Friday, March 31, 2006

Points of Clarity

I think the last couple posts have somehow created a snowball effect of misunderstood ideas about where I stand. So, I am posting the following Points of Clarity....

1. I fully accept my son's diagnosis of ASD. I do not want him to be anyone else but the wonderful person that he is. When I mentioned in this post that I wish he was NT it was not based on who Gabe is as a person, but the day to day struggles he has with language and eating. Those are the two HUGE obstacles that ASD has created and I would not wish those on anyone. Gabe is a blessing to our family.

2. My son has many wonderful qualities that may have or may not have been created by ASD. Remembering what my brother was like when he was younger, and has ASD, I believe Gabe has many of the same interests and characteristics that he had. I am ecstatic that Gabe is so creative mechanically, that he loves reading, writing and understanding how written language works. (Much quicker than most kids I know) That's a BIG WOW! Gabe loves to learn and gets excited about a good mental challenge. Just a few of the things that I believe may have been accentuated by ASD. I am by no means trying to stereotype him into being an "ASD Genius" , but I have yet to met someone with ASD that didn't have a different way of seeing the world. I think it can be a gift depending on how you look at it.

3. People with ASD can give incredible insight to parents with newly diagnosed children and about how they view the world. Some of the fifty+ blogs that I read are written by people that have ASD and strike me as very intelligent, witty and worldly. As a parent with a 2 year old child with ASD, you see the road ahead as being so uncertain and these blogs shed light on what life is really like later on for someone with ASD. What can be discouraging for parents is the occasional finger pointing at us and anger towards the NT world as a whole. It reminds me of the rage I feel sometimes towards the medical profession for not understanding or caring about my son's needs. Each time I go see a new doctor though, I have to remind myself that this doctor could be different. I have been pleasantly surprised on a few occasions. Most of us have used our Blogs, at one time or another, as a way to vent our rawest emotions. Sometimes our deepest truths can cause the biggest waves.

4. Most parents have an incredibly strong primal need to protect there children. They will go to any lengths to ensure the safety of their children. Boo never slept or stayed in the nursery the entire two days that I was in the hospital after giving birth. When Gabe was born, I walked through the maternity ward,down 3 corridors, all the way to the back of the NICU. This occured the evening after having an emergency C-Section. I did this even though I was prescribed bed rest due to heart complications. Nothing was going to keep me from my son. I have never been so focused. This is what separates the Parental thinking about ASD from the a person who has ASD. The parental side will always wonder if they are doing or did enough to help their child (ASD or not). We want to nurture and provide for our children. Without any help from the medical community, insurance companies, school system and society, that can be a very daunting and lonely task. Both sides have very valid, but sometimes very different ideas about what having ASD really encompasses. I am a parent of a child with ASD, therefore, I write from that perspective.

5. Finally, I do not know if I will ever find my "happy place" with ASD. It has caused havoc to Gabe's ability to process language, communicate and eat food outside of babyfood. Plain and simple. I am learning great strategies that ease the frustration that Gabe has with communicating with us. I do not care if Gabe will ever be able to go to a buffet and put a bit of everything on his plate. I do, however, want him to be able to be healthy and get the proper nutrition, even if he chooses only five foods that are acceptable outside of babyfood.

That's truly where I am at.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

My two worlds

I thought to myself today, that the next time I post, it should be incredible. An incredible realization, incredible feat of parenthood, incredible insight. But, sadly, I have nothing to add. The last post drained me. It drained me of all my positive energy, hope and determination. Determination to be the best parent I can be to Gabe and Boo. Determination to be OK with who I am and how I have handled the last year. It seems I am being pulled between two worlds. One world that revolves around understanding ASD and the other world is all about being the mom I have tried so hard to be. I am having a hard time taking care of both worlds.

I feel that the "world of therapy", that has so warmly embraced my son, also encroaches on that precious time I should be spending with Gabe being the mom I was with Boo. I looked at our Parks and Recreation Catalogue the other day and was so excited about the fun classes Gabe and I would do together. Highlighter in hand, I prepared to pick out at least three classes. Swimming classes, soccer and maybe a weekend adventure class. All the classes that we started with Boo at Gabe's age. The magic age of 3 years old. The door of opportunity opens! As I turned each page, my highlighter waited. Each class offered when Gabe is at ABA school. Perfect times for the child that stays at home with mom/dad and off for the summer from school. I think I highlighted one class. I closed the catalogue, feeling defeated.

It's difficult to give each child the same wonderful experiences as the other. Boo had endless "one on one" time with me. Gymboree classes, swimming classes, soccer, sports camp, picnics, playgroups, the list seems to go on and on. That is when I had the mommy world conquered. I was the mom I pictured I should be. I just don't have that same time for Gabe, because we spend 75% of our day traveling around the world of ASD.

1 1/2 hour wake up/breakfast
2 hours in the car each day
3 hours in ABA school
2-2 1/2 hours nap
1 hour therapy (2x per week)
2 1/2 hours - video (1/2 hour), play and dinner
1/2 hour bedtime routine

He wakes at 6:00 AM and is ready for bed at 6:30 PM. Has been that way for a long time. It doesn't leave much time for mommy time or daddy time even family time. I'm hoping as time passes these two worlds will either coexist easier or will merge into one.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Another Face in the Crowd?

There is one aspect of ASD that separates itself from other diagnoses, it can mask itself when in crowd. Gabe is indistinguishable from his peers. He does not have any physical differences, is somewhat social and imitates play well. His differences are hidden. It is a moment at the playground when I get a painful glimpse of what Gabe would look like as a child without ASD. An NT child. Someone who would play endless imaginary games of being giraffes in the desert with Boo. A brother that would be able to play more than just chase, but would help build a tent in the playroom and read stories with Boo by flashlight. I am writing about the taboo subject of deep down wishing Gabe was NT. Who would wish ASD on anyone? I saw first hand how utterly painful it was for my brother, who has ASD and is 4 years older than me, try to "fit in" and understand his peers. His peers showed no mercy. They were first to point out his differences, segregate themselves from him and make his school experience very lonely and scary. He was "on the mild side" of ASD. Maybe that was part of the problem. He appeared "normal", so people wondered why he was "so weird".

I am fearful everyday of the many obstacles Gabe has ahead of him. It would be a wonderful world if we could educate enough that the majority of the population would be able to embrace everyone with differences. The world does not work that way. It doesn't.

I have a hard time understanding people who spend relentless hours trying to disprove any step that researchers are using to move forward and understand ASD. ASD is a disorder not a lifestyle choice. Disorder by definition means lack of order or regular arrangement. Gabe has a neurological disorder. His thinking, especially when it comes to language, has a lack of order. It is askew. He is not choosing to be this way. He agonizes over how to tell us he
is hungry. He does not know how to tell us he is sick, or hurt or angry. I'm tired of the political correctness. Mercury? No mercury? Stimming? No stimming? Celebrating a young man with ASD scoring numerous points in a basketball game? Should I have rejoiced? No? Is it wrong that it warmed my heart to see a success where my son may never succeed? Some say he just wanted to be a person, not "someone with ASD". What about those with ASD that will never just be able to be a face in the crowd? Where being just a person is possible and that overshadows their ASD? I go back and forth on whether or not to blog anymore. I feel censored, stifled. I also feel like, as a parent of an ASD child, I am the first that people point fingers at if I do too much (ABA=BAD) and if I do too little, I'm in denial. Let's take a moment,for once, to acknowledge those other than the person that has ASD that are affected by it. Remember, when rain falls, it is not only one person that gets wet.

As the time passed today at the playground, the kids started to mingle. One little girl sat next to Gabe.They exchanged smiles.When he started to speak to her, you could see the confusion in her eyes.
"Why is he talking like a baby?" I was asked.
"Because he is just learning to talk." I said smiling.
She looked back at Gabe, then got up to find someone else she could play with. That's when I wonder if the physical normality of ASD is more hurtful than helpful. It pains me to see Gabe so close, just to lose the connection just as fast.

Gabe's ASD has not been truly tested in the outside world, being that he is not even three yet. He is either with us or at a school that specializes with working with children who have ASD. There are very limited opportunities for the outside world to penetrate the safety and secure zone that we have created for Gabe. We have not had to deal a lot with the uneducated opinions and stereotypes. Those will soon follow with his entrance into school , as he grows older and the responsibility of understanding the world and the weight of it falls more heavily on his shoulders.
ASD is not a "way of life" and it is not a "death sentence", but it is a disorder. Let's call it for what it is.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What? How old am I????

My birthday is slowly creeping up on me again this year. The whole age thing doesn't bother me, I let go of my twenties a long time ago. I told Boo how old I was going to be and she responded with a "Wow!" I could see her trying to count that high in her head. Her eyes immediately looked up and to the left, numbers running frantically by in her mind.

She is actually really excited about getting our annual Dairy Queen cake that everyone in our family will and can eat. (A miracle to say the least!) SD (Super Daddy) always adorns my cake with the beloved 2 and 1 candles. We also get the very tacky streamers and other dollar store atrocities out to decorate the eating area in our kitchen. I love it. I wouldn't have it any other way.

(We have recently changed the color of our kitchen.
Don't ask what I was thinking when I chose that color. I have no idea.)

This year's birthday starts off on a very different foot than last years. Last March, Gabe had his first real evaluation, the ADOS, and our fears had been confirmed. He was given the diagnosis of PDD-NOS. It has taken me a year to realize that it doesn't matter where your child falls on the spectrum, mild or severe, it's that they are on it. He may not have as many obstacles as some, he may have more than others, but My God the ones he has have changed myself and our family in many ways. I have matured in leaps and bounds, not because I am getting older, but because I had to. You aren't given a choice to "think about it" or the infamous "I'll get back to you". You have to be on your toes at all times. I have been tip- toeing ever since. I am stronger, wiser, and no longer put up with the "smile and be nice" philosophy that I had to swallow for years in the work place. I am on the front lines and I am taking no prisoners.

I am 21 years to be 34....

HERE ME ROAR!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 17, 2006

What is Successful Eating?

The Data speaks!

(Click here or here for a glimpse of what it is like to eat with Gabe)
( You can click on the picture of the data to enlarge. After it is enlarged, place cursor on the bottom right of picture and a square will appear with arrows. Click on it to make even larger)

Now, what exactly does
the data mean?

The whole process began with taking four preferred foods from four different food groups. These are foods that Gabe easy accepts on a daily basis.We began with doing a preference assessment. This enabled us to find out the most preferred out of the four foods chosen. It would be the first to slowly turn into table food. We took baseline data for 3 days to show statistically that Strawberry Banana Stage 3 baby food was indeed the most preferred.

Gabe's four foods are

1. Broccoli, Carrot, Cheese stage 3 baby food (BC in data),
2.Turkey Rice stage 3 (TR in data),
3.Strawberry Banana stage 3 (Target food or the food that will slowly turn to a real banana)
4.Pears stage 3

After 3 days of baseline data, we started with adding 1/4 mashed banana, no chunks, to the strawberry banana stage 3 baby food. Gabe is seated in an educube across from the person delivering the food and a VCR that he can view, along with a very powerful food reinforcer (wheat free cookies with sprinkles. He's allergic to wheat). It begins by taking data on each food presented. Each of the four foods are presented 5 times in groups of four, the target always rotating within those four foods. He is scored on six different categories, Accept, Expulsion,Negative Vocalizations, Disruptions,Self Injurious Behavior and Gag/Vomit. Have I lost you yet?

The only time the VCR is turned on is when he "accepts" the TARGET food only. (The banana) He is given 5 seconds to accept (He is told to open as the spoonful is presented) If he accepts within 5 seconds, it is recorded as "accepted". He has 30 seconds to "accept" the food. The quicker he accepts the TARGET food, the longer he gets to watch the video within the 30 seconds and he gets a little cookie. The other 3 foods, when "accepted" are followed by smiles, cheers and arm rubs. We do everything possible to make it comfortable. We also make it so that when he eats a banana, he is treated like a king and the will to get those reinforcers, like the Dora video for 30 seconds and a cookie, has more worth than the need to scream and pull away created by the anxiety that he associates with table food.

Gabe's Banana blends have increased over the course of this past week. Today he graduated to a banana cut up in small chunks. He did it 5 times with out any Negative Vocalizations (Screaming "No!"), Disruptions (Putting hands in way of food being presented),Self Injuring Behavior(Hitting himself or others) or Expulsions (Vomitting or letting food roll off of tongue)!!! When he accepts at 80% at school, then we will continue at home for every meal. We will be taking data, video taping and buying a lot of bananas for awhile. T
hen we will move onto Pears stage 3, since it was the 2nd preferred food . Small and very few chunk's of mashed pear will be added until he graduates to pieces of pear. Each of the four foods will graduate to a "table food", Broccoli, Cheese, Carrots stage 3 baby food will become cooked broccoli or just cooked carrots.

One behavior we did notice with Gabe and his eating, is that he has a texture issue. He does not chew the banana, but tries to swallow it whole. If you notice from the data, Gabe gags every time he eats the banana chunks. He can chew French fries, chips, popcorn and other assorted salty snacks, therefore he does not have a "chewing issue" per se. We have also had him evaluated by an Occupational Therpist that concluded it was not a physical challenge to eat.I think eventually he will graduate to chewing the banana, but now he swallows it whole in order not have to deal with the texture. I sit beside him saying "Chew Gabe! (smile) "Like this, yum, yum, yum!" acting like Cookie Monster.

Here is the procedures for Gabe's Eating program. It will help explain the data a little more. (Click on the picture for a larger view, then on square with arrows) I am, by no means, saying this will work for all kids with eating difficulties. I also want to state that I have not, nor do I know, all that encompasses an eating program as such. I have not yet seen what happens if he does not except. I have an idea, because I have read the research that this program is based on and am well informed due to the very professional and certified staff that run Gabe's eating program. I wanted to show what an eating program can look like. The world of eating disorders is very "Hush Hush." Occupational Therapists, which most of us use for our children's eating problems, are not trained very well when it comes to difficult eating issues, nor do they provide the intensity and consistency that is needed for a successful eating program. I also found that they could not give me a concrete idea of the steps we needed to take to get Gabe to eat. It was more like, "Let's see if he eats this." At Gabe's ABA School, his program occurs every day (5 days a week), at the same time and will occur 3 times a day, every day at home. This is something that would be hard to schedule and maintain with a regular Occupational Therapist. Gabe has professionals that are not Occupational Therapists, but are certified Behavioral Therapists and certified in ABA with an extensive background in Autism. If he had more of a medical problem that physically prevented him from eating, an Occupational Therapist would be ideal to consult with and possibly an intensive inpatient eating program would be needed.

There is little information out there, books and internet, that go beyond explaining what causes an eating disorder. I read enough books and sites on the internet to fully understand the basis and reasoning in Gabe's mind about WHY, I so desperately needed the HOW. How can I get my son to eat? He can not survive on baby food alone. I feel very strongly that Gabe is on his way. I will forever smile at the sight of a banana.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Going forwards and backwards at the same time....

Gabe ate real mashed banana today!

Boo stuck part of a candy box way up her nose.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Doctors, Stims and More!

The grandparents left today after brunch and I must say, I think they,mostly grandma, are getting it. Emphasis on I think. Grandpa isn't quite at the understanding that Gabe is Autistic, because agreeing with me or admitting I was right would cause cataclysmic catastrophes around the world . He can be a butt with a capital "B". He reminds me of my mother, funny at times but with a sharp tongue that can leave you nursing your wounds for days.

Here is one example of the "Big A" rearing its head with Gabe, when we got out his spring jacket to wear instead of his winter one. It started like this...
"NO!" (just upon seeing his red coat)
"NO!" "No!" "No!"Gabe repeated over and over until a shrill scream took it's place.
After getting his arms in , he layed on the floor still screaming, trying to get out of his coat. We said he needed to wear the coat. We had to follow through. If we didn't, Gabe would be wearing his winter coat until it was 90 degress outside.

Gabe in the same coat, only 5 months ago.

Now, my therapist always said to me, ( I had one because I always wanted one and my parents left me with A LOT of little goodies to sort through from my childhood)
"Kristin, you never can know what someone is really thinking. Most people are pretty self- centered and are truly thinking about themselves, not you."
However, you can see, sometimes even feel, the judgment. I felt it from Gabe's grandpa.He stood aside and watched the whole scenario unfold. I was waiting for the...
"He doesn't want to wear the coat."
"It's warm out anyway."
Or this is one that he was dying to say (I know it!),
"I guess if mom wants you to wear the coat, I guess you have to no matter how hot it is."
I know him. I lived with a version of him for years. Thank God he spared me today. I think he may know (I think) that this maybe something that could truly set me off once and for all. He has graduated with honors on how to "get my goat". We made it to brunch, all of us unscathed, hungry, with the red coat on.

Well, I finally found a great Pediatrician. He had a wonderful disposition and was very thorough and easy to talk to. He will be only used for the common stuff, like colds and references for specialists. Is he the best for Autism, not quite. But, he related well with Gabe and I. That's good enough for me right now. Did I mention that he is a family physician? We can all go see a doctor that is only 10 minutes away.( I think we will keep him and hug him and call him George).

Now the stimming. Gabe does like to line up things recently, started this month, but I can easily mess up his "line of cars and animals" and he could care less. His ABA therapist said that was a good sign. But, Gabe has reverted back to carrying around about 3-6 things (cars, balls, animals) in his hands throughout the day. He does it in new situations, around new people, when his schedule is off, as a coping mechanism. Sometimes it can be disabling, because he is unable to use his hands. I'm waiting to see if it lessens and eventually goes away. I wonder if it is due to him having a break at school for a week.


At brunch today, Gabe picked up a crayon and proceeded to print (Upper and lower case) and say the letters in his name. Gabe literally wrote his name right in front of us!!!!!He's not even three! My husband and I were like,
"DID YOU SEE THAT??????" looking at each other.
"DID YOU SEE THAT!!!!!" looking at the people around the restaurant.
Then it was followed by grandpa's,

"Are you sure that's what he wrote?"

Where the hell is my goat!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

What Direction Do You Go In?

I feel like a blogging fool! I just want to write and write all the time. I have some time on the weekends, because they are slow at our house.(I usually write at night.) Each member of our family is very busy during the week and SD and Gabe look forward to lounging for a day or two. Boo and I don't lounge well, I'm kinda hyper I guess and Boo is a true socialite. Right now,Gabe's supposed to be napping, he's playing in his room, Boo's taking digital pictures around the house and SD is about to have some pizza for lunch. All different directions we go.

Yesterday I felt all out of whack, because I had only left the house for 1 hour to go shopping with the whole family. I like going with everyone, because it gets overwhelming for me (heavy cart, Boo and the bathroom, etc.) I could never spend an entire day at home. I would go mad liked a trapped animal. I also get really out of whack when everything is askew in the house. Laundry not sorted in the basement, toys all over the toy room, beds not made, family not showered, I feel the room start to spin, my nerves dance in my skin and a shrill scream is painfully being held back in my throat. So, when Gabe started lining up cars, animals and other objects this month I first went *GASP* then....*ahhhh*. The gasp was due to the belief that Gabe just didn't meet that criteria for Autism. The ahhh was the relief that he has found a way to settle his angst. Like I have mine.

Yesterday, I thought about the idea that parents that have ASD children have to look at them from an outsider's perspective, because they themselves do not truly understand what it means to be Autistic. I beg to differ in certain circumstances. Any parent can see in their children obvious traits that they clearly "inherited", maybe a shy disposition, creative thinker,social butterfly, etc. If you see yourself in your child, there exists a door to them that can be opened which enables you to be more than just sympathetic to their needs. You already have acquired the tools, because you have the trait also. When Gabe started lining up his toys, after the first reaction of "Oh no", I glanced around the house looking at all the objects that take up space. The furniture that is aligned with the wall, trinkets exactly placed around the room, nothing out of it's spot, everything in its place. I'm not a maniac about it, my children have never seen a wire hanger, but I do feel uneasy about disorder. I'd like to believe that my sense of order, being overly prepared (You would not believe how big my first diaper bag was), and need to have everything in its place has in some way made it possible to align myself better with my son's needs. Hopefully his sense of order will be manageable, like mine is. I hope that it does not control his life, because in the blink of an eye, it can envelop you.

It is all too ironic that I married my husband. He does not have a sense of order. His philosophy is "If I left it there (Where ever that maybe) it still should be there." That's it. When we were dating I noticed when I picked him up at his apartment, that the same loaf of bread, peanut butter jar, and honey container were always resting on his coffee table. Always! How unsettling!
"Do you ever put those away? " I questioned him, pointing to the table.
He responded. "Why should I?"
Laughing a little uneasily, "Because it doesn't go there."
"I'm just going to have to take them out again. Why bother with all the extra steps?" he retorted.
He had a point, but it still bothered me.I would've put it away just to give myself a false sense that the universe was still in order, but his entire apartment suffered from..and there it lies. SD balances me. I probably would've been in debt to The Organizer Store if I hadn't met him or working there to get my "fix". I wonder if Gabe will find his someone that will balance him.

Here are other examples that I could give that I believe Gabe may have inherited from my husband and I, uneasy eye contact (Me), anxiety in one on one social interactions(Me), "not understanding people" (Me), Anxiety in large social groups (SD), not fitting in when growing up(Me and SD), preferring to play one on one(SD). SD and I are mildly affected by those things, but I think it gives us more than an outsiders view of what Gabe is about. I hope. Each day that he grows older, the more we see how Autism is part of Gabe.

It reminds me of a present you receive that is a big box wrapped in beautiful paper. You tear at the paper, open the huge box, only to find another box, then another, than another, then another, until you see the most exquisite little box where your true gift lies. I can't wait until I will finally see the whole gift that is Gabe.

Photograpy by BOO

Saturday, March 04, 2006

My Favorite Blogs

"KNOWLEDGE is when you know that a tomato is a fruit, WISDOM is when you know not to put it in a fruit salad."
- from Journal for Alexander Technique

These are the current blogs that I try to read everyday. I guess you could say that they are the best support, outside of my family, for the world that I live in called motherhood and also the world of Autism. Thanks to all for their continued wisdom, incredible insight into each of your lives and beautiful stories about your children. I don't know what I would've done without all of you.

If you're not part of this list, it's probably because I haven't discovered you yet :o)
In alphabetical order.... (well mostly)

29 Marbles
A Preemies Journey from early birth to special needs
Adam's Autistic
Adventures in Autism
Adventures in Special Education
Adventures of a SAHM in Paradise
Alphabet Soup
Another Piece to Aiden's Puzzle
Autism911 On the Reservation
Autism Deal With It!
Autism Diva
Autism's Edges
Autistic Conjecture of the Day
Day Sixty-Seven
Diverting Daniel
Gretchen's Blog
Injecting Sense
Jordan's life with Autism
Kindergarten, Hearing Loss,PDD-Oh My!
Life and Other Stuff
Life in the New Republic
Madness Within Me
MatchBox Kid
MOM-Not Otherwise Specified
MOMMY GUILT -Whinings & Joys of a Working Mom
My Son's Autism
My Beautiful Child Griffin & Autism
Nature Laughs
Our Aspergers Teenage Boy
Parenting a Complex Special Needs Child
Rockstar Mommy
Ryan's Quest, A Mom's report about our life in the world of Autism
Sometimes Holland Feels like Hell
Special Education Law Blog
Susan Senator's Blog
Tales from a Mom of Boys
Test of Faith
The Truth Shall Set You Free
This Crazy Family!

Another Day, Another Diaper
Discovering Derek
James Short Living with Autism
Walking with Alec:Our journey to Overcome our Son's Autism Spectrum Disorder
defective yeti

Friday, March 03, 2006

Creative Thinking

At home again today, but now with the diagnosis of Strep. The new doctor we tried this time can be summed up in one word.....ahhhhhh...No. Not a good sign when you have to explain your son's diagnosis. What is with doctor's not getting the idea of a Spectrum ? PDD-NOS is pretty common, but yet some doctor's I've met are still like...Is he Autistic? Ahhhhhh...Yeah.(???) Then I have to explain how he met some of the criteria (Delayed speech, lack of eye contact) and how he did not meet some (Has many social attributes, does not meet stimming criteria). So, Oh well. We already have another practice in mind to try. As a pediatrician, from a reputable hospital, she kind've treated my son like he was a patient 5 year old (He's 2) who had some condition that made him a Leper. This was a doctor my husband had talked to and assured him that she has worked with Autistic children as patients. Not seeing it. I'm guessing she had zilch, zero.

I can't go back to our pediatrician that we've had for about 5 years now. I feel I have exhausted all the resources or ideas about Gabe's health from them. I was beginning to feel like I was being labeled the mom who may cause waves talking about those other treatment ideas. Sometimes we had to see the head doctor of the group our doctor was in and he asked me EVERY time if I thought Gabe was born with Autism. Depending on whether I wanted to return to this doctor , I new I had to carefully choose my answer. He had been snubbed, I guess, from parents that chose Chelation through another doctor. Sad that he couldn't get over himself and instead projected it on me and probably other parents with ASD children.

Anyhoo, I need to get over the idea that I may just one day find that perfect doctor. Deep breath....and let it go. What is that saying?.....Ah..."Let go and Let God." Sounds good to me.

Gabe did something really interesting today. I was doing some common object/animal/colors flash cards during his favorite snack. He is quit
e the thinker and finds the ones he doesn't know a challenge. What was really interesting was how creative he was when he didn't know what the object was and the answer he chose. Nest was a bowl, Ship was a boat, Dark brown cow was a horse, Belt for pants was a seat belt. Pretty amazing. He is really thinking about what he saw. Not just look and label, but what is that? It is probably due to his features program (Wing on plane, chimney on house). This program done with ABA provides the opportunity to have to really look at the object to find the specific feature. I can't wait to see where all this thinking goes!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Pulling my hair out of the 80's looking scrunchy, I was shocked. I had this huge,frizzy mane of hair. It just keeps tumbling out. Larger and larger it grows. Where did all this hair come from? Maybe some gel would bring out the curl and tame the frizz? I desperately try flattening it with the palms of my hands. It was noisy outside of the bathroom I was in. I asked myself while looking in the mirror "How am I going to make my presentation like this?"

Then I hear it.......BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEH!!! silence....burp......rush of water. It sounded like the flood gates had opened. I awake from my dream, quickly toss my comforter aside and throw myself into reality, Gabe just vomited. It was 5:15 AM. SD (Super Daddy) and I rush into the room and there was Gabe looking whipped and having "after vomits" into his blankie that he is holding up to his mouth. (Eeeeeew) I try to grab the blankie, to replace with a towel, but his blanket seems to be even more revered with its barf kisses.

After changing sheets and getting a new blankie, I ask Gabe if he wants to go back to bed. (Please? Yaaaaaaaaawn.)
He responded with an obvious,"No."
Then he turns and starts down the stairs.
"Turn on the lights Gabe."
"Gabe?" He was already halfway down the stairs.
I got the big, purple chair ready with the usual comforter draped over it (Barf protector), little blankie and big blankie all ready to sooth. He actually laid down and watched cartoons for a little while.

About 5 hours later of playing and talking about Elmo, fish, blocks, puzzles, balls and frogs, Gabe is upstairs sleeping on his books he likes to read in bed. Boo is home and I am praying that he is better tomorrow and she breezes through this illness like she did the last. So far this month, Gabe has missed 5 days of ABA School at $109 per half day. I wish he didn't miss all that therapy, and the cost is just an added twist to the knife of circumstance.

All and all, I had an awesome day just with Gabe. Lots of hugs and kisses, tickles and giggles, mommy love all around.

A wonderful day indeed.