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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Now I Know My

I get asked a lot why Milo is obsessed with Television. He tends to watch the same shows, and if he's on my phone, he'll rewind certain segments and listen to them over and over. Ask anyone who has been on a road trip with Milo and they will verify this.

Every person with Autism is different but something that a lot of the people on the spectrum crave is order and repetition. Milo hates chaos. People? Chaotic. Unpredictable. You never know what you're going to get when a child runs up to you. Cinderella, on the other hand, is very predictable...because we've all seen it about a million times and it's never changed on us.

Milo doesn't really speak independently right now, but when he's watching a show he loves, his language explodes. It's repetitive, but it's there. Just the other day I heard him say "What have we here Banzai? mmmmmm I don't know Shenzi" from the Lion King. I can hold a ball up to his face, ask him what it is and I get nothing, but turn on a disney movie and I get "Oh I just can't wait to be king!"

My favorite is bedtime. We've started dedicating 15-30 minutes to singing because of how well Milo does with Music. I can now ask him what song he'd like to sing and he'll tell me! "Twinkle twinkle" "Ten in the bed" "ABC" "Head Shoulders knees and toes" "BINGO". Sometimes he'll sing along, sometimes I'll pause at the end of a sentence and Milo will sing the last word. Last night we were tucking Milo in bed and he sang the entire alphabet and even sang "Now I know my ABC's, next time won't you sing with me".

I haven't yet had a conversation with my son, but through music we're able to connect with him. He's our conductor. He'll touch our lips when he wants us to start and he waves his arms around to the beat of the music. He looks into our eyes and you can tell when he's enjoying it because he'll get this coy half smile on his lips. 

Like This:



I can't wait to see where he goes with his life. Brett and I are desperately trying to find something that will be his thing for life. a year ago I bought him paint brushes to see if he would take to painting, before that we bought a keyboard to see if he's love playing the piano. Just the other day Brett ordered a snare drum because Milo is obsessed with beats. I've always wanted to be a drummer, so this one I'm trying not to hold too tightly too, but it would be AWESOME if he took to it. 

For now it's singing ABC's, and jumping off the couch to the beat of "itsy bitsy spider". This kid is pretty cool. 

side note: You know who else loves order and repetition? ME! Please let the summer end so I can have some semblance of order in my house.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Is He A Wanderer?

We've thought a lot about getting Milo an assistant dog. I've even gone as far as filling out the insane paper work, but never sent it out because I wasn't sure I was ready to have a dog.

These dogs are amazing too. They're trained specifically for autistic children, and more specifically for MY autistic child. The dog would be with Milo at all times, eating with him, sleeping with him, going to school with him, everything. They would help to calm him down if he needed it, they help with sleep tremendously, if we're out and about, Milo would be tethered to the dog and he would be trained to stop him from escaping... and the big one:

If Milo were to ever run away, the dog would be trained to find him.

I never went through with it. I was always worried it would be too much for me to handle having another thing to take care of. I didn't think I had it in me.

I might now.

Yesterday Milo was missing for approximately 30 minutes. Brett and I were going to go on a date and I went to pick up dinner for the kids, when I came back Brett was jumping in our bed with Abbott, he said that Abbott became really upset when I left so he had been in our bedroom the entire time. He hadn't seen Milo in a while, but we were sure he was in the basement. I got dinner set up for the kids and called both of them, Abbott came running in and sat at the table. I called for Milo again and again. Brett went downstairs to get him, I checked his bedroom, he wasn't in either place. We went through the rest of the house and Brett checked the backyard. Our slider door was open, so we knew he had been there.

"is he there?" I asked

"no, check the basement again" Brett said.

This is when I began to panic a little. All parents know the feeling. You don't know where your kid is, your heart starts to beat a little harder and your eyes start darting everywhere, your breath begins to pick up a bit. Usually at this point you find your kid and all is well.

We couldn't find him. I began to yell his name to make sure he could hear me. "MILOOO"... nothing.

Brett then said he would start driving around. I went to go turn on my phone. As I was waiting I went in the backyard and yelled his name one more time "MIIILLLOOOOOO" ... I paused for 10 seconds, waiting to see anything, hear anything.

The day before Brett caught Milo half way up our chain link fence, he was having a lot of trouble with it, so it wasn't a worry for us at the time, but I knew in that moment that Milo had definitely gone out the backyard and climbed the fence.

I instantly started looking in neighbours backyards. He'd done that before when he was about 3. Nothing. He wasn't anywhere. At this point I knew I needed to call the police, I didn't want to take any chances. The number one cause of death for children on the autism spectrum is drowning. I'd heard endless stories of kids wandering away and finding a pool and drowning. I dialed the police and began explaining what had happened

"How old is he?"

"5"

"what was he wearing?"

"He might actually be naked, or in his boxers, I can't remember what color" my voice began to shake.

"how tall is he?"

"uhhhh... I don't know I don't know!"

"it's okay, you're doing great. How tall are you?"

"I'm 5'5 and he goes up to about my breast I think?"

"okay, so he's about 4 feet. He's Caucasian?"

"yes"

"Any defining characteristics?"

"He's severely autistic and non-verbal. He probably wouldn't come to you if you called his name, but he might. On his right- no wait, on his left eye he has part of his iris missing, almost like a bite has been taken out of it, does that make sense?"

"yes. How will he respond to police?"

"what do you mean?"

"would he be too scared?"

"no. not at all. He'd probably try to run away though"

"okay. Jenny, you're doing good. I sent the information out and a police officer will call you. Right now you need to go back in the house and search it thoroughly, okay? He might be hiding"

At this point I was crying "okay okay. I will. Thank you"

"you're doing fine. The officer will call you soon."

I was outside at this point and Brett came back empty handed. At that moment I thought he might be at the school, he misses school so much, maybe he got all the way there. "Check the school" I called to Brett, he nodded and sped away.

I said goodbye to the police and I hung up and began to search the house again. For about 10 minutes there was nothing. I was searching everywhere knowing that Milo wasn't there. I came back to the kitchen to see Abbott had finished his meal and was halfway through Milos. The phone rang. It was the officer and he told me he was on his way from Didsbury, a town about 20 minutes away. I described Milo and he laughed a little "We just got a call 2 minutes before yours that a little boy was playing in a park without clothes. I'm sure it's him." I began to finally breath at that moment. I got a bing from my phone and saw that it was Brett trying to call me. The officer said he'd check it out and call me back. I hung up and called Brett back.

"I found him. He was naked in the park by the school, we're coming home" I could hear Milo in the background making noises.

"Thank Goodness. I'll call the police back. Bye" I finally sat down and took a couple of breaths.

I called them back and let them know, I described Milo a lot more so he'd be in their system if it ever happened again. Brett walked Milo in the house, he was laughing and covered in sand. I didn't care, I went to him and hugged him so hard. I gave him kisses over and over and told him I loved him. I told him I was sorry school was over and that we could go to the park tomorrow and play.

It was terrifying. I don't think I've ever been so scared. I began to think about how he got there. How he walked the 5 minutes all the way to his school and how he'd have to cross a busy street to get there. I thought about the person that called the police and wondered why they didn't wait with my child for us to get there. I thought about all the horrible outcomes and decided that it might be a good idea to get that dog now.

I remembered one of the questions on the application for the assistant dog "Is your child a wanderer?"... now I can say 100% yes. Yes he wanders, he runs, he escapes.

(Brett took this photo when he found him)



Today I followed Milo around the backyard and saw him instantly begin the climb the fence, which confirmed our fears. Now there's more and more restrictions that I hate placing on him.


Monday, June 22, 2015

It's Been A While...

Hi There, 

I haven't been complaining writing for a while. Posting pictures of photography sessions doesn't really count, does it? Not really what my blog is about, but it's my blog so get off my back! The truth is I feel stuck right now. Has that ever happened to you? There's something you enjoy doing, but you just don't feel inspired by it for a while... maybe nothing of value, or what you think is of value, comes to your mind. That's what's been going on with me. I know I'm writing now, but it's still going on. I have an idea of what I want to accomplish, or multiple possibilities and lots of motivation, but the desire or love for these potential things just isn't there. 

Stuck. 

So I'm sorry I haven't been around. I really do want to write a book and post it chapter by chapter here. Maybe it would just be a short story, who knows, but nothing is coming to me. Which is weird for me, because usually I have too many thoughts and ideas to contain them. 

Any ways. I got a lot of hate from my disclaimer posts, and it... hurt. I got a lot of love too, but we all tend to focus on the negative, am I right? But it left me in this place. This stuck place of wondering what I want for myself, what I want to accomplish, what I want to do with myself, what it's all worth to me. I didn't really second guess before, and now? ... stuck. 

I want to do what I want to do. Now I'm realizing that I can make mistakes and I need to realize that it will happen and I need to be okay with it. I need to not let it stop me from the next thing, and it has. Let me tell you... I have watched a LOT of T.V.... insane amounts. More than usual. Not the fun kind of binging, where you meet up with friends and have a Lord Of The Rings marathon. It's the kind that makes you feel gross after. It's like when you feel better after you clean, but you hate getting started. I don't want to clean!!! But I know it's what I need to do to get out of this rut. 

BOO CLEANING. 

I'll just re-watch Buffy The Vampire Slayer and THEN get started... I promise!

P.S. No one stop by! I'm a disaster!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

7 Day Old Holly

 Had my last mini promotional session with this sweetie. She's such a sweetheart!




9 Day Old Gaige

work work work. That's been me lately. I did a newborn shoot with this little cutie. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

More Photos - Lynn

I did another photo shoot the other day. I love it. I love taking classes and learning more and more about photography and lighting. It's fun. I don't get a lot of practice because I don't promote myself (I'm shy!) but when I do I almost always have a lot of fun. This session was with little Lynn. I know her Mama so we had a blast. The same song was sung over and over. I had never heard of it, but it was hilarious to hear Mama sing it over and over while dancing behind me. The results are below! Enjoy.








Monday, May 25, 2015

Paint.

I love summer. It allows Milo to really let go of everything and have fun. I bought a bunch of finger painting supplies and ended up using every single one of them, it was too much fun to see him so alive and happy. When I snapped this photo he was at a point of complete peace. He has just been laying in the dirt and looked like he might fall asleep when I heard him mumble "happy". He sat up and I snapped this. I love this kid. 
He's awesome. 


This was Abbott watching Milo. It's weird having kids that are complete opposites. Abbott wouldn't go NEAR the table of paint. He was so grossed out!