a manipulative technique kind of like chiropractic care. There is a wonderful mother in an autism support group that we belong to that has tried this with her son. I've been in touch with a therapist and they will do one session free to see if it will work with Wes. I'm not sure if one session will show anything so we're willing to do a few sessions. Luckily, they accept insurance and New Hampshire Medicaid so we won't have to come out of pocket (keeping my fingers crossed).
I guess I'll understand it more when I see how it's done and talk to the therapist more about it. My theory is I'm willing to try anything that doesn't involve pumping Wes with medication. A massage can't hurt can it?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Look into the future

I had the opportunity to glimpse into Casey's future today. I must say, I'm not really surprised at what I've come to realize. My son, my baby is going to be a nudist. That's right, a naked all the time person. He hates clothes and I mean all clothes. Shoes, socks, pants, shirts, hats, you name it. Today, while I was filling up sippy cups, he removed everything from his shirt to his diaper. Totally nude. I wasn't in the kitchen that long so this child is good. He takes off his shoes whenever he can and the socks soon follow. This removal of clothing is new, however, and I see it as the trend. I just look forward to the morning when we enter his room and his little naked butt is the first thing we see.
Lord help me.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

First Field Trip

My big boy went on his first field trip today. It was to a local small (very small) farm for some animal petting and ice cream! The baby cow's were a big hit with him. He even went so far as to go nose to nose with one of them. When his aide ushered him to another animal, he threw a hissy fit and wanted to go back to the cows.
The kids LOVED the ice cream. Wes doesn't eat ice cream but he will drink a shake so I bought him one so he could join his classmates for a special treat. Here are some pictures of the excursion.





Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mom and Dad's night out

Thank you to my father who was kind enough to find Tim and I four tickets to see our beloved Boston Red Sox. You always come through for us!

It was Mom and Dad's night out last night and we have been looking forward to this. Tim and I are devoted Red Sox Fans. If you don't know, it's not just about being a fan, it's about being a part of Red Sox Nation. The 39,928 seats that occupy the stands and the Green Monster are always filled. Sold out every year. These fans aren't just fans, they are family. They live, breath, eat, sleep, and die Red Sox. To be a part of that family, even if it's just once a year, is awesome. It's steeped in history from Ted Williams to Babe Ruth. The curse that lasted 84 years until our son was born in 2004 (hey, we can dream can't we?) named after the trade of Babe Ruth to the Spankee's. The Curse of the Bambino. For some, it's family tradition. They went as kids, and now they bring their kids. It's Bostons (New England's) playground. It's our Disney World and for some, it's their church. You'll never understand until you go to a game and see for yourself. It's like nothing you've ever seen before.

From the Fenway Franks to the near $7.00 beers, we'll go every year if we get the chance. It just doesn't get any better then that.

Go Sox!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Therapeutic Listening

It's been about 2 months since Wes has started doing the Therapeutic Listening and it's going great. In the beginning, I cut it back to once a day because he seemed to be lacking focus at school and really off his game. Especially in circle time. I thought it wasn't working, but I was wrong.
I kept getting reports home from school that Wes was not paying attention in circle especially, and very distracted by outside noises and such. Of course I started to worry because the last place I want him to lose focus is at school. I consulted 'J', the OT and she told us to cut back to once a day but not to worry. So, I did just that. He could only tolerate 10 minutes at first, but quickly worked his way up to the full session. He would run upstairs and hop on our bed when I said it was time for his music. He loves it!
I gave my reports to his OT and come to find out, the listening is working. She said the first sign is that the realization that there are outside factors going on and he takes notice. He was distracted by a truck backing up next to the school, or some kids walking in the hallway. He never paid attention to them before because he either didn't really hear them or he didn't see the point in hearing them. I don't mean hear as in taking the sound into the ear. I mean hear as in taking the sound into the ear and processing it in the brain. His hearing is just fine. It's what he does with the sounds he hears.
When we're in a store and someone comes up to him, he looks right at them and smiles or giggles. He's never done that before either. Those people just didn't exist to him in his world. The kids in the playground are showing purpose to him. He watches their play and sometimes, just a smidgen, joins their activity. It's small like looking for attention from them, but that's a huge accomplishment since the start of school.
He's moved back up to two times a day with the music and shortly 'J' will change CD's and give him something new. He will do great things one day. He does great things every day.