Thursday, September 27, 2007

Time to go to school and play!

Today, I had a meeting with Sarah and Mary's teacher at their autism school. Sarah is 5 w/classic autism, and Mary is 2 w/PDD, they're also in the same class in the morning preschool that meets for 3 hours three mornings a week. I told the children that we're going in the car to school today, and we're going to play at school.

Once there, Ammon went to his regular class, and the girls and I met in their classroom with the teacher. The children didn't need to be there, but since I had no child care, they were there. I found out that Mary is developmentally around the level of a 2 year old old, a young two year old, and in a couple of things a little younger than a 2 year old--she's just a few months shy of 3. So, that was quite encouraging. When they talked of the results of Sarah's developmental testing, she's mostly equivalent to a toddler, 18 months, and emotionally she's about 8 months old. Actually, that sounds about right. So I'm wondering why I'm feeling kind of bummed out about it...I guess hearing it kind of made it more real, and kind of disappointing. And, I am getting very tired of her taking off her clothes and diaper all the time. She didn't do that for a while, then started doing it again constantly sometime within the last several months. The same goes for her public screaming, I can't been able to take her to the store lately because it's been so out of control. She's still good at our favorite hamburger joint with the play land though.

Well, I can focus on the disappointment, or I can focus on the positive. After all, she's made AMAZING progress nonetheless. I mean, she used to be more developmentally delayed. And, she's saying a lot more words, and is thriving with the Picture Exchange System. One of her former preschool teachers from our school district was visiting the school and observed Sarah and was delighted and amazed at how well Sarah is doing, how she's talking so much more.

Sarah was all over the room. She likes the new Pampers Cruisers diapers because they have the Sesame Street characters on the front that she likes so much, especially Elmo. She saw a package of them and tore them open and kept taking the diapers and carrying them around smiling. Last night, she slept with one from home that had Elmo on it. Those are the BEST diapers, are stretchy, fit well and hold "it" in real well. Anyhow, Sarah kept trying to get into the fish in the little fish tank--she loves fish. She says "Fih" and makes the fish moving his mouth in the water sound. She also kept getting into her reward box and chomping on the snacks in there, and shared them with her sister. Mary kept running water, playing in it, drinking it, pouring it into another cup, etc. They spilled water and left crumbs all over, just like home...


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Autism Guide for Educators/Teachers/Parents

I found this info on the website of the National Education Association (NEA). It has a LOT of good info that parents should make sure their school district and teachers of your children have AND use.

From their website:

Guide Will Help Educators with 'Puzzle of Autism'

Across the country, the number of children diagnosed as having autism has increased substantially and many of these students are in general education classrooms. How can general education teachers and other education professionals address their complex communication, social and learning needs?

To assist educators in their daily work, NEA has produced a new resource in collaboration with the Autism Society of America, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and the National Association of School Psychologists.

"The Puzzle of Autism" is a succinct informational guide for all education personnel who work with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The guide explains common autistic characteristics and suggests effective classroom strategies for improving the communication, sensory, social, and behavioral skills of children who have autism.

You can download a copy of
"The Puzzle of Autism" .


Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm The Busiest Mom !!!

I just spent nearly the last hour working on my latest entry. I talked of how it's been having my three youngest children in school the last three weeks at the Carmen D. Pingree School in Salt Lake City. It's a private school for autistic children and I bragged kind of extensively how great the school is.

During that time, my daughter Sarah, 5, came home from afternoon kindergarten at the local elementary school--she attends Pingree three mornings a week. She took off her clothes, but left her diaper on while she hung out on my and my husband John's bed, one of her favorite places to be and bounce on, especially while Mom's on the computer. I soon smelled an odor...Sarah had taken off her dirty diaper, and skid her back side on the bed. Unhappily, I went and changed her and put on a one piece outfit--that should have taken care of the problem for the time being...But, Mary, 2, needed a diaper change too.

So, after I took care of her, Sarah wasn't in sight and very quiet, I then yelled "Sarah!!!" Sarah ran off from the computer where she had just gotten rid of everything I wrote, then sat down on the bed in the SAME place she messed it up minutes ago and got herself dirty and stinky all over again! I cleaned her up again and told the older and higher functioning kids who, thank the Lord, just got home to take her outside to play NOW.

Well, I'm too tired and short of time to rewrite my entry now. Maybe later....

Hey, I've got GREAT news, I'm officially the "Busiest Mom", the Beamis Manufacturing Company said so! For, my beloved husband John wrote and submitted an essay to the Busy Mom contest they held recently, and I just received a call today that I am the grand prize winner.

They left some messages on my phone asking me to call them to "take care of some paperwork", and when I called back, they put me on speaker phone, told me that I actually won, and a handful of friendly folks congratulated me!!! It took me a moment to react, I mean, it was such awesome news that I was a bit in flattered disbelief. But, it soon sunk in, and I said thank you several times.

They have given me a very generous package of services that I could really use, but it's interesting how the thing I got the most excited about was free house cleaning service I think twice a month for a year, WOWEEEEEEE!!!!! When I had half the amount of kids I have now, I used to keep such a clean house. But now, my ability to keep order has totally gone to hell. I know putting it in those terms sounds strong, but you should see my house and you'll know what I'm talking about. I can't even clean when the little ones are home or awake because I get constantly interrupted and they make messes faster than I can clean, ahh!

So, thank you AGAIN from the bottom of my ADORING AND LOVING HEART, Beamis Corporation! I hear they have some really great easy to clean toilet seats.

Well, I have to go, I just heard the sound of glass breaking, grrrr..... A busy mom's work is NEVER done. (Thanks for telling us about it, Hannah, please comment).


Saturday, September 8, 2007

The AutismBites Foundation

We feel that there is a BIG gap in the fund raising and grants/rewards area within the Autism community.

The Autism Society of America has much of the usual fund raising for research and rewards, etc. Others, Talk About Curing Autism, Generation Rescue, Autism One, Schafer Autism Report, Safe Minds, and Treating Autism advocate the use of various treatments, finding the right doctor(s), reading various books, getting on their newsletter/email list, subscribing to their reports, etc. etc. etc. (NOTE: If I missed your group, let me know).

Then the 'walk-a-thon', celebrity and fund raising champion, Autism Speaks, that has money for research and other various projects.

I'm not saying that any of these organization aren't providing a needed service in their area of focus or interest. Or that they don't provide a LOT of useful information and resources...

But, here's the gap:

What about poor Mom and Dad trying to PAY for these interventions and treatments, trips to the Dr. (that many insurances don't pay for), books, special clothing and/or alterations, changes to the home and on and on. Try this... read that... try something else... read just one more book that will hopeful tell you exactly what is the right thing for YOUR child. I don't know about many of you, but just trying to organize the information of each of our six (going to Office Max again, honey!) has put a serious crimp in our budget.

Now, if I've gotten it wrong or missed something important about an organization, PLEASE straighten me out. That's fine... I'm no expert on any one group. That is except my group of six here at home (still working on the expert part).

So, what about The AutismBites Foundation? It's primary purpose is to provide funds... MONEY... cash-in-hand... to parents. For whatever THEY feel their child(ren) needs. All without a bunch of rules, criteria and layers and layers of committees and approvals needed. Our idea is to take application letters and then to give funds on a first-come, most-needs basis. And if we have a lot of money to grant we can be more generous. If the letter brings a tear to our eye, that will help. ; )

So, if you are able, please click the link to the right. And also if you belong to a large and giving company, ask the CFO to click our link. We will be keeping our overhead low and fund giving high.

Please forward this blog to all friends, rich uncles, the rich and famous, Bill Gates types you know that want to really make a difference to families of Autism.


Monday, September 3, 2007

Future Employers Listen Up

Our children have MANY talents, but lately it appears that their true callings in life are coming out. ; )

Emma and Nephi: Spongebob Squarepants - Content Critics:

Sarah: Wall Paint Peeler and Taster

Ammon: Chicken Shredder

And the most important part of all is they are happy in their work!