Friday, October 31, 2008

Cool Natural Health Stuff I Want to Share

Last night I went with my dear friend Paulette to a little talk on healthy remedies and lifestyle. The woman, Judy, who presented it is just a mom (silly thing to say-just a mom) who has done tons of research and used everything she talked about. I met her recently when I went with another dear friend to a "workshop" she also gave on keeping a healthy home with natural stuff. The natural line of products is called Melaleuca, and I am just in love with it. I sorta promised myself that I wasn't going to blog about it because I didn't want people to think I'm selling it, because I'm not. But it's just one of those things where when you try something that you really like, you want everyone you know to try it too. If you're interested in hearing about it or want to know more, email me, I'll hook ya up!

Anyway, back to last night. Most of her talk was on healthy remedies for common illnesses we all get throughout the winter months, colds, flus, viruses. I thought I would share a few things she mentioned so if you want to do your own research you can.

One thing I have to mention first and foremost because I actually did it this past weekend was her suggestions for sinus infection and inflammation. Crap, ok, now that I think of it, this goes back to Melaleuca, sorry. Sorta the premise for many of their products is that they contain Melaleuca Oil, or tea tree oil. Seriously, this will tell you what it does here So, I have this crappy sinus infection all weekend, and I'm ready to call the doc on Monday. I was using my netti pot and if you're not familiar, look up Sinucleanse (not a Melaleuca item so see, I'm not trying to make money) and decided since Melaleuca oil is a natural germ killer, maybe a few drop sin the water of my netti pot would help kill the infection. I did this Saturday and Sunday, multiple times. It was weird, and I wasn't sure if it would work, but the infection was gone by Monday morning, so no doc, no antibiotics, and as a result of antibiotics usually, no yeast infection (sorry to any males reading this). I asked Judy about this last night and she highly agreed with my course of action and said I should do it daily to fight off more infections.

She also told us about how if you are feeling a cold or some sickness coming on to use grapefruit seed extract oil to fight it off. It's a natural antibiotic and is extremely strong. She suggests up to 15 drops in orange juice several times a day when you are starting to feel bad. You can use it on the kids too, just use as much as you can get away with before they say it tastes bad. You have to stir it a lot too or it will sink down to the bottom of your cup. This is the one she uses and several gals there had used it too and said it was good and lasted a long time. Also, she made a point of saying if you are on any heart or blood pressure medication, not to use this as it makes your medication not work.

Now here's a weird one, and one I don't know that I'll try, but so basic, it's almost worth trying once. She actually said that when she is getting sick she does a combination of stuff including, cutting up a garlic clove in small chunks and swallowing it down with milk. It sounds so gross to me, but garlic is supposed to be really excellent for you, and a natural antibiotic. Judy said swallowing (not chewing) it with milk helps you not to get stomach upset from it. If I ever try this, I'll be sure to give all my friends and family fair warning to stay away, and let you know if it helps!

Another item she shared, and we got to try was ginger water. She simply got fresh ginger, peeled it, and cut off a few chunks and threw it in boiling water. She said to take the ginger out after about 15 minutes or it would be too strong to drink. After doing this, you can sip it all day, hot or cold, and you can add lemon and honey for taste. We all tried it, and agreed it was not offensive at all, and kinda reminded me of weak herbal tea. It apparantly is yet another way to stave off sickness, naturally, easily, and in this case, a little more pleasantly.

She offered some more suggestions such as the use of oil of oregano and colloidal silver. You can research these on your own because she really didn't discuss them enough for me to give you valuable info, but I know they seem to be good things to use to fight off sickness as well.

Also, if you take vitamins, she suggested doubling up on them when you feel like you're getting sick. Judy actually mentioned doing many of these things together to really fight off whatever is trying to attack. And do it all for more than just a day, even if you start feeling better.

I hope I haven't bored any of you too much, because if you are already reading to this point, then you must have been interested. I don't want to get sick, but it's sorta nice to know some alternatives before I have to run myself, Bill, or Casey to the doctor. And aren't things almost always better if they're natural?

Here are some books that she recommended as well....

Herbal Antibiotics by Steven Buhner
and
Prescription for Nutritional Healing

If you have used any of these natural remedies or have others please share.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Doctor Comes out Against Vaccines and Autism Connection

For those of us in the Autism blogging world, Autismvox is a website well known. Kristina Chew, the writer of this blog was interviewed in this piece that they showed onThe Today Show . If you missed you it, here it is. I wish they would have talked to her more. It was cool to see her and her family. The whole segment is on a book by a doctor who sticks to the idea that vaccines do not cause Autism. If you haven't seen it, take a look.....and then if you feel the need read my two cents after......




Interesting no? I have never been one to think too much about vaccinations in terms of them causing Casey's Autism. He always showed signs, always. Now, could the hep b vaccine that he got the first day of his life have caused something? We will never know. I have always bordered on being quite bored with this whole topic in general, and when people have asked me if I thought shots caused Casey to be Autistic, I say no. Now, my sort of laissez faire attitude towards this shouldn't be misconstrued as not careing about the whole issue. I do have friends who swear vaccines caused their child's Autism. I'm more or less dismissive of the whole thing because I think Casey was born this way, much like Kristina said of her son Charlie.

I did take a stand and stop getting Casey immunized all together at around four years old. That is about the time all this came at me, along with biomed stuff and so on. I chose to stop his immunizations because if there had been damage from prior ones, then why would I continue to put something in him that could possibly be a danger? I agreed with the woman who says that there might be a subset of children who react differently to vaccines. I was never sure, and didn't want to take any chances. To this day, he still hasn't had his full set of immunizations. Oddly, neither did I as a child.

I really try to avoid controversial topics such as this in my blog. I'm more about fun, and sharing stuff about our lives, but I just thought it was an interesting thing that someone would actually threaten a doctor for writing about what he knows a lot about and believes in so strongly. Sometimes, I think people need to get beyond causes, and just get on with life when it comes to their child with Autism!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I So Need to Get a Life!

Ok, I've done an entry on a Halloween Party we attended. I can't do an entry on decorations, and how fabulously I decorated my house because, I haven't. Casey's party at school is Friday, so I can't really speak to that yet, it's only Tuesday. But in the excitement of Halloween and all it's creepiness, I would like to introduce you to VLAD! Scary huh?



"Scary?" you ask? Well, yeah! He should look like this.....


See the lovely, long, flowy, finny things hanging off my first Betta Gilbert, Gil for short? That's how a Betta should look!



As reported here, I have what some would call an obsession with Betta fish. At the point that I wrote this entry, I believe I only had 7 Betta's. I now have 11 Betta's. I was seriously going to stop at 7, really. But I suddenly became, in my head a Betta fish rescuer.

I found Vladimir, Vlad for short while working in a large grocery chain. I won't mention names, because, I like to think that I am that important that someone from this chain might happen upon my entry.

So anyway, as I am so wont to do, I was working, at this unnamed chain (Meijers) and I always happen by the fish department. No seriously, it's sorta where I need to be for my job, so there I am. They usually have a lovely assortment of Betta's, and I like to look, not buy, all the time, just look. (I have only purchased one Betta prior to this at Meijer-oops, Duncan). As I scanned the stupid little cups they put them in, I happened upon this poor fish whose fins looked at though they had been ripped off. Also, his one eye was bugged out and gross. All the while, I was chatting on the phone with my dear friend,the lovely Rebecca, and suddenly described the situation to her. I had to wonder what happened to this poor fish, and why they thought they could sell him in this condition. Being the Betta lover, and sudden rescuer that I thought myself to be, I told Rebecca that I was going to ask the fish dept. attendant if they would discount this poor thing for me so I could take it home and SAVE IT'S LIFE!

Rebecca, who has no love or respect for the betta or my love of the betta, found this tremendously humorous, and requested that she be put on speaker so she could secretly hear my conversation about marking this fish down. That's how ridiculous she thinks I am! So, I did.

I approached the young fish attendant, phone on speaker in one hand, the ripped up fish in the other, and the conversation went something like this:

"Hi, yeah, this fish looks like it came in really messed up, do you guys discount fish?" me asks.

"Uh, let me ask my boss?" he says, grabbing his walkie talkie. "Uh, yeah, this lady wants to buy a damaged fish, can we discount it?"....

Silence from all parties.

"Uh, ok." he says putting his walkie talkie back on his belt "No ma'am, my boss says we get credit for it either way (whatever that means) so we can't discount it!"

"Seriously?!" I ask, my face turning red at the mere thought that they think they could sell this "Elephant Man" of the fish world "Because no one is going to buy him, and he'll just die in here...".

"Yeah, she said no, sorry".

"Well, what happened to him?" I implored. At this point, I thought I saw the young man go sneakily to the walkie talkie, perhaps to call security.

"Sometimes at night when no one is here teens come in and put fish in the same cup to see if they fight or not, and they do, and they rip up each other. Sometimes we find them dead! " I sucked in my breath at this point, and he continued "I think that's what happened to this one!".

I clicked my phone shut, too angry to let Rebecca overhear now, and I started in on him about how they should lock them up and blah blah blah. He said no one could buy them if they are locked up at night. Who, I asked is buying a Betta fish in the middle of the night (well, perhaps me if I had insomnia).

"So, do you want the fish ma'am?".

"Bag 'em." I replied, at a loss for what to do, and not being able to leave him. "Because no one is going to buy him, and he'll just die in here...". My own words haunted me, and made me feel stupid as I carried this thing up to the cashier. I'm pretty sure the attendant snickered behind my back.

Well, long story long, I named him Vladimir, because he was sorta of a horror, and Vladimir is Dracula's first name, and he is the star of many a horror film and you get the picture. Plus, I always wanted to name something Vlad, so what better creature than this monstrosity.

I went online to see what I could do for him. He was really sad and pathetic, and didn't eat for 2 weeks. But, after I gave him some Betta medicine daily and changed his stinky water, and kept him away from the others so as not to frighten them, or make them sick, he started eating, just this week! And his bulbulous eye thingy has disappeared, and his fins look as though they are growing back! And I am just happy as a clam!

I have to ask myself why I would put this much thought and work (and a little dough) into a gross, sick Betta, and I really don't know. It's not like saving a cat or a dog. Honestly, I am not even going to try to justify it. I just thought it was a stupid funny story to share. I understand if you feel that I am mentally unstable and won't be visiting anymore. But I did save him dammit!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Annual Halloween Party

Every Halloween our local VFW hall holds a party for kids with disabilities and their family on the Friday before Halloween. We've gone for the past 4 or 5 years now, so this past Friday night was no exception.

It's always the same, you get there, you get in line and a row of friendly old folks give out a name tag, a goody bag, and several treats that you can tell they got from local organizations. After that excitement, you go into the hall and find a table. There is almost always someone we know there, so we sat down with a mom who brought her son with Down's and his "normal" twin. Casey immediately started dancing, as he is always wont to do.

He continued dancing for most of the 2 hours, stopping in between for bites of hot dogs, lots of drinks of pop, and a trip or two to the little Halloween Village (aka painted giant boxes that looked like buildings) where people handed out tons of candy, and my fat butt is so grateful for that! He loved it though, and had a great time. He even asked the dj to play "THe Monster Mash" again, his favorite Halloween tune. He even at one point walked up to a mom there and asked her if she was Sara Palin, because she looked like her, but I don't think she was in costume!

I guess what I love about this party so much is that our kids can look as goofy as they want, they can run around and just be themselves because really no one is judging them, they aren't out of their element. If we had been at a party on the same level but that wasn't for kids with disablitlies, I probably would have corraled Casey more, made him not run across the dance floor, not allowed him to flap around so much, but I didn't have to. There were kids in wheel chairs, with Downs, CP, adults with issues having a great time. And that same feeling I was feeling was almost palpable amongst the friends and family there. Everyone just had a wonderful time. THere were no pitiful or judgemental glances, just happy people being themselves. I don't mean to get corny, but I am sure some of you can definitely relate to that!

By the way, due to my lack of organization and planning, we went to WalMart 30 minutes prior to the party to find a costume. My boy actually chose a pirate costume, perhaps as an hommage to Captain Feathersword from the Wiggles? He looked way cute and kept most of the costume on all night! I of course forgot my camera. I'll have to get some shots on Halloween!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Casey's Dream Came True

I was going to do a Wordless Wednesday entry but I couldn't find a funny, interesting or controversial photo that I felt would warrant any comments, so I decided to finally post about a fabulous thing we did over the weekend.

Casey has been wanting to tour our local NBC affiliate WDIV channel 4 for a really looooong time now. At one point this summer I tried to satiate his pleas by just taking him down to the studio just to hang out in the front of it. That helped, a little. I was really having trouble trying to set up a tour, as I really had no "connections" and my emails were going unanswered.

Finally, just by chance, I found a "connection". I was at a party over the summer at a friend's house and we were discussing this whole Casey/studio tour issue. Suddenly, my friend Barb revealed that she knew a weekend producer from that station and that this woman had set up a tour for her scout troop! I was flummoxed! Who'd a thought my ol' friend Barb would be my connection? She was more than happy to give me the woman's number and I was more than happy to take it.

Well, long story long, I called, tried to set up a tour for his bday, didn't work. So, I took whatever I could get and so this weekend we had our tour scheduled. Casey, was flying high all week, talking about, the anticipation almost palpible.

We were scheduled to arrive at 9am, after the initial newscast was over and when they would be doing "break-ins" during the "Today Show". Casey was more than happy to get up that morning. The drive down to Detroit was smooth sailing and parking a breezed since it was the weekend. Casey was the first one out of the car of course, heading for the door of the studio.

We were welcomed by Lisa the producer who took us into the control room. It was really interesting to see how everything happens behind the scenes of a newscast and how many people are involved. Casey was a little bored with this part but was really good despite it.

Next, we got to go out to the studio. It was if the heavens had opened for Casey, he was excstatic! He couldn't stop talking about the "new" studio (which it was, being recently remodeled). We ran into mutual friends there, who were also touring! We met Andrew Humphrey, the weekend meteorologist, who was extremely kind. He showed us where he reports the weather, let us stand in front of the green screen, and even let Casey use his 'clicker' that changes the picture behind him. We got to see ourselves on camera in front of the maps, it was awesome. He was super nice and gave us a lot of time.

Unfortunately, Casey quickly lost interest in the weather when he spotted the news desk where the anchors sit. "There's the desk" he shouted. The producer allowed the kids to take turns sitting in the chair. Casey got to read from the teleprompter, which he is very good at.




We got to see the remote control cameras (no more cameramen anymore!), how they do the traffic report and much more. Best of all we got to stand in the actual studio while the did a breakin during the Today show. It was a little stressful as we were warned that we had to be really quiet and as you know, kids with Autism, well, can't sometimes. But he didn't utter a sound during the 5 or 10 minute span, we were really proud of him.

After that, we got to see the newsroom and where all the news vans were parked. It was just so cool to see the behind the scenes stuff. Casey was beside himself.

After we were done, we got in the car and he almost seemed to be in a trance. I asked him what he was thinking about, assuming his answer would have to be about our experience.

"Now, " answered, "we need to go tour WXYZ!"........geez............


Free Answers in Honor of SPD Awareness Month

I have perusing everyone's blogs lately and noting that many have recognized that it is indeed Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness Month. I was trying to come up with some way that I could properly recognize it here in my little neck of the blogging world, and had a "lightbulb" moment last night in the hot tub! No, not my own hot tub unfortunately. I am going to throw this out here and if I get any feedback, great. If not, it will just remind me of how few people read my blog, which won't be surprising.

So, my idea is to offer the services of my personal Occupational Therapist and sister to all of you. No, she can't come to your house, but, I can give people a chance to send me questions about your kid that you would like to ask an Occupational Therapist and I will relay them on to her and let her answer them for you! They can be about Sensory Processing, stimming, handwriting, behaviors, etc. She isn't a doctor of course, but she has been doing this for over 20 years, and most of those in a grade school setting. She deals with kids with Autism, PDD, ADHD, ADD, LODOFD (I made that one up, but you get the picture!). She has spoken at conferences on Sensory Issues among others. She is downright awesome.

I thought this might be a cool thing to do for people who don't have an OT at their disposal, or perhaps are not pleased with the OT they get at school, and want to know how to fix that. Just anything. I hope to get lots of questions for her, and I will keep your name anonymous if you wish.

If you have a question or two, just send them to my email address, let me know if you want your name connected to it, and I will pass it along to her and get an answer. Once I get this all together, I will make a huge post of these questions which will hopefully help not only the asker but others! My email is bbdavis6469@yahoo.com. so ask away.

I wanted to ask too if you are somewhat familiar with my blog if you would make some of your readers aware of this little service I am offering. I think this could be really cool, and if I get enough responses, maybe my sis could become a weekly guest!

Looking forward to your questions and thanks!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Miracle Belt...Does it Work?

I recently learned about a new sensory item on the news that worked like a weighted vest but wasn't quite as cumbersome. The report went on to mention how it helped many kids with Autism and ADHD, and how it affected their proprioception and balance and really helped them to focus more and be in tune with their bodies. It's a weighted belt called a Miracle Belt.

Casey's biggest issue at school is focus, and if you ever saw him walk, you know that he has trouble with knowing where his body is in space. In the past, I've had him carry a backpack with something heavy in it and you can tell a difference. So this Miracle Belt was appealing and I read up on it. www.miraclebelt.com

I finally broke down and got one, they aren't cheap but we felt like it could be helpful. So, after I got it and showed Casey, his first response was "Send that back!". Great! He went on to say that it was for babies, and it "hurt" after I bribed him to wear it for 2 minutes.

The same week I bought this cheapie little magazine that I like and came across an article about a boy with ADHD and how that very belt worked for him. It's in Woman's World magazine if you're interested in reading it. The mom in the story used a great idea of telling her son the belt would give him magic powers to think better. She's brilliant, I yelled at Casey to put it on, not making him like it at all. I actually read the article to him, and believe it or not, I think I sold him on it. Thank God for second chances!

So, presently, we are at the point where he will wear it when he does his homework. Now granted, this has only been in the last 3 days, but I can tell a difference when he's doing his work. Oddly, his writing, which is, let's face it, horrific, has been smaller, more precise, more legible. When I told him last night to do 4 worksheets his teacher had sent home (and requested I not help him with, that's another blog), he sat for a good 10 to 15 minutes straight, completing each one with just a little bit of encouragement from me to get things done. I was really bowled over! I looked over the work when he had finished, and although not perfect, or even correct at some points, he still sat, for a looong time, and finished. And he never tried to escape or complain! Stunning! A miracle in and of itself!

I am in no way selling these Miracle belts or am I affiliated with the company, but I just thought I would share my experience thus far. I know as a parent with a kid like Case, it's always nice to hear first hand what works and what doesn't, and this thing really seems to help him! Fortunately, they do have a trade in program because as the kid grows, so does the need for more weight in the belt. Right now the one he wears is about 4lbs.

I'll continue to report on any more improvements or miracles we see come from it, and I will be equally as eager to report how crappy it turned out to be. But I'm hoping for the best!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Now I'm Really Slackin'

Ok, day two and no thoughtful post, but I think that I wouldn't be very thoughtful in general if I didn't pass on this link to a great story. I can only hope someday this will be available for my kid! Enjoy....

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/19/magazine/19Autism-t.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=autism&st=cse&oref=slogin

Monday, October 20, 2008

Being a Bit Lazy Today

I have about 3 different things I want to blog about but need to find the time to do so properly. Having said that, today I am not blogging about any of those but leaving you with a link that will take you to some interesting stuff on what sounds like Autism Acceptance to me sent by a friend. Thanks Jack and Merrit!

http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/2008/beingautistic/

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Casey's Dream Came True

I was going to do a Wordless Wednesday entry but I couldn't find a funny, interesting or controversial photo that I felt would warrant any comments, so I decided to finally post about a fabulous thing we did over the weekend.

Casey has been wanting to tour our local NBC affiliate WDIV channel 4 for a really looooong time now. At one point this summer I tried to satiate his pleas by just taking him down to the studio just to hang out in the front of it. That helped, a little. I was really having trouble trying to set up a tour, as I really had no "connections" and my emails were going unanswered.

Finally, just by chance, I found a "connection". I was at a party over the summer at a friend's house and we were discussing this whole Casey/studio tour issue. Suddenly, my friend Barb revealed that she knew a weekend producer from that station and that this woman had set up a tour for her scout troop! I was flummoxed! Who'd a thought my ol' friend Barb would be my connection? She was more than happy to give me the woman's number and I was more than happy to take it.

Well, long story long, I called, tried to set up a tour for his bday, didn't work. So, I took whatever I could get and so this weekend we had our tour scheduled. Casey, was flying high all week, talking about, the anticipation almost palpible.

We were scheduled to arrive at 9am, after the initial newscast was over and when they would be doing "break-ins" during the "Today Show". Casey was more than happy to get up that morning. The drive down to Detroit was smooth sailing and parking a breezed since it was the weekend. Casey was the first one out of the car of course, heading for the door of the studio.

We were welcomed by Lisa the producer who took us into the control room. It was really interesting to see how everything happens behind the scenes of a newscast and how many people are involved. Casey was a little bored with this part but was really good despite it.

Next, we got to go out to the studio. It was if the heavens had opened for Casey, he was excstatic! He couldn't stop talking about the "new" studio (which it was, being recently remodeled). We ran into mutual friends there, who were also touring! We met Andrew Humphrey, the weekend meteorologist, who was extremely kind. He showed us where he reports the weather, let us stand in front of the green screen, and even let Casey use his 'clicker' that changes the picture behind him. We got to see ourselves on camera in front of the maps, it was awesome. He was super nice and gave us a lot of time.

Unfortunately, Casey quickly lost interest in the weather when he spotted the news desk where the anchors sit. "There's the desk" he shouted. The producer allowed the kids to take turns sitting in the chair. Casey got to read from the teleprompter, which he is very good at.




We got to see the remote control cameras (no more cameramen anymore!), how they do the traffic report and much more. Best of all we got to stand in the actual studio while the did a breakin during the Today show. It was a little stressful as we were warned that we had to be really quiet and as you know, kids with Autism, well, can't sometimes. But he didn't utter a sound during the 5 or 10 minute span, we were really proud of him.

After that, we got to see the newsroom and where all the news vans were parked. It was just so cool to see the behind the scenes stuff. Casey was beside himself.

After we were done, we got in the car and he almost seemed to be in a trance. I asked him what he was thinking about, assuming his answer would have to be about our experience.

"Now, " answered, "we need to go tour WXYZ!"........geez............


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Are You Kidding Me?

I'm at the library right now, killing time while Casey plays games on the library computers. He really shouldn't be playing the computer. At least I told his teacher that I wouldn't allow him to play on the computer today. Bet your wondering why, and why he's playing if I said that!?

Well, his teacher calls today, and after some polite small talk, tells me that there was a "situation" at school today. Her voice sounded grave, grave enough to cause me to have sudden images of Casey pooping on the floor (not something he does normally, on purpose) or Casey knocking someone over, or Casey screaming F*&^ so loud, the whole school heard it.

She explained that they were bringing that new para in that I talked about here, and she was going down with him and the regular para to science. As explained to me, he was following them (hhhhmmm, thought they were supposed to be shadowing him, hhhhhmmmm)when suddenly, and hold on to your hats...I hope you can handle this one....take a deep breath...

HE WENT INTO THE GIRLS BATHROOM!!!!!

That's right, he went into the girl's bathroom! Can you believe this? Stifling my laughter (and all you Autism moms know what I'm talking about, and if you don't, don't read my blog, you're uptight), I continued to listen. Apparantly, his sudden appearance in the girl's room caused quite a stir! All the girls started shouting "Casey (apparantly, everyone knows Casey), you can't be in here, get out!". HORRORS! His regular para rushed in and found him jumping and stimming and laughing (call juvenile detention!). He apparantly would not leave when asked, causing his para to report to the teacher that he was being obstinate. I personally think, know, that he was reacting to the rise he got out of the chicks in the bathroom.

Well, after they finally got to science, he didn't do so well, probably anticipating the punishment he was going to get when he got back to class. And indeed, he did, the teacher reported, lose computer time, and Coke! Needless to say he was upset.

When asked why he went into the girl's room, he said simply "I wasn't paying attention.". It's as easy as that. His teacher tended to want to believe him which was cool, and I did believe him. I was then interrogated by the teacher concerning whether I let him use the Ladies Room on a regular basis.

I don't like being questioned about things like this by someone who doesn't have a kid with a disability. In fact, I'm pretty sure anyone with a kid with a disability would never question such a thing. Of course I take him in the Ladies room when we're dadless (when Bill is with us, it's all boys room and urinals and whatever boys do in there). Would I let a 4 year old go into the men's room by himself? NO, and that's about Casey's bathroom mentality at this point in time. I think I covered all his habits here awhile back. There's no way I would let him go alone into a men's restroom with no way of helping him or wrangling him in, short of covering my eyes and making a mad dash past guys at the urinals. On top of those issues, how do I know some freak wouldn't follow him into the stall. I don't, and that's that.

So, to wrap this too long story up, I finally concurred with the teacher that this was indeed an inappropriate act, and that we would carry through with the punishment at home, and do a social story about it, blah blah blah....

But the more I thought about it, as much as it is his fault, and he shouldn't have done it, it's also their fault for not walking with him. And so I decided he will be punished by not playing the computer at home....the library is another story....hee hee

Please don't think I'm taking this all too lightly, I really don't like that he did what he did, but my God, there could be much worse things. It was cute by the way when I asked him what he saw when he went in there. "Girls washing their hands!". Of course.

On the flipside, we went for a well needed haircut and he did awesome. Five years ago, I had to strangle hold him while tears, saliva, and hair covered his face and mine, and I always felt like we both needed strong medication when we were done. This time, as in the past few recently, he sat straight, scrunched his shoulders only a little, and was just really good. See, for all you mamas of the little ones with Autism, there is hope!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I Love Saturday, I Hate Saturday

We have a strange thing that happens in our house every weekend just about (like most people I'm sure on some level). Our thing of course involves Casey.

Every weekend, he is happy as a clam throughout Saturday morning. This time of the day usually includes breakfast, watching Qubo on NBC (a little group of kids shows all together they show from 10am to 1pm, but there is also a Qubo cable channel that shows the same shows all the time and this is important to this tale later), and dilly dallying on the computer.

When he first discovered Qubo, we couldn't leave the house until 1pm, when it was over. This rule sorta went down the tubes later on thank goodness. But now, after the day is over and night begins to fall, Case begins to get very emotional about Saturday in general, saying that it's not Saturday, kids shows are not over, etc.. He gets to the point of crying and really upsetting himself.

We switched cable companies recently and found out we now had this Qubo channel, and thought the whole issue he had each week would be done, because he could watch "kid shows" anytime he wanted. This however, has not helped for whatever reason.

Last night Dad took him for a bike ride. I was in the kitchen awaiting their arrival back. Through the open window, I could hear very loud talking verging on yelling and knew it was not neighborhood kids, but my child back from his ride. Bill was clearly upset with him and he was in tears. Bill explained that the first half of the ride was good, but then for whatever reason, Case began his beligured monologue again on how kids shows are over and it's not Saturday and all that same stuff, and all the while, yelling it very loudly while riding. He also goes so far as constantly telling us that it's not 2008, it's 2006! Ok, whatever.

Later on, I was helping him get ready for bed when I was trying to reason with him about this whole silly Saturday routine and how he had to let it go. I finally got out of him that it made him sad that Saturdays and Sundays go by so quick and then it's Monday. Ok, a breakthrough, so I guess when night starts to fall, perhaps he's reminded that the kids shows he used to only enjoy in the morn are over, it's almost Sunday, and Sunday is very close to Monday. I thought I had it all figured out.

But it just broke my heart that it tortured him so to anticipate the weekends being over with. I don't believe it's because he dislikes school or anything like that, I think it's just that he gets his ultimate down time on the weekends and he loves it so much. I tried to explain to him that weekends were like cookies, or pizza, sort of a treat, and that you always get one, it never changes, they always come.

I laid down with him to watch the Wiggles Magical Adventure for the 800th time and he seemed calmer. Then, Dad came in to say good night and he starts yelling "It's 2006, it's not 2008!".

Bill quickly kissed him on the head and scurried out of the room.....I laid there and endured some more bitchin' until he fell asleep. Guess this problem wasn't solved after all......

Any suggestions would be truly appreciated!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Here's an Interesting Dilemma

A new issue reared it's not so ugly head this week for Casey in his educational career.

First, let me explain a little about how our local school system is set up as far as special ed. goes. You have what Casey is in, the AI (Autistically Impaired-ugh) classroom, and then you have cross categorical classrooms that "address" the needs of kids with more intense learning disabilities, some Downs kids, Aspergers kids who can't make it in regular ed, emotionally impaired kids. It runs the gammet. The classes tend to be larger, and more on course with a regular classroom because many of the kids are able to keep up with the pace.

So, at this point, Casey, being in the AI classroom, also goes with a parapro to general ed science and history. At first it was rocky as I think I chronicled a while back. But with the help of a great parapro and just getting comfortable, things have been going much better, and he even got 80% on a history test! Not bad I would say.

The other day however, his teacher called to let me know that there would be a new para coming in to take him to science in the afternoon while the other great para would still be taking him to history in the morn. Of course, what I surmised from this new development was that they needed to keep 2 paras in his AI room at all times with the teacher as well, and taking the one out twice a day was getting harder to handle for the other para.

Fine. Understandable, of course, I'm thinking, keep the new para in his AI room and let the other continue to do what she was doing. Why train another? Unfortunately, I don't believe I have much say or control in that whole thing.

Jump to the next day, his teacher calls me again and we begin to chit chat about a few things and out of the blue she asks me if I had toured the afore mentioned cross categorical classrooms last year? I had indeed done so, much to the chagrin of the special ed , for lack of a better title, administrator, who, like so many of the other staff in this system it seems, gets irritated with the thought of parents trying to get their children in the least restrictive enviorment they can. I had toured it wanting to weigh my options, because I knew what his AI classroom would probably look like ( as it does now) and not knowing who the teacher was going to be.

I was unimpressed to say the least of my tour. I was rushed through about 4 classrooms by the administrator, who could have cared less what I thought of them, because in her head, she believed he would never make it anyway based on what little she knew about Casey. She never said this, you just know things as a mother. The classrooms seemed overpopulated to me, a lot going on, too much. And the biggest deal breaker in the short time I had to look at the program was the discipline program they are on where they carry around cards where they get points for good behavior and get points taken away for bad. Well, seeing as how Casey still has problems adding 2+2, I knew that wouldn't work, and it seemed to be a very big part of their day.

So, sharing a lot of this with his teacher over the phone, she started saying that at a staff meeting they had discussed Casey maybe being at a point now that he could handle going into one of these cross cat. classrooms. Funny I thought, last year this broad (not his teacher, the administrator) didn't even want to let me tour it, and now they think Casey is ready for it?

At first I was excited, thinking how cool it was that he has matured and advanced enough to have that considered as an option, but then the conspiracy theorist got the best of me and I started trying to reason out this sudden suggestion.

First of all, the whole parapro, or lack of parapro deal is due to Casey having to go to regular ed. It's in his IEP, they have to do it. But, wouldn't it be easier to stick him in a classroom thats sorta like a regular ed room, and that way he wouldn't have to go back and forth, and his AI room could maintain their paras without losing one. I know this is their plan. They aren't really looking out for his best interest, they are trying not to hire more staff.

On top of that, there are issues of grading coming up, how to grade him in regular ed, with a modified curriculum. This is all new to the general ed teachers who have never had kids until this year mainstream. All the problems they are having are things that they didn't plan for or even anticipate.

Part of me thought, maybe it would be cool for him to be in the cross cat. room, and just say that he can't follow their discipline program and they'll have to modify if they want him to do something of that nature. It might be good to be with some kids that aren't quite typical, but also aren't non verbal with tons of behavior issues. Maybe, it would be just enough like a regular classroom, that he wouldn't have to go out to regular ed and switch up his day so much.

But, he has adapted to his schedule, his para rocks, his teacher rocks, he's happy, he doesn't fight me to go to school, he gets time with typical kids, while having the option of coming back to his small class setting in the AI room to calm and get his self together. Why rock the boat? So I can say "Yeah, my son is in a cross cat. room!".

I told his teacher before I would even consider thinking about the change, I would need to tour the program again, and for more than 5 minutes in each room. She said she would work on arranging that.

I am definitely not going to rush into things. I have to make sure they are trying to do this for Casey's best interest, and not their own, but as you can tell, I have my doubts.

More to come I'm sure.......

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Why "Good Enough Mama" nor I are the World's Worst Moms!

The great Good Enough Mama wrote a fabulous entry about how she was the world's worst mom. She called out to all who read it to share the reasons they might be the worst mom. Well, I love a challenge. But for the sake of not incriminating myself, and to avoid having someone call social services toot sweet on me, I decided to totally rip off Good Enough Mama's entry, and simply comment and commiserate. I hope this is ok with her, and if not, please let me know Good Enough Mama! So, here goes.

Good Enough Mama's comments are italicized and mine are bold, in case you couldn't figure that out!

1. Tonight, after removing them from the oven, I dropped Little Man’s chicken buddies on the kitchen floor as I attempted (stupidly) to transfer them to his plate. I glanced quickly (after gasping, albeit quietly, “Oh, shit!) into the family room, saw that he hadn’t noticed, and bent down to retrieve the buddies. Blowing on them to remove the dust/rotting food particles/hairs/critters, I started to sing the theme song to Leave It To Beaver and promptly tossed them on his plate. Crisis averted, I actually had the nerve to congratulate myself on a job well done.

Job well done indeed! What the heck? Were you going to waste those precious nuggets? And clearly any questionable matter that be might stuck to them is matter that is already in your house and that your son is used to, so thusly he will not get sick from it! At this point in time, I can't recall a food dropping episode, but if I did, I would do exactly what you did. I have given him stale food, because he wanted it real bad and we didn't have anything else he wanted. I suppose that may be on the same level!

2. When people (mostly those who read about my life here) tell me that I’m doing a great job with Little Man and that I shouldn't’t be so hard on myself, I actually accept their kind words. I put my shoulders back a little, tousle my hair, and smugly smile, all the while thinking, Holy shit, I really DO have people fooled. It’s a good thing they don’t know what I’m really like as a mom.

Oh my God, can I relate! I have gotten comments that embarrass me inside that are complimentary, and yet so wrong! But ya know what, you have to think, maybe others see something I don't, maybe I'm not giving myself credit. Maybe I am super! Maybe I should win an Oscar for making these people think I'm fabulous! And that's ok!

3. I often bitch and complain about my life as a wife and mom. I do it in front of my kid. I regret it instantly, but still. I bitch. For example, I’m so SICK of this crap! I can’t take it any more. I am SO DONE with this life. I am losing my FREAKING mind! Yeah, you might want to consider it carefully before you call me June Cleaver again. I’m so much more Roseanne than June. Sad, but true.

I often fear the mental scarring I have incurred upon my child due to my bitching sessions in front of him. I have found myself yelling so much he felt it necessary with his Autistic, developmentally delayed mind to say "It's ok mommy! It will be alright!". I AM A BITCH!

4. I trick my kid into thinking that chores are fun. A lot. Hey, buddy! Want to help mommy with the laundry again? It’s your lucky day…… I’ll let you push the buttons AND pour in the detergent…

Honestly, I can't empathize with you here because this is nothing but brilliant, nothing wrong with it. So you're playing on his naivety a little, what parent doesn't do that? I am the worst because I make my son do nothing much to my husband's chagrin, and someday he will make a miserable boyfriend and husband thanks to me!

5. I tell Little Man that he has 5 minutes left of television time, then let another hour slip by, just because I’m enjoying the peace and the time at my computer. He is going to be up a fecking creek when it comes time to learn how to read a clock in school. Or is it ME who will be up the creek? Who am I kidding? It’s SO going to be me.

I can't say anything about this is justifiable, other than you get some quiet time out of it, which is rightly yours. I have found myself saying "5 more minutes Case!" for an hour at a time myself, but I usually try to think the 5 minutes isn't up, thus, I'm not the bad one!

6. I spit on my hand and smooth out Little Man’s hair when we’re going out. If he gets canker sores on his scalp, I’m so at fault.

Uh, gross, but necessary. Casey has too much hair for this method to be effective but I have had to take so many other gross and drastic measures in order to fix problems, so this too is relatable. I won't go into any of them directly, but let's just say because of one incident, I always carry around a little portable roll of toilet paper with us, and that's all's I'm sayin'!

7. I say “maybe” a lot, when I really mean “no,” but it’s just easier using the “maybe” clause in order to get out of a jam. I’m all about avoiding the tantrums and conflict. I think he’s on to me, though. Lately when I say “maybe,” Little Man follows it up with this retort: Mommy! Just say yes or no. It’s not hard. I need to know the truth.

This is not bad, this gives him hope, false hope, but hope.....

8. Sometimes I wish Little Man were “Normal.” Even for a day or two, just so I could see what it’s like to have a “Normal” kid. I’m so betting it would be a piece of cake. Cake with icing. Lots and lots of icing.

Well, anyone who has a special needs kid and says they have never wished that either are saintly, or are bullshittin' everyone big time. How can you not wonder what it's like, especially if you don't have any other kids like myself? I have to say though, that many a time, I have been around "typical" children, and they make me very grateful for my little doll, despite his foible's.

9. I feed my kid fast food several times per week. Like, almost once a day. He’s probably addicted. He’s probably going to be the next Super Size Me dooood. Feck. More therapy.

YOU are very brave to admit this, and I can tell you, so do a lot of people. LIKE ME! I consider a day without fast food a health break for Case. Casey is picky, and I want him to eat, and I don't go by the notion of "Well, if he's hungry, he'll eat at home eventually!" I don't have time for that crap! I figure, if he eats out without fries, we're doing good! You, and I'll repeat it, are brave!

10. Sometimes I forget to care that I’m raising a child who will, as a result of my shiteous mothering, require more therapy than one family could ever hope to afford. Ok, maybe “forget” is a strong word. Let’s say I let it slip my mind, temporarily.

Ah, be not afraid my child! I have seen children of mother's who have done every GD therapy in the book, and the kid is never "better", and I've seen kids whose mom sorta went with the flow and did what they could, and often, they have turned out the best they can. You can only do so much...at least, that's what I've started telling myself.

11. Apparently, I let my son put plastic bags on his head. Also apparent is the fact that instead of removing the plastic bag and scolding him because it, like, could KILL him or something, I grabbed my camera and recorded the moment for future dramatic courtroom evidence posterity. Or future blackmail.

This is weird but funny, and I enjoyed the photo! Hey, I used to let Casey pull his testicle out as far as he could in the tub while I read to him! Not now, it's extra weird now! I never took photos though, that would have been disturbing!

12. There are way more reasons that I might be the world’s worst mother, but I’m too embarrassed to share them here.
Here’s where you come in: I need you to give me some reasons that YOU might be The World’s Worst Mother. If you can’t think of anything, make something up. You’re doing it to help a friend, namely, ME. Take one for the team, sports. Take one for the team.


Thanks for sharing your relatable, funny, and sometimes gross entry! I applaud you! And thanks for letting me use it without asking. Please don't sue me, I don't have any money!

There ya go folks, I think most everyone can relate to something in here, and if not, then you're the WORST MOM IN THE WORLD for not admitting any of it! Takes the pressure off of us huh Good Enough Mama?!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008

The 10th Birthday Extravaganza is Complete!

Well, the excitement that started over a week ago, has finally come to a close. Yes, Casey's 10th Birthday Extravaganza has come to an end! Thank God. Just kidding. It was a big deal to turn 10 years old. I can't believe I have a 10 year old, it's very weird.

I thought I would share some of the highlights from the events that occured during the Extravaganza.
It all started with a little school bash. Unfortunately (or fortunately as the case may be) the batteries on my damn camera went out (as well as the battery on my video camera, what to be prepared mom!) so I was only able to capture the above photo from that event, but I'm glad I did. It's a shot of what Casey wrote in himself because someone forgot to put his class party in the schedule. Everyone there was tickled and thrilled by him doing this, as was I. He had fun handing out party favors, and eating frosted cookies and Cheetos with his friends. They had all made cards for him (all 3 of them). It was pretty cute.


That night we went to Chuck E. Cheeses for the traditional birthday with our closest friends. These are their adorable children Sophia and Jack, and of course gargantuan birthday boy. It was an evening of fun and lots of pizza eating for Casey. The parents enjoyed some "spirits" because we found that it makes CEC more fun for us! Don and Rebecca (the parents of those darling children, and just as cute) got Case the perfect gift, a set of his very own Pee Wee Herman Show DVD's, First Season. He LOVES them. Thanks J/Ks.


Here, you can see the boy on his actual birthday "showing off" the beautiful cake I made and decorated myself! (No, I did not get it at a bakery, I'm just that good...ha). We had his father's side over and enjoyed that lovely cake along with some Kentucky Fried Chicken per Casey's request. Finger lickin' good it was. As you can see, he's striking his "no photos please" stance he uses frequently when approached by the paparazzi.


Here he is just this last Friday, playing hooky at the Indianapolis zoo. My sisters and I took him and it was such a great day. All the animals were out on display, and very few crowds were there. Other than his constant demands for a drink all through the "Plains" area, he seemed to have great time and especially enjoyed the dolphin show. (I sorta needed a drink after that too! nar nar) Here he takes his life into his own hands as he strikes a quick pose by a python who we spotted creeping up the wall in the snake exhibition. Where are the damn zookeepers when you need them?


Here's a giraffe we saw, he was pretty cute.



The next night was the big Pee Wee Herman/Mexico City Grill bash. About 16 members of the family showed and a great time was had by all, especially Case. We got the staff to change one of the televisions in the dining room to Univision (a Spanish channel), and with that, and all the people and plenty of Sprite, it was Casey's idea of a party. Pictured here is his cousin Ali who is a special needs teacher. She loves hanging with him, especially when she's got a taco and a pitcher of margaritas nearby! Hee hee, just jokin' Ali!

The staff was kind enough to come and sing to him in Spanish and he was so excited. He got to wear a sombrero which one of my enibriated family members helped him sneak out of the restaurant with after dinner was through.

That's me looking really old next to my gorgeous niece. And no, Casey is not choking in this photo, I have no idea why he is holding his neck.





Finally, and this is sad, I have no photos other than this one, of my sister Sue's dog Fletch with a party hat on of the festivities that occured after the restaurant. Maybe a few too margaritas for mommy were to blame! We went back over to Sue's house where she had spent way too much time gathering Pee Wee memorabilia for him and crafting her own Pee Wee decorations since they don't make them anymore! It was a great night and Case was a little overwhelmed but had fun. Thanks everyone and especially sister Sue for making his birthday awesome!

What a party week!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Top 10 Reason I'm not the World's Worst Mom

My dearest friend alerted me this morning to a blog entry that she completely enjoyed and felt I would feel the same. And I did. It's over here at Good Enough Mama and I highly encourage you to read it. I'm going to take Mama up on her challenge and think of the top 10 reasons I'm not the world's worst mother, despite the fact that I've bestowed that title on myself daily! I think this will be very cathartic for me to consider, and might even make me change my title to, "Almost World's Worst Mother".

So, here are the top 10 reason why I am not "THE WORLD'S WORST MOTHER!

1. Ok, number one. Well, I always ask for them to put half water, and half pop in Casey's drinks at the restaurant, that way, it takes 2 glasses of whatever it is to get him acting crazy on sugar.

2. I use only natural household cleaning items and natural skincare stuff on him despite the fact that I let him eat way too much fast food.

3. I make sure every morning I wet down his bed head and spritz his bangs over to the side so he has some semblance of coolness in his world of naturally being cute but goofy.

4. Going back to letting him have too much fast food, I do provide him with substantial vitamins after eating, so that I feel better.

5. Whenever I cuss around him, I always make sure to tell him how bad mommy is bad for doing so, but that only adults can cuss.

6. Then, when he does because he doesn't care if only adults can cuss, I always tell him he can only do it at home, so he won't get in trouble at school, or so we won't receive any dirty looks out in public.

8. I always tell him not to touch the locker room floor at the rec center and clear away from the toilet as soon as he has voided. Germs frighten me.

9. I never talk badly about his father too severely in front of him in times of anger, and I definitely have stopped calling daddy a "fuckhead" when Casey is in earshot. That can be a fun name to call someone....Casey thought one time.

and drumrolllllllllllll

10. I am not the worst mother in the world because I buy organic chocolate chip cookies that cost $5.00 so that when he eats 6 of them a day, I know he's not getting high fructose corn syrup, but PURE CANE SUGAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you, thank you.

You know, this has been very therapeutic. I'm not bad!