Adventures With Autism and Adopting a Healthier Lifestyle

Archive for the ‘general’ Category

Thursday: Best Day Ever

So, I go to pick up Emily from school on Thursday and her teacher says, “I’m not even kidding… best day she’s ever had!” She listened, she talked more (!!), she “sang every song and did every move.”

Way to go, Emily!! I guess that week you took off due to head lice made you miss school that much. 😉

Said No ASD Parent Ever

One of the Facebook groups I’m in had a “things special needs parents never say” thread. These are the ones I related to most.

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Holding myself to the same standard

This week, I realized something: I’m kind of a hypocrite.

I tell my daughter things like, “calm down,” “be patient,” or “don’t scream” almost daily. However, do I hold myself to that same standard? Do I follow the rules I try to set for her? This week, I was reminded that no, I don’t.

One day this week, things sort of blew up. I was being beaten on and screamed bloody murder at for not complying with Emily’s desire to carry around the entire bag/container of something instead of the portion I give her (that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if you saw the amount of food I have to throw out because it’s smashed, smeared, or otherwise spilled all over the floor, you’d understand). After trying to explain the situation calmly several times and not being listened to because she was shrieking, I put her in her time out/calm down spot, in which she stayed about 0.3 seconds before flying at me again, smacking and screaming.

Finally, I screamed loud enough to be heard over her: “Just sit DOWN!!!!!!”

I realized right away that I’d just done something bad. You really shouldn’t SCREAM at any child, much less one with Autism. I walked away to collect myself so I wouldn’t repeat the mistake. I’d clearly reached my limit, I needed to remove myself from the situation.

I came back about two minutes later to find Emily sitting quietly at the dining room table (her “calm down” spot), with her little baggie of Gorilla Munch and her sippy cup. I praised her for doing such a good job, and she yelled an echo of, “just sit DOWN!!” back at me with her teary eyes.

So, I sat down in the chair next to hers and told her…

“Mommy has to sit in the calm down chair, too, because she yelled at you and that’s very bad.”

She smiled.
I smiled.
We moved on.

The hate-filled letter from Canada.

I think every parent to a special needs child is (or will be) heartbroken by the words in this letter. And pretty much all of us who have blogs are likely to make a post like this one. It’s one of those things you just have to comment on when you can relate to it.

I’ve decided to make a post comprised of my initial reactions to seeing this letter. First of all, here is the tweet that started the process of this letter going viral. There’s also an image of the letter itself, if you have the stomach for it.

I can imagine if you’ve just read it for the first time, you have a lot of thoughts. Let me share with you the ones I’ve had, in chronological order. 😉
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Inappropriate scripts/echoes

Emily’s language is largely scripted/memorized, as most of you know. Well…

Now she’s stumbled across some less than kid-appropriate videos on YouTube and memorized some choice phrases. Often after hearing them once!

What do I do? The more I protest, the more she seeks them out, even to the point of hiding from me to watch them.

Trade-offs

It seems that when Emily makes gains in one area, another suffers.

For instance, she’ll pick up new “owned” words (or suddenly pronounce things better), but she’ll start hitting more.

She’ll learn a new skill, but seemingly lose another.

I realize the Autistic brain is “wired” differently, so I’m guessing it has something to do with that. One part of the brain is more active, so another either dwindles in activity, or … misfires, so to speak.

Anyone else have opinions or input on this?

IEP goals!

So, Emily had her last “official” day of school yesterday (she’ll start Extended School Year/Summer School on June 10th). Her teacher sent home a printout with updates on her first seven IEP goals… she’s met the STO (short-term objective, I think it means) on six of them, and is making progress on the seventh!
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