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Mar 23, 2013

Caiti's "Mirror"

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for cameras that have the ability to switch the view finder to face you.  This is because my kids think it is a mirror, and the results are very cute movies just for me.

Mar 22, 2013

Miracle Naps

As an autism mom, today I'm grateful for the miraculous event of all three children napping at the same time ( not to mention Dougie).





Mar 20, 2013

Dougie


As an autism mom, and after almost 10 years being married, having kids, not having pets, and being happy about it, I actually am surprised to say that I'm grateful for our new dog.  I have read several things about how doggies are good companions for kids with autism, and I would smile and think, "That's great for all those other kids," then go about my day without a dog.  

Then last Sunday, my husband left to get a haircut and came back with a puppy.  I was so mad at him.  I mean, don't I have enough poop, pee, chewed on stuff, major messes, etc. to clean up already?  But then the puppy was so sweet, didn't bark at us, was super snuggly.  Also, to see the light in my husband's eye and to hear him say that now our family was complete made it worth it.  Honestly, the thing that got me at first was that he started eating the popcorn my kids had just spilled all over the floor.  It reminded me of people who buy goats to mow their grass.  I had a dog to be a vacuum.  ;)
Since our kids are very limited in their verbal ability, we decided to name the dog, Dougie.  Doggy is a word that all my kids can say, and doggy is close enough to Dougie...right?  
Dougie has been extremely cute with my kids.  The very first day Kevin came and got me right when I was finally lying down for my nap.  He said, "You've got to come see this."  My annoyance at being disturbed during my "me time" quickly turned into utter happiness when I saw Dougie standing protectively between my sweet baby girl and the fence where the mean dog was barking at her and trying to jump over.
I couldn't get to this picture in time, but when I walked in on Jason after his nap, I found him sitting up petting his doggy.  It made me happy.

Garrett has made friends with Dougie too.  He talks about his "dog" randomly throughout the day.  At first he was scared of him, but now he lets him climb right up on his lap, and Garrett will get a smile and pet him while looking up at the ceiling.  So cute.
The best part for me is that I haven't been AT ALL motivated to exercise.  If I have free time I just want to veg...but every day this week after I have the kids on the bus, I take Dougie on a walk.  Walks are a lot more fun when you have a doggy to keep you company.  So, maybe I'm a converted dog lover after all.  :)


Mar 12, 2013

Autism Discussion Page on Facebook

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for a page that I found on facebook that I like so much and has been such a good resource to turn to when I'm trying to learn a little more about my children and why they act how they do.  It is the Autism Discussion Page.

In the 'About' section it states:

"This page was developed by Bill Nason, MS, LLP to discuss tools that help children on the spectrum feel safe, accepted and competent. Although each child is different, with their unique strengths and challenges, their are some common strategies that can strengthen the social, emotion, and cognitive security for most children on the spectrum. Come learn, share, and support.

This discussion page will present a tool box of strategies for helping the child feel safe, accepted and competent. I will present the presentations in a series of power points represented in photo albums. If you are joining the page mid way through you can easily get at each power point from the photos section. When you go to the photo section, you will see only the lastest six albums. There will be more hidden. Just click on the "see all photo" link to see the earlier ones."

The above picture was taken from one of the first presentations on the page, and I love it.
I encourage anyone who is on facebook and wants to join a special needs group to take a look at this page.  It is a nice source to go to for support and knowledge concerning these cute kids and how their minds and bodies work.  :)

Mar 3, 2013

Your Future is as Bright as Your Faith

As an autism mom, I am grateful for the personal insight/revelation I can receive when I actually take the time to stop and listen.  I had the chance to attend the first hour of church last week.  One of the speakers was talking about how excited she was to serve a mission for our church.  She had such a brightness about her.  She had the spirit in her face.  She had such excitement for her future.
It took me back to my college days.  I had such faith back then.  I'm not saying I don't now, but it's a different kind of faith.  I don't want to say that I have lost that "perfect brightness of hope," but some days are harder than others, and sometimes it's hard to have a positive outlook for my future.  Life has given me too many things that I didn't expect (not just my children), and it's been a hard road, trying to accept what I've been given and to figure out how to use what I've been given in my life.
As I was listening to her talk, the quote, "Your future is as bright as your faith," by Thomas S. Monson came into my mind.  Back in the day, I had such faith that all would go well, and I believed with all my heart that my future was bright.  I had an ah-ha moment when I thought about this.  Just because my future didn't turn out how I expected, that doesn't mean that it wasn't a bright future.  My husband and I were entrusted with some amazing children who teach us about life and God and love every day.  It can be overwhelming and hard, but I have to remember how lucky I am to have such amazing little teachers in my life.  I'm so lucky to be blessed with the many people in my life who were sent to me to help my family, and in turn who my babies have also helped.
So I'm going to try and focus on my faith, which is always a hard thing.  I'm going to focus on faith in a happy future where my kids will have the opportunities they need to reach their full potential and where I will have the same opportunities to reach mine.