Saturday, March 31, 2012

Not Just Numbers People.....

This post was inspired by another mother who is asking mothers to tweet the following@diaryofamom @autismspeaks Not just numbers, PEOPLE. This is the face of #1in88” with your photo.

I am sure by now you have all heard or read the CDC's new report on autism rates going up to 1 in 88 kiddos. If not, here is my post on that, with a link to the report. My son may be 1 in 88 to the world, but he is 1 in a million to us and the rest of his family. April is Awareness month, and we need to shine a light on our kiddos as individuals as well as autistics. I totally agree with the momma whom  writes the blog, Autism Wonderland, LJ is autistic, I don't care what caused it, I don't want him  "cured." He is special the way he is, and I love him for who he is! He is MY miracle and his autism doesn't change that!
So I made my pic of Lj so I could join in and link up, so I can share my angel with others!

I encourage other parents to join in and shine a light on your beautiful kiddos. To do so click here. This will take you Autism Wonderland where you too can join in.

Friday, March 30, 2012


Thank God Its Ryan Friday, lol. Another super busy week here, I am so glad its Friday! I actually was editing photos earlier in the week when I got the idea for my Ryan photos, so this week I made two. Hope you all enjoy them :)

Ryan rockin' the blue :D

My inspiration for this was easy, pure exhaustion and a mound of dirty laundry, lol.

Don't forget to head over to Sunday's blog to check out all the other fun Ryan Gosling pics for week 8 of Special Needs Ryan. 
Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Autism Rate up 78%

As many of you may know the CDC released the latest data estimate report today. A few of us were talking about it this morning, and trying to guess what the new rate would be. My guess was 1 in 85, and I was super close....The CDC reports that the autism rate has risen from 1 in 110 in 2006, to now an astonishing 1 in 85 children, with 1 in 54 boys being affected with ASD (thats a 5:1 ratio to girls). This is a 78% increase from 2006. If you would like to read more of the report, CLICK HERE.
MSNBC Reports~
Better diagnosis, screening behind rise in autism...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A few new Autism pics....

I have been making new pics again......

                                                Most important, don't forget April 2nd!!!

Hope you all enjoy the pics, I know I enjoy making them. Its free therapy :)

Bolt~not a Disney movie....

So today I think I may have suffered from a mild heart attack, lol. My son and I were walking into Burger King to use the potty. He was about 3 steps ahead of me, and a car started to drive through. Instead of stopping, LJ bolted right out in front of this car. Thank God the kid was watching and slammed on his breaks, just as I snatched LJ by the shirt. I was scare to death! I pointed out the car, asked if he saw it, he just looked at me! He then clung to my leg for about 10 minutes, as I lectured him on how unsafe and scary that was, and how lucky he was. In the back of my mind I was going to come home and start some internet harness shopping. Not 2 hours later, we were walking around the park with my friend and her daughter. A car starts to come up the road, so she and her daughter go to one side of the road, LJ and I to the other. This time, I made sure he was actually right against my side. Good thing I did because just as the car got closer, he went to bolt across the road AGAIN!!!! I quickly snatched his shirt, he acted as if it was no major deal! Needless to say, I am still shaken up about this. I know autistic kids are prone to wandering, and when he was younger he would take off all the time, but never across the road like this. This is definitely new to us, and I am so scared!!! I have found a few harnesses online, and will be visiting Walmart tomorrow to see what they have. I am not taking any more chances!

Sunday, March 25, 2012


In about a week we will be celebrating World Autism Awareness Day. Many people and businesses will be lighting it up blue in support of this day. Another great way to show your support and raise awareness is to "Go Blue!" Wear blue on April 2nd to celebrate this special day and all the special kiddos living with Autism. Spread the word, and see how many people we can get to wear blue that  day. Feel free to send me some pics, and I will post them on my blog as well. "TOGETHER WE CAN RAISE AUTISM AWARENESS!"

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fun Friday 2!!!!

So after our fun with the Jello sensory bins, I finally conned my hubby into helping me make LJ a water wall. I saw this on Pinterest and had to make him one!

We started by upcycling a piece of plywood our neighbor (ty Linda :)) was going to throw away. LJ and I then went thru the recycle bin and got some soda bottles. We washed them and took the labels off, and I cut them in half. I then positioned the tops of the bottles on the wood so that one would empty into the bottle below, and so on, using the bottoms of the bottles at the bottom to catch the water. Hubby then screwed them to the board. (We left room as we plan on adding more across the board)

Next we made some colored water in smaller bottles.

And now the fun begins!

Lj had so much fun with this too. He is ready to go back out and play with it some more!

FUN Friday!!

Well, as I stated in my Special Needs Ryan post, this week has been hell for this family. LJ especially had a rough week. He is missing his almost 16 year old half brother (who is a teen and too busy to make time) and LJ is taking it especially hard, having meltdowns daily. So this momma decided we needed some special fun, even if it only took his mind of it for a few hours. And who says fun has to cost money? We had a great day and didn't spend a dime. (We used stuff we had lying around the house!) We played "archaeologist" with some jello sensory bins, and made a water wall. Below I will add pics and explain what we did for any others looking for some free/low cost fun.

LJ craves tactile input, ALOT. So I had this idea to make his sensory bins with jello. First I used a little bleach and hot soapy water and washed two of his bins, (upcycled hospital pans) and his toy bugs (we got them from the Dollar Tree). Then I made up the jello according to the quick set method on the package. I used two boxes for one bin (so 4 all together) I did grape and strawberry (though next time I will use lighter colors as his hands are a bit stained.) Before you put the bins in the fridge, put some bugs (or any small animal) into the jello. 

Time to dig in....He was not about to use his hands!!!

Then he decided it would be more fun if he just dug in!

Lj said, "look mom, it made a bat fossil!"
I then explained to him how real fossil's are made. So not only was he getting some great sensory therapy, but he was learning as well!

After smooshing it through his hands, he decided to see what would happen when he mixed the jello....

Now he decided to see how it felt on his feet....

He insisted momma try it too! Gotta admit, it felt pretty cool!

All in all it was a lot of fun, and LJ said, "this was the best thing you made me yet!" I will definitely do this for him again. Hope you're kiddos enjoy it too!
After we were done cleaning up this mess, we moved on to making and playing with a water wall. Look for my "FUN Friday 2 post (hopefully I can write it soon)  to check it out! :) 

Ryan Friday!

I am so happy its Ryan Friday!!!! This last week has been so busy for us (more than normal)  Between me being sick, hubby's realization that his new surgery is in a few weeks, and LJ having a rough week with meltdowns over missing his brother, it was great to take a few minutes and join in on the fun, instead of worrying about what else may land on our plate!

So here it is, my Ryan Gosling poster for this week. Enjoy ladies :) (and Jim too :))

Like it? Don't forget to head over to Sunday's blog to see more of Ryan...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Special Needs Ryan Gosling Poster Friday!

Again, I enjoy this so much!! I look forward to Special Needs Ryan Friday!!! So here's mine this week.....

Don't forget to visit Sunday's blog to see all the other Special Needs Ryan pics this week! :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Shine a Light on Autism!

                                           Light it up Blue Campaign!
Monday April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. Many families/businesses are pledging to "Light it up Blue." Will you? You can purchase Autism Speaks Blue Light bulbs and lanterns from your local Home Depot. We will be using a blue porch light that evening. To find out more, or to pledge to "Light it up Blue" visit Autism Speaks.

You can also purchase an Autism Speaks Light it up Blue kit here....

Sunday, March 11, 2012

More Fun with Picnik

Picnik is my personal therapy, (other than this blog of course:)) Here are some I made this morning. Pass them on, share them, together we can raise awareness. :)

               I felt as though I was leaving out the daddies, so the next 2 are for you guys....

Another for the mommies...

Just loved this pic and had to Picnik it...

If I can teach at least one person about Autism, I am happy. Here are my awareness pics...

...And last but not least...
We'll be wearing blue on April 2nd, how about you???

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fun with Picnik

I am a Picnik addict and I am so sad it will be closing down next month :( So for now, I must Picnik my little heart out!!! Here are some I made this morning.

And for the precious kiddos whose stim is flapping...
My son rocks, spins and chews :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

New Special Needs Ryan Gosling Poster

I had so much fun joining the other ladies in making one of these last week, that I figured I'd join in again. So here it is :

Please be sure to visit Sunday's blog to check out all the other Special Needs Ryan Gosling pics. Its sure to make you smile! :)

Click HERE

Monday, March 5, 2012

Letter recognition/sight word fishing game

I finally finished the fishing game for my son. I am so proud of this one because it not only lets him work on retrieving letters to the sound I call out, but we also use it to build his sight words, all while working on his fine motor skills, and LJ thinks its a game, so he WANTS to play it :)
Below I will post pics and describe each step on how I made it. Try it and have fun with your kiddos :)

                                              Step one

I upcycled LJ's letter tub toys. Using paper clips, I bent the smaller end straight and poked it into the letter, then made a "hook" at the top. I used white paper clips on the consonants and black paper clips on the vowels.

Step Two
Next I had hubby get me a stick. (okay so he got me a branch, but we made due :)) Using wire tires (I upcycle these from opening toys at Christmas) I took yarn, tied a knot in one end, and every so often, wrapped a wire tie around the stick and the run, running it to the tip of the pole. I then took another paper clip, bent it open, and tied the end of the yarn around the small hook on the paper clip. Then I bent the larger end into a hook shape.

Step Three
Now is the fun part. I went out and got LJ's wading pool. I found it was cracked, so we couldn't add water. (we will have to get a new one when they are out) We put in the letters and the fishing began. I asked him to catch the "c" and he went on to fish out "cat."
LJ had so much fun letter fishing! I am going to work it into his daily lessons. We also made another fishing pole so when he has a friend over, they can "fish" together :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Shell Experiment

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Lj's shell experiment. This experiment taught LJ the affects of high acid content in water, and what it would do to sea life. Another very easy experiment to amaze your kiddos. Before I explained the science behind it to LJ, he just thought it was magic :)

The Naked "Egg"speriment

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Lj's new science experiment. This was really cool, and he was amazed at how the egg looked and felt after soaking in the vinegar. Very easy to do, I definitely recommend trying this with your kiddos!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Day in the Life with Autism

It was recently brought to my attention that the overwhelming consensus is that people on public assistance are "lazy, eat filet mignon, and have nicer things than "those who put in an honest days work!"" In reply to this, I thought that maybe if people knew what a day in our life was like, they would not feel this way.
Let me start by saying that yes, we are on public assistance. My hubby has a compound fracture of his T11 vertebrae and is currently fighting for his benefits. I was given good cause by the state to stay home with our autistic son because he can not attend school at this time and my hubby is unable to care for him by himself. With that said, here is what a typical day is for me:
5-6 am I get up. I "try" to get in a cup of coffee and some computer time before LJ wakes up. Between 630 and 7 am he usually rises. (this morning however he was up at 3,4 and 5 am) Its pretty much go go go from then on. (right now he is in a daze watching some cartoons, surprising!) He first needs to be taken to the bathroom, (his fear of everything prohibits him from making this venture on his own.) He then needs his chocolate almond milk, and at this time, his dog is bugging to be let out. By now I need a refresher on my coffee, and I quickly finish whatever I was doing on the computer before he was awake. From the time my son's eyes open, so too does his mouth. I am bombarded with questions, what ifs and anything his little mind throws his way. After about 30 minutes I have quieted him down about 5 times (hubby still asleep),and gotten him out of mischief at least twice. Let me interject to say that my son is sneaky. He can NOT be left alone for any period of time without getting into something. He is not your typical kid, and even a trip for me to the bathroom could result in a mess from him when I return. I also don't dare to leave the front door open and him unattended, he will take off into the yard.
Our son has daily appointments for different therapies, so now we prepare for that. I fight with him to get dressed, this could go on for 30 minutes as he hates to wear clothing. I give up for a bit, and I get dressed. He is into my makeup, into the hand soap, into everything! I finally manage to get myself ready. I now tackle him, (literally) get him dressed. Time for breakfast. My son only eats about 10 things, so we go through the list of what we have, and what is acceptable for breakfast. He is indecisive. He fights with me about the options, then after all is said and done, 50% of the time he eats breakfast. Time to brush his teeth. He gags, he cries. Often he is unable to brush them until afternoon or night due to his awful gagging reflex.  Off we go to therapy. He is all over the waiting room. Despite several prompts to get a book and read with mommy, he is still from one thing to the next, often times shoes and socks come off because he can't stand wearing them. I often get burning stares from other patients in the waiting room whom do not know he has ASD.  Appointment is over, time for errands. Forgot my list AGAIN! As I am struggling to remember what we need, my son (who refused the cart because he is a "big boy" and I let him because I was trying to prevent a public melt down) is ALL over the store, touching EVERYTHING!! ( he does this for tactile input) I catch him, more stares from shoppers. He now starts bugging me to buy him something. Because we are on assistance we "live", no SURVIVE off of 400$/month. There is no money to buy him anything, nor extra food money to squander because his gluten free diet is so expensive to maintain. He now starts becoming loud and defiant. I can feel a tantrum/meltdown coming on. More uneducated stares. I try to reason with him, this sometimes works, but not often. If we are at the dollar store I let him pick out something. He chooses something like nail clippers, or a tool he is too young for. I tell  him no, he becomes loud again, more stares. I may or may not manage to get out of the store tantrum free. We now get home, and I realize that in all the commotion with LJ, I forgot what it was I intentionally went to the store for, great! Time for lunch. More whining, more fighting with him on what he can eat. I may or may not manage to get him to eat something. Time for school work. Lj despises his manuscript writing practice, but since his handwriting is atrocious, I make him do it. I have him do this first to get it out of the way. More whining, more arguing, probably a time out of two, until he realizes I am not budging. He finishes that, we move onto lessons. After SEVERAL prompts to focus, we finish. (Yep, you guessed it, by now I am one tired momma) Time for housework! But not without LJ's help. Now, I love that he likes to help, and it is a good learning experience for him. With that being said, it ALWAYS causes me MORE work. He helps with dishes, I now have water EVERYWHERE. He helps me "fold" laundry by unfolding what I have already folded (despite numerous instructions on the correct way to fold), now I must re-fold the clothes. By this time of day, the house is a wreck, his toys are everywhere. Despite even more numerous attempts to get him to pick them up, I settle for helping him just to get it done. After we pick up all his toys, its time to vacuum, this is always a treat. As soon as I turn the vacuum on, LJ covers his ears, and then proceeds to scream OVER the vacuum. Thanks again SPD, because of you, the vacuum hurts his little ears. After all of this, I need a break. Time for LJ to relax for a bit. I find a movie or cartoon he likes, get him some almond milk and we sit together. His mouth still runs non stop, but at least he is not in motion. If I am SUPER LUCKY, we may doze off for about 45 minutes together in the chair. After this time, I let him have some free time on the computer. For the most part he is quiet through this time, unless he needs help. That is until its time for him to get off. Another fight, at least at home there are no disapproving stares. While he was on the computer I was making dinner. 2 dinners that is, because of LJ's sensory processing disorder there are MANY things he can't tolerate to eat, let alone smell. He is unable to sit still long enough to eat with us, or he is gagging/throwing up over the smell of our food. So he often times has to eat in another room. Time for dinner clean up. Now its bath time. More fighting with LJ, this time to wash his hair. He won't sit still, freaks out if the water gets in his face. (Thanks again SPD) After fighting to get it washed and rinsed, time to wash him. Don't dare use a wash cloth, he freaks out from the feel of it. I let him wash himself, then go back and do it, because he still is not good at that. Now, after I have fought to get him in there, I now have to fight to get him out. He's out, running around the house. Tackle him to at least put underpants on and dry him off as best as I can. (He's not a fan of towels either.) Another round to get him to brush his teeth again. This is usually a success but not always with toothpaste, as I have yet to find a flavor he can fully tolerate. More play time, LJ is still off the walls, non stop talking. At 10, 1030 pm we can finally give him his Melatonin. In about 30 minutes he will be out like a light! However, any earlier than this and he is up at 4 am, and I mean up for the day. Now its time for momma to head to bed. Hubby is mad I won't watch a movie with him. Truth be told, I'd be lucky to make it through 5 minutes of it anyway. I may or may not get an uninterrupted night's sleep, its anyone's guess. Either he wakes up from a nightmare, or just his overactive mind and thoughts. When this happens, typically 3-4 times/week, he is up for at least an hour sometimes the rest of the morning, talking. (On this particular morning he has been up at 3, 4, 5 and 6 am, he is now snoozing.) So when I go to bed, I add a good nights sleep into my prayers.
Now, throughout my day, I am also caring for our beautiful puppy LJ calls sissy. I also have to take LJ to the bathroom EVERY time he goes. If he goes number 2, he screams until I can stop what I am doing to go wipe him because he can not stand the feel of poo on him, and he refuses to wipe himself due to his fear of germs. We also can not forget the tantrums/meltdowns. These typically occur on average at least 2-3 times per day. They can last any where from 15 minutes to 30 or so. At this point I feel I am a soldier headed into battle. In attempts to calm him down, it helps to try a restrain him so we can apply mild pressure to him. (again SPD and the proprioceptive input his body craves.) It is in this process that I am often kicked, punched, slapped, even bitten from time to time. ( He once accidentally broke my nose in mid meltdown!) Now, people that are complaining about people like me that are "lazy" would probably say a good spanking or time out would suffice. To this I say, I try it. My 60 pound boy has almost ripped his door off the hinges when in a rage because I have tried to put him in his room. Let me stress, he is NOT a mean or aggressive child by nature, but when in his meltdown stage, his brain tells his body to go into fight or flight mode, at which point my little man will do whatever it takes to get away. "Let him just go," I have been told by parents of neuro typical kiddos. Fine, sometimes that does work, and other times, I can't. I can't for fear he will tear our house down with him. He throws things, often BIG things. Its out of fear for his and our safety that we try to restrain and calm him. (Since getting his weighted blanket from his nana and papa, it has drastically helped in this calming down process.) When its over, we sometimes have to wait until the next day to speak to him about this behavior, because he becomes defensive and it has sparked a whole new meltdown. We are still learning, and trying our best.'ve read first hand what a typical day in the life of autism is. you think I'm lazy??????? If so, please, come replace me for a day. I would love a break and a real chance at being lazy!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Special Needs Ryan Gosling Poster

I see so many of these on other special needs moms' blogs, and they always make me laugh. I had to make one of my own. Here it is:

Here is a link back to another great blog, she has linked many other of these fun posters :)