Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Sunday, January 08, 2006

This is Pisgah Griffin's kitty and one of his best buddies that is next to Abby his service dog. Pisgah is named after Mount Pisgah in the Appalachian mountains of western North Carolina. Beautiful and serene the Pisgah National Forest is one of the places where my family would go to cool off in the hot summers when I was growing up. For some reason when I found the kitty it made me think of that wonderful place of my childhood.

Griffin has learned to be very gentle with the cat and just loves to snuggle up and love on him. I need to get a picture of them together but the snuggling doesn't last long because the cat is not terribly fond of it. Even though Pisgah is quite tolerant of Griffin's affection he doesn't stick around for long. It's so funny because Griffin loves to squeeze him when giving him a hug and lie on top of him but Pisgah just takes it and eventually escapes Griffin's grasp.

I am working on getting a really good picture of Abby, but for some reason she is afraid of my camera and won't perk her ears up for a photo. I'll be working on that and have one up soon. Nothing very exciting happened since my last post really. Griffin has started reading signs everywhere. Today he read the "closed " sign at the cash register which took me by surprise. He's been reading signs like Chuck E. Cheese's, Carrs (our grocery store), Fred Meyer (another store), and also reading some labels on food products. The guy is just doing so well that I don't even know where the heck it's coming from. Yes, I do. It's coming from his incredible intelligent mind that is being stimulated and educated by the TEACCH method for the past 2 years! Not to mention all the hard working therapists, teachers, and teacher's assistants who work their butts off to help Griffin excel. And excel he does! I'm having a hard time keeping up with him. For sure he will be smarter than his mommy in a matter of a couple of years especially when it has to do with math.

Oh and for those of you who don't know where we're located we are in Anchorage, Alaska where the TEACCH program is alive and well and has been for many years. We are planning to move to North Carolina where the TEACCH method originated at the prestigious University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. So, if there's anyone out there who is living in North Carolina and know of some great schools in and around the beautiful mountainous region of Asheville or Hendersonville please let me know. I am not eager to leave my home of 15 years because it is near and dear to my heart and so are the friends I have made along the way. Alaska has one of the best school systems in North America and the best teachers too but I must say though that I am ready to live near my family and for them to meet Griffin. It has been almost 5 years since I have visited my family and seen the place where I grew up so it will be a bittersweet transition for me and I hope that it doesn't trigger my manic depression while going through it.

Traveling can be hard on a bipolar individual triggering bouts of mania or depression or in my case what is called "mixed states" where one is both manic and depressed at the same time. I also have what is called "rapid cycling' which means that I can go from mania to depression in a short period of time, sometimes just a matter of hours. Let me tell ya that it is not any fun! Anyhow, my depression is being held at bay by my wonderful medications YIPEE! Each day is different but at least I am better than I was over the holidays.


Mr Ornery said...

Fear not. Until you go, you'll have your netowrk of friends both there in Alaska and online and I doubt any of them or us will be dropping by the wayside after you make the move. You may even discover there is a sudden winter influx of tourists from Alaska, 'migrating' to North Carolina for the winter. After all, you and Griffin will give them two more good reasons to visit.

KCsMom said...

It will be a really special day when Griffin gets to meet his Grandparents! Being closer to family will help out a whole lot!

Griffin is doing extremely well and I just love reading your posts about the little guy. He is learning so much , it's just amazing:) I love the picture of the Kitty Cat Pisgah. She is a beauty!

K.C.'s teacher says she incorporates the Teacch method in class as well. I read a little bit about ABA last night and phoned K.C.'s teacher to ask her about it. She said she believed it would be way too intense for him. She said K.C. isn't the kind of kid you want to push too much, because he'll shut down. The social aspect of ABA kinda worries me too. K.C. needs as much Social exposure to other children as he can get. He practically ignores his brother but I feel if we can help him get past the wanting to be alone part and teach him to be friends with children he will learn a great deal from them as well. I just want him to be happy as all of us want that for our kiddos:)
Keep up the great work Griffin! Gosh, when he's in Kindergarten I wonder what reading level he'll be on by that time? Just Amazing!

Melissa said...

Hi! Thanks for the add! I have been enjoying your blog too since finding it about a week or so ago. :)

I hope your move will go smoothly and that you are able to find a school that will meet all of yours a Grffin's needs. It is wonderful that you will be close to his grandparents. He is such a smart guy! It's always neat when they suddenly burst with something you had no idea they could do. LOL

I look forward to reading more about you and Griffin. :)

peggyloumorgan said...

Good that the program that works for Griffin is well taught in both areas. Also your Autism buddies go with you on the web so we're all here. You are prepared to deal with it for yourself and Griffin and I know you can!!

SquareGirl said...

Thanks for visiting and introducing me to Griffin! So glad to hear that he is excelling. Yo are so right about so much more being in his head than we even know! I can't tell you how many times I have been tickled and delighted when some of my kids began to find ways to communicate what they know to us.

mommyguilt said...

YAY!!!!!! I'm so glad you're coming closer!!!! Chicago is not far from North Carolina at all, when in comparison with its distance from Anchorage (LOL). LOVE the kitty shots. SmallBoy still has a hard time being gentle with the cats because he is so used to giving us "Squeeze Hugs" that it's hard for him to understand he can't do that with the animals...Can't wait to see doggy pics!!!