Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

city map


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Griffin had a performance at school Thursday where he played the bongos and sang but most of all he danced and entertained the parents unexpectedly. And he played his air guitar too when all the other kids were standing oh so still and proper. The parent who had been sitting next to me had come up to Griffin later in the cafeteria as we sat and ate pizza and told Griffin that he was a great guitar player. She didn't know that he was autistic but I appreciated the playful tone in her voice as she complimented Griffin. We had also gone to the book fair and got a great book : National Geographic Animal Atlas. Just down his alley.

Today we went to the recreational station that is huge and we had a blast especially on the bumper cars. I am especially proud of Griffin because he rode the bumper car all on his own and I rode my own. He laughed so hard that he could hardly control the thing. I sure wish that I could have caught it on camera but I was having too much fun bumping into him making him laugh some more. I wouldn't have been on the sidelines for anything, so glad that I didn't miss this activity with him. He did go on the soft play as pictured here but as you can tell he wasn't thrilled with it and didn't stay on it long. So it was a fantastic day and it isn't even over yet!

Griffin has an EEG scheduled for tomorrow (I think, and his teachers think that he has been having absence seizures) so we have to stay up late and get up early, only 6 hours of sleep allowed, so we are trying to stay busy. It isn't even midnight yet and surprisingly he wants to go to sleep! I better get up from here and go occupy him and help him stay up for another hour.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My Child Is Blessed By Autism

We started out the day early in the afternoon by going to the creek to take a dip while the gettin' was good and the temperatures are still hot before summer is over. Griffin is venturing farther out each time we go in the water and I am on shore. It is a good thing that the water is shallow because I get paranoid since there is no way of getting to him in a hurry with all the stones that are in the floor of the creek bed. All the same I do tell him to stay close by even though he was not a good listener so I had to roll up my pants and go in myself to monitor him and to get him to come in closer. The water was just deep enough that if he had fallen and couldn't get up that he could potentially drown so I wasn't taking any chances. I have to admit that the water felt really good and I am glad that I got in because it was so refreshing.

I didn't know that my niece's birthday party that we were supposed to go to later in the day was going to be a pool party but it was a pleasant surprise and Griffin loved it! It was hot out and a perfect afternoon for being in the pool, I wish that I had had my swimsuit because I was under an umbrella and was still quite hot. Griffin was in the pool alone most of the time but he didn't care and that is one of the nice things about autism is that our children can entertain themselves without needing other children around. Yes, there were other kids, girls, but Griffin wasn't interested and even if he were a typical child he wouldn't have been interested because they were all girls and then he would have felt lonely but he didn't because he is blessed! Yes, I do tend to see it that way. I do tend to see it as being blessed because he is not cursed.......there are far more ways that he is blessed by autism than he is not.

I choose to see the positive side of autism and that my child is blessed by it! Controversial? Perhaps.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

He Is Special After All

After going to the psychologist office Griffin told us what it is that he meant when he said that he wasn't special. He said that when he was treated special that he went "crazy" and made some gestures with his head and hands as if to go coo coo. So the doctor said to Griffin that he thinks that the days of going crazy are gone and that he doesn't have to worry about that anymore. That he can do special things with mommy like playing together and that he can feel special without feeling crazy.That is all that it took for Griffin to agree to play with mommy and to feel okay with feeling special. I just wish that Griffin has disclosed that information to me when he had told me that he didn't feel special and saved me a lot of grief. But at least it came out with a third party and we now know what it is all about finally.

We had an I.E.P. meeting for Griffin on Monday to help him in his mainstream classroom because he has been struggling. Griffin is in third grade and has no problem doing third grade work but has been having a problem with keeping up with the faster pace of the classroom. Between the autism specialists, the speech pathologist, the resource teacher, and the teacher, we decided that the resource teacher would visit Griffin in the classroom for 30 minutes three times a week to help him out. This was the alternative to sending Griffin into the resource room for an extended period of time, which none of the experts seemed to think was a good idea.

We also discussed: Griffin reading in monotone and possibly helping him with that by reading aloud to him and demonstrating inflection, his lack of confidence in giving answers because he is so afraid of getting the wrong answer and his lack of confidence in making transitions, he has peer buddies in resource who help him out some who are older, and his entire classroom has lunch buddies everyday for Griffin's benefit but they don't know that and apparently it is working out great for him because there is a new lunch buddy each day. And it gives him the chance to get to know each child and for that child to get to know him on a more personal level, and a great chance for socialization. Also the speech pathologist is playing games with Griffin and the classroom for better socialization for him on Wednesdays at recess (that is above and beyond her call of duty I think). I think that everyone is working as a great team this time around and I am very happy about it!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'm Not Special

Just imagine how you would feel if you heard your child say those words, "I'm not special". That's exactly what Griffin told me last night when I was talking to him and told him that I wanted to start playing play-doh with him. He told me that he did not think that I should play with him because he was not special. Tears began to well up in my eyes and my heart started breaking because I knew that I had failed. I had failed my child because I had not taught him that he was special even though I had told him so, it wasn't enough. I had not made him feel special.

Where had I gone wrong? What had I not done right to make him not feel like he was special? Not knowing the answer to this is perplexing and definitely a good question for the psychologist who we are seeing today. I think that I know the answer but I want to present it to the doctor first before I put it up on the blog. It would be incriminating but I feel that I am guilty of this and that it is all my fault that he feels this way. I just don't know what else it could be if not for me. We will see what the good ol' doctor has to say because I trust him and his opinion.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Horseback Riding Therapy (Hippotherapy)

Griffin started his horseback riding therapy at local organization that works with children with disabilities and they have the greatest group of volunteers that are so well trained. They all have such a heart of gold and really do it all for the love of the children and for the love of the horses, it is really apparent.

Griffin rode the horse, Danny, and he was a handsome and spirited horse but not too much so that he couldn't ride him. But you could just tell that Danny was full of life and that he wasn't just some old farm horse that was about to be put out to pasture. Griffin did the exercises that he was supposed to do, as he was instructed to do, but he kept getting upset a bit about the flies and the gnats in his face and kept shooing them away with his hands in the air. I really wish that I could put a longer video on here so that the video of Griffin on the horse trotting could be viewed. He laughed so hard when the horse trotted, it was so adorable that one could not help but to laugh as well. He had everyone else there laughing right along with him.

I had spoken to the psychologist about how to better help Griffin with his communication/vocabulary and he told me to describe things that I saw him do and attach an emotion to it for example: I saw the horse talking to you and when he did you looked surprised. And I was to give three examples of things I saw him do in order to give him enough information to give me an answer when I asked him the question: What did you like the most today about your horseback riding? I gave two more examples: I saw you trotting on the horse and you were laughing and looked very happy. I saw you shooing the flies away and you looked angry.

So, when it came time to ask Griffin what he liked best about his horseback riding he had more information to work with since I had just given him some examples of what he session had been like. A bit of a reminder of what he had done so he had more to work with in his vocabulary. He answered me with, " I like trotting the best, I had fun trotting on the horse." What a success that was just for him to answer me was huge! For Griffin to reach inside and find the words to work with like that and for me to have helped him find the words is fantastic.........what a gigantic success that was I just can't stress that enough!

Griffin just has significant delays in communication and to know him is to know that Griffin struggles on a daily basis with being understood when he speaks and he gets frustrated because he has to repeat what he says so many times because even his own mother often finds it hard to understand him. But with the speech therapy coming along nicely I really think that it is helping him to annunciate his words much better little by little. I am so glad that we found this new group at P.T.S. because if not for them then Griffin would be still sitting in speech coloring pictures and just repeating sentences over and over not getting anywhere as he was at his old therapy group. I think that with the new speech pathologist's help and the help of the psychologist, not to mention a lot of help from mommy....Griffin will come a long way in his communication but we will just have to take it little by little and not have great expectations in the beginning, we must do it slowly and gently.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Sunday, September 05, 2010


We went to Jubilee this morning with my sister, her daughter, and her partner for the first time and I think that we had a good time together. Jubilee is a non-denominational spiritual meeting of sorts not quite church but something a bit more unique. Anyhow, there is reading from different scriptures and singing and even some dancing for those who care to do so. I even saw a man with his dog so it is just really relaxed and special. Griffin didn't want to stay in the childcare area so my sister explained to him that he needed to be on his best behavior if he was going to stay with us in the service so he agreed and he certainly did! Griffin was a perfect little gentleman the entire time and even danced around a little bit and clapped his hands. Griffin adores my sister so it was good to spend time with her.

Griffin and I have been playing Legos and it has worked out nicely. There are distractions of course and sometimes our playtime doesn't last that long but at least we are playing. Oftentimes, he wants to watch TV and play so it is kind of like not playing together but I will take what I can get..........autism and all!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Learning How to Play With My Child

It had been gnawing away at me the fact that I couldn't play with my own child and I just didn't know why. I didn't know if it was the way that I had raised him or if it was the autism. So I called the psychologist's office to see if I could get an appointment right away and they had an appointment that day, Wednesday. I was so anxious to talk to him because this was something that really bothered me and I felt guilty about it, a bad mom because I couldn't play with him.

The doctor was so understanding and helped me feel so much more at ease because first of all he re-assured me that mostly the issue was that Griffin didn't play with me because of the autism not because of how I had raised him. But he did show me how to play beside him with Legos, narrating what Griffin was doing as he was playing. He made sure to let me know that it was crucial that I did not tell him what to do or instruct him in any way or else it would cease all play......nip it in the bud. Tears welled up in my eyes and as I fought back the tears I thought to myself, how wonderful it was that I had found someone who understood me and was helping us after all these years. After all these years, sure Griffin had people working with him who showed him how to play but nobody ever showed me how to play with him and I felt really stupid. It may seem really simple to you but it hasn't been for me, maybe it is just my nature but I didn't know to sit and narrate and not tell him what to do.....did you?  It is easily done now and it is what I am going to do, the only obstacle is going to be the computer and the fact that it is a distraction. We'll just have to be creative and figure out how to make Legos more fun than the computer.

From now on we are playing together.....well at least we are playing side by side.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner