How To Throw A Birthday Party for Autistic Children

Ballerina's and Music Man's birthday was approaching.  They were going to be 5 years old.  They had never had a birthday party.  They had never even BEEN to a birthday party (outside of the family).  Big Brother had been having birthday parties since he turned 3.  This year, I felt THEY deserved a party.  I mean "5" is a pretty significant number -- they'll be starting kindergarten in September, they are a whole hand, half a decade, however you choose to look at it.  But how do you plan a birthday party for children who are autistic?...more

What IS a diagnosis anyway?!?

Yeah, that's what I was forced to contemplate today. I took Rachel to a developmental pediatrician for an evaluation. We made the appointment knowing that we had a co-diagnosis of "Autism" and "ADHD". I was resigned to that truth and really just trying to figure out what the best option really is to allow her to succeed. Should we continue the Focalin? Should we change that medication? Should we do something completely different? ...more

Simon's not the only one with a long memory....

Here I am, just shy of 40 years old, and today I think I discovered a new phobia of mine.  Firehouses. Well, not quite firehouses -- just one firehouse.  Just the thought of approaching it with my family I can feel my heart rate rise.  All I can say is that I'm grateful that it's no longer our local firehouse (we live in an area that is growing at such a huge rate that they recently built a new one closer to our home). ...more

Chemistry Experiment

Yup.....I'm engaged in a chemistry experiment.  And the subject.....my daughter, Rachel.  We started pumping her small body with (very very VERY) small amounts of medication to help her master her impulses. ...more

The strangeness continues.....

.....I've mentioned before that Rachel is sensitive to Simon.  If Simon gets upset, so does she.  She will cry.  She will come over and bury her head in our necks.  And we know this behavior holds true for some other children to whom she has a "sensitivity" for.  However, this has been changing.  And in a very odd way.  And a very unpleasant way as well.... ...more

What do people see?

What do people see when they see me walking with (specifically) Rachel and Simon?  Do they see a mom with 2 kids?  If we are having an "A-moment", do they think how could I allow my children to become such spoiled brats?  Or do they actually see the autism?  Can someone who has never seen me or my children before recognize the struggle that I must mentally prepare for every time we leave the house?  I always feel I have to explain myself or their behavior away, even when things aren't so bad.  I feel I have to prepare everyone for the imminent breakdown that is...more

Thinking Back

I recently received a comment on a post from nearly 2 years ago (CSAAC and Making It Work), asking about what I thought of working with CSAAC (Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children) as they are preparing to look into their services for their son. So, I decided to write a "Way back when...." post looking back to where Rachel (and I) was then and where we are now......more

3 Amazing Words

"I Love You". 8 letters with 2 spaces. It really sounds simple. But to a parent of a child with autism, it's elusive. So many of us never hear these words, even if our children are verbal. At least not with feeling and a true comprehension of the meaning behind them. We know our children love us. We see it in their eyes. We see it in their behavior. But knowing it is not the same as hearing it....more

It's Time.

Time passes.  You don't see it most of the time.  More often than not, when we are feeling the stress, it feels like time actually stops.  But it doesn't.  It keeps going.  And if we don't get on top of issues, they tend to grow.  Or they will prevent growth. ...more

A Day

Today has been "A Day".  A VERY long day.  Actually, it's been a long 2 weeks.  School ended on the 16th and we have been managing to pass the time.  But some days have been easier than others.  I have so much to say, but I thought I would just describe this morning.  There are several more posts coming soon (probably starting next week), but I miss doing this and I need to just get back into writing. ...more