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Jun 3, 2017

Swim Diapers for Bigger Kids and Adults

So this is another post where I'm grateful for those other parents in my facebook support groups who know the answers I'm looking for.
My kids outgrew swim diapers forever ago.  The problem is, they LOVE swimming.  I was trying to time their BMs, so that we wouldn't be swimming when that happened and just cross my fingers and hope for the best, but finally I found a solution, thanks to the other parents in my support group.
I personally liked the disposable swim diapers the best.  I already have enough laundry.  So, if you are looking for swim diapers for bigger kids or adults, Swimmates Disposable Adult Swim Diapers are a great option.  You can find them on North Shore's website and on Amazon.com.



Other parents suggested washable swim pants, which would be cheaper in the long run.  A lot of autism parents use these.
I'm just excited that there are options out there for the bigger kids.  :)

A Couple Tips for the Parents of Poop Smearers from Other Parents of Poop Smearers

As an autism mom, who happens to clean smeared poo at least once a day, I'm grateful for the support groups on facebook that give handy tips.
For example:  One woman suggested that if you have lingering poo smell on your hands after cleaning all that loveliness, use a dab of toothpaste to wash your hands.  It will get the poo out.  It works too.  I tried it.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for that tip.
Another hygiene product that works good for poop smeared in the hair is shaving cream.  Who knew?

Many parents suggest putting your kids in onesies or footie pajamas but having the zipper on the back.  I did try that, but my kids basically tore the pajamas apart to get out of them.  So that was a fail for me.  Another parent, when I posted that my kids won't stay in the onesies or footie pajamas suggested these:
https://funandfunction.com/keeps-me-clean-nopu-shorts.html

Unfortunately, my kids are too big for those, but I wish I had known about them when they were younger, so I'm putting them on here for anyone who might be able to benefit from it.
And lastly, a friend and fellow Autism parent reminded me that I should get to the root of the issue. Her advice:
"Any routine to bathrooming? Is he time trained? If you can figure out the time he goes you can make sure to have him on the pot if he is potty trained and if not can change him right away. Doing some ABC data collection could help figure out the why he is doing it. ( A- Antecedent; what occurs directly before and/or leading up to the behavior (fecal smearing)? B- Behavior; the behavior itself; C- Consequence; what occurs after the behavior including reactions of caretakers? ) 
If it sensory then something simple as playing with strong scented Play-Doh or finger painting. If it's attention seeking cleaning everything up without eye contact and no words past " take off pants , get in shower" pretty much basic simple instructions. If it's something that started as something and has turned into habit an overcorrection procedure would be the first step I would take ( making him clean it , and make sure it isn't fun in any way shape or form , I used vinegar water as my son didn't like the smell and it didn't take too long for him to understand that poop play ended in him having to smell vinegar and clean ) I have found most behaviors here in autism land seem to be escape , sensory , or obtaining driven. So ABC data would be great to start with."

Good luck to all of us, as we continue to embark on our "crappy" journeys.

Jan 16, 2017

Safety Suggestions for Our Wanderers

We recently moved to a new home.  Since moving in, one of our children has gotten out of the house and explored the neighborhood numerous times.  It's become such an issue that, like many autism parents out there, we basically have had to barricade our home from the inside.  We started out with a regular deadbolt, and when he figured how to use the key to get out, we upgraded to a digital deadbolt.  This is not the one-sided kind.  We found one where you have to enter a combination on both sides of the door. Here is a link to the one we have.  It can be tricky to install (we ended up installing it upside down to get it to fit correctly in our door), but so worth it.:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00M8T70U4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

We are also basically on a first-name basis with our local police department.  They are usually pretty understanding.  Thank goodness.

Another thing we ended up doing is putting together a flyer introducing all of our kids to the neighbors. (I also gave it to the local law enforcement agency, who forwarded it to their patrol vehicles). Below is an example you can refer to, if you want to make your own flyer. Since I have three kids with severe autism, my example has three.  I was so grateful I handed out the flyers to my neighbors.  I have had two phone calls since telling me that my child was at different neighbors' houses, and yes, he just walked in, opened their fridges and ate their cheese.  It was a good way to meet some nice and understanding new friends.


Nov 15, 2016

Adele Remedy Lyrics



As an autism mom, I'm grateful for the moments when I can recognize that God is giving me a message, that He is there for me when I'm feeling down.
I've been fighting some major depression. Today as I was driving my kids home from school, I was listening to Adele's latest album, and her song, "Your Remedy" came on. As I was listening to the lyrics, I got the strongest feeling that in that instant, they were a message from God to me. When I'm sad, or feeling down, I know that going to my Heavenly Father with my problems really is the true remedy.

Aug 25, 2016

Prepaid Cell Phones: A Cheaper Alternative to Tablets

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for prepaid cell phones, not for the reason they are intended for...but yes, oh so grateful.
My sister came to my house one day bearing a gift, a prepaid phone.  It was one of the phones that didn't have a contract, etc.  Anyway, she told me how I didn't even have to pay for monthly minutes because I didn't have to use the actual phone.  I could just turn on the wifi and download my kids games and youtube on there, and then they wouldn't try to steal my phone all day.  We also wouldn't have to dole out a hundred bucks every time one of them decided to throw a tablet or watch youtube in the bathtub.
So, when you are starting up these cell phones, just let them run their attempts to activate your phone. (They usually take 5 tries and then give up), and then go on your merry way with an affordable,  fun-filled distraction for your kids.
My latest purchase is my favorite.  I found a WATERPROOF prepaid phone (Kyocera Hydro Prepaid Android Phone) for $20.  So now, the only reason I will have to replace them is for cracked screens!
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008P2O89E/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Apr 25, 2016

DIY: Tie Shoes That Don't Have to be Tied

My kids can't tie their shoes.  So I decided to make their sneakers more of a slip-on experience:
First I tied each lace in a double knot (or even a triple knot) right next to the outside of the lace holes.
Next, I snipped the shoelaces, leaving just a little extra room after the knots.
And there you have it, slip on sneakers.  And, yes, I know they sell cuter versions at the store, but sometimes you've got to be resourceful and use what you have, right? ;)




Dec 26, 2015

Christmas Cheer


As an autism mom, I'm grateful for whoever it was that left us a little Christmas cheer on our porch on Christmas Eve!  It was such a cute and happy surprise.  It cheered both Kevin and I up, as we opened the origami money ornaments and opened the slips of paper to read the fun jokes, spiritual quotes and scriptures.  This was such a great idea.  I hope someday I can copy it and spread the Christmas cheer to another family that needs some holiday brightness.






Dec 25, 2015

Autism Proof Ornaments 2015


If you saw my previous posts, you know I've always struggled to make our Christmas decor functional.  This year I decided to make more of these ornaments.  (Tutorial here.)
Merry Christmas everyone!





Dec 23, 2015

Paracord

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for the Paracord bracelet kit I got for Christmas. This afternoon I was really antsy and decided to try and make a bracelet.  I found a very good tutorial here:  http://www.thereadystore.com/diy/5845/make-your-own-paracord-bracelet/
I was pretty proud of my final result.

However, as you can see in the video above, the person who is the most grateful for the paracord is Jason.  He loves playing with any long string that can make twirly designs in the air.  :)  If you need to keep Jason occupied for any length of time.  Such a cutie!


Jul 29, 2015

Solving the Window Dilemma

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for the idea I came up with inspired by my cousin Laci.  She's a contemporary artist, http://lacimccrea.deviantart.com/ , and for fun, during seasonal times, she will paint store windows, etc.  
Now on to the reason I'm grateful for her.  My oldest son has an issue with being naked in his bedroom.  I normally don't mind if he's naked in his bedroom.  That is his space.  However, He's going through puberty right now.  Too much information?  And his bedroom window faces my neighbor's, who happens to have two sweet little girls.  I don't know if it is part of the puberty, but he has also become pretty destructive and knocks things off the walls, tables etc.  He also rips things up.  One of the things he likes to destruct is his curtains.I have tried blinds, curtains on a rod, curtains hooked into the little blinds clips, etc.  He tears them all down the second he gets in his room.  It's very frustrating to think of my pubescent son standing at the window in all his glory.  
Last night, I said a prayer that I could figure out a solution that he couldn't destroy.  This morning, I started thinking about my cousin, Laci, and her window paintings, and I realized that maybe I could try painting my son's windows.  I knew that seasonal store window paintings would have to be washed off, so that also eased my mind about painting windows in a home that I rent.  
I asked my cousin for advice on how to carry out my idea.  She told me that any acrylic paints will work. The cheapest paints are harder to get off later because they are kind of thin and watery.  She suggested finding the paints at an Art store or a craft store like Michaels.  I decided to use white paint, so that it wouldn't darken his room.  It turned out great, and the best part of all is that no one can see inside.  

So grateful for a solution to this problem. If I ever need to, I can easily wash the paint off with soap and water.   


Jun 4, 2015

Those Other Parents that Understand

As an autism mom, I'm so grateful for those other parents that understand exactly what it is like to experience raising children on the spectrum.  It's just a fact that if you meet another parent with kids with autism, you have an instant friend and support.
I felt like this blog post said it perfectly because we can all relate to so many of the signs on the list:
38 Signs You Might be an Autism Parent
Just thought I'd share this insight I had one day.  I firmly believe that before I was sent to this earth for this test we call life, God called me into his office and said, "Hey Christine, I have an experience in mind for you.  It will be extremely unique and you will be able to learn so much.  It will also be extremely hard, but it will be worth it."   And I know that the thought of that made me excited and nervous, and here I am, in this experience that is extremely unique, has taught me so much, is extremely hard, but also so very worth it.  Being an autism mom...there's nothing like it.

Dec 31, 2014

Choice Board for Computer Time

It's Winter Break here.  That is my least favorite time of year.  Don't get me wrong, I adore my kids, but I adore them even more when they are at school for part of the day.  ;)  
Let's just say, I have ADD, and my brain is not a structured brain, so it is hard for me to maintain the structure my kids thrive on when they have school.  Therefore; my day consists of one chaotic dilemma after another during winter break.
My daughter has become extremely possessive of the iPad, which is actually fine because it keeps her from one of her other favorite activities is to flood the bathroom. So, when Garrett is in need of a digital diversion, he has to rely on the good old fashioned computer.  ;)   
Yesterday, I realized that Garrett might not know that he can use his favorite programs from the iPad on the computer.  So, I turned to the tried and true Choice Board.  
I decided to keep it simple and just put three choices on it:  Zac Browser, YouTube and iTunes.  If you are an autism parent and haven't heard of Zac Browser, it is absolutely wonderful.  ZAC is an anagram for "Zone for Autistic Children."  Here's a post from when Garrett first discovered it that explains a little more: http://abunchofroaches.blogspot.com/2009/05/we-love-zac-browser.html
YouTube is a favorite of all of my kids, but it took a while for me to figure out how to make it work best.  First, I had to learn how to turn on the safety mode for youtube.  No need for the kids to learn swear words, see things they shouldn't, etc.  Then I started making individual playlists with clips for my kids that i knew they would like.  They think it's so fun, especially since they can click on whichever video they want, and it keeps their attention better than an entire movie does.  Also, there are suggestions on the side of the clip you watch with similar clips.  So they can discover their own clips they like too.
I have the iTunes logo on the choice board because,before Amazon and other sites had the digital movies for sale, iTunes did.  So when my kids open iTunes, they have access to their entire library of digital movies. And, since they only like certain parts, they can use the mouse to move the cursor to the parts in the movies they want to watch.  :)  
It was so nice this morning to show Garrett the Computer Choice Board, and hear him say, "I want iTunes please!"

Nov 29, 2014

Code Adam

As an autism mom, I am so grateful for the Code Adam protocol that is used by many stores and businesses.  It was developed in 1981, after Adam Walsh, the son of John Walsh, was abducted from a local store.  Stores that are trained in Code Adam usually will have this decal:



Unfortunately, today I had the opportunity, firsthand, to see this in action, but, FORTUNATELY, the protocol was in place and actually worked.  I was at Wal-Mart with my 10-year-old son, when he suddenly made a dash for it.   He has a history of running away from me in stores.  He loves to run up and down the aisles, and many times, by the time I get to him, he's found some yummy treat to eat that I get to add to my shopping cart.  I have always been able to catch him pretty quickly, but yesterday was different.  We were in a Wal-Mart store on Black Friday:  Need I say more.  I was absolutely terrified, and asked the first employee I could find what I should do.  I informed him that my son was autistic, and he had run away from me and was alone in the store.
He promptly took me to the dressing rooms, which are located in the center of the store.   The dressing room attendant then paged a Code Adam over the store intercom.  She explained that there was a missing 10-year-old boy with autism, and gave a description, including age, hair color and what he was wearing.   She asked the workers to bring him to the dressing room where his mother was waiting.  After the page she a asked me to stay there, which I did, even though every part of me felt the need to continue looking.  
After a long 5 minutes, I was reunited with my son.  He was in the paper towel aisle.  I would have never looked there.  
So, on this Thanksgiving weekend, the thing I am most grateful for is that my son was found, safe and sound because this protocol exists, and the store employees knew exactly what they needed to do to reunite me with my son.

Here are the steps to a Code Adam, per the website for The Center for Missing and Exploited Children:

  1. Obtain a detailed description of the child, including what he or she is wearing.
  2. Page "Code Adam." Describe the child's physical features and clothing.
  3. Designated employees will immediately stop working, look for the child and monitor front entrances to ensure the child does not leave the premises.
  4. Call law enforcement if the child is not found within 10 minutes.
  5. If the child is found and appears to have been lost and unharmed, reunite the child with the searching family member.
  6. If the child is found accompanied by someone other than a parent or legal guardian, make reasonable efforts to delay their departure without putting the child, staff or visitors at risk. Immediately notify law enforcement and give details about the person accompanying the child.
  7. Cancel the Code Adam page after the child is found or law enforcement arrives.

Sep 29, 2014

Service of Others

As an autism mom, who can be very overwhelmed by the differing aspects in my life, I am so thankful for the service others give me.  What has carried me through my hard times are friends/family who reached out to me to see how I'm doing, watched my kids for an hour or two so I could have that much-needed nap, lent me a pair of shoes after my son threw his in the toilet right as the school bus pulled up, came over to offer some company and befriend my kids, taken me to breakfast to get out of the house, brought me dinners, etc.  I am so very blessed to be surrounded by so many Christlike people.
A specific example happened this morning.  I was cleaning my scary messy house after a weekend.  Mondays are not my favorite for that reason.  There was a knock on my door, and when I answered it, the sister missionaries were standing there.  They offered to help me clean my house, and then left me a wonderful message along with their wonderful act of service.  My sister had sent me this message before, but somehow it touched me even more this time.  Just wanted to take the chance to share it with whomever needs it, and I hope it can help them like it helps me.  (to read the entire talk, by Henry B. Eyring, click. here.)

Jul 11, 2014

Cleaning Recipe for those Fun Poop Smearing Episodes

As an autism mom, I'm so grateful for a friend of mine from church.  She came over one day with the missionaries, who had asked how to they could serve my family.  When the missionaries asked, there happened to be a sticky handprint on the wall directly behind them that gave me the inspiration to ask if they could help me wash my walls.
Little did I know, this friend of mine who accompanied the missionaries, was the daughter of a woman who owned a Green Cleaning business.  She had great insights on how to get the ridiculous, stuck on smears that were on my walls and doors.  She also was kind enough to tell me tricks to get rid of smells that often come with potty training or just having kids who like to explore the texture of what is involved in potty training.
This morning, I had to contact her again, because of course, with my ADD, I have no clue where I put those recipes that were diligently written down that day.
So here's the amazing green recipe that she gave me to get out the poop while also getting rid of the odor.



One capful of ammonia
1/4 c vinegar
1/8 c Borax
2 gallons of water
*If the smell is super potent, add 1/2 cup of vinegar instead of 1/4 cup.

Spray the affected area and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Then wipe clean.  (For super-hard-to-get-off spots, the microfiber towels work best).


Mar 8, 2014

Laundry and Friendship


As an autism mom, I struggle with SO MUCH LAUNDRY.  Two of my kids are basically potty trained, but they still have accidents sometimes.  All three have nighttime accidents.  That leads to at least two loads of bedding every single day, not to mention the clothes they go through.  We are trying so hard to keep one child clothed, until we see a streaking image running past us and find different outfit attempts hidden throughout the house.  I can wash a whole drawerful of clothes that were worn for maybe 15 minutes.
Now, here is my gratitude part.  I have a very dear friend who recently felt prompted to come by every morning and pick up those two loads of bedding I mentioned earlier.  She washes them, returning the next morning to swap the clean sheets with the newly dirty ones.  She told me that is what God told her I needed, and I believe her because I would NEVER feel comfortable asking that of anyone, and most people wouldn't think of laundry as something to do for someone. Laundry is one of those things that can make me feel depressed and overwhelmed and put me in a mommy funk.
I now have hope because there is a diminishing mountain of laundry in the laundry room.  I feel so loved and grateful.  My friend also showed me this, which makes her even more awesome:


Dec 24, 2013

Canning Jar Lid Ornaments

As an autism mom, sometimes it's hard to have autism-proof Christmas decorations.  We have learned to change all the ornament hooks to ribbons, only use shatterproof ornaments, have a kid-friendly nativity set, etc.
Last year we tied a bunch of ribbons to our tree.  It looked great, and my kids weren't walking off with all the ornaments.  This year I wanted to try something different.  We decided to get creative and make ornaments out of canning jar lids.
What we needed to make these ornaments were canning jar lids, a tin hole punch, mod podge, foam brushes, and of course any paper we would want to mod podge onto the lids.  I used cute wrapping paper for mine.  I was able to personalize them for each person in our family.
We traced the canning jar lids onto the wrapping paper, cut them out, and then mod podged them to the jar lids.  Once the mod podge had dried, we punched a hole in the top and made a loop out of ribbon to hang it on the tree.
 These are the ornaments I made for Kevin.  He collects vintage Coca Cola stuff, and I found this great wrapping paper to use.  It made me happy.
Caiti loves all things Dora and Sesame Street, so you can guess who these were made for.  She doesn't necessarily leave the ornaments on the tree, but she is so happy carrying around the different characters.  :)
Of course, the Cars and Thomas the Tank Engine ornaments are for my little guys.
These last ones are for me.  All I did was draw a snowman face on them, then punch an extra hole in the bottom for a felt "scarf."  
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Dec 9, 2013

Seat Belts So We Can Be Safe


As an autism mom, I'm grateful for Dora the Explorer.  I personally think she's super annoying, and I hate that every show is basically the same show with different places.  But hey, that's not what matters.  Dora taught my kids about seat belt safety.
Caiti used to climb out of her seat belt in the car.  It was scary to take her anywhere.  I ended up having to be creative, and I put together a youtube playlist about seat belt safety and pretty much played it nonstop for a week.  That helped a lot.  To quote Dora, when Caiti would be resisting putting on her seat belt, I would just have to say, "Seat belts... so we can be safe," and because Dora did it, she would comply.  Hooray!
The other morning I was helping my kids get on the bus.  Garrett concentrated really hard and clicked his own seat belt into place.  He looked up at me with happy, proud eyes and said, "So we can be safe!"  That made my heart melt.  I guess I can forgive Dora for being annoying.

Nov 25, 2013

Jason Snuggles

As an autism mommy, I'm so grateful for my Jason (who I like to refer to as my warm fuzzy).  He is the best snuggler ever.  He shows his love every day giving perfect hugs and kisses.  I'm also thankful for his Aunt Michelle, who is his roommate, and who captures these moments when I'm too spaced out to even think about it.  Cuteness!!!!!!

Oct 2, 2013

Insight into the Nonverbal Mind

As an autism mom, I'm so very grateful for the resources out there that are actually from people who have autism.  Most people have heard of Temple Grandin.  She is a high functioning autistic woman who is very successful in her career.   I remember the first time I heard of her, I was so excited to read her books because she had first-hand experience with autism and was able to explain the mysteries of it in a way that was easy to understand.  I had previously been recommended a stack of boring books by clinicians, etc. Let's just say, I devoured the information in the Temple Grandin books, and that other stack of books is still unread.
The thing is, all three of my kids are basically nonverbal.  Sure, Garrett can talk some.  He can tell me what he needs.  He can quote TV and movies with the best of them, but he can't converse.  He has to learn the answers expected of him for basic questions.  Caiti has a very hard time remembering any words.  She has always struggled with language.  Jason tries sooo hard, but he is basically nonverbal as well.  Sometimes we, as parents, forget that just because our kids have a communication deficit, this doesn't mean that they don't understand us or what is going on around us.  I remember the first time I saw the below video about Carly Fleishman, a nonverbal, low-functioning autistic girl.  It was amazing to see the person underneath the veil of her autism.  
The part that affected me the very most was when the father was stating how he realized that he had said so many things in front of her thinking she didn't understand.  Don't we all make that mistake. This video helped me do a better job considering my children's feelings when speaking to others about them.
I think my very favorite resource out there that is written by a nonverbal person with autism is the book, The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a 13-Year Old Boy With Autism, by Naoki Higashida.

I would give a super good review of this book, but the author of Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell, who also has a child with autism, said it the best in his own review: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/books/2013/09/autism_memoir_by_japanese_teenager_david_mitchell_translates_the_reason.html
I love this book so much because it is a Q&A book.  Basically, so many questions that I have had about my kids and what they feel, how they see the world, why they do what they do, are answered by this boy.  It is an eye opener for me and a life changer.
That is why I am so thankful for those people out there with autism, especially severe autism like my children, who were able to find a way to communicate what is going on for them.  Anything that helps me to understand my children better is wonderful.

Sep 28, 2013

Thoughtfulness of a Friend

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for an experience I had when I was pregnant with my third child, Jason. The reason this has been on my mind is because I have a sweet, brand new niece, and I've been wishing I could be there and wondering what I can do for my sister and her cute little baby.
Anyway, it really isn't the norm to have a baby shower on the third kid, and I didn't really expect one. However; a friend of mine took the initiative to do something awesome for me.  She was my guardian angel during a rough time.  
When I was pregnant with Jason, almost ready to pop, my husband left for basic training.  I was left home dealing with the stresses of being by myself, and raising my two older kids (both of whom I had finally accepted had autism).  I also was dealing with the stressors of gestational diabetes, figuring out whether or not to move when my husband got his orders, etc.  I had had a very difficult year financially because Kevin was out of work for a lot of the time while we went through the process of enlistment in the military.
So, this friend of mine (who I met at church) decided to throw me a shower.  She told everyone at church that instead of the normal gifts for a baby, they should give diapers.  She also noted that they should give all sizes of diapers.  I was amazed at her thoughtfulness.  Yes, I would need diapers for the baby, but I also had my two other kids who were nowhere near being ready for potty training.  
The day that my friend brought over all the diapers she had collected for my family I was just in awe.  There was a giant pile of them in my garage.  I felt the love of my church family when I saw so many packages of diapers, and they lasted me for months.  They really helped me to get through that first little while with a little less stress. I will never forget the kindness and thoughtfulness of that friend and my church family. 

Sep 18, 2013

Spinny Chairs


As an autism mom, I'm grateful for the spinny chairs we got from ikea (IKEA PS LÖMSK).We originally got one for Garrett for Christmas last year.  When my parents were here they saw how much all my kids liked that chair, so they gave them another one from "Grandpa Claus."  :)


There is a quote in my now-favorite book about autism, The Reason I Jump:  The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy With Autism, by Naoki Higashida.  It talks about why people with autism like to spin:
"Everyday scenery doesn't rotate, so things that do spin simply fascinate us.  Just watching spinning things fills us with a sort of everlasting bliss-for the time we sit watching them, they rotate with perfect regularity.  Whatever object we spin, this is always true.  Unchanging things are comforting, and there's something beautiful about that."

Sep 17, 2013

Shaving Cream


As an autism mom, I am thankful for shaving cream.   I could tell Garrett was antsy and needed something to calm his nerves.  Shaving cream did the trick. He loved running his fingers through it.  I made Garrett take his shirt off before playing with the shaving cream.  Good thing because he soon was smearing it into his hair, on his face, across his tummy.  Jason even came over to help.  Lets just say that Garrett was in a very happy, mellow mood the rest of the day.

I think Jason was glad when Garrett had to go have a shower.  Now he had a turn in sensory bliss.


Aug 22, 2013

Lunchtime

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for rare moments like our lunchtime today.   Everyone sat down to eat (never happens), and all the kids were FULLY CLOTHED!!!!  Had to record this moment for posterity.


Seeing them like this reminded me of the journal post I wrote back in April 2010 describing mealtime at my house:

"I just wanted to capture a moment.  Last night, I sat all three of my kids down for a dinner of salad and pork.  So imagine the typical family sitting around the table eating their salads...I poured them all lemonade.  I want Jason to learn to drink from a regular cup, not just a sippy cup, so I gave everyone regular cups.  I then watched as Jason tried to drink out of the regular cup, then thought it would be fun to watch it pour out on his shirt.  He poured out all of the drink, and then tried to drink some more even though it was gone.  When he realized there wasn't any more, he dropped his cup on the floor.  He then tipped his plate over and used his fork as a rake to push the lettuce leaves,  vegetables and pork around on the table top.  While this was going on, Caiti was using her fingers to rake through the lettuce...ignoring her fork entirely...and just picking out the bits of frozen corn to eat while once in a while sucking the dressing off the lettuce leaves.  Afterwhich, she started grabbing handfuls of salad and flinging them in the air joyfully and watching them fall every whichway.  She also thought it would be fun to fling her full cup of lemonade on the floor.  Needless to say, the spot underneath her chair was a wet and veggie-filled mess.  Good thing my kitchen has vinyl flooring and not carpet.  Garrett, on the other hand, was eating great, but every couple of seconds, he would make a dash for it.  I kept having to yell at him to sit down.  His ABA tutor had told me to be firm and follow through so that he knows exactly what I want, so I would have to grab his hand and lead him back to his chair, where he would proceed to whine and scream in-between mouth fulls.  At one point, he made it all the way out the sliding glass door to the backyard, so not knowing what to do, I said, "Fine, you are having a time out," and locked him outside.  He didn't seem to mind.  Not so effective I guess.  Five minutes later, I went and got him and made him sit down to finish his meal.  He did fine after that; I guess he just had the wiggle bug.  I was feeling parently and decided to teach Caiti a lesson.  I cleaned up the lemonade myself since her cast cannot get wet, but I made her scoot around on her little bum and pick up all the lettuce and pork off the floor and put it in the garbage.  While we were doing this, Jason was using his plate as a broom and scooped his dinner in a nice little pile...he does this every night. 

Typical dinner at the Roach house...anyone want to join us."

Aug 21, 2013

Our Little Protector

As an autism mommy, I'm grateful for my doggie, Dougie.  He is our family's little protector.  Case in point, today was a horrible day.  My Garrett had yet another seizure.  I hate them soooo much.  And my cute doggie, Dougie, was by his side until he knew Garrett was okay.

Aug 20, 2013

ID Helps for our Nonverbal Wanderers

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for products out there to help us mommies who are worried about our kids getting lost.  I know I recently addressed this when I was talking about big kid harnesses, but I just wanted to share a couple of other ideas.

First thing's first, an easy way to keep kids safe on family outings is to just write the necessary info on the back of their shirt.  Here's an example:

A similar idea that I find super cool can be found at https://www.qrcodeid.org/.  Basically, this website has a bunch of products with a scannable code, including shirts, bags, etc.  You register your child with the code, then if they are found while wearing the code, all someone would have to do is scan it on their phone to get the information needed to get your child safely back home.  I think this is a great idea, especially if you don't want the world to see your phone number, like they would in the shirts above.


There are some pretty high-tech products out there.  An example would be GPS bracelets.  These can be found at http://www.lifeprotekt.com/autism-community/.  We tried this once, but it was hard for us because the bracelet BUGGED Garrett, and wasn't worth his unhappiness, but if your child will tolerate it and has a big problem with wandering, it might be worth taking a look at.

Autism Speaks has a whole page dedicated to safety.  There are links to a bunch of great products on that site as well: http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/resource-library/safety-products
Some of my favorites are the Kid Safety Band 

These temporary tattoos are a great idea.  I tried them in the past, and I couldn't get my kids to hold still long enough to actually write our phone number on them.  They might now though.  If not, though, they have kits where you can custom order them with your phone number already on.  A couple websites for these tattoos are: http://safetytat.com/ or http://www.tattooswithapurpose.com/



They also have the link to the IDSafe Child Kits:
 "Each child safety kit includes forms to document each child’s medical and personal information, including allergies and medications, blood type, height, weight, hair and eye color, birth date, a dental chart for primary and secondary teeth, a 10-finger fingerprint chart with a safe, non-toxic ink strip, instructions for obtaining a DNA hair sample with a heavy gauge storage bag, two Safe Shoes Child IDÔ labels, two pages of comprehensive safety tips, and a chart to denote any unique physical features."

If you are like me, these are a little intimidating and kind of morbid, but they are important because they help law enforcement in identify your missing child.