Little Man in 2017

My little man Liam sure had quite a year.

He grew up so much as the year when boy.

12 months, 12 pics… enjoy.

 

FB_IMG_1514074566466

FB_IMG_1514074606304

FB_IMG_1514074622436

IMG_20170414_162703526

IMG_20170425_165311372

IMG_20170607_085432455

IMG_20170720_185321401_HDR

IMG_20170901_103943565

IMG_20170903_094438085_HDR

IMG_20171011_171401172

IMG_20171107_094114236 (1)

2017121195172031 (1)

Advertisements

When Should You Get Your Child Checked?

At the beginning of this year, I knew very little about ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).  After a very long time on the waiting list, Liam finally had his evaluation from the behaviorist in March, Autism was the last thing on my mind.

Sure, I knew “something” was up.  I knew he had some sensory issues (needed to be touching his mom, or be squeezed tightly from me, and a resistance to pain), speech and motor skills difficulty (no big deal, even I had those, I turned out alright).  But Autism?  No way.

As I write this, Liam has been walking around the living room circle without stopping for 15 minutes.

ASD comes in all shapes and sizes.  Not one person with ASD is the same as another.  “They all experience the world differently”

So what makes Liam Autistic?- (You’re never quite sure what “Liam” you are going to get on a day-to-day basis).  Liam is a Level 1 High Functioning also known as Asperger’s Syndrome.

  1.  Repetitive routines and rituals – I have talked about these routines a few times.  Deviation can result in…
  2.  Meltdowns and episodes – do to over stimulation or transitions. At times, these are not your usual ‘temper tantrums”.  These can last a long time and can also be violent.
  3. socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior and the inability to interact successfully with peers.  Liam has a teacher right by him when he plays with other kids at school.  While extremely playful and friendly he can be quite the brute.
  4. problems with non-verbal communication, including the restricted use of gestures.  He just started waving “bye-bye”
  5. clumsiness and uncoordinated motor movements.  I believe he is still getting Occupational Therapy for his fine motor skills.
  6. Some days he won’t stop babbling and some days I can’t get him to talk at all.
  7. The constant lining up of blocks, socks, paper.
  8. No fear of danger.
  9. Google Stimming.   My favorate meme is of a bird saying “I get flappy when i get happy”

bfcaf0cb9ccc5a203260877c45838c19

 

I love my boy and I have high hopes for him, but it was very important that we get help as soon as we could.  So which brings me back to the title.  When Should you get your child checked?

  1. “When something isn’t right

    As a parent, especially a new parent, you probably don’t know every detail about child development, which is why there are developmental specialists. We hear most parents of children with autism tell us that their regular pediatrician shrugged off their concerns as “boys are just slower than girls” or “let’s just wait a year and see if he comes around.” Do not accept these answers to your concerns, because if there is something wrong, you can never get back the time you lost. Early intervention is essential.”

  2. Assess for yourself

Print out a list of child development milestones and track them.  This is what led us to get him looked at.  It was the regression.  He started out so far ahead in everything, he started making the usual words and movements early and then it gradually got less and then stopped.  Anytime you see regression you should monitor it closely.

 

What should you do next?

Follow this link for resources to find a diagnostician and get help.

https://www.tacanow.org/family-resources/i-think-my-child-may-have-autism/

 

Taming the Beast : The Power Of Routine

With Liam there is never a dull moment.  Just like all my boys, Liam has the power to bring me the most joy.  He also has the power to make my red hair fall out.

Like most high functioning autistic children, coping and managing their idiosyncrasies usually revolves around routine.

When you move out of routine things can go haywire real quick and results in tantrums, fear, withdrawal, or major misbehavior and  of course..major anxiety of the parents.

Within the first 5 seconds when I ge home in afternoon I am greeted with the same routine everyday.

First “fly”, where I hoist his near 50 lb body into the air and catch him.

Then ” roll it.”, which is more like ring around the rosy.

The “swing” , when I hold his arms and swing him between my  legs.

The more… ” leg” where he clings to my leg and sits on my foot while I walk around.

Then Finally “wrestle” where I give him a few body slams on the bed. Don’t worry…I have been trained :).

That is what we do.  And if I try to deviate then I am in for a long evening.

So it’s best to stick to a routine.  I learned he has his own routine at school that he follows everyday and if you watched him do it, you wouldn’t even know he was autistic.   Which is the main objective of these programs; to prepare them for standard education.

  1.  Hangs up Jacket.
  2.  Checks his mail
  3. Washes his hands
  4. Dries his hands
  5. Then finds his name and drags it to the “here” column.

 

Sometimes…All He Needs Is A Hug

Sometimes you are sad and can’t tell me why.

Sometimes you hurt and you can’t tell me where.

Sometimes you are hungry and you can’t tell me what you would like.

Sometimes you laugh and I don’t know what’s so funny.

Sometimes you have stories but  you can’t find the words

Sometimes you are scared but don’t know where to hide.

Sometimes all you need is a hug.

Sometimes all I need is a hug.

 

IMG_20171121_195132501

Sensory Friendly Time : Museum Of Science and Technology.

Once per month, the MOST turns down the noise, turns off flashing lights, & shuts off the air compressors so people with sensory processing challenges can enjoy the museum. The museum also offers quiet areas where participants can sit, relax and regroup. The MOST has hosted this award-winning program for five years!

Admission is free for members and $5 for nonmembers.

Liam and I had so much fun.  It was so calm and relaxing while all I could hear was the sound of children placing in the distance.

It was also a pleasure to be around high functioning,  autistic adults.  They don’t judge you or your child and when it comes time to play that behave like big kids.  Reminds me of someone I know.

Liam was able to enjoy the entire museum as opposed to earlier in the year where all the loud noises and flashing lights made him very uncomfortable.

Check out the MOST’s Facebook page to find hold this monthly event.   All are welcome.

 

Liam’s Heaven : Model Train Show

We live about 100 yards from a very busy train junction that runs behind our house.  It can be very loud and can rattle the house.  It also provides much amusement and excitement for our third year old.

IMG_20171105_100429260

We can’t go by a train or track without him yelling, “Look!!! Train track.  I see it”

So I decided it was a good time to attend the annual model train show that was being held at the NYS Fairgrounds.   I have never been to one so I didn’t know what to expect.

It started out a little shaky with Liam remembering the Fair this year and wanting to direct us to the “rides and animals.”  His memory amazes me.

But as soon as we got him in the dairy cattle building where the show was being held,  he was sucked in.

He bounced excitedly from display to display.  I was fascinated by the amount of detail that goes into these displays.

IMG_20171105_103049405

That’s an tornado in there.

We kept him on the leash so he could wander a will.  After about an hour he signaled that he was ready to go.

Really good time for the family.

Pennywise and Georgie : Halloween 2017

Liam never ceases to amaze me.  When I think he will have a total meltdown he surprises me.  Such as today where he let us dress him up as Pennywise from the movie “IT” and even paint his face.

We had a great afternoon both amusing and terrorizing the mall crowd.  Handing out red balloons to other kids.

Then we trick or treated in the neighborhood.

Liam did a great job saying “trick or treat” and using his manners.  We did have to keep him from bolting into peoples houses and to keep his hands out of their candy jars.

Fun times.

2017103195164211IMG9520171031951509009567820171031951841452017103195144144IMG_20171031_160036291IMG_20171031_183639045