Friday, February 26, 2010

Silly Statements

My daughter asked a silly, yet thought-provoking statement last night. She said, "I wonder what the tooth fairy does with all the teeth?" I couldn't help but think that would be a lot of teeth to deal with each night. Where would it all go? I asked her if she had any ideas, but she couldn't come up with any. I suggested that maybe the tooth fairy gave the old teeth to new babies so that they would have teeth to use. She thought this over and said something along the lines of "Ewwww."

Speaking of silly statements, a Virginia state lawmaker, Bob Marshall (R), has been making some silly statements lately, although they aren't as adorable as my daughter's. He said at a press conference last week that God is taking "vengeance" on parents who have had abortions by making their other children disabled, according to the News Leader in Central Virginia. "The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically," he reportedly said. "Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children." "In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord," he added. "There's a special punishment Christians would suggest."

Bob Marshall posted a statement on his Web site distancing himself from the comments. "No one who knows me or my record would imagine that I believe or intended to communicate such an offensive notion," he wrote. "I have devoted a generation of work to defending disabled and unwanted children, and have always maintained that they are special blessings to their parents. Nevertheless, I regret any misimpression my poorly chosen words may have created as to my deep commitment to fighting for these vulnerable children and their families."

Wow, those words are kinda hard to misinterpret! I can't even fathom how any child can be seen as a punishment either. However, I am glad that somebody finally figured out why the autism rates have suddenly increased so much! Thank goodness we have answers now!

Sarah Palin has been uncharacteristically quiet about Bob Marshall's comments. I wonder if she would be if he were a democrat?

I should leave political rantings to my husband (he's AMAZING at them), but sometimes, you just have to acknowledge them because they do represent a segment of the population that does believe these things. Hopefully, it's a very small segment. I just wished that when politicians made silly statements, they would be as insightful as my daughter's. Is that asking for too much?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Big Bang Theory

Last night, I watched The Big Bang Theory. I had only watched it once or twice before, and I thought it was clever, but not on my must-view list. Anyway, my husband had to work late last night, and being bored, I went through the TIVO list to see if there was anything to watch that wouldn't make my husband too angry if he missed watching it with me. So, I thought I'd give The Big Bang Theory another try. I'm telling ya, it's now on my must-view list. The episode I saw was really freakin' funny! I could not stop laughing.

Anyone who has seen the show knows that one of the characters, Sheldon, is extremely quirky. Anyone who has seen the show who parents an Aspie or who is an Aspie can tell you that Sheldon has Asperger's. While I was watching the show for the first time, I realized it right away.

It is my opinion that Sheldon is the most honestly depicted Asperger character on television. I was so intrigued by the character that I wanted to know the back story on it, so I researched it pretty extensively on the internet. What I found out was that the show's creators did not intend for Sheldon to have Asperger's. In fact, they appear to have no knowledge about what Asperger's even is. However, Jim Parsons, the actor who plays Sheldon, looked up information on Asperger's after hearing about how Sheldon has Asperger's. He is quoted as saying, "The writers say no, he doesn't (have Asperger's). ..." Parson shrugs in his response, "[But] I can say that he couldn't display more facets of it."

I also found that creators of the show based the character of Sheldon on an actual friend of theirs. I suspect that this person is an undiagnosed Aspie, which would make Sheldon one as well. I think the shows creators and writers have truly stumbled into having the best depiction of an Aspie because it wasn't their intention to depict an Aspie. So, they developed a wonderfully fleshed-out character, who happens to have Asperger's rather than doing what other shows do...create an Asperger character while forgetting to develop the other facets of his/her personality.

I was a huge fan of Boston Legal, but I never felt that they really offered a realistic portrayal of Asperger's with their Jerry Espenson character. In fact, I was happy when the character once mentioned that he thought he might also have Tourette's Syndrome. It was only mentioned once and never followed up with, but I think the writer's added it in to address criticisms about how the portrayal really didn't mesh entirely with Asperger's in regards to his tics and verbal outbursts. While I thought Christian Clemenson was a wonderful actor who brought warmth and humanity to the character, the Asperger's just didn't ring entirely true to me.

I'm definitely going to tune in more regularly to The Big Bang Theory. I find Sheldon to be funny and also inspirational. He's successful and has friends. My daughter is already light-years ahead of him with her social skills, so I'm sure she'll grow up to be successful and have friends too!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm Turning into a Computer Geek!

Well, not really, but I am getting a little more computer-savvy! I found a widget that allows my many readers (okay, I think there are two of you out there!) to subscribe to my blog via email. This way, you will get notified when I post a new blog. Pretty nifty, huh? The internet is pretty cool.

When the Going Gets Tough...

Wow! It's been a rough week or so. Living with a child with autism can be such a roller coaster ride. My daughter's been having a rough time the past week or so. She's been really spacey and having a hard time focusing on her different tasks. Heck, even brushing her teeth can take 15 minutes because she forgot the reason why she went into the bathroom in the first place. She's been having a hard time managing her emotions and can cry over the littlest things! It's crazy!

I know she'll eventually cycle out of this bad spell and be doing better again, but it can be so discouraging in the meantime.

I guess I have to remember how far she's come and be thankful that she doing well overall. And have some chocolate1

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Crazy Schedule

I have fond memories of my childhood. I remember having fun at school! Then, after I'd come home, I'd do homework, which would take about 30 minutes at most. After finishing homework, I'd run outside and play with the other kids on my block. We'd play hide and seek or tag or whatever game would spontaneously start based on the number of kids who would be outside that day. We'd play until our parents would call us in for dinner. During long summer days, we'd run back out and play after dinner until it got dark.

Nowadays, it's not like that anymore. Our kids have schedules of activities that we fit in after long school days and big homework assignments. My daughter starts school at 8 in the morning. I generally pick her up at 2:30 in the afternoon. Homework takes between 15 to 30 minutes. Have I mentioned that she's in kindergarten? Then we have her special needs to address. She has a speech class that addresses conversation skills one day a week. Her regional center behaviorists want to work with her in a group setting with neuro-typical peers, so my daughter stays for an after-school class with her behaviorist two days a week. They also want her in activities with neuro-typical peers, so on another day, she takes a fun hip-hop dance class. Over the weekend, she takes a gymnastics class (way better than occupational therapy for her needs) and a soccer class. Whew! Her schedule leaves one week day to free-play or have a playdate.

I know our kids with autism aren't entirely unique with these overloaded schedules! It's an issue with all kids. Some experts believe that these overloaded schedules are one reason for the increase in obesity rates. Kids are simply not getting the same amount of exercise that they did in earlier generations. Oh sure, we pencil in the exercise through sports activities, but it's not the same as letting them run wild to play on the block with their friends.

Why don't kids play on the block with the other neighborhood kids anymore? It's not viewed as safe. The fear of child abductions has forced kids to spend more time indoors. This fear may not be realistic (child abductions are really uncommon), but I'm certainly not going to be the only mom to let her kid play in the front yard. I might as well paint a huge target on her! Anyway, we live in a hillside community. There are no kids her age on our street, and there really are no front lawns either, for that matter.

Why don't I just pare back my daughter's activities? She is an only child who doesn't have kids to play with nearby. She also needs to work on her social skills, so I'm following the advice of every expert who has seen her which is to keep her really busy with activities with neuro-typical peers. I do try to fit in some down-time when I can so she can decompress by reading or playing on the computer or watching a tv show. I do think some down-time is good for the soul, don't you?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Date Night

My husband and I did something on Friday night that we haven't done in a long time. We went out on a date night. Sure, we've gone out to work functions and to get-togethers with friends for game nights (on very rare occasions). But it's pretty much a rarity when we just go out to do something fun--just the two of us. We got very close to not going out at all. My husband was horribly sick last week--running a very high fever for a good part of the week. I was sick with a cold and wasn't feeling that great either. But when Friday came, and we never got around to canceling the babysitter, we decided to go out. Besides, the tickets to go see Randy Newman were not cheap!

Once we got to the venue, I looked around and spotted Julia Louis-Dreyfus. My husband spotted James Newton Howard (a famous film composer). Then I realized I hadn't even bothered to change the clothes I wore all day (old jeans and a sweater) or put on makeup. I felt like a haggard mom! A haggard mom with a raging cold.

After we took our seats, my husband spotted an old, close friend sitting just two rows ahead of us! It was great talking with them and catching up. It occurred to me that we always run into people we know when we do venture out. It reminds me that going out isn't such a novelty for other people as it is for us!

Randy Newman wasn't in top form during the show. He forgot a lot of his lyrics! He actually apologized at one point and said he was working on Toy Story 3 all day and had a cold. Nevertheless, his fans were more than supportive and enjoyed the show! The show took an emotional turn for me when he sang his very last song of the night--Feels Like Home. This isn't probably one of his better known songs, but it's a beautiful love song that is so meaningful to me. My husband proposed to me after this song played. It was the song we had our first dance to at our wedding. We even had a good friend sing it during the ceremony at our wedding--the very same friend who was sitting two rows ahead of us during the concert! I haven't heard the song since my daughter was born. But when Randy sang it, I knew we were meant to be at that concert that night, hearing it. Enjoying it. Reveling in the memories of it.

That song made me think about the joy I had when I was dating my husband. The excitement when we got engaged and married. It made me remember my life before my daughter joined it. The whole experience reminded me, yet again, how important it is to have date nights with your spouse. We haven't been very good about doing this, but I think we need to get better about it. It's important for any married couple to go out and bond as just a couple. However, it's even more vital when that couple has to deal with the stress and challenges of bringing up a child with special needs. The statistics are truly sobering. The divorce rate for couples with children of special needs is said to be 80 percent! I want to be in the 20 percent that makes it. Let's have more nights out! And I promise I'll dress-up and put some makeup on and not be that haggard mom.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Identity Theft

I found out yesterday that somebody went on wild shopping sprees using my name and other info about me 4 years ago. So, while I was trying to deal with my terrible-twos daughter, somebody spent about $7,000 on electronics at Circuit City and Best Buy. It made me wonder...Was the fake me having more fun than the real me? Heck ya! No doubt about it there. It made me think about the Friends episode where Monica found out that somebody had taken her identity and was spending her money on all sorts of things, like dance classes. While Monica started following her around, she realized she wanted to be more like the fake version of herself because of all the fun she was having!

Once I got over the jealously of the fake me, I got angry (of course) that somebody essentially stole expensive merchandise and did it in my name! Also, it occurred to me that I wouldn't trade my stay-at-home unglamorous life for anything! I'll stick with my life of being a mommy to a sometimes-tantrummy, but always wonderful 6-year old! Yes, even without the $7,000 shopping sprees.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

False Sense of Security

Let me start off by saying that my daughter has grown tremendously this past year in terms of her handling her emotions and playing with other kids. A year ago, when I'd pick her up from preschool, she'd be off in the sandbox, playing by herself. When she noticed that I was there, instead of running happily to me to give me a hug like the other kids did when they saw their moms, she would immediately have a big tantrum because she didn't want to leave the sandbox. That tantrum would just be one of many during the day. It was very depressing, to say the least.

Now, she happily plays with other kids. The tantrums are much less frequent. She even runs to give me a hug when I pick her up from school. These are definitely great days compared to a year ago! However, I also get a false sense of security from these improvements in behavior. Just when everything is going smoothly, and I think we've left behind the bad days of autism, I'll get hit with a big dose of reality. This happened the other day. I was taking my daughter to the park for a playdate with a former classmate. After I parked the car, my daughter started to have a full-on tantrum because she had forgotten to bring a picture she had made for her friend, and I had refused to drive back home so she could get it. I tried to prompt her through the tantrum and facilitate problem solving, but she was too out of control to try these techniques, so I had to just ignore the tantrum. As I was sitting in the front seat while she was screaming away in the back, all sorts of memories came flooding back to me of how many tantrums we had to ride out in the car. Luckily, my daughter was able to end the tantrum pretty quickly on her own. She wiped her tears, blew her nose, put a smile on her face, and was ready to go and play with her friend.

I felt like I was run over by a semi-truck! I put this episode into perspective (Thank goodness these tantrums are few and far between! What an improvement that she can eventually self-regulate!). Nevertheless, it's discouraging when you think you've hidden the autism away in a corner, but it rears its ugly head. I suppose it's something we'll just have to deal with from time to time.

I'm still thankful for the improvements of this past year though! Maybe someday I won't see any of this behavior anymore! A mom can dream, right?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More Study Is Needed!

The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday on a study concerning Asperger's syndrome. This study found that a hormone called oxytocin dramatically improved social learning skills of subjects who have Asperger's syndrome. Sounds great, right? Well, maybe. I'm always glad when research uncovers something that can help kids on the spectrum. The problem with this study--and almost every study I see from this field--is that its sample size is incredibly small. The study consisted of 13 subjects who were exposed to the oxytocin and a control group (the control group's size wasn't mentioned in the article). The article implied that all of the test group benefited from the oxytocin, but it wasn't clear. The article also didn't state what the level of improvement was for those 13 subjects. I'm not sure they did before and afters with this particular group of 13 students (e.g. conduct the test, measure responses, expose to oxytocin, reconduct the test, measure responses, measure the difference), but I think that might have been useful as well.

My main beef is with the sample size. I don't know what meaningful conclusions can be drawn, other than there is definite potential with oxytocin, but more study is needed. I'd like to see a study done with a large sample size, containing a significant cross-section of ages, range of severity of autism, and good representation of both genders. I'd like to know if the improvements hold up over a larger population. Are there more significant increases by gender? by age? by severity?

My daughter took part in a study once that examined a method of reducing rigidity in kids that have autism. I LOVED this study! It helped her so much with her rigidity! She was the star of the study. However, the study consisted of 4 kids total! And our daughter may have skewed the study's results. Who knows? Did the tiny study help us on a personal level? Absolutely! But would the technique used help all or even most kids on the spectrum? More study is needed!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Grocery Shopping

As I've previously blogged, I'm a stay-at-home mom to a kindergartner who is in a full-day kindergarten. She's generally at school from 8 am until 2:30. This gives me loads of free-time which is why I've started blogging.

The one thing that has also filled up a lot of my time is.....buying groceries! It's crazy. I have to hit a food store almost every week day. Many days, I have to hit more than one. The markets I shop at are: Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Henry's, and Ralph's. This morning, I've already been to Whole Foods and Ralph's. The kicker is that oftentimes, after I've come home from marketing, I've realized that I forgot a key ingredient or forgot to put something on my list that I've desperately needed to buy. Hence, another trip to the market.

I had to go to Whole Foods today to buy spaghetti sauce. Their Mrs. Gooch's brand is a very reasonably priced, tasty, low-sodium sauce. Since my husband is on a low-sodium diet, I have to go to Whole Foods to buy this sauce. Then, I went to Ralph's to buy tissues (we still have a house full of sickies), ice cream, and other supermarket type essentials.

I love Trader Joe's and Henry's for their organic meat and chicken. They also have a lot of other great items at great prices. We do not do a gluten-free/casein free diet, but Henry's has some great products there if you do follow this diet. And you really can't beat a large supermarket for buying staples, although I go to Ralph's to buy whatever I can't find at the 3 other markets.

So between trying to buy organic when possible, buying the best-tasting low-sodium products, and buying the best-tasting products at the best prices, I find myself running around like a crazy person after school drop-off to grocery shop. The one day that I may skip marketing is usually devoted to going to Target--which is my all-time favorite store.

Is this just me or does everyone else run to a bunch of different markets to get their groceries? How do people who work manage to find the time to go grocery shopping? Why do I feel like marketing is my part-time job?

Monday, February 15, 2010

What a Week!

One thing I've noticed with my daughter's autism is that it seems to go in waves. She'd have these weeks of acting in a very autistic manner followed by weeks of seeming perfectly fine. Then, once you get use to the "typical" behavior, BAM! back to an autistic-behavior cycle. I'm not sure if other children with autism also display these patterns, but my daughter definitely has them! Over time, with her therapies, she does seem to be having longer "good" cycles and shorter "bad" ones though! Thank goodness!

This past week has been a pretty damn good one, I must say. She's been a bit under the weather, but she's been charming, funny, sweet, and really well-behaved, for the most part. We had to attend a bar mitzvah over the weekend. My husband and I were panicked about the Saturday morning service. My daughter had never had to sit through a religious service before, and we didn't know how she'd do. We were worried for nothing, because she did great! She brought some reading material, so she wouldn't get too bored, but she did pay attention to a lot of the service. That night, I asked her what she thought about it, and she said that she liked it--the singing was so beautiful! She was also so social during the luncheon that followed! I saw her initiate conversation with the other kids, and she appeared to do quite well with them!

Another wonderful moment occurred yesterday. My husband caught my daughter's cold and has been feeling pretty yucky. My daughter, feeling bad about her poor daddy, brought her Winnie-the-Pooh trash can and tissues into our bedroom. She put the box of tissues on his nightstand and left her trashcan by his side of the bed, then showed me what she had done. I asked her why she did that, and she responded that she wanted her daddy to be comfortable when he's in bed and not feeling well.

I know I created this blog to celebrate the quirkiness of our wonderful kids, but I can't help but celebrate the non-quirky moments too!

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Confession

I have a really big black-tie event coming up in about 3 weeks! Exciting, right? Well, not totally because I've noticed that I've starting packing on the pounds. I would love to lose about 10 pounds, which just isn't going to happen. How on earth did this weight creep on? I've always been pretty skinny, even after having my daughter.

Well, here's the confession....I'm addicted to chocolate. I mean REALLY addicted. During the darkest days with the stress of dealing with a child on the spectrum, chocolate would be there to help me cope. It would give me that feeling of pleasure that would be so helpful in dealing with the endless tantrums.

Now that my daughter is doing better and isn't having an endless amount of tantrums each day, you'd think I wouldn't need to turn to the chocolate as much, right? Well, I still seem to need it to help me get through my day. In fact, I'm craving a piece right now.

I rationalize this addiction by saying it could be worse. It's not crack, right? Heck, dark chocolate is even good for you! I'm helping my body out by eating chocolate every day. And cookies. I did mention the cookies too, didn't I? They usually have chocolate in them, so they're healthy also!

I gotta go shopping for a formal dress now. Oh, I also need to buy a pair of Spanx! Have a good one!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Should Asperger's Label Cease to Exist?

Possibly a few of my reading public (I'm pretending to have more than a few readers, hehe) have noticed my blog contains a list of topical news stories regarding autism and Asperger's. A big item discussed in yesterday's news is that there is serious discussion about doing away with the Asperger label and just folding it in as part of the autism spectrum. Is this a good idea? A bad idea? I don't know. I'm honestly conflicted about it.

One issue is that there is a lot of confusion about Asperger's and how it differs from autism--or doesn't differ. My understanding is that it really doesn't differ, at least with high-functioning autism. The main area of difference is when language is acquired. A child with high-functioning autism would have a delay in speaking while a child with Asperger's doesn't have this delay. Children with Asperger's are seen as having average or above average intelligence while a child with autism generally has below average intelligence. However, I'm not sure this is true for children that have high-functioning autism. I believe their intelligence is average or above average as well. Based on this, maybe Asperger's should be rolled into the Autism spectrum.

Another compelling argument for getting rid of the Asperger designation is that some states do not seem to consider Asperger's to be part of Autism. In California, a child who is diagnosed as having Asperger's will not get many (or ANY) services from the school district or regional centers. I've heard that this is the case in Texas as well. So, this would be another argument in support of getting rid of the Asperger designation.

What arguments are there in keeping the term Asperger's then? The main argument is that there isn't an entirely negative association with having Asperger's. Many Aspies embrace their quirkiness and have a sense of pride with their label. I don't believe this is the case for people with high-functioning autism--at least yet! There are people who believe that this is changing, particularly with movies such as "Temple Grandin" that show positive examples of people with high-functioning autism. Also, Einstein is widely regarded as having Asperger's. However, since he didn't start speaking until he was 3, I would argue that he had high-functioning autism as well.

When I started this blog, it was my intention to celebrate the strengths of kids with Asperger's and high-functioning autism. I believe that they are definitely there, and the world is a better place for having people who have a different perspective on things. Maybe the solution is to get rid of the Asperger label and educate the public on the strengths of kids with Autism.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Career

Last week, I went to a retirement luncheon for two former coworkers. Before I had my daughter, I worked for over 17 years at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) as a senior analyst. I traveled the country (heck, even the world) studying issues for Congress such as gender issues in the military, civil liberty issues of the 9/11 investigations, and sweatshops in the garment industry, just to name a few issues I had fun exploring. Going to the luncheon made me very nostalgic for my working days.

During my maternity leave, when I had decided to become a stay-at-home mom, I always had the intention of returning to the workforce when my daughter started kindergarten. Well, she started kindergarten, and here I am, still plugging away as a stay-at-home mom--and not even a very good stay-at-home mom! I'm not waiting for "Good Housekeeping" to offer me any awards for, well...good housekeeping! Two main reasons why I haven't returned to the workforce are: 1) there are no jobs available and 2) I need to still be involved with my daughter's therapies and treatments for her autism.

I tried looking for part-time work. I really have! Most of the jobs I've applied for I haven't even gotten a chance to interview, probably because they receive hundreds of resumes for one position. Have I mentioned how low-paying these jobs are? It's depressing to get rejected for $15/hr jobs.

But in addition, I've come to realize that I don't want to give up the time or flexibility of my schedule while my daughter is still receiving the services that are helping her so much! And I want to be there to see what the behavior therapists are doing so that I can learn by example! I've learned so much! One of the biggest changes is that I've learned to keep calm and patient. It has made all the difference.

So, for now my career is being a stay-at-home mom! However, it honestly isn't enough! I'm finding it's really important to develop interests outside of our children. This blog is the first step to doing "work" that is meaningful to me. Maybe I'll eventually do something really radical and decadent and start a blog on something that doesn't revolve around my daughter!

However, if a part-time position comes up that pays $75/hour (at least), offers intellectual stimulation, and a totally flexible schedule with no travel requirements...well...I may not turn it down!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What a Circus!

Well, my daughter is still home from school sick with a cold. Hopefully, she'll be well enough for school tomorrow. As I was farting around on the computer this morning, she was playing quietly upstairs. When I went up to check on her, she had a surprise waiting for me...a circus show! She had Curious George jumping through a hoop, clowns performing, and the grand finale was my beautiful daughter performing some magic tricks, that were actually pretty good. I was only on the computer for about 20 minutes! How did she come up with all this so quickly?

The bigger question is why does lack of sleep and not feeling 100 percent lead to such typical and creative behavior? Whenever she's had a horrible night's sleep, her behaviorist at school will always report that she had a fabulous day at school. I don't think this hold true for other kids on the spectrum; it's something unique with my daughter. Lynn Koegel, of UCSB's Autism Center, once told us that it may be in our daughter's destiny to have a job that requires little sleep--like being a doctor. That sure beats what our initial Regional Center services coordinator told us! She said that our daughter could one day become a condom counter. Yes, I'm serious! You cannot make this stuff up! Life is a circus indeed.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Am I Insane?

The behaviorists that work with my daughter have been insisting that all ABA provided be with neuro-typical peers. They would also prefer that there be at least two or three of them. For whatever reason, scheduling playdates has not been easy. Many of the girls in my daughter's class have loads of activities or siblings' activities or any number of other reasons why it's hard to schedule playdates. So, I've been looking for activities for my daughter to join that would allow the behaviorist to collect data and intervene when necessary. Even this has not been that easy to find. I've signed her up in some after-school programs that seem pretty cool. I've also tried to find a Daisy chapter for her to join.

For those who may not know, Daisies are part of the Girl Scout organization. They are the youngest group, consisting of kindergartners and first graders. Needless to say, my daughter's school doesn't have a Daisy troop and all the other troops at nearby schools are completely full. So, I'm thinking about starting my own troop. Am I insane? I mean completely insane? On some days, I can barely handle my own daughter. How am I supposed to run a troop of about 20 5 and 6 year olds? Yikes!

Yup, I am completely insane.

Being Sick Is a Drag

My poor daughter is sick with a cold. She has the worst cough. I don't think she slept more than a few hours last night. It's strange, but when she was starting to get sick on Saturday, she was having a really hard time, autistic-wise. Any little think would upset her to no end! I was really losing my patience with her, assuming she was on her down cycle (I find that her autistic behavior seems to go in cycles...she has good "typical" weeks followed by bad "autistic" weeks). But then it because apparent that she was getting sick. Oddly enough, the sicker she started to become, the more typical her behavior became! This is sometimes true when she's had a bad night's sleep. Sometimes the less sleep she gets, the better her behavior. Go figure!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

We Are So Lucky!

The Temple Grandin movie made me realize how lucky we are. We just started receiving services about a year ago, and our daughter has made such amazing progress! We still have less than desirable behaviors to stamp out, but we don't have the challenges that Temple--and many other autistic people--have had to overcome!

I'm mostly thankful for the fact that our daughter is affectionate! She loves to be hugged and kissed. She is social and fun-loving! And have I mentioned that she is smart? Now, if only we can convince her it's okay to not be able to control everything....

One day at a time!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Temple Grandin Movie Was Amazing!

I just got through watching it and thought it was so inspirational! I met Temple about a year ago, not long after my daughter was diagnosed. It was at a conference, and she was the keynote speaker. I spoke with her quite a bit, and she had a ton of great tips and insight. At the conference, she mentioned the movie, so I had been eagerly waiting to see it! It really surpassed me expectations.
About a week ago, my daughter said that she thinks the tooth fairy is a man! I thought that was a weird comment, but it occurred to me that she might have seen her daddy sneak the money under her pillow when she lost her first tooth. I was in a panic and didn't know how to handle the comment. I quickly changed the subject. A few days later, I was reading the paper, and my daughter pointed to the ad of the Tooth Fairy movie. She said, "There's the tooth fairy!" LOL! I was in a panic for nothing. I think my reply was, "When are you losing that next tooth, already?"

I'm New to Blogging

I hope I'll find an audience for this blog. I guess time will tell. I'm currently a mom to a 6-year old high-functioning autistic girl. She's adorable. She's smart. She's quirky. Very quirky. I thought it would be a hoot to start a blog that celebrated that quirkiness. I hope to start a bulletin board soon as well so that I can hear adorable stories about your kids!

We began this special needs path relatively recently, so I still consider myself to be a newbie in this arena. My goal isn't to pass myself off as an expert (I'm clearly not). My goal is mostly to maintain my sense of humor that sometimes gets lost in the day-to-day grind! Enjoy--I hope!