Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Museum to Monster Trucks

Now, the people who know me best will say I am a little overprotective (be quiet Maven! lol), true I would agree.  I would rather be protective than not!  Anyway, my head almost spun around 360 degrees when my husband said he wanted to take Austin to see the "Monster Spectacular" (monster truck show).  My first thought, "NO WAY!".  Well, after some discussion, I started to side with my husband and figured to give it a try.

I can only imagine what people reading this are thinking:  "This is the woman who brought an OT to a museum trip last week and now she is sending her son to the monster trucks?".  Well we got him protective ear wear!  ;) 

Okay, seriously, my husband and I feel we need to let Austin try things.  How do we know how he will react if we don't?  Monster trucks would not have been my first choice but he is a boy and does like motorcycles, snowmobiles, tractors, muscle cars, planes, etc.  He doesn't really seemed to be bothered by those kinds of noises but monsters trucks are a whole new ballgame.  My husband bought a pair of protective "ear muffs" (that is what I call them) for Austin.  Safety first!  We don't want him to hurt his ears.

It is a large arena where Austin will have to go to see the show, packed with people.  He did well in the museum, so I take that as a good sign.  The thing that has me most worried is the sheer size of these trucks!  Not to mention the transforming car crushing robot!  That thing is HUGE!  Oh, I hope it goes well!

If Austin becomes the least upset, my husband will leave and bring him right home.  That is where I will be, waiting and hoping that I see them come through the door with souveniers and not tears. 

*HUGS*  :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Terrified to Trust

Yesterday I went with Austin and his class to a museum on a field trip.  I brought along an OT because I was unsure of how Austin would react to the surroundings.  It is such a big place and so much going on, I thought he may become over stimulated or overwhelmed.  We have gone in the past and sometimes his reactions were not favourable, just too much stimulation.  He would have to be carried out, crying, sad to say the least.  The good news is, he did GREAT yesterday!  He took part in the work shop.  He answered questions, stayed with the group and played right along with all the others.  Very great day in all.  He did not want to go to the live spider/insect exhibit, he was upset by that, so his OT and I took him to look at the rest of the museum.  He had a great time and we even met up with some friends from our neighbourhood who were also visiting that day.  Really quite a nice time and great to see how much Austin has developed and changed in such a short time.  WELL DONE BUDDY!  Momma is soooooooooo PROUD OF YOU!

So, what's with the title of this post?  Well, while we were at the museum, Austin's little friend's Dad said that he would be willing to take Austin to the museum one weekend with his son.  (I always get a chill down my spine when someone says this to me.  It scares me to death!)  I politely (at least I hope I was sensitive enough in my response) said that we do not let Austin go with other people.  I explained that Austin has PDD-NOS which is on the autism spectrum and well, we just don't know how he is going to react.  He could bolt from someone he doesn't know very easily.  It is not a good idea.  The trust factor is not there, unfortunately.  I feel this is the only way to protect Austin to the best of my ability.  I know it may sound a little crazy but hey, did you read the post about the street yard sale?  I just cannot bring myself to really trust anyone with him (his grandparents babysit him because they know him so well and he listens to them).  Miss Maven has babysat and honestly, she is one of the only people I would leave him with because she knows to expect the unexpected from him and well, she gets him.  We had someone come to our house to babysit (we had to do this on emergency one day when my grandfather passed away) and that was okay.  She is a member of our extended family and she is great with kids.  It went very well.  My issue obviously, is Austin going to someone's house or out with someone else.  Sometimes I really feel like this fear has taken over and I have no trust in anyone.  Sad, I know.

So, when will I feel like Austin should be able to sleepover or go out without me or my husband?  I have no idea.  I am no where near there and I think it is going to take a lot of time even when Austin is ready.  I fill with horrifying thoughts of the possibility that trusting him to someone else could end up in him being harmed.  I treasure him so much and would never forgive myself if any harm came to him.

I do welcome your comments on this subject.  Do you other parents feel this way?  I appreciate all your feedback.

Sending you all *HUGS* & LOVE!  :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mulligans 4 Mommies

I have wanted to do this post for a while.  I was at a meeting with Ms. Maven not too long ago when someone said "Parenting is a hard job, parenting a special needs child is even harder."  (Something close to that anyway.)  Now, we all have our days and some I am sure we wish we could "do over" (like my "time-out" day), so I say, take a mulligan, we all have at least one day I am sure we would like another whack at.  (My Dad is a golfer.  Can you tell? lol)

Motherhood, WOW!  What a wonderful thing!  Tough at times but look at the rewards.  I know a very lovely lady who believes that our special children are sent to us for a reason.  I believe her.  I really do.  I think that we have very good instincts and a lot of patience we did not know we had, we are special in our own right.  I also believe that if Austin, or a child like him, would have been born to someone like my mother, he would have been in terrible trouble.  Sad, but true.

I mentioned my mother in a post not long ago and think I should explain a little bit about her.  I am not going to really dwell on my childhood because, well, I let go of that a long time ago.  No, this is more recent.  You see, she has not seen Austin since he was 18 months old ... she has never seen my daughter who turns 3 very soon.  It has been almost four years since she turned her back and walked away.  Why?  Well, let me tell you ...

One of my siblings was going through a very difficult time and my step-father stepped into "comfort" her (not my word, my mother's).  My sibling accused him of harassing, stalking and scaring her out of her wits.  I believed her and told her to go to my mother and tell her (my other sibling advised her against it) ... I also told her to tell my father, she did.  (He's a good man and tried to help her.)  Anyway, my step-father denied and my mother believed him.  I stood up for my sister, and well, that's why my mother walked away from me.  That is not the part that really hurt me, it was the fact she walked away from my child ... she has also stayed away from a child she has never even seen but knows exists.  Truly heartbreaking ...

My sister and her children have been cut out of my mother's life as well.  My grandmother (my mother's mother) sent back pictures of my children at Christmas time.  (I have not sent any since and will never send any again.)  My mother's love comes with conditions, don't challenge me and well, I will love you.  (The woman has terrible mental issues.  I am convinced of that.)  My other siblings never went against her or my step-father.  They stayed neutral or didn't want to be involved.  No, just me.  I stood up for my sister and I would do it all over again.  You see, when she cried out to me for help, I believed her.  I think she was a very easy target at that time, and well, not such a nice person went after her like a wolf would a helpless lamb.  I do not blame my other siblings for not getting involved, that is their decision and well, I respect people's choices.  (My mother keeps close contact with their children though by visits, Skype, etc.  I am sure that helps with the facade that she is a good mother/grandmother.)  It is really too bad though, because well, I am a firm believer in "United we stand, divided we fall.".  If all of us had stood behind my sister, what chance would have my step-father had really?  Would my mother have turned on all of us?  Who knows?

So, I guess this is my roundabout way of saying, when you have a bad day and wish you could do it over, just think, everything is relative.  Look at what we deal with on a daily basis and we are there for our children no matter what.  See the courage all of you wonderful parents have and unconditional love for your special children, you are there for them.  It means so much!  They are lucky children and we are lucky parents to have them.  So maybe once and a while you have a bad day, what parent doesn't?  Remember, you are by your child's side fighting for them, loving them, never abandoning them like my mother did to her own children.  I can assure you, none of you would ever have to worry about being anything like her.  How do I know?  You wouldn't be here, reading this ... guaranteed.

One final thought, if my mother was your mother and she showed up at your door one day, would you grant her a mulligan?

Peace, HUGS & Love 

This post dedicated to you Tink!  

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Speech and Swimming

I have two things to address in this post, you guessed it, speech and swimming.

First, swimming.  I watched my wonderful little boy dive underwater and swim just like a little fish the other day.  I swear I stopped breathing for a second due to shock and happiness all at once!  BRAVO Austin!  Well done baby, I am so, so PROUD of you!  Just goes to show that our children can do anything, we may need to tweak things a little to accommodate them, but it can be done. :)

Now, speech.  Austin has starting telling me stories that he has completely fabricated.  He tells them as memories that have never occurred.  I have to say, it concerned me enough to tell the speech therapist about it.  She said it can be quite typical and not to worry but to make sure to tell her if it persists.  The problem is, he is adamant that something is real, or true, when it is not.  The good news is 99% of the time, they are happy stories.

This morning at breakfast, I spoke to a wonderful, wise friend, who assured me that even her child has told stories that were fabricated.  It made me feel a lot better.  It is just not something I am used to with Austin.  I told the therapist that I would not dwell on it and hope that it passes.  Poor little guy.  Sometimes it is hard to digest that he can be like an 8 year old one minute and like a 3 year old the next.  He is such a bright boy and his excitement to tell these tales is refreshing in someways ... his imagination is kicking in, and overall, I think that is a wonderful thing.

Thanks for the chat this morning A.  You really help me put things in perspective when my emotions get the best of me sometimes.  OX

*HUGS* to all!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Wii Wizard

My Dad and step-Mum bought Austin a Wii for Christmas (he only got it a couple of weeks ago due to scheduling and travelling issues though) and he LOVES IT!  (Thanks again Dad & Mum!) He can figure out the games all on his own and we have found out how much he loves sports (especially golf Dad, except, he thinks bogeys are cool ... sigh ....)

Since Austin was only a few weeks old, I noticed that some of the facial expressions he makes are like my older sister.  She is a Nintendo master!  I mean, her and my younger brother used to have Mario marathons for an entire weekend.  Coffee, cigarettes, pizza and Mario (I mean, it was the early 90s after all).  Anyway, I get such a charge out of seeing these little faces come to life ... it is like watching my sister play, he is really good, just like her.  It is too funny!  Kind of weird to see too!  He is having a blast though which is the important thing and he still likes his board games (which are all speech oriented) so it is a wonderful addition to game playing for him.

A bonus, Austin wants me to play Mario with him, giving me even more quality time with him, which I LOVE! :)  So what if I have to cuddle Kaleigh on my knee while I am dodging flying hammers from some cartoon turtle?!  LOL!

*HUGS* to all!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Undertaking of Understanding

As promised, let's time warp ...

Okay, this is how I ended up calling CHEO back about Austin to have his speech assessed, not an easy story to tell, or memory to relive, but here goes ...

When Austin was around 2 years old, I tried to put him in a time-out one day, easier said than done (this is not a proud moment for me) .  All I wanted the child to do was sit on his bed for two minutes, two little minutes!  Totally impossible, at that time anyway.  Why did I think this was important?  Because someone told me they thought that something was wrong with my child and he could not be controlled.  I took it as I was a "bad parent" and had no idea of what I was doing.  So, I figured, I can get this child to listen to me and stay in time-out, I am sure of it ... wrong again ... :(

I put Austin in his room, on his bed, over and over and over and over and over ... I could go on and on ... I became so frustrated ... what was I doing wrong, honestly, what?  It got to the point that I told him he was not coming out until he sat on that bed.  (I know, not proud at all.  The tears start to flow as I type this ... tough to look back ... tough ...).  I stood at the door holding the handle ... Austin started to cry ... I went in again and pleaded with him "Please, please, please just sit on that bed for two minutes and I will let you out!!!!".  Not a chance.  I went back for the door and turned to see Austin crouched down on the floor beside his dresser ... crying ...  I shut the door again and as I stood there listening to this poor child sob (for only a minute or so) when I felt like my mother overtook my body or something (she is not a good woman, and a terrible mother, I know that is not a nice thing to say but it is true ... that is a story for another day).  Now, if there is one parent that I want to be nothing like, it is my mother.  I took my hand off the door handle and shook my head "What on earth am I doing?  What am I trying to prove?"  I opened the door to find my little boy crying in the corner ... frightened ... yes, frightened (horrible, horrible feeling ...).  I couldn't believe the look on his face.  He had no idea what was happening and why.  I could see it in his eyes.  I called him to me and he ran into my arms, I scooped him up, hugged him and burst into tears!!!  I just knew, he didn't understand what was going on at all.  I still hold so much guilt over this day.   I never, ever tried to get him to sit on his bed for a time out again. 

As I said in my last post, Austin's speech improved.  The next time that it was addressed was when his preschool teacher told me one day "I don't think he understands".  OH MY GOD!  I looked at her and said, "That is what I have thought in the past".  What had I done?  Why did I cancel that appointment?  I thought because he didn't repeat anymore he was okay, well, he wasn't.  He was repeating to the teachers at school because he was anxious and did not know what was being asked of him.  My mind warped right back to that horrible "time-out day".  I needed to fix it.  I called CHEO back, booked an appointment.  The man I had spoken to previously had nothing but empathy and understanding.  He assured me, things would be okay.

After my call to CHEO, I went and found Austin.  I asked him, "Do you understand Mommie Austin?".  No response.  Again I asked, no reponse.  He would just look down, avoid eye contact.  I held his little face in my hands and looked at him ... I told him that I knew he did not understand and I was going to fix it, no matter what.  I would not stop, I would not give up, I would fight with all my heart to help him understand ... "I promise!"  He had a response "Okay Mommie ..." with a hug and a kiss, I held him as I sobbed and knew this was the start of our journey forward and we were in it together!

I ADORE you my little boy ... you are the gold at the end of my rainbow!  ;)  OX

HUGS to all!