Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Those are words I haven't heard yet.

Today speech therapy went awesome! It went so awesome the speech therapist said a few times "who is this child you brought today?" I wasn't sure myself! Then she said something I have not heard yet. She said, "If we have many more days like this, we might just say he doesn't need therapy anymore!" WHAT?! WOW! I never thought I'd hear the day when they would say those words. I know this is just ONE day out of many, but it's a start! I have noticed he has done really well the past couple of weeks. I only hope it continues on this path. :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Just wanted to add this.

My husband wrote a blog about our experience yesterday as well. I really liked what he wrote about our general struggles with autism. I liked it so much I'm posting it here too.

"As a three-year old who has social and communicative delays, my son cannot always articulate his needs, and many times, he cannot get past something being done in the proper order, according to his 3-year old mind.  As his father, I have learned to deal with his autistic behavior and roll with his meltdowns and rituals.  Once he has something figured out in his head, nothing may deviate from it.  Otherwise, he experiences what my wife and I call a boxing match in his head.  Until he can work through the problem in that insanely wired head of his, the world as he knows it comes to an abrupt end.  I don’t expect anyone without an autistic child to understand.  A good example of our daily meltdowns would be going through doors.  He must open the door himself.  If it is too heavy to open, he freaks out.  If you try to help him, he freaks out.  If you try to open the door and walk through first, he freaks out.  Oftentimes, it is a meltdown waiting to happen.  The irony is that the only way to get him over it is to get him out doing it as much as possible.  You don’t lock a socially deficient child away; you get them out amongst people.  Even if they melt down, it is something you have to deal with in order to socialize them.  The same goes with doors, drink cups, forks, knives, getting into and out of a car seat, taking him to the park, eating dinner, going to sleep, waking up, brushing teeth, reading a story, changing a diaper, and on and on.  Everything is a ritual, and everything must be narrated ad nauseam or you risk a meltdown.  It is difficult.  It is especially difficult in a dynamic environment, where things are happening around you that you have no control over.  Interacting with other people, going to restaurants, and even walking through a parking lot brings around a lot of variables that we, as parents of autistic children, just cannot account for.  We are especially in tune with our children, but we aren’t perfect.  You surely aren’t perfect, so you can’t expect us to be… except we are more aware of our child’s surroundings than 90% of parents with “normal” children are.  Still, we cannot always be on guard 100% of the time."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It finally happened.

Tonight we went to a surprise birthday party for a friend of ours at Alfy's pizza. Michael was in a pretty good mood and actually managed to make it through the door without completely freaking out. Once we got inside, he sat down on the waiting area bench and made himself comfortable. He didn't really want to move from there so when we started toward the party room in the back, we thought it might excite him if he could pick his drink and carry it back to the room. This worked for all of 3.5 seconds. He picked his drink and then was carrying it around, spilling it everywhere. Not only was the spilling itself making him upset, but also us trying to help him stop spilling was making it worse. This led to an all out meltdown. I had Rory and 100 other baby items such as blankets, sippy cups, and treat cups in my hands so I took them back to the party room while James tried to deal with Michael. He ended up taking him outside twice. A few minutes later he came back in with him and got all the way to the party room before he was startled by a person welcoming him into the room. He flipped out and screamed all the way back to the door. I followed him out and picked him up. He was screaming loud enough at this point that probably everyone there could hear him a mile away. I went to the furthest table of the restaurant, away from as many people as possible and tried to hug him tightly. This is when the fun began.

There was an older guy, probably in his 60's that was sitting a few tables down. I saw him motioning me to take Michael outside, which I wasn't about ready to do. Michael FLIPS out when we deal with doors. It would be pointless because it would all start up again dealing with getting in the doors. So I just ignored the guy. A few seconds later, he came up to me and told me I needed to take him outside. I said I wasn't going to do that and that my son could not help his screaming. He kept badgering me telling me it was "disrespectful" for me to bring my son out in public if he was going to scream like that. He told me that he belonged in the pit they had there for children (mind you this pit was closer to his table than I was currently sitting!) I wasn't about ready to bring my already overwhelmed son into a pit full of chaos and children. That would not help him calm down one bit. He told me then that if I didn't take my son outside, or to the bathrooms, or as far away from him as I possibly could, that he was going to complain to the management and tell them to make me leave. I looked him straight into the eye and said "DO IT!"

One of the friends from our party asked if he was asking me to leave and I told her that he was and that he went to complain to management. They went back and told James what was going on and that's when he came out to meet the guy. By that time, the guy was talking to the manager or whoever it was that was in charge at the moment. The guy again told us that we were being disrespectful for bringing our child out to a place where he was trying to have a "quiet" evening. He said that "children need to be trained to not cry in public". We told him my son has Autism and he can't control it. He said "I don't even know what that is! You can't use that as an excuse for him to bother me during my dinner!" James said "Well if you don't know what Autism is, you really have no place to be telling me anything on the matter now do you?!" He was probably 2 inches from the guy's face at this point, but surprisingly restraining himself.

I have to hand it to the guy that worked at Alfy's. He was completely understanding and basically told the guy we have every right to be there just as he does. Then another parent from the child pit came up to me and said "Just so you know, none of us mind your child screaming at all". Basically everyone in the establishment was on our side against this one A-hole. I was so riled up and upset by the end of this that I was shaking. Especially because he freaked Michael out so bad that he had cowered into a corner under a candy machine. Who does that to a 3 year old? Even if Michael didn't have Autism, he had no right to treat us that way!

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Tonight as I was rocking Michael before bed I asked him how old he was. He told me "I'm 3!" then I asked how old Rory was and he said "She's 2!". He sat there quiet for a second or two then said "What's your number mama?" I was shocked! :) Then he said "What's daddy's number?" That was awesome!

Friday, February 3, 2012

More in depth

Michael has been doing amazing at telling me about his day. Last night I was seeing if he could take it further, and he really blew me away! :) I was getting some extreme detail about his day. I had to work it out of him, but he was doing it! He told me about some story they read in class about kids and a bear. He told me the kids in the story went outside to play and were sad because they fell down. A big bear came and gave them hugs. I have no idea how accurate that was of the actual story, but I still thought it was awesome!

Oh and I have a pic I took a couple weeks ago I meant to post on here. He lined up all the play food, labels out. He lines things up less often, but he will still surprise me here and there with it!