Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Autism and siblings

My daughter is six and a half and she started asking about her brother I think at 4. He is two years younger and when the therapists would come to our house she would get jealous. I know it might be too simplistic but I told her that Emerson had learning problems. It was harder for him to learn then her and he needed some help from his "teachers" His teachers also needed to teach him how to play and we needed her help. We also said that his 'brain gets fuzzy' sometimes and he feels like 'the volume is turned all the way up" (We actually turned the radio up full blast for her so she would know what we meant)

   Now she is dealing with some jealousy that he is reading better than her. I tried to tell her it is just his super skill and pointed out all of the things she doesn't have problems with (like going to the bathroom) Having a sibling on the spectrum is a hard thing for a child to deal with. We ask alot of her and she always amazes me with how she handles it! I try to make it as fair as possible but it doesn't always work out that way :(

We have also been having to work on apologizing. He will hit her or mess up her things and he is doing REALLY well at apologizing after. She doesn't want to accept it though. After we had a talk about it and I told her that it is hard for him to understand how she feels when she is upset, and we have to help him even if we are mad at him, she has been doing a better job "helping" him apologize. Yesterday they were fighting and she was crying and all I said to him was "Meadow is mad at you." He started crying and "went to bed" I was SO surprised that he was upset because I told him she was upset. After that they looked at each other and started laughing. I live for the moments that seem typical! <3

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My unsolicited advice

My biggest piece of advice for an evaluation is to get over it. I know that sounds harsh but your child is the same one as yesterday and with or without a dx they are still your lovely baby. The dx is just a tool and I actually was very relieved after we got it because the huge question mark was gone. It is horrible not knowing what is wrong with your child.

        I can remember after they told us that he had High Fuctioning Autism and Sensory processing disorder the therapists and doctors were all looking at me like they were waiting for me to cry or break down and all I could feel was this inappropriate laughter bubbling up. I think it was releif that we had an answer. I can remember my Mom kept telling me " I just need something I can google!" Labels do have thier uses, so don't be afraid of them. Think of it as a tool to help your child learn and grow. I can not STRESS enough how benificial early intervention is, even if your child just has mild developmental delays. My son started getting therapy at 19 months old before anyone even said the word autism. He was diagnosed at 27 month as severe to moderate and is now 4 1/2 and his teachers are telling me that he is more on the mild end of the spectrum. I could take all of the credit for his progress, but I put it ALL on how early we got him help.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

a little easier than I anticipated...

Adjusting to life with 3, including an ASD child, is proving to be a little easier than I anticipated...That being said I'm sure all hell will break loose at the first possible chance. O.o I was so worried how Emerson would react to the new baby. Other than withdrawing from me for a couple of days(I think that had more to do with spending the night away from home for a while than the baby) He hasn't paid much attention to Finn. Meadow is 21 months older than Emerson but we waited almost 5 years to have Finn. After Emerson was dx at 26 months they told us that the chances of having another ASD child were 1:10 so we decided to wait until we were ready to have another child on the spectrum just in case. It was a bit of an emotional shock when I saw the resent study saying that the chance of having a subsequent child on the spectrum was 1:5 but 1:4 if it was a boy. I'm sure I will stress over Finn's milestones like CRAZY! I also have to remind myself that all of those "studies" claim autism is caused by something new ever week and 4 out of 5 don't apply to me. :/

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

DAMN YOU Cars 2 and your talking cars!

All I can say this evening is DAMN YOU Cars 2 and your talking cars! You've gotten all mixed up with the ones that DON'T talk or have lights and you are making bedtime VERY hard! Of course "Monster Destroyer" will Not go to bed without his cars and since they talk he has to jibber jabber back. Presently he is kicking his wall in protest since I took them away...did I mention all of this is going on while I am trying to quiet down the two six year old girls(sleep over Yay!) and the hubby is gone on night shift. Oh yeah and don't forget trying to simultaneously nurse a 3 week old while all of this is happening...Though I think I deserve a pat on the back! They may not all be asleep but they are all in bed and it's only 9:30pm! Yay me!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

holy CRAP

Emmy got LOST today and SCARED the holy CRAP out of his Aunt Rissa! I'm glad I didn't hear about it until after he was found (In the neighbors garage near their POOL! -I can't think about it!) This would be a good time to share the VERY INSANELY SCARY autistic trait of wandering or elopement. Everyone tends to make me feel like I'm an overprotective paranoid mommy but this is SCARY.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sisters and birth- Finnigin's (and Ozius's) Birth story

Before I can write my birth story for Finnigin I guess I need to write a pregnancy story. My story is so tangled in my sister's story.I found out I was pregnant with my third child when my younger sister, Merissa was at the end of her pregnancy with her first. (Yay! hand-me-down maternity clothes!) She had decided to go the traditional route and have a hospital/ OB birth. I had always wanted to have a midwife and a homebirth but I guess I was scared of going outside the box of 'norm'. My Aunt had had all of her children at home including a set of twins, who weighed in at 6lbs 9 oz and 6lbs 11 oz! (My preemie daughter had weighed 6lbs 10 oz) but my Mom had had me and my 3 siblings in the hospital.

My sister Merissa 41 weeks
Merissa had actually gone to her first prenatal visit and realized that HER Dr. Williams was the same Dr. Williams that had delivered all of us back in the 80s (I can't make this kind of stuff up) . She really liked her and was comforted by the fact that she was a very experienced Dr. and we knew that she had delivered my brother breech vaginally, which even then was uncommon. My sisters biggest fear was having a c-section (who ISN'T afraid of a c-section??) so she felt more comfortable knowing Dr. Williams was a veteran.

I was about eight weeks along when my sister went into labor. She was a week and a half past her due date and big as a house. After having contractions all night Saturday night she headed to the hospital about noon. Dr. Williams wasn't there and wouldn't be expected until the next day. She was about 4 cm dilated and the first thing they did was break her water. My sister had been there less than four hours when the Dr. started talking about a c-section. We were all very much against that, which seemed to piss the Dr. off. The Dr. was horribly mean so of course the nurses followed suite. A little back story: My sister has severe anxiety and had been off her med through her entire pregnancy, so I think the mere mention of the word 'c-section' stopped her labor dead in it's tracks. We mentioned this to the doctor,my mother and I, rather forcefully (I guess bitchy would be more accurate) which really incensed her. My sister had been adamant that she didn't wan pain meds either. I went med free with my first son and knew from experience how hard it was to get the nurses AND  doctors to respect those wishes, and it was no different for Merissa. A c-section looked more and more eminent.

I had to finally go home and take care of my two older kids. I wanted to go back but it was REALLY hitting me because my sister's fear was my fear. My Mom stayed with her while she labored all night. After telling the doctor off, she pretty much left Merissa alone. In a bed. By herself . ALL night. The doctor told her she wasn't aloud to get up, and told the nurses she couldn't have anymore ice chips. I really feel like the doctor was trying to punish Merissa. She wasn't fitting into the hosptals 'plans". The next day Dr. Williams finally got there but Merissa was exhausted. She was stalled at 9 1/2 cm, hadn't eaten in over 24 hours and was starting to get delirious.

My beautiful nephew was born via emergency c-section Monday afternoon weighing in at 10lbs 3 oz.

Me 41 weeks

......Oh yeah this was supposed to be My birth story LOL

I hurt so bad for my sister. I knew, KNEW that she could have done it. The doctor Totally sabotaged her labor....but sadly that is a typical hospital birth. I still hadn't had my first prenatal visit and at 13 weeks finally MADE myself see an OBGYN. She was nice, the staff was nice, I HATED it!  It felt like the hospital. I never went back. My mom was disapproving about finding a midwife "Just go to the doctor like EVERYONE else." I started scouring the internet LOOKING. As I was looking I stumbled upon Multiple Blessings, a midwife who had helped deliver lots of twins, named Robin. She made me think about my aunt SO much, so I took this as the sign I needed and sent an email.

I know I must have sounded like a nervous wreck when we talked on the phone. Robin was SO reassuring. She soothed my fears like nothing else had. I was amazed that she came to my house for each prenatal visit.( 'You mean I don' have to leave my house?!") I had had high blood pressure with my first pregnancy and delivered at 36 weeks, so that was always an issue. I learned so much about pregnancy being cared for by Robin. You would think that I would know all of this since I had two babies before this but doctors don't seem interested in educating their patients. The weeks went by and we developed a great relationship. Her student midwives, Jean and Heather would practice determining the baby's position on me (being a guinea pig is fun! lol) And my appointments felt like visiting with friends, not the emotional ordeal that doctors visits had been in the past.

My due date came and went. We looked back at my dates and figured out that my Oct. 8th due date was probably more like Oct. 15th. There is NOTHING more horrible than being 40 weeks pregnant and being told, Nope you have maybe 3 more weeks to go. Uhhhg I was miserable trying to take care of my kids and house. Getting my son on the bus was almost impossible. A 50lb 4 year old with autism and a hugely pregnant Mommy who can't pick him up or chase after him don't mix well! :( My wonderful sister would bring the baby over and I would hold him while she got Emerson on the bus, or more accurately carried him to the bus while he threw an atomic meltdown because school was "YUCKEEEEEEYYYYY!" I don't know what I would have done with out her!

Okay now, after that novel of a back-story on to the birth story!

On Friday,almost a week after my 'new' due date, Robin checked me to see how my cervix was doing. 75% effaced and 1/2 cm dilated. I could CRY! (I think I did) So we were going to wait and see what happened over the weekend. After my appointment Merissa and I met our Mom for lunch. I started having some good contractions while we were out but nothing too regular. In my head I kept thinking maybe tonight. It's got to be soon." ....YEEAAAH, I don't know why I was giving myself false hope. lol The contractions continued on like this ALL. Damn. Weekend. 8-10 minutes apart for 4 hours, then every hour, then nothing, and then start right back up again. I called Robin every time any little thing changed, bless her heart.

My husband works a rotating shift and he was starting up on the night shift Monday night. I was nervous to be alone with the kids in case business started happening. Monday night around 12:30 (Tuesday morning?) I called Robin because the contractions were getting more regular and intense. When she got to my house, she checked and I was fully effaced but only dilated to maybe a 2 1/2. (I could cry AGAIN) She had me take some Benadryl and said that was a good way to see if this was real labor or not. If it was the real deal then the contractions would continue and if not then I could at least get some sleep. She went home to get some sleep of her own and said to call back later with an update.

Well they continued to get more regular and intense I started walking around the living room. My couch is in the middle of the room so I just kept walking around and around. That afternoon Robin, Jean and Heather showed back up and we got down to the important business of waiting, again, more. ...waiting...

When Robin checked me again I think I was close to 6 cm dilated, which was progress but felt like not enough since I had been in Labor since Friday and this was nearing Tuesday EVENING. Around and around that couch. Around and around. Everyone was just sitting, chatting, my kind of gathering. My mom made a plate of fruit and cheese and every time I came around I would grab something. A bite of a strawberry, or pop a grape in my mouth. Every so often Robin would ask "Have you had a drink of water recently?" or  'When was the last time you peed?" I added a glass of water to my orbital path around the couch and made sure to yell it out every time I went to the bathroom(which was maybe every 10 minutes) TMI has no place when you are having a baby.

Jean asked if I need anything and what I really needed was a distraction. So out came the mad libs! Hilarious and sort of a mistake because it hurts to laugh during a contraction, but who CAN"T laugh during mad libs?? Very diverting. ;)

At this point I had not been left alone for even a second and felt very well taken care of. Finally Merissa showed up. She had been dealing with the children and had to wait for someone to take over before she could come. I instinctively knew she had to be there for the birth. My Mom had been there for my first two hospital births but with Merissa's HORRIBLE, traumatizing experience I knew I wanted her to be with me. I mean it was her experience that had given my the push to look for something different. Something better. (hehe, push)

I think I must have relaxed a little after Merissa got there because everything started to happen all at one. I went to the bathroom and as I was sitting there, I hear, and feel this loud POP. (I think it was just in my head) Finally, my water had broken! By then another midwife, Joy, had arrived and I called for Robin. They both came and checked to make sure the water didn't have any meconium in it. As the next contraction came It was excruciating! It was Time.

Heather and Jean had set up the birthing chair in my room, so Robin and Joy helped me get there. The birthing chair looks like a metal frame with a pink pool noodle on it for comfort. It was the best! As soon as I was on it I started pushing. I had a death grip on my sister's hand. She was counting and rubbing my back, just like I had done for her in the hospital all those months before.  I think I was was on that chair for a total of 2-3 contractions and then, there is my sweet boy! 8lbs 14oz 22 inches long! It's not 10lbs 3 oz but that's still a pretty hefty baby!
Mind you it had been a mere EIGHT minutes since my water had broken. I held him until the umbilical cord stopped pulsing. All of us crying( my husband was there too, did I forget to mention that? lol) Later my sister told me that being there, watching me have my baby in the MOST natural way, was like a healing balm to her memories of her horrible birth experience. Those two were her only reference of birth and they couldn't have been more night and day! Hope is the word. I could get on my soap box and preach the poor treatment of women in the hospital system but I think my experience speaks for it's self. When people hear that I had a home birth the most common reaction is "Wow, you're BRAVE!" I don't think so. I think my sister is far more brave than me to have gone through what she has.....

Monday, October 24, 2011

already there

According to Emerson today school is 'yucky', 'broken' and 'too far away' He loves school but only when his is already there :/ A day where I don't have to drag him to the bus stop kicking and screaming is rare and considered a treat for me! (Keep in mind that I am at the end of a VERY long pregnancy and probably "shouldn't" be dragging/carrying a 50 lb 4 year old but really, what are my options?) On a an up note, maybe that will make me go into labor! lol

wohder pets...NO thats not right!

He was very excited that we found an 'n'! I started noticing that he fit the description for hyperlexia right around 3 years old and going by the description I assumed he would have problems with reading phonically and comprehension but he is sounding out EVERYTHING. I give all of the credit to the ipod apps! Subsequently all of the folders on the ipod have some interesting and hilarious names including Bissell, Cars 2, caprisun and fish di which I can only assume is in reference to the recent demise of sparkles the snails tank mates :/

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Family fun night

Tonight we discovered that Scrabble and an Autistic 4 year old go together like peanut butter and jelly! (well IF he would eat pb & j) It is a bunch of letters AND they have numbers on them too! BEST CREATION EVER! It was ridiculous how excited he got watching me and "Mr. Daddy" play. I may have to use this in a home therapy/ activity...and find a VERY good hiding place for the Scrabble board when Mommy is not there to supervise. :/ Added bonus is that "Curly Q" got to practice her math skills by being score keeper for us! I really like my family's way of keeping my mind off of the fact that I am either 1 or 2 weeks past my due date with monster number three (duedate discrepancy) and have been having contractions for two days with NO results...Child, you are supposed to torment me AFTER you are born!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A beautiful family

Getting family pictures taken when you have more than one child is hard enough. Throw a little ASD in there and it can be IMPOSSIBLE. I suggest to everyone, find a nice photographer that will come to you. We used to go to Sears and wait forever while the kids were antsy and bored. It was a fortune and the pics were never that good. We met a photographer through my sister named Annie (of Sleeping Owl Photography) and now I can NEVER go back! She is amazing!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

give me zero!

Emerson has decided that "high fives" are too limiting and wants to do ALL of the numbers. He will come up to me and say "Give me 7 Mama!" and hold out seven fingers...It is SO stinking cute!! And you can't fist bump- it called "give me zero" *Favorite autistic logic ever!!!!*

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Who needs toys when you have boxy fun?

Right now Emerson has found every pull-up or diaper box we have in the house (one is pink so that means it was from way back when Meadow was in pull-ups. It HAD baby clothes in it *sigh*) So far he has five and is making them talk to each other in autistic jibber-jabber in various tones with words and phrases sprinkled in. It looks VERY fun but as soon as he noticed I was wearing a long sleaved shirt he stops what he is doing to make sure I take it off or his brain will melt...I think his boxes are going to the grocery store now. My life is different then most peoples. lol

You know your a parent of achild with autism when...

Here are some I've come up with-
1. When you're relieved it is food smeared on the floor and NOT poop.

2. When you hear a loud noise and imediatley want to put your hands over your neighbors ears.

3. When all of your toilet trees are in a basket on top of the refrigerator because they are SO tasty.

4. When you know exactly how much duct tape it takes to tape your childs shirt to his shorts to avoid the terrors mentioned in number one.
that was just what I could come up with off the felt kinda theraputic LOL