Tuesday, December 20, 2011

ONE was reached

Monday morning was just like any other.  The alarm woke me, I went to wash my face, pee, etc., and was getting ready to go downstairs to fix myself some breakfast.  But before that, I have the bad habit of picking up my iphone and skimming through my facebook page for anything exciting that may have happened as I slept.  Truth is I really just want to see what the rest of the world is doing at all hours of the night, similar to the way I used to when I was young and foolish myself.  But now as these days go, I can’t keep myself up late past ten-thirty-ish. 

So I’m reading, reading, scrolling…then a post, a direct to me on my wall from my cousin.  I hurried to view it.  No one ever sends me any posts.  And then there it was.  I read it slowly, and sat back on my bed as I read it over a couple of times. 

Here is what it read:  From Letty to Claire… AUTISM, (A)lways (U)nique (T)otally (I)ntelligent (S)ometimes (M)ysterious.

That was it…nothing more, nothing less.  I had read this so many times in the last few years.  I even have a t-shirt with these words.  But was it possible I had reached ONE person!  My cousin is not an autism parent, nor does she have a sibling with autism.  There was no need to send me a post like the one she did. I myself post articles and pictures, or blogs, videos, etc., but I usually expect other autism parents to read them.   So as an advocate for autism awareness, I am going to put a great big star on the calendar…for that day I felt I reached at least ONE person.  That is all.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day # __, Never mind

Technically, I should have started counting days all over again, to report Puppy's progress with no tantrums or meltdowns; and I had.  But as the days passed, I felt as if the hype surrounding the holidays has also triggered a button like an on/off switch within Puppy to cause him to be easily bothered, anxious, tired, and probably confused.  So although he hasn’t had a full tantrum, there’s been talking back, slapping hands on a table or wall, you know, just to get my attention.  I just didn’t think that I could count those days, and it was happening often, too.  So I’ll see what else I can think up.  Need to find a way to measure progress and praise him for it.  Does anyone have any ideas?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Down for the count

We had been doing well these days.  And although it may sound like a bad thing that we've started our count on the number of days without tantrums or meltdowns all over again, we were able to reach TWENTY-SIX (26) DAYS!  I am still so proud of Puppy for making it through all 26 days.

His final day came after school and while at daycare yesterday.  As it turns out, my boss gave me an early release from work yesterday and I was out at 4:30 P.M.  I didn’t really have errands to run and was going to take the opportunity to visit my parents until about 6:00 P.M., which is the hour I usually leave to pick up Puppy at daycare.   Knowing daylight will be gone by that time, I decided I’d rather pick him up early and we could go visit my parents together, and then head home afterward. 

I arrived at the daycare and hoped to see Puppy excited to see me there early.  He is still learning to tell time, but he knows it’s always dark when I pick him up and today it wasn’t.  So I open the door to his classroom and find him in standing in a corner and there are two teachers with him.  I see his face, and he’s been crying.  You have no idea how many things were going through my mind.  I took notice that the other children were playing and watching TV, so I took that as a good sign because none of them was being attended to (meaning none of them was hurt).  When he saw me he walked between the two teachers since they were giving their backs to me and hadn’t noticed I was standing there.  He put his head on my shoulder as tried to calm him further.

My first reaction was to ask what happened, and I was waiting to hear he fell; but that wasn’t it. Puppy was just calming down from having a tantrum.  I continued to calm him as the two of us and his teacher walked outside to talk.  She explained to me how he asked for paper and she asked him what he was going to draw.  He answered he was going to make a paper wallet.  When she reminded him that he knows better and he isn’t suppose to make paper wallets, he lost it.  He hit the desk, and then his head with a closed fist, screamed foul language at the teacher, and yelled there were too many kids there and that he wanted to go home, for them to call his mother. 

I looked at him.  He quickly apologized for the behavior, a quick move on his part.  But that was not enough, nor was it going to get him off the hook.  After signing the incident report for the teacher, Puppy and I went home.  He asked for a chance to go to the store or to get ice cream, etc., but got a “no” from me the entire ride home.  We talked once we got home and his attitude changed.  But it was a long night because I continued to reinforce that the behavior he had was unwanted and unnecessary, not good behavior.  So we are back at zero days.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


#Youmightbeanautismparent if you've seen this hashtag

This hastag has been going on for a few days now on twitter and even on facebook. I just thought you might like to read a few by clicking the link. However, there are so many more on twitter. Just search for the hashtag. Happy reading!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Our Saturday (Day 21)

Puppy and I had a wonderful weekend.  This past Saturday was the best we’ve had in a long while.  It started once we left the house to head out to one of our monthly autism support group meetings.  I was excited to go see the new office of South Texas Kids Rehab in town.  It is a new place operated by a couple (Gracie and Steve) who is dedicated to helping all kids. 

The theme for our meeting was “Socializing and Pancakes”.  Yes, that is exactly what we did.  Gracie and Steve actually cooked up pancakes for everyone.  There were also toppings of strawberries, bananas, syrup, whip cream, as well as milk, chocolate milk, and orange juice to drink.  So we had good food and a lot of chit-chatting between moms, our special kids and their siblings did whatever kids do (play, jump, scream, watch TV, etc.).  After finishing up with our breakfast, we decided to walk over to the park that was on the opposite end of the parking lot and across a small creek.  Plus, we could not have asked for a better day for great weather, it was absolutely beautiful…breezy, cloudy and perfect. 

All the kids had a fantastic time.  Even Puppy, whom likes to sit alone, couldn’t resist joining the others to swing from the moving handlebar.  He was so scared to swing at first; but then was so proud of himself once he swung across and the others cheered for him.  It was one of those lump-in-my-throat moments when I saw the natural smile come to his face and then the hand-flapping, can’t forget the joy coming from the hand-flapping…(mom smiles).

I will add that I enjoyed myself as well.  The other moms are such sweet yet strong women.  It’s funny how I never knew any of them until we joined this support group, and now we are uniting more and more on facebook, e-mails, out of town trips, at the park and our monthly meetings, always with kids in tow.  Thanks to the moms, Gracie and Steve, and the kids for sharing our beautiful Saturday.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Eighteen long days

Well, here we find ourselves pushing on with many challenging days in between the holidays still ahead.  Puppy has made it through with our count of 18 days without a tantrum!  He’s been really good about catching himself as he tenses up and he’ll walk away to talk to himself.  This is to basically lecture himself out loud with phrases that have previously been told to him in an attempt to make an attitude adjustment.

The Thanksgiving break went rather smoothly.  He really enjoyed the days with absolutely no routine, those days he didn’t go to daycare and got to spend time at grandma and grandpa’s house.  There he gets to be outdoors the entire time.  He’s a free spirited kind of person.

Although Puppy is not allowed to carry a wallet, he has kept a few credit cards (expired gifts cards) in his pocket.  I even mentioned it to his teacher a couple of days ago, that I’m seeing a pattern that may no longer be isolated to wallets, but rather to the reality that he is able to carry anything in his pockets.  Let me explain.  He recently bought a watch.  He wears it regularly, but he also removes it and places it in his pocket.  The funny part about all this is he is mirroring his uncle.  He looks up to him as a child would his father.  Puppy unknowingly seeks out any male adult that will give him few seconds of their time.  My brother wears his watch and will remove it if he works on cars, his motorcycle, or any outdoor activity that might damage it or simply causes sweat.  I can ask Puppy for his watch and he’ll say it’s in his pocket.  I’ll look at my brother and see the same.  My sweet Puppy is trying so hard to fit in.