Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Happy 9th Birthday Griffin!

Well after getting presents for a week now and celebrating at Fun Depot yesterday with my sister and her family it is finally the day!
Unfortunately Griffin vomited last night so he is home today and we are going to make the best of it. He is in good spirits and probably could go to school I didn't put him on the bus because he had no eaten yet and didn't know if he would be okay but what the heck it is his birthday. He has not wanted to eat yet so I don't know if he is going to hold food down or not and he wants to go to Burger King to see what kind of toys they have...I don't really think that that is a sound choice in trying to keep food down but maybe we will try something at home first and then Burger King.

Happy birthday my buddy, you mean the world to me and I am so proud of you and all the progress that you have made. You want to use the computer right now so I am going to have to make this short. I am so grateful for you my precious child and when you laugh and smile you make life shine and I am so glad that I am alive, you are the reason for living my son! I try to do what is right by you and to make you comfortable to the best of my ability to minimize your meltdowns so that you have a good quality of life and I hope that you are truly happy Griffin because that means everything to me!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

In Reverse

Why is it when Griffin has success and things work out for him to his advantage he gets upset to the point of having a meltdown? Does anyone else have that going on with their child? It is so damn frustrating because just when I think that I am going to be able to praise Griffin and celebrate with him he turns things around and gets upset sometimes screaming and crying. Just now he had gotten upset because the printer wouldn't work so we had to restart the computer then once it worked he ran through the apartment screaming and ranting that he had to restart the computer again, even though it spit out the paper that he wanted printed.

We had a problem in Speech yesterday, he won the game that he was playing with his Speech Pathologist and he got very upset so I talked to her about it and she said that she had seen it before in kids with autism. She said that it just seemed that their wires were crossed, that they did several different things in reverse like Griffin did. Griffin also gets upset when he finds that there is a connection between the two of them which is easier to understand than the other one.

I just don't get it and would love it if somebody would help me to understand what is going on with my child because I don't know how to react. All I do now is to calm him down and try to get him to focus on the task at hand and to understand that it is good not bad and to keep myself calm too having patience with him. I plan to ask the psychologist about it but that's not until the 9th but I would like to know if anyone has had any experience with that before then.

Britax Car Seat

I want to sell this car seat, it has only been used a few times and it has just been sitting around the apartment so it is like brand new.I got it as a spare car seat when we lived with my parents.  It was made by Britax which is a high quality car seat manufacturer (look them up) and it fits a child 40-100 lbs. so it is ideal for a special needs child since it has a five point harness. I bought it for $600.00 so if anyone is interested I am selling it for $350.00 . Of course there would be shipping costs but it is a great deal because Britax stopped making this style so you can't buy it any longer and the one that Griffin has been using that is exactly the same but a different color he has had since he was 5 years old and he is now 9 years old. So that just goes to show how much use you can get out of a car seat like this.

I got it for Griffin for two reasons: 1.Because research has shown that children are safer with the five point harness 2. As he got older and could use a booster seat he would undo the seat belt so the five point harness prevented him from easily undoing the seat belt. Now he is finally ready for a booster seat because he no longer will get out of the seat belt and even though I wish that he could remain in a five point harness I have to put him in a seat belt.

If you have any questions just e-mail me, go to my profile and there you can e-mail me.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jumbo Elmo

Griffin's other birthday present arrived today, his jumbo Elmo that I won on e-bay for $2.99.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Memetastic Award

DeeAnn at thoughtfully passed this ostentatious award on to me. Giving credit where credit is due, it originated from Jill at Both ladies are also mothers of incredible children that happen to have autism.

Here are Jill's rules for the award. Due to language that may be offensive to my younger followers and my mom who reads this blog, things have been edited things just a tad...

1. You must proudly display the absolutely disgusting graphic that I have created for these purposes. It's so bad that not only did I use COMIC SANS, but there's even a little jumping, celebrating kitten down there at the bottom. It's horrifying! But its presence in your award celebration is crucial to the memetastic process we're creating here.

2. You must list 5 things about yourself, and 4 of them must be bold-faced lies. Just make stuff up, we'll never know; one of them has to be true, though. Of course, nobody will ever know the difference, so we're just on the honor system here. I trust you.

3. You must pass this award on to 5 bloggers that you either like or don't like or don't really have much of an opinion about. I don't care who you pick, and nobody needs to know why. I mean, you can give a reason if you want, but I don't really care.

4. If you fail to follow any of the above rules, I will harass you incessantly until you either block me on Twitter or ban my IP address from visiting your blog. I don't know if you can actually do that last thing, but I will become so annoying to you that you will actually go out and hire an IT professional to train you on how to ban IP addresses just so that I'll leave you alone. I'm serious. I'm going to do these things. 

1. I  sky dived nude on my last birthday
2. I love Guns N' Roses
3. I don't wear underwear
4. I own a Harley soft tail
5. Sleeping comes easily to me and I am lucky that way

Now that is out of the way I've got to pass along this little award to 5 bloggers and here we go: 
Erin at I Should Be Studying
Arline at The Autism Princess
Jennifer C at Fingerprints of Autism
Casdok at Mother of Shrek
Jazzygal at Jazzygal

Check out their blogs!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Chris over at A Crazy Kind of Faith bestowed upon me so kindly the Stylish Blogger Award...thank you Chris..and I am supposed to list seven facts about myself that most people do not know about me.

The second requirement is that I pass the award on to several other recipients and here they are:
Heather at The Scenic Route 
4timesblessed at Autism as a Whole
Kristi at Losing, Loving, and Living in Tx
Jean at Mommy to Two Boys
Kari at Dotcomkari
Kyra at This Mom
Lebelinoz at Life with two autistic kids

1.I broke my arm when I was 9 months old climbing out of my crib and learned to walk with the cast on.
2.I studied at the Aveda Institute in Minneapolis and subsequently worked as an aesthetician in an Aveda Day Spa in Anchorage, Alaska
3.I used to show horses when I was in elementary school and have dreamed of having my own horse since I could speak and I still don't have one :(
4.I have kept a journal for 25 years now and a daily journal for about 5 years. I just don't trust my memory and there's so many things that have happened to me that I want to commit to paper for posterity because the time passes and before you know it the memories fade and it's gone.
5.I take online classes from American Public University and am majoring in Child and Family Development
6.I was born in western North Carolina but have lived all over the United States including: Alaska, South Carolina, New Jersey, Georgia, Washington, and I lived in Hawaii when my second husband had cancer.
7.I love to write in this blog but not about myself necessarily because the blog is supposed to be about Griffin and autism so I am reluctant about including information about myself because I just don't think that people are interested in stuff about me anyhow.
The more interesting things about me, in case you didn't see them, including my stint as an exotic dancer, work with the FBI, and my 5 marriages are in this list that I published a couple of weeks ago. I tried to copy and paste the list but the font came out way too small for some reason.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


We went to the Unity Center (a non-denominational church) today and Griffin sat with me the whole time in the service instead of going to the childcare, Mrs. Cameron's class which he doesn't like to go to without me. Griffin did talk a bit now and then but in a whisper and he had to get a snack ( they have food available at all times in the lobby area) but he did sing the songs and sat still for the most part. We took Abby, Griffin's service dog, with us and she got to meet a tiny Chihuahua named "Happy" who was 7 months old, she was in the lobby area with her owner. Abby loves other animals and gets excited every time she sees another one, in fact, her best friend is our cat "Dot" who she plays with and cuddles with all the time.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Early Birthday Presents

Through all his searches online, Griffin found these talking Teletubbies on ebay which I won for only $4.00 but they are worth so much more because he absolutely adores them. Since Griffin's birthday is on the 31st I decided to go ahead and get them for him and give them to him because he is just one of those kids who doesn't like surprises. He was disappointed at Christmas when he unwrapped his presents because he said that he should have gotten them when he was with me not for Christmas, so I am not going to make him wait for his birthday presents.

As you may have noticed above the Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons badge I have a ticker that shows how much weight I have lost (56 lbs.) and how much I have to go to reach my target weight of 140 lbs. (29 lbs. to go). I will keep updating it and post a before and after photo once I reach my target weight. Just a wee bit more to go and I am so eager to reach my goal!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What is Abnormal?

Do you think that a child with autism is abnormal? What is normal anyhow? It is a setting on the dryer that's what it is! There is no such thing as normal when it has to do with the human being regardless of what anyone has to say about it. I choose to use neuro-typical when referring to an individual who does not have autism.

I am not "normal" because I have bipolar disorder and PTSD and even if I didn't then I still wouldn't refer to myself as being so because I guess that you could say that I believe that we are all aberrant in some way or the other. I don't even think that it is a matter of being politically correct in using certain terms because there simply is not a normal human being! We all have our dysfunction and abnormalities and to think that you are "normal" is to say that you are perfect and without any my humble opinion.

I am not referring to anyone whose blog that I read, it just so happens that the word "aberrant" came up in the book that I am reading and it brought to mind what it means to be the opposite.  So, if you happen to use the word "normal" then I would just like for you to reconsider because to say that there are normal people that means that your child with autism is abnormal and to me that is insulting.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Talk Ability

I found this book, "Talk Ability" online years ago and have been reading it again as of late because I need help with knowing how to talk to Griffin. I know that sounds weird but sometimes I just don't know how to keep the conversation going. Do any of you ever have that problem or is it just me? Maybe it is the medications that I take that effect me but oftentimes I just don't have the words to talk to him because Griffin will talk about things that are off-the-wall. So here are a few excerpts out of the book, not too detailed because I don't have much time to type it all out right now but if you have any questions feel free to ask and I would be happy to help out.

Some of the basics are using your "I" cues: Include your child's interests, ideas, and words. Interpret his message. Introduce your own ideas. and Insist on a change of topic...Help you take your turn

The Cues: Comment...and wait. Ask a question...and wait. Make it easier to answer your question...and wait. Hint...and wait. Make a suggestion...and wait. Tell your child what to say or do...and wait...Tell your child that it's his turn

Open questions: What happened? Wh questions + "thought" words. How? Why?
Closed Wh questions: What? Who? Where? When?

There are also the different stages of which your child falls under that it helps you to figure out so that you can more easily help your child carry on with conversation. Stage 1 = "want" words. Stage 2="think" words. Stage 3="see" words Stage 4="hidden feeling" words Stage 5= "false belief" words.

If you would like to buy the book just click on the highlighted area in the box to go to to either buy it new or used.

Also there is an online course for communication with your child with autism that is FREE! I have just signed up for it so I don't know how good it is but since it is free then why not try it out? Here's the link:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Much Nicer Me

I had a complete hysterectomy back in 2005 and have been out of balance ever since but one of my doctors told me that I didn't need hormones so I hadn't taken them but my present general practitioner told me that she would give me a script for them. So, yesterday I started taking estrogen to see if it would help my disposition since I had been being such an irritable, grumpy, and impatient bitch mommy and sure enough it worked! I now feel like a nicer and a much more compassionate human being. I know that it has only been a day and a half but the way I feel is so significantly improved compared to how I used to feel. If I could sing then I would just break out into song and dance around like a fool...maybe I will just dance around like a fool with Griffin even though he is going to wonder what the heck happened to mommy. I can tell the difference in Griffin, he is so much more mellow and had no meltdowns so far yesterday and today....YEAH!!!

Thanks to my sister for suggesting that I try hormones since they worked for her. She had mentioned that she had that GR-R-R-R feeling like when you are so pissed that you are just gritting your teeth all the time kind of feeling like what I had. So I am in debt to her for helping me out...thanks sis for your help I owe you a big one!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Insomnia and Halcion

I went to my psychiatrist the other day and got a prescription of Halcion for chronic insomnia. I have insomnia because I am bipolar and require prescription strength medication since the typical remedies do not work for me. And yes, I have tried melatonin, even the prescription strength melatonin, Rozerum, that is pure therefore more effective but not for me. I have tried sleepytime tea, brandy, and all the OTC medications all of which do absolutely nothing for me.

I was taking Restoril which in the beginning worked wonderfully for me but apparently my body got used to it and it stopped working and I found myself staying up all night or finally getting to sleep only after eating a meal at 4:00 a.m. which is not an option for me since I do not want to gain all my weight back. I have lost 57 lbs. so far with only 20 lbs to go and there's no way that I am eating in the middle of the night only to find a bulging belly again.

What I remember from working undercover doing drug sting operations for the FBI is that individuals use Halcion recreationally/illegally quite frequently because it is a sedative/hypnotic drug so I was none too thrilled when my doc prescribed it for me. I didn't want to go on a trip or to "feel funny" I just wanted to sleep. I was desperate to sleep so I took half a dose at first to no avail and ended up taking a full dose. I went to sleep right away and slept like a rock...until NOON today!!! No, I didn't feel funny nor was it fun to take...I only felt sleepy as hell! Needless to say, I won't be taking a full dose again because Griffin was up before me and thank goodness that he spends the whole time on the computer if I oversleep. He didn't get into anything and he doesn't try to leave and couldn't because I have a chain on the door and he doesn't know how to undo it. I felt horrible that I overslept but couldn't help it.

I have to get up early in the morning because I have an ultrasound scheduled due to the fact that my liver enzymes were elevated and we need to find out if it is enlarged. Also I may have an ulcer or something going on with my stomach due to the fact that I have been having severe stomach pain lately. So, I have to get up early for that and I am going to need to sleep, especially since I cannot eat or drink anything after midnight. I don't know how that is going to happen, all I can do is to take the Restoril and hope for the best. Maybe tomorrow night I will try to take a lower dose of the Halcion and set the alarm so that I can get up before Griffin.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Being Productive and a Lot Nicer

Will school ever begin again? Will the snow ever stop? It's a good thing that I have been keeping myself busy and getting a lot done around the apartment otherwise I would go bonkers. But I have had plenty of practice at staving off cabin fever when I lived in Alaska. Fortunately Griffin enjoys the snow more now than he did when we lived there and he doesn't mind getting dressed in all his layers like we also had to do there but he did not like it then. I put him in a pair of sweats and snow pants, a jacket liner, and a coat. He wears two pair of knitted gloves because he refuses to wear the waterproof kind and he wears snow boots of course. I kept my pair of $250.00 snow boots from Alaska and am I ever so glad that I did because they keep my feet toasty.

I got some much needed painting done, I was tired of the eggshell finish that we had because it showed every little mark and fingerprint and I couldn't get them off because the paint would come off. So I got some semi-gloss and it looks exceptionally well, it's as though we had just moved in. The apartment manager told me that they wouldn't paint my apt. until I had lived here for 3 years and that they wouldn't give me any paint either so I took it upon myself to do it on my own because I felt like I was living in a begrimed rundown abode, the place just never looked clean.

Griffin and I are getting along wonderfully even though we have been together 24/7 just like in the summertime but back in the summer things weren't so peachy and mommy found herself getting irritated much easier. I have grown since then and appreciate my time alone with Griffin and we play more now too. I had made a promise to Griffin that I was going to be nicer and not so grumpy all the time. Now I find myself smiling a lot more and not taking my time with Griffin for granted, because the time does fly and he will be a teenager before I know it and then he might not be so keen on playing games with mommy.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Griffin Plays Pretend

Here is a video of Griffin playing pretend with his characters. And who said that autistic kiddos don't play make believe?

There is no school today due to a winter storm that passed through overnight and we have about 10" of snow on the ground. Griffin got to play on the sled with his neighbor Isaiha for a little while.

Friday, January 07, 2011

No EEG Today

Griffin and I went outside to take Abby for a walk and Griffin played on the playground with his "characters" as he calls them. We didn't go for the EEG that was scheduled for this morning because I couldn't get him to go to sleep without his Clonidine last night. I knew that if he didn't get any sleep then they couldn't do the test because he would have been asleep. In order to conduct the test for absence seizures he has to be awake. He was supposed to get 6 hours of sleep but come 12:00  he wasn't going to sleep then by 2:00 a.m. I decided that I was going to give up and go ahead and give him the medicine so that we both could get some sleep. So by 3:00 he was finally asleep. I got to sleep around 4:00 a.m. after reading for awhile in order to relax before hitting the hay.

I didn't require Griffin to go to school because for 1. he didn't wake up until 10:00 after getting to sleep so late and 2. I had already told him that he wasn't going to school today and I wasn't going to go back on my word. School was on a 2 hour delay today due to bad weather in part of the county and was released early for the same reason so it wasn't as though he really missed much.

 I guess that I will reschedule the EEG and try again to see if I can get him to sleep next time. It's just that he has chronic insomnia and that's why he takes the Clonidine and so going to sleep without it is nearly impossible but he has done it on one occasion so I was thinking that we could do it again but Noooo!
This is Griffin neighbor and good friend Isaiha (I think that is how he spells his name) who was talking to Griffin outside about his characters, he is 9 years old and is so understanding of Griffin and how Griffin is so different and doesn't play age appropriate games/activities.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

If I Had a Life

Griffin has to have his goggles on when he takes a shower or swims.

I frankly don't know what to write about today, maybe something will come up later on and I will be able to write something intelligent and worthwhile. Maybe if I had a life then I would have some content to work with.

Monday, January 03, 2011

A Few Things About Me

Jen from The King and Eye is hosting the Blog Gems Air Your Archives blog hop this week and it is required of me to post a few things about myself so here it goes:

1. I was an exotic dancer for 6 years in Alaska. It was a love-hate relationship and I made tons of money, sometimes in excess of $1500.00 a kidding!  I also did a short stint in Las Vegas at the Palomino Club and Cheetahs where "Showgirls" was filmed. My blog, Mysterious, reveals some of what it was like if you happen to be interested or curious. Above is a photo of me in costume.
2. I used to work undercover for the FBI doing drug sting operations while traveling around Alaska.
3. I have been married 5 times for various reasons one of which was because I was nearly homeless and got married in order to work out a deal to get a place to live. One was for his green card but it didn't pan out and the one that I loved the most lasted 10 years and he ended up cheating on me but we made amends and he was there when Griffin was born (he was not the father).
4. I used to also be a ballroom dance instructor for Fred Astaire Dance Studio
5. I plan to write a book one day about all of my misadventures.
6. I have been on a road trip across the United States from Alaska to North Carolina and back, 11,000 miles and the last leg of the trip the temperatures were as low as 35 below zero, the gas and fluids kept freezing up and we barely made it home.
7. I have been to Greece twice because the husband that I loved the most was Greek and the food, people, and scenery was to die for!!!! I also taught myself Greek and used to speak it fluently.