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.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pot Pourri

Patrick and I are making Banana Bran (with a sprinkle of chocolate chip) muffins this morning. Older brother is still sleeping, which is wierd but good.

I went to the school to talk to them about Older brother and got pulled aside to ask "so, have you ever thought that Patrick might be gifted?" I gave her 'the look' and basically said "you're not going to go there right NOW, are you?"

She laughed. The thing is, he probably is. He's definately bright. But if she thinks I want him pulled out of class for this right now, while we have so many other difficulties......anyway, I think I got my point accross. It's not like he's super brilliant genius who's so bored with school that it causes trouble. He's just, well, smart.

Ooops, gotta get offline to call hubby. We're in midst of 'when will you stop travelling for work and be home full time with us' discussions. Looks like we're close to figuring out a solid date.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Picture Day and Halloween

So both my boys left for school today looking like they were attending a wedding. They both like dressing up and it seemed really important to Patrick that he look 'handsome-ish'. Sometimes i wonder how they hire the photographers though. Several times I've just taken them to Wal-Mart and had pics done there instead. If this years' school pics don't turn out I think I might have dh set up a photo shoot here. What good is all that photography education and experience if he never uses it, right?

Halloween. Ugh. I finally bought some candy, just in case we get some trick or treaters (we're very rural and most years get zero kids) and I've eaten most of it. How ironic, since I've not been eating any processed or junky foods at all lately. Oi vey!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Yesterday was a 10.

I took Patrick to a 3 hour outdoor Beaver event. Either myself or our worker normally attend with him as his 1-on-1 person. Yesterday I felt like I didn't even need to be there. It was just a really great day. He followed instructions, stayed where he was supposed to be, participated in all the songs, crafts, games, etc.

It was just a really nice day.

One thing, I never expected my 6 yr old autistic child to say "okaaaay mom!" like a teenager. *grin*

Friday, October 17, 2008

I you don't see it

"Mom, he didn't give me the book."

"Yes he did Patrick, he put it in your backpack."

*checks pack, comes back to hallway*

"He didn't give it to me mom, it must have gotten there by magic!"

I guess he has to see it to believe it.


"I love you Patrick, did you know that?"



"I love you too mom."

"How much do you love me Patrick?"


"Two Thousand and One Hearts....that's a lotta hearts."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Functioning labels

I keep having to remind people of something significant in Patrick's history. His original diagnosis was SEVERE autism.

I'm so tired of people saying to me "at least he's high functioning' or 'look at that, he's so high functioning he can do x'.

It bothers me because the labels are so misleading. Ate the age of 3 Patrick had no expressive language (he spoke in echolalia, but had no purposeful communication) and little receptive language. He basically could not communicate. It also somehow puts a value judgment on someone. Low functioning = bad, high functioning =good. I don't believe that.

This is not to highlight what's "wrong" with my son. Or to say I want people to see how bad autism is. But when Patrick gets labelled 'high functioning' it seems to make others think he can function at a certain level, consistantly, and throughout a period of time. So they start to expect him to react, socialize, function, etc. the same way as all the 'normal' children around him. And that is not fair to Patrick.

And, for me, that just isn't what autism is. Unpredictability is a bit part of who he is. Yes, he's come a long way. And yes, if he were diagnosed right now he might have moved on the spectrum. But, I swear, if someone points out to me how 'high functioning' he is anytime soon, I'm going to scream!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Progress, for the sake of

Our ultimate goal is progress. Most parents of autistic children (or any parent I guess) spend a lot of time focusing on progress. So what do you do when you're in a slump. When you've pushed your child to their limits and you're at a standstill?

I suppose one thing I do is withdraw. Pull into my own little dark corner and stop everything. As you may have noticed, this includes ignoring my blog.

But this weekend made me realize something. As I sat on the water's edge listening to the high pitched squealing coming from a rowboat containing hubby and both boys I had an epiphany. There they were, in the middle of the lake, and they had just caught a fish. The happiness they were feeling rushed right accross the water and hit me square in the chest.

What do you do when you're not seeing the progress you (sometimes unreasonably) want? You focus on the joy! Realize that progress will resume. You will not wallow in a place of stagnance. And enjoy the happy squeals.