Saturday, July 19, 2014

This Is Our Autism

The popular phrase you hear a lot in the autism community is:

 "If you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism". 

When Milo was younger I figured he couldn't possibly have autism because he loved being touched and hugged and kissed, didn't most autistic people hate being touched? I figured out over time just how true that popular phrase at the top was in my life.

Our autism is listening to Milo wake up at midnight and being grateful it wasn't 2 am this time. 

Our autism is watching Cinderella so many times that quoting the entire movie isn't a struggle.

Our autism is buying a giant shampoo cleaner because the poop smearing has happened enough times for it to be EXTREMELY worth the money. 

Our autism is flip flopping a million times whether we should go on a vacation "I don't think we should, but we should have the experience, but I don't want to ruin their house, but he really needs to have these opportunities, but what if he figures out their deadbolt?! but family needs to get to know him, but they're going to see just how horrible his diet is and I hate that, no we're not going... okay fine. no. yes. no. yes. "... that trip was not remotely worth it. 

Our autism is living in the water during the summer.


Our autism is explaining the difference between "potty trained" and "potty conditioned".


Our autism is having Milo play with my hair in the middle of the night and then suddenly realizing he's asleep with his fingers completely entangled in my hair.

Our autism is having our number one priority when he was diagnosed be getting his language up to speed, eating all his vegetables, making friends, and then have it transform rapidly to just wanting his happiness and nothing more. 

Our autism is being scared that people will judge him harshly and then be proven wrong time and time again. 

Our autism is going to appointment after appointment watching a therapist attempt to force Milo to do something that I know he won't/can't do and it pissing me off to no end.

 Our autism is picking your battles... and how that means something completely different to typical families.


Our autism is listening to Milo direct quote his television shows and beaming with pride because he's actually speaking when I probably should be disappointed that he watches that much TV. ...I'm not. :)

Our autism is watching Milo run around the house in only underwear, which is a giant step from the birthday suit he wore for 3 straight years. 

Our autism is watching his younger brother pass his language abilities.

Our autism is being grateful for all the couch snuggle time no matter how often I've watched toy story. 

Our autism is freaking out inside with excitement watching a typical child sit next to him cause they want to watch his iPad and Milo allowing it to happen. 

Our autism is realizing just how far he's come and finally finding happiness in this type of life. 

Our autism is weeping in the car on the way home from ...anything really. 

Our autism is stripping his room down to nothing because of his compulsive desire to tear everything apart. 

Our autism is watching Milo cover his ears in pain over something that you or I wouldn't blink at.

Our autism is being grateful that people are starting to realize he's special needs instead of a bad kid. 

Our autism is never wishing in a million years for it to be different... ask me again tomorrow and my answer might be different ;)


 This post is part of a collaborative effort to share "what does your Autism look like?" To read more or add your own, visit http://fourplusanangel.com/2014/07/this-is-our-autism/

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Beach Days

I mostly love beach days. I say that because it always seems like the packing and getting there is like a pioneer trek, and you wonder half way through why you thought it was a good idea and then when you get there it's awesome possum... aaannnnnd when you're packing and getting to the car it's back to the terrible death trek. I'm just going to go with "I love beach days".

Abbott finally loves water. I knew he'd come around to it eventually. He splashed and ran and dug and laughed and ate and splashed some more.

Milo was born to live in water forever. He loves water more than anything and he only left the water when I dragged him out and buried him in the sand, then he was back in it for good. I can honestly say this was probably the first time I've gone to a beach or pool type place and not felt extremely overwhelmed and it was amazing. Milo can float in the water now and it's made a MASSIVE difference on my anxiety level.

I love having fun.






Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Abbott Eating Grapes

I just had to post this on my blog. As soon as I took it I knew I wanted it printed out on my blog book at the end of the year. Enjoy not only seeing on facebook and instagram but also on my blog!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Abbott is 2

Well my baby is growing up and I almost can't believe it.

 Abbott is my shy guy. My timid guy. Always has been very cautious and very quiet. He found his voice finally this last month and uses sign language like crazy! I honestly sometimes can't figure out what he's trying to say to me he just throws his hands up and around and everywhere babbling and then gives me this look like "do you get it? Hello! Mom?? come on!". Or you just give me a look of disgust like this one below. 



You have this adorable high voice right now that sounds even more adorable when you're singing along to your favorite songs like itsy bitsy spider or popcorn popping. I would say your favorite thing right now is animals in general. You love ALL kinds of animals, but your favorite right now is tigers. Hence why you got three for your birthday from me, Auntie Karen and Auntie Jordana. You play with all of them all the time and your roar is always a whisper.
You're loving dogs right now too, but only real ones. Every. Single. Time you see a dog you go running at full Abbott speed towards it. You followed a dog around a splash park for quite a while one day. It was adorable. You're lucky he was a nice old dog that didn't mind you pulling at his ears because you've had a dog nip at you already!
Everyone says you're very quiet which I'm sure is due to how quiet our house is normally. You're always hanging around, playing in the corner or following some older kid around. I gave you your very first slurpee on Canada Day and you just quietly sat down by yourself and devoured the entire thing, no running around screaming with it, no spilling it, just silently consuming. It was adorable.
As the second child I feel like I'm so slow with teaching you anything, and I've found that you pick things up so quickly! Just the other day I heard you playing with these alphabet letters in the tub and you were naming each one! I don't at all recall sitting down with you naming each letter so where you picked it up is beyond me! I'm so proud of you. You're the best little brother for Milo too. You're always so patient and loving towards him. Never hitting, never stealing. You follow him around and keep your distant when you know you need to. I can already tell you'll be looking out for Milo in the future, you just seem to always know what to do with him already.
I love you so much Abbott! Happy 2nd birthday!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Ord Family Gatherings

It started out as an innocent lip sync off. We had all prepared numbers to do. There were some Van Halens, some Soundgardens, I prepared a Mariah Carey piece. All very normal.

...and then we kept going. We kept finding pieces we wanted to do and a dream of mine sprung forth.

I want to be Elphaba. I want to live the dream of being on stage and giving it all I've got!!

...and I did... without the actual singing... or stage... or money.



It was so real I even flew!


It was such a fun night. We sang the the night away and had amazing laughs. Everyone got so into it, it made it that much more awesome. It's so nice being back near family. Hooray for Ord family gatherings!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Good Morning Tiger Nation

Never thought I'd say that I would miss getting automated calls from Milo's old school, the ones that as soon as I pick them up all I hear is "Good morning tiger nation..." before I hang up again. But I do miss it. Milo's finished school and I loved his teacher and aides. They were all amazing. I just got an email of pictures from his last day there, which happened to be a trip to the zoo. 


Here's his class, they're all so cute and so very autistic. They're all in their own world doing their own thing and I'm sure that all the aides were flipping out trying to get them to look up at the camera. I love it though. It was a place that I knew Milo could be himself. Milo fit in. He could be himself and be loved and understood. I love it!



I haven't told a lot of people this story, mostly because it makes me tear up, but when Milo was first going to this school I lost a LOT of sleep. I kept thinking about how Milo can't talk and how he would never be able to tell me if his teacher were evil people doing horrible things. I prayed so hard to know when I saw his teacher that everything would be alright. On the first day I remember walking in and seeing her and feeling the spirit wash over me that she was a great teacher and that everything would be fine. Ms. Sam has been his teacher for 2 years and I love her! She's amazing with him and I'll miss her so much!


Milo has a favorite aide too. Her name is Manyan and I love her too. She's so great with him and they work so well together. She's one of those people who gets him 100%. She also doesn't let him talk smack to her in his non-verbal ways, which I love. The best part is how I can feel the love she has for him when I see them together. 


It was an amazing 2 years for Milo and if I could beam up the entire set of teachers, aides and therapists to Calgary, I would. I guess all I can really do is get back to praying that the next set of teachers, aides and therapists are great.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Reality

I don't know if any of you have noticed, but I've been complaining a LOT less about autism lately. Part of this is due to the fact that Milo's in a different place in his life (not smearing poop on the walls anymore!) and most of it is my choice to be happy with my life.

and I have been happy, but last night I cried.

...a lot.

We got together with family on Sunday which was awesome. We talked, laughed, ate yummy food and just had a great time. Cousins were running around playing, Abbott was eating all the leftover food from everyone's plate, and Milo was playing in a dirt pile by himself outside. When you're an autism mom you have to pick your battles, so I let it go. Then he started to throw dirt out of the flower beds, so I ran out to stop him. He did it again. and again. Finally my brother-in-law thought to hide them. Milo then went to the garden and started destroying it, Brett stopped him, and he did it again and again. We then just brought him inside and forced him to stay there. He ran upstairs and pooped in his pants. Brett gave him a bath and I forgot to bring a change of clothes so we borrowed some. Then he escaped outside and into the neighbours yard to jump on their trampoline. This happened twice. The whole time he ate chips and popsicles and nothing else. He never stopped moving and he never played with anyone. I also didn't stop moving the entire time, I was always looking for him or running after him or asking where he was.

Everyone was great about everything "it doesn't matter" "don't worry about it" "let me help you" "it'll be okay". Everyone was nice and accommodating. But it didn't change the reality.

That being that I can never just sit and have a full conversation with anyone without wondering what my child is getting into. A little child will always approach me with this sentence "Auntie Jenny, Milo is - insert form of destruction - is that okay?". The words "go play with your cousins" will never cross my lips. Having Milo waltz into the room without any clothes will never be a surprise. and he will poop his pants. That's always been a guarantee. Mostly it's that we can't just let him go and know that he'll be okay "see you in a couple of hours!"... not happening. and I'm not saying typical families don't get interruptions from their kids, but does it happen every 2 minutes?

That's my reality.

So when we made the 40 minute drive home I spent that time feeling sorry for myself, and when I got home and put the kids to bed, I sat down and began to sob. I hate crying over this because there's no solution. Well... there is, it involves me deciding to buck up about it and get on with my life, but put yourself in my shoes for a second; You go to visit your family and you spent most of the time making sure your child doesn't ruin the house, wouldn't you be upset or sad about it?

I find that every once in a while I allow myself to mourn the loss of normalcy. We're different, and it sucks sometimes. I wish it was something I could just permanently get over, but so far I can't. The worst part is it makes you want to climb into a hole, curl up in a ball and never come out. but you know you have to.

So I'll make adjustments for next time and hope it goes well. Because what else can I do?