Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Lion King

I wanted to blog about something fun and happy today.  I have been busy with paperwork preparing for Austin's psychiatric assessment coming up soon, and quite frankly, it has me a little down.  I prefer to focus on something exciting right now instead.  :)

I am taking Austin to The Lion King on Sunday.  We will be going with our friends.  We splurged a little and got a box so we can sit together without others too close (a smart idea since I do not know how Austin will react).  I figured, tickets are expensive anyway, so why not get a box?  It is going to be so much fun!  I am so EXCITED!!!  I know, I am just a big kid. :o)  I absolutely LOVE going to the theatre!  I have been hooked since my Dad took me to Starlight Express years ago.  It was MAGNIFICENT!  I was captivated from beginning to end, absolutely captivated!  I have seen many shows since, thanks to my Dad.  :)

I hope that Austin enjoys the show.  He has been to classical music concerts and has enjoyed them so I believe that all the colourful costumes, music and dance should be quite intriguing.  I can't wait to see the look on his face when that curtain opens and the stage comes to life.  I look forward to him being as captivated as I was when I was lucky enough to have my Dad take me ... thanks Dad, love you!

All the best!  *HUGS* to all! :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Second Screening

Do you ever get to the point where you don't know what's "typical" and what's not?  I am guilty of this since Austin's diagnosis.  I have no idea how to deal with a "typical" 3 year old child ... lots and lots and lots of patience!  She has tantrums, screams, tells me off, debates (EVERYTHING), is much smarter than I was at 3, or at 30 for that matter.  She can be quite a challenge and I am learning everyday that this is what 3 year olds can be like, Austin was not like this at 3.  He did have moments but not like Kaleigh.  She is quite headstrong.  Don't get me wrong, she is also a very adorable, loving, caring and sweet girl; did I mention smart?  Very smart!  Austin is very smart too, just is a different way ... smart babies both.  What is this supposed to be about then?  Well, I had Kaleigh re-assessed.  Re-assessed because as you know (if you have been following my blog) that we had her assessed last summer just as a precaution, not that we were worried about her.  So, what changed?  Well, I will tell you.

Kaleigh has a mind of her own, that is evident.  I hear that it is common in girls ... ;)  Austin has always been quite passive so I didn't really know if being stubborn or arguing at 2 years old was, well, "typical".  I put her in a gymnastics class, she excelled.  When we re-registered the age group was the same but on a different date and the class then contained mostly 18 month olds.  Kaleigh is quite nimble and has great balance.  She is a natural when it comes to climbing and tumbling.  She found it hard to stand behind and wait for the "babies" to go through the course.  I felt like I was holding back a racehorse.  She would wait her turn but I thought she should be more patient.  Was this typical of a 2 year old?  I had no idea ... I considered this flag #1.

When Kaleigh was waiting in line at gymnastics I started to notice that she would twirl her wrists ... I had no idea what that meant, and well, it concerned me too.  I was wondering, sensory?  She would run around the house pretending to be a chickadee, flapping her arms and making noises.  This was not like the "flap-jumping" that Austin would do, but I still didn't know what to make of it.  One day I asked her why she did it and she responded that she was a "chickadee ... a chickadee-dee-dee" laughing and giggling.  I asked her to stop and she did.  It was not the same motion as Austin but it freaked me out ... she still comes up to me and says "Look at me Mommie, I'm a chickadee-dee-dee" and runs off laughing to get me to chase her and tickle her.  She is a cutie.  So I felt better that she would stop running around like a bird and it wasn't something that she couldn't control, like Austin's behaviour.  Then, the wrist twisting became more frequent ... flag #2.

Kaleigh started peeing on the potty around 19 months.  We never really pushed and let her do her own thing.  She was still in pull-ups and diapers at night.  As time went on, she wanted panties so we explained that she would have to pee and poop on her potty, not in her pull-up.  She had no problem with the pee part but the poopy part, well, it was a challenge.  She would hold it in all day and wait for her pull-up at night.  She was getting constipated.  I had to take her to the doctor over and over because of it.  I kept thinking of Austin.  He would ask me for a diaper, hide in his room, poop and asked to be changed.  I was not sure if Kaleigh was heading down the same road ... flag #3.  I decided it was time to call the Psychologist and bring Kaleigh back into see her.

I met with the Psychologist who had assessed Kaleigh the year before. She was not worried at all that there was anything to be concerned about agreed to re-assess her.  She thought it was a good idea that I was bringing my "typical" daughter in just to check.  So, Kaleigh went in and was re-assessed.  Everything went well.  I was told that she was in a very high percentile for her speech and she was right where she should be as far as visual testing.  So, all good!  It was explained to me that "typical" people can do things like spin their wrists and it does mean anything.  It has to be coupled together with other things to become a concern.  I was never concerned about Kaleigh being on the spectrum but even if she was, I would want to her to have help as early as possible.  My concern was a sensory issue.  I wasn't sure if the wrist spinning was a sensory thing or not.

I received explanations for flag #1.  Kaleigh may have had trouble waiting because the other children were very slow and she excelled at gymnastics, oh yes, and well, she was 2!  ;)  Flag #2, she never did this during her assessment and I am a bit embarrassed to say that I may have jumped the gun since I rarely see her do it anymore ...  Flag #3, Kaleigh is completely potty trained.  She even stays dry at night, no pull-ups or rubber night panties and does not have accidents.  (Thank goodness because she does tend to sleep in my bed quite frequently.)  ;)  YAY Kaleigh!  I LOVE YOU!   Momma is so PROUD of YOU! :) OX

So, I have to admit, I let my paranoia get the best of me.  I really could not distinguish what was "typical" and what was not.  Even though, since Austin was a toddler, I knew there was something different about him, I just didn't know what.  I have never gotten that sensation from Kaleigh at all.  I guess it is hard to admit but sometimes I feel like I failed Austin.  Why didn't I see?  Why didn't I know?  It is a hard pill to swallow some days and very difficult for me to write down.  I did not want to ignore "little" things again just in case.  I am glad that I had Kaleigh re-assessed, even though people thought I was overreacting.  I feel I was just protecting and loving ...

All the best!  *HUGS*

Monday, July 11, 2011


Let's time warp shall we ...

"Flap-jumping" ... you might be wondering what I mean by this, or maybe not.  "Flap-jumping" is  what I use to describe what Austin used to do when he would get excited.  He would jump up and down and flap his hands (up and down from the wrist only).  Now, from what I knew at the time (Austin started this around 1 year of age), this was not "hand flapping" or at least that is what the doctor told me when I questioned if it was anything of concern.  You see, I was a very overprotective and nervous Mother when Austin was young ... not much has changed ... right Maven?  ;)  Well, okay, I am not as nervous.  Anyway, I was told he was just excited and I was worrying too much because I knew a child on the autism spectrum and well, I was overreacting.  Gotcha!  Okay, on we went, thinking all is well.  Right ... we know what it meant now, don't we?

I see children doing things like this everywhere.  At the pool, at gymnastics, at the store, at the park ... everywhere.  I flashback to Austin when he was a toddler and think of how he used to do this.  Sometimes he still jumps when he is excited, but he has to be really wound up to start jumping.  It is a rare occurrence. 

There is a reason I did this time warp post first ... stayed tuned for "Second Screening" coming up next!

*HUGS* to all! :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Baby!

I cannot believe it has been 6 years since I held you in my arms for the very first time.  I am writing this post just for you my lovely boy.  I adore you, I adore you, I adore you!  I am so very proud of you and Mommie is by your side to continue to help you achieve all the things you want out of life.  I will always be there for you no matter what, that's a promise!  I LOVE YOU so very, very much!  I am so blessed to have you and very grateful for you everyday.  BIG, BIG KISSES & HUGS my sweet boy!  Lots n' Lots of Love, Mommie  OXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Problematic Printing

Yesterday I started working with Austin to help prepare him for school in September.  He will be entering Grade 1 and his academic skills are quite good; he can read, add and spell.  The challenge is writing, or printing I should say.  His capital letters are not too bad but the lower case letters, well, there is much work to be done.  I want help him as much as possible so his frustration levels will not skyrocket, and therefore, he less likely to become upset.

I got a notebook and wrote out "A" "a" "B" "b" all on separate lines so he could practice his letters.  Well, the "A" went well but when we got to the "a", he did struggle a bit so I helped him along.  We got through the "A" and "a" and moved on to the "B" and "b".  The "B" was not too challenging for him but the "b" gave a reaction I never expected.  It took all my might not to breakdown in tears!  This poor little boy, my heart just broke for him!  "I CAN'T DO IT!!!"  "I CAN'T DO IT!!!"  Over and over, he yelled and cried as tears streamed down his face.  I stopped and waited and started again, and again, and again.  I held his hand and helped him form the little letter but he still continued to get upset.  I could not get him to do one line on his own ... it seemed like it was mental torture for him; that is the only way I can explain it.  I don't want him to give up but I don't want him frustrated or crying his eyes out either.  My heart fell to my feet.  I told him he needed to take a break and we would try again later.  I gave him a little kiss on the cheek and my beautiful little boy grabbed a hold of me as he sobbed.  Oh my goodness, I could barely hold back my tears as my eyes flooded.  I held and cuddled him and told him it would all be okay.  Mommie was here to help.  He did go back later and finish with my help, without tears I am happy to report.

To me, this seemed like such a minor thing, learning to print.  I did not think Austin would have reacted the way he did and it was heartbreaking to see.  I felt so badly for him.  I know it sounds silly but I wish I could go to school for him, so he wouldn't have to endure this pain.  Of course I want him to succeed and be independent but sometimes reality hits me very hard and I wish I had the power to make it all better ...