Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

city map


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Griffin Is Making Great Progress Each And Every Day

As you can see Griffin is having a great time sharing with his cousin, he has come such a long way since last year when he came into contact with her, he would not share or have positive interactions with her. Now he is not only playing with her but he is exchanging conversation tidbits with her. She is 3 years old so her language is somewhat limited but they seemed to do well together in spite of having short exchanges in communication. Every little bit is such great progress in my mind, it thrills me to see him show interest in carrying on with another child.

My sister and her family came to visit from North Carolina most of the day and it was a really good visit, it is always nice to see them. Last weekend my mom, Griffin, and I went to see my nephew wrestle, he is in high school, and I was amazed with how well Griffin handled being in the loud gymnasium. Griffin just sat there with his headphones on while he watched a DVD occasionally climbing on the bleachers. Later we went to eat and he sat there so nicely and ate pizza (his absolute favorite) so I think that he had a pretty good day all in all. I just love watching my little boy mature and become more aware of the people around him and engaging in conversation so much better than he was a year ago.

There's not much else to report except that Griffin is having a great winter break so far, we are going to the playground regularly and to feed the ducks and geese which he loves. I hope to post again before the new year but just in case I don't get around to it then I would like to wish everyone a perfectly wonderful and Happy New Year, may you all be safe and feel loved as we transition into 2008. Lots of love and hugs to all of you!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

This Time Last Year In Anchorage

My oh my how things have changed in just one year, here is a picture of Griffin at our apartment in Anchorage about a year ago..........look at all the beautiful snow. Griffin was never a huge fan of snow partly because he wouldn't leave his mittens on his hands so they of course got quite cold and I suppose that it would have been more fun if we could have made a snowman but the snow was always too powdery/dry for that. Powdery snow is good for driving, shoveling, and it is more beautiful than slushy snow but it just doesn't work for creating masterpieces, not unless some water was added by some means. The snow sculptures that we had downtown worked out wonderfully but I swear that they must have used some kind of means to keep them together. This time last year (winter of 2006) we were in Anchorage until December 2nd and then moved to S.C. and Griffin took quite awhile to make the transition but has come a long way since then. There are a couple of things that Griffin misses in Anchorage, first he misses his kitty "Pisgah" and asks for him almost every single day and he doesn't understand why we cannot have a kitty (because my dad said that it would shed everywhere, like he would have to be the one to clean it all up..............right dad!). It makes me sad that he cannot have a cat here and I often entertain the idea of going to the shelter to pet the kitties but I am concerned that it might bring on a meltdown if he is teased into thinking that he might get to take one home. What do you guys think? The other one that he seems to miss is Kathleen, he loves to look at the photo album and the pictures of them together in the classroom.

Gone are the days of thinking about snow and worrying about sub-zero temps and looming darkness throughout the winter. It is so nice to be able to have more freedom of movement and regular day/night hours in a 24 hour period.

Griffin has been eating really well the past few weeks, granted it is still the same foods over and over, but nonetheless he is still eating more food more frequently. He isn't getting fat by any means but I suppose that he is going through a growth spurt and getting taller.

It is time to get up from here and do something else, I will do my best to write more often and keep you updated on what's going on here. I hope that you all are enjoying this winter break and I hope that the kids are not bouncing off the walls, so far Griffin is doing fine but it has only been a couple of days so far. I wish for you all to be surrounded by those you love and feel pure joy in your everyday life. If you want to check out what we were doing this time last year here is the link.

Hugs to all of you!

Friday, December 07, 2007

My Favorite Picture

This is my new favorite most recent photo of Griffin, it really captures his personality which is practically perpetual smiling and laughing. There's not much to add right now, we are doing very well and life is good/running smoothly.

Griffin is reading at second grade level without hesitation and that is such wonderful news. I spoke with his speech path. and she told me that she is helping to improve his social skills and conversation with his peers, he is showing great progress in this area. I will know more about what he's been doing in school when we meet next Thursday to set some new goals for him. I observed Griffin in his session with his private speech path. and he did a great job reading a book and answering questions about what he had just read. He also read the "I Spy" book and really seemed to enjoy finding the objects in the pictures.

I hope for you my friends that you are having a stress free holiday season, this is the key to enjoying life in general as I see it. It is time to go pick up my gorgeous little guy from school, have a wonderful weekend.............Hugs to you all!

Friday, November 30, 2007

My Perspective Of The "Holidays"

Here is a picture of Griffin in his swimming therapy which is on Thursdays, he is still doing really great with it and seems to thoroughly enjoy his time in the pool.

I suppose that most of you are gearing up for the holidays, I am not however because I am agnostic so it will just be another day for me although I do allow Griffin to enjoy this time of year because he is a child and I believe that when he gets older he can decide what he wants to do with his spirituality and religious choices. I am not offended by religious holidays since I am a spiritual being it's just that it is really something that is very private for me and personal. I am offended by how commercialized Christmas and major holidays have become and I am a bit of a rebel when it comes to spending money on "stuff" for any given holiday just because society supports these celebrations sometimes spending such a great deal of money that it leaves them in the red for the rest of the year. Holidays, especially Christmas, can and does create a great deal of stress for family members, friends, and partners/spouses alike and I just believe that it is far better to give a gift from the heart for no particular reason throughout the year to show that you really care and that you are truly a thoughtful and generous human being.

Even though I tell everyone to not get presents for me I do give them permission to buy stuff for my little guy, this will only be his second Christmas celebration and I think that he is getting to the point of understanding what it is all about as far as the exchanging of gifts. I got him a really special gift which I am certain that he will enjoy, it is the V-Flash (by V-Tech) with 2 cds to go with it, one is Shrek and the other is Spongebob...........he is going to be so thrilled to have this item and I can't wait for him to use it. I believe that it will be challenging for him therefore it will hold his attention longer and at the same time it will be educational.

I have spoken to Griffin's teacher about doing ABA at home and she said that she believes that it will be too much for him and I agree. The thought had entered my mind as a friend of mine is doing it for her child but her child is not as high functioning as Griffin. A very dear friend of mine who has worked with Griffin since he was little bitty told me that Griffin needs down time when he is at home and that is why we have not done it in the past and now that I think of it, I am sure that it is still true. Griffin loves doing his homework and I am just going to leave it at that.

I hope that you guys are all doing well, I hope to receive comments from you or to get an e-mail as I will do my best to keep you updated on what is going on with us. Lots of hugs to you, my dear friends!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Urgent Lead Alert, Have You Got A Weighted "Lead" Blanket For Your Child?


Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Parent Lois Smith, whose daughter was poisoned previously by an alleged “therapy” vest – which turned out to be a lead dental vest treated with antimony – has given us the following information of great concern.

On October 18, Lois was talking to a doctor at a hospital in Chicago about flame retardant and applications to medical devices. She followed up with calls to dental vest distributors to ask about flame retardant being used on a vest with foam backing. This led to Lois being led to the only company anyone knew of that made dental shielding vests with a foam backing (the type of vest that poisoned her daughter)
Shielding International of Madras, Oregon. The woman who answered the phone asked why Lois wanted this information. Lois told her that she had a 5-year old daughter who had been diagnosed as autistic and, before Lois could continue, the woman said, “Oh, you have an autistic, then you want a leaded blanket.” Lois replied, “No, ma’am, I do not want a leaded blanket. You actually sell autistic children leaded blankets?” To which the woman replied, “Yep, for that weighted therapy.” Lois asked her if she was concerned about poisoning them. The woman said, “No,” that autistics do not eat them. Lois explained that it was her understanding that 67% of autistic children suffer from PICA and that they would indeed eat these and that her daughter had been poisoned by eating the foam on the backing of a vest. The woman replied, “You do not want to get the foam when you order this, you want to get a material covering.” Lois again said that she did not want to order a lead blanket; she just wanted the information on the foam component of the vests. The woman gave her the number of the foam supplier.

Lois was sickened by the possibility that children were being poisoned by these blankets, and the next day her 17-year old son offered his birthday money to help buy one of the lead blankets, which cost hundreds of dollars. Lois called back the company and told the woman she had changed her mind. The woman said, “Oh, that’s great, honey, what color would you like it in?” After the discussion about color Lois asked about ordering a lap pad, and then Lois explained there were times when she felt that more weight was needed, so she’d like to order an extra long so that she could fold the item in half and get double the weight.
Lois was stunned when the woman said this was a great idea, due to the fact that the first rule of lead shielding is that you CANNOT fold it. Lois was directed to the representative for her state to finalize the order. Lois called them. They asked her what color she wanted. Lois gave them the dimensions and said she intended to fold it. The order was placed for a 5-year old little autistic girl to receive a leaded blanket with a hot pink material covering.

The private company that had previously identified the vest in Lois’s home that had poisoned her daughter tested the outside of the package containing the lead blanket with an XRF (X-ray fluorescence) machine. The inspector was astonished at how high the readings came back and stated that there was an extremely high level of lead in whatever was in the package. Subsequently, a lead inspector for the State of Michigan opened the package and tested the blanket inside, getting higher readings. He also dust-wiped for surface lead.
The inspector said that with all of the recalls for lead poisoning items, that this was a “lead death” item, and that it would be like a giant “Hershey Bar” to autistic – or even neurotypical children – due to the fact that it has a sweet flavor and that if the outside was compromised a child would have access to massive amounts of lead.

Lois has made the observation that the stitching was done right through the lead. She observes that if pets get a hold of this, it will be further compromised by claws and teeth. Lois wonders if an autistic child who has suffered from seizures goes to the emergency room with seizures from a massive poisoning, will they suspect lead?

And today, the test results of the dust wipes are in. The outside of the blanket is lethal. According to the inspector from the State if Michigan, a child could die from licking the outside of the blanket.

If your child has been exposed to this type of blanket, take precautions, package it, and remove it from the living space of the interior of your home.

Autism One Radio is planning on airing an interview with Lois Smith, the videotape of the initial inspection of the blanket, and test results as they become available at Our thanks to Lois Smith for her continued efforts to protect children.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What Is In Our Future? Are We Losing Our Rights Only To Be Bullied By The Government?

PLEASE READ THIS ARTICLE! Maryland: Forced Vaccination for children or else, jail time and fines. This is so scary I can hardly find words to describe my outrage! If you read anything today you've got to read this NOW, especially if you have a child in school or expect your child to ever go to school, it is a very sad commentary of what our government is doing to infringe on our constitutional/human rights to not vaccinate our children. What can we do to protect our rights? Does this mean that homeschooling is the only way to exercise our right to not vaccinate our kids?

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Very Special Guy

Today Griffin's classroom had a presentation of their skills and talents during a very special pre-Thanksgiving feast and provided the food that they had prepared with some help for the parents/relatives of each child. It was so nice that each child exerted a lot of effort in order to show what they had learned. Griffin was a superstar when it was his turn, he read two sentences with wonderful articulation and loud enough for everyone to hear. He was so proud of himself because he kept taking a bow as everyone applauded. I had a perpetual smile on my face and snapped many pictures of all the happy kiddos and their parents.

Griffin just looks like such a big boy in this picture and lately it is becoming harder and harder to get him to snuggle with me but I manage to get short/temporary snuggles here and there which I am ever so grateful for no doubt. I have to face it, he is growing up and things are going to change with time. I have noticed that he is wanting to be more independent and to have privacy while using the bathroom which is a great sign of growth and it makes me very proud of him. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining but it is bittersweet this growing up thing and in some ways it breaks my heart and in others I am very excited for him.

It has become so much easier lately when we go out in public he is so well behaved and doesn't have any meltdowns for whatever reason and boy does that make life so much easier and much more simple. I actually wait to go shopping at certain stores that I know he will enjoy going to with me. I think that part of it is because I am more patient with him and I tend to spend more time explaining things to him and giving him more credit for understanding what I am telling him. Griffin is a progressive young guy who is raising the bar on how a nearly 6 year old must conduct himself when out in public and even when he is at home. I have moved my buttons around and he does not push them as much as he used to. I will take credit for part of it but most of it is because I am taking the Risperdal, it has helped me change in so many wonderful ways and created a loving, tolerant, patient, affectionate, tender, and attentive mommy.

I am still going to the gym every day but so far there have been no positive results, I have been careful what I eat and spend 30 minutes - an hour on the elyptical equipment but it is all in vain I suppose. At least I haven't gained any more weight, I am staying exactly where I have been and I would love to get back down to the size I was before taking the Risperdal gosh darnit! I wonder how hard and long I will have to work out to keep from gaining weight after the holidays!!!! OMG, it might just be an uphill battle, we shall see I suppose.

Nothing else to report, the weather is absolutely gorgeous and mild and I am still enjoying it! Hugs to you all, leave me a comment if you have a moment to spare, I would love to hear from you and to know that you were here. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Griffin's Gingerbread House

Here he is doing an excellent job of decorating his gingerbread house all by himself. It was so great because he didn't even try to eat any of the candy, he totally understood what the purpose of the candy was and did not need to be reminded of it. It was a great exercise in patience and a great opportunity to be creative and enjoy the outcome of his efforts. He was so proud of himself and seemed to be so happy with the finished product, it is tempting to buy another one so he can use his creativity again but he will get to work on another one at school when he and his classmates work on the ones that I bought for the class.

I sat and observed Griffin in his speech and O.T. sessions on Tuesday and he did quite well. In speech he was asked to answer "how" questions and to list the "first, next, and last" with each task pictured on the card. He did struggle a bit with most of them but his speech path. was very good at helping him to answer the questions and keeping him from becoming frustrated. In O.T. he first played in the room with a slide, swing, and a huge pad to jump into, then they worked on his handwriting and he is really doing much better while holding his pencil correctly, slowly but surely his handwriting is improving with the proper grasp. What is most important to me is that he looks forward to going each week because it is pleasant for him and I do believe that a happy camper is one who learns the most and gets the biggest benefit out of his education.

Ta Ta for now! Guess that I should get up from here and be productive somehow. Hope that all of you are very well and having a great week. Hugs to you, my blogging friends, thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Griffin's Progress Report

Griffin is doing so well in school and with his private speech and O.T., here he is at O.T. working on his handwriting and as you can see he is a happy little guy. His O.T. sessions have been absolutely wonderful and he is making incredible progress. Griffin's report card reflects how well he is doing in school and how much he is enjoying doing his homework. Pretty soon I believe that he will surpass all the goals that he has had for this period in school. His report card is as follows:

ELA (reading and writing) - A
Math - A
Science - A
Social Studies - B+

Griffin's teacher has reported that he is showing progress academically and behaviorally, he is attending and staying on task much more than previously in the nine weeks. Way to go buddy! He is really growing up and has a great propensity for learning which makes mommy so very proud of him.

Just yesterday at swimming Griffin showed progress as well, he floated on his back unassisted for several minutes and held his breath for a few seconds as he went underwater, keeping his mouth closed which was a great achievement because he usually smiles and laughs so much that he would inadvertently get choked on the water he aspirated. Griffin is kicking really well in the water and exerting a lot of energy but he needs to work on moving his legs from the hip and not just from his knees so we are going to practice walking backwards to develop the muscles and the use of his entire leg rather than just the lower part of his legs. His O.T. was really excited about his progress yesterday and I believe that Griffin was feeling pretty proud of himself too.

When I went to pick Griffin up from his after school program he was interacting with his little friend, who is a few years older, they were hugging each other and saying good-bye. It was such an adorable sight to see them together and patting each other's back. I look forward to seeing Griffin interacting with other kids more and more with each day. A few days ago Griffin and I were in K-Mart and I saw that they had gingerbread house kits and I called his teacher and asked if she would like some for the classroom to work on together and she gleefully replied that she thought that the kids would love that so I bought four of them for the classroom and one for Griffin to do at home. I can't wait to be there with the kids as they work on putting them together, I plan to take lots of pictures because it should be a really fun project for them.

The weather has been really cool and pleasant and I am enjoying seeing all the different colors of autumn and I just love wearing my sweaters again. There wasn't much of an autumn in Anchorage usually the gold leaves of the birch trees would last maybe a week and then it was winter so this is a refreshing change for me as I was in Alaska this time last year. Next month will be a year since we moved and boy has the time passed by quickly and what a difference there is in Griffin since our move.

I have lots of e-mail to catch up on so I guess it is time to get to it so that my friends don't think that I have forgotten about them, my motivation has been quite low still and I am making a gallant effort to stay focused and to stay on task today while I am here at the computer.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Our Trip To Wisconsin

Griffin and I went to Wisconsin to visit our friends Amy, Luke, and Noah and we had a wonderful time! Griffin got to help Amy make cupcakes and as you can see he was thrilled with it and seemed quite proud of himself. We all went to the pumpkin farm and Griffin really enjoyed riding the pony, eating caramel popcorn, and going on a hay ride. We also went swimming in the indoor pool at the hotel and of course he loved that because swimming is most definitely one of his favorite activities. The best news of all is that Griffin and Noah played together, talked to one another, and shared with each other just as if they were two best friends who have known each other for years. Griffin did a great job of communication and initiating conversation with Noah who is 11 years old and also has autism. At times one might have believed that they were just two NT kiddos carrying on with the business of being social. I was thoroughly impressed with how well Griffin followed along with Noah as they went trick or treating door to door in the neighborhood with a constant smile upon his gorgeous little face.
By the way, the pictures, as you may have noticed, are not in order because I never seem to be able to get them in the place where I wish to insert them into the paragraph (oh well).

Griffin was a champ at the airports and on the plane, he traveled just like a pro! I had requested to have a wheelchair waiting for us at our destination in order to have help and so that Griffin didn't have to walk such a long distance. It sure did make the whole trip so much easier and much more pleasant, I highly recommend using a wheelchair for those kiddos who have difficulty in airports. Griffin was quite calm and relaxed on the airplane because he had his DVD player and a plethora of DVDs in tow. It was such a great relief for him to act like such a big boy during the entire trip and I must say that I will eagerly travel with him again if the opportunity ever presents itself because he has most definitely proven himself to be a great listener!

While in Wisconsin I found the article in the November edition of "People" magazine that has my name in it about the trial that I had gone to in Anchorage, I had done an interview with them over the phone. Before going to Wisconsin I flew to Manhattan (NYC) alone to be interviewed by "Inside Edition" but I don't know when it will air, I need to call them to find out. It is a trial that got lots and lots of press throughout the world and I wouldn't be surprised if it is made into a "made for TV" movie it certainly has all the makings for it. Incidentally, for those of you who are familiar with it, the defendant was found guilty of first degree murder!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so thrilled that the jury saw the truth and that my dearly departed friend's family may feel that justice has been served.

I will post some more pics of my beautiful child Griffin Blaise soon, thanks for reading my blog and sharing in the joy of all his great accomplishments. I just got his progress report and I will post about that as soon as I can, I haven't completely read it yet but will get right to it today. Take care my dear friends, hugs and smiles to all of you! Hope you have a wonderful day & weekend.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I Miss Reading Your Blogs and Writing In Mine

I used to have so many people who seemed to enjoy reading my blog and keep track of his progress and accomplishments but not so much anymore, I do believe that it is for two reasons: I have been slack in keeping the blog updated and I haven't been reading anyone else's blog lately. It is understandable that it would happen that way so I am not surprised but miss all my blogging buddies. There has been a lot going on with me personally and I have been dealing with it in therapy and with my doctor and that takes up most of my time just trying to deal with it day to day. So, I apologize to my dear friends who do keep reading and leaving comments to let me know that you are still around and that there is always support for me and Griffin.

Griffin is doing absolutely fabulous!!!!!!!!!!! He has exceeded his goals in speech in fact, his speech path. told me that she is going to call me next week to go over some new goals. Griffin is easily meeting his goals in his special needs classroom and still surprising us all with his exceptionally incredible talents and skills. I will have to take a photo of the paper that he did today in his after school program with his teacher, she was smiling ear to ear when she showed me what he had accomplished all on his own. It is truly extraordinary indeed, I cannot wait to get a pic of it to show everyone and brag about his wonderful work!

Today Griffin went to swimming and he was doing exceptionally well there also. He floated on his back for 18 seconds without any help whatsoever. His O.T. was thrilled with him and so was I and I do believe that he was pretty proud of himself too. Griffin loves the water and he doesn't even get upset or scared when he accidentally goes underwater. Perhaps one day he will be a swimmer and continue to love the water.

I don't like the fact that I haven't been posting but there are so many other things going on that it just isn't a priority anymore, not that it isn't interesting or anything because I love to write about what Griffin and I do each week so I will make an attempt to keep it updated at least once a week so that you will all know that we are okay. I do hope to read your blogs again too, it is just so overwhelming sometimes, I am sure that there are those of you who can relate to that. I have been going to the gym each day/morning while Griffin is in school for about an hour but I need to go more often since I have yet to lose any weight so far.

We are going next week to Wisconsin to see our friend Amy and Noah and we are so excited. I do hope that Griffin is okay with the flights and the layovers that we are going to have. I will be taking his DVD player and some brand new DVDs hopefully it will be something that he is interested in and it will keep him busy for awhile.

Take care everyone and I hope to see you soon on your blogs but if I don't please don't feel that I have forgotten you at all!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

My Trip To Alaska/Griffin's Latest Success

I went to Anchorage to testify in a murder trial and ended up staying there for a week, it was quite a stressful time for me because I had to be away from my sweet little guy, boy did I miss him! Even though it was nice to see my friends again and all my old haunts it is not something that I wish to do again because being a participant in a murder trial is not fun whatsoever. I did get to hang out with the crew from CBS 48 Hours and do an interview, did an interview with the Anchorage Daily News and most recently with People Magazine. I will let you know when the 48 Hours show comes on in January so you can see the twisted/stranger than fiction sort of trial that it has been. It was a cold case and actually happened over 10 years ago so I had to rely on my journals and my original statement with the state troopers to jog my memory with all details, it was such an unhealthy time in my life when I used to hang out with the defendant and actually considered to be a close friend for some time but ended the relationship a few months before the murder occurred. I know that you would probably like to know the details of what happened but I am so tired of writing and talking about it I am hoping that you can catch the story in People Magazine to fill in the blanks. If you are so curious that you don't want to wait to hear all about it then leave me a comment with your e-mail address (if I don't already have it) and I will be glad to explain it to you individually. Suffice it to say that it was a grueling event and it is so good to be here with Griffin and to snuggle up to him and get big hugs from him. Dateline NBC kept bugging me to do an interview but I decided that doing one show is enough and I just want it to be over and become part of my past. I am sure that the Dateline NBC crew are wonderful people but revisiting that part of my life is not something that I really want to do, I believe that the woman on trial is without a doubt guilty of the murder of my close friend and she should pay for her playing a part in this cold blooded murder back in 1996.

On to more pleasant news in which I am absolutely thrilled about........Griffin is finally potty trained and even staying dry all through the night!!!!!!!!!!! He was so very happy to see me at the airport last weekend and I was even more happy to see him and to put my arms around him, to get big hugs and lots of kisses, it's what I live for! I will post some more pictures in the near future, it's just that I am still disorganized and getting my life back on track. I hope to visit your blogs soon so that I can catch up on what has been going on with all my special friends. Hugs to everyone and I hope that you are all well and enjoying the change in the season, I know that I am!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

It Has Been Awhile Since My Last Post

I have been such a slacker lately and haven't posted on the blog nor have I been reading other blogs which really stinks because it gives me such a great feeling to stay in touch with my blogger friends and to keep up with what's going on. I just recently found out that the reason that I am so unmotivated and feel like hell, can't sleep at night and having a hard time staying awake during the day is because my depression has snuck up on me again and the meds that I was taking stopped working for me. My psychiatrist changed my meds around and put me on Risperdal. I know that there are several kiddos on it for behavior issues and I didn't realize that it was also used for Bipolar Disorder also. I have been on it for about 2 weeks and it hasn't helped yet which is really quite frustrating because I was doing so well before this depression started to get the best of me. I think that perhaps I may be one of the lucky ones in that it hasn't caused my appetite to increase so far and I am thrilled with that. I have been going to the gym to workout and it just wipes me out for days even though I am taking it easy and some days I only walk on the treadmill it stills kicks my butt and it takes me a couple of days to recover from only 15 - 20 minute walk. I am hanging in there with a positive perspective and with hopes of feeling better real soon.

I posted some time ago , right after we had moved to S.C., about Griffin's bus driver using her personal cell phone while she was driving and how unhappy I was about it and how I made phone calls to everyone I could possibly get in touch with about this. The response that I got was that it wasn't part of their policy to allow that to happen but nothing was ever done about it. Back then I didn't have a car so I had no choice but to let him ride the bus but now that I have a car I do not plan on letting Griffin ever ride the bus again because I am concerned about his safety. The reason why I mentioned this is because a reporter/anchor for a television station a few hours away from here contacted me through this blog. She is doing a story on the dangers of bus drivers talking on cell phones while driving and asked me if I would like to do an interview about it. I was happy to be interviewed and to help her take the information that she has gathered to the state legislators in order to make it illegal for bus drivers to use their cell phones while driving our children. I hope that the interview made some difference and will help to spread the word that it is going on and create awareness throughout the state. She had informed me that there are only 13 states where it is actually illegal. I was not surprised that this state was not one of them. South Carolina is so concerned about people having alcohol on Sundays and people missing church on Sundays because they might want to go shopping it is absurd! How can it be that such issues are far more important than the safety of our children. I am not going to spend too much time writing about this but I will keep the blog updated as the story is aired and once I learn more from her about how it is going at the state level. I also need to get to bed but first I want to brag about my wonderful little guy.

Griffin is doing awesome at school and at home and in his therapies (Speech, O.T., and in his swimming). His speech and language are progressing at an amazing rate and his handwriting and spelling is phenomenal. I am so proud of his progress and to top it all off he seems to really enjoy learning and even doing his homework. His teacher is wonderful and ever so organized and really seems to love what she is doing. Griffin is once again a happy camper as he used to be when he was in Anchorage. He has come a long way and has adjusted to this environment quite well and is having far fewer meltdowns than when we first got here. I will do my best to stay on top of things and to let you all know what's going on with us.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A Brilliant Artist

This is Griffin's most recent piece, it is Ernie and Elmo swimming in the bath tub as he has described it to me. Griffin didn't forget the details of what it takes to make each one unique like Ernie's striped shirt and Elmo's eyes on the top of his head. I think that it is a great artistic endeavor. He never ceases to amaze me.

So, Griffin is doing very well in school and loves going and often does not want to leave at the end of the day. His teacher told me that he is doing so well with his potty training that she believes that he is ready to wear big boy underwear during the day at school. I am thrilled with this news of course but if only he would do the same for me at home. She said that he was even asking to use the potty! At home he flatly refuses to go to the bathroom most all the time. I have a great deal of support and some ideas that might just prove to work out after all, I will keep you updated as things transpire.

I go out every day to run errands or to go shopping in my wonderful car which I am so very grateful for, I feel so blessed with all the gifts that I have received through the power of positive thinking and believing that I will get all that I wish for as long as I believe. This is what I have found to be true because I have learned so much through The Secret, I just recently listened to the audio book and it left me feeling empowered and inspired to go after all that I want and need. I have already received much of what I have wished for which makes me even more confident that the rest is on its way, it's just a matter of time.

The weather has been pretty good lately and not so unbearably hot and humid so that makes each day much easier to tolerate, or it could be that I am becoming more acclimated.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Griffin's First Day of School

Griffin went to his new classroom yesterday and he seemed to be right at home there, he followed directions and was a good listener just like a big boy. He is growing up so fast and really showing signs of being more mature and acting more his age. Griffin has developed some new skills over the summer through his EI (Early Interventionist) such as taking turns and waiting patiently, he has learned some new Spanish words, and he has been focusing much better with the work that he has been asked to do.

Today I took him into the classroom and he went straight away to his desk and sat down in his chair. I almost cried partly because he is growing up so fast and partly because I am so very proud of him. The other day just out of the blue Griffin said the pledge of allegiance out loud to mom and me, he did such an awesome job pronouncing each and ever word correctly. So I asked him to do it for his teacher and everyone was amazed that he did so well, we all praised him and I think that he was pretty proud of himself too.

Griffin and I are really enjoying our new car, every chance I get we go for a ride and I like being able to go places while he is in school, it's much easier to shop alone. I do miss him lots while he is gone to a full day of school but at the same time I love the peace and quiet and taking things at my own pace. I am truly grateful for all that we have and I will continue to give thanks to the universe for listening to me and answering my wishes.

Griffin had speech and O.T. yesterday after school and he seemed to be very happy to go and his therapists seemed quite proud of him also. He is such an amazing child and I give thanks every day that I am so blessed to call him my own, I feel so privileged to have him in my life. Not a day passes that he hasn't taught me something new has made me a better person and a much wiser mommy and for this I am also grateful. Life is good and I feel more and more capable of overcoming the obstacles that have created challenges in my life. Griffin has been overcoming his obstacles/challenges so then why can't I?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My New Volvo S70 SE

I am such a happy camper because I finally got my dream car, this is the first car that I have ever purchased all on my own! What a great feeling it is to sit in my new car and to know that it is mine and it is paid for. I am referring to it as a "new" car because it is new to me but it is actually a 2000 model S70 SE so it is fully loaded and I got an awesome deal. It only had 68,000 miles on it and is in immaculate condition. It just goes to show that if you wish hard enough and never have doubts, never giving up, everyone can have what they dream about it just takes patience. I am so very grateful that I was able to purchase this vehicle because Griffin and I need to have some freedom of movement, some independence, and the ability to do all of our errands and such without relying on my mom to take us.

Griffin is doing great he has been acting much more mature for his age and cooperating with my mom and me and he is having fewer meltdowns. He has really come a long way since we moved down here from Alaska. We are still working on the toilet training, I am hoping that once he gets back to school and has a regular routine that he will be more willing to use the toilet.

It is really hot here, it was well over 100 degrees yesterday and super humid (which I hate the most) it is supposed to be in the 100's again today. Got to go for now . Be back again soon.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Good News About My Eyes

The new medicine that I am taking seems to be working really well, so far I haven't had any problems with my eyes!!!! Yipee!!!!!!!! That means that I can start looking for a car to buy, I am so thrilled! The only side effects that the Cogentin has is that it gives me dry mouth and has decreased my appetite which is awesome since I have been trying to lose weight.

Griffin has swimming today and his E.I. came to our house yesterday and she said that Griffin did a great job and that he was very focused and a good listener. Griffin seems to be paying more attention lately and acting so much more mature, he has been really mellow too. My little guy is growing up so fast! School will start on the 22nd and I hope that he will be very happy at his new school.

I am trying to keep up with catching up and on reading your blogs, Griffin has been using the computer a lot lately even though he has one of his own so I haven't been on the computer much. I also have been quite spacey when I am like that I cannot focus on anything because my mind keeps going elsewhere and I totally lose track of what I was doing or saying. I don't like it all but since it is because of my PTSD then there's not much I can do about it.

Well, Griffin just used his manners and asked if he could use this computer so I am going to go make something for him to eat. Have a wonderful day to all my friends out there.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Greenville Zoo

Yesterday we went to the zoo with my sister-in-law, my niece, and nephew and I think that Griffin had a great time. At one point he got mixed up in a group of children and we stood back to see what he would do and he kept trying to hold hands with the children and give them hugs, I thought that it was adorable and great because he was reaching out to them and interact but I had to tell him to come over to me since the children didn't like it. What an awesome breakthrough for him to want to interact with them, I am just thrilled about it.

I went to the doctor and he told me that I do have a side effect from one of my meds, Abilify, that causes one's eyes to have spasms like mine have been doing so he prescribed Cogentin which is specific to side effects of the medication. I will know in a couple of weeks if it is working or not and I will keep you posted.

I hope that you all are having a great weekend, I have my 43rd birthday coming up tomorrow and it is also my dad's birthday which is pretty neat so it will be a great day of quiet/peaceful celebration.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Our Outing For The Day

Griffin and I went to this place called Callaham's Orchard with our friend Sam today and Griffin had a great time feeding the animals as you can see, here he is feeding a goat. After we fed the goats, turkey, and sheep we had homemade ice cream. It was a wonderful day and the weather was perfect. As soon as we finished there Griffin made it clear that he wanted to go home so we did but we took the long way and Sam was nice enough to drive us since I don't think that it is safe for me to drive yet because of my eye problem. I forgot to mention that Griffin, for some bizarre reason, was most attracted to the turkey, he kept trying to hug it and loved to pet it ever so gently but the owner came by and warned us that the turkey may try to peck Griffin so I had to re-direct him and he did okay with it.

Got to go before my eyes screw up but I will try to post more often. We are going to N.C. tomorrow and I will do my best to post about that tomorrow evening........hopefully. Hugs to all my friends and I hope that you had a great weekend.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Problems With My Eyes

Hi everyone! I just wanted to let you all know that you haven't seen me visiting your blogs lately or posting frequently because I have been having problems with my eyes and haven't been on the computer much. I apparently have what is called Oculogyration where my eyes roll back into my head and I cannot make them look forward/straight ahead no matter what I do and the only way that I can make it stop is to go to sleep. Being at the computer often triggers this problem and it is very frustrating because once it starts then I am doomed and cannot finish reading or writing and must go straight to bed. I must let you know that I miss you all and what has been going on with you but hopefully soon I will find out what is causing this problem and get it straightened out. I have an appointment with my psychiatrist on the 27th and I feel sure that he will give me a referral to a neurologist who will help me figure out if it is my meds causing this problem or if it is stress related or what.

I am going to attempt to write a bit more and I apologize to The Bishop's Wife and to Kristi for not posting my meme. I was tagged and am supposed to post 8 things about myself but it will have to wait for the moment until my eyes will cooperate with me long enough to do it.

I love you all and hope that you are all doing very well, please know that you are still my friends and I still care very much about you. Please take care and I will do my best to stay in touch

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Chuck E. Cheese's

Most kids are so thrilled to play at Chuck E. Cheese's all day long or however long their parents can stand to let them stay but not my little guy, he was perfectly content to sit and just watch all the goings on all around him. Griffin played in the tunnels twice and then just seemed to like just walking around looking at everyone, he didn't appear to be overwhelmed or anything just not interested in playing the games or riding the rides. When it was time to eat he had his favorite, pepperoni pizza and then was perfectly willing to go when we told him it was time to leave. To each their own and as long as he was happy that is all that matters.

Thank you all for your support and kind words, it helps me a lot in so many ways. I still have the anxiety and am working on working it out but it is tough when it is an everyday thing and almost always present. I am slowly but surely getting around to reading your blogs again so don't be shocked when you see that Lora has left a I miss keeping up with all that you have been doing and how you and your families are doing, hope to see you soon.

Friday, July 06, 2007

What Griffin Needs

Griffin is doing great but is in desperate need of some structure in his life, I must say that I am not the world's best at routine and structure in any given day. My dear child needs what I am not able to give him right now and I just hate it. He has a mommy right now who is full of anxiety and does well to take care of herself much less provide a stringent routine for Griffin to follow.

I don't know exactly what is causing my anxiety nor can I tell what the triggers are but all I do know is that it is ruling my life and my doctor will not prescribe anything for it so I must deal with it on my own somehow. Because of this stuff that I am going through I haven't felt like sitting down at the computer much therefore I haven't been writing in the blog or reading blogs and I hate that also but feel kind of helpless right now to do anything about it. I am not a nervous mess but it's just this feeling that I have that I can't seem to shake. I know that it has to do with my P.T.S.D. and my therapist is doing her best to help me out.

In the meantime, Griffin has speech, O.T., his Early Interventionist, and swimming each week and outside of that he seems to still be learning and playing just fine but I just wish that I could provide more for him and give him what he needs.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

On A Hot Afternoon

Griffin had a great time with his cousin playing in the pool, it was really hot in N.C. when we went to visit and I think that he had a blast. Not much else to report, I haven't felt much like writing in the blog and haven't had the time to read I apologize that I am behind on both. Hope that all of you are doing well, the summer is going great for us, it is just reeeaaally hot here and humid but that's okay, we are adjusting to it. I will try to post again soon and let you all know more about what is going on with us. Love and hugs to all of you, my friends.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

It's been awhile since my last entry, certainly not because there hasn't been anything going on but mostly because I just haven't felt inclined to do so. Even though I am not depressed anymore I still have some issues with motivation and with getting things done that I need to or usually want to do, I am working on it though. I am pleased to report that I am a very happy camper, much like my sweet lil guy, and that things are looking up in my life and I look forward to each day and appreciate living in the moment once again.

Griffin has been doing wonderfully, he has been having quite the busy summer so far with speech/social group, OT, swim therapy, and his weekly session with Ms. A here at the house. Each therapist has reported that Griffin is paying really good attention and being a good listener, he responds well to their requests and seems to be enjoying the activities that he is participating in. Ms. K the OT who instructs him in swimming has had glowing reports of Griffin's progress and an added bonus is that she works him so hard doing exercises in the water that he is so tired and mellow when he is done. I say that it is a bonus because, as I mentioned before, he used to be overstimulated after his swimming in Anchorage and would be wired for sound but Ms. K knows how to get him to really work hard and it wipes him out.

In the social group which he attends each Monday, Griffin has been working really well with his peers and cooperating with his Speech Path. Ms. T. There are 4 boys in all and she puts 2 together to work as a team and so far Griffin has made excellent progress in this area. His OT and I are working on helping Griffin to hold his writing and eating utensils properly but otherwise he is doing really well in OT especially with cutting and coloring within the lines.

It's Father's Day and Griffin's father is still nowhere to be found but that's okay because we have done well without him thus far, for almost 6 years, so we can make it just fine without his help although it would be nice if he was in Griffin's life and it would be nice if he even met Griffin and knew what an awesome little guy he is. It seems that Griffin is not even aware of not having a father around and I guess that is a blessing in disguise because I wouldn't ever wish on him to feel left out or neglected because his father is not around. Even though Griffin's father has been so irresponsible and has never been in Griffin's life I would never speak ill of him because he is Griffin's dad and it doesn't make him a bad person for being irresponsible. You may not agree with me but this is simply the best way that I have to cope with raising my child on my own and it works much better than bitterness and resentment! When I was with Griffin's dad he was a sweet, kind, and generous man and this is how I choose to remember him and I have no regrets whatsoever.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

N.C., Play Date, and Medications

Our trip to N.C. was great, I bought a new bike for myself, Griffin played with his little cousin, and we got to visit with my sister and her family and my brother and his family. It is always so nice to visit N.C. it is so beautiful there and it is nice to see my family. Griffin seemed much more comfortable playing with his little cousin "E" this time whereas last time he didn't seem to really want to interact with her. They played on the teeter toter and in E's tent/tunnel laughing together the entire time. I didn't get any pics this time unfortunately because I forgot to take my camera in from the truck.

Griffin had a play date with his little friend "C" and once again he seemed much more comfortable playing and interacting with him more so than the previous visit. C kept wanting to wrestle with Griffin, it was so cute and I think that Griffin enjoyed having the deep pressure of C lying on top of him because he was laughing so hard. This time Griffin wasn't so fixated on petting the cats and just spent a short amount of time with them.

I had an individual comment on my last post about so-called miracle cures and I want to make it clear that I do not believe in such things. I wish for everyone to know that I trust that Griffin will take the path that he is meant to take and that if that means that he recovers from autism then great but if he does not then I am fully prepared for that as well. I am not a proponent of miracle cures for autism and do not promote the use of them because I think that it is a recipe for disaster and disappointment. Griffin is awesome exactly as he is and if he doesn't change then I will be fine with that and I accept him and his autism with open arms. He is the joy of my life and he is perfectly wonderful just being Griffin..........the happy little camper that he is!

My friend in Wisconsin has just tried a drug(on her son Noah) that is experimental for the use in autism, it is called Namenda and has been used typically for dementia in Alzhiemer patients (I know that I didn't spell that right). Anyhow, she has had great results with her son Noah who is 10 years old and autistic. I was just wondering if anyone else has tried it or heard of it. I am not planning on using it for Griffin because he will not take pills and besides it has to be used with a mood stabilizer and he does not need one of those. Apparently Noah has shown signs of being more verbal, being much more social, and outgoing since starting the medication.

I also would like to know if anyone has had any experience with the drug Mirtazapine which is used for sleep in children with sleep disorders. Griffin is not so unusual in that he has a huge problem with insomnia and I have been giving him Clonidine which is typically used in adults for high blood pressure but they found that it causes sleepiness as a side effect so it is also used for that in children. I don't feel comfortable giving him hypertension meds even though the doctor said that it will not lower his blood pressure but I am not sure if I want to try him on the Mirtazapine which is specifically used just for sleep, I hate giving him anything at all but I have to have my sleep in order to function and to keep my moods stable besides I take Seroquel for sleep because I also have a huge problem with insomnia as well and cannot stay up with him at night. I am just curious if anyone has used this medication and if there have been any ill side effects from it.

Hope that you all are doing well and having a great day! Many hugs to all of you, thanks for reading our blog!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Going to N.C. and Some Really Good News!

We are doing great! Griffin had his first swim session with Ms. K and boy did she make him work hard! He loved it so much and is really at home in the water and has no fear which can be good but scary at the same time. Ms. K said that her main focus is on having him learn safety, to learn to go to the edge at all times just in case there is a situation in which he gets in trouble. Griffin seems to be learning to swim quite well, nowhere near doing it by himself but he's getting the hang of it anyhow. For the first time ever he was tired after swimming instead of being wired and over-stimulated like he used to be in Anchorage. Ms. K really got him to exercise and worked him hard for a good 45 minutes but he was smiling the entire time. I don't have pictures yet but as soon as I get them put on disc I will post them.

We are going to North Carolina today to see my sister and her daughter who just loves Griffin, she loves trying to play with him as he is still not really that interested in playing with her yet. We do good if he is takes turns and shares with her, we've been working hard on that, he's been having some difficulty with that.

I got some good news a couple of weeks ago, I was approved for my Social Security disability!!!! I am so grateful for that, it will be so nice to have some extra money to get the things that we need. I will now be able to get a car so we will have the freedom to move around and go out and about on our own. I have been relying on my Mom to take us everywhere and now that is finally going to change!!!!!!!! Hooray!!!!!!!!!

Change is such a good thing and I always welcome it and am now able to adjust to it much more easily especially since I now have a positive outlook on life and know that I will get all that I want and need.

It's getting quite hot and humid here and it makes me miss the summer weather in Anchorage because it is so perfectly wonderful and comfortable there, so green and pristine there, I just love it! Guess that's all for now, be back again soon to let ya know how our trip to N.C. goes.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ten Things That I Am Grateful For

1. Griffin and I are both very healthy
2. I am close to my family
3. Griffin is progressing every day
4. Griffin is on medicaid therefore all his therapies are paid for
5. Griffin tells me that he loves me.
6. I have friends who care about me/us.
7. Griffin teaches me something new every day
8. Griffin makes me laugh and that I am laughing again after a very long time.
9. I have medications that help me to not be depressed anymore.
10. I am loved and happy with who I am.

I believe that by being grateful for all that I have puts me in a place that facilitates health, wealth, and happiness. I believe that by following my bliss that the money will follow, it also makes me a better mommy to Griffin. I know that this may seem hokey to some of you but if you had been depressed for years and was never able to laugh or feel joy in your life then you would be eternally grateful for all the little things in your life too. I have noticed that when I write a post that is positive that I get fewer comments, almost none as it were but if I write something about being depressed or if I am down on myself that I have an overwhelming response. Why is that do you suppose? It doesn't really matter because I am going to be positive and grateful regardless. Complaining is not productive or conducive to getting out of a rut that I've been in for so very long. Griffin teaches me and now I am more receptive than ever to his lessons and I feel very blessed. Even though I don't get many comments on my positive posts I do hope that people are still reading them and maybe taking something away with them that they can use for themselves.

I can't say that I am grateful that Griffin has autism but I am grateful for the gifts that he has and for sharing in those gifts that invoke joy in my life and inspire me to always do better.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Secret

Sometimes when we forget what to do in our lives to make it better and more positive we need to be reminded and I am grateful to my sister for reminding me through giving me a wonderful gift. She gave to me a priceless gift in DVD form called "The Secret". Since watching this I have decided that I am going to make some major changes in my life and stop the doubt and negative thinking that is keeping me in a rut and keeping me from succeeding in life. I know that the law of attraction is real and that it works because I used to put it to use to make all my wishes come true and for a period in my life I did have everything that I had wished for, it is just a shame that at some point I lost track of it and forgot what really worked for me. If you haven't seen "The Secret" or read it then I HIGHLY recommend that you do! It will change your life in so many ways, or will help YOU to change your life in so many ways. I am so excited about once again having all that I wish for and I know that it WILL happen to me because if I send out the energy, thoughts, and effort into the universe then it WILL come back to me. I am banishing the depression, I am going to have more money, I will have more friends, I will attract health, wealth, and happiness and then some!

So, plan on reading a blog that is upbeat and positive from now on and no more crying out for help because of self doubt and negativity. I am showing that I am grateful for all that I have now and will not take it all for granted anymore. If you think that it is unrealistic to be so positive then for sure you should consider watching this film because it is so simple and easy. Think about all the things in your life that upsets you or that you might be complaining about and how much you would like to change it. That's what I have done and I am going to create my own destiny, follow my bliss and I will get all that I wish for.

I am NOT going to take my beautiful child Griffin for granted or all the gifts that he has to offer me that I have been overlooking. There is so much that he can teach me about life and about myself and I have been overlooking it because of my depression. Now that the Zoloft is working for me it is facilitating my healing. I now know that I can heal completely from my affliction of negativity and have all that my heart desires. I hope that you will consider changing your life through reading or watching "The Secret" because I care about you as a fellow human being and I know that there is enough abundance in the universe to go around so why not take advantage of it?

Hopefully this post has evoked some thought and consideration because it is so worth it to try and YOU are so worth it to do this for yourself, go ahead and give yourself a gift that keeps on giving. Follow your bliss and the money will follow, I plan on writing my book and I now know that by following my bliss that I will have the money that I desire. Mark my words, I will have my own house, a brand new car, a horse and all the money that I need to live comfortably with my perfectly healthy child Griffin and we will stay safe and be happy surrounded by love. These are but a few of the things that I wish for and if you feel so inclined write a post about all the things that you are grateful for and all the things that you desire. I would love to know that the positive vibes are contagious and/or that you have in fact seen "The Secret" and that you are going to make major changes in your life.

Griffin is doing great! We went to his first play date ever with one of his former classmates named C and this little guy was such a joy. He was so much like Griffin it is amazing, a happy fella who loves numbers and letters just like Griffin. They did interact with one another a few times, C wanted to wrestle with Griffin and they were both laughing so hard. It was so cool to watch and I look forward to their next play date, it is very encouraging to see them actually play together. We had gone to their house and since it was a new environment for Griffin he did lots of wandering around checking things out but his favorite part was the two kitties which he loves so very much, he spent quite a bit of time trying to pet them. I am grateful to his mom, E for letting us come over to play and I hope that we meet again real soon. It was so nice to be able to have another adult to talk to who understands all that I experience with Griffin. We have a lot in common and I anticipate having a great long lasting friendship. I admire E for not only taking care of her two children but also attending school, something that I intend on doing also I want, I am going to take some college courses in creative writing so that I can write my book. Thanks E for being an inspiration to me and for being a friend also.

That's all folks! Hope you are inspired by my words of encouragement and that you decide to make some changes in your life. Let me know what you think, leave me a comment or write a post about it. Take care my friends and may all your wishes come true!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Fire Station and Our Visit to N.C.

Griffin is seen here with the fireman and the fire hose, he really enjoyed watching the water spray over the street and sitting in the fire engine and helicopter. We then drove an hour and a half to N.C. to visit my brother and his family and Griffin got to see all the special bears that were handcrafted and on display on the main street, unfortunately I didn't get a picture of that but he enjoyed it and seeing my niece and nephew who always play with him. They try to wear him out but it is always to no avail, there's no way that you could possibly wear out Griffin.

We then traveled another hour to visit my sister and her family, it was my other niece's 20th birthday and we were due to go to a party for her later on that day (Saturday). First we stopped at my sister's house where Griffin kept chasing the cats, there were 3 of them, and only one of them would let him pet him. Seth is a sweet and lovable kitty who likes to play and Griffin just got a kick out of it. I got some really good pics with my other camera which I will publish soon. Griffin played with his little cousin, she is 2.5 yrs. old and he did quite well actually. He didn't push or shove her out of his way, he still needs to work on the sharing bit but at least he wasn't pushy or forceful about it. He was really quite mellow the whole time we were at their house, he did laugh a lot when on the see saw-go-round with his cousin. Even though he was too heavy for her he figured out how to balance it out so that it would go up and down by pushing with his feet.

I knew that the party would be a challenge and I thought that we were prepared for it by bringing his Doodle Pad (which he loves and can play with for hours it seems) but it was not enough to distract him from the many people who were there and all the energy in the room. It was a party of about 15 people with 2 little girls age 2 yrs old and a lot of commotion going on. In the beginning he did sit and eat some taquitos (I know I didn't spell that right) and it wasn't until he saw the cake/cupcakes that he became unwound and started the meltdown. Well, the only problem was that the Moms didn't want the girls to have a cupcake yet so it wasn't that I didn't want him to have one at the moment so my Mom and I secretly carried one outside and sat down at a table and let him eat a cupcake. He was quite a happy little guy then and calmed down momentarily while out of the room with all the people. Once we were back in there he got wound up again and started going bonkers and bouncing off the walls. He played with his cousin's little toy computer but not for long. He soon became bored and was running around and spinning in circles amongst the curtains. Griffin wouldn't listen to any of us as we attempted to talk to him and get down to his level etc..... so then I knew that the only thing that was going to work was to take him outside again to the truck this time.

I strapped him in the car seat and we sat in the truck until my Mom and sister came out with my meal that I didn't get a chance to eat and some extra cupcakes to take home. So we only waited about 30 minutes in the truck but we still had to drive back to the town where my brother lives to his house to get a gift that he was giving to my Mom for Mother's Day, a weeping cherry tree that she had wanted for years. Anyhow, the kids played with Griffin again this time running around in the yard by this time it was dark and the mosquitoes were biting, the crickets were singing, and the sound of laughter filled the air. It was then about 8:30 p..m. and we finally got on the road once again. Now we had started out at the fire station around 10:00 a.m. and here it was right at Griffin's bedtime and he showed no sign of fatigue whatsoever. He sang on the way home and drank water (his favorite beverage) and ate Pringles (his favorite snack) which he only gets while in the truck.

We finally arrived home at 10:15 p.m. and I immediately gave him his meds for sleep, the Clonidine, and within about 45 minutes he was out but he didn't go down easily he kept fighting the fatigue the entire time. Next time we go on a road trip like that I will take his medicine with us so that he can stay on schedule and get to sleep on time. I don't know what I could have done differently at the party other than remove him from the situation and from being so over-stimulated. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions of what I could have done differently I would appreciate it.

Thank you ahead of time for your comments. I had a relaxing Mother's Day and I hope that yours was as well. Hugs to all my friends who always comment and support me, especially those of you who send me e-mail.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Happy Mother's Day To You

I think that my Zoloft is working well for me and I am feeling much better lately.......YEAH! Griffin is doing great and being his adorable self as usual. Tonight when my Mom got him out of the tub and was combing his hair he said, "Nana, I gotta fix my hair for the girls" and then gave a laugh and of course we laughed with him. Tomorrow we go to North Carolina to visit my sister and her family, it's my niece's birthday celebration so that should be fun. There's just not much to talk about right now that's why I haven't posted. Everything is going well for us and I should have more to talk about after this weekend. I don't know what we are doing on Mother's Day but it will be nice to be with my Mother because I haven't spent a Mother's Day with her for many many years. I hope that all of you, my blogging friends, have a wonderful Mother's Day! May it be even more special than last year and much more memorable as well.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Griffin's IEP/Transition Meeting

I was so impressed with how smoothly the meeting went, everyone was so professional and organized. Finally, an IEP meeting that went as well as the ones did in Anchorage. A woman from the South Carolina Autism Society went there to help me out and I am so glad that she did, she asked some very important questions that I wouldn't have thought of like a summer program within the community for Griffin. It just so happened that the speech path. knew of a summer program at one of the nearby churches, don't know if it is for special needs children or not but they're getting the information to me soon. Here is just a little bit of what is on his IEP:

Academic Achievement:
Speech: According to speech sample and therapist observation, Griffin can correctly produce all age appropriate speech sounds.He has made some improvements in using correct voicing; however, he still needs to work on producing audible speech in conversation. His language has also improved, but he still has difficulty answering wh questions and initiating conversation. He also needs to work on decreasing echolalia and making choices.
Cognitive: Griffin can name and give the sounds of 26 letters of the alphabet, he can read simple words, he can give the name of 4 coins, can count rote to 49, he is emerging in simple sequencing.
Motor: Griffin can write numbers 1-19, draw recognizable pictures, write his full name and cut shapes out with scissors.
Language:Griffin is emerging in sequencing, tells definition of concrete sounds, rhyming simple words and tells use of senses.

All in all it was one of the best IEP meetings that I have attended for Griffin and I am looking forward to him going to his new classroom in August. His new teacher Ms. H is such an awesome teacher, she is so sweet and always smiling when I see her. Here's the really good news...........Griffin will be mainstreamed for part of the day to attend library, regular PE, art, and computer class with the kindergarten classroom. I am so thrilled that he is finally going to go into a regular ed. class for at least part of the day in the beginning and depending on how well he does he will also attend the classroom as time goes on. Everyone there agreed that he is quite the little genius and that it will be a task to challenge him daily. He only needs one time to see a task executed to complete it himself but on the other side of the coin, his weakness is that he likes to say "NO" quite often and that he has a hard time making choices like on the smart board or when it comes to having too many to choose from. He needs to work on walking in line in a timely fashion and sharing/waiting for his turn. I feel confident that he will master all that is put before him, maybe even over the summer while working with Ms. A. He might just thrive and progress throughout the summer and excel beyond all expectations. She is an incredible woman/educator and I am so grateful that she is with us.

Nothing about me this entry because I get tired of talking about myself so it's off I go to have dinner and to get Griffin in the bed. Take care everyone!!!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Griffin Talks To A Little Girl......Yipee!

Here is Griffin with his afternoon bus driver she is so sweet and Griffin, she reports,he is always talking to her as she is driving along. Yesterday while I in my therapy appointment my Mom took Griffin to the playground. While they were there Griffin went up to a little girl and asked her what her name was and how old she was then he followed her around through the maze. I was so thrilled to hear this and I am so proud of him because he usually doesn't speak to children but will often speak to adults out in public. It is such a huge step for him to take to do this and I am looking forward to him interacting with children much more frequently.

Lately Griffin has not been doing so well with the toilet training, he hasn't done well since Spring Break I think that the change in schedule threw him off. Now he is totally refusing to go even when he is escorted to the bathroom. I have taken away his privileges and let him know that he could resume playing with the computer or watching tv once he uses the toilet but that doesn't seem to work, he just doesn't seem to care if he gets to do those things or not. So, I wonder if he even understands the whole concept, I told him that he needs to use the toilet like a big boy but it doesn't seem to phase him. He does not respond to rewards such as a treat so I don't know what to do. I am open to ideas and comments on this matter because I am once again stuck . Maybe it is that he just needs to get back into his routine and start using the toilet again in his own time. Maybe I am trying to push him too much. It is so frustrating because I just don't know if I am doing the right thing. Otherwise he is doing really well and his behavior has improved markedly especially since I have been telling him "no yelling" when he raises his voice.

Griffin's IEP/transition meeting is coming up and the parent mentor from the SC Autism Society will be there to help me out. I am looking forward to it because I am excited for him to start school in the fall and hopefully be mainstreamed at least half a day, we shall see how it goes. I have heard wonderful things about the teacher that he will have in the fall and I can't wait to meet with her. She is apparently a stellar educator and outstanding person but her classroom is just a special needs class and is not specific to autism so I think that Griffin will be bored in there and not feel challenged although my assumptions could be wrong. I will keep you posted on how it goes. Tomorrow Ms. A comes to visit and Griffin will have new Spanish words to learn, he can count to 20 in Spanish now and to 100 in English. Did I mention how proud I was of him?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Griffin and Jade

I just love this picture of Griffin and my parent's dog named Jade, he adores her and loves to give her affection. Here they are both sitting in Griffin's car seat we put Jade in the truck while sitting in the driveway so that Griffin could hold her and give her hugs.

I went to the doctor (psychiatrist) and he was really cool I liked him a lot. We both decided that trying an anti-depressant along with the existing mood stabilizer will help my depression. Some of the symptoms that I had been having were not necessarily just the medication but also the depression. Today is my third day on the Zoloft and I can already tell a difference, I'm so excited to be feeling better. I'm looking forward to a brighter/happier/healthier future.

Griffin's behavior has improved since my last post, we have been telling him "NO yelling" and he has been using an inside voice as a result. We have learned to correct him, teach him that there are consequences to his actions, and also ignoring his insistent behavior which seems to cause it to dissipate after a short period of time. I am just not going to let him push my buttons and manipulate me because I have figured out that it's not a sensory issue. If it was a sensory issue he would not respond to my correction, he would just get worse with time instead of getting better. I don't think that I am being cruel or anything I think that I am not allowing him to become a "little stinker" and act out. As he grows older I will have to distinguish between sensory and acting out and perhaps it will become more difficult and challenging but I guess that I will just have to do my best and rely on the help of my friends and all the useful advice that is available to me.

The weather is very nice here in the high 60's and 70's, ideal weather I think. Since taking the new medication I have had the motivation to take Griffin for a walk outside and enjoy the weather. I have been spending less time at the computer so I haven't been reading blogs again........sorry folks. I will get around to it because it's important to me, hope that you are all doing well and that you have a great weekend.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Late Egg Hunt and Behavioral Issues

My sister and her family came down from North Carolina to visit this past weekend and it was so nice because it has been awhile since we have seen them. Pictured here is my sister and Griffin coloring Easter eggs. Yes, we celebrated our Easter again with them because they didn't get to come and visit on Easter. Griffin loved coloring the eggs and especially loved hunting them afterwards. On Easter Sunday we were at my brother's house and did not hide the eggs for Griffin because I was concerned that he would get into the habit of hiding the eggs from the fridge in the future but I decided to take a chance this time and I guess that we will see how it goes.

I am so grateful that I have a child who is capable of doing such regular things such as searching for Easter eggs. I make sure that I don't take for granted the little things in life and with Griffin. When we were at the Special Olympics I most definitely counted my blessings because there were children there with different abilities than Griffin and some were having much more of a challenge with simple tasks. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't look at my beautiful son and count my lucky stars. He has been having some behavioral changes going on lately and I wonder what it has to do with. It has been suggested that the changes could have to do with the climate change but I don't know. I have also read that the changes in behavior could have to do with the full moon but I don't know which phase the moon is in, guess I should get a farmer's almanac. These changes in his mood/behavior seem to be more nuero-typical than anything else. He seems to be acting out like a misbehaved child rather than having some kind of sensory issue or something that might be related to his autism. Griffin will yell and say things over and over until he gets the reaction that he wants or until I let him wear himself out doing it. I have not let him get the reaction that he was seeking but once because I don't want him to get into the habit of doing that in order to get what he wants. What do you think? Is my child being a real brat or do you think that maybe I am misinterpreting his actions and that he could legitimately be having some sort of meltdown? Yesterday I just let him go about it for awhile and then as he began to calm down I re-directed him and that seemed to work well. I am up for suggestions and would greatly appreciate your comments. Have you had an experience where your child has acted like a brat rather than acting/being autistic? How does one determine the difference? I have said in the past that Griffin usually conducts himself more as a NT child than an autistic child and for the most part that is true but it can be confusing when it comes to behavior and behavior modification. Please let me know what you think.

Thanks ahead of time for your comments and hope that you have a fantastic week!

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Special Olympics

Unfortuanely this is the only picture that came out because all the others were way too light....bummer. Here Griffin is running on the track because he had so much fun running a few minutes earlier that he wanted to do it again. He especially loved the tennis ball throw, he laughed and laughed and just kept throwing them over and over. He did the bean bag toss several times too. It was great because Griffin didn't seem to mind the huge crowd and all the comotion going on, there were so many children there and older kids too. It was such an amazing experience to be surrounded by so many smiling faces and to hear all the laughter was something I will never forget. Griffin's teacher explained that Anderson county was the only county in the state that had developmental games for children under the age of 8 yrs. and for that I am grateful because I think that it was a great experience for Griffin and it's exciting that he will be able to go back next time too. Another thing that was really cool is that Griffin recognized and named all of his classmates who were there, although he showed no interest in interacting with them I think it was cool that he did remember them by name. If you ever get the chance to go to the Special Olympics please go because it is such a wonderful and heartwarming experience. I actually got a lump in my throat several times just because I felt a connection with the kids there and was so proud that my little fella was participating in a very honorable and prestigious event.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Our Trip To North Carolina

Unfortunately I forgot my camera but I took pics with my new camera phone which I incidentally do not have a usb cord for so I cannot upload the pictures to the computer, what a bummer. When I do get the usb cord then I will share the wonderful pictures that I took. Anyhow, Griffin and I went to N.C. to visit with my brother, his wife, and their two kids who are age 10 yrs. and 15 yrs. Griffin had a grand time playing with them, it was nice for all of us because the kids had so much energy to really play with Griffin to the point of wearing them out. Griffin of course cannot be worn down but he sure did seem to have a great time with them. The weather was pretty cold and it snowed our first night there, not much but nevertheless it was cold. Because it was cold we didn't do a whole lot on Saturday but we did go out to eat at a really nice Mexican restaurant and then later got some homemade ice cream at an old fashioned ice cream salon (I think that's what they are called). We went to the toy store and played around for a long time, we kept on trying on different hats on Griffin and taking pictures with my new camera phone. I can't wait to share the pictures with you all.

We are planning for Griffin to go to the Special Olympics on Thursday, that is if it doesn't rain so I will have some great pics from that as well. Cross your fingers for us that it doesn't rain us out.

I haven't written in quite awhile because I simply haven't spent that much time at the computer but then again it is partly because I don't really have that much to share with you as of late. I am also behind on reading blogs and commenting so I apologize and I plan to catch up real soon. I miss reading about what all of you are doing and letting you know that I am thinking of you.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Griffin's New E.I.

Griffin has a new Early Interventionist and she is fantastic! Her name is Ms. A and he responds really well to her. Ms. A is bi-lingual which comes in quite handy because lately Griffin has been most interested in Spanish and it just so happens that is what her specialty is. They worked with numbers to twenty in Spanish, flash cards, and other everyday objects and he did quite well saying the Spanish words each and every time with great enthusiasm.

Griffin has been playing his educational computer games quite a bit lately instead of watching TV and this thrills me to no end because he has learned so much from them. I just love to hear him laugh and repeat what the games say like, "I knew that you could do it. Great job!" He doesn't seem to be doing it in a scripting sort of way, he is just repeating it in context each time they say it in the game but not when the game is not on. So I don't think that he is scripting.

That's about it there's nothing more to write about mostly because I can't think of anything not necessarily because nothing has happened. I guess that you could say that I have writer's block rather than there's not a thing going on in our lives. I hope that you all are doing very well and leave a comment for me if you will about whether or not your child using scripting.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Griffin Is Better

Griffin is running around and seems to be back to his old self again and the amazing part of it is that he didn't take his antibiotics........none of them. Even though I tried to put the powder of the capsule in some food (like chocolate pudding) he still wouldn't eat it and I tried various other foods too and he wouldn't eat any of them, not even a bite. I am so glad that he got better without the help of the antibiotics because that means that his immune system is very strong and he won't be building up a resistance to them for the future. He could have gotten the shot that lasts 10 days but the doctor didn't recommend it unless it was an emergency, he thought that Griffin's natural immunities would do the trick even if he didn't take the medicine and he was right! Now I have some kind of virus it's just a head and chest cold and I am taking Musinex which is helping me tremendously. Otherwise there isn't much to report except that the weather is divine! It is 82 degrees today and I am enjoying it as much as I possibly can like going out on the deck to read a book. I am looking forward to feeling better and taking Griffin to the playground and/or to the neighbor's house where she has a swing set so he can play. I hope that the higher temperature doesn't mean that it is going to be super hot early on this year because I am NOT looking forward to the swealtering hot/humid weather, oh well we shall see. How's the weather where you are? I hope that all of you are doing very well.