Friday, December 29, 2006
Monday, December 25, 2006
Griffin was thrilled to get his Big Bird, a present from our dear friend in Alaska, Glenn. He seemed to not be able to grasp the concept of Christmas but did understand the concept of giving gifts because he was spending a lot of time wrapping up presents (which were his toys) in tissue and tape to give to NaNa and PaPa with a bow on top of course. Griffin did really well with the chaos going on in the house, he did do some stimming but only briefly though. The weather is rainy and has been for the past few days and this damp cold is more difficult to tolerate than the dry cold of Alaska. It is hard to understand, I'm sure, if one has not felt the difference but even when it was in the single digits in Alaska I could stand it better than the damp 40's here in SC. I hope that all of you are having happy holidays no matter what holiday you celebrate/observe I hope that you days are full of love and laughter. We are enjoying being with our family, it sure is nice after having been all alone in Alaska for 16 years, well not totally alone, we did have some friends there indeed but for the most part Griffin and I have spent most of our time there alone/all by ourselves. I don't know how I made it by myself for 4 1/2 years raising Griffin by myself especially now that I have the loving support of my parents/family here. Hugs to you all and a very happy holiday!
Friday, December 22, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
Sorry for not having any pictures of Griffin, I think that the last one that I took was of Griffin in the snow out on our deck however, I don't have anymore because I have not been taking photos with the digital camera. I hope to remember it before we leave and take some unforgettable pics of Alaska and my little precious kiddo.
That's all for now folks, have a happy Friday and a wonderful weekend.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
Griffin is beginning to show signs of not understanding what is going on even though I have explained it to him I still don't think that he gets it. This morning he woke up disoriented and crying. He couldn't figure out what it was exactly that he wanted even though he was trying to tell me, I just couldn't understand him. It finally passed and he got over it and eventually was his happy little self again but I can't help but to think that he did that because of all the changes around the apartment. For the most part our routine is the same and he seems to be doing okay at school at least as far as I know, Kathleen hasn't written anything to me to indicate that he is having any trouble there. This afternoon he seems to be fine too playing on his own, laughing, and talking as usual.
It is so very cold here, presently it is 12 degrees with a wind chill factor of -5 but because of the wind it feels much colder than that actually. My apartment's heat is not working right and it won't heat up beyond 70 degrees which sounds like it is fine but my hands are very cold and so are Griffin's. I have the thermostat turned up past 80 degrees but it won't budge. I am concerned that the colder it gets outside the colder it is going to get in here. I told the landlord and all he could say was that the apartment needs more insulation (which he is going to take care of after we leave) and that 70 degrees is not so bad so in other words, he isn't going to do anything about it. He also stated that the heater wasn't working hard enough to pump out the necessary warmth that would be necessary to heat the apartment. I don't have a space heater nor do I think it is wise to go out and purchase one when we are about to leave. So, I think that I am going to ask him if he has one that I can borrow.
As far as the packing goes I have packed up all that I can for now of all the stuff that we are not using presently and the ARC/thrift store is picking up the donations tomorrow thank goodness. I am so ready for all this stuff to be out of here and not be piled up in the kitchen floor and in the closet. I am ready to clean up and get the last minute stuff packed up and sent.
That's all for now folks, I am going to attempt to get some of your blogs read tonight so hopefully I can catch up on what is going on with you all.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Nothing going on really, just being a hermit as usual in the winter and getting my packing done, throwing away a lot, and have tons of stuff to donate. I do have a funny story to share about something that Griffin said at school, Kathleen told me about it yesterday. She said that they have been taking their lunches from the lunchroom and into the classroom to eat and that the milk is taken away from the children at the beginning of the meal so that the kids don't fill up on milk before they have a chance to eat. So, the kids were walking into the classroom with their meals/milk and Griffin looked up at Ed (the teacher's aide) and declared, "Why don't you take my milk, Ed!" and Ed replied, "Well, I think I will Griffin thank you!" so Griffin said, "No problem". For Griffin to use language like that is amazing, that's what makes it so funny. He just seems so mature when he talks like that and I am so proud of him.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
I am, on the otherhand, kind of a mess during the day when there is so much to do. There are things to pack, throw away, and donate. There are errands to run, places to go and phone calls to make. I just feel so overwhelmed even though I have a list that I check off as I go I still wonder how the heck I am going to get everything done in time for the move. I am hoping to be out of here by December 1st but somehow a month just doesn't seem like long enough to get all these things done. Does anyone know how I feel? Have you had to move in a short period of time and felt overwhelmed? I would love to hear from you and read your stories about moving, it would be a most pleasant distraction and a great source of support for me.
We got our first snow today, not much just a dusting of snow, and I look forward to getting a huge load of it before we have to leave because I am going to miss it. We won't be seeing any snow in S.C. that's for sure but there may be a teensy bit of it in N.C. when I go up to visit my brother and sister there. Unlike southcental Alaska (Anchorage) the snow is very wet in N.C. when they do get it and it is bitter cold because of the moisture in the air but here in Alaska it is quite dry and when it gets way down on the thermometer it doesn't feel so cold. Of course there are people who would beg to differ but for me it is easily tolerated with just a sweater and a jacket.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
-Griffin being hurt/taken by someone
-Falling into water while in a car
-Griffin getting loose from me and running into traffic
2.People who make me laugh
3.Things I hate the most
-People chewing with their mouths open
4.Things I don't understand
-Lack of compassion
-How someone could harm a child
5.Things I am doing right now
-Watching the dog and cat play together
-Listening to the news
-Missing Griffin, he just got on the bus, but enjoying the peacefulness.
6.Things I want to do before I die
-To own at least one horse
-Make sure that Griffin is set for life
-Grow very old
7.Things I can do
8.Ways to describe my personality
9.Things I can't do
-Listen to someone talk to me while the t.v. is on
-Eat pork, I'm allergic to it
10.Things I think that you should listen to
-The crickets on a summer's night
11.Things you should never listen to
12.Things I'd like to learn
-How to write a book
-More foreign languages
-More and more about Griffin & autism
-My mom's potato salad
-Godiva ice cream
14.Beverages I drink regularly
15.Shows I watched as a kid
-The Brady Bunch
-Starsky and Hutch
16.Persons I am tagging to do this meme
Saturday, October 14, 2006
1) Autistic People Rarely Lie
We all claim to value the truth, but almost all of us tell little white lies. All, that is, except people on the autism spectrum. To them, truth is truth -- and a good word from a person on the spectrum is the real deal.
2) People on the Autism Spectrum Live in the Moment
How often do typical people fail to notice what's in front of their eyes because they're distracted by social cues or random chitchat? People on the autism spectrum truely attend to the sensory input that surrounds them. Many have achieved the ideal of mindfulness.
3) People with Autism Rarely Judge Others
Who's fatter? Richer? Smarter? For people on the autism spectrum, these distinctions hold much less importance than for typical folks. In fact, people on the spectrum often see through such surface appearances to discover the real person.
4) Autistic People are Passionate
Of course, not all autistic people are alike. But many are truly passionate about the things, ideas and people in their lives. How many "typical" people can say the same?
5) People with Autism Are Not Tied to Social Expectations
If you've ever bought a car, played a game or joined a club to fit in, you know how hard it is to be true to yourself. But for people with autism, social expectations can be honestly irrelevant. What matters is true liking, interest and passion -- not keeping up with the Joneses.
6) People with Autism Have Terrific Memories
How often do typical people forget directions, or fail to take note of colors, names, and other details? People on the autism spectrum are often much more tuned in to details. They may have a much better memory than their typical peers for all kind of critical details.
7) Autistic People Are Less Materialistic
Of course, this is not universally true -- but in general, people with autism are far less concerned with outward appearance than their typical peers. As a result, they worry less about brand names, hairstyles and other expensive but unimportant externals than most people do.
8) Autistic People Play Fewer Head Games
Who was that woman, and why were you looking at her? I know I TOLD you I didn't mind if you went out, but why did you believe me? Most autistic people don't play games like these -- and they assume that you won't either. It's a refreshing and wonderful change from the Peyton Place emotional roller coaster that mars too many typical relationships!
9) Autistic People Have Fewer Hidden Agendas
Most of the time, if a person on the autism spectrum tells you what he wants -- he is telling you what he wants. No need to beat around the bush, second guess, and hope you're reading between the lines!
10) People with Autism Open New Doors for Neurotypicals
For some of us neurotypicals, having an autistic person in our lives has had a profound positive impact on our perceptions, beliefs and expectations. For me, at least, being the mom of a son on the autism spectrum has released me from a lifetime of "should" -- and offered me a new world of "is."
By: Lisa Jo Rudy
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Thursday, September 21, 2006
While we were shopping I picked up a Dick and Jane book to see if Griffin could read it and sure enough he was reading it like a pro, no real surprise there but he read it with such fluency now, THAT surprised me! I couldn't decide whether I should get it or not but finally figured that if he read it with such ease then he would likely get bored with it so I didn't get it. Besides, I am not sure that he was understanding what he was reading which is equally as important as the reading is. Maybe I will look for something that is a bit more challenging and has more meaning to it that is relevant to his life/living. I believe that a book that talks about practical everyday stuff would have more meaning than "Help Jane Help, Help, Help." Some of the pharses were relevant to his life but in general it wasn't. If anyone has a suggestion of a book or books that would be useful and have relevant words in it I would greatly appreciate it. I am thinking about just writing a book with words about his day to day life and throwing in some really challenging words here and there.
Take care my friends and hope that you have a splendid day!!!!
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Friday, September 08, 2006
Griffin has been spelling like crazy and here he has spelled "Stomp, (The name of the show which I think was on Broadway), Sesame Stret DVD and vedeo" then he spelled "Entertainment" on a sheet of paper he wrote, "Barney Can you sing that song?" complete with the question mark. I'm so proud of my little genius.......What else can I say?
Monday, September 04, 2006
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Griffin had a great first day of school according to Kathleen (his teacher) and mommy had a great day too. It certainly helped that the sun was out all day and that we had NO RAIN!!! Here are some really great pictures of Griffin, I especially like them because they are black and white. I like the one on the bottom because it shows Griffin's goofy side being a ham for the camera and the top one I am particularly proud of because it just turned out great. Photography is a hobby of mine and having a great subject such as Griffin sure makes it easier to get some really good pics. That's all for now, hope everyone is having a splendid day.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Griffin had OT on Wednesday and had a major meltdown throughout most of the session but once it was over he was fine. His behavior has been stellar here at home especially since it has been raining for so long and we have had to stay indoors to play. Of course we go out to take Abby but Griffin has to sit in the car while I walk her around the car at the park so that's no fun for him. Considering the amount of time that we have had to spend indoors he has been a happy little camper and playing beautifully with his toys, spelling with his magnetic letters and blocks, writing and drawing on his chalkboard, and of course singing and dancing to the music. Stephanie (the respite provider) has stayed with Griffin some for me and I have been able to run about and do some errands, thank goodness. Thank you Stephanie. School begins on Monday and as much as I have enjoyed spending time with him I do so look forward to having time to myself on a regular basis. Not only that but I am always very happy for him to have time away from me and in a different learning environment with lots of new stim each day.
Hope you are having a great day! Thanks for reading our blog and sharing in our day to day life, I'll be by to see you and visit your blog as soon as I can.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
I greatly appreciate all the suggestions and I will continue to listen to them and to you, my friends, because that's what this whole blog thing is for me a network of friends helping one another.
As far as the sleeping goes, I started him back on the melatonin and it is helping him sleep through the night but I still give him the 1/2 Clonidine because the doctor told me that the Clonidine is supposed to be safer than anything else but I can't help but wonder that if it is so darn safe then why isn't it an over-the-counter drug like Benadryl. I should have asked him that but didn't think of it at the time. I am going to call him tomorrow and ask him or ask my pharmacist. Oh, by the way, the Calm Child did help to calm him down but didn't seem to help him sleep through the night. I will keep them on hand for days when he is feeling overwhelmed and perhaps a bit too energetic and bouncing off the walls.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Monday, August 14, 2006
I am very pleased to report that I am feeling much better, refreshed, and my mood is way better than before. No more feeling weird or like I am on drugs, just feeling "normal" with more patience and a happy attitude to boot. Thank you all for your words of support and encouragement they helped me through a rough spot and made life much more bearable for me.
Saturday I got to have some much needed "alone time" and that helped me out as well because Kathleen kept Griffin for me for 7 hours. Thank you so much Kathleen, you were a life saver for me and I don't know what I would have done without you.
On Sunday Griffin was full of energy and did very well all during the day but come evening he was still full of it and had a real hard time settling down. I couldn't get him to cooperate with me in taking Abby out for her evening walk nor could I get him to calm down enough to get sleepy and ready for bed. It seems lately that the melatonin has not been helping much at all so I skipped it and gave him the Clonidine instead. Well, he ended up fighting it pretty hard and he stayed up until almost midnight and my nerves were a wreck. I have got to do some research and find out if I can use more than 5 mg. of the melatonin so that I don't have to give him the Clonidine anymore because I hate giving him drugs. Does anyone know if it is safe to give a 4 year old more than 5 mg. of melatonin? Everyone, have a great and blessed day!
Friday, August 11, 2006
Here's Griffin and Pisgah just hangin out together, Griffin is being kind of goofy for the camera. Lately he has been doing fairly well but I on the other hand have been doing , well...........kind of weird. I have been taking my medications for my Bipolar Disorder but they haven't been working that well for me. One of the two meds has been causing me to just feel really really strange. I feel like I am over-medicated. I have been told by numerous individuals that my movements are really really slow and that I talk slow too in fact, I do everything slow and that there is a stiffness about my movement too. I go to see my ANP on Friday the 11th so we shall see what she says about what to do about these darn medications. I have to have the daytime meds to keep my moods stable and I need the nighttime meds to help me to sleep otherwise I will become a manic insomniac who is on a constant roller coaster ride. If I don't have my meds I simply cannot take care of Griffin because I am such a mess. Even with the meds lately with the way I 've been feeling, it is a struggle to take care of him day in and day out now that he is out of school. I get no kind of break whatsoever. My respite provider, Stephanie, has not been available. I am going to call Kathleen and see if she will be able to help me out just for a short while so that I can have a break. The weather is still quite mild with the temperatures in the 60's and we have had quite a bit of rain this summer. We were still able to go to the playground for awhile today and play.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
I think that most parents could find this most useful in dealing with/navigating the school system not only for special education kiddos but for all other children as well. It is rather long but the information and suggestions are quite invaluable. Perhaps some of it may only apply to NT kiddos and their parents, but I think that it is well worth a read
Strategies for Effective Engagement with School Officials 1. Listen. Tune in to what your child says about the quality of his teachers. Children are often accurate. Schools that serve poor, Latino and Black children have a disproportionate number of unqualified teachers. If your child has unqualified teachers, fight to have his classes or school changed. Your engagement with school officials begins with your child. 2. Praise, honor and support good teachers. Tell and show them how much you appreciate what they are doing for your child. 3. Seek support. Do not suffer in silence. Find other parents who have experienced what you are going through. They may be able to help you resolve your issues. 3. Plan for meetings with school personnel. Never meet with them alone. Bring people, your pastor, friends, and family members. There is strength in numbers. 4. Deliberate. Take a reasonable amount of time to think about any school-related decisions. Do not allow school officials to pressure you into making rash decisions. Confer with family, clergy or parent/child advocates. 5. Attend and participate in school-related activities. Share your opinion.Volunteer. The staff should know you as a concerned and involved parent. When they know and respect you, they are more likely to know and respect your child. Likewise, when your child knows you are involved, he is more likely to behave and perform well. Things You Should Expect from the School System: 1. Request a copy of your child's school records. You have a right to any material in her official file. This is extremely important. You need to know what is being documented about your child - and in some cases what may be said about you, as a parent. Read the contents of the file with your child. 2. Visit your child's class during school hours. Give at least one days notice. You must avoid disruption. You should not attempt to speak with the teacher during this visit. Ask for a tour of the school. Your purpose is to observe the lesson, class and school climate. 3. Schedule appointments to meet with your child's teachers. Do not wait until the bi-annual parent-teacher conferences. Prepare specific questions before the meeting. Meetings may be scheduled for after regular school hours. This may allow for meaningful discussions and fewer interruptions. 4. Volunteer to work in the parent office. Each school should have at least one office dedicated to parents. Parent friendly schools will have Parent Reception or Resource Centers that are accessible during and after the regular school day. 5. Ensure school personnel are able to contact you. It is your responsibility to inform them when your contact information changes.You should not place this responsibility on your child. 6. Meet with appropriate school personnel to deal with concerns.Decide if it is necessary to meet the principal in order to get your matter resolved.Though the principal should be accessible to parents, it may not be possible to meet her immediately. You may expedite the resolution if you target the person who will ultimately be able to help you directly. 7. Attend workshops for parents. Parent friendly schools offer them regularly. These may include: Computer training, reading, writing, math, music, art, and others. 8. Attend school assembly programs that honor children. You may need to take a day or a few hours off from work. Programs may also be held on weekends and evenings. You should attend with your child even if she is not being honored. It may serve as a motivation for you and her while simultaneously showing support for other children and families.
Parents, Know Your Business 1. Meet with your child at the beginning of each school year. Discuss what he is expected to learn in and out of school. 2. Monitor your child's development. Do not rely on school tests to define your child's level of intelligence. Focus on whether he is acquiring life skills? How would he respond to unanticipated occurrences? Do you see and hear him thinking? 3. Seek help for your child through local libraries, community organizations, churches and non-traditional institutions. Consider peer tutoring as an option. It is an overlooked effective strategy. 4. Schedule meaningful activities for your child. These may include family trips to the park, museum, library, neighborhood walks, and volunteering at a local food pantry or shelter. Idle time for an active child is asking for trouble. Keep your child busy. Keep him physically, mentally and culturally engaged. 5. Stay active in your child's life. Children with active parents are less likely to be abused by school personnel. Child predators try to avoid the kind of attention involved parents bring. 6. Train your child to think. This does not happen in traditional schools.They train your child to pass tests. They train your child to conform. The school system discourages differences and independence. Children within dependent spirits generally do not function well in school without involved parents. Children who learn differently are often labeled and neglected. They are punished or despirited by a system that mandates uniformity and conformity. 7. Make certain your child's educational needs are met. Be a squeaky wheel.School officials do not expect you to be persistent. Call, write and visit daily if necessary. If the system labels or harms your child, make them pay for it. Seek legal counsel and take them to court. Charge them with educational neglect, deprivation and malfeasance.
Conclusion A tidal wave begins with a ripple. You serve as a ripple in your child's life. Join with other ripples (including committed and concerned school personnel) and make waves. When parents, community and school personnel are on the same page, working together, children thrive.
Bernard Gassaway is the former principal of Beach Channel High Schooland senior superintendent of alternative schools and programs for NewYork City and homeschool father. August 2006
Friday, August 04, 2006
Griffin had his last day of ESY(extended school year) yesterday and now the challenge begins. I must find ways to keep him occupied and keep my sanity too. An example of how tough it can be to keep him occupied and happy in a constructive way would be the example of what happened on Wednesday on the way to swimming. We passed by Best Buy where the week before we had gone in to look at some headphones but ended up buying a dvd for him. So, of course he remembered and instead of wanting to go swimming he all of a sudden wanted to go into the store to get a movie. He had a major meltdown, I had to practically drag him down into the dressing room and it took what seemed like forever for Gayle and me to get him undressed and put his swim diaper on. Gayle finally got him into the pool and he was still crying. I left for awhile to take Abby for a walk and when I returned he seemed to be enjoying himself but not to the fullest because he was still crying off and on. He didn't stop crying until we were headed toward the upstairs of the club and he was all better when we got to the vending machine where he announced that he wanted some Cheetos. I got Griffin the Cheetos and he had already forgotten all about Best Buy and getting a movie. We went home and he was fine for the rest of the day. Next week I am going to take a different route to the pool, one where he cannot see Best Buy on the way there. Whew, what a frustrating day that was! Take care my friends and I hope that all is well with you.
Monday, July 31, 2006
Griffin's handwriting is improving greatly as you can see here. He even added dimension to it by outlining the word. I am so very proud of him. He also wrote after "PLAY", "Elmo in grouchland" all in very defined and ledgible letters. He is also holding the chalk properly in the tripod grasp. Griffin is quite proud of his accomplishments as he comes to get me to show me his work and I give him tons of praise of course. As you can see he is posing proudly by his work and being a ham at the same time. Hope that you all have a fantastic day!
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Just a bit of news about Griffin and the computer, somewhere he has learned to type out 2+2=4. I have no idea where he learned this from because he didn't learn it at school (I checked with Kathleen) and I certainly didn't teach him because we haven't attempted that kind of math yet but it looks like he is ready for it 'eh? My little guy just never ceases to amaze me.
In other news, today is my 42nd birthday and what makes it extra special is that it is also my dad's birthday. So, happy birthday dad I sure wish that we lived closer so that we could celebrate our birthday together. Thanks for sharing your birthday with me, I love you dad.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Griffin had speech yesterday with Lisa and he got a bit antsy and couldn't focus on the task at hand so Lisa would give him breaks which seemed to help. He did pretty good on the matching game (much like the game of "go fish") and seemed to be quite happy when he would make a match after asking me or Lisa if we had the card that he needed. Lisa thought that perhaps he was acting the way he was (restless and uninterested) because the task that she was asking him to do may have been a bit too difficult because he would stand there holding his ears in protest.
Griffin also had O.T. with Gayle yesterday afternoon. He was totally unfocused during his session but Gayle handled it very well (way to go Gayle!!!!!!!!) just like a pro. Both Lisa and Gayle are excellent in what they do and I know that I don't say it near enough but I do appreciate your hard work and dedication.
I hope that all of you visited Tina's (K.C.'s mommy) and shared with her some words of inspiration and encouragement, she can definitely use the support. I remember last December when I was having a crisis and all of you came to the resue and helped me out tremendously.
All of you may live far far away from me but, it doesn't mean that I care any less about you all and your families. You are my friends and I cherish you as such and I look forward to knowing you all much better as I read from your blogs each day/week.
Love to all of you and big hugs from Alaska
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Please visit my friends blog Autism and KC, Tina could use your support right now she is going through a tough time. Her family has just lost a very dear friend in Israel and her parents are over there right now. As you know things are quite dangerous and violent in Israel and Tina and her family could use your support through prayers or just through a few kind words left as a comment. Thank you all and enjoy your day and I am borrowing the kind words of Melissa H. when I say "May the rain pour on your house but the sun shine in your heart" Is that kind of close Melissa? I got the gist of it didn't I? Melissa said that to Tina in her blog when Tina was wishing for rain since she lives in the desert.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Griffin is doing so well in everything that he is doing lately. At the pool on Wednesday he actually swam for the first time to keep his head above water. Okay, so it was more like treading water but nevertheless he was swimming because he was paddling his legs and arms. Griffin had speech on Friday morning and he played a matching game much like the game of "concentration" where the cards are face down and you only pick up one at a time and turn it over until you have a match. Lisa, the SLP, said that Griffin has a photographic memory because he could remember the cards so well and where they were located. In the afternoon on Friday Griffin had OT with Gayle at the clinic and they played on an obstacle course that Gayle had put together. Lately, he has shown a lot of interest in doing puzzles and in particular a Sesame Street puzzle. So, what Gayle did was put the puzzle pieces all along the obstacle course so that Griffin would have to keep using his gross motor skills through the course in order to get the puzzle pieces. He had to work for each piece but he didn't seem to mind at all because he was so determined to complete the puzzle.
The weather has been a bit on the nippy side , it's only been in the high 50's and lower to mid 60's and cloudy most of the time. Today it is sunny and at 2:30 in the afternoon it is only 62 degrees so far with a breeze blowing. I can't recall in the 15 yrs. I've been living here that it has been so cool during the summer so it is quite unusual. I don't mind it so much since I am allergic to the sunlight it sure makes life easier for me that I don't have to hide from the sun all day long. That's all folks, hope you're having a great weekend.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Griffin is doing wonderfully in his ESY and seems to be much happier since going back to school. Today he went to OT swimming and did a great job of paddling his feet and going underwater. The other day at OT (at the clinic) Griffin put together an "I spy" floor size jigsaw puzzle (35 pieces) with a little bit of help from Gayle but mostly he did it by himself.
The weather has warmed up a bit, it finally got into the 60's with sunny skies and no rain, YIPEE! So, we are enjoying the nice weather and playing outside a lot. That's about it for today, not much else to report. Things are going really well for us. Have a great day!
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Friday, June 23, 2006
For the very first time yesterday, Griffin had a meltdown and didn't want to go to swim at OT. I was amazed at how he fought us as we tried to get him interested in getting into the pool. All he could say was, "I want to go to Fred Meyer." That is a store that he likes a lot because it's where he gets his Dora toys. In spite of me explaining to him that we could go to Fred Meyer after the pool he still kept up his protest. I was wondering if maybe it is because we had moved his OT from Tuesday to Wednesday and he noticed the change in schedule. I didn't have a visual schedule for him to take with us to show him the order in which things would happen because he has always been so very happy to go to the pool. My mistake indeed. Perhaps if I had one he would not have been such a little rebel. Finally, between Gayle and myself, got his swim diaper on and got him into the pool and of course he had fun and was very cooperative with Gayle but toward the end of the session he started again with the, "I want to go to Fred Meyer" bit. He began to protest when trying to take off his swim diaper and then trying to dress him or rather to try and get him to dress himself. Yea right, he wasn't having anything to do with dressing himself. We always get something out of the vending machine on the way out of the athletic club and that made him really happy. So, then we go to Fred Meyer as I had told him that we would but this time he wasn't getting a toy. Of course that made him unhappy and he started again but this time I think that it was mostly him having a bit of a tantrum just because he didn't get his way. I was relieved to find that by the time we got home he was fine and he was perfectly happy the rest of the day and didn't ask to go back to the store or for a toy. He even went on our usual walk with Abby without any problems whatsoever. Today we stayed in most of the day because of the rain and then later we went to speech where he did pretty good. No meltdowns, or tantrums no asking to go to Fred Meyer just a moment or two where he decided to get on the floor and not be a good listener. Otherwise, he had a great day and seemed to be his usual happy camper sort of guy. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions on what could have worked better than what I did or did not do? By the way, have a great day and a super weekend.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Griffin rode a pony for the first time yesterday and he sure did love it. From the very first minute that he got on that pony's back he started laughing and didn't stop until long after he was off. That's not me beside the pony by the way, I was taking the photos.
It's been raining here off and on the past few days so we've been stuck inside but when we are able to we take advantage of the beautiful weather taking Abby for long walks and playing on the playground.
I hope that all the fathers out there had a wonderful Father's Day and that you feel the love from you NT kiddos but especially from your autistic children. Hopefully, you will have shared special and touching moments every day and all the days in the future not just on this day. I want to say to my father that I am grateful for having him as a dad and that I couldn't have imagined having a better father in my life. I remember in high school, some of my fondest memories of us together, working on my 1969 Mustang convertible. I loved getting all dirty and greasy and working with him on doing engine repair and body work. It was so nice to be able to bond with my dad in that way. I don't know that I appreciated it that much then but I sure do cherish those memories now. Unfortunately, I wasn't the easiest child to raise, almost always getting into some kind of trouble and giving my parents a hard time and for that I am sorry. At least though, I grew out of it and have learned my lessons in life at a young age and had the guidance of my parents to steer me in the right direction. I attribute my success as a good and decent human being and mother to the fact that my parents were strict with their discipline and tough on me because had they not been so strict I think that I would still be getting into trouble. So, I want to thank my dad for always being there for me through thick and thin and sticking by his rules making sure that I was a productive member of society. Thanks dad for showing me what it means to be loved and how to love back even though it was usually tough love, it was still your way of showing me that you care. On this day, Father's Day, I salute you dad and all that you have done for me not just when I was a child but as an adult you have lead by example how to truly love someone like you love my mom a dedication and devotion that shines like the sun. Happy Father's Day dad!
Saturday, June 17, 2006
I am the happiest and the most fortunate mommy on the face of this earth, no wait.....in the universe. I am so grateful for all that I have but most of all for this beautiful little creature named Griffin. He brings me so much joy and delight that I can hardly think of anything negitive to say. I guess you could say that I have a renewed perspective since my nightmare last night. I woke up terrified because I had a dream that Griffin died. The absolute worst nightmare that I could have possibly had because it not only happened and seemed much too real but it was also my fault. Apparently I had tried some sort of cure autism medication/medical proceedure and he ended up dying from it. It is all so vague now but I am left with the feeling that still chills me to the bone. So, today I am a new mommy and I appreciate my child more than ever that nightmare really hit me where it hurts and I shall swear before all of you on everything sacred to me that I will never take my child's life and well being for granted. Not that I did before last night but gosh darnit, I don't know how to make myself understood. Does any of this make sense to anybody else? Imagine a nightmare so horrid and how you might react and how you might feel after waking up in the morning. I definitely gave my guy extra hugs and kisses all day and lots of snuggles this evening. I am not telling you folks about this dream because I have something against people who want to try medications/medical proceedures in an attempt to cure autism because it's not my place to judge them. I am merely describing my nightmare and that's it. To end on a positive note: I love my special guy and he loves me and that's all I need to get me through the day and night. Regardless of some weird, off the wall, hellacious dream.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Kyra, Peggy Lou mentioned that you might try to e-mail the woman at Paws-Abilities for information on training your own dog or for information on a book that might be helpful.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
This post is in response to Wendy's questions about Griffin's service dog "Abby". What would Abby do if Griffin suddenly bolted into traffic? What's her purpose?
Abby wouldn't do anything if Griffin darted out into traffic because she is not meant to protect him, that is not the purpose of a service dog. Her purpose is to merely be there for him as a constant companion. Abby doesn't need to do anything directly for Griffin her presence alone does the trick for him. When Abby is around Griffin is just more grounded and centered I can't even explain it. If you are thinking about getting a dog to train as a service dog or if you can get one that is already trained I think that you will find a marked improvement/change in not only C's behavior but also in your other children as well, that is if you don't already have a dog. Animals provide something very special for autistic and NT kiddos alike, something that just cannot be explained. The history of why we got Abby is that I had noticed when my friends dog was around Griffin (when he was about 2 years old) he had stopped his self injurous behaviors and he had less stimming and he was significantly more verbal. As soon as the dog went away all his behaviors returned. I looked into getting him a service dog that was already trained but the woman who trained the dogs said that Griffin was still too young for one of her dogs. So, I did some research and found out that in Alaska it is not necessary for a "service" dog to be professionally trained just as long as the dog was well behaved in public it could be considered a service dog. I aquired the necessary papers through the Disability Law Center that was a letter from the Attorney General that had the state's laws, the rules and regulations for businesses and public places and how they had to abide by these laws. I carry them in my purse just in case there is ever a problem but with the vest on her I typically have no problems with anyone. Abby has been in the hospital with Griffin to visit me, she has been in the cabin of the airplane to fly with us, in restaurants, and everywhere/anywhere that Griffin goes. I highly recommend that you read "Parenting Your Complex Child" by Peggy Lou Morgan if you are interested in getting a service dog because she has some excellent information in there specifically about service dogs. She does a much better job than I do at explaining how service dogs can be so very helpful to a child/individual with special needs or as she likes to call them: extraordinary needs. Please let me know if you have any additional questions and don't forget to Have a great day!!!
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
I forgot to mention in my last post that I have also called the 911 dispatch and told them that I have a 4 year old autistic child in my home so that if anything were to happen they have on record that he is here and what to expect in the case of an emergency. It is my understanding that the fire fighters and the local police force have all been trained in what to do with an autistic child in an emergency situation.
I would like to brag a bit about Griffin's independence lately. He has not only show that he can function independently but is also very compliant with me, cleaning up his toys with only one request, putting items in the garbage or in the sink with only one request also. Griffin has been going to bed nicely in his own (new) bed all by himself without snuggles and even without any type of encouragement, and he stays in his bed all night long I am so very proud of him, he is doing such a fantastic job. Even though he is bored he still has an excellent disposition (bright and sunny) and tends to keep himself occupied regardless. Griffin is such a trooper, so patient and tolerant, he really is progressing nicely. Now that he is out of school for awhile there is great potential for him to have excessive energy that he doesn't know what to do with but he still remains quite stable as far as his moods go and has had meltdowns few and far between. We've been going to the playground just about every day and we take Abby (the service dog) for a walk twice a day every day and sometimes go to the store. That's about it for now folks. Hope that you're having a great day just as we are.