Tuesday, March 16, 2010

please stand in the autism line over here

I mean seriously I don't get it! We wait two years and 3 "evaluations" to get a diagnosis. Now we wait months and months for formal therapy services. Not to mention that once we get to the front of the line we hear how wonderful all the services are and how much they are going to help BUT by the way your insurance doesn't cover any of them.

Sometimes I feel like Rye is slipping away into his own little world while we are waiting and waiting to get the help we need!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

eye contact is it important? do sensory diets help?

Posting two videos in which Rye has pretty good eye contact. After Rye engages in heavy work climbing over the monkey bars 4 times and running from one pirate ship to the next while sword fighting with me, followed by climbing the monkey bars one more time as directed by me as part of planned heavy work activities. The difference in eye contact is remarkably better. The final time back across the monkey bars he actually looks back at me to look at me!

This is the sensory/self-regulation piece of Autism that I do not understand. When Rye's body appears to be regulated he is better able to engage socially. How can we figure out what his body needs and when he needs it? Today Rye appeared to need lots of physical heavy work to appear regulated that is not always the case. Sometimes heavy work gets him too excited.

turn off the television

Rye loves loves loves to watch TV. So many children do. I do believe that the autism "world" that he frequently hides in is full of scripted scenes and pictures from movies that he has watched. His speech is scripted and his play reflects the movie world. It is another way that he chooses to not engage with others appropriately. TURN OFF the TV!! The less amount of time that children with autism spend unengaged, in my opinion, the worse they are. This is why ABA therapy works. Children with autism need to spend their time engaged in activities with others. I believe Rye has benefited from having a sibling close in age because he has had to engage and he likes to engage with Wyatt.

At my house we have fallen victim to the park them in front of the television more than we need to. Let's face it when you have a child who is capable of getting into anything but won't move a muscle if a movie is on it is just easier. I am making a packed with myself as of today unless it is a special event or do to illness Friday and Saturdays are the only days the boys will watch movies with a limit of 3 movies a week. That is still a lot but I am trying to be realistic.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Attempting to Balance it all...

Today I am not finding the irony in the fact that my Senior Final Project for my degree was a presentation on Balancing Work and Family. Seriously I hate to tell you Marilyn Coleman (my professor) I don't know anything about balancing work and family. Glad I passed then I feel like I would surely fail now.

I never knew how many social roles I would take on as a "responsible" adult. Mother, Therapist, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Sister, and Aunt. I now feel like I need to add Mother of a child with Autism to the list of roles, I'm trying so desperately not to label my son yet I'm quickly labeling myself. Should it really make me different, does it make me different? Heck I don't know but it sure feels like I'm sinking into a hole of self-pity and I need to dig my way out and quick.

Solution-I am going to turn my newly found desire for blogging to continue to vent frustrations but also to blog about the positive things we are doing with Rye and Wyatt for that matter. Perhaps if I share the positive and somebody else can share in the positive it will be more than just the ranting and raving of a "Mother of a son with Autism".

One thing that has appeared to work for Rye is using social stories and pictures to explain, predict or remind of social "rules".

The following is an example of a Social Story we used with Rye when he was having difficulty with other children touching his Legos and difficulty with not wanting to take his Legos apart at the end of the day:

My name is Rye.

I am in Kindergarten at Cedar Ridge Elementary School. We are the Cardinals. I am in

Mrs. Allen’s Class. I also go to Adventure Club.

Sometimes I get mad and sad at school and at Adventure Club. about my Legos.

I don’t like it when people touch my Legos or take them apart. The Lego rules at school and at Adventure Club are that Legos are put away and taken apart at the end of the day every day. If I want to keep my Legos together for a long time I need to build a ship or machine at home. At homeI can keep my Legos together for a long time.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Where have I been for 6 months????

So I guess my blogging idea did not exactly pan out the first time around. I wrote my first official blog back in August when Ted Kennedy died. Ted has since been buried, I have read a good chunk of his Autobiography and a Republican has been elected to his Senate Seat!

Well the Shade family has been busy with Rye starting Kindergarten, both Mom & Dad working way too much, the Holidays, a ski vacation, 2 sessions of basketball and 4 sessions of swimming for Rye and Wyatt, Dad coaching basketball, a first time ever getaway to Chicago without kids for Mom & Dad and at the end of January Rye, my sweet little man was diagnosed with Autism.

There it is, to borrow from my husband, the elephant in the room. I can see it in my head rolling off of Dr. Kanne's tongue, "I think you are prepared for this but I believe it is Autistic Disorder". I smiled and nodded and stated "yes, I have thought that for some time". Which I had but finally hearing it out loud by an actual MD sounded a lot like a Judge's gavel hitting the block of wood on his desk.

So I guess where have I been for 6 months, I guess the Shade's have been crazy busy!! I am going to attempt to blog more frequently than every 6 months. Guess I'll just have to see if I can actually pull it off.