Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Great Way to Spend the Day

We went to Griffin's school to play on the playground because it was the perfect day to do so. Griffin has been fighting off a cold the past few days so I think that being outside does him good, getting fresh air and not being in the house all the time on the computer is always good. Right now he has two TVs going one in his room and one in the living room and if he had his way then he would be complete by being on the computer all at the same time. I don't allow him to have the TV on and be at the computer at the same time because for one thing it drives me crazy! To listen to two things going at the same time and heaven forbid that he tries to talk to me too! So if he wants the TV on while he is at the computer then he has to mute it.  At least he has two educational shows going as he always does, I never have to worry about the content of what he watches on the TV, DVD, or on the computer because it is always educational or innocuous cartoons (usually preschool level shows).There is a lot of comfort in that and I do continue to listen and check on what he looks at on the Internet just in case one day his taste changes and he catches me by surprise.........the day may come.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Autumn is My Favorite Season

Griffin had to go a couple of days without the computer because it had to go to the repair shop and he faired quite well, much better than I thought that he would. He kept himself busy with Legos, drawing, books, and TV. I had to go out and get a 50 ft. ethernet cord in order to get Internet access because I had forgotten what my wireless username was at least according to the provider I didn't have the right one. So I had to spend $30.00 on the cord but it was well worth it because there was no way I was going to have a computer sitting here and have to try to find a way to explain to Griffin why we couldn't use it and expect him to understand.

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here, it is why autumn is my favorite season and of course the beautiful fall colors too. The scent that is in the air is like no other and it arouses the senses to a state that is simply euphoric.

Griffin and I went to feed the ducks and geese today and I could tell that he was having a sensory feast! He was rolling on the ground and feeling the leaves on him and watching the ducks as he was feeding them. I could see that he was enjoying himself because usually when the ducks stop eating he wants to go right away but that was not the case today. I have never seen him get on the ground like that and roll around so I was thrilled to see him having so much fun. When he got up he told me that he was sleeping with the ducks (because he was lying beside them). And I asked him if he had a good time and he answered, "Yes!". We also went to PetSmart and he got the chance to pet two of the kitty cats there that were up for adoption. When I let the woman know that Griffin has autism and that petting cats was very therapeutic for him she was happy to let him have the opportunity to spend time petting them. Usually they are not available for petting unless you are going to adopt them so it was nice that Griffin got to pet them because he really enjoyed it!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

A Day With Nature

We spent the morning at the nature center and the weather couldn't have been more perfect.We got there at just the right time, 30 minutes after it opened because there was no traffic and we got a parking space right by the front door and by the time we left the traffic was backed up for miles in both directions.While there we got to see black bear, gray wolves and red ones which are indigenous to our area, otters, the petting zoo and this cute tiny owl (which I forget what kind it is) but Griffin really liked it because he has an afffinity for owls.

Here he is giving one of the goats a hug in the petting zoo. He seemed not too bothered as far as his sensory needs go with the odors of the animals and the feeling of their fur although he wasn't excited about it either. All in all it was a successful venture to the nature center.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Bad Dreams Solved

I took Griffin to the psychologist Monday and we figured out why he was having his bad dreams and what they were all about. His dreams were about people being made into food like chickens he said. It's no wonder he was wetting the bed because that is a scary dream! Reminds me of Soyient about you? Frankly if that movie was a dream it would be a nightmare so I can see why Griffin was scared. So the doctor talked to Griffin about it and told him that it isn't true, that people are not made out of food like chickens. And he asked him if it bothered him that animals were made into food and he didn't seem to mind, not saying anything. So he hasn't had any bad dreams or wet the bed since then.......YEAH!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

I Can't Make Him Have Fun

Just as the doctor told me, "You can take Griffin to interesting places but you can't make him have fun." And his hippotherapy is a great example of that because this week he told me that he didn't have a good time. I saw him smiling while he was trotting but maybe that was just a reaction. I just don't can I tell? The only way that I can tell is to ask him. Sometimes he doesn't even smile and it makes me wonder if he is even having fun but the doctor (psychologist) tells me that it is the autism and that I shouldn't blame myself . He said that Griffin doesn't understand the social aspect of what is going on when people are having fun in social situations. He needs me to explain to him that he needs to smile during certain activities and eventually he will learn to do so but in an intellectual way, it will never come naturally.

In the photo he is petting the horse that he rides "Danny" and he seemed to enjoy petting the horses before he got to ride because they were mouthing his hands and he thought that was funny.

At Occupational Therapy, Griffin brought his pillow with him from the sensory room because he was still seeking that deep pressure that he got when his therapist made a sandwich out of him with a whole bunch of bean bags and a weighed blanket. Eventually she talked him out of the pillow and they made a picture with rice and glitter glue.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Blessed with Perfect Days

Saturday we started out our day at the Unity Center where Griffin and I went to play games but ended up not playing them because he didn't want to so we just played on the playground with Cameron the director of the Montessori school there. Griffin was a real trooper when it came to trying the hula hoop, he kept trying it over and over again until about 5 minutes later he gave up. That's a good long while I think.

We went to the neighboring town to see the festival there but it ended up just being all arts and crafts which was boring for Griffin so thankfully there was the toy store where he found this great penguin that was almost as big as he was. That put a big smile on his face!

Then we went to the Hands On place where we played with puppets and painted. There was much more to do but Griffin was most interested in the puppets so that is where we stayed most of the time. He got a big kick out of playing with them and when I talked funny while pretending to be a parrot and a horse he really liked that. He seemed to loosen up a lot while we were playing and laugh a little bit which is always nice to see. Just as the doctor said, it is important that Griffin see me as someone to have fun with so it was good that we got to laugh together and truly have fun. Sometimes it is hard to be the one who has to be the disciplinarian all the time and then to try to switch back and forth to one who is fun and laughing. But I have to find that balance and make sure that my son sees me as a fun mom too.

Sunday we went in the morning to feed the ducks with our neighbor Nikki. There weren't many ducks out there and all the geese were gone, they had already flown south for the winter. So we didn't stay very long. The weather was nice though, it was nippy but beautiful/

Later we went to Unity Center and I stayed in the childcare with Griffin instead of going to the service because he cannot go to the childcare alone, we already tried that route. So they are going to give me a copy of the service on a cd since I need to stay with  Griffin. Anyhow, I don't mind because we had a good time together in there. We had circle time, made a craft, and then Griffin didn't want to go to the playground so we went for a hike instead.

Then we went swimming at the YMCA for awhile to top the day off. Griffin just kinda plays around because he still cannot swim due to his low muscle tone in his body, but he still has a great time. We both get bored after about 30 minutes so it doesn't last that long but it is still worth the trip.

So I was blessed with a perfect weekend and I am grateful for every day that I have with Griffin not just the weekends.  Even if we have tough days they are all the way that they are meant to be and as long as he is in my life that is what I call a perfect day!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Bad Dreams

Griffin wet the bed the other night and told me it was because he had a bad dream and I felt helpless as to what to tell him. I wanted to give him some helpful advice about what to do about his bad dreams or to console him somehow but the best that I could do was to hug him and tell him that it was all going to be okay that they weren't real. I just didn't know what else to tell him. I would love to know what other parents tell their kids that you have found to be helpful and that have given your child some comfort. All I know is to ask the doctor (psychologist) on Monday when we go and see if maybe he can help Griffin understand about bad dreams.