Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Researching we will go... researching we will go...

Our local state university discovered us and our six ASD kidlets. They have an Autism genetics research project going on. They want us to participate. OK, sure we said. So, last week I took 3 yr old brother and 5 yr old sister...

(see family makeup - )

... to the appointment. I was told about some testing and blood draws, BUT the tests I had to do? Hmmm... I felt like I was back in high school doing the SAT tests. What is the meaning of this word, and this and this... Then I was shown various patterns and given 9 cubes and asked to replicate the patterns. The cubes were like huge dice, but instead of dots they were white and red squares and diagonals of red and white. Got cross-eyed doing that one!

Next was listening to a audio tape with 'made up' words I was to repeat back, quite odd but I think I did fine. Then the SHAPES. Five large circles, five small circles, five large squares, five small squares. Each was one of five colors. Started out easy enough. 'Touch the white small square.' It evolved to something like... 'Before you pick up the large yellow square, touch the circle next to the one below the small blue circle, then pick up the small white square and the green large circle.' Huh? I was sweating bullets, especially when she attached the clips to each of my ear lobes with wires running to a humming box and had me put my forefingers into a cup of water while she turned the dial higher and higher. Hee hee, just made up that last one.

The most fun? Helping to hold down the 3 and 5 yr olds as they got 6 vials of blood each. By the time it was my turn I think I fainted dead away...maybe not, but we did get a nice bag lunch and ten bucks apiece for the blood. But, really the most fun was while I was being asked history questions on brother; watching the play area through the wall window. Brother and sister running and screaming all over the place (their testing was done). Sister flipped off the office lights...repeatedly. Brother reminded me of those motorcycle drivers in the wire cage ball at the circus. Going round and around and around. By the time we were ready to leave there was food all over, torn papers strewn about by brother, AKA 'The Shredder'.

Even though I was assured that they were used to all this the three young ladies looked a bit frayed. And to make it easier for all of us they suggested that they could come to our home to finish the testing. We'll see... ; )


Monday, May 28, 2007

The "Destroyer" - 3 yr old brother

This is ONE of our angels, our toughest but just one. He likes to watch the water go down the bath tub drain. He gets very excited watching the cars go by when we go for walks.

Whenever we go anywhere he likes to open and then watch the door close, this is usually for doors that slowly close themselves. He rocks and rocks and rocks in our rocker recliner.

He'd rather run 90 MPH then walk. He tears paper into thin strips, usually big sisters books. He puts that paper into his mouth and makes HUGE paper wads out of it.

His bedroom looks like a tornado just came through. He'd rather sleep in his playpen, but does like his bed enough to pull the mattress into the middle of the room.

He climbs every where and has NO FEAR. Before we blocked off the kitchen area we'd find him standing on top of the fridge. He still will climb on top of the TV entertainment center when we aren't looking. This is where he takes DVD's out of the player and bites (can you say Autism Bites?) them. More climbing? He figured out how to scale the 5 ft gate to escape from the back yard.

Do you wonder why we are a bit loony?


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

New words, New tranny, New drugs

I originally thought we'd be able to write this blog at least every couple of days, BUT remember we have SIX AUTISTIC KIDS. Whew! I feel better, always good to blow off a little steam. And if it sounds like we use the SIX children as an're probably right. But, you have to admit, it sure is a darn fine excuse!

New words: 5 yr old sister (see family make up in 1st post) said to Mom yesterday, "I love you". It was her first 3 word sentence. Of course it sounded more like, "uh wuh woo" but we know what she was saying. It brought us to smiles and tears.

New tranny: As I mentioned below the transmission of "the car" blew up, luckily in the driveway. The final bill $3,131 and change : ( I told the dealership we DID NOT have that kind of $$ in my back pocket and that we'd need some kind of financing. No problem I was told, had a program for just our type of need. Went to pick up the car and... "weren't able to get you folks any financing for the repairs, sorry". (May tell you later about, 'Autism bites...the credit') "Well, this is our only car and my ride just left". With a signed note I was able to bring the car home and was told they'd get back to me on some arrangements. No word yet and it's been a week. Guess we'll see what happens.

New drugs: None yet...Mom's still on the Zoloft and my bud Jack Daniels is still taking care of me (still KIDDING pastor!)


Monday, May 14, 2007

A Killer Week...bit again

Where should I start?

Ok, 3 yr old brother put the bite on 2 yr old sister AGAIN. It was really, really BAD. Her back was bleeding this time. You feel like giving him a big whop! on the butt, but it wouldn't do anyone any good. Sister was already hurt (wouldn't make her feel better). Brother would cry, but doesn't get it as to why he got the spank. And we'd feel bad for making him cry, when he doesn't understand anyway.

So, we are now doing our best to not leave him in the same room alone with her. Whenever we hear her cry we come running 90 MPH to see if she's being attacked again. It putting us a bit on the edge.

On Thursday, Dad took the day off (without pay) to take 3 yr old brother to be evaluated at the local Autism only pre-school. The school primarily uses the ABA teaching method with 10 students per class with 5 teachers. (2 to 1 !!) Well... when pulling out of the drive the "Autism Bites mobile" (see pic to right) made a clunk, then a weeeeeeeee sound. Reverse was gone.

Today we got the bad news... but not before getting it looked at twice, towing it twice and having the tow truck driver be a complete butt-head. $3000 big ones! Not sure how we're going to pay for it though. I told them to fix it and we'll see where it goes from there. (come back to stay posted) Thankfully big brother (23 yrs old, first marriage) was able to come and take us to the 10:00 appointment and only be 10 minutes late.

I won't go into the details of Grandma and Grandpa visiting from Minnesota, the swamp cooler (like AC for you non-deseret dwellers) that is being replaced by the Landlord, slowly. Or Dad throwing out his back. Blah...blah...blah...

Tonight Mom and I are going to veg with a DVD, hope it's as funny as we've heard.


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Autism Bites...Again!

Well live goes on... I have been a bit lazy the past few days. Sat in front of the tube watching the Jazz (NBA basketball team in Utah) win a couple of squeekers (is that a word?). Besides sister being bit last week, Autism has bitten us again.

In our continuing quest to make some bucks, Autism Bites...the car with a new sign in back (see pic to right). I thought I did a good job, what do you think?

And lest you think we have big bucks already to have such a big SUV gas glugger...not so. The last car was a 1993 Dodge Caravan with 226,000 miles. The side door fell off...twice! We had to hit the radio 'on' button with the ice scrapper to get it to come on. The horn didn't work the last 3 yrs. A gas smell was coming from somewhere (we never did find) that made 8 yr old brother lose his last meal nearly every time he rode. The transmission would decide, all by itself, that it only liked to be in either reverse or 2nd gear. Let me tell you, 45 mph in 2nd gear is a REAL scream. The transmission also would go KLUNK...KLUNK...KLUNK whenever you made a left turn. FUN...FUN...times that car was. So how did we get 'Der gas gluggerstein'? As soon as we got little 2 yr old sisters SSI check...bam! Ran out a put it down for the new car. The dealership reluctantly took the old beast and had the junk man take it away. Now sisters monthly check makes the car payment and higher insurance costs.

Autism Bites...the playpen (see pic to right). 3 yr old brother (aka 'The Destroyer') will only sleep in the playpen. He does have a twin bed which only provides amusement to the little angel as something that must have the top mattress tossed on the floor. Yes, he DOES do it by himself. But as you can see the playpen also looks a little worse for wear. It has now been retired to the trash can to be added to the local landfill. We hope the new one will last longer then 6 months!


Thursday, May 3, 2007

T-shirt Success

I want to thank all of you that have gone to our Autism Awareness t-shirt site, . And I want to especially thank those who actually bought one or more. Mom is the artist in the family and she did the faces. I took the faces, added the words, loaded the files and added the blank products (i.e. t-shirts, mugs, tote bags) to put them on. After over 100 hours the website came into being just this last month AND lots of people are buying them!! (see Mom told ya...)

What lead us to come up with the idea for these shirts you may ask? OK, some of you didn't ask, but I'll tell you anyway : ) We just got tired of 'those' looks from people when we took the children to the store or where ever. Also the "could you stop your little girl from yelling" comments. We'd have to explain she was Autistic, blah..blah..blah. It wears you out when you have to do it many times a day. : ( So we at first got t-shirts that had a brief explanation on them. Then we decided to put the faces on to be more attention getting. AND IT WORKS!! When people see the t-shirt and read what's said they give a knowing (Haa!) smile and don't pester us. Notice that the kids shirts have the pic on the front AND the back. Whew! sure lowers the stress level on us.

So when you check out the t-shirts etc. please come back here with any comments or suggestions, we're open. Oh, I know we promised that Mom will be posting here as well. She's been having a tough week, the Zoloft is not quite doing the job as well. Next week she'll be going back to the shrink and is hoping to give Prozac a try. Me? I just like to stare at the ceiling looking through the bottom of an upturned bottle of Jack Daniels. (Just kidding pastor!) Actually Blue Bunny ice cream is my vice. Hey just don't read these posts, sent..a..comment! Later...

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Autism Bites...and HURTS!

"There's nothing like having a little afternoon snack of...sister" that's what our 3 yr seemed to be thinking today. While Mom was loading the stroller in the SUV to go to a play date, she heard bellowing cries coming from the house. A frantic rush to the house and investigation revealed one bite mark on 2 yr old sisters arm and four on her back.

3 yr old brother just babbled his little signature sound, "baa baa baa". I don't think he does it to be mean, I believe he really enjoys the feeling of skin between his teeth. Sister isn't very keen about this type of "stim" that her brother unfortunately does.