Tuesday, January 31, 2012

So far so good....

Well we, Noah & Mom, went to the store for only a few things, we have had a MAJOR role change in our home the past couple of months; dad used to be a stay at home dad until mom's fibromyalgia left her unable to work a couple of years ago.  Dad had a job then lost it when the economy took the downward, dad did all the shopping and cooking, now dad has a job for about a month now and mom is having to do some of this stuff and she is not used to it (Especially cooking) 

We have speech in a little while and then its off to the Memphis Zoo for a little while (hope it doesn't start to rain).  With dad working we only have one car, so we try to just keep the car one day a week for fuel conservation purposes!!!  It should be a full day for us.

Update on the Vanderbilt visit, we are still on the "placebo/medicine" until our next visit in Feb. then it's the coming off period.  YEAH we are on it for another month (too many GREAT changes not be on the medicine)  It is really difficult to try to make any plans for the next couple of months because we don't know how Noah is going to be, will the old behaviors come back (aggression, spitting, hitting, biting etc.)  There is a Autism Works Conference in St Louis in March I want to attend but will be unable too, since we committed to the clinical trial, we are not going to try to do anything else right now.

Noah was PERFECT at his visit they had to do a blood draw he didn't even flinch but he did tell them, "Hey your stealing my blood"  We all died laughing!!!  We ate breakfast at the hotel restaurant again and he was great.  He ate EVERYTHING (like the Alaskan Bullworm in Spongebob)  4 sausage patties, bowl of cereal, 6 pieces of bacon, biscuit with jelly I had to quit feeding him, I thought he might explode!!  All is well for now, how quickly things change though....

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Speech Therapy and Autism Compliments of Always Unique Totally Intelligent Sometimes Mysterious (On Facebook)

Always Unique Totally Intelligent Sometimes Mysterious Link to Facebook Page

Benefits of Speech Therapy for Autism

Autism may be linked with a wide range of traits. These include:

Repetitive activities

Extreme resistance to changes in daily routines

Unusual responses to things such as touch

People with autism may have major problems with both speech and nonverbal communication. They may also find it very hard to interact socially. For these reasons, speech therapy is a central part of treatment for autism. Speech therapy can address a wide range of communication problems for people with autism.

Each child with an autism spectrum disorder will have his or her own individual pattern of behavior. Sometimes, a child's development is delayed from birth. Other children with autism develop normally before suddenly losing social or language skills. In some children, a loss of language is the impairment. In others, unusual behaviors (like spending hours lining up toys) predominate. Parents are usually the first to notice something is wrong. Symptoms of autism include: Extreme difficulty...

What are the common speech and communication problems with autism?

Autism can affect speech, language development, and social communication in many ways.

Speech problems. A person with autism may:

Not talk at all

Utter grunts, cries, shrieks, or throaty, harsh sounds

Hum or talk in a musical way

Babble with word-like sounds

Use foreign-sounding "words" or robotic-like speech

Parrot or often repeat what another person says (called echolalia)

Use the right phrases and sentences, but with an unexpressive tone of voice

About one out of three people with autism has trouble producing speech sounds to effectively communicate with others. Their language is simply too hard to understand.

Communication problems. A person with autism may have one or more of these communication challenges:

Trouble with conversational skills, which includes eye contact and gestures

Trouble understanding the meaning of words outside the context where they were learned

Memorization of things heard without knowing what's been said

Reliance on echolalia as the main way to communicate

Little understanding of the meaning of words or symbols

Lack of creative language

Because of these challenges, a child with autism must do more than learn how to speak. The child also has to learn how to use language to communicate. This includes knowing how to hold a conversation. It also includes tuning into both verbal and nonverbal cues -- such as facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language -- from other people.

What role does speech therapy play in the treatment of autism?

Speech-language pathologists are therapists who specialize in treating language problems and speech disorders. They are a key part of the autism treatment team.

With early screening and detection of people at risk, speech therapists often lead the way in helping with the diagnosis of autism and in making referrals to other specialists.

Once autism is diagnosed, speech therapists assess the best ways to improve communication and enhance a person's quality of life. Throughout therapy, the speech-language pathologist also works closely with the family, school, and other professionals. If someone with autism is nonverbal or has major trouble with speech, the speech therapist may introduce alternatives to speech.

Speech therapy techniques might include:

Electronic "talkers"

Signing or typing

Using picture boards with words

Using sounds to which a person is over- or under-sensitive to expand and compress speech sounds

Improving articulation of speech by massaging or exercising lips or facial muscles
Having individuals sing songs composed to match the rhythm, stress, and flow of sentences

Some of these techniques are supported more by research than others. Be sure to discuss them thoroughly with the speech-language pathologist and pediatrician.

What are the benefits of speech therapy for autism?

Speech therapy can improve overall communication. This makes it possible for people with autism to improve their ability to form relationships and function in day-to-day life.

Specific goals of speech therapy include helping the individual with autism to:

Articulate words well

Communicate both verbally and nonverbally

Comprehend verbal and nonverbal communication, understanding others' intentions in a range of settings

Initiate communication without prompting from others

Know the appropriate time and place to communicate something, for example, when to say "good morning"

Develop conversational skills

Exchange ideas

Communicate in ways to develop relationships

Enjoy communicating, playing, and interacting with peers

Learn self-regulation

When is the best time to start speech therapy for autism?

The earlier, the better. Autism is usually evident before age 3. It is very important to start speech therapy as early as possible, when it can have the greatest impact. Intensive, individualized treatment can help lessen the disabling isolation that may result from this social communication disability.

With early identification and intervention, two out of three preschoolers with autism improve communication skills and their grasp of spoken language. Research shows those who improve the most are often those who receive the most speech therapy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Heading to Vanderbilt

We here we go again  back to Nashville for our trip to Vanderbilt.  YEAH!  Noah is still suffering from insomnia that is one of the side effects to the medicine, once again we don't know whether he is on the placebo or the drug, I would bet that he is definitely on the medicine, read some of my previous posts about his progress.  I think this is the visit where we start the withdrawal process, that is going to SUCK!!  He had a meltdown tonight and  beat the crap out of me and bit me twice, he hasn't done that in a while.  I have to be really careful now because he is starting to pick up on others feelings, and I started to cry tonight after the incident, I immediately saw his lip poke out he was getting ready to cry; I changed my expression quickly!!  Keep us in your thoughts was we hit the road tomorrow afternoon!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

We Did It!!

WOW we went and saw Spongebob, things went really smoothly we got there a few minutes before Spongebob was to appear, the Children's Museum of Memphis did an excellent job.  They had a bounce house which Noah saw right away and took his shoes off, he stayed in there for 10 minutes.  He completed the "Fry Cook Games" they had and won a small trophy, he was THRILLED,  he has always want a trophy!! 

Noah got to have his picture made with Spongebob, the line was never really backed up, they had SO many different activities for the kids.  Of course Noah wasn't very interested in the Arts & crafts they had to do.  He really didn't want to play the games, but he REALLY wanted a trophy! 

One of the games was to put Spongebob's pants on like Pine the Tail on the Donkey, I wasn't sure how the whole blindfold thing was going to work out, but Noah saw the kids ahead of him, and we explained it.  The young lady put on the blindfold and told him she was going to "spin him 3 times".  OH WELL that is all he needed to hear was the word SPIN!!!  He started and I had to stop him; well you know he didn't get dizzy; he walked right up and put Spongebobs pants. 

The longer we were there the more people were coming in, Noah was starting to get overloaded with the crowd.  I mentioned that we needed to go and he started to meltdown.  Well Dad was with us today, and we coaxed him out without a meltdown; there were a few tears but nothing horrible.  When he started to get overloaded he started to break away from us and he doesn't pay attention to anyone around him; we there were some little bitty kids there you really have to be cautious today especially with the crowd.  So you know I got a few "looks" from some parents but who the hell cares right???

Overall it went well here are a couple of pics of the Spongebob Super Bowl trip!!!
Spongebob at the Childrens Museum Memphis

Noah & Spongebob

Spongebob Games Trophy


Noah has become fascinated with the bees at the CMOM!!

Still at the bee exhibit!!

Going to see Spongebob hmm.....

Ok its 230 am , Noah went to sleep at 200am!!!  We are going to the Children's Museum of Memphis in the morning Spongebob is going to be there YEAH!!!   Keep a positive thought for me, we go quite a bit so everyone there sorta of knows us. the young lady in charge of events has an adult brother with autism, so I am going to talk to her and see if we can sneak into see the Sponge before all the other kids come in.  You never know all I can do is ask, when we were in Florida this past summer I called the Naval Museum in Pensacola and asked if we could come before they open, told then about Noah & Autism, they let us come in an hour before the museum opened so that Noah could enjoy himself, and we all had a BLAST, we didn't have to worry about crowds, the noise, running into people it was awesome.  I learned it never hurts to ask=)

Friday, January 20, 2012

SLEEP something from a past lifetime.....

As you know we are in the clinical trial at Vanderbilt for the new ASD medicine, the ONLY drawback we have seen from the "medicine" is NO SLEEP REQUIRED!!!  Noah never liked to go to sleep like most kids on the Spectrum sleep is  always more difficult with children with Autism.  The thing is EVERYBODY suffers from Noah not sleeping.  I am SO glad that I homeschool them other wise Noah's sister would be sleeping during school.

The "medicine" (I say  that because its a placebo controlled study we might not be on the "medicine")  Once again I feel certain that we are because their have been SO many positive changes in his behavior, his communication, he is trying new foods!!  YES TRYING NEW FOODS!!  We go back next week, Thursday is the appointment.  After this appointment I think we start to withdraw the medicine AHHHH!!!  I am not looking forward to that I am afraid old behaviors will re-surface.  I will keep you posted. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Article from Autism Speaks about NEW MEDICINE

 

The next step toward treatment for the core symptoms of autism

June 23, 2011
by Chief Science Officer of Autism Speaks, Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D.
I often get the question: How is the research we are funding on single gene disorders, such as Fragile X, relevant to the larger population of individuals with ASD? My answer is that, although autism has many different causes – including single gene mutations, multiple genetic factors, and even environmental factors – it is likely that these causes affect common underlying biological pathways. By studying the “simpler” single gene disorders, especially by studying animal models of these disorders, we can discover these pathways and develop medications that hopefully can help restore the functioning of these pathways.
As you will see in the press release, this strategy is being implemented by Seaside Therapeutics. With the help of funding from Autism Speaks and NIH, Mark Bear and other scientists developed an animal model for Fragile X and discovered that glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter, is affected by the Fragile X mutation. An overabundance of glutamate is interfering with the ability of neurons to communicate with each other (synaptic functioning). SeasideTherapeutics then tested a medicine, STX209 (arbaclofen), which helps to restore normal synaptic functioning, in a clinical trial with people with Fragile X. They found encouraging results! The next step, which was launched yesterday, is to test the efficacy of STX209 in individuals with ASD. The hope is that this medicine will improve social behavior and reduce irritability (e.g. aggression, tantrums) in people with ASD.
In the press release Randall L. Carpenter, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Seaside Therapeutics says, “In our open-label Phase 2a study of STX209, we observed significant improvements in social impairment—a core symptom of autism spectrum disorders—including symptoms such as preference to be alone, being withdrawn or isolated, and lack of social reactivity. We are spearheading late-stage development of a drug candidate that has the potential to change the treatment paradigm for autism spectrum disorders—addressing core symptoms—and are truly excited about the prospect of helping patients and their families achieve an improved quality of life.”
Arbaclofen acts by stimulating the release of GABA in the brain. To make an simplified analogy, if we think of glutamate as the accelerator pedal in brain, then GABA is the brake pedal. By reducing glutamate through stimulating GABA receptors, the first clinical trial with people who have Fragile X syndrome demonstrated positive effects on behavior.
In Phase 2b of the trial, 25 sites will conduct a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of arbaclofen, enrolling 150 people with ASD for a total duration of treatment of 12 weeks. For more information about the clinical trial visit http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ .
We will be sure to keep you informed as this study and other translational research progresses!
Here is the link to the blog:
Autism Speaks Blog

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Update On Clinical Trial

Noah is in a clinical trial for new medicine for ASD to improve social skills At Vanderbilt in Nashville. We are 2 months into the study and its a "blind study" we don't know if he is on the medicine or not. I firmly believe he is on the medicine because I have seen a remarkable changes in his behavior, his communication, he is noticing his environment, he is reading billboards that we pass its been amazing.
The thing is with the study is we are going to have to withdraw in the next month or so. We will be able to put him back on it after the withdrawal period. Since we participated in the study we have that option when its over. I am so afraid that when we withdraw him the behaviors will come back, the aggression and so on. But I know that it won't last but about a month, we will decrease the medicine over a 4 week period. The medicine is used now for individuals with Fragile X.
We are experiencing some MAJOR sleep issues right now, that's one of the side effects insomnia so I don't know what we are going to do about that.  This past week as been really tough at night one night he didn't sleep at all!!  He hasn't been to bed before 2:30 this week.  He is in a great mood, he just can't shut his body down to go to sleep, melatonin is not working right now.
I think it will really make a difference for some kids on the spectrum. I am so truly blessed that we were able to participate!!

I Can Has Autism: Hanging my head in disbelief.... HELP AMELIA!!!

I Can Has Autism: Hanging my head in disbelief.... HELP AMELIA!!!: Read about Amelia Rivera's story, Kidney Transplant denied . I cannot believe, that in this day and age, that a child is being denied a...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Noah's "Trial Medicine"

In case you don't know we are in a clinical trial at Vanderbilt in Nashville for a new medicine for autism to help kids with their social skills.  It is blind study I think is what they call it.  There was a 50/50 chance whether we got the drug or the placebo.  I really think that we got the medicine.  Noah has been so verbal, that you can understand him better.  He is noticing the environment around him, which he NEVER did before.  He saw my new necklace on me the other day and said, "Oh how pretty" 

I was walking down the stairs the other day and he hit me (not hard) on the back, and immediately said Oh I'm sorry for hitting you.  I said OK he went and told his Dad that he hit me by accident, he has never used that word before.  (accident)

I really think that we are on the medicine, we still have issues, his aggression is so much better, he still loves to SCREAM & slam doors (not as much though)  After the study we will be able to have the medicine even if he wasn't on it without waiting for FDA approval.  The medicine is already used with individuals with Fragile X Syndrome.  If you want more info leave me a comment and I will respond email me at autism-mom@hotmail.com

We drove to Millington the other day to get him a game from Gamestop(he got a gift card for Christmas), Millington is about 20 minutes outside Memphis, he had NEVER been to a Gamestop I always thought it would just be too much for him ALL those games, I thought it would be a nightmare.  I prayed about it and his behavior has been 100% improved, so OK we will go.  Laid down the ground rules on the way there and before we got out of the car, STAY with mommy & don't touch anything OK??  He says OK!!!  He was absolutely PERFECT!!!  Held my hand as we walked around the small store three times he was looking at EVERYTHING!

Noah is really maturing, he is still behind, but that's alright.  he brings such joy & love to this household; living with a child with autism DEFINITELY gives you a different, broader perspective on life

Monday, January 9, 2012

Great Article on Sleep & Autism

Sleep and Autism – Creative Tips for a Successful Bedtime

September 6, 2011
Getting your child with autism to sleep can often be a huge challenge. Some childen wake up after a few hours of sleep…then they cannot fall back to sleep. Others toss and turn for half the night before they fall asleep. Some just refuse to comply with any instruction…bedtime included.

Routine is Important for a Child with Autism

It is very important to have a bedtime routine of some sort to cue your child in to the fact that it is time to go to sleep.
  • Try to always have him go to sleep at the same time every night.
  • Try to have some quiet time before he goes to sleep, perhaps reading a book together.
This gives you quality time together and relaxes him as he gets ready to go to sleep.
You can take turns reading, you can have him read, you can do the reading, it doesn't matter; it's just something to focus on before he goes to sleep. After the story is done, he knows it is time to go to bed; no bathroom trips are permitted after this time.

Story Technique

Another technique is to have him make up a story in his head. Tell him to lie down and close his eyes, and imagine a story. Have him tell it to you. It can be about a rabbit going down a rabbit hole, or a trip to Disneyland, or a fun outing with friends, or anything he wants.
This will give him something to focus on other than the racing thoughts that tend to keep people awake, and it will lull him gently to sleep. If he has trouble thinking of anything, you can tell him a simple story, ask him to imagine it in his head, and describe it to you—the sights, the colors, the smells, and the sounds.

Relaxation Techniques

If your child with autism is all wound up tight like a spring, chances are that he or she will not be asleep anytime soon. Until they wind down and are relaxed, sleep won't arrive.
Relaxation techniques can be a savior to help your child wind down and finally get to sleep.
Some kid with autism have a tough time explaining and expressing their needs which makes it tough for them to unwind and relax. It is quite typical of kids with autism to have high levels of anxiety…they tend to be worriers.
  • A warm bath right before bed can be very calming. Some moms suggest putting a few drops of lavender oil in the bath…but be cautious of anything that might trigger a sensitivity to smell or touch.
  • How about a massage? I love a nice neck rub. I used to have my son lie on his stomach and I would gently rub his back with an open palm. I would not really massage him as much as just relaxingly stroke his back and shoulders. He would often fall asleep right way.
  • Establish a quiet zone. Your child will not be able to sleep if he hears the TV, other siblings playing, or the dishwasher running. Remember children with autism often have super sensitive hearing and can be distracted by background noises that you and I rarely notice.
  • Exercise such as yoga can be useful. Some moms swear by it.
  • Use your child's sensitivities to your advantage. Some children with autism are will focus on lights. A lava lamp or other type of slow moving light object can allow your child to focus all of her attention thereby eliminating the random, racing thoughts that may be keeping her awake.
With a little forethought and planning, bedtime can be pleasant and peaceful.

Link To Article Sleep & Autism

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Noah & the iPad

We were so fortunate to win an iPad the week before Christmas; I had entered every contest I could find to win one because I could not afford it.  So we won it from a Law firm in Arizona, Arizona Family Law, it has truly been a blessing.  It has made homeschooling so much easier; what used to take 30-40 minutes to complete a worksheet now takes around 15-20 minutes to complete on the iPad.  We are able to complete so much more work, than before. 
Noah absolutely loves the iPad, we have a book about candy on it when we were at Vanderbilt last week I look over and Noah is licking the iPad, there was cotton candy on the screen. LOL
If you are in need of a visual scheduling app I have found the one that works best for us (I had tried two others) called Choiceworks App, it is $14.99 it might seem like a lot but it is cheaper than the other two I tried.  It is so easy to use & Noah loves it; Savannah has us put a schedule in for her & a chore list.  I really want to thank Arizona Family Law for having their contest and providing us with such a great tool that has enhanced our lives SO much already & I know this is the beginning of GREAT things!!!
Arizona Family Law, Law Offices of Scott David Stewart

Article on Telling Your Child They Have Autism

Guest Writer: Karen Kaizuka, parent
Fear. That is the overwhelming feeling that rushes through me when I think about telling my son that he has autism. What do you say? How do you say it? Can we just not tell him?!!
Our little guy is 6. He was diagnosed with autism when he was 4. He is doing remarkably well. He is learning how to read. In fact, he is reading absolutely everything around him and is asking what words mean. We can’t drive down the road without him reading signs, “No Parking”, “Bridge Closed”.
Every time we drive past the mall, he says, “JCPenney’s.” One day he said, “Mom, what is JCPenney’s?” I responded, “It’s a department store.” The next time we drove by he said, “JCPenney’s. A department store.” He then asked, “Why is it called ‘JCPenney’s?”’ I had no clue, so I quickly turned to Wikipedia for the facts.
He’s come such a long ways from a few years ago when he had lost most of his speech. I never thought that he would be able to answer a question. How many times did we act out skits about how one person asks the question, then the other person answers the question? No matter what, he would always answer the question, “What is your name?” with, “What is your name?’” Now to have him inquisitive and asking questions is a dream come true!
I should be celebrating the amazing procession of successes that we’ve experienced in order to be in this unique position that he has become self-aware enough to understand that he might be different than others. Yet, when we pack up the car to partake in ‘Autism Day’ or ‘Walk Now for Autism Speaks’, I feel the fear bubbling up in my chest. What if he asks, “What is Autism?”
One great thing that we have learned since autism has entered our lives is to focus on the here and now. We have to. It’s so easy to get lost in the unproductive stream of thought that quickly pulls you under once you start trying to unravel the mysteries that surround autism. As those of us living with autism know, the answer to those questions is inevitably, “I don’t know.” Although this ‘live in the moment’ kind of thinking is necessary to both deal with the difficulties of autism and also appreciate the sweeter moments, it leaves very little time to anticipate or prepare for the next step.
Do we start to introduce the notion as to what autism is? Is there a metaphor for this that a 6 year old may understand? One thing that I’m certain of is that I do not want the conversation of ‘what autism is’ and the ‘you have autism’ conversation to occur on the same day. To avoid that, the seed has to be planted sooner than later. I think that we would all agree that the worst imaginable situation would be to hear from someone else that he has autism when he doesn’t even know what it is. On an episode of Parenthood last year, the young boy who has Asperger’s overheard someone else talking about him having Asperger’s. It was devastating for the child as well as the parents.
Over the course of the last few months, JCPenney has become a source of conversation. Not only do we know that JCPenney’s was named after James Cash Penney and founded in Kemmerer, Wyoming in 1902, but we also talk about what you can buy at JCPenney’s. Maybe someday soon I’ll tell him that the shirt that he is wearing was actually purchased at JCPenney’s. Maybe we’ll even go shopping there.
We asked our Clinical Director, Felice Orlich, for some guidance on telling your child he/she has autism and here is what she had to say:
  • For younger children, start early. Plant the seeds by helping your child to see the diversity that exists among people and things –how people do things in their own unique way. For example, siblings who have different personalities or ways of thinking. “Sister is artistic (loves to color or draw), and words come easily to her while you are great with facts, and numbers (can count to 100 by twos) come easily to you.”If you have pets, you might point out that different breeds of dogs have different temperaments. “Border Collies are hyper-focused and are good with people, but not so much with other dogs while Labs are goofy and love being with people and playing with other dogs” or “Our cat is shy and likes to be alone while our dog likes to be near people all the time”. For kids who may have trouble relating to differences among people, they may be able to recognize differences in species of animals or in something of interest (super heroes have different super powers, there are different kinds of trains, etc.). It may help for kids to know that “we all have something” – some kids have asthma or need glasses or are shy.
  • Also point out how alike people are – that we have more in common than it might appear – and that we are more alike than we are different. For example, we all have feelings so we all feel sad at times or angry at times or we all have to live/go to school/work with others so it’s important to learn how to get along with others. We also all have strengths and challenges – things that are easy for us and things not so easy. We all learn and grow and change. And the way we feel and the things we like will likely change over time.
  • Help your child to think about how he thinks! “Your brain was made to think about trains and how they work.” “That may change over time to other things but now your brain is focused on trains.” Or “Your brain is sometimes too focused” or “Your brain has a hard time focusing” and here’s what we can do to help it.” You might try the colors of the rainbow to describe differences – blue for calm personalities, red for active ones. Ask your child what color he’d use to describe himself. How does he see himself relative to others?
  • Rather than describe autism as a disability, think of it as a way to describe the way your child’s brain works. Point out the strengths of having a brain that works this way – “You have a great memory” or “You see details that others miss”.
  • There is no right age to tell your child – it’s more a matter of right developmental level. Kindergarten and 1st grade are a time when kids start to see differences and hear descriptive words to describe or group kids such as the kids who are “busy”, “shy”, “active”. If your child begins to ask about his differences, this is a sign of readiness to have the conversation. For older kids who are evaluated for autism to a milder extent, Dr. Orlich recommends that the child be part of the feedback session after the evaluation, not necessarily in the room for the first part but at some point.
  • It’s important for a child to know that, “you are not autism”. “You may or may not want to share with others that you have autism. Knowing you have autism may help you understand why you may feel differently or see yourself as being different but it doesn’t have to define you.” Your provider can help with this discussion with your child so ask if you are unsure of where to start or if you are having difficulty describing autism as anything but a disability.
We hope this helps give you some ideas on when and how to talk with your child about having an autism diagnosis. We’d love to hear your story and so would other parents who have yet to broach the subject!

Link to Article Telling Your Child They Have Autism at The Autism Blog

A Great Article on How to Handle a Child That Hits (this is one for me)

By Anthony Kane MD

Quite often parents come to me, worried that their child has begun hitting others. These children, usually between the ages of 2-6 now strike out physically at anyone who denies them their wishes. This usually includes their parents.
These mothers and fathers are understandably concerned that their children are going off in the wrong direction.
We will now discuss young children who hit; what it means and what you as the parent should do about it.

Link to Dr Anthony Kane's Article

FREE 2012 Calendar for Parents of Special Needs

Messages from the Love Notes for Special Parents Gallery adorn this 2012 calendar. Print each month and tack it to a bulletin board, tape it to a wall, mount it with a magnet, or slide it under a glass desktop. It's a great way to provide yourself with some daily encouragement -- or give some to another parent who could use the support.

Link to 2012 Calendar

Friday, January 6, 2012

Things are improving......are they????

Noah has really been full of himself lately, he wanted to show me something on the computer today and he said, “Come on Mom, don’t be shy”  I’m not sure where he picked that up at.  You guys all know how our kids get on a kick, obsessed whatever you want to call it our’s is Super Mario Brothers right now, do you know what that Bowser (he’s bad) has 7 little Koopas, if there is anything that ya’ need to know about Super Mario Brother’s characters, I can probably answer most of your questions, I am also an expert on Spongebob.  
I have been so amazed at Noah’s ability to pick up on emotions lately, first it was the Santa Paws movie, it was a great part of the movie  & he started to cry, he looked at me and asked, “Why am I crying, I’m not sad”  he was very confused; so I started crying too (happy tears) and I explained to him about Happy Tears=)  A couple of night’s ago, sister got in trouble at the dinner table (she snuck some Dr P to drink) so Dad made her give it to him, she started to cry got up and left the table.  Noah’s eyes welled up with tears, he got her glass, went to the kitchen, got the Dr P, and poured her a glass and took it to her, “So she will be happy”  he definitely likes EVERYONE to be happy!! 
I am really thinking he is on the medicine from the study at Vanderbilt, or he has just had a HUGE change in behavior.  From August up till about a month ago he was OUT OF CONTROL!!  I was about to lose my mind.  Everything was a challenge, no one could do anything right.  We walked on egg shells & now he is communicating better, behaving better!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Crazy Week

What a crazy week its been and it's only Wednesday AHHH!!  We have really great days lately, except for a little door slamming and screaming.  We are much improved with other behaviors though, like biting and hitting.  Yesterday we (I say we and not he because we are in this together) had the mother of all meltdowns, and I do not know why…  I got punched in the face two times, he then he grabbed the hair on the back of my head and started shaking my head, sounds funny now but at the time it WAS NOT FUNNY.  Then he “suckered” me he approached me with his arms open as if to hug me, so stupid me I thought the meltdown was over, HA he punched me in the face. 
We are in the study at Vanderbilt in Nashville for a new medicine to help kids with ASD and their social skills, it's a placebo study thing, he may or MAY NOT be on the medicine.  I think we may be on the medicine because we have some really great things happen lately I will fill you in with some later posts. 
We are a home school family both Noah 9 with autism & Savannah 11 who is neuro-typical are home schooled, this is good & bad we are ALWAYS together, you can see how this would get old.  I will not let Noah EVER attend public school again & am not financially able to send him to a private school so here we are.  I got to go to Target tonight by myself, it was a little strange I have to say.  What a treat to go somewhere with the kids WOW!! 
 It's the little things that mean so much to Autism Families, I really think that we were chosen because we can step back & learn a great deal from this wonderfully made child.  We have SO much love to give no matter what, if we are being hit, bit, kicked,spit on, we take it because we know that there is a reason why & this child is not mean or vindictive he is simply trying to communicate!