*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*

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Visual Homeschool Curriculum

Chaz on computer
On a previous post I was thinking about having my son Chaz try K12 at home.  He's used a different  program before but once he hit 3rd grade, that program mirrored K12 in something I don't like.  I did some research on K12 and something HUGE stood out to me. There is LOT of reading.  At least this how the complaints I have got from many other parents that have used it. I'm still researching it and looking at sample lessons.  I research everything to death so it might take me a bit before I decide. :)

Here is something BIG that I was excited about.  My friend and her family lived in South Africa for a few years and her kids attended a British school.  There they use lots of visuals for teaching.  Here in the USA its mostly lots of reading and worksheets. Her boys excelled in the British school and are now failing in the schools here in the states.  Boys do learn well with visuals. Can you imagine even more so with Aspergers kids?  That HUGE!  Well, they tried K12 but she got the same results.  Lots and lots of reading.

She found this website at www.freeworldu.org
The curriculum is taught via flashcards that break subjects down into small, easily assimilated fact units. The flashcards are presented through a program that remembers what each student has learned and what they need to keep working on.

Since using this free program for her son, his grades are improving drastically.  Get this.  She is having to catch him up 3 grades.  Our schools just kept passing him on to the next even though he was failing.  Now he is in 6th grade but having to go back and learn from 3rd grade on.  Because he does well with visuals, he is quickly getting caught up through the FreeWorldU program.

My daughters Ashley and Ivy

Here is the reason I love being a part of Asperger Moms on Facebook.   A friend posted this article called:

A family who has an autistic child will realize quickly that the public school system rarely benefits the autistic child. Some parents feel they have no other choice but to send their autistic child to public school and just hope for the best. However, the best is to simply homeschool your autistic child. There are so many reasons why you should do this, but the following three reasons are incredibly important and will allow you to see amazing progress in your child..... click HERE to read more.

If you are homeschooling your Aspergers child at home I would love your thoughts on what programs worked and which ones not so well.  Please leave a comment here.  :) 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Explaining Aspergers Syndrome to a Child

What is Asperger syndrome?

Asperger syndromeChildren with Asperger syndrome can think well and learn about lots of things as easily as other children, but they have problems:
  • when they try to communicate with others
  • with social skills
  • with their behaviour.
Asperger syndrome is sometimes called an 'Autism spectrum disorder' because in some ways it is a bit like autism.

People all the time ask me, "Well exactly are the signs of Aspergers Syndrome?"
Here is a basic list.
Signs and symptoms
A "syndrome" is a pattern of signs and symptoms that doctors can see in many different people. Here is a list of symptoms of Asperger Syndrome. Not every person with Asperger Syndrome has every symptom.

People with Asperger Syndrome:
  • may be sensitive to touch or loud noise
  • may be clumsy when walking and/or playing sports
  • may have trouble understanding other people's emotions.
  • may have trouble recognizing facial expressions.
  • may have trouble understanding when someone is joking or using language that is not accurate in meaning.
  • may often have a loud voice, a very quiet voice, or a voice that does not express emotion (a "monotonous" voice)
  • often do not like changes in school, work, and home life routines
  • may learn to speak very early or very late
  • often learn to read very early or very late
  • may have trouble making friends
  • may have trouble understanding what other people are thinking
  • are often bullied in school
  • as children, might look shorter and younger than the average for their age
  • often have extremely good memory
  • often have a strong interest or hobby such as a computer game, sport statistics, or a TV show
  • may have difficulty understanding or not be interested in pretend play
  • may move in repetitive ways

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wanna See The Coolest Earmuffs for Kids Ever?

 Click HERE to purchase
I'm really excited to tell you about these.  AND NO, I'm not getting paid to write about this.  I just really love them and want to share!

A few weeks ago I started doing a search on ear muffs for kids. Do you know how many I found for kids specifically?  Uh.... not very many.  At least that wasn't just for looking cutesy in the cold season.  I needed something for my son that literally could give him the silence he needed even if all my kids (well, there are 6 total) are crying in our van.  I envisioned Chaz just putting these on when he needed some quiet. Chaz is sensitive to noise and tends to panic when it gets to be too much.  When he is put in the quiet, it calms him down.  These are good for so many reasons I could go on and on.  Well, maybe I should.  Even if your child isn't experiencing Sensory Issues, there I plenty of other times it's great to protect their little ears.  I'm 31 and I've already had some hearing loss.

My son Chaz wearing Peltor Kid Ear Muffs
I am ADHD and have some sensory issues.  Even with the ADHD alone, I've asked Chaz if I could borrow these (to be polite since he loves them) so that I could write and close myself off from any noises that distract me.  I love to write but any little noise tends to throw my thoughts into a scramble. Imagine the work you could get done when you have noises going on all around.  Yes, they have really, really awesome earplugs you can check out too.  I know I'll be picking up some of these for myself so I can give Chaz back his ear muffs.  Heh heh.  I'm even gonna buy the pink earmuffs for my daughter to help her.  Everyone in this family tries to borrow Chaz's earmuffs!

I can't forget to tell you that these are of excellent quality and you won't have to worry about how long they'll last.

Peltor Kid Quality Headband Style Earmuffs Features and Specifications:
  • Noise reduction rating of 22 NRR -- Just right, to give your child adequate noise protection, to be quiet enough to sleep during events, and still let her hear you when you speak to her.
  • Fully Adjustable -- Fits babies well under a year old all the way up to smaller adults, and the adjustments stay where you put them!
  • Ideal clamping force -- Tight enough to provide the necessary seal, but gentle enough for maximum comfort, even on very young children.
  • Blue or Pink -- Traditional baby colors in the USA.
  • Soft, effective ear seals -- Perfectly sized for very young children, with a soft, smooth vinyl covering that is gentle to your child's head while providing the acoustic seal needed for effective noise protection.
  • Light Weight -- At just 8 ounces, Peltor Kid Earmuffs are comfortable enough for the little guys.
  • Proudly Made in the USA

From the President of the company:

"As a parent of a child with autism, I have also become aware that many people have hearing sensitivities that make everyday life a serious challenge. My son had difficulty sitting in a busy classroom with lots of sensory input, so he regularly wore earmuffs during school hours. They were bulky and not very cool for a 10-year-old kid who was already having a hard enough time fitting in with his peers -- but the earmuffs were a solution that worked. They allowed him to tolerate not only his classroom, but also his sister's soccer games, and even our town's Fourth of July parades."

SilentEar Reusable Ear Plugs

You can read more HERE.

I've had several friends on my Asperger Moms facebook that wanted to me talk more about these so I'm excited show you.  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How Bullying Breaks the Spirit

When my kids come to me about bullying at school.  I listen.

I remember what it felt like to go to school, to have the staring. the jeers, to have my life be threatened.  It hurt real bad.  It wasn't because of my hair or my clothes. But for my faith.

I am sitting in the middle of my sisters
 I was raised Christian and my parents decided early on to not have a TV in our house.  People blamed it on our religion but many Christians have TV's.  My parents just decided they had seen enough and didn't want that influence in our life. Well, that went out along with FM radio.  Back then, everything we cared to listen to was on the AM station.  Christian radio and News talk.  I loved Christian radio and really didn't have any desire to to listen to what I had to hear on my bus rides to and from school.  The bus driver wanted to make everyone happy  by letting them listen to whatever they liked. The music was full of sex and violence. It wasn't appealing to me but actually made me cringe.

Elementary school was great.  I had friends, was popular, was the type that always pulled the new kids to me so they'd feel comfortable.  Life was good.  Then we moved.  I was the new kid and that's when it started.  The bullying, the hurtful words. The new girl was up for bullying. Later, the more boys showed me they liked me and gave me attention, the more the girls turned on me.  I always told the boys I was taken.  It was partially true.  My daddy had my heart and I didn't need a boy to give me that attention.

Once I reached middle school the bullying escalated and got worse. Word got out that I didn't have a TV and couldn't listen to whatever on the radio. It made it worse when we had to do TV reports.  Whatever happened to book reports?  Why couldn't I do that?  I still love book reports.  ;)  I was a book worm and my sisters and I could be found hiding under our blankets at night with a flashlight to finish a book.  Pretty soon the principal found out I didn't have a TV so they decided I was abused and needed to see the school counselor.  It started to creep in my head that maybe I DID have it really bad.  I SHOULD feel sorry for myself.  The bullying escalated and now I feared coming to school.  I was a freak and it grew worse as boys started to show more attention.

My favorite years in elementary school
Then to make matters worse, at the end of 8th grade I found out I had flunked.  Flunked 8th grade?  How?  The school said I did however and had to repeated it.  By the second year of 8th grade I had lost my love of learning.  I used to be an honor roll student and I began to just let things slide.  I felt really stupid.  I loved music class however and enjoyed playing the flute, piccolo, alto sax, and the tenor sax.  My grades soared with music.  But as soon as I walked out of that class and into the groups of students walking around, my shoulders slouched.  By the end of my second year of 8th grade I couldn't take it anymore and I had to question the office as to why I had to repeat 8th grade.  Their response?  "What?  Let me see the records.  Oh, you should have never repeated the 8th grade.  That was a mistake.  Why didn't you say something?"  Argh. I had it.  I had it with bullying, the teachers who were insulting, the boys who constantly asked me out and gave me attention that only brought me trouble, and I had it with school in general.

High school began. New school, new teachers, new principal, new students.  This was gonna be a new year.  I was gonna sit back, dress down to keep the boys away, and just try to stay off the radar as much as possible. That lasted about 1 month.  Old bullies from the school previous added some friends to their group. New girls.  Boys once again started asking me out and even to the prom.  The prom?  I was only a freshman. The bullying started again and I dreaded each time the bell rang to switch classes. My stomach knotted.  I felt sick. In the mornings I threw up and started to get rashes from stress.  Then the rumors began that I was probably pregnant. When no pregnant tummy showed after a few months the rumors spread that I had an abortion.  Had an abortion? I haven't even kissed a boy!  Don't take me wrong.  I was boy crazy.  But I was always taught that sex was saved for marriage and boys at that age were certainly not looking for marriage.  Neither was I.  I knew I was gonna marry a Christian boy no matter what.  My faith brought me even more trouble when word got out that I was a virgin.  Now derogatory names were thrown out and a new challenge began.  The football team had a bet to see who could seduce me first.  One day I found myself surrounded by the entire football team in a confined locker area.  One of the boys on the team walk up to me and cornered me.  I look up and there is the couch with a sick grin on his face. The boy tries to grab me so I kicked him where it hurt a boy and ran.  One day a boy runs up to me and warns me not to walk past a certain alley.  He said he was listening to a group of boys and they had planned to meet me in the alley I walked past.

I had it. As much as I loved learning growing up, that desire was gone for me.  My grades were failing and all I could do was just try to survive. In class the teacher topped the cake by saying "What?  Are you stupid or something?"  I walked out.  I was done with school.  I begged my dad to let me homeschool myself. I cried and told him that I feared going to school everyday.  He conceded and let me try.  However, at 15, paying my way for this program was out of my budget.  I found a job as a hostess for Souper Salad and it was only part time.  Even with the good grades homeschooling myself I had to drop out.

I thought again about my education and not quitting.  It had been a couple of months so I called my highschool back up and asked if I could try school once again. "Nope, too late."  I cried and cried.  My hopes of a high school graduation was gone. After about a month I decided that I needed  to at least get my GED from a college.  In order to do that, I had to get tested.  I had only finished my freshman year of high school.  They would need to test where I was at and start tutoring me from there.  After I took the evaluation, a man called me up and said he needed me in to go over my results.  When I arrived, a short man with glasses sat me down at a table and opened his folder. He said the test I took was of all levels of high school.  He was surprised I had only finished my freshman year because I scored at a senior level.  He said my scores were so high that they didn't want me to go through the classes and asked if instead I wanted to be personally tutored for the senior year.  I was ecstatic!  I privately tutored for a couple of months and then took the GED exam.  I passed with flying colors and they asked if I would attend their college because they were excited of my scores.

My dad and I May of  2007
I still longed to have a regular high school experience so I tried to call the school again and see if it was still too late. "What?  No you can't come back.  You could have but because you went and got a GED you can't go back to high school."  Once again I cried my eyes out.  My heart was broken.  What would I tell my kids someday?  That I was a quitter?  Why had the first lady told me I couldn't go back and now someone else says something different.  I had ruined my chance by getting the GED.

I had no idea what I wanted to do at that point so I started with computers in college just to get a feel on how to use it.  Remember, back then for me, Windows and Office were fairly new.  To get a job, this was a good skill to have in 1995.  While working and going to college I put myself through college for awhile.  I enjoyed it.

Do you know what I enjoyed the most about college?  The maturity.  This was a community college.  I was the youngest in my class and the age range went all the way up to the 60's roundabout.  Not once was I bullied, pushed around, punched, threatened, humiliated in any way.  Once again my love of learning came back and my grades soured.  I looked forward to my half hour bus ride to college everyday.

Joy comes in the morning
I didn't tell you all this to make you feel sorry for me.  I love my life, my family, my faith and my life is extremely full of wonderful blessing!  I can't believe all God has blessed me with.  My heart is full.  

I shared all that to say this.  When your child comes home and tells you about bullying, or feeling stupid. Listen.

Don't be afraid to confront a teacher. Believe me, even teachers bully and pick their favorites. It's sad but true.  I hated my piano class because the teacher never taught me anything.  He told sick jokes the entire time and played wastebasket basketball with the kids.  I was the kid alone in the other room practicing the whole hour on the piano.  I really wanted to learn.  That made me a freak.

Ryan, Kyle, Chaz 2009
Recently I noticed my one of my son's grades dropping drastically.  This son always is on the honor roll.  As soon as I peeked at his grades I took him aside. I asked him what was going on and really listened.  Not talked.  Just listened to everything on his heart.  Wiped away his tears.  Hugged him.  I told him that no matter what I loved him.  He was my boy and I told him about everything positive of him I could think of. And there is a lot.  He's an incredibly sweet boy that puts others above himself.

My son Chaz gets a different type of bullying because of his Aspergers Syndrome.  He doesn't shut down like Ryan and take it. Chaz starts yelling, throwing things and lands himself in the principal's office.

Each kid is different in how they deal with it.  If bullying isn't taken by the horns and dealt with, a kid can lose their love of learning. A potential that they would've had. Sometimes you even hear these stories of kids that freak out and shoot up a school.  I'm almost 100% sure at one time they were kids that just needed someone to stand in between them and a bully and say enough is enough.

Having a parent at home waiting with open arms and acceptance is a huge deal.  The whole school could be calling names and shouting jeers, but having a parent say "I love you.  You are smart, handsome/pretty, wonderful, fun to be around, a great heart, and you mean the world to me" can mend a broken heart.

I don't care if I have to meet every single day at my child's school to discuss a bullying issue, I will.  If it means my boys have every chance at learning and keeping their love of learning, then it's worth the hassle.

 Be the sunshine for your child when they come home with dark clouds hanging over them.  Be the rainbow that brings hope by speaking up for them at their school.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Schooling at Home, Public School, or Homeschooling?

What is your preference?

My son Ryan schooling at home

Lots of talk at home with my husband about what we are going to do next year.  Usually we homeschool but this next year we decided to do Schooling at Home instead.  It's getting everything you would get at a public school but just taking it home.  I know some are for only homeschooling but this seems the best option for my older two.  I love the accountability and also how I can make sure all the bases are covered in what they need to learn.  However, I won't be using this for my younger two.  I'm a big believer that little ones should be mostly focusing on their reading and writing.  K12 adds too much extra stuff and time to the little guys work load.  I think in order for little ones to succeed they need to really grasp the basics before moving forward.  (My personal opinion for my family).

Anyhoo, this is an Aspergers blog so let me point out why I am considering this for Chaz.  While doing some research on it, I found this:

Spotlight interview: Meeting the Challenge of Aspergers

He talks about how fitting his schooling around his schedule and when he was ready to work really gave him opportunities. He talked about how he needed breaks in between subjects.

I know for Chaz this is huge as he can get overwhelmed.  He did very well before schooling from home and actually, he had a lot less anxiety. He was way more calm in general.  When he comes home he's very hyper, anxious, and tends to have breakdowns more.  My boys have schooled at home for 2 years but this last year I had decided to try a charter school again.  Once again, I hated how many hours they were gone. They don't get home till 4pm and then they have homework.  Literally, they have about 1 1/2 of playtime if you fit in their own personal chores (which is pretty basic), dinner time, showers, etc.  I have nothing against what they are learning at school. I just don't agree with them keeping my kids all day and then sending more work home with them.  They already get up at 6:45am and then come home around 4pm, then do homework will 5pm.  It's overwhelming for any kids but if you throw Aspergers in the mix, it's not always a good thing.  

We are pretty set in our plans for the next schooling year but I'd love to hear what works for your family.  Schooling at home? Homeschooling? Or public/charter/private school?

Friday, February 18, 2011

"Unexpected Journey" Book Giveaway!

Contest Ended.  Winners of a signed copy of Unexpected Journey: Ashley and Arlene!  

I've been so, so lucky to be able to meet people on Facebook through my Asperger Moms profile.  It's been completely amazing.  I just thought maybe I'd find a few people going through what I've experienced and I was just flooded with friend requests from people with Aspergers or has a loved one with Aspergers.  Through all this I was so happy to meet Cindi Ferrini.  She wrote a book called Unexpected Journey.  It's about her own personal journey.

The really AWESOME and cool thing is that she is **GIVING AWAY** not one but two signed books to my readers.  You can have three separate entries by doing these things and leaving separate comments about each of them.....

  • Write anything in the comment section to Cindi that you would like.  An encouraging word, question about the book, something about your own experience. 
  • Post about this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter (@amazinsix, please follow!) and leave me your link about giveaway.
  • Become a follower of this blog! (If you are already a follower, that is still an extra entry)
Please leave me a way to reach you if I pick your name or you can email me at aspergermoms@yahoo.com .  :)

Will pick a name randomly on Friday, February 25 at 3pm. USA only please

Joe and Cindi were married in 1979, have raised three children, and speak nationally for Familylife Weekend to Remember Marriage Conferences. Joe is a semi-retired dentist - in practice for over 30 years; Cindi founded Creative Management Fundamentals - seminars on life and time management. They serve together as associate staff with Campus Crusade for Christ They have lived their "unexpected journey" in the Cleveland, OH area.

How did you handle the news that you were going to have a child with special needs? 

Our son was born after a very long and difficult labor. He looked perfect but had a large and misshaped head, which we attributed to the difficult labor; however, the shape and size never went back to what one might consider “normal.” We began to think Joey’s large head was what kept him from being able to hold his head up on his own. But that simple milestone took a very long time, and we were also noticing how far behind he was in all early developmental milestones. 

Each of us had different defining moments when we said, “Something isn’t right with Joey’s development.” For Joe, it was noticing “that look” in a person’s eyes that he often saw in dental patients who had special needs – but now he was seeing it in Joey’s eyes. For Cindi, it was seeing the children of friends who were much younger than Joey - far surpassing him in sitting up, crawling, etc. 

We both handled the news with denial at first. But as time went on, and he wasn’t improving, we struggled with anger and grief. It was such a feeling of hopelessness for both of us.

You can read more about her interview she had with Start Your Family  HERE and see articles, video, and interviews HERE.

Unexpected Journey – When Special Needs Change Our Course

Can order HERE

Some 54 million people (20.6%) in the USA have some level of disability (one with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities). With 26 million labeled as having a severe dis­ability, we saw a need to address the needs of those caring for anyone with special needs. Caregivers have ex­pressed the frustration that people in their lives (family, friends, coworkers) simply don’t “get” what they are dealing with.

Unexpected Journey – When Special Needs Change Our Course gives the reader a glimpse into the lives of those giving full-time care and attention to one with special needs; educates family and friends to the 24/7 journey that caregivers travel; offers full-time caregivers (those sacrificing their lives to care for others full time) hope and help for the long journey. Running the course of caring for a son with special needs and parents in their declining years, we’re here to say, “You can make it!”
Each chapter is patterned with several thought provoking scenarios, Our Story (sharing our story), Others’ Stories (thoughts and real life examples from others), and Your Story – for the readers’ thoughts to be recorded. Helpful check lists include: questions often unanswered (i.e.: Why did this happen?), how to ask for help, how others can offer help, warning signs of stress, and more. Readers have appreciated that it is written in small segments - since it’s likely the only way someone caring full time for another person will be able to read it.

*****Parts From Preface*****

Writing this book was not necessarily something we thought we’d do. After all, we’ve lived it once; we didn’t want to go through it all again. The first time was hard enough!

We saw a need for a book “out there” to address the needs of those caring for anyone with special needs. As we speak around the country and share parts of our story, people tell us they’ve been looking for help and hope in the midst of a situation that is never-ending and always demanding. People we meet express the frustration that other people in their lives (family, friends, coworkers) simply don’t “get” what they are dealing with. We’ve been there and certainly understand.

While on the phone with a long-time friend and in the midst of getting our special needs son ready for his shower, our friend said, “Oh, you have to help Joey shower?” This friend of over twenty-five years was surprised at our role and responsibilities. It wasn’t her fault. We seldom talked about it because most people (and I’m not saying this of our friend) don’t care. They see us do what we do and figure it’s really no big deal because we “make it look easy.” The truth is that it’s not easy; it takes every ounce of energy, patience, and endurance we are given. It’s demanding and grueling and often thankless. But our friend asked the right question to get us rolling on this book.

Sharing with others what we are going through is like visiting the Grand Canyon. We’ve been there, and we can tell others what we saw, the vastness of the expanse, the beauty of the colors in the rock formations, fabulous sunrises or sunsets, and the grandeur. But unless others experience it as we have, they will likely never quite get the view. A photo gives an idea of what the Grand Canyon looks like, but unless they’ve walked in our shoes, stood on the edge of the wide-open space, and taken in how “big” it is, they can’t experience it. Neither a picture nor conversation can capture the ten-mile width, 277-mile length or one-mile depth. Only experiencing the adventure will allow others to know what it’s really like. If they were to say to us, “So, what’s the big deal? It’s just a big hole in the ground!” that would be insulting. We’ve just experienced a place that is like no other, and to summarize it away in a simple statement does it no justice.

We all face daily challenges: Some people are challenged by algebra, some by finances, and others by relationship issues to name a few. But all caregivers face similar challenges. This book addresses the challenges they encounter every day (yes, every day) as they give up their dreams, their free time, and sometimes relationships and careers in order to care for another.

Having read reviews of other books written within the special needs community, we found that readers had difficulty finding a book that had “the answers.” It’s true that one book won’t give everyone all the answers. It’s also true that no book will give any one of us what we want—a cure so that the person we are caring for can live a healthy, happy life. No single book will work for each of us because every special needs person is different from the next, and every caregiver, family, school, medical facility, community, church, and circle of friends and support is as different as the one being cared for.

For that reason, we have chosen not to write a technical work but to touch the heart with hope, not to give medical or legal advice but to help shape the thinking process when it comes to various issues and to be informative, practical, helpful, and hopeful by reaching all readers right where they stand.

If you are looking for a cure or an answer to change everything at once (or at all), this book isn’t for you. If you need to be encouraged for today and to make it until tomorrow and maybe get a few ideas to help lighten your load for the long haul of the journey, then this will be just what you need. If you’ve been wishing you could share what you deal with on a day-to-day basis with others, then this is the book you’ll want them to read. We want to help you gain a healthy perspective that will allow you to go the distance when the distance cannot be marked or calculated. It’s not a sprint but a marathon with no end and no medal. We hope you’ll share it with others when you feel you can’t articulate what you are going through. We know we couldn’t verbalize some things to family or friends, but we have said them here, so others will, we hope, understand the frustrations as well as the joys of caring for people with special needs.

We’ve come to realize that normal or typical simply does not exist for us. Our specific journey has taken on many facets of color and design in order for us to experience all there is to this life. Normal is only a matter of perspective, and when caring for someone with special needs, our normal looks different from other people’s normal. Once we get into our normal, well, it becomes normal to us! May we all be patient until we find what normal looks like in our individual lives.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Keeping Chaz Impossibly Still

What does it take to keep Chaz laid out?  The only thing would be surgery!  That boy wakes up with a lot of energy and has a difficult time going to bed every night.  Chaz has been having a lot of pain in his private area.  We took him in and discovered why.  He needed to have a Meatoplasty done because he had meatal Stenosis.

What is a meatal Stenosis?
Meatal stenosis is a narrowing of the urethral opening at the tip of the penis. It interferes with the normal urinary stream and toilet trained boys often feel pressure prior to urinating. (In Chaz's case was causing him terrible pain daily and he would curl in a ball from it.)
What Can I Expect from Surgery?
To correct meatal stenosis, the surgeon will make the urinary opening at the tip of the penis slightly larger. The inside of the urethra is sutured to the glans (tip of the penis). These sutures are absorbable and do not need to be removed.

  So my family and I took him to have a surgery done to fix it.  I told Chaz that they are forcefully going to put him to sleep and also give him an epidural.  He has such a hard time falling asleep every night that he couldn't believe they were gonna be able to force him to sleep.  Well, he couldn't eat once it was 10pm so he ate as much as he could.  We had the kids sleep in their clothes so we could just pull them out of bed and put them right into the van in the morning.

Caleb waking up Ashley
Then I had to follow Chaz to make sure he didn't drink any water.  The last time he had surgery was when he was two and I remember how hard he cried because he couldn't have a drink.  He couldn't understand why mommy wouldn't help him . That broke my heart. Anyway, then we headed there with everyone except for 2 kids that were at school.  Charles met us there so one of us could be with the kids.  He chose to stay with the kids.  I'm pretty sure I know why. ;)  Umm... I think it was making him a little queasy thinking about where Chaz was getting surgery.

Chaz and Charles

There were so many other people there and even little kids that were getting surgery for one thing or another.  Man, some of these guys just go through so much.  One boy was going to have hearing in one of his ears for the first time.  THAT would be interesting.  Another couple were fighting with each other with their little kid sitting in the middle.  My little toddlers were getting extremely agitated having to sit for so long. 

Caleb climbs anything and everything
Finally, out of desperation I changed the channel on the TV to Disney Junior for cartoons.  That helped for a bit.  Finally they called Chaz back into another room to wait and explain everything.  Chaz got to put this outfit on.  Then I told him that he has to wear that to school.  He said, "No way!"  LOL.  

Chaz wanted me to take his picture today
I have to be honest, I'm a little worried about how he's supposed to stay laid out all day.  Can he?  This boy has enough energy to hand out to others if he could.  I couldn't stay in with him in the process (phew) and so I left and waited.  I'm glad because what if I yelped or something and the dr's hand slipped?  Yeah.  That would be terrible for the area they were working on.

After surgery

I waited to take a picture with Chaz looking better after surgery.  He might of been embarrassed of the first because it looked like he got hit really hard or something.  When he woke up he said, "My gosh!  What did they do to me?"  He started to panic when he realized he couldn't move his legs.  He tried and tried even with the nurses telling him to stop.  But the look on his face was shock because he thought he wouldn't ever be able to walk again.  :D  They told him to stop because he might poop his pants trying.  I told the nurses it's gonna be hard to keep this boy down for a couple of days.  When he woke up, the first thing he said was, "Can you take me to Gamestop to buy a new game?"  

That's Chaz for ya!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chaz's Diary & Explanation for Detention

I saw this Diary in Chaz's room and I asked his permission to share it here. He said yes and I thought it was adorable.

Chaz got written up at school and he explains why:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Five Ideas for Successful Celebrations: Management Strategies Throughout the Year

  1. Simplify. Keep change to a minimum – reduce decorations, limit visitors, keep travel to a minimum.

  2. Themes Outside the Box. Pick party ideas that truly fit your child – night at the museum, movie night at home, or an environment you might rule out due to noise and chaos sometimes is a great success (think Chuck-E Cheese).

  3. Countdown the days. Use visual aides to show the day until the big event. (Go to Decorate Together for some ideas.)

  4. Photographic Memories. Take extra photos at holidays and birthdays with an eye toward using them the following year to remind your child of fun times and to prepare for changes. Photos can illustrate how the house looked when decorated for any holiday or how the room was rearranged for the Christmas tree.

  5. Detailed Schedules. Create a special schedule, especially for the winter holidays. On a plain calendar use pictures and simple words to show the schedule for the season. Include when you’ll put up (and take down) the tree, outings, school events, concerts, church, cookie baking, making decorations, and plans for visitors or travel.

This article is taken with permission from www.autismdigest.com, where readers can go online and, by signing in, can access free copies of the magazine’s eGuide, which is packed full of more information on holidays and gift giving for children on the spectrum.

Article amended to fit the present season of Valentine’s Day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Game Crazy Days

After talking with Chaz's principal, I've been looking for a coffee maker for their school.  I have a Keurig myself and I'd love to buy one for the school.  BUT, they are super expensive.  Their budget has absolutely no room for anything and they've even had to let people go.  Assistants and such.  So, I'm on the lookout to at least get one that does not require paper filters.  They are going to give Chaz a cup of coffee every morning when school starts to help calm down.

The principal asked me if Chaz likes games.  Does he?  DOES he?  He LOVES games!  He said that when he was walking with Chaz, he talked about it nonstop with no pause hardly to take a breath.

When Chaz wakes up in the morning he instantly talks about games, while he's getting ready, going potty, getting his shoes one, while getting his jacket on, all the way to the door and only stops when he's out of hearing distance.  I'm sure he gets on the bus and continues the discussion with someone else. LOL.

Sometimes Chaz really, really struggles at school and will shout out and disrupt the class.  Since Chaz LOVES games so much we are going use one for a prize that he works towards with good behavior and for finishing his work. He is super excited about the idea.

Yesterday he came home from school and asked, "I was good for one day so can I buy that game now?"

Me: "Um, Chaz, you have to do good for a bit longer than a day".

Chaz: "3 days?"

Me: "More like 2 weeks!"

Chaz: "Awwww.....that's really hard."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Focus on Autism and Asperger's Syndrome

After talking with my son's principal, I have been looking into ordering some videos that might help explain Aspergers. So many schools are in this same position of having questions and needing some answers. It's not a matter of whether they care, they do, but as parents, we can pull together and provide the materials needed. If they are willing to work with our kids, the least we can do is meet them in the middle and give them the necessary materials.

Here is a good start. A huge list of DVD's you can purchase for your school to educate teachers and even students on Aspergers/Autism/SPD.

Future Horizons Resources DVDs and CDs

Here is also another suggestion of a friend that bought this for her school:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Team Peter: Needs Funding Badly

Patti has a new update about Peter on her blog. The news is good and bad.

First the good.....

Peter has a family!!!!

 His health is declining and he can't wait a year to come to the US and get dr's help. The wonderful family that is adopting him seriously needs the full funding to bring him home. They will be taking care of his medical once he gets here. They are so, so, so grateful of what everyone has done. Without you, Peter would get no help and end up in a Mental Institution.

Patti says if everyone just donates $10, he'll reach his goal. Even if you've already donated and put an entry in, if you donate another $10, you can add an extra entry for the contest (Pure Love Giveaway). Contest ends on Friday.  Please, Please consider just the extra $10. Together, we can help bring Peter home.

To donate, go HERE, or just donate to Peter on the top of my sidebar. ---->

 Your donations ARE tax deductible
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