Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Slumber Surveillance

Have you ever woken up with a shadow in your dark doorway?  Have you ever woken up with a person standing above you, watching and waiting?  Well, I have, numerous times!  Scary?  No kidding!

Austin, has, in the past, stood in my doorway in the middle of the night until I stirred and woke up to see him standing there.  I have woken up with him standing above me, watching me sleep!  It is so frightening!  I have asked him why does he do it?  He said, he needs something and does not want to disturb my sleep.  He thinks I may be upset for him waking me in the middle of the night.  I have told him over and over, if he needs something to just wake me up, do not stand over me and watch me sleep, it freaks me out!  He does not see it the same way, he thinks he is being patient and that is a good thing, not in this case.

There is good news, or an improvement, I finally got Austin to stop doing this in the last few months.  Now, he pokes at me until I wake.  The other day, I feel asleep on the couch watching a show, in the middle of the night, I felt myself being pushed, I was dreaming, I thought it was just the dream.  Nope, a few minutes later I was jolted awake.  I saw Austin standing before me, "Mom, are you awake?"  "I am now."  I asked if he had been poking or pushing me, he responded, "Yes, at least five times!!!"  Right, well, I did tell him to wake me up instead of scaring me, so I should be grateful for that!

Why does he wake me up?  It could be anything; a cold, he is thirsty, can't sleep and he is a very early riser!  Whatever the case may be, I am thanking you in this post, Austin, for waking me up, no matter what time and why.  I prefer to be woken than be watched as I sleep.  I have Edgar Allan Poe to thank  for that!

*HUGS*  All the best!

No Unicorns or Rainbows!

I follow a blog which I believe more people should read, especially parents with high functioning children on the autism spectrum.  The blog I am referring to is "Facing Autism in New Brunswick".  I have recommended this blog in the past and I continue to ask people to read it.  This man writes about his son and his experiences with autism.  They are much different than mine.  His recent posts about Jerry Seinfeld are a must read.  If you have the time, please go and have a look at this blog.

I should warn you, sometimes the comments about parents with high functioning children on the autism spectrum are a bit harsh.  I do not take it personally.  I write about my son's journey because it is what I know; what I experience.  I document it to show my son his achievements and challenges; his journey.  My son is on one end of the spectrum and this man's son, on the other.  The challenges he faces on a daily basis are beyond anything we could ever imagine.  I respect Mr. Doherty very much. He fights so hard for his son!  He does not mince words and he is very honest about how he feels regarding the severity of his son's autism.  Do not look for unicorns or rainbows, only the truth!  He says what he thinks and good for him!  I wish him and his family all the best!

*HUGS* All the best!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Santa is REAL!

Austin, who is 9, and in Grade 4, still believes in Santa.  My husband and I discussed it, and as much as we did not want to demolish the magic of Santa, we were concerned that Austin would get bullied if he started talking about Santa with his classmates.  We contacted Austin's Psychologist and she thought it would be best to tell him ourselves than his peers and have a really terrible experience.  It is disheartening enough, who needs teasing and laughing added to the mix.  I also approached some other parents that have children on the spectrum and got some advice about how they told their children.  It was very helpful and very close to what Austin's therapist suggested.

We told Austin we needed to speak to him about something (Kaleigh was asleep at the time), we asked him about Santa and what he thought and if the other kids in his class talked about Santa at all. He replied that they did not.  I went on and explained about St. Nicholas and tried that route.  Telling Austin that we all carry on his spirit of giving at Christmas and that Santa is well, you know, not real. We explained that he was now part of a secret club and must not say anything to Kaleigh or any other children since they are too young to be part of the secret club of St. Nick yet.  I told Austin he could even help me on Christmas Eve, like an elf!  He seemed to be very excited about all of this, but I was not sure why he was taking this news so well.  After talking to him, I asked if he was upset or disappointed and he said he was a bit upset, I apologized and he said he was fine.  I asked him at the end of the conversation, "So what do you know about Santa?"  He replied "That the REAL one lives in the North Pole!"  Oh my!  After all that explaining, he would have none of it.  He still believes in Santa.  I decided not to take it any further.  Let him sit with the information and see what he figures out or starts to question.

This was not an easy decision to make, I did not want to have to tell Austin about Santa but I figured by this time, he would already know since most children his age do.  I am not about to push the subject and he said he would not discuss Santa at school with his classmates or other children.  I feel, I tried my best and right now, it is better not to push the issue.

All the best! *HUGS*

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Bread Bag

Austin was recently re-assessed by his Psychologist, Speech Pathologist and Occupational Therapist.  I have met with all of them.  They discussed Austin's progress and his challenges.  I will continue to document them here so we can keep tract of both.

The other day I met with Austin's OT, she explained that he still struggles with his fine motor skills.  She suggested that I encourage him to do more things for himself.  (Alright so he is still my baby and yes, I say all the time that I am too protective and cater a lot to my children.  I was reminded of how that can be counterproductive for Austin, thank you, I got it!)  Butter his own toast, fold his own laundry, learn to tie his shoes (I have tried numerous times, he just starts to cry; we use a special snap instead, but I really want him to learn to do it), on and on I could go, the list is long.

Yesterday, Austin wanted raisin toast.  I told him he could make it himself and I would watch or help.  He did pretty well overall but it took me 15 minutes to show him how to open the bread bag instead of ripping it apart.  He does not look either, he looks away as he pulls until the little tag breaks or rips the bag.  He still struggles to open the bag and to close it (that took another 5 minutes), I gave up because he was just too frustrated.  It is difficult to see him struggle with something you or I would take for granted.  It is something that when dealing with autism seems very small in the overall spectrum, but in Austin's world, it is a very big thing.

One of the challenging things is Kaleigh can get up, make herself a PB & J sandwich, put everything away and you would never know she was in the kitchen.  Austin sees this and questions why she can do it and he can't?  He could do it if he wanted, but he just gets discouraged at this point and calls for help.  I explained to him, that we will help him get there and he will, it just takes a little time and patience. We are working hard to make sure that he will be able to do all the things he wants for himself.

All the best! *HUGS*

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Stranger Danger!

I have told Austin and Kaleigh over and over, "Never open the door to a stranger!"  A couple of weeks ago, we were expecting the repair man for the washer, his second visit ... don't get me started.  I was in my bedroom when I heard the door open and my children call out "The repair man is here!"  I come bolting out of my bedroom to see a man, I have never seen before, standing in my kitchen, a half hour before he was supposed to arrive, which I pointed out to him very quickly.  His partner (who has been here before) was just entering the house when he heard me say to Austin and Kaleigh, "How many times have I told you not to open the door to a stranger?"  I was pointing my finger at Kaleigh figuring it was her that had let the man in the door, wrong ... it was Austin!  He even admitted it!  Shocked because he is such a stickler for rules, I was so surprised he would do this, I swear, he can be so predictable about certain things and when you think he wouldn't do something, he does it!

Austin told me that he unlocked the door because it was the repairman and we knew he was coming. I told him, never, ever, ever open or unlock the door again without me.  I explained to him that strangers can dress up like repairmen to gain access to the house and they can be dangerous people!  Austin understood why I was upset and so did the repairmen.

All the times I have explained about stranger danger to my children and the one who I still have to worry about is Austin.  I pray that this experience and my reaction (his Wii was taken from him for a few days as a consequence, which is a huge deal to Austin, not to mention the lengthy lecture from me!) will keep him from ever opening the door to a strange person ever again!

All the best!  *HUGS*

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


This post is for Austin and Kaleigh.  I am so sorry that we lost Simba, on Monday, July 21, 2014.  We took in this stray cat 11 years ago and he was the family cat who went back and forth between our house and Grandma and Grandpa's.  Everyone is very sad over this loss.  This picture was taken in August 2011.  I am posting it here so you will always have a picture of Simba and know that he will be missed and we all loved him.  Mommie and Daddy are so sorry that you lost your pet and our hearts are breaking for you!  We LOVE you very much!  Lots of HUGS and KISSES!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Precious Pet

The other day our family cat seemed a bit off, he was scheduled to have his teeth cleaned by the veterinarian Wednesday morning.  He had been at an appointment on the Monday with some concerns that maybe his mouth had been bothering him,  so we booked him in to have his teeth done.  This is something that was discussed previously with the veterinarian.  Wednesday, turned out to be a most shocking and devastating day.

I brought the cat up with Austin to drop him off at the veterinarian early in the morning.  I told the technician to have him examined before the surgery because I felt he was not well.  I was not home 45 minutes and the phone rang, my sweet cat, I have had him for 13 years, was suffering from kidney failure!  I was so upset!  I could not believe it!  I knew something wasn't right but I had no idea the cat was in that much jeopardy.  We decided to have him treated with IV fluids for 3 days and pray (a lot) that he would be okay.

On Thursday morning, the veterinary clinic called and said the cat was stable.  I discussed it with my husband and we decided that I should take the kids up to see the cat, since he was stable.  I warned the ladies not to say anything premature in front of the kids as not to upset them.  I switched back and forth from English to French while talking to the veterinarian (the kids are not as fluent in French) and then we stepped outside so I could see the numbers from the blood work that was taken.  I saw the numbers and my heart sank!  I knew what those numbers meant, not a good scenario!  I was heartbroken and what was I going to tell children?  How would they react?  All they cared about was when the cat was coming home.  I kept telling them, we had to wait for the tests and did not go into it any further.

Austin and Kaleigh came over to see the cat.  He jumped up and meowed over and over when he saw Kaleigh, they are very close buddies.  We visited a while then we headed home.  I expected Kaleigh to be very upset about the cat, that, was not the case.

We arrived home and I had to go back out to do some errands.  Austin came to me and said that he felt like crying when he saw the cat.  I asked him why?  Was he scared, sad, upset, worried ... what was the reasoning behind it?  Austin could not tell me why, it is just what he felt.  He burst into tears and I quickly went over and cuddled him.  I told him it was okay and I understood how hard it was for him to see the cat that way.  It took me a while to calm him.  I never expected that from Austin, NEVER!  I was shocked that he had that reaction.  He is usually very passive about things, especially animals.  He does not usually get upset when he finds out a close family member lost a pet, a pet that he knows.  Kaleigh cried for days when she found out that my parents lost their little dog just a little while ago.  So sorry for my parents. :(

I am very blessed and happy to say, our cat returned home on Friday afternoon.  He is eating and drinking and doing well.  We wait and take everything one day at a time.  Austin has been great watching him and making sure he is doing well.

I am always learning things about Austin.  Another door or window has opened to help me learn more about him.  To him, our cat is precious!

All the best! *HUGS*

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Alternate Alarm

Austin woke up early yesterday morning, around 5:30 a.m. (he is usually up by about six, an early riser).  I was already up and watching television.  He came and sat next to me and said he woke up by the first chirp of a bird.  He said it was like having an alarm clock only better because listening to the sounds of the chirping birds away was a much better way to be woken up! :)

All the best! *HUGS*

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Facing Autism in New Brunswick

There is a blog I have been following for quite some time.  I encourage all parents to please read this blog "Facing Autism in New Brunswick".  It is very informative and extremely heartfelt.  It is written by a wonderful father fighting for his exceptional son, Conor, and others with autism.  Just read his pledge on his page and it will touch your heart!  He is an articulate warrior!

I asked permission to post this link to my page so people could read about what Conor, his family and others endure everyday.  It is so different from my son's stories, and frankly, I do not think that the media puts enough of these realities of autism out there.  Mr. Doherty, thank you for letting me publish this link and I implore anyone reading this to please go to the blog and read the posts.  It is so important that awareness covers the entire spectrum!  Thank you!


All the best!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Austin was badly bullied last year by a boy at school.  It really did get difficult and poor Austin dealt with it much better than I ever would.  This year, there is another child who bullies and bothers him a lot.  (I have blogged about it in previous posts.)  After an Autism Awareness rally at school not too long ago, Austin announced to his classmates that he has autism.  This seemed to make sense to the little boy who is bothering Austin.

I explained previously to Austin, that this little boy is struggling with his own challenges and if he does something to upset him, just walk away.  Do not engaged in conversation or play, just turn the other cheek and walk away.  Austin has done so and this seems to be helping with the bullying by reducing it.

It is was brought to my attention that this other boy is very upset that Austin will not acknowledge him, even if the boy says "Hello".  Austin's teacher approached him and tried to appeal to Austin but, being my son, of course, he will have none of it!  You can only mess with this lad until he has hit his limit and then, he's done!  I approached him and explained that what he was doing was very rude and it costs nothing to say "Hello".  I told him he does not have to be his friend but if someone says "Hello" please say "Hello".  If the little boy asks a question or says something that requires a response and it is of an appropriate nature, please respond.  It does not have to be a lengthy conversation and no one is expecting a friendship.

During this discussion the other day, when the situation was brought to my attention, I broke down into tears because I know Austin is like this because of the terrible bullying he has endured in the past.  This one child, hit, kit, smacked, punched and pushed Austin so he hit his head, it was cut and there was a big bump on it!  He was so hysterical that day his head was injured, I had to be called to the school to calm him down.  When I showed up (only minutes later) Austin was in his classroom with the other children around him, some trying to calm him, overcome with tears!  OMG!  I cannot tell you the heartbreak I felt for him!  It brings me to tears every time I think of it.  I explained during the meeting the other day, Austin has been down this road before and trust does not come easily the second time round.  Who can blame him really?  Poor guy, there is always someone picking on him, very sad.

After I spoke to Austin, he understood that he would not like someone to not acknowledge his "Hello" or ignore him, so he promised me he would respond to the boy if spoken to.  That is really all I can ask and do not expect more from him.  I am very PROUD to have such a tenderhearted young man.  I LOVE YOU DUDE! :) OX

All the best! *HUGS*

Facts! Facts and More Facts!

Austin LOVES anything factual.  He is like a sponge and can retain and repeat many, many, many facts he learns.  He is very interested in history and geography.  It is amazing how much I learn from him everyday!  (I was not the most studious person when I was younger.)  He memorizes things very well for projects at school and is doing so well when given assignments that require him to do oral presentations.  WAY TO GO DUDE!  SO PROUD OF YOU! :) OX

All the best! *HUGS*

Friday, May 2, 2014

Mothers' Mourning

My Grandmother passed away on April 17th, she was 96 years old.  She was my Mother's Mom.  I was very sad to hear the news.  She was really good to us when we were little.  Anyone who reads my blog will know that my Mother walked away from me 7 years ago.  (See the post "Mulligans 4 Mommies", it has a bit about my Grandmother as well.)  The thought of seeing my Mother at the funeral caused me great anxiety and I became very emotional.  I tried to hide my tears and sadness from Austin and Kaleigh, I did not want them asking too many questions about my Mother.

When Austin found out my Grandmother passed away, he did not react at all.  (I asked if he wanted to see a picture of her but he did not.  I did not push the issue.) Kaleigh, on the other hand, took this news very hard.  All she wanted to do was go and see my Mother.  She cried and cried for me to take her to her.  What I am supposed to tell her?  "You're Grandmother does not want to see you?"  Uh, no.  So I told her again, "Grandma is still very sick, we cannot see her."  Kaleigh replied, "She will be at the funeral!  I want to see her!!!"  OMG!  My heart shattered into a billion pieces!!!  I told her I did not know if I would see my Mother there (okay a bit of a stretch but what I am supposed to say?) and she was too little to go to a funeral. It took a few days but she eventually stopped talking about seeing my Mother and stopped crying, thank goodness!  What a horrible thing to watch your child go through.  Shame on you Mother!  (Sorry, if she ever does read this, she should feel ashamed!)

I decided to only attend the burial as it was my Grandmother's wish to have a very private service and burial.  I really did not want to go but as I said, she was good to me and I cared for her.  My husband came with me.  We sat in the car until the very last minute.  (It was cold and raining.)  When I got out to walk over to the burial site, I saw my Mother, the first time in just over 7 years! I was shocked at what I saw.  Her husband standing behind her holding an umbrella over her head.  My other siblings arrived with the precession from the funeral home.  I waited for them to gather and my Mum (my step-mom, I call her "Mum", she's a doll) came up to me, gave me a hug and kiss. She stood beside all of us and you could see the concern in her face. She was there to support us.  Thank heavens she did because it was so awkward and surreal.

The burial was starting and we all had to enter the tent.  I kept saying "I am not getting near my Mother, I am not going over there!"  My husband insisted I had to go and take my place.  My sister was saying the same thing.  Our Mum, gently encouraged me towards the tent.  It was one of the hardest things I have had to do in a very long time.  My older sister stood with my Mother for a while but I did not see her near her once the priest started to speak.  All of us were in the tent, my Mum right there with us.  My Mother stood out in the rain the whole time!  Her hands shook a lot (I am not sure if she is unwell or not) and looked like she had aged about 20 years.  Not what I expected at all.  I wore my sunglasses since I was determined I would not let her look me in the eyes after all this time.  Interestingly enough, she was wearing sunglasses too.  Possible she did not want us to see her completely either.  My poor sister sobbed through the whole service.  She was very close to my Grandmother.  I felt very badly for her.

Once the service was concluding, one of my Uncle's passed out pink roses (my favourite flower, my Grandmother's too?) we all placed one on her casket.  It was then, three men helped my Mother walk towards the casket to place a little flower arrangement she had hand made for her Mom.  I am not sure why she needed the help, possibly she really is not well or just very upset.  I know how devastated she must be since she loved her Mother dearly.  She sobbed and cried out as she lay the flowers down.  I could not take it.  My eyes welled up and I had to turn around walk away.  My Mum was right there the whole time, which was very nice to have her so close by.  I felt like I was in a dream, like this was not real, it could not be.  It tore my heart out to see my Mother sobbing.  I know, strange right?  Not in my eyes I guess.

One of my Uncle's came over to talk to me, get a kiss and a smile.  He is one of my Mother's brothers and I adore him!  Since I was little I have always loved him, he is such a character.  We spoke for a little while and then we all left.  I did not see my Mother leave.  I have to say, my other Uncle, did the entire funeral and burial.  He took excellent care of my Grandmother her whole life and he should be proud that he was such a wonderful son to his Mother.  He is one of the most elegant people I know and loved his Mother to no end.  I was so sad for him as well.

Once I was home and everything was over.  I felt a lot better.  I thought it went very well.  I had no idea how I would react seeing my Mother after all this time.  She never really looked at me and did not even try to come near me so the message was very clear, she never will, but then, I knew that, right?  I spoke to my husband later about how badly I felt for her.  He, does not have any sympathy for her at all.  When I said it crushed me to see her cry, he said it crushes him to see me cry for her!  He is right.  Not only me but Kaleigh too, which is unforgivable to me.

I explained to Kaleigh that she needs to focus on people who love her.  Like Austin, Daddy, Mommie, Grandma, Grandpa, Nana (my Mum) and Grandad (my Dad), her friends and all the other family and everyone else who is in her life.  I pray that she will not ask to see my Mother again, but I am sure that is wishful thinking.

I wanted to say to Austin and Kaleigh, I will never walk away from you.  I will always be here for you!  I LOVE YOU INFINITE!

The one thing that was hardest for me to admit to myself, is you always need and want your Mother, whether you are 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 or 70.  Just when I thought I was over the pain, I'm not.

All the best!  *HUGS*

P.S.  Thank you for always being there for me Mum!  LOVE YOU! OX

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fast Friends

Very recently, a boy moved in just down the road, not far, a couple of houses away. He and Austin (both the same age) have become instant friends, Kaleigh too!  They run and play together everyday.  His parents set up an egg hunt on Easter for all three of kids, very sweet.  The boys really do stick together, Kaleigh sometimes ends up on the outside but she is feisty and hangs tough, and finds her way right back into the middle!  It is so nice to see Austin having fun and so excited to see his new friend.

Friendships seem to come so much more easily to Kaleigh and she is a little social butterfly.  It is nice to see her in the mix since sometimes, Austin's words still do not come out in a typical fashion.  When I told Austin he had 10 more minutes to play with his friend, he went out the door and had calculated the minutes into seconds, and gave the time left to play in seconds.  The look on the boy's face, he thought it was a bit odd, but didn't give it more a few seconds thought and was off again playing.  (I intend to speak to the boy's parents and I have met the father briefly.  He seems like a very nice man.  I will explain that Austin is on the spectrum.  I always feel more comfortable when people are aware of Austin's autism.)  So far, this boy has not said or questioned anything, to me anyway and with Kaleigh there to intervene all the time I am not sure it is as apparent as if Austin was on his own.

I encourage and support Austin and Kaleigh's friendships.  It is so important to have friends and the bonds you have when you are little can last a lifetime.  I get such a giggle out of my brother, he met his best friend when he was 5 years old and he just spent Easter weekend with him at his place out of town.  They both have families of their own but the bond has not changed in all that time.  I think it is really wonderful!  I have a few friends from when I was little who still hold the same place in my heart.  They may only be one or two, but that piece will always belong to them and how wonderful is that?

I look forward to and hope my children will make at least one great friend who will be there for a long, long time.  It is so wonderful to see the beginnings of friendships when they are so young and uncomplicated.  Sheer happiness, excitement and fun! What more could you ask for?

All the best! *HUGS*

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Strides and Struggles

Yesterday, I met with the Psychologist to find out the results of Austin's recent testing.  There were so many positive things to celebrate. :)  YAY!  Austin has achieved a lot and progressed very well.  He is so different than he was just a few years ago.  We are so proud of him!  He has worked very hard to overcome some of his most difficult challenges.  He has struggled and put forth such an effort, he is quite a remarkable boy.  GREAT JOB AUSTIN! :)

There are still things Austin struggles with and we continue to work with him on these issues.  His social skills and multi-tasking skills are still a challenge.  He also may not respond to a question in a way that you or I might.  We are returning to the speech therapist and OT for some strategies to help Austin.  He is growing so fast and changing rapidly.  Sometimes, the way he verbalizes things is still a bit vague.  Examples of what I mean will be coming up in another post soon! :)

*HUGS* All the best!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Difficulty Dressing

It has been a while but here is a time warp post.

Yesterday, I was waiting for Kaleigh to get dressed.  She has been able to get herself dressed for a long time now.  It made me think of Austin, and how at 6, he still struggled with dressing.  He needed help here and there still, but when he was around 3 to 5, it was a terrible ordeal for him to even attempt.  Prior to that, I always dressed him, he didn't seem to be interested in trying and I did not put much into the fact that he didn't.  That was, until it was brought to my attention that it was not typical for a 4 year old to not be able to get dressed independently.

People ask me, from time to time, what was your first indication that Austin may be on the autism spectrum, for me, it was his speech and his behaviours could be a bit unpredictable.  I also had someone close to me saying to get him checked but I did not listen to her at the time.  Once Austin started preschool, the teacher there brought many things to my attention, as I have blogged about previously.  Things he could not do included buttons and his zipper, putting on his snow pants.  I told her, "Well, I dress him all the time, so he just does not have to do it."  She, did not take that as a valid reason.  Sure enough, when I let him try, he could not do it.  It has only been within the last 2 years he has managed to do zippers and he does still struggle with buttons.  We tried to teach him to tie his shoes but he just cried and cried.  We found these wonderful snaps that just click the laces together.  We will try again to tie laces but his motor skills are still not up for the task.  )We always got him velcro shoes, so it was not an issue, until he grew out of that stage and now everything is pretty much laces.)  Thank goodness for the little snaps, for now.

When I look back and think of things that Austin struggled with, I feel like I need to document it.  It might help someone else and it is important to me that Austin see how much he progressed in such a short time.

*HUGS* All the best!

Friday, April 4, 2014


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*HUGS* All the best!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Light It Up Blue for April 2!

A sweet treat for Austin and Kaleigh for this special day!  They both went to school dressed in blue today too.  Have a great day everyone!

*HUGS*  All the best!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Autism Question

Today, Austin asked me "How much autism do I have?"  I was a little surprised that he asked me but I knew the day would come when he would.  I was reading an article on my computer in my room about the autism rates increasing to 1 in 68.  He saw was I was reading and this is what he asked me.  I asked him what he thought autism meant and he said it is "someone who is very smart, like Einstein" and I told him that is true but that there is a spectrum and not everyone on the spectrum is Einstein.  I tried to keep it as simple as possible.

We asked the Psychologist a while back, should we tell Austin he is on the autism spectrum.  She said to wait until he brought it up or asked.  Not to make a big deal out of it.  So I did my best to stick to her instructions.  She gave an example of having red hair, I am the same as everyone, I just have red hair; different.  I gave this example to Austin and he seemed to get it.  I explained to Austin that people that have high functioning autism like him, just think differently.  I gave him a few examples of what he excels at and what challenges he may face.  I also told him, we all have strengths and challenges.  (We did speak briefly with Dad too but Austin and I discussed mostly between ourselves.)  He just discussed back and forth like we were discussing how to make a cake.  He did tell me he has thought he was born on the spectrum.  I did tell him that indeed, he is on the autism spectrum and it is not a big deal.  I asked him if he knew anyone else on the spectrum and he said "no".  I explained to him that he does have a friend on the spectrum and he got very excited at how much they have in common.  He thought that it was "cool".

Interestingly enough, Austin has just gone through some testing and we are waiting the results of the assessment from the Psychologist.  She seemed very pleased with how much he has progressed.  He is doing very well. :)

I answered as many questions as he had and he really did not seemed too phased.

Light It Up Blue on April 2!

All the best! *HUGS*

Monday, March 24, 2014

No Filter

Sometimes people hurt Austin's feelings but he hurts peoples' feelings as well but really does not understand why.  The answer, no filter.

Austin says whatever comes into his head.  He really speaks his mind about everything.  It is nice to know that he will tell you pretty much anything but sometimes it really can be inappropriate.  Try going shopping and when there is a line he always blurts out "OH COME ON!!!" "We are going to be here FOREVER!"  You should see the look on peoples faces.  The first time it happened, I actually laughed because it caught me so off guard.  I always turn to Austin and say "That is not very polite and not appropriate, we must have patience."  He will say he is sorry but pout for a minute or two.  He eventually gets over it, but he will do it again the next time we go and the next ...

At school, there is a girl he does not like at all.  She has done somethings to upset him and well, he does not like her.  This is really new for Austin because he has always been very easy going and played with whoever would want to play.  Now, he is starting to get the social dynamic.  Oh my, it has not been an easy year but he has progressed and learnt so much!  He is doing so well!  Very proud of him!  The problem is, if he is put together with this girl he protests and says "I do not like her!"  He does not want to be paired up with her and has no problem saying this right to this poor girl.  I have been notified that he protests when he does not want to work with someone or in a group.  I have told Austin, when someone does something to hurt his feelings, he does not like it, then he should be careful not to hurt someone else's feelings too.  It takes a bit to get him to understand and I hope that he will choose his words more carefully.  He does not think there is anything wrong with expressing how he feels about someone.  It is a challenge to convince him otherwise and explain that he should try putting himself in that person's shoes.  I still have to be careful how I phrase things since he wants to know how it will help to wear their shoes!  Never a dull moment!

*HUGS*  All the best!

Special Needs and Special Needs

Austin has been having such a time with one child in particular at school.  He makes fun of Austin and calls him names, laughs at him and hurts his feelings.  Austin comes home crying, a lot.  It is really tough to know what to do since this child also has special needs.  I continue to tell Austin to ignore or walk away when this child teases him or bothers him and most of the time he does but sometimes he is in a position where he cannot.  I explained to Austin that this child has his own challenges and he must be more patient and understanding since the child cannot control some of these behaviours.  It is a challenge everyday and I continue to tell Austin to tell someone if he is upset, although he still does not do this all the time.

I continue to support Austin and give him a big hug when he is upset and tell him, it has nothing to do with him, it is not personal.  I hope that the situation will improve and Austin will continue to be patient and may be there will be no more tears.

*HUGS*  All the best!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pretzel Position

It has been a while since a time warp post; I thought this one would be interesting.

Austin has always had sleep issues.  Mostly problems falling asleep when he was little but now he sticks to a fairly typical routine, most of the time.  The way he sleeps has brought about some concern, when the position he likes to sleep in was witnessed at his preschool a few years ago.  He got sick at school and fell asleep while I was on my way to get him.  His teacher said she had never seen a child do this and thought it was odd.  He used to sleep this way a lot and I really did not find it strange since he was so big this is how he slept in my stomach, which the nurse who used to measure me, thought was very funny.  I figured, well, it is because that what he did while I was pregnant with him.  I dismissed it earlier on, but not after the teacher talked to me about it.

Now, the position I am referring to can best described as a pretzel.  Austin will sleep folded over his legs with his knees bent to the sides and his hands under his stomach or stretched past his feet.  He did this so much when he was little, and if you moved him, he would go right back to that position.  He still does it now.  When I see him like that at night, I wake him up and move him so he is on his side and in my opinion, more comfortable.  He got a laugh about it when we were talking about it the other day.  He insists that he enjoys sleeping "like a pretzel".

All the best! *HUGS*