It's All Okay

Just a mom blogging about life with an autistic child.

Location: Canada

I'm a stay at home mom with two boys. Patrick is my youngest and has ASD.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

various ramblings

I've noticed that Patrick sometimes uses extra words when he puts a sentence together himself. For example he'll say "can I have go play to outside". Am I trying to put too many words in his mouth prematurely? I'm afraid by trying to teach him complex sentences at this point that I might be confusing him. I'm going to ask the speech therapist next week. In the past few months he has learned to use simple phrases mostly for requesting or describing but sometimes they are expressive. So I thought the next step would be sentences but perhaps I'm incorrect?

His echolalia hasn't decreased. His total amount of speaking has increased because he's creating more independant speech but he's still repeating A LOT! Especially movies even though he only gets one a day if we're home and none if we're out. Should I be trying to stop him from doing this and how would I do that? Or at this point is it ok he's repeating stuff? It doesn't bother me personally. When he goes on and on repeating a large section of a movie I'll try and gently interrupt, tell him we're done talking about the movie, and try and engage him in conversation about something else...usually trains because he love them so much. Any thoughts?

Oh and we're getting away for a wedding OVERNIGHT this weekend! I can hardly believe it.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

It's a great day to be alive...

You gotta sing when you read that post to get where I'm coming from today.

It's a great day to be alive
I know the sun's still shinin when I close my eyes...

I'm laughing at myself as I type because I just don't know how to express the happiness inside me this past week. Patrick has been doing so well. He's talking more, using some sentences appropriately, and just all around behaving so much better than, say, a month or two ago.

We met with OT and Speech and they were both pretty impressed with him. He even sat for over an hour in the social worker's office while we chatted about how things are going. We had a great day together that day just the two of us.

Not much else to write about I guess. Just me grinning like an idiot over here. :)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Starting a Program

I'm really nervous. I don't want to do something wrong. But I do know that I want to start teaching Patrick in a structured way. So, starting next week we are going to be following a program I've developed. It isn't really any specific therapy. I took a list of things that I feel are areas that he could and should improve. Then I read every textbook I could find.

I guess the closest thing it could resemble is a floor time situtation. Basically I'm going to try and teach him speech language/conversation and social skills through play. I'm hoping that my instincts as his parent combined with what I've seen as relative success with us just basically raising him using a relaxed approach and including teaching in every day life will lead us in the right direction.

Wow, that last sentence was a doozy. Good thing it isn't grammar I'm teaching. *grin*

swimming, swimming, in the swimming pool

Our neighbours have a pool. They are such nice people and they have given us an open invitiation to bring the boys over any time to swim. Their kids are grown and they are both gone to work all day.

Patrick loves the water. His newest trick is somehow getting himself underwater (head and all) in a life jacket. Oh my poor nerves. It's great to see him laugh though and see how much joy he gets out of the whole experience.

Ahh, the nice days when life just seems good. :)


I've been doing a lot of blog reading lately. The theory of mercury in vaccines being the cause of autism has been doing the rounds. I'm new to these blogs so it's possible it just keeps going round and round.

I have only one question. My son has never been exposed to these vaccines. So is he not autistic? Or are there different types of autism and only the kids who've been exposed can be cured by chelation? First you hear about how the levels are so high and that's what's doing it. But then you hear that even without direct exposure they could be poisoned environementally.

Annother question. My son's levels all come back normal...not autistic? Or not treatable? Or what? I should make clear that my son is not Aspergers or mildly autisitic. He's considered in the mild to moderate category but they said he just barely could be bumped up to severe.

Just curious as to how he fits into this theory. I'm not educated enough to claim I know that mercury is not the cause of autism. Is my son the only one who doesn't fit into this theory?

Tiny Triumphs

Patrick ate lettuce yesterday. Dh got him a sub and put lettuce on it by accident ( I normally order and just put a tomato on their ham sub. Anyway, he just casually said "well eat it anyway" and HE DID! Well he ate a couple of little pieces anyway. This is big, huge, definately celebratory stuff.

He's learning to swim. Slowly and it's scary for mum but it's definately happening. He still wears a life jacket but he's starting to lean foreward and put his face in the water. I still think he doesn't understand what drowning is though so it'll be a while before we take that life jacket off. Well I guess he can't wear it during swim lessons. Hmmm, this is gonna be a scary summer for me I think. I 'took the plunge' and signed him up but I'm going to have to go in the pool with him for sure to keep him safe.

He's even talking a bit more and listening just a tiny bit more. Actually it seems lately he's been doing everything a bit more/better.

He's really hit a learning spurt and I'm so happy. Obviously I'm prepared for the inevitable plateau but that's ok too. He's such a great little guy.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I can't wrap my brain around it

It's everywhere. On all the blogs and in chat rooms everywhere. What is it?

Talk about people either wanting to or actually killing their children. OH I'm sorry, is it wrong for me not to use the Autism word in that sentence??? Because of course that makes it much more understandable right???

Are you kidding me? Seriously? I can't even get there in my most fierce nightmares. To hear about a mom on an Autism video who says....IN FRONT OF HER CHILD...that she considered driving off a bridge and killing herself and her daughter but she didn't because of her typical child.

HUH? Someone please explain this to me? This sounds like a seriously mentally unstable woman to me. She needs some serious help, not in raising a child with autism, but with whatever is mentally wrong with her!

Ok, before I get jumped on here let's get one thing straight. It is NOT easy to raise a child on the spectrum. It can be so difficult that you can cry yourself to sleep every night. And my son is only moderate on the spectrum so I get that I don't understand what it is to live with a very low functioning child.

But to kill your kid? Or seriously contemplate it? Or say it in front of them casually like it's nothing?

A child is a child. And killing a child is wrong. There is no excuse and it is not "more understandable" when that child has autism.

I want the world to accept my son for who he is. I want him to be seen as a contributing memeber of society. I do not want the neurotypical world to think he is a burden and that his life is worse than death. These parents do not speak for me or my son!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Is it all I've heard it is? We discussed making the move when our son was diagnosed and decided to wait and give our own province a chance. Then my husband finds out he can get a great job there. I'm totally freaked out. I am not a mover.

I'm just wondering is the grass really greener? Is it really a land of supportive schools with ABA/IBI for all??

Monday, July 10, 2006

Is typical really better?

Several times in the past few years I've taken my son on long trips to visit friends and family. I'm always worried about how he'll fit in and how he'll act when mixed with a group of typically developing children.

I gotta say, every single time I've done this we've left feeling very proud of our little boy. He may have some troubles communitcating and some social issues but, seriously folks, there are some badly behaved typical kids out there.

This is definately going to sound like one of those "kids these days" rants. But I'm seeing some seriously disrespectful behaviour in some of my friends' and family member's children. Talking back, not listening, rude remarks, swearing, whining....the list goes on.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a perfect parent. My kids are not little robots who always follow the rules. But man, my kids are respectful. Yes, even my autistic 4 yr old knows enough to not disrespect someone else.

Maybe it's just a pet peeve of mine. But every.single.time I'm glad I'm taking my son home instead of theirs. And that's a strong statement considering what we live with day to day.

Where I stand

My son has autism. What a powerful sentence. Utterly naked in its truthfulness.

My 4 year old son has always been different. My husband and I spoke to each other all the time about how he wasn't like his older brother. However, we did not realize that it was something to be diagnosed. He was who he was. We delt with the issues as they came up and lived our lives in relative happiness.

When our pediatrician referred us for a psychological asessment we weren't exactly sure what to expect. He was three years old at the time. I did a lot of research while we waited the nine months for the appointment with the psychologist. By about month 4 I knew we were looking at something on the autism spectrum. So when they told us their results we were not surprised.

I did go through the normal emotions you hear about. I was angry...why us? I had huge guilt. Did I do this to him? I was sad and cried in my husbands arms at night. A bit of denial mixed in there just for fun.

Then one day it hit me. I love my child. He's wonderful. He's bright, energetic and hilarious to be around. He has his difficulties but what child doesn't? It finally occured to me that this could be ok. Austim is not a four letter word.

So we're on a bunch of waiting list for therapies I'm not really convinced will be helpful and we go on living. Every moment together becomes a teaching opportunity. Every time he learns something new we celebrate. Every experience is treasured.

It's tough. I still have bad moments where I wonder what his future holds. I have days where I feel I can't cope with the realities of parenting a child with special needs. But those moments pass and we survive those days. As a family we rally around and support each other. We remind ourselves that this disorder is not fatal. At least we still have our child with us. Losing him would be the worst thing that could ever happen.

Our future is bright and promising. This beautiful child grows and reaches new heights every day. Yeah, he's not typical. But is that really such a terrible thing?


I have had several online journals over the years. Problem is, either my family or close friends have access to them. I've recently become interested in expressing myself without reservation especially when it comes to my autistic son. So anonymity here I am! Well relatively anyway.