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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

This perfectly describes the journey our wonderful children with autism adventure through - and we get to travel the road with them. Thanks Dr. Seuss!

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.


You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don' t
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

---Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Interesting information about what we put into our bodies.

Feingold Diet - Petrochemicals part one

Feingold Diet - Petrochemicals part two

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mommy's Vacation

So we left Aidan with Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw Saturday afternoon and took off to Atlanta for the weekend, and ultimately the Tool concert on Monday night. It was nice to be able to get away and have some time for just me and Jeremy with no schedule, and no worries. We got to go to the aquarium, Ikea, and the zoo, and we also ate at a yummy Meditteranean restauarant downtown.

Sunday afternoon Aidan called (via Maw-Maw) because he had crashed his bike and needed his mommy. I talked to him for a little while and he told me what had happened and to come home and I explained that Jeremy and I had been at the aquarium and wouldn't be home for a few more days because we still wanted to go to the zoo. He wanted to go too, but I explained he couldn't because we were far away and only mommy and Jeremy were going this time, but he could go next time.

Monday Maw-Maw said he was really missing me. She said he asked where I was, and she laughed and said he knew I was in Atlanta. Then he corrected his question, pointed at a picture of me and asked if that was Mommy. Then another of me in high school (Maw-Maw confirmed it was me), then one when I was around 2 (again Maw-Maw confirmed), lastly one of me as a newborn (which Maw-Maw confirmed). Then he said okay and walked away. As if he wanted to confirm I was real. Strange how his little mind works.

One thing I really noticed through having so much phone conversation with him (I called and talked to him this afternoon when we headed home) is that he is SOOO much easier to understand now than he was not even a year ago. I think it's mostly because we spend so much time and effort talking with him - not just talking at him, but forcing him to have a conversation with us, and correcting him when he says something wrong, or asking for clarification when he says something we don't understand. I'm so proud of the progress he's made.

And it was great to have a vacation too. Now I just need a vacation from my vacation...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

How you can help:

This is an article pulled from a magazine called The Autism File about how grandparents of children with autism can help their kids to deal with the diagnosis. Original author is Shannon Johnson in the July issue. Of course, anyone who knows someone with an autistic child should take this to heart. Just insert your name as needed.

  • Listen - without answers or solutions - just be there.
  • Provide meals, especially while the parents grieve, process, and plan.
  • Take the child or children often in order to give the parents respite and the kids a good dose of what only a grandparent (or aunt, uncle, or best friend's mommy, or mommy's best friend) has to offer.
  • Learn to cook new food if there is a special diet involved, and always have plenty of "legal" food on hand.
  • Be supportive. A parent is going to do anything they can to help their child grow and develop. You may not agree, but be patient and let the parents sort it all out. Take pictures at therapeutic horseback riding lessons and join in the Floortime interactions.
  • Get online. Join an autism community and get to know other families and other grandparents.
  • Put on your sneakers and sign up for that neighborhood walk-a-thon. Raising funds and awareness is just another way to love your family well.
  • Keep your opinions to yourself (unless solicited*). Autism isn't caused by too much television or a broccoli deficiency. Children are not disciplined out of autism, and beneficial therapies involve more than "a little tough love" or a spank on the bum. Those kinds of comments will only build walls between you and your children.
  • Carry over in your home, as best as possible, the treatments that the parents are using at home. For example, if the parents are ignoring a behavior rather than bringing attention to it, do the same. A consistent environment enhances good teaching.
  • Ask what you can do that will help. Sometimes the answer will be "Just give us some space." Sometimes the answer might be "Please come soon." Be respectful of the parents as they ride the waves of emotion that come with such a diagnosis.
  • Be available to accompany the parents on doctor visits and other such meetings. Children are often required to be at these meetings, but their attention span is short and having you there to entertain and interact with them will give the parents the ability and freedom to attend to the professional without distraction.
  • Allow yourself to love in a new and bigger way. This journey may shake your family to the core, but there is a rare joy and a rich reward when you love someone with autism with all your heart.

*my addendum

Friday, July 24, 2009

Aidan's Rocket Adventure

Aidan went to the Space and Rocket Center today with his Maw-Maw, Paw-Paw, Great-Grandma, Great-Grandpa, and Uncle Matt. I worried about him - I won't lie. I know how he reacts to loud places and lots of people. Besides - the place is boring if you ask me! But he did great according to Maw-Maw. He had his difficult moments of course, but we've been working with him, giving him tools to cope with his difficulties. Impatience was an issue, but that's obviously a normal 5 year old issue. On the other hand, he really wasn't sure about the Davidson Center (this is where the house the gigantic Saturn V rocket that took us to the moon). Every so often someone would push the button and the sound of the rocket launch would echo through the massive building. Apparently once he was able to push the button himself he handled things a bit better.

What did surprise me was his enjoyment of the Mars ride. Again his tools helped him. Mom told him how it would sound and feel (to the best of her ability). She let him talk to some older kids who had already ridden it, and they assured him it was fun and were nice enough to let him go ahead of them so he could see the ride from the outside. It's one of those where you get in and the box just rocks around a whole lot but you have a big screen inside that makes you feel like a whole lot more is going on - sort of virtual reality I guess. Then the facilitator showed Aidan where the button was to stop the ride if he needed to get off (or anyone else did for that matter) and the ride started. At first he might have been a little scared, but he had a blast overall. And I'm glad.

This weekend he gets to stay with Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw while Jeremy and I go to Atlanta for a much needed vacation. He'll be staying with them for 3 nights. I know he'll be fine - and so will I! See you when we get back!