Monday, October 22, 2012

Privacy Predicament

My Father once told me, if you do not want to hear the answer, do not ask the question.  This is something that I always keep in mind when it comes to sensitive subjects.  I did not think asking a question about blogging when it comes to Austin and autism would have such an impact.  I questioned a friend of mine (I am going to let them remain anonymous as to protect their privacy) about reading my blog.  This person raised a concern about Austin's privacy and did I consider how he would feel about me disclosing his life experiences for all the world to read?  Well, I had a bit in the beginning but I felt that this blog was to help not hurt.  I did not feel that I was writing anything harmful about Austin.  I was very, very upset and devastated by this comment.

I would like to know, to the people that read this blog and have children they blog about, it does not have to be about autism, even just blogging in general, am I invading my son's privacy?  Should I stop blogging immediately and remove this blog, never to write another post again?  I am at a crossroads.  I do not know what to do since this person said this to me.  Part of me feels like if I dare post another of story about him, it would be exploiting Austin, not a feeling I like and certainly not what this blog is about ... I am very concerned about ever hurting my sweet boy, even unintentionally.

I do try to conceal Austin's identity.  His last name is never in any post.  I do not put pictures of him on here.  I do not blog about anything I think he would ever be embarrassed about later on in life.  I try to document his experiences so he can look back and see how far he has come, how PROUD I am of him, how much I LOVE HIM!  I pray, that if I do continue this blog, and I welcome all the feedback I can get, that Austin will see this blog was created to help.

Most of the people that follow this blog that know Austin's identity are family and friends who love and care about him very, very much.  I can only pray that if this blog does stay online and I continue to share this journey with everyone, he will understand, or if he is upset by it, I will remove it immediately and apologize profusely.

Thank you for reading, sharing and caring!

All the best!  *HUGS*

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Terrified to Tears

Today we went shopping for Austin's costume.  I always take him to the Halloween Spirit store and things usually go quite well ... not today!  OMG!!!

We walked into the store and there was a huge display in front of us (we usually go to the store in the west end of the city, today we shopped for shoes, so we went to the store close by in the east end) and Austin said he did not want to go near it.  That is not unusual, so I guided him away from the display by holding his hand, he let go and held onto the back of my sweater.  I thought, okay, no problem, there are a lot of people and this store is really lit up so you can see all the detail on the decorations and the other one is the complete opposite!  Anyway, Austin decided he wanted to be a vampire instead of a mummy.  Do you think we could find one vampire costume?  NOPE!  What did Austin set his heart on?  A hot dog costume.  Now, I did try over and over to talk him out of it and then some saleswomen came up and said it was "Totally Cool"!  Uhhhh, not for a boy who kids call "Wiener Boy"!  :(  He really wanted it so I thought, I can always get him something else but I was apprehensive ...

We got Kaleigh's costume and headed for the cashier.  Uhhhh, we tried to head towards the cashier.  Austin is terrified of spiders ... real or fake it does not matter and they were everywhere in this store on the displays.  I weaved my way around three different aisles until I thought it was safe (Austin is still holding on to my sweater this whole time) ... WRONG ONE!  We came around the corner and a two foot tarantula jumped out at Austin ... the shriek that came out of him ... he was TERRIFIED!!! Tears streamed down his face ... I cuddled him close to me and told him it was okay we were leaving.  I told him to close his eyes and it would be okay.  We get to the cash and there are huge spiders everywhere until we get to the farthest cash (there were no spiders at that one).  These spiders all had red lights for eyes and were about a foot long with cobwebs everywhere.  Austin was crying his heart out.  I explained to the girl that he is really frightened of spiders (now more than ever I learned).  I did not know if I should just leave the costumes and go or what.  I paid the girl as the other cashier unplugged the glowing spiders ... trying her hardest to calm Austin ... we all were.  Paid, and thank you ... out the door we went.  I hugged Austin and told him it was okay ... we are NEVER going back to that store ... promise!  Poor guy!  I felt so badly but I really had no idea he would react like that ... I know he does not like the decoration aisle in the store but this was very unusual for Austin, at this age anyway. :(

We got the costume home, Daddy had concerns about the costume too.  I talked to Austin and said it may be better as a dress up costume for home.  He said that would be okay and we went to another store, Canadian Tire, (this one is not cluttered with decorations or anything) and picked out a vampire costume and he was calm and happy.  I did not take him to the dollar store with Kaleigh and I after though because he gets upset at the amount of decorations there, so he stayed home with Daddy while we went.

It all turned out okay at the end of the day and Austin is very excited to be a vampire this Halloween, he even picked out make-up and black hair spray at the pharmacy.  I am so sorry that he experienced what he did today ... I really did not see it coming and it really had an impact.  His Daddy and I are going to see if there is something we can do to help him with this fear of spiders.  We do not want to see him like that ever again!

All the best!  *HUGS*

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Halloween Horror

Isn't it interesting how the more things change, somethings stay the same?  Austin has a lot of fear when it comes to Halloween decorations but he LOVES Halloween! The biggest challenge with him is in the store buying decorations.  We also have to make sure not to put too many scary ones up in the house.

Yesterday we went shopping for decorations.  At certain points in the aisle, he stopped and froze, he was that scared.  He asked me walk back up the aisle to come and get him, which I did.  I told him it was okay and we could just leave but he was bound and determined to get the decorations.  I let him pick what he wanted, Kaleigh too, but no spiders, Austin is terrified of spiders, real or fake.

We got through the shopping pretty quickly but we did encounter another boy in the aisle while Austin was upset.  The child looked at Austin like he could not believe that someone could be so disturbed by the decorations.  I took Austin's hand and told him it was okay and we were leaving and not to worry that he was safe.  He did not even notice the boy staring at him with a weird look on his face.  My only concern is to make sure he is safe and happy.

Austin came home and helped Kaleigh put up the decorations and is excited to go and buy his costume. He does not get upset shopping for costumes and usually stays away from the displays.  I believe that the small aisle with all the scary faces is what makes him so frightened.  Luckily, a small hug from me and taking him by the hand reassures him quickly.  He wants to be a mummy this year and is so excited for the Halloween dance!  Last year I took him to the dance and I did not get to sit down all night!  This time, I am bringing Kaleigh, she can dance it up with him while Momma takes a few breaks! :D

All the best!  *HUGS*

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Jersey's Jacqueline

I have a guilty pleasure, I love to watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey!  My favourite housewife has always been, and still is, Jacqueline Laurita, I ADORE her!  She is a total sweetie pie with a HUGE heart!  I am making an exception to blog about her because she touched my heart so much and she is facing her own journey with autism.

Yesterday, I was watching the reunion show (part 1).  Jacqueline had disclosed a few weeks back that her son (Nicholas age 3) has autism.  She was asked about it on the show yesterday.  As she told her story and watched the footage of her son, it brought me right back to my experiences with Austin.  I remember what a great baby he was, never thinking that was odd how quiet and content he was a lot of the time, very easy going and sweet!  Watching as her little boy struggled as she was trying to show him something, wiggling to get away, his lack of eye contact, his speech ... Austin ... all the same things I struggled with and really, there are always challenges but things change and do get better.  It just BROKE MY HEART when she said her son does not say "I love you" to her because he has regressed.  She sobbed and sobbed ... I burst into tears just hearing and watching her.  I felt like our hearts know the same pain ... it is DEVASTATING!  I was amazed at how fast it brought me back to the agony I felt sitting on a couch just a few years ago.

During the show, one of her cast mates was sitting next to her, Caroline Manzo (I like her too), she is Jacqueline's sister in-law, cried and tried to comfort Jacqueline and said that one day her little boy will say "I love you" again.  I believe that is true.  I thought that she was very brave to speak about her son having autism.  Jacqueline expressed that she believes awareness is very important, I couldn't agree more, and she stated that she does not know everything about autism but she is learning and wants to share as she learns.  Exactly why I started this blog.  I think she should be very proud of herself.  It takes a lot of strength and courage to stand up fight for your child.  Good for her!  

Parents of children with autism are connected in a special way (not only because we "get it") because our connection is through our hearts ...

All the best!  *HUGS*!