Thursday, September 27, 2007

It's Nice to Know

Even when you already have an idea of what you are dealing with, what is in store - it's nice to have a professional opinion. Dr. Ross Tatum's diagnosis was as I had anticipated: high functioning Autistic/boarder line Pervasive Developmental Disorder Otherwise Specified. He let me know that we are on the exact right track. Apparently the district we are living in has a phenomenal program for helping children with "diseases" such as B-Mans. People move to this specific district from other states just to be eligible to participate in these schools. So, we got lucky there -who knew? He also gave me the name of another doctor who helps parents work with the child at home as well as the district program, for a more well rounded approach.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


When I set up B-Man's appointment with the child hood psychologist for October 22 I asked to be put on the "cancellation wait list", which meant that if someone canceled their appointment, I'd be given a call.
Since I took B-Man off dairy his digestive process has been completely disgusting. (Yes, this will all come together...) He still isn't potty trained for #2 and his stools ... well, they have become "pools" since the removal of casein from his diet. At least twice a day I am completely stripping him down and hosing him off. This process is not only thoroughly gross but hard for me to deal with calmly. Though I KNOW he doesn't MEAN to do it, it has still been driving me to the brink of sanity.
This afternoon as I was in the middle of the very frustrating process of shopping at Whole Foods, trying to find products (that are not only organic, but gluten and casein free too!) for recipes I am going to try out while Jerry is in Kansas City for NASCAR ... The doctors office called to find out if I'd be able to bring B-Man in tomorrow morning. YES! YES! YES!
I admit my thoughts have been revolving around the "geesh ... what else are You going to throw at me?" question. It's nice to know that even when I am a little angry with the Great Him, He still loves me. I'm grateful for this break, I hope tomorrow we'll be able to at least start on the road towards others helping B-Man become the boy trapped inside.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

7 years

Last night Jerry and I celebrated our anniversary. As we were walking into our chosen steak house we laughed over the fact that we haven't had any easy years. Even now, as it looks like our financial future is getting easier, we come upon the challenge of working to find an improvement in our son. A HUGE toll emotionally on both of us. After devouring delicious steaks, seafood and warm crusty bread we headed over to a Saturn dealership so I could show him the truck I want his business to lease for me. He was won over, now we just have to figure out WHEN that will happen. Hopefully by years end. We ended the night by going to "The Bourne Ultimatum", eh, not bad. Really, you can't see the first two and miss the third. Though they left a few too many things hanging in my opinion - were he and Julia Stiles character involved before? What does she know? TELL ME!
We came home to not only a clean house, but a VACUUMED house and a sleeping babysitter. Jenna, bless your sweet heart. LOVE HER!

Break Thru?

I've noticed a few small changes in B-Man's temperament (mostly bad, I'll admit) since I've taken him off of dairy products. He throws more temper tantrums, cries more for unexplainable reasons, shows definite preference for doing what HE wants to do WHEN he wants to do it. He has started SAYING what he wants to do, "GO TO GYM?!?!", "Go eat with Ms. R?". Today I almost started crying when he and Ms. R were playing together, Ms. R tickling him and him screaming with delight. Then he says, "You tickling me!" as he starts giggling again. There just may be something to this whole special diet thing.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Rough Day

I think today marked the "withdrawal" day for strawberry milk/dairy. B-Man threw more tantrums, cried, kicked the cats, smacked Ms. R with toys than he ever has before. By supper time he was yelling at me for ice cream, apparently giving up on strawberry milk. He doesn't even really like ice cream. Right now he and Ms. R are playing "kitchen" and he's pretending to make strawberry milk. As he says, "Strawberry milk" over and over again as he shakes a cup then pretends to drink from it, his voice cracks cause he's so near tears. I really hope I've done the right thing.
We went to the gym for a break - because for some reason B-Man is always good at the gym. They played in the play area for a couple hours while I worked myself back into healthy living, then we headed to the outdoor pool (yeah, we're still in the 30's here) for a couple hours.
I'm having a bit of difficulty in a few area of my life at the moment, which it turns out makes me really tense. Therefore a HUGE headache. Seriously, last night I had to lay there doing an exercise a friend of mine taught me several years ago. You concentrate on one muscle at a time from your toes on up till you're like jello everywhere. I however started at my jaw because I found that I am really clutching my jaw together lately.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Step One

The lady I talked to yesterday about Autism suggested a cook book by Lisa Lewis called, "Special Diet for Special Kids". The first step this lady suggests in modifying your child's diet is removal of dairy products. It seems like my initial reaction to everything associated with this disease is immediate rejection. I know, it's kind of like a coping/denial type mechanism, but I really hope I get over it. My first thought was, "If they aren't consuming dairy, how do they get their calcium?" I knew there were other foods containing this mineral, it was just a matter of researching what they were.
Today marks our first "no dairy" diet. I am going full throttle with B-Man and slowly weaning the rest of us off of it - since there are some dairy products still left in the house that I am not going to simply throw out. Which means that last night I threw out the strawberry syrup (apparently the red dye in strawberry syrup is one of the worst things you can give your kids, as a heads up to anyone out there who also gives their kids strawberry sauce to encourage milk consumption.) Today has been kind of rough with B-Man crying intermittently for strawberry milk. I take him to the fridge every time, show him there is no strawberry sauce then hand him a bottle of water. They say he may some symptoms of with drawl, but this is the best thing to do. We've gone without strawberry milk for a few days at a time before when I haven't got to a store - but never long term. We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Follow the Promptings

... even if it leads you to greasy McDonald's.
This morning after a crazy morning of a dentist appointment for Ms. R, running a few errands, observing Ms. R at recess (I'll talk about that later) I was on my way home at 10:42 when I felt the overwhelming urge to go to McDonalds for lunch. Everything in me was like, "ICK! No!" Greasy, not even lunch time yet, ect. I couldn't deny the "urge" to stop by a particular McDonalds even though we passed two other ones on the way there. As I pulled into the parking lot I noticed the only other car there had an Autism ribbon magnet on the back bumper. In passing I hoped for the opportunity to talk with the owner of the car then casually dismissed the thought as B-Man and I headed into the restaurant. Just after I finished ordering a lady comes up to the register to complain that her drink is very untastey and would like to exchange it. As she's talking I hear a wailing start up in the play area, she whips around and then goes rushing into the play area. The woman comes back out carrying a little girl, explains that her daughter fell of the bench, now has a red spot on her back and requests a ice pack. As her daughter continues to wail she turns to me very apologetically, "I'm sorry, she has Autism, all of her emotions are a little overwhelming." I tell her I understand, that my son also has Autism. We both gather our requested items, head into the play area and continue to talk for the next hour. She gives me insights, ideas, reassurance and her number to call. After only an hour of talking it through, discussing feelings and events and common behaviours with another mother I am completely exhausted emotionally. We both agree, this disorder is extremely overwhelming not only because it is not addressed or acknowledged by the government or most health agencies. But because there are so many conflicting reports, treatments and ideas behind it. We're in for a long bumpy ride.
Back to Ms. R. Yesterday B-Man and I went into share lunch with her. As we talked about her day I asked her who she'd played with at recess (trying to open up a conversation about OTHER kids she can play with) and she said no one. I admit, I was a bit skeptical. All 4 Kindy classes go out for recess at the same time, which means there are around 70 kids for her to associate with during the 15 minutes they are out playing. This morning her dentist appointment ran till just before morning recess. So after I dropped her off, I stuck around to observe what happens during recess - from an adults perspective. It was a mixture of anger and sadness as I watched her wander around the playground forlornly. Switching between approaching various groups of girls playing (then the girls turning their backs on Ms. R, or running away) and swinging on monkey bars alone. I think I physically felt Ms. R's relief when the whistle was blown indicating end of recess. There is nothing I'd like more than to fix this, but I don't know how. My heart hurts for my baby.
All in all, a very emotionally draining morning.
On an up note - Ms. R's dentist is VERY nice. She did very well for her first time and got a bunch of fun treasures for being such a brave girl. The two teeth I was worried about because of a white-ish build up on them are actually enamel that developed differently because of the trauma that area endured during the development stage. Dr. Cremer said that her adult teeth won't come in looking like that because they developed after that stage. She has a small jaw like me and her teeth are crowding, which means, like mom - she'll more than likely need to be fitted for a retainer in a couple of years.
An Update on me ... Hmmm ... After Jenie, Michael and their kids left I realized that I could do so much more organizing and dejunking of my house. So I started going through my cupboards, closets and shelves, ect and tossing what ever I hadn't used in the past year or had expired (I had a lot of medicine that was past the "best before" date). It felt really good. When I contemplated why my house had got this way, with all this built up crap ... it's because I just keep thinking, "Well, when we move..." and that move NEVER comes. I've never had a reason to dejunk other than just keeping things clutter free and organized, which is fine and good. Unless you're me and used to moving every 2 or so years, so you're anticipating that big reason to get your act cleaned up (or in my case, your house better organized). Slowly but surely my house is falling into line and looking and feeling more like I'd like it to.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I'll Get Better

At this posting thing now that things are a little less crazy. I promise!
Ms. R started kindy this year with a bit of apprehension and a lot of excitement. She is completely in love with her teacher, Ms. Feldman. The Jones cousins were still here when she started school, she loved coming home to so many friends to play with. She seems to be having a hard time making friends with a particular "clique" of girls in her classroom and with the fact that while she was in PPCD learning how to speak properly and honing her motor skills her peers were learning their letters and numbers. In the evening when we practice her alphabet she always ends up in tears because she'll write a "j" backwards or whatever. Combine those two and her first two weeks of Kindy have been kind of tough emotionally on both of us. B-Man and I went into share lunch with her the other day and she's plead with me every day since for us to come have lunch with her again so she can eat with someone who likes her. I keep trying to convince her to make friends with little girls in her class who are NICE and want to be her friend too, however with the girl she wants to be friends with sitting right next to her in class it's a difficult spot to be in.
B-Man, Ms. R and I went in for Ms. R's reassessment for speech and walked out with a referral to the district program for B-Man. It may not specialize in Autism, but it will be better than nothing till we can get him into a treatment center here in the DFW area. The waiting lists are around 1-2 years long, which is just insane, but there it is. Unless we want to move to Austin, this is the option we have. The most I am hoping for is that he'll become less aggressive towards other kids. Lately his aggression has become hard to deal with, to the point that I am afraid of taking him into social situations because I am constantly on alert for him shoving, hitting, pulling hair, ect. kids around him. Other parents seem to frown on that :(
Jerry switched around my hard drive so now I don't have the ability to download my pictures here, so you'll have to wait for me to go to Walmart and get one of those picture CD's for the summer pics.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Dilemma

is to where to start. As I recently had pointed out to me, it's been two months since I blogged last. Oy!
First of all I'll summarize various experiences from Canada: Hung out with Dawn a bit till she headed off to girls camp with the YW from her ward. Ms. R came down with an ear infection that had her awake off and on for three days. Headed up to Whitecourt for H's baptism. I wept through the talk I had prepared, that's pretty much all I remember from that day. After having a small emotional breakdown. Between having a miniature breakdown involving dealing with B-Man and a sinus infection the first few days I was there weren't pretty. Jenie and I decided since there is way more to do AND way better shopping in Texas we'd pack up all our kids and spend August at my house. Trip home was a little longer with 7 kids, but not unpleasantly so. We jam packed the rest of August doing stuff. Train rides, shopping, fountain frolicking, shopping, community pools, shopping, children's museum, shopping, Fort Worth Zoo, spray parks, girls days out, shopping, book store, playgrounds ... With the chaos of keeping 7 kids occupied and fed I completely blanked on my picture taking. We have pictures from TWO of the places we went. Yeah, pathetic for me, I know.
I'll post more this evening...