Friday, April 30, 2010

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

New obsession Ghostbusters. G's new line: "Oh shit, it's the Staypuft Marshmallow Man!" Youtube=blessing/curse (literally). :O

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Password = too much computer time

You know you've been searching the net too much when you type your password with a .com at the end. ~ Me

It happened, late last night.  I cracked myself up!

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Perspectives of Temple Grandin

The Perspectives of Temple Grandin
More Temple coverage from Time mag. I looked up Temple on all our local news stations to see what today's coverage looked like. Guess what? Not one word, photo, or vid. All scandals, sensational stories about death, abductions or crime. Good news is not news. Detroit needs good news. They missed out, and so did Detroiters. She's a legend and a hero - Time says so too! :}

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A Dose of Inspiration Got Me Thinking...and Whining...and Planning

Link:  Hero: Time Magazine Top 100 2010 Temple Grandin

Met a genius today and was completely inspired. What an incredible, uplifting experience. Temple Grandin is a dynamic, hilarious speaker. Got to see her autism "quirks" up close and personal. I sat at the next table from her at an Autism Conference.  She had to get up and leave midway through another guest speaker because of distractions. She has obvious tics, and her social difficulty was quite evident.

I got her book, got her autograph. How cool and timely this event was. I really need this positive vibe right now as I wade through book after book, stay up way too late scouring the net, reading every Fb autism news blip, etc. I'm struggling to see which therapies are best, crying over the costs, lack of support, etc.

WARNING: uncharacteristic whining to follow...
This barrage of help and information also got me thinking once again of the time we've lost.  I've lost so much time because of G's late Dx, and I'm damn angry that NOBODY caught this earlier, even though I've been seeking answers since he was 18 mos., over and over, hither and yon. As I told my university parent group leader today, I'd really like to get involved with educating pediatricians, teachers, schools, etc. somehow to ensure that children get Dx early.

What is the universal ASD message? Early Intervention. 
Catch those children YOUNG!  Form new neural pathways.  Help them manage their difficulties. 

I intervened, where was my support?  Do doctors and schools think moms make up difficulties because they WANT their child to have autism?  Could they just take us seriously, hand out a phone number, maybe follow up?  We missed out on Early On (free!) services. Now we're facing $5K-$100K for the broad range of therapies and services that are prescribed but not insured for ASD. 

Hey, with 2 $$$ adoptions and helping destitute family members on both sides of our families, how can we even consider any of that? We're stuck in the "middle zone". UGH! I can't work because of G and we're already stretched too far financially. Most experts and parents say that you need a trained, licensed pro to guide you through the therapies, but we can't afford it. 

The most successful people are those who are good at plan B. ~James Yorke
So, Plan B.  Whining over, moving right along...I'm fairly confident that I can handle learning/working with G on my own. He's not a severe case, and his skills are responding to the treatments I've been working with him on.  I've already been doing my own OT for 1.5 years, and have worked hard to impove his speech with the Hanen program. The results are impressive, and he's getting support from school now as well (another story).  Maybe I can do this on my own and not have to drastically change our lifestyle...I owe it to my other kids, who already experience so much sacrafice of "normality".   Balance.  It's a heavy load on special needs parents' shoulders. 

If Plan B backfires, keep moving down the list. ~ Me
Plan C: If I can figure out a loophole in our budget, or G starts to backslide, or I go bananas...
I found some leads to hire college students/recent grads for ABA, OT, Speech therapies.  I sat with 2 recent SLT grads who told me to check Craigslist, of all things!  Who knew?  Certainly not me.  Plus I found a center that I feel comfortable with, is relatively close by, and my newly reunited dear old friend is the program director as well. I was mightily impressed with the center's speakers; their tone, knowledge and future direction. And through a random question to my friend, found a source who explained that IPOD I-Touch apps for ABA are free during autism awareness month - which of course ends in 28 hours. I may be up all night downloading...:} So excited - G is all about electronic interaction I-Touch - perfect for him!  ITunes also offers PECS/Social Story apps at a cost.  But now I REALLY will never see my I-Touch.  A small price to pay indeed.

ITunes links to really cool apps:

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Jammin' Good

Listened to some good jams tonight on the way home from the Autism conference.  No kids in the car:  Blasted it!

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Infertility Etiquette

Found this pretty well sums up most of the items I used to struggle with. I wish I'd had this list to gently send out (or get printed on a t-shirt) when we were struggling before adoption.
Infertility EtiquetteRESOLVE: The National Infertility Association

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The Big Dig

Archaeological dig? Oh yeah, we live out of my mamavan most days. I call it our home on wheels. Once before giving someone a ride I cleared a seat in back, and was totally embarassed to find a pair of my son's undies. Sure, the kids use it as a locker room between activities and sports, still I wondered: just what did he change into...or did he go commando? Ewwww. :}

The Big Dig: Contents buried in car tell the story of a family -

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Widths - yikes!

A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. ~ Stephen Wright

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Children's Newberry book winner Rules review

Rules Rules by Cynthia Lord

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Read this together with my 11 year old son for a Newberry winner book report. Easy, fast, funny read, believable characters - he loved it. I was looking for a bit more insight into issues siblings have with with autism and its' effects on families. This book translates into compassion for all disabilities, but autism proper, not as much. An excellent read and a great message for kids to be themselves, not cave to peer pressure and accept disabilities.

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Chicklet’s Best Day with Mom EVER!

My husband told me yesterday that our 9 year old chicklet M was disappointed. Her teacher had asked the class who would be going to work with a parent on "Bring your child to work day". DH has been working stressful 15+ hour days for months and there was simply no way for him to take her. I asked her if she'd like to join me on my day as Mom. She lit right up!

And so began our workday. 3 a.m., I awoke after only 2 hours, couldn’t sleep, my husband snoring and me filled with anxiety. I tried to relax, but finally went downstairs and watched tivo. M came in about 7, I wrapped her into my lap and I fell right asleep. My darling girl got up and played quietly with my 4 year old awhile later, to let me catch another hour of sleep.

We entertained ourselves with goofy activities – drew pictures, played school, ate poptarts for breakfast. Yum! It’s Earth Day, so we drew pics of the earth, trees, flowers. I took video of them singing “Happy Earth Day” to the tune of “Happy Birthday”, and posted it to YouTube. OMG, you’d think she won the lottery – jumping up and down, “we’ll be famous!”. By day’s end, even after linking to my Facebook page, we only had a handful of views, but I dared not burst her bright bubble. She’s a star!

We got G ready for preschool, and waited for his new schoolbus to arrive. G was recently diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum (ASD, HFA, PDD-NOS). He started in a new special education program a few weeks ago, and the biggest perk for him is getting to ride on the “big orange schoolbus” like the older kids. Today was only his 2nd time, so he’s still in Awesome! mode. M was elated, and acted like a proud mommy, kissing and hugging him over and over as we waited excitedly. She was thrilled to see that his bus driver is HER bus driver – bonus! She watched him get buckled in and waved like crazy as we watched his little bus drive off.

Our time! I’d given her a few choices, so off we went after loading the car with bags and bags of donations that we’d cranked out last weekend. We made our drop, then made a return, and browsed at shoes for awhile. Next stop Red Robin, her restaurant choice for our special mom workday lunch. She asked in a mature tone, “Do you often lunch?” Never! I told her stories of how I used to love lunching with girlfriends. Good times, long ago! We played tic-tac-toe, worked through the play-placemat while she slurped her smoothie. We munched and chatted about her friends at school. We bought quarter gumballs. The hostess asked if she’d like a balloon, and I saw M’s inward struggle: childhood fun vs. tween-age sophisticate.  Finally she picked a bright balloon.  Inward high five to myself!

Absolutely the greatest $50 spent on a surprise treat…
On a whim, I’m not really sure why at all, I turned into a nail salon. I fully expected it to be booked or too expensive. It was neither, so I succumbed to whimsy. We chose perky colors, deep luscious purple for me, vibrant pink for M. She sat for her first manicure, excitedly perched on the edge of her seat, studying the hard-working serious nail goddess. Me – I got acrylics! I’ve only had my nails done one time, for our wedding 15 years ago. I have hideous nails! I’ve struggled for years with breaking-peeling-jagged-short nails. We kept stealing gleeful looks at each other, feeling naughty for doing something so luxurious. M got a pretty design on her thumbs and loved it! She marveled how her nails glowed when the tech put mysterious goo on her nails and led her to sit under an ultraviolet light. She had to wait awhile while my nails were worked on, but she gaped at every little detail, absorbing feminine swank. A joy to behold for each of us, as I watched her. We talked about our nails the rest of the day. We waited expectantly to see how long it would take our boys to notice our gorgeousness. She delighted in keeping a secret from them, waving her nails in a flourish.

I’ll admit to fluttering my perky purplicious nails a bit too. And giggling. Lots.

Most wonderful gift of all: Chicklet told me and her dad over and over that she had “The Best Day Ever with Mom”.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Autism Awareness CBS News

Collecting the dots, not connecting the dots...

Watch CBS News Videos Online

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I know it's been a great day when bits of dried up play-doh fall out of my hair in the shower.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Facebook workout

Funny funny funny...

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

FOUND Magazine | The Best Thing Ever

You never know what might happen while you nap in the park on a sunny spring day...
FOUND Magazine The Best Thing Ever

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Always wear your seatbelt!

Powerful PSA...

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Autism Awareness Month

Autism Awareness Day and Month. I'm feeling particularly passionate these days since G was one of the kids diagnosed at 4 1/2. Early intervention is key! We're making up for lost time, busy-busy. Watch those kids, trust your instincts. YOU know your child best. That's my speech for the month. ;) ♥

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