*Encouragement is the best medicine to give someone. If I were to pick any gift to have in helping others, that would be the one*

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Aspergers and Losing Sleep

Yesterday I took Chaz to a doctor to figure out his sleeping issues.  Chaz does NOT go to sleep easy which means I don't sleep either.  He's the last one to fall asleep and the first one to wake up.  I know that doesn't help how he functions during the day.  I also got the good news that he's started to go into all the puberty stuff.  Yayyyyyyyy..... lol.  No seriously, I bet you know how Aspergers and hormones all mix together.  I have an emotional kid on my hands.  I've never seen his emotions go so crazy like this and he gets upset easier.  Well, I wanted to at least solve one issue.  The doctor and I talked about Melatonin but I had just read some things on it and wasn't so sure.  I have never given my kids medicine just to put them to sleep so I made sure to talk with doctor first.


Is Melatonin Sabotaging Your Sleep?


Well, the doctor recommended that since he has allergies to go ahead and give him Benadryl.  Why didn't I think of that before?  It'll help his allergies and help give him better rest at night.  I only gave him half of one pill though to start out and he slept very well last night for the first time.  Yay for mommy and yay for Chaz.  I'm crossing my fingers that this will help him concentrate better on his school work during the day.  I'm also hoping for us both to get better rest at night.  :D  

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Aspergers Obsessions: Is That All You Want to Talk about?

The other day I took Chaz to the gym with me since he is now old enough to work out.  He got to get a new membership card that states he can go anywhere in the gym by himself. Well, when we got there he didn't want me to leave his side since he had no one to talk to or play with. I really wanted to go straight upstairs to the gym.  He looked over and saw his friend that he met the last time we came. I was excited and showed Chaz so we went over to talk.  Turns out, this boy also has Aspergers Syndrome!  No wonder why they got along well together.  Chaz has a best friend who has Aspergers Syndrome and they get along fantastic.  He was okay with me leaving to work out since he could now go swimming with his friend.  While I worked out upstairs, Chaz and his friend swam.  The picture is the view of the indoor pool I see while working out.

After I was done I went with Chaz, the boy, and his mom to the basketball court.  I like to observe other Aspergers kids to see how they are similar.  It was obvious his obsession was sports.  The whole time we were there that is what he wanted to talk about and do.  He never deviated.  It helped me to see that I need to be careful about how much I get frustrated at Chaz's obsession with games.  He likes to play them AND talk about them a lot.  I don't let him play all day but he will talk all the time about it whether or not you are listening.  I would get soooo frustrated sometimes but try not to show it.  Watching this boy talk so much about sports made me realize that I can't change Chaz. I can encourage Chaz, but what's wrong with him wanting to talk about what he loves?  Nothing.  Sure, it's excessive at times but that's how he is and I shouldn't make him feel bad about it.  


Chaz is such a good boy and I think I was just looking at that issue wrong.  He is happy talking about video games.  He does want to play basketball and is joining a league next month.  I'm hoping this time the coach worries more about teaching the kids how to play well rather than only caring about winning.  Chaz's last coach would bench the same kids so he could use the ones that would win the game.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Parent to an Aspergers Preteen



Soooo, I'm a parent to a preteen.  Should I be scared?  I am!  Aggggh!  Okay, when I can say I'm a parent to a teenager I will officially feel old.  I can see older people than me just rolling their eyes right now.  To them I say, don't you remember that feeling too?  I can't believe it because today Chaz turned 12.  12 years since I became a mom.  It was the scariest day of my life and I'm not exaggerating.  I had no idea what to do with a little one and had never really taken care of any babies.  I felt it was a crime for anyone to let me take this little guy home from the hospital.  I called the doctor every week with a new question, sometimes several times a week.  Now Chaz is twelve and I'm wondering how to navigate the teens years that are coming.  Oh well.  We'll have this conversation next year on this day. For now, he's still my baby.  Heh heh.  Don't tell him I said that.



My question is, what will it be like to parent an Aspergers teen?  That is one thing I don't want to be told about.  I thought it'd get easier as they get older but it doesn't.  If anything, it's gotten much harder.  I'm glad no one told me that back when Chaz was six and I was new to the word Aspergers.  I had to take just one day at a time back then.  Today, I just love my son with the good days and the bad days.  He's funny, challenging, and keeps me on my toes.  For real! Ha ha!  I love you, Chaz.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Maturing with Aspergers

Chaz (right) and his friend Dexter
It has been really, really tough with Chaz lately.  Things have changed as he's gotten older.  When he was younger, it was physically harder to help him but now the problems seem to be more mental.  He's had a lot more meltdowns and I'm starting to really, really see the gap between him and kids his age.  When he was little, other kids were immature also so it wasn't as noticeable. Now, kids at 11 or 12 or starting to mature in how they act and Chaz just isn't there yet.  He still wants to be physical, push, shove, bump into them, laugh a lot, poke, pinch.  It makes me sad to watch kids walk away from him or try to understand but not know what he is saying. Tomorrow he will get an evaluation with a speech specialist and I'm anxious to see where he is at.  It's been really hard to understand him as he tends to talk fast and in run on sentences.  Sigh.  I only want the best for Chaz and I hate to see him struggle just to make ONE FRIEND.  I hate to see him get rejected over and over.  I love him so much.  He's my boy and I'm so proud of him no matter what.  He is a really good kid it's just that he doesn't understand socially how to act around other kids and doesn't understand boundaries.  We invited Chaz's friend over for two days that has Aspergers.  Chaz was in heaven having his friend around because they completely understand each other. Unfortunately they live an hour and a half away from each other and can only visit once every few months.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Juliet Desiree is Here!

I'm writing from my cell phone in my hospital bed. Yesterday I got the balloon to cause my cervix to dilate. It worked so well that I went from a 1 to 5cm dilated in one hour. I wasn't in any pain at all but needed to go in to the hospital. While in the hospital my contractions were every 5 minutes but still had no pain and was 6 cm dilated. They wanted to break my water but I asked them not to do it till I got an epidural. So basically I had Juliet pain free!  3 pushes and she was out.  Juliet weighed 6lb 12oz and is 20 inches. I'm in baby heaven!  God gave me another little blessing.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Autism Awareness 2012- My Son's Aspergers Diagnosis

This is Autism Awareness month and so I  wanted to talk some about Chaz and what it's been like the last 5 years since I found out he has Aspergers.

Chaz 11 years old

Sometimes I don't mind talking about it but other times (like now) I have a hard time with it.  It's not because I'm ashamed or because I am in denial.  Sometimes I get sad because I want the best for him in life and it kills me that I can't just fix everything for him.

My baby Chaz

Autism (or Aspergers) can come with bullying and he's had his fair share.  There is a reason I homeschool Chaz and it's not just because of other kids.  I have major trust issues even with teachers.  He's had a couple of good ones and a couple of really bad ones.  He's been mistreated by his teachers and been put to shame in from of other children.  Do you think it's normal to have a young child depressed and suicidal?  No, it's not normal.  I didn't know he had a teacher that was putting him out in the hallway of his school every day with his own desk.  He was told he can listen but can't be in the classroom with everyone else.  He was called the school freak because not even the teacher wanted him in the room.  Was I told about this by anyone?  Did anyone ask my permission before doing that?  Nope.  I was told everything was going fantastic by his teacher and other staff members.  He's been beat up, choked, mocked, etc.  I can't talk about it or write about it without crying.  The boy I carried for 9 months, nursed for 5, cared for, and loved, was having to leave his safe home every day and face a harsh world.  I didn't know he was mentally beaten down till he started writing about wanting to kill himself.  That was it for me.  My boy was coming home and staying with me.  He's not a freak.  He may be different but he's God's perfect creation and he was gifted to me.

Chaz (left) playing with his brother 12 months younger

You want to know how I found out he had Aspergers Syndrome?  Well, he was a pretty tough toddler and would never look me in the eye before he was five.  I figured he was just a really tough kid.  After all, I had 3 boys within 3 years and had my hands full.  Chaz was majorly delayed in potty training and I was beginning to worry he was going to go to Kindergarten in diapers.  He did have some speech issues but like I said, he was my first kid.  I didn't really know what was normal behaviors.  I have to admit I was relieved when Chaz got to school age.  Taking care of him was really, really tough and I looked forward to that break in the day.  I took Chaz to his first day and crowded in with other parents at the school.  Everyone was excited that their baby was growing up.  I looked around the white room and the tables and chairs that were set up.  Was Chaz really gonna sit in those chairs like a big kid?  Really?  I had an unsettling feeling in my gut when I left him there.  As I was leaving I looked back and saw his eyes wide looking at me.  I figured it was just mommy nerves and left to celebrate our kids' first day with other friends.  Soon after I get a phone call that I needed to come get my son because he had bit his teacher on the first day.  Crud.  I picked him up and brought him home hoping the next day would be a better day.  The next day I drop him off but get a phone call half way through the day again.  I needed to take Chaz to the hospital.  Chaz kicked his teacher, ran from her and then ran straight into a metal door splitting his head open.  Really?  He must've been freaking out.  I called Charles and he came with me to the school to pick him up.  Was Chaz freaking out and crying?  Nope. When I went to pick him up from school he was just smiling and happy to see us. He was calmly talking to us as if there were no hole right in the front of his forehead.  It was so deep we could see his skull and he wasn't even complaining.  The school called and said that there are only 3 strikes allowed and Chaz already had his second.  Being that Chaz has only been to school 3 days, that didn't leave a lot of home.  I pulled him out that day and enrolled him in another school.

You can see the scar where Chaz was stitched up

The next school wasn't nearly as strict and the room looked a lot more friendly.  I had a better feeling about this one and he had the sweetest teacher.  After a few days she started calling and telling me about some troubles she was having.  I really didn't know what to do as I figured it was just some behavior issues.  Rolling on the floor under the desks?  Licking the floor?  Hmmm.... Odd, but I had no idea what to think about it.  While the other kids were working, my son was in his own little world.  I was starting to get desperate as I got report after report of my son's behavior in the classroom.  I was feeling like a pretty crappy parent I guess I should say.  My shoulder started to droop each day as I went to pick him up.  On a particular day I was feeling really defeated when the school counselor walked up to me and asked if he could talk to me.  He had done some research that week for my son and printed out what he thought Chaz might be dealing with.  The title of the paper said Aspergers Syndrome.  I could tell he was a little hesitant suggesting this to me not knowing how I would take it.  He read some of the list to me and it was like he was reading about Chaz.  My heart lifted as I realized that maybe all this time Chaz was dealing with something bigger.  This meant I could get some help.  Mr. Chavez looked relieved that I wasn't offended but I'm sure he couldn't miss the sadness in my eyes.  I was happy there might be some answers but sad that there might be an answer to all this.  My son?  With the reports from the teacher and the school counselor, notes from mommy, observing Chaz, he was quickly diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome.  The doctor said there as no doubt whatsover that he had this and sent me home with my mind whirling even more.  Where do I go from here?

Chaz 8 years old

I've made mistakes along the way with trying to stumble along different paths.  Do I put him in a self contained classroom?  NO.  I discovered that he copies behavior and since the rest of the class was pretty wild, cussed, and threw tables and chairs, Chaz would also do these things.  After a year of that mess I found a different school and wonder of all wonders I found an angel of a teacher.  She just happened to have trained to work with Aspergers kids in New York for 3 years.  NO WAY!  She taught regular first grade and said it was no problem whatsoever to teach Chaz in her classroom.  She taught me everything she could about Aspergers and how to help Chaz.  She was an angel teacher and I wish I could go back and give her a big hug for everything she did.  She took one of the times of my life and made it feel like it was gonna be okay. She gave me the confidence I needed as a parent to help him.  Chaz no longer was rolling on the floor but doing very well.  He was given a seat in the front-left.  He was still sitting with the kids but much closer to the teacher's desk.  He was given a visual schedule and 5 minutes warnings before each task was to be done.  He was given an assistant to sit with him during math and language arts hour to help him focus.  Chaz was given more breaks and was even allowed his own snack time.  Since his legs were more sensitive than usual the teacher bought a cushion for his chair he had to sit in every day.  This lady UNDERSTOOD Chaz.  I will always be so grateful to her.  Unfortunately when kids advance in grades they change teachers.  It pretty much went downhill from there trying to find teachers who could work with Chaz.  I think most of the problem is just ignorance.  If teachers don't understand Aspergers then they aren't going to know what works for them.  I communicated as best I could but often was just treated like my son was naughty and he just needed to be punished.

Chaz and I 2009

I didn't have the best support.  Some said I would ruin his life by pinning Aspergers on him.  Some felt I just needed to spank him.  One lady at church even went as far as to say my son was demon possessed.  Yeah, that one hurt.  Charles and I felt very alone in our journey and really didn't even know whether or not we were gonna medicate Chaz.  After trying for a week of medicating Chaz and seeing him actually get worse, we never medicated since.  So far our stance is that we will only medicate if he becomes a danger to himself or anyone in our family.  Over the last 6 years I've gotten advice from so many people who tell me what I need to do.  Not one of them ever had to deal with someone who had Aspergers but I know they were just trying to help.


Chaz's best friend Dexter also has Aspergers

Yesterday I was at a Behavior Health center and was able to talk to someone about Chaz.  I told the man that I needed a new doctor for Chaz but was very hesitant.  He asked what my fears were but I drew a blank.  As I sat there in silence for a minute, I realized why.  So many people I trusted had actually hurt my son more.  Even though there were a couple of good teachers and a good doctor in the mix, he's dealt with a lot of bad.  I've been holding my son in a protective embrace and have a hard time opening up to trust someone with my son.  I know this doctor can help Chaz, but what if he does what another doctor did?  His original doctor that helped us get so far was one day just gone.  I wasn't given a warning at all.  He was assigned a new doctor who was very cold and didn't care to talk to me at all. He talked to us for 10 minutes and try to change Chaz's diagnosis all together.  He knew nothing about Chaz but wanted to just get us out of there.  I left and never went back.  I know it's time to find a new doctor that can work with us but I'm gonna have to open up and talk about everything again.  This will be good for us since as Chaz gets older we deal with new issues.  I hate that he can't make friends and that kids give him funny looks when he tries to talk and relate with him.  I'm happy he made friends with another boys that has Aspergers.  I wonder how he will be as a teen or ask an adult?  All those things I worry about but I try not to.  I just have to take one day at a time.

Our family at the Science Center 2011 (Chaz top left)

One thing for sure is that I love Chaz with all my heart.  He's my firstborn and my son.  Chaz has taught me more about unconditional love, PATIENCE, forgiveness, and tolerance like no other.  I can't imagine missing out on a kid like him. :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

How Homeschooling is Working for My Aspergers Son

I cannot update on here as often since I spend a better part of my day homeschooling and taking care of six little ones.  :)  However, I got a comment asking how my homeschooling with my Aspergers son is going and I'd love to answer here.  


It's going great!  No more having to deal with impatient teachers, upset calls from my son, a stressed out and tired one at that, or having to worry about him being overloaded with too much work.  Chaz already had long days at school and for him that is just so much stimulation and concentration for one day.  Plus, homework was usually sent home.  That's where I put my foot down and told them no homework for Chaz.  It's way too much.  However, this year we decided to homeschool and see how that would work instead.  I know that I'm treating Chaz the way he deserves and I know his strengths and weakness.  I understand when he needs breaks and I can work around his emotional struggles.  When Chaz can't take any more work, I know when it's time to quit and just hit the books again in the morning.  The fun part is I've enjoyed learning right along with my kids!  I may not have everything perfect and down pat but that's why I use a ready made curriculum so I don't miss anything.  If I don't understand it, well, we work on it together till I understand and I can teach him.

My husband teaching Kyle (my 3rd son) chess
At first we tried K12 and it was just too much work for my Aspergers son.  It was pushing him past his limits every single day.  It didn't help that they required so many online meetings on top of the work he already had to do.  Eventually he would be in tears.  Unfortunately, K12 is not as flexible as they claim to be.  I think if I were homeschooling Chaz and him alone it might have been okay.  However, I also homeschool 3 other ones.  I needed to find something that would work for Chaz and for the rest of us.  I purchases Switched on Schoolhouse for Chaz and Ryan, and Compass Learning for my younger two homeschoolers.  They are ready to go curriculums and Chaz can finish his work in about 2 hours.  That's a long cry from 5 hours with K12.  

Anyway, that's just my own personal thoughts on it and how it's been working out.  Chaz is doing very well and he's not overwhelmed by any means.  Chaz has been doing fantastic in so many ways since I pulled him from a brick and mortar school.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

When Your Aspergers Child Finds That Perfect Friend....

Today I wrote on my family blog about Finding a Friend and Saying Goodbye.

Chaz and Dexter playing puppets at Children's Museum
Well, Chaz had found that perfect friend that he could actually relate to. They found each other at school and didn't know that they both had Aspergers Syndrome.  His mom and I met and turns out we both share the struggle of ADD. We share so many similarities that it was comforting to share stories and just encourage each other.  I found out that they are moving out of town.  It seems to be a pattern in my life where I finally finding someone I can relate to, or Chaz finds a friend that really is a good friend and they move away. I know life happens but it breaks my heart to see my son sad like that.  I can handle it because I can easily call Melanee up or chat on Facebook.  Of course it's better to see each other in person though.  It's just different for kids.  Chaz was broken hearted after leaving his house for the last time yesterday and he cried.  My heart broke with him.  I promised him that we could set up Skype and they could chat live or we could drive out to where they are (an hour and a half away) sometimes.  


It's hard for people to say goodbye to a friend but it's on a different level for Aspergers kids.  It's already hard enough for them to find friends and even harder to find one they can completely relate to.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Is a Good Life Too Much To Ask For?

Chaz (right) playing on my phone
When I first found out Chaz had Aspergers at 6 years old I thought, "Well, maybe somehow he'll pull out of it."  That was my deep hearts desire.  I still had some denial.  Not for selfish reasons because I didn't want my little boy to grow up with any struggles.  5 years later I see that it's just as prevalent and it just changes as he ages.  His struggles are different as he has learned to contain some behaviors.  About 2 months ago I just broke down crying.  I see his OCD, Aspergers, and ADHD really strong at times.  I see how he talks in long run-on sentences and can't change the subject.  I see how he can't fall asleep at night because he can't turn his active mind off.  I see how he's sad he has no friends.  Still.  I don't know.  It just breaks a mommy's heart. I'm glad his body is healthy.  He can run, play, ride a bike, kick a ball, play an instrument, walk, skip.  I guess I just want to know that someday he will fall in love and she will love him back.  That she'll love him even though he doesn't always listen well.  That he might be hard to peel from the computer.  I hope she knows how much he loves her even though it seems like he loves other things more.  I know he really will care.  I hope he won't tell her how big her butt is if she's putting on some weight. I hope he'll understand he doesn't have to say everything he thinks in his mind.  I want to be a grandma to his kids, a mother-in-law to his wife, a mom that still is always there.  I just want to see him enjoy all aspects of life.  Is that too much to ask for?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Homefront in the Future Part 1

-This post is written by Chaz on his plans for a future game.

I want to make a new Homefront game when I grow up.  This is my idea.  I will make new guns and in the game a soldier finds a secret time machine.  The general and his army have complaints about them losing the war, so when the soldier found the secret time machine the general decided to go in the future and beat the enemy in the future.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Busy Moms Schooling Aspergers Kids

I am sorry that I have not updated much on this blog.  I can't even begin to tell you how busy it's been around here.  Well, let me try.....


First of all, I've had some major morning sickness with baby number 7 in my tummy.  I am 12 weeks along and they think it's possibly a girl but we are not sure.

Secondly, since being so sick I have greatly gotten behind on my house chores and I feel like with my house out of order, so are my thoughts.  :) You know how that is?  A cluttered house comes with a cluttered mind?  

Thirdly, we are smack dab in the middle of some serious homeschooling and that comes first above anything else.  My children's education is important and we will spend whatever time is needed to learn and stay on top of it. This is our top priority.

Chaz on Halloween 2011
Homeschooling Chaz has it's good days and it's bad days. Some days he's crying and crying and it's a miracle when we finally do finish.  Other days he is so focused we just fly right through it.  On he bad days I literally have to peel him off the floor and calm him down for up to an hour before we can even start.  His addiction to anything video (gaming or computer) takes first in his mind.  All he talks about is games and it's hard to shift his focus. This is why we allow no games until all homeschool and chores are finished.  For him, that's a great goal to have.  

I have started him back on his one cup of coffee a day to help him and it does seem to calm him down.  I need to remember to do this every day.  Does anyone else homeschool their Aspergers child?  Do you do your own or use a program?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Being a Mom to an Aspergers Kid

I cried a lot today.  Anytime I tried to talk about why I was sad it just sent me back into sobbing again.  I hadn't cried this hard in a really long time.

I started K12 for three out of four of my kids schooling at home.  Chaz doesn't do so well in a large classroom setting.  Well, it was so great over the summer but when we started K12, Chaz regressed quickly.  Today he was  on the floor rolling around, screaming and crying.  He is 11 years old but was acting more like a young child would.  Maybe like a 5 year old.  He cried till he passed out on the chair.  I didn't have the heart to wake him up and force him to keep schooling when he was just at his limit.  When I say limit I mean LIMIT.  He had been doing so well but since using K12, he regressed and was getting violent again.  Because it took so long to use that program, we were hardly having time to school my daughter Ivy in Kindergarten.

I was just sad because it broke my heart to see Chaz like this.  To see him regressing and going backwards when he was doing so well.  I was just hoping that as Chaz got older he would.... I don't know... maybe grow out of the Aspergers issues.  Do you know what I mean?  Like maybe it's been my imagination.  Maybe we were wrong.  But then we have days like this and it just lays me flat emotionally.  I don't want to see my son struggle like this.  I long to see him have friends, be able to talk normal with other kids, not have looks from people.  Sigh.  I just want to see my boy grow up and do normal things.  

Sigh.  I know I'm sighing a lot.  I hope someone understands what I mean. I LOVE Chaz for who he is.  I just want to know that he's gonna be okay when he's grown up and out of my house.  I will never, ever push Chaz out of my house when he's 18.  He's my son and I'll make sure he takes care of himself and will continue to be there for him as long as I can.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fun Incentives for Schooling Kids with #Aspergers

These last few days I've been talking with K12 and they do have a program for your special needs child.  They will be assigned a teacher than specifically works with your child's IEP plan and will modify the work around what he can handle.  That is VERY good news.  What only his teachers know about him, is it's hard to keep him on task and he will try to give up before he even really begins.  He tends to assume he can't do it as soon as he sees the first question on the assignment.  

Today he was working on his Spanish lesson and he flew through it in no time flat. You know why?  Because they made it fun and he got rewards as he worked.  In the beginning you have an avatar that you get to create.  As you complete your lessons you earn "money".  This money can buy you items for your avatar.  He so much wanted to make his avatar look cool that he did about 3 days worth of lessons and did them very well. OHHHH, if only they could do this with every lesson.  Chaz LOVES having positive reinforcement like this.  This was right down Chaz's alley.  Really, this idea works fantastic for lots of kids.  :D

HINT, HINT to K12


Friday, August 5, 2011

Trying to Find Cause of Pain

Chaz is still having pain in his abdomen after his surgery so we are back again for an ultrasound.  Its been hard for him because the pain is so random.  Oddly, the doctor mentioned that his pain is pretty common for kids with Aspergers.  He gets a lot of Aspergers kids in his office.  He said he would give Chaz some medicine for him but the side effect is a possible stroke.  Eek!  I said no thank you.  However, he is still unsure because of the type of pain.  Have any of your children experienced this?



Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hesitantly... K12 It Is

I will need my fix of Diet Dr Pepper daily.  Haha
Chaz is 11 and I'd love to share my letter written to him!  Click HERE to visit our family blog.

Also, I have some news.  Chaz will be schooling at home through K12!  I didn't originally want to use that program because of how much work they put on kids but had no choice since the other program I use is too costly.  HOWEVER, he would be assigned a special ed teacher that will modify things for him according to what he can handle.  That is a HUGE blessing.  I am schooling my other 3 kids at home also along with taking care of the two younger babies.  So my hands will be incredibly full with six kids, caring for my household and schooling.  I might not be able to post every day but I will always try to answer any questions.  :D

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Will be Back!

Hi!  I had to take a break for a bit from my Aspergers blogging but when school starts next week I'll have a lot more time on my hands. Right now caring for 9 little ones!  :D

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Please Help My Son to Quit Screeching!

Question:
 Hi, I have a 3 1/2 year old son and hes recently been diagnosed by 2 different doctors. And we are now working on getting him some help. I was wondering if anyone had any advice for me to help my son to quit his constant screaming/screeching.




Thoughts from a mom:

Hope today is going better for you. Autism isn't an easy fix problem. There are so many triggers, so many solutions. Some help with some, but not others. I have trained my autistic daughter to go to her room and cry it out. I try to work with her as much as possible, but sometimes I don't think they know what is setting them off. I think once they are in a "rage" it just needs to run it's course, as long as they aren't hurting themselves or someone else. Sometimes my daughter wants to be held tightly... other times I can't touch her at all. She will come out of her room and say, "I'm happy now!"


The best solution is trying to find out what causes most breakdowns and prevent it. Watch diet, Cod Liver Oil (vitacost has best price on Carlson which is good ... want 500mg of DHA a day) helps with moods, check stimuli.


Get yourself some support and try and get a break every now and then if possible. A great board for autism support http://www.autism-pdd.net/forum/default.…

Hang in there!!
From a Mother of 5, mom to one of PPDNOS and one autistic

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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Can You See Signs of Autism in Newborns?

I found this really, really interesting short clip and wanted to share with you.  What do you think?  I think it's worth a shot and early intervention is so important.



IF you can't see video go HERE.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Difficulties in Diagnosing #Autism in Girls

I have a friend that so desperately needs her daughter to be able to have therapy.  However, to get the help she needs, her daughter needs an official diagnosis.  I do know that it's harder to diagnose in the toddler stages because it's not as obvious.  However, her daughter is now 5 and still is very limited in her speech.  She also has the classic signs of Autism.  My heart goes out to her because a diagnosis is needs to start getting the help you need.  Especially through insurance.  Seeing her get the run around year after year is frustrating to watch.

If anyone has any advice, I'm open to it and I will pass along to her.  

In the meantime I happen to run into this article about the difficulties in Diagnosing Autism in Girls.

The symptoms of Asperger syndrome look slightly different in girls than in boys, according to a study published earlier this month in Research in Developmental Disabilities. This study and a spate of other recent ones suggest that with available diagnostic tests, higher-functioning girls with autism are being diagnosed either later than boys, or are altogether missed.

Go HERE to read full article!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Journey in Learning about Aspergers

Looking back.....

Often I forget the past and how far Chaz has come so I'll look back on old post that are in my family blog before I created this one.  I tagged some posts "Aspergers Syndrome" so I could link it here. Forgive me if some of my writing is not accurate in information.  I was very new to the term Aspergers and knew very little about it.  I would love to share my journey with you.

Click HERE to read posts tagged with Aspergers Syndrome from Chaz's early days of being diagnosed.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

When Aspergers Kids Long for Friendship

Saying goodbye to his friends in the special needs classroom.
This was the last time he truly ever felt accepted by his peers.
Some days I think my son's High Functioning Aspergers is my imagination.  That's thing about it.  It's not always super obvious.  There will be really great days where I think "Are people right?  Have I just ruined my son's life by pinning this on him?"  Then there will be really, really bad days where I'm shocked by his immaturity, screaming, tantrums, and his emotional breakdowns.  He's 10 years old and my 9 year old son acts waaaaay older than him.  Even my 7 year old acts older.  Sometimes I wake up to him crying about a video game and pacing.  I will have to take the controllers and put them up till he calms down.  It usually takes about an hour.

I'm in the middle of reading Lonely Girl, Gracious God and it makes me tear up almost every single chapter.  It's about a mother's journey of raising a daughter with Autism but not finding out exactly what was going on till years later.  The feelings fear, doubt, disbelief, loneliness, sadness.  Although what she has went through is 100 times harder than what I've experienced, I guess I've cried so much reading it because on some level I can understand. You JUST want the best for your kid.  A normal life with good possibilities and stability.  Is that too much to ask for?

Lonely Girl, Gracious God: A Mother's Story of Autism's Devastation and God's Promise of Enduring LoveIn one chapter of the book she talks about her daughter's loneliness and wanting friends.  That part made me cry because I know that's how Chaz feels at times.  Thank God he has siblings to play with him and they are all around his age because I had them pretty close together.  Recently Chaz told me that he doesn't want to be in a mainstream classroom anymore.  He wants to be in a special needs classroom. "What??" was my reply.  WHY?  Chaz went on to tell me that he wants friends.  He has NO friends at all.  Every time he passes by the special needs classroom all the kids know him and shout out his name.  Chaz LOVES it.  That's what he longs for is just acceptance and friendship.  I'm going to tell him yes even though I was so happy my son was in a mainstream classroom the last few years.  I guess my heart breaks a little (a lot) because I know that it's one thing to be in special needs when you're in Kindergarten.  It's another in 5th grade.  Kids are more aware of the differences.  

Chaz wants friendship so special needs classroom it'll be.  Thankfully it's with the higher functioning so Chaz won't regress.  He tends to copy behavior so it's important that he's with kids at his level.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Problem with Video Game Obsession

Since getting the Xbox 360 Kinect, Chaz has been really struggling again with his obsession.  The good thing is that he has to share it with his other siblings.  But when it's not his turn, he walks in circles till he plays again.  H's back to being reduced to tears within seconds.  He's having trouble sleeping again at night and wakesup with the light to get a chance to see his game again.

Sigh.

Watching that is hard for me.  I encourage him constantly to play with his siblings but all he can talk about is his game when he is with them.  Video games is his one obsession and to the point that he won't eat.  I know it's summer time and his schedule is out of wack.  Once school starts he'll have to be physically away from it.

Don't get me wrong, I don't keep the games on all day but he does have other siblings that want a turn if they can pry it from his tight hands.  Or I'll make everyone get out of the house.  Like walk the mall.  But then when we're there I can see Chaz's hands wringing and the only thing he can talk about is games. Sometimes we have to tell him that we need a break from talking about games and so it's hard for him to make conversation.

Stuff like this makes me sad.  It's SO hot here in the summer time so I can't tell them to all go play outside. We stay indoors when the heat gets unsafe. Gosh, when I was little I could ride my bike all over the neighborhood and even ride over to the community pool. These days I can't do that so my kids are stuck inside more often.  I love having my kids home with me but something they get so incredibly bored and games help relieve the boredom.

Do video games affect your Aspergers or Adhd child in this way?

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Do Video Games Worsen Symptoms of Aspergers Syndrome?

I know video games in general can be an obsession with kids.  I was doing a little research on the subject. One site said there wasn't a link with Aspergers.  Another site did mention something really interesting.  This is what they said.

Unhealthy Addiction?
The more time a person spends playing video games, researchers found, the more likely they are to show three specific traits usually associated with Asperger's syndrome: neuroticism and a lack of extraversion and agreeableness.  Read more....



How much is too much for any kid?  Aspergers kids?  I do notice Chaz is extremely emotional when he plays too much video games. It is hard in the summer here because it gets so incredibly hot that it's unsafe to play outside.  That means we get stuck indoors quite a lot.  My kids tend to drift towards the video game rooms more than anything else.


2 questions I have:

  • Do you think video games worsen the symptoms of Aspergers Syndrome?


  • Have you created any sort of schedule for you child on how often he/she plays?  Do you let them just play whenever?


Friday, June 17, 2011

Starting Sensory Therapy Book Review

Can order at Future Horizons.
By Bonnie Arnwine
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 132
$19.95

Over 140 fun activities for kids with sensory issues.  This can be used for the home and for the classroom.  The activities in this book exercise a child's seven sensory "muscles" -the visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, oral, vestibular, and proprioceptive senses.  

What a GREAT book with so many fun activities. What is neat about it is that kids are having fun WHILE exercising their senses.  

The first chapter explains what Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is.  We have five senses:


*Vision
*Hearing
*Touch
*Smell
*Taste

Two Senses we may not be familiar with are:

*Vestibular
*Proprioceptive

Example: What is a Sensory Modulation Disorder?
It causes a person's body to misinterpret the nature and intensity of sensory information he or she receives from the environment.  One or more of a person's senses may be over- or underresponsive to sensory information.  This can also cause a person to crave or seek our sensory stimulation.

The first chapter is dedicated to helping you understand the disorder and even includes a list of codes to take to your insurance to see what they cover for therapy!  How simple is that?  It also lets you know what some common sensory IEP services include. I can't tell you though. You'll have to get the book. :D

The rest of the book is dedicated to providing your own therapy right at home with simple and everyday items we have right here.  

Exercises are: Tactile Activities, No-Cook Cooking, Fun Feely Stuff, Gross-Motor Activities, Movement Songs, Activities for Bilateral Motor Coordination, Visual Activities, Oral-Motor Activities, and more!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Temple Grandin: The Movie

I finally got a chance to see the movie about Temple Grandin.  All I can say is WOW!!!  I'm impressed!  Sure there are tough things with having Aspergers but this movie helped me see what a gift it can be!  I truly loved the movie and if you get a chance, definitely see it.  I'll include a trailer if you haven't heard anything about it.


I'm just so impressed with not only her mom but in the fact that Temple Grandin just kept opening new doors.  Allowing herself to be uncomfortable to open another door, and another, and another.  Instead of letting Aspergers keep her in the comforts of her home, she went out and gave a gift to the world.
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