Friday, April 17, 2009

Autism: Breaking Barriers (3)

This video discusses one story of a child with autism that "recovered". There is alot of controversy with this topic in the autism community. Most people know of Jenny McCarthy's son and her story that he is "recovered" from autism. The percentage of children who "recover" from autism is VERY low, and I find to be suspect. To me when I read about this, my first thought is always the same: they regressed then "recovered". I am always happy to hear of success stories of autistic children because I am always for progress, for success, for them!! But the skills were there at one time, so "recovering" those skills seems possible. But what about for those who never had those skills? That is our story and I would like to see if there is documentation on children born with autism (meaning shows signs from birth) who "recover". Brycen showed signs of autism from birth and did not develop typically. He never regressed because he never acquired developmental milestones then lost them. I pray every day that his progress will continue to grow, leaps and bounds, and that we never hit plateau. To me, Brycen is who he is! I want him to have a full, happy, wonderful life, but I refuse to look at him as though there is something wrong with him!! God made him the way he is and to want a cure or want him to "recover", to me means that I do not accept him for who he is... I am his mother and he is my blessing!! Now I know that comment brings alot of anger and contempt from some in the autism community, but it is my opinion and I am sticking to it!! Do I want him to develop, mature, progress? Of course!!!!! But I do not want him to "get better" because he isn't sick!!!! Neither is Ainsleigh!!! They were created the way they are and I love them and every single "quirky", "unique", "different" characteristic of who they are!! Some will say that I am in denial or naive, but those of you who really know me, know that those are not words that describe me! Anyway, that is my take on things and this is my blog, hahaha!!! : )

Thursday, April 16, 2009

6 Words... Amazing!!!

Ainsleigh and I visited Brycen's class today (I had to drop off some soy milk for Brycen), and we found out that Brycen said 5 words today in class!!!!! He said: fish, car, boat, hat, and bed!!! Then while I was there, he said "apple"!!!! He is SO AMAZING!!!! This weekend he said "mama" for the first time!!! He is doing SO WELL!!! He knows his alphabet, uppercase and lowercase, and he is even getting better with his letter sounds!! I am going to try to get video of him singing with his videos (Yo Gabba Gabba), it is SO CUTE!! We have been working on colors and animals, but all in due time. Also, his teacher told me that Brycen is actually taking their breakfast wagon to the cafeteria by himself, and coming back to the classroom and opening the door by himself!!! I think I almost fell over when she told me that, I know my mouth was wide open (hahaha)!!! : ) I will share a moment with y'all that was very heartwarming and tearful for me. Yesterday, the kids and I were playing in the living room after Brycen got home from school. We were standing in the middle of the livingroom and Brycen just reached up and grabbed my hand. I was a little dumbstruck at first then I started looking around to see if there was something that he was wanting (usually he only touches my hand to indicate he wants something out of reach), and I couldn't see anything that he would want. Then the realization hit me...... he was HOLDING my hand!!!!!! I couldn't believe it!!!! He just wanted to hold my hand, and that was it - not requesting, no demands... just simply wanted to hold my hand!!!! The tears started flowing and I cannot express to you the emotions pouring through me!!! So many people take the little things for granted but I don't... to have my little boy actually *want* to hold my hand then actually *hold* it was so precious and awesome!!!! For those of you who do not understand, Brycen does NOT like to have his hands touched and he has NEVER held another person's hand without being forced or prompted, even then he lets go as soon as he physically can! Anyway, I just wanted to share that moment, it was so beautiful to me!! Wish I could have gotten it on video, haha!!! : ) Priceless!!!!!

Autism Awareness (Video)

Autism: Breaking Barriers (2)

This video talks about Sensory Integration Dysfunction or Disorder. SID is a disorder of the senses (smell, sight, hearing, touch, etc.) and it can be hyper (over sensitive) or hypo (under sensitive), or a combination of both. Alot of individuals with autism also have SID.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Autsim: Breaking Barriers

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The Today Show is doing a three part series on Autism: Breaking Barriers. This is segment one and I will try to add each segment each day. Very interesting stuff!! Thanks, Rachel, for letting me know!!!! : )

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April - Autism Awareness Month

Though I am not a huge fan of Autism Speaks, I do love this video! Autism affects so many of our children and it is on the rise! The awareness needs to be spread and our children's stories and voices need to be heard!

This is a huge controversy in the autism community as state officials, government officials, doctors, teachers, and parents all battle. Our government and insurance companies need to wake up and realize that this is not going away! Children and their parents need help! Autism is NOT a disease (I really did not like it that they said that in this video), but it is SERIOUS! Insurance companies need to change policies and start covering for services for our children! Our government needs to fund our schools properly so our kids can get the education that is their right!! In this clip, it talks about how Texas is one of the states with mandates for autism coverage... however, what they fail to mention is that it is only for FULLY FUNDED policies, not SELF FUNDED policies (yep, you guessed it... we have a self funded which means they do not have to obide by Texas mandate)!! Self funded policies need to be held to the same mandates as fully funded! Our children need help... I hope their listening!!!

Funny days

Brycen is such a funny little guy!! Everyday when he comes home from school he likes to eat a little snack before taking a nap. Usually I give him Nilla Wafers or Teddy Grahams (Cinnamon and Honey.. of course, they are his color); Teddy Grahams are his favorite. I open the bag and set it next to him so he will feed himself (we worked hard on getting him ok with reaching his own hand into the bag). It nevers fails... if he pulls one out that has a missing arm, leg or head, he will lay it to the side and go for another one. After he is finished, there is usually a small line of disfigured Teddy Grahams beside him!! It cracks me up!!
This morning before going to school, Brycen and I were sitting next to each other on the floor going over different letters he would find on various things (boxes, cards, etc.). He would identify the letter then look to me to receive praise for getting it right!! And he did!! Everytime, even the lowercase letters!! As if that was not amazing enough, he was using his index finger (open hand) to point out the letters he was identifying!! : ) Brent and I were SO excited and proud!! He is such an amazing little person!! : ) When I went to drop him off at school, he and I walked over to his aide and he actually let go of my hand and went to her!!! I could not believe it!! This is SO great! We looked at each other with open mouths, completely surprised and thrilled! She then told me that he was identifying letters in a word, "Well", and he was using his finger to point to the letters too!! Also, his teacher told me that he did the letters in his name too!! Such awesome, awesome progress!! : )
I am still working on getting Ainsleigh into therapy and I am researching other insurance companies to see if I could possibly get us a different insurance that is more "autism friendly". Or get us an insurance policy that is fully funded so that it will have to obide by Texas law to provide services to children with autism (HB 1919). Ainsleigh and I do little play activities each day to work on her gross and fine motor skills as well as her letters/numbers/etc. It is very hard to keep her focused on learning activities and she is so smart that no matter how creative I am in working learning into our activity, she figures it out! : ) I wish I could figure out how to make learning more fun for her than challenging!! Anything that presents as a challenge, she shies away from (even when she knows the right answer). I have two school meetings this month, one for Ainsleigh and one for Brycen. I am not so worried about Brycen's, but Ainsleigh's I am!! Please pray that the school will recognize that she has a disability and will work with me to help her!! I am so fearful of when she starts Kindergarden in the fall! I know that she will become overwhelmed and anxiety consumed if the school district does not implement a plan to help her in that setting. I had her transfered to Brycen's school, but I still have to meet with the educators at the school in our neighborhood. We'll see how it goes...