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Aug 22, 2013


As an autism mom, I'm grateful for rare moments like our lunchtime today.   Everyone sat down to eat (never happens), and all the kids were FULLY CLOTHED!!!!  Had to record this moment for posterity.

Seeing them like this reminded me of the journal post I wrote back in April 2010 describing mealtime at my house:

"I just wanted to capture a moment.  Last night, I sat all three of my kids down for a dinner of salad and pork.  So imagine the typical family sitting around the table eating their salads...I poured them all lemonade.  I want Jason to learn to drink from a regular cup, not just a sippy cup, so I gave everyone regular cups.  I then watched as Jason tried to drink out of the regular cup, then thought it would be fun to watch it pour out on his shirt.  He poured out all of the drink, and then tried to drink some more even though it was gone.  When he realized there wasn't any more, he dropped his cup on the floor.  He then tipped his plate over and used his fork as a rake to push the lettuce leaves,  vegetables and pork around on the table top.  While this was going on, Caiti was using her fingers to rake through the lettuce...ignoring her fork entirely...and just picking out the bits of frozen corn to eat while once in a while sucking the dressing off the lettuce leaves.  Afterwhich, she started grabbing handfuls of salad and flinging them in the air joyfully and watching them fall every whichway.  She also thought it would be fun to fling her full cup of lemonade on the floor.  Needless to say, the spot underneath her chair was a wet and veggie-filled mess.  Good thing my kitchen has vinyl flooring and not carpet.  Garrett, on the other hand, was eating great, but every couple of seconds, he would make a dash for it.  I kept having to yell at him to sit down.  His ABA tutor had told me to be firm and follow through so that he knows exactly what I want, so I would have to grab his hand and lead him back to his chair, where he would proceed to whine and scream in-between mouth fulls.  At one point, he made it all the way out the sliding glass door to the backyard, so not knowing what to do, I said, "Fine, you are having a time out," and locked him outside.  He didn't seem to mind.  Not so effective I guess.  Five minutes later, I went and got him and made him sit down to finish his meal.  He did fine after that; I guess he just had the wiggle bug.  I was feeling parently and decided to teach Caiti a lesson.  I cleaned up the lemonade myself since her cast cannot get wet, but I made her scoot around on her little bum and pick up all the lettuce and pork off the floor and put it in the garbage.  While we were doing this, Jason was using his plate as a broom and scooped his dinner in a nice little pile...he does this every night. 

Typical dinner at the Roach house...anyone want to join us."

Aug 21, 2013

Our Little Protector

As an autism mommy, I'm grateful for my doggie, Dougie.  He is our family's little protector.  Case in point, today was a horrible day.  My Garrett had yet another seizure.  I hate them soooo much.  And my cute doggie, Dougie, was by his side until he knew Garrett was okay.

Aug 20, 2013

ID Helps for our Nonverbal Wanderers

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for products out there to help us mommies who are worried about our kids getting lost.  I know I recently addressed this when I was talking about big kid harnesses, but I just wanted to share a couple of other ideas.

First thing's first, an easy way to keep kids safe on family outings is to just write the necessary info on the back of their shirt.  Here's an example:

A similar idea that I find super cool can be found at  Basically, this website has a bunch of products with a scannable code, including shirts, bags, etc.  You register your child with the code, then if they are found while wearing the code, all someone would have to do is scan it on their phone to get the information needed to get your child safely back home.  I think this is a great idea, especially if you don't want the world to see your phone number, like they would in the shirts above.

There are some pretty high-tech products out there.  An example would be GPS bracelets.  These can be found at  We tried this once, but it was hard for us because the bracelet BUGGED Garrett, and wasn't worth his unhappiness, but if your child will tolerate it and has a big problem with wandering, it might be worth taking a look at.

Autism Speaks has a whole page dedicated to safety.  There are links to a bunch of great products on that site as well:
Some of my favorites are the Kid Safety Band 

These temporary tattoos are a great idea.  I tried them in the past, and I couldn't get my kids to hold still long enough to actually write our phone number on them.  They might now though.  If not, though, they have kits where you can custom order them with your phone number already on.  A couple websites for these tattoos are: or

They also have the link to the IDSafe Child Kits:
 "Each child safety kit includes forms to document each child’s medical and personal information, including allergies and medications, blood type, height, weight, hair and eye color, birth date, a dental chart for primary and secondary teeth, a 10-finger fingerprint chart with a safe, non-toxic ink strip, instructions for obtaining a DNA hair sample with a heavy gauge storage bag, two Safe Shoes Child IDÔ labels, two pages of comprehensive safety tips, and a chart to denote any unique physical features."

If you are like me, these are a little intimidating and kind of morbid, but they are important because they help law enforcement in identify your missing child.

Garrett's Personality

As an autism mom, I'm so grateful for all my kids.  Today I'm super grateful for my cute Garrett and his adorable, totally unique personality.  He makes me happy.  Here's some examples:
Garrett is super cute when I ask him questions.  He definitely has the scripted answers down.  But my favorite is his very own version of "What does a horse say?"
I also remember the very first time I ever heard Garrett say the PBS announcement you hear so many times. He wasn't even three yet.  We were sitting at McDonalds.  He was sitting across from me eating some fries, and all of sudden I hear the entire PBS "Brought to you by..." speech pour forth out of his mouth.  It totally caught me by surprise.  He still says it all the time: