Total Pageviews

May 30, 2012

Definition of Autism

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for this definition I found of autism last night in the current book I am reading, How to be a Sister: A Love Story with a twist of Autism.  She expressed in words what I have felt so many times.  In truth, I have been sad about my children's diagnoses for a long time.  I love them for who they are, and love who they are, but it is so hard to know what is in their heads and to truly know them.  It is hard to look at their lives and see how much harder it is for them to navigate this world than it is for the rest of us.
The author, Eileen Garvia, expressed what so many of us who love someone affected with autism feel.
"For people who have autism, the disorder is a burden or a challenge, something to overcome, or perhaps not. A battle against the outer world, a system.  Autism is the lack, the missing elements of empathy and intuition that allow people to connect with others.  It's a different life colored by the expectations of other people that autism means magical ability or stupidity.  Autism is a trap or a safe haven.  It's a world of loneliness and isolation and a place of creativity.  It's a bull's-eye that makes a person a target for abuse or a yardstick of accomplishment through improvement.  Maybe it's a defining feature of a personality or just one characteristic of the many complexities that make up a person.  Every life is different."

Better window stoppers

Sunday was an interesting day.  I was walking down the hallway and felt a breeze.  Uh oh.  Where was Garrett????   I looked in Caiti's room, and the window stoppers that I previously posted about were off of her window, and it was wide open.  Not good!  So I ran across the street to see if he was at the park.  "Darn you!" to whoever thinks it's a good idea to lock the park at night.  That would have been Garrett's first stop.  Normally, I would have ran down to the swimming pool or McDonald's next, due to past experience.  Luckily, a nice lady in a truck saw my worried face as I was crossing the street back to my house and asked if the little boy running down the road (the opposite direction of where I would have gone) was my son?  Phew.
I hate that moment when I have to decide whether to lock the other two in the house and hurry and drive down to get Garrett or to hurry and get the other two dressed, strapped in the car and head out to get Garrett, hoping he hasn't gotten much further.  
Fortunately, I found Garrett.  He had run almost to the end of the street, down by the elementary school.  Seriously Garrett?  Who wants to go to school on a Sunday?
One of our ABA tutors arrived at our house and was working with Jason, so I took Garrett and Caiti on an unwanted trip to the hardware store.  I HATE taking kids by myself to the store.  Maybe I should just say, "I hate taking Caiti by myself to the store."  She will not keep her shoes on, so I end up having to put her in the shopping cart.  That is always fun because then she tries to stand up the whole time and does her mad Caiti growl.  I love the looks we get when people see me pushing the cart, Garrett's feet up on the metal bar, holding on to the handle and getting a fun ride, and Caiti freaking out in the cart.  Yes, I know she's loud...and yes, she is probably too old to be sitting in the cart.  Yes, I know it's dangerous to put your kids in the cart...unless they're the strapped in babies...but it's much more dangerous for them to bolt on you in the store.  There, I'm done with my rant.
I found a nice salesperson who helped us find a window stopper that you couldn't take off manually.  After all, Garrett figured those out in two seconds.  Maybe that is why his ABA tutors have taught him to answer, "I am!"  when they ask, "Who's the smartest?"  I think these window stoppers are pretty awesome.  You can only unscrew them with an allen wrench.  Phew.  I got mine at Lowes, but if you are ordering online, I could only find them here:

Carpet Shampooer...yet again

As an autism mom, there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not grateful for my carpet shampooer for one reason or another.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.
My husband went back home to visit his family over Memorial Day weekend, so I was home alone with my three cuties for three days.  I made a conscious decision to have a good attitude and try to do things with my kids so they wouldn't be bored and neither would I.
I saw the cutest idea on pinterest using fingerpaints.  I was inspired by this picture especially, using a footprint to make a tractor (  So cute.
I decided to try and make it for Jason's room to go with the transportation theme.  So Jason, Garrett and I all set out for the backyard, fingerpaints in hand.  Jason and Garrett had a grand time putting fingerpaints all over themselves...while I, unsuccessfully, tried to show them that they should put fingerpaints on the paper.  But that was okay. It was probably my fault, since the first thing we did when we were out there was slather green paint on Jason's foot for the tractor picture...hmmm...  Garrett's favorite part was getting sprayed off with the hose afterward.  When I shut the hose off, he politely requested, "More water please."  So I sent him inside to the shower...and not thinking, forgot to put the fingerpaints up.
how Jason's tractor turned out
The next morning I was relaxing in my bedroom, and in walked Garrett covered in blue paint from head to toe.  He reminded me of Mystique from x-men.  I wished I had a camera (both of mine were ruined by certain kids in my household who will remain nameless), and Kevin took his phone with him which is my backup camera source.

Not even two minutes later, in walked Jason covered from head to toe in red fingerpaint.  Mind you, both kids had stripped down beforehand.  Maybe I should be grateful for that.  Seeing Jason reminded me of his birthday party...
Both kids had showers.  So when they say "washable" on the front of the paints, it really of skin.  But it's ridiculous to get out of clothes...and carpet.  So, back to my first sentence.  I'm grateful for my carpet shampooer because there was red and blue throughout my house, and my shampooer got most of that up, just leaving a very faded color that you can only see if you are looking for it.

"It's's okay."

Today I realized where Garrett got the phrase he likes to echo that bothers me.  He was sitting at the computer watching Madagascar on itunes.  Alex the Lion was shipwrecked in Madagascar, and had just had his inner lion come out.  He even tried to eat his best friend, Marty, the zebra.  The words, "What is wrong with me!" popped out of his mouth.  "Grrrr"to Alex the Lion for teaching Garrett that phrase.  As an autism mom, I'm grateful that, when I hear him say that, I can truthfully answer, "Nothing's wrong with you.  You're perfect."  Because, even though he is considered disabled, he is perfect in God's eyes.
I am also grateful that he gives me a little clue if he's feeling sad.  He comes up to me, and tells me, "It's alright honey.  It's okay."  Then he waits for me to say those words back to him.  So I can take his hint when he is echoing the words I've said so many times, and give him a hug and say, "It's alright honey.  It's okay."  Somehow that makes things so much better.

May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for my kids...not necessarily for mother's day.  I've always had a very hard time on Mother's Day because my kids don't really understand that you give your mommy a present, or make her a card.  They sort of can say "I love you," if I prompt them, and they cooperate.  When I go to church, they have all the little kids stand up front and sing cute songs to their I sit there and bawl my eyes out, looking at the kids who are the same age as mine.  It's such a reminder of what life would have been like if they were born in different bodies.
So, this year, I decided to have a different attitude towards Mother's Day.  I asked my friend to take pics of the kids and photo edit the words "We Love You" onto the pics so that I can see it, even if they can't say it.  That was my favorite mother's day present ever.  I have also decided to start a Mother's Day journal, and every Mother's day write the gifts that my children give me every day, just by being in my life.  Maybe this way, I can feel joy in the real meaning of Mother's day and get over the pity party that I tend to have.
I love my kids, and I'm so blessed to be their mommy.

May 7, 2012

Yummy treats!

As an autism mom, I'm thankful for yummy treats...of course that can be a bad thing because sometimes yummy treats are what I think will make it all better...for days at a time.  Then I step on the scale...but that's beside the point.  Right?
Anyway, I made the yummiest little treat last night.  I bought chocolate chip cookie dough and a brownie mix.  (Of course I was inspired by pinterest for this little find).  First off I preheated the oven to 350.  Then I greased a muffin tin.  I put spoonfuls of cookie dough in the tins, spreading them out smooth.  Then I put spoonfuls of brownie batter on top of the cookie dough.  This is making my mouth water just typing it.  In the pinterest recipe, you put a peanut butter cup on top of the cookie dough before spooning in the brownie batter, but I forgot to buy those.  It was just as good this way.  Anyway, I cooked them for 18 min.  And then I ate a little piece of heaven.  Mmmm...
My friends were here to share in the goodness, and they told me these reminded them of Half Baked Ice Cream (Ben and Jerry's).  So, in addition, I am thankful that one of them is bringing me some of that that I can compare.  So scientific.  I'm excited.