Sunday, December 9, 2012

AUTISM STRONG - The Autism Parent, the Hopeful Parent

An Autism Parent is the most hopeful of individuals in the world, when your kid was diagnosed you were probably told a number of things they wouldn't be able to do.....maybe they still can't do some of those things but do we give up hope NO, NEVER.  Do our kids give up on us??  NO, NEVER.  Even in the midst of a meltdown over his stuffed Bowser loosing an eyebrow, you deal with it and move on!

We never stop hoping we never give up...we may feel and appear defeated at times with the bite marks, the bruises and handfuls of hair we are not defeated we are AUTISM STRONG!!   There are some misconceptions about who we are, WE ARE NOT VICTIMS of this disorder we are moms, dads, sisters, & brothers who just need a little more understanding & compassion.  We are a stronger family BECAUSE of autism.   We are not victims we just want what is best for our child just like other parents.

Just remember we are AUTISM STRONG, we take more in one day than most parents handle in a week or more!!  We were given this position because God believes we can do it!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Tote Giveaway from "31 Gifts"!!

Divas With A Purpose, Dorinda's Diva Shoppe and a host of wonderful bloggers and entreprenerial divas are excited to bring you this great giveaway to officially kick-off the giving season here at Divas With A Purpose!
One lucky reader will win a pair of Thirty One Gifts Utility Totes - one large and one medium!  The medium utility totes are a new product introduced this month and can only be ordered through November 26th! 
This prize is sponsored by Michelle, an Independent Consultant with Thirty One Gifts and the diva behind Divas With A Purpose.
The utility totes are great organizational items and have tons of uses. Michelle's favorites - organizing toys and clothing in her children's rooms; the guest room as a welcome basket for out of town visitors; and a toy bin for each of her children.
These totes and the entire Thirty One Gifts product line are a great, and affordable, way to transport your products and advertise your business.
You can enter up until 12:01 AM, Saturday, November 17th.
 Good Luck and thanks for your support!
a Rafflecopter giveaway 223808_Melissa & Doug-Leading Designer of Education Toys!! Click Here!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Social Media & the Autism Mom

I know most of you have seen or heard something to the effect "I love my computer-My friends live in there". Some may think this unfortunate, to ONLY have friends in your computer....well not to me. You see I am an autism-mom, my life revolves around BOTH my kids. The "typical" one and the "not so typical" one.....we are also a home school family so we seem to always be together. So my "computer friends" are some of the closest friends I have.

The majority of my friends are autism moms too and they "understand" me. They understand the significance of Noah snapping his pants for the first time.....they understand what it's like to have an awesome dentist appointment for the 1st time (without the kicking and screaming!)......they understand and rejoice with me when Savannah & Noah are caught playing together!! My friends understand what the word "meltdown" means.

 As the parent of a child with autism by NO MEANS makes me an authority BUT as autism parents SOMETIMES we know more than the doctors & nurses who are seeing our kids. "Typical" parents don't get it. They can try to understand but in their mind Noah is 10 what's the big deal about snapping his pants, their kid did that at 4 years old. I have yet to encounter the support that I receive from my Facebook friends in the "typical world".

One of the first Facebook page I came across was Grape Jelly on Pizza and it stuck I loved the name and my list of autism page likes grew & grew & grew and is STILL GROWING! I am excited to read about other kids that have the same struggles as Noah but I especially love to rejoice with them when milestones are hit.

As parents of a child with autism we are truly BLESSED that we get to see the world through the eyes of our beautiful child there are SO many things that Noah has taught me & shown me that I would have missed without him!! Thank you God for giving me this exceptional child that will open the hearts of each person who is privileged enough to know him!!

223808_Melissa & Doug-Leading Designer of Education Toys!! Click Here!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

When Things get Overwhelming

This is not a post about Noah or anything funny related to autism it's about feeling overwhelmed as a parent. How do we keep on keeping on?? I read parents with children with autism suffer from PTSD like a soldier?? Why is everything so hard? Why do I always feel like I should be doing MORE?? Why all the guilt?? Just as things are going good uh-oh roadblock!! This is just life happening but sometimes things just suck. I have always heard when one door closes another opens....please open a new door quickly for our family!! I am a firm believer in prayer so thatis where I will be the next few days!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Who's Shoes ID Kit Giveaway

These are great for writing your child's information on, these are also included in the NAA Big Red Safety box that they giveaway periodically. Please enter you must like 4 Facebook pages to be entered. Thanks and Good luck!! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Leader & Noah

Here are some pictures of the soccer practice the other day.....Noah is the small one in the purple shirt!

Noah and "the leader" that is the coach's title....The Leader.  Who else is talented enough to play soccer with his hands behind his back? Hmmmm Nobody I know.

Huddle Up!!!  Looks who is in the middle giving directions....who is the smallest on there?  All the guys make a big fuss over him he LOVES it!

Wow personal instruction from "the Leader"  he won't kick the ball very hard, however KUDOS to him he did make a GOAL!!

UH OH~ what now.... here comes "The Leader" for some more 1 on 1 time with the boy!!
All in all Noah LOVES it he doesn't know that he one of two little guys, he doesn't see size, color or disability! I WISH WE COULD ALL SEE THE WORLD THAT WAY!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Center of Attention.....

After we finished soccer practice last night from 6-7, one of our local colleges has a Special Olympics night where their students work with the athletes...after soccer we drove there most everyone who was at soccer went.  We get there the college's volleyball teams are there our athletes are working on volleyball tonight.  When we get in one of the moms had already picked out Noah's "personal assistant" they hit it off well.  I got to sit with two more parents and chit chat YES chit chat I didn't know I still knew how.....seems like I am ALWAYS explaining autism, sensory processing disorder, ADHD you know!!  the usual stuff!!

One of the parents said, "look Noah has an audience" I turned to look he was sitting on the bleachers with 6 college guys standing there looking at him and he was just talking up a storm....when I looked closer I saw about 6 volleyballs where your feet go on the bleachers...he was telling those guys something about all the balls.  A few minutes later a look up again and one of the guys is carrying Noah around on his shoulders WOW this kid was eating up all this attention!!  Because you know I NEVER pay any attention to him LOL!

I got to be time to leave the social butterfly wants to go around the entire gym and hug everyone, I know I need to work on appropriate behaviors some more, so I limited him to the 10 people by the door.  So with that being said we finally got to leave............but not before his announcement he said LOUDLY, "I will see you all next week!" they laughed and were all saying bye Noah.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Wonder What He Was Saying.....

Soccer practice number 2 in the books.....he did pretty good~still likes that hole to sit in and look for bugs! LOL Today there were quite a few more people than the last practice!! There is a man that comes, Andy and his nephew,the brown boy (he's 4 & typical).

Andy is deaf and uses sign language to communicate his 4 year old nephew knows sign language too. Anyway Noah is just talking Andy's head off and Andy starts to sign Noah's not sure whats he's doing. The brown boy sees what's happening and get between them and is translating for Noah AWESOME. So the players head over for a break to get some water I am explaining to Noah that Andy is deaf that means he can't hear, and he uses his hands to speak. Noah says, "he cannot speak" I reply, "no he speaks with his hands".

So the players head back to the soccer field, Noah is being Noah socializing instead of playing, he is over with Andy he starts signing to Noah, the brown boy was at the other end of the field so Noah starts "signing" back he was just moving his hands and fingers.....wonder what he was saying. I was SO funny. Guess what?? We are going to start learning sign language next week.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Team Sports...Is he Ready???

Well we did it~he went to soccer practice last night....I called Special Olympics and got him set up.  We watched YouTube videos of kids playing soccer, we viewed some PECS about playing soccer.  I am trying to explaining the role of the coach, so I said, "you have to listen to the coach, just like you listen to me when I am teaching you."  Noah responds, "So he's the leader."  I say, "I guess you could say that but usually you call him coach."  Noah, " He is the leader right??"  Me, "Yeah"  Noah, "OK then he is the leader."  in other words period END OF CONVERSATION.  I don't know maybe he called him "The Leader" instead of Coach.

The Coach got stuck in traffic so when we got there the director of our chapter of Special Olympics was there, super lady very personable.  So she got them to run 2 laps around the field, Noah took off like a shot...looking behind him as he ran approaching an iron fence, but one of the guys said something and he turned around just in time.  So he was leading the pack at one time then slowly drifted back to the back of the pack- then he would shoot up to the front again.  It was pretty comical when he runs he is all over the place, arms flapping, he looks like he has no upper body control.

So the coach arrives, Noah sees him getting the bag of balls out of his car, and runs to him, says something and grabs the giant bag of balls and heads to the field.   WOW I never saw that one coming.  He tends to find a comfort zone wherever we go if we are there for any length of time and last night was no exception.  There was a "hole" I never went over there but I think it was like a drainage grate or something.  Anyway that was to be his "spot".  He would kinda wander away to the "hole" and just sit there.  Once I was about to get up and go see about him and the director told he to just have a seat Coach would get him and he did.  Noah did so good, the boys were older, there was one little fella 4 years old (He is typical came with a family member) him & Noah hit off, they were kicking the ball to each other.  He called him the brown boy I love it!!!

We were invited to several upcoming events, it was a really good experience for Noah and opportunity for both of us to make some friends.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The STX209 Experience

For those that have read my blog and kept up with our progress thank you for those just discovering my blog  welcome to our journey in the Wild World of Autism.  We are in a clinical trial at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, the clinical name of the medicine is STX209 I think it sounds cool all futuristic and all....Autism Speaks is funding the trial.  It's the FIRST medicine known to treat core symptoms of autism.

When we joined the trial last year in the latter part of October things in our home were not good this same time last year, frankly it sucked.  Noah was out of control, I mean hitting, kicking, pushing, biting it was really bad.  He could not walk into the room without hitting his sister.  We went to his doctor and we tried to get in to see any psychiatrist that took our insurance, I was DESPERATE, I couldn't get in anywhere.  I had even called Vanderbilt and was out on a wait list there too, was told that they saw kids based on the severity of the disability and they focused on early intervention.  So basically we were screwed.

I was at my wits end and there really appeared to be no hope of getting him in to see somebody anytime soon.  We home school, so that is good because I am not sure how the school would have handled his behavior.  So I was checking my email and there it was the email that changed our lives.  Who would have thought things were changing for us.  I went to hubby told him about the clinical trial, the email said it was looking to improve social skills in individuals with autism HMMM.  So we decided I should call, they gave me a brief questionnaire on the phone.  Called my back the next day and set an appointment, I explained that we lived in Memphis and would be driving to Nashville, oh no problem we will make a reservation for you so we stay at the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt and they even reimburse for mileage!

So the study required us to take him up by 5 mg increments until we hit 30 mg a day, it was a placebo based trial in other words he may be on the medicine or h may be on the placebo, we started seeing changes in him when we hit the 20 mg mark.  The first visit the blood draw resulted in a HUGE meltdown, now he sits there and just watches them do it...he even reminded them one time that they forgot to "Steal his blood" as he calls it.  The changes we started to see was the acquisition of more language, improvement in social skills, less aggression, cognitive improvements across the board, trying new foods, behavior improvements, reading alot more.  I have explained it like an old TV with knobs, the contrast knob that cleared up the fuzziness that's what STX209 does it clears up the fuzziness and allows them to make connections with the environment that they did not previously have.

So FIRST'S this year dentist appointment & cleaning (without having to hold him down), swimming he just started swimming, we went to our 1st movie Madagascar 3, we went to church, he tries all different foods appetite increase, 1st time he went to the fair, I am sure that I missed something.  It has been an INCREDIBLE year for us as a family, and the best is yet to come................

Our AU-some Social Security Encounter

If you receive SSI benefits you know how difficult it can be to obtain benefits for anyone that has a disability.  We started back in March of this year, WOW it is a lot of paperwork, dates and times of everything that your child has went through or done.  It took me several days just to complete the application.  I sent copies of EVERYTHING I had about Noah and autism.  I did everything they asked me too, showed up on time never rescheduled an appointment, I had heard that Social Security's caseload it was taking over a year to get approved UHG.

So two weeks ago I get  a letter on Tuesday telling me to go to the SS office here in Memphis by Friday, the letter was addressed to Noah, so I thought I had to being him.  We got there Thursday afternoon and met Ms B, she was handling our case.  She asked if I had husband pay stubs since March, I did not the letter said BRING THE LETTER.  She looked through my application to see if I needed anything else, she wanted a statement of Noah's savings account so she would know where to the money.  I said, "Send the money???" and then she said those 4 great words, "you have been approved" I could not believe it.  My application was the most complete application she had ever seen.  She needed pay stubs to determine the monthly amount of Noah's benefit

The next day I took her the info she needed, she called that afternoon said she had it all put in they owed him X amount of money in back pay that would be deposited immediately (1/2 of it), and his monthly benefit was XX amount.  I could not speak I thought it would be around $100 a month I was WRONG it was much more than that.  It is based on your income so every one's will be different.

Thanks to the awesomeness of one lady who truly made a difference at the Social Security Office!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

He's Licking WHAT????

My husband LOVES to cookout an have friends over which is great because if not for him I would never have anyone over. So our friends from the neighborhood our neighorhood is quite different from most, it was going down the toilet and THEN a clinic came into our area of town and the doctors that work there moved into the neighborhood YEAH!!!   So at our little party we had a fireman, 2 doctors, 2 in doctor school & a dentist COOL.

Noah is outside with us just messing around I look over and Noah is licking the concrete!  YES licking the concrete. So I said, "Noah stop licking the concrete!" that's just normal for us right, well everybody looked over and I think they were stunned for a second but then they laughed. So then we got to enlighten them on other "autism stuff". Like don't lick the iPad, why is your foot in the toilet, why you HAVE to wait in the bathroom after you flush till the water in the toilet comes up, the tub is his boat and it must be dry after every shower or bath,  and I could go on and on.

All in all it was a great cookout and we had a lot of fun, we made some new friends, one was a young a lady she is a pediatrician, I think we are going to get together and bake for the Halloween party I am planning!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Looking Back.....

WOW I cannot believe that I am actually at a point where I could write those words it was less than a year ago Noah's behavior had gotten so out of control I was I at my wits end.  Love that STX209!

I remember when going to the grocery store with Noah was a dreaded trip...I couldn't stand the thought of it, Walmart, Target & the mall were totally out of the question.

I remember a trip to Blockbuster video store (when we had stores) he was 6 or 7-that was during the Scooby Doo obsession he wanted a specific video.  The DVD cases were in front of the copies of the movie, well there were none behind it...he opened the case and LOST IT!  He laid in the middle of the floor and had a huge MELTDOWN.  He could not comprehend why there would be a case with no movie~and it would not have done me any good to try to explain at this point.  I was running damage control; I was down on the floor with him to ensure his safety.

There was a kid about Noah's age that was witnessing the meltdown and he started to approach us, I was glad his mom got to him before he made it too us because I am not sure of Noah's reaction to him.  BUT I didn't like they way she went about it.  She looked at me with "the face" you know the one all disapproving and smirky looking and said, "his mother will deal with him"~I wanted to "deal" with her. But at that point I was only concerned for Noah and how his recovery would be from the meltdown.  Week before last we took him to Walmart & Target on a Saturday WOO HOO.

All you moms & dads, some of you have been there~and are passing that "stage" for now.  But to those who are experiencing these issues IT WILL GET BETTER...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Autism, Fibro, Home School & Getting My Degree

Sometimes I think I have taken on too much...after Noah's diagnosis and so much conflict with the school-we decided best course of action was to home school.  I was unable to continue my career in retail management because of the Fibromyalgia, so this would work out great right.....RIGHT in the midst of all this I decided I needed to return to school to finish my degree.

With that said I did it I enrolled at Liberty University Online and I am a year away from graduating with my Psychology degree.  If you know fibro there this this thing called the "fibro fog" memory impairment as well as cognitive issues, without all the work related stress and medication I am better but school has been difficult due to the memory issues I have BUT that will not stop me.

The plan going forward kids education, my education & Foundation's for the Future that is the goal.  God laid this dream on my heart last year to create a place for adolescents & adults with autism to learn independent living skills, work related skills & family counseling & support for transition process.  The incorporating paperwork should be complete with the fee next week.  The paperwork wasn't holding me up the $600 fee was LOL.  After this comes the IRS paperwork oh for  JOY!!

I am a mom on a mission~we lack so many services just as most communities do so I decided to create my own program this is so exciting for me!!

Look out world he we come..........(to be continued)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My Tribute to Autism Speaks (I got your back)

OK we all have opinions (you know what opinions are like?) well I have one a very STRONG one about Autism Speaks....I hear repeatedly "Autism Speaks doesn't speak for me" or "they spend all the money on huge salaries and advertising" or "Autism Speaks is making $$ off back to school products at Walmart" OMG

Well guess what if you have autism then Autism Speaks has spoken for you!  The organization has been around about 7 years and in that time frame have brought more education and awareness to this developmental disability or disorder (which ever you prefer) than ANY other organization in history so they have spoken FOR ALL WHO HAVE AUTISM whether you like it or not. And Autism Speaks has funded more research for autism.  I am pretty sure the thought process behind the back to school marketing ploy was not to make a million dollars by selling a $2 notepad but that everyone that might see that puzzle piece notepad will ask what is that for~I think that's raising awareness not money.

I am SO grateful for Autism Speaks~I was thrilled when a representative came to my community three years ago.  I volunteered that day and have been devoting my spare time to promoting Autism Speaks and what they stand, compassion, research~ever since.

I had the pleasure of meeting two individuals from the Home Office of Autism Speaks, they came to Memphis and toured Graceland with us for the Light It Up Blue ceremony at Graceland.  One of the individuals was Kerry Magro an adult with autism, he is a tremendous advocate for all who have autism.

Let's talk insurance reform for autism therapies how many states NOW have insurance coverage 32 states....THIRTY-TWO states. Autism Votes an Autism Speaks initiative was responsible for most of those 32 states.

Our lives have been transformed by a drug STX209, that is still in the clinical trial phases, our child has had SO many positive changes since we have been on the medicine and who is funding the study for this medicine AUTISM SPEAKS!

So many people want to complain about what is not getting done, the services their family members don't have, the lack of family support services, the cost of therapies, but they still find time to complain about what Autism Speaks is not doing....well at least their doing SOMETHING!  If we wait on the federal government to handle this dilemma we will be waiting A LONG TIME.

RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW WHAT CAUSES AUTISM??  Research costs money and to get the TOP scientist in the country you are going to have to pay them.  They don't work for free.  Another point about what they spend on advertising how can you create awareness and understanding for autism if society knows nothing about it.

Autism Speaks 2010 Form 990 (IRS)

Autism Speaks does speak for our family...if not them then who is speaking for yours???

Friday, August 17, 2012

Noah & Mom at the Zoo

We went to the Memphis Zoo this week, we got there early right when they open to avoid the crowd~we were successful. We LOVE our zoo it is incredible; this is the Teton Trek it is one of our newer exihibits it is totally cool.

It has bears, wolves and some other fascinating animals we actually caught the bears at a great time, they we in the water.

We got some GREAT picture of the bears...

 The one to the left is kicking back and enjoying the water!!

          We caught this one swimming...he would stick his face in
  the water & blowing bubbles.              

This is Noah...just chilling out!!
The zoo also has a Birds & Bees Exhibit we got there before it opened so we went in right before we left and Noah (and Mom) were amazed, we purchased a "feeding stick" it was some kinda bird food on a stick with a clothespin~the birds would perch on the stick to eat....once we got a couple of birds on it the masses came.  There were birds on our feet, Noah was LOVING it, birds landed on my shoulder and walked down my arm.  The battery ran out in the camera after the bears, I got a picture of the birds before the exhibit opened beautiful birds....

We had a totally AU-some time, the dinosaurs exhibit was gone, he was a little confused about that but it didn't seem to bother him too much.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mommy...the Slacker!!

I will admit it I have been a "Therapy Slacker" this summer.  We do not get ESY services since we home school & we have Tenn Care (TN Insurance for kids) so finding IN NETWORK providers is VERY difficult. We haven't done any therapy this summer other than a few days a week at camp for kids with different abilities.  That went very well.

So I got together the couple of providers that I wanted to use and I got busy today!  I called the insurance people because it covers ABA believe it or not but finding a provider is the hard part. I contacted the Speech & OT provider that I had in mind they forwarded the paperwork via email & I had it returned with in the hour. They are going to file out of network but both speech & OT are at the same location!! I got in contact with the ABA provider, since chairing the Autism Speaks event the past 2 years has provided me with some good contacts, working together we should be APPROVED for ABA services next week.  In conjunction with the new medicine (STX209) the therapies should be a lot more effective.

SLACKER no more!  We really enjoyed the summer just spending quality time together.  It's time to get back in the game and make things happen.  I am also signing Noah up for soccer through the Special Olympics, I can't wait I think he will really enjoy it!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Banging Bug

OK if you have kept up with us the past week we were on vacation at Tishomingo State Park in North Mississippi, it was great.

The first night there we made a campfire, there was a bug banging into the cabin light~so Noah named it the "Banging Bug"  of course.  He was more interested in the banging bug than the campfire.  So it was time to settle down to go to sleep and Noah's asked Dad to tell him the story of "The Banging Bug".  Dad said to me it couldn't be Cinderella or the Three Bears something I knew~so he had to make one up.  He did well for an impromptu story time.

We LOVE going here to get away the Natchez Trace is right there by the park here is a picture of a sunset on the trace...BEAUTIFUL!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Only in Tennessee.....

WOW we are finally catching up with the times hopefully; Tennessee now has an Autism Plan!!  I emailed the TN Autism plan to request information (what can I do in my area) and to be put on the mailing list as new updates are released.  Great I am thinking FINALLY, something will get done to increase awareness, educate the public, insurance reform (we are one of the few states that still need insurance reform for autism therapies).

I go the Mid-South Autism Conference this week, and guess who has a booth in the exhibition hall, the Tennessee Autism Plan.  So I approach the table and introduce myself, the gentleman at the table introduces himself, so I remind him that I emailed them a couple of weeks ago & he remembered my email and seemed happy that I had contacted him. He was very friendly & seemed genuinely concerned about what I was saying. So just in conversation I ask how long have you been in this position, he tells me since March.  So the next question I have is of course, what is your connection to autism?   he said that he really did not know much about autism, but he was learning.   WHAT you’re kidding me right!! WRONG he was not kidding.  For the past five years he has worked for one of our Memphis Representatives as a legislative assistant.

I guess I am still in AWE that our state would put someone in a position that knows nothing about the disorder they are representing.  Now Tennessee also voted last year to give Autism Awareness a “day”, AWESOME right, NO ONE will tell us what day!!!

I guess parents of children with autism in the great state of Tennessee will continue on the same path we have been on, a lonely road with very few resources at our disposal, lack of support systems in place for our kids, and a need for more awareness, education and understanding.  Come on Tennessee let’s get on the game and help these individuals and their loved ones with autism succeed in life!! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Teen Who???

I think the boy tries to find difficult things to obsess about.....the show Teen Titans it ran from 2003-2006, Cartoon Network shows an hour of it every night.  Noah will do his research; did you know there is a Teen Titans Wiki I can provide the link if you need it LOL.  So all the "Titans & Honorary Titans" have a communicator.  Well to no surprise guess who wants a you know difficult it is to find one since they don't make them anymore!  Well he found one a e-Bay still in the package, I didn't have the money at that time.  He goes to look it up last week GONE!!!

We searched EVERYWHERE for one on the Internet, he found one Thursday on e-Bay it is used and it cost MORE than the one in the package.  He is SO excited it should be here today and he thinks he will be an "honorary titan"!  I will keep you posted with some pictures this afternoon....and the excitement builds.....

Friday, July 13, 2012

Top Five Reasons to Never Piss Off an Autism Mom by; Laughing Through the Tears

This post is from the website Laughing Thriugh the Tears. 
Post from Laughing Through the Tears Top Five Reasons You Should Never Piss Off an Autism Mom 21 Friday Oct 2011 
Posted by Lisa in LISA'S POSTS ≈
We’ve all been there.  Every autism mom has had at least one encounter with some insensitive jackass who insulted our children or criticized our parenting.  It might have been the perfectly groomed soccer mom who said your child was merely spoiled, or maybe the old biddy that told you to take your screaming kid outside even though you were already dragging him out the door in a Fireman Carry, or maybe just some random mean guy who muttered, “This is why I hate kids” under his breath while your child happily flapped past him.

Usually we just have to mention “autism” and the critics slink away, embarrassed and with their tails between their legs, but every now and then you meet somebody who is such a huge asshole they don’t care if your kid is autistic, they just care that your child’s noise/stim/existence is annoying to them, and they don’t hesitate to tell you about how obnoxious your child is and what a terrible job you’re doing raising him.
Sometimes their callousness shocks us silent, and we sit in the car afterward, thinking of all the retorts we could have made.  Sometimes we take the higher ground and walk away, and sometimes we dig in and defend ourselves. (And sometimes we defend ourselves loudly and with many obscenities, but that bitch in the bookstore deserved it!)
These people who attack us are horrible because they have no empathy.  They’re shallow people who probably lead miserable lives devoid of depth and meaning.  They need to learn compassion and respect, but mostly they need to learn to fear us, because autism moms are not to be trifled with.
 Top Five Reasons You Should Never Piss Off an Autism Mom
Five.  We’re Already on the Defensive
What?  You think you’re the first person to think I’m a bad mother? Get in line.  People have been assuming I’m a bad mother for the last five years.  I chew up people who think I’m a bad parent for breakfast. You think there’s something wrong with my kid?  No shit, Sherlock – this panel of physicians and psychologists agrees with you.  Tell us something we don’t know.  Have something new and clever to add?  No? NO?  I didn’t think so…
In other words, we have experience with assholes like you.
Four.  We Are Not Socially Well-Adjusted
We were real people once, and we will be real people again someday, but right now we’re living on the fringe of polite society.  We have cut ties and discarded the family and friends who couldn’t handle our situation.  We all suffer from severe PTSD. Our houses are messy, our surfaces are sticky, and we know the words to way too many Wiggles songs. We clean up disasters that you couldn’t even begin to contemplate.  We live in semi-isolation, trying to have philosophical conversations with children who only know 18 words.  We wear yoga pants all day. Our lives are not like other people’s lives. Do you really want to make us angry? Or do you want to give us a really really wide berth and back away slowly because you’re scared of what we might do if we snap?  Yes.  Good choice.
Three. We Know How to Fight
Autism moms know how to fight because we practice. We fight all day long.  We fight with doctors about treatment, and then we fight with insurance companies to get it paid for.  We fight with the state over services and we fight with schools about our IEPs.  We fight with our families who won’t come to visit us anymore and we fight with our husbands to let off steam from all the other fighting we’re constantly doing.  We fight with our children to make them keep their pants on in public.   Do you think for a second that we would hesitate to fight with a complete stranger who was totally asking for it?
Two.  We’re Already Angry
Autism moms carry huge amounts of unprocessed rage just below the surface.  We’re mad at god or the universe or fate or whatever it is out there that gave our children autism.  We are furious at the cards we were dealt and indignant that such a horrible thing had to happen to our children.  We are angry about the loss of the child we were supposed to have, and we never truly stop mourning.  We’re angry at the doctors who didn’t catch it early enough and also at the doctors who did.  We hold a grudge against anybody who ever failed us as we tried to make sense of this chaos, and we’re also furious at ourselves, because we constantly feel like we’re not doing enough to help and we’re secretly afraid that it might somehow be our fault in the first place.  We are already walking bundles of resentment…do you want to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back?
One. We’re Sleep Deprived
Some of us haven’t had a good night’s sleep in years.  Between the stress, depression, anxiety, and the kid who wakes up screaming for popsicles at 3 a.m., we’re all beyond exhausted.  We’re muddled and short-tempered and irrational and crazy.  Like ax murderer crazy. Like Mel Gibson crazy. There are all sorts of studies linking sleep deprivation to psychosis and that would probably hold up in court if I decided to assault you.  Keep that in mind the next time you fail to keep your opinions to yourself, and beware the autism mom.

In an effort to keep autism mom vitriol in a nice contained space so everyone can be safe, we invite moms to use the comment section to vent about the people that piss you off.  Tell us what you said (or what you wished you had said) or rant away…we’re pleased to be able to offer this public service to keep the rest of society protected.
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012



  The faces behind the feet, ADORABLE.

Super Savannah

Flying Noah

Do I jump in??? HMMM

Monday, July 9, 2012

He doesn't want to be 10 years old anymore...

he wants to be 9 years old again!!! It's been one of THOSE days yuck!!!  He has been crying & whining ALL DAY.  He comes to me this afternoon crying...he says, "I don't want to be 10 anymore I want to be 9 again."  So my having the "super powers" that I have, I said a magic word (not sure what it was) and POOF he was 9 again.  So there that stopped the meltdown that was coming.

He goes in the kitchen and tells his Meme that he is 9 years old (she doesn't know anything about the "mommy magic" I just did)  She responds, "No your 10."  Noah tells her, "My Mommy made me 9."
You never know what "powers" you possess until their needed.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Pictures of Our Life with Autism

Dad & Noah I LOVE this picture!!
We were at Mousetail State Park in Tennessee.
Here are some pretty cute pictures of our life with autism, those of you who live with autism will totally understand the significance of these!!!

These are some pictures from our last trip to Nashville to go to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital!!

 This is the view from our hotel LOTS of construction in downtown Nashville!!
Nashville Frogs (at least that what Noah calls them)

Love the one with the coconut top on!!
We stopped at Mousetail State Park on the way home from Nashville last month, we waded in this stream, Noah ended up making a "Rock Castle"!!  Check it out!!

This is MAJOR castle construction going on here!!!
Here is the completed project "Rock Castle"!!!
We dyed some rice different colors just for kicks and made some art from it!!  Our Masterpieces!!
Angry rice face!!! GRRR!!!
Totally AWESOME!!

   He HAD to have this for his birthday it's called Destiny's Bounty from Lego Ninjago!!!
$80 Ninjago Ship took mom 3 hours to build, guess what??
he doesn't play with it HMMM!!
Dad had to put some concrete down yesterday to even out a spot in the backyard, Noah was curious, of course.  Dad let him do a footprint, I was cleaning the pool and look over and he was WRITING IN THE CONCRETE uh oh!!!  I told him to stop.... he wrote his name!!  We were so proud of him it is a BRANDON LANDMARK to forever remain!!!
Here it is!!!!  The landmark!

His footprint, he left one on my heart too!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

What are LOVERS?? OMG!

OK he is usually great at using new words and phrases in context.....HOWEVER he said to me the other day ,"Spongebob & Mr Crabs are lovers.". Yes LOVERS!!! I replied, "they are not lovers Mr Crabs is Spongebob's boss". He says,"ok mom I understand". So then he said, "well what is a lover then??". OMG. So I tell him that mommy's and daddy's are lovers RIGHT!!!! That should do it. He tells meme (grandmother),"mom & dad are lovers". You should have seen the look on her face PRICELESS!! Now he will say to me, "I will be faithful to your love!!". He will ask me, "will be together for eternity??" what do you say to that, I answered of course we will!!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Crab Legs, Where are Their Faces???

Summer is SO much fun, it is SOOOO hot though... I am so thankful we bought that pool last summer that was the smartest $300 I have ever spent!!  I am trying to catch one on clearance this summer and save a few $$$.  Anyway we have had a great week, I have been super busy with school but we are still going out to the pool 3 times a day, Noah is LOVING it he is swimming like a fish.  I swear it was the goggles, he put them on and started swimming.  It was amazing!!

So we went to "camp" two days last week at Faith Christian Academy (School for kids with different abilities), I have become friends with the director (Ms Tammy) over the past few years, we went to school there a couple of years ago for ABA therapy.  Noah loved it, so we went to camp he did forced me to back off and I hung out with Ms Tammy and helped her with stuff.  Savannah came with us Friday and there were a few more kids a couple of little girls around 5 years old, Savannah helped them with some of their activities so that helped her too, she is so shy anything to bring her out of her shell. There are a couple more week of camp this summer and we are going to go a couple of days. We are going to start back a couple of days a week for school next year, that will really help me with his curriculum and planning.

We have had a great 4th holiday, hope you did too!! Noah has been watching the show "The Biggest Catch" about he crab fishing guys, so dad bought crab legs today...Noah was playing with them he didn't want to eat them.  He kept asking are they alive?? were they alive?? where are their faces?? can I eat them??  do I have to eat them??  He was really cute but he didn't eat the crab meat.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Autism My Voice: Guest Post: Our Family's Journey Will Never Be Com...

My Autism My Voice: Guest Post: Our Family's Journey Will Never Be Com...: This guest post is from autism advocate Cynthia Brandon. Cynthia is married and has two children, Savannah (12) and Noah (10). Noah was diag...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Totally Awesome Party!!!!

Well the boy's tenth birthday party went off with out any major problems....we had 6 kids plus my 2, each family had a child with autism and a "typical" child!!  The water slide we rented was the BOMB!!  Check out these pictures!!

I was SO MUCH FUN, I went down it a few times!!!  The kids absolutely LOVED it!!  So after the slide we did the pinata they enjoyed that too!!!  then we went in for cake here are some pictures of the cool cake I made!!  

Here is the fruit bowl that Hubby made for the party it turned out great!!
Here is a picture of our friends that came to celebrate with us!!

The parents that came were SO happy to be able to come to a party and not be on pins & needles about our kids behavior or social interactions!  It was funny Noah got tired and got off the slide, hubby put a tarp under the pinata hanging in the tree in case the ground got wet from the slide...I look over and he is laying in the tarp looking up at the tree and the "Dragon King" Pinata!!

All in all it was great Noah had a small meltdown after everyone left, I think he was just way over stimulated and excited!!
ONCE AGAIN hubby invites folks to come over and doesn't tell me until a few hours before hand it wasn't so bad because I had a lot of lemonade and tea already made up and fruit.  He cooked ribs all day and we had burger & hot dogs.  It was just the "boys" for a while until another friend showed up with his girlfriend, Noah was in the pool, Savannah was laying down she was SO TIRED!!!  I guess it might have been considered "rude" but at 9 o'clock I started bringing stuff in the house because I know that bunch they will talk for 2 more hours, I didn't care if they stayed and talked but it was time for us to wind down!!

The second party went well too, overall we had a GREAT day!!!!  All the preparations really paid off, Noah told me during his meltdown after the party that he didn't want his birthday to end...he didn't want it to be June 17 tomorrow!!!!