a little background

hi, my name is mandy and I have two amazing little boys. My oldest son, Ty, has been diagnosed with autism (which is what you will read most about in this blog); I also have Tripp, who is an amazing little brother to Ty (who you will also hear alot about). I was encouraged to start this blog to document our journey through life and life with autism... my world has been rocked in last few years and i have responded in good ways and bad ... but Jesus has gotten me through all of it...

i hope i can be an encouragement to you, and for the friends and family that will read this - maybe this will keep you posted indepth on what Ty is learning! :) and the adventures of Tripp too

thank you for reading, and if you have any questions, comments or smart remarks; feel free to post them.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

the joy of Christmas!

Christmas is by far the best time of the year. I love all of the smells, foods, lights, and most of all friends and family. My favorite thing to do is give gifts, and I absolutely love to find something that I know someone would like and then give it to them. Not because I want recognition or to be thanked but because I simply enjoy the look on their face - the smile or laugh that comes with it and the hugs or conversations that will come after that.
Last year Ty was not much into the gift opening part of Christmas and I had a feeling that he would love all of the paper tearing and toys this year! Well I was partly right, he did really well once we got something out of the box and he could play with it but he wasn't real big on sitting and opening a gift, he did play with the paper and try to eat it after everyone else opened their presents. So to each their own :)
Every gift Ty received for Christmas was perfectly suited to him, everyone was so thoughtful in finding something that he would like even if it was a toy that might not be "age appropriate" in others eyes, it was perfect for my little Ty. I have the best family and friends in the world!
Christmas is also a very busy time of year with lots of traveling for us. And traveling with my boys is not always easy. Sam was working Christmas Eve so we went to my dad's Friday night had Christmas with them and then Sam left for work the next morning and that afternoon we went to visit my cousins and then on to mamaw's for a meal that could feed half the roman army (that's my brothers words). I always feel like we stay long enough to eat, open gifts and then leave and I really wish we could stay longer. But the hour and a half ride home was waiting so we packed up shortly after dirty Santa and started home. I made it half way home when Ty woke up screaming. Needless to say we stopped to see Sam at the fire house to keep my sanity and then drove home around 9:30 or 10.
Being that Christmas day was on Sunday we went to Church that morning. We were asked to read and light a candle as a family during the service and I wanted Ty to participate so we kept him in church for the first time. Ty absolutely loved the singing and would get so excited every time we stood to sing. Once the music stopped and the preacher or music minister would speak/pray Ty would start to make some noise, not a scream but just his version of talking. I assume he was talking to God in his own way :) I would try to quit him some but part of me just wanted to let him say whatever it is he needed to say ... from the mouth of babes right!?
During the childrens story part of church we sang happy birthday Jesus and the kids showed a new toy to the congregation. So after the song was over Ty was so excited and started clapping, have I mentioned that he loves a crowd and he loves for people to clap ... typically he loves for people to clap for HIM, but clapping is a favorite activity no matter who it is for! So once everyone stopped clapping Ty kept going, he stood front and center in front of the pulpit and just kept clapping with a smile bigger than the state of Texas, his teeth shinning, his eyes squinting and slightly bouncing with excitement. He could have stood there all day I am sure but I swooped him up and took him to the nursery. So that's when I stop to think. Shouldn't we all do that. Shouldn't we all stop and just praise the Lord. I don't know for sure if that is what he was doing, but I like to think that God used him to open my eyes and say "this is how you do it". No worries just pure joy and excitement!
here are a few pics from Christmas ... Ty loved the lights :)

thanks for reading! hope yall enjoy! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2011

it's christmas!

Well I can't believe that another year has passed so quickly!? A friend of mine tells me that the days get longer and years get shorter as our kids grow up; and that is so true!
It is less than a week before christmas and I have one more present to buy but I have not put up my christmas tree??? Yes I know that I need to do it; but I just haven't made the time to make it happen?! Who knows maybe I will do it today :). ok on to the good stuff...
Ty has been doing really well! The Children's Center sent home his AAC device (it's a device that speaks for him when he touches the icons of what he wants, for example "want" "need" "cookie" "more" "drink" "ball" etc). I thought it would be simple to use at home, but I keep forgetting that we have it? He does really well with this device and will even put together 3 word phrases like "want more cookie" and he just gets so excited when we give him the cookie. It's like he knows that we finally have a way for him to communicate those words that he might not be able to sign or say, and sometimes the words that he knows how to say and sign but at times he just can't get them out. Now there are times when he just won't say them and he will give you this adorable look as if to say "isnt this enough" but you have to fight past wanting to give in and make him talk. No, it's not easy but if you give in once then he knows that there's another option - and we would much rather pull those words out of him then to let him slip by with an adorable smile. right?! - thats what I keep telling myself...
so on to my little Tripp for a minute..
Tripp was in our kids Christmas program at church and stole the show! haha we all have to say that right? But really he did a great job, he knew the motions and words to almost all of the songs and only almost fell off the stage once :) so that was great for him! Because the last time they sang in church he stood up closed his eyes and then put his hands over his face?! so we have come a long way! Now all during the last few months of practicing these songs I wanted so badly to give Ty a chance to sing in the program, I know he likes music and he loves to dance (rock from one foot to the other and wiggle, its super cute) and he is not afraid of crowds at all. But I didnt want him to be a distraction to the other kids or to run up and down the isles laughing and jumping until he reaches the back door so he can open and close it. Now I am not saying that there werent kids on stage that were distractions, Tripp was one of them. But I have my reasons for waiting... they seem trivial now that I look back on it all but I guess I am just a bit more protective of Ty when it comes to stuff like that? I am not embarrassed or ashamed but I am quick to anger and until I am able to harness that I think it was best for me to let him sit this one out. Not that anyone would have said or done anything to my little man at church but I guess there is just always that "what if" in my mind... and it takes me a little longer to let go and let him do what other kids his age are doing. So maybe next year? ...That will be my plan..
When we got home we replayed the video from the program and Ty ran and jumped in my lap so he could see the computer screen and started shaking his shoulders and humming and then he would jump down and do his little happy dance and then repeat the cycle... it was awesome! and thats what made me think - maybe he was ready and I just need to not worry...

Ty has been doing some major oral sensory seeking over the last few weeks and I couldnt quite put my finger on why - but we have been without the pabby for a while and thats got to be why he is seeking so much! I've been trying to replace it with a vibrating mouth toy and so far that has worked but I am hoping that we will be able completely replace his shirt chewing with this toy?! we will see :)

Ty's Tshirts have taken off! and I cant thank you all enough for your love and support! you are all angels in our eyes!!

I read a few quotes that I thought I would share

"I know of nobody who is purely autistic, or purely neurotypical. Even God has some autistic moments, which is why the planets spin.”
— Jerry Newport

“Autistics are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It’s that you’re destroying the peg.”
— Paul Collins

“This is what we know, when you tell us of your fondest hopes and dreams for us: that your greatest wish is that one day we will cease to be, and strangers you can love will move in behind our faces.”

-Jim Sinclair, “Don’t Mourn For Us”

these speak volumes! sometimes we just need to step back and think ... am I helping or hurting? Is this just a difference of opinion or is this something that will help him function? My desires are not that Ty will be normal but that he will be able to be the best at whatever it is he wants to be... communication is the key right now... and we just want to provide him with everything he needs to do that.

i know this was a pretty random post ... but i had different things that i wanted to share ... so i hope you all enjoy! thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

therapy therapy therapy!

We have lots of therapy news ... first off sorry for my delay in posting! and here we go ...we had an awesome weekend after thanksgiving with Maria (our ABA friend from FL). Ty slept 12 hours in his own bed the first night she stayed with us, he was worn out from sessions and traveling I think. 12 hours! If you dont know, this is amazing :) especially the fact that he slept in his own bed. Now he hasn't done that again but at least I know it is possible! He did really well all weekend in his sessions and didn't really have any melt downs (his melt downs have never been real bad but the fact that they are even less than typical is great!). He is babbling alot more and has some new sounds "V" and "F" so that comes to a total of 6 sounds! Not olny is he babbling but he is also mimicking sounds and humming to songs. I think he has probably been doing this longer than I was aware of him doing it bc I just assumed he was marching to his own beat when in reality he was singing along but I was to deep in his world to see it - if that makes any since?! We also are going to cut back on some of his vitamins from the baton rouge dr and get a second opinion. If you want to know more about my opinion on this give me a call or send me a message... but there is way to much to get bogged down on his blog:). besides we need to focus on my little man!
Tripp has been an amazing little brother, he is constantly cheering for Ty & pointing out things I miss. For example Ty said ball & I didn't hear it so Tripp came running & cheering for Ty saying 'Ty said ball momma!!! TY SAID BALL! YAY TY TY' as he's clapping & patting Ty on the back which gets ty excited & then he claps for himself; ). I thought that we would have more jealous spouts from Tripp but he rarely gets jealous and is almost always willing & ready to help. Ty lights up when they play together & even tho they are only 2&3 their bond is definitely one of a kind, Tripp is always thinking of Ty in all the little things, it just blows my mind.
Ty has been at the childrens center since September & time has flown by! He had the most amazing teacher & group of therapists and we have learned how to use different techniques to help Ty walk and hold our hands and not run away from us & he is now walking with us to therapy! (he still has his moments where he tries to run but not as often). He also does really well with his shoe box tasks - these are activities that are in boxes & are meant to help him learn left to right work patterns, patience, & lots of fine motor skills. He started out struggling with these and now he just breezes right through. It's amazing the things they can get him to do! One of their goals has been to eventually move him into a class with other kids and they are going to start that transition within the next 2 weeks. I'm sad & excited at the same time bc he had such an amazing teacher & group working with him and they have come so far ... I Know he needs new things & challenges but they were just perfect, so pray that he continues to grow and learn in his transition.
Other things that we are doing at home: we have a fenced in back yard & we are going to start home learning skills (putting up spoons, fixing drinks, helping with laundry, etc) so we will see how it goes!?

We have been getting out much more with Ty & he has been doing really well! Sometimes I feel like people stare at us bc Ty gets very vocal a lot of times, not bc he's unhappy but bc he likes to yell...and some days I ignore the looks, but other days I would like to yank their smirks off their faces... And id like to tell them - that my child does not lack discipline but rather enjoys every minute of every day so back off....now if you would like to join us please do and Ty will most likely give you a hug if our buggy gets to close but if you can't handle it keep your smirks and comments to yourself...I know lots of people think we can't handle our kids but every screaming child in the store could just be full of life or overwhelmed by sensory issues it doesn't mean they should be left at home...sorry to get on that soap box...anyway Ty has hugged random old lady's at target and walmart and few TRU employees, he gets so excited when we walk in the doors of any store! (I think bc they open and close automatically ) it's as if we are walking into Disney no matter where we go...

Well I have rambled plenty tonight thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Oh how I wish I could give Ty my words & I would remain silent the rest of my days on this earth!?...I heard a praise song on the radio that I have heard at least 1000 times but it spoke so clearly to my heart "the deaf will hear the dumb Will speak & the dead will rise again".Needless to say I was almost brought to tears, every person that can't speak on this earth will speak one day & what better words could be spoken than to praise our Creator! Now don't get me wrong I still want him to talk & we will continue his therapy but if God allows this to remain a struggle for Ty, I know that one day he will communicate without any hesitation or frustrations...I just have to be OK with that right now...

I've always heard "choose your words" and I don't always abide by this...there are some days that I should probly remain silent but I don't!? And then there are times that I think others should remain silent & they speak their mind for all to hear...one thing that has started to catch my attention is the amount of people that say "so & so is weird, or different or special, or just flat out 'somethings wrong with him/her" and yes I Have said these things. But I'm starting to realize That one day, if not already, someone will say that about Ty. Now I don't think that these are words That are always meant to be harmful. But like anything, if said at the wrong time it can strike a nerve. Which makes me wonder how many times have I talked about a child or an adult that had autism, or maybe they just had some sensory issues that made them seem to be odd to the public eye? Well my eyes are wide open now...that was somebody's child. Before Ty I wouldn't know how to pic up on the difference between sensory needs that need to be met & a disorder (which more than likely go hand and hand most of the time, but I'm new at this so don't take my word on that). So now when I look at children who the public would call different I don't see a lable but I do see a need. And why is that so different from the rest of the world? Everyone has needs, some might not be able to express theirs as well as others but is it really enough to be considered an out cast? Besides we are called to love & what better way to show this world we are different than to love those that don't fit this mold we create in our minds? Whose to say that Ty isn't the normal one and the rest of us are the odd balls? ;)
I don't know if this makes much since but I hope you understand what I'm trying to say... Love to you all & thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Autism is a challenge not a tragedy

I was researching some silly shirts & autism awareness sites when I came across a blog of an autistic adult ... Here's an excerpt about how we should view autism:

"But this is where awareness campaigns come in. Rather than using them to explain to people how horrible it is to have a child with autism, why don't we use them to explain to people what autism is like, how we live and how we have fun, how we solve problems, how we interact? Why not show people that autism is not a tragedy simply by giving them a realistic picture of what autism is like--the good, the bad, the everyday people who, like any human being, have problems but yet have the potential for a happy, worthwhile life?

Yes, autism can cause problems. It can be difficult sometimes. Things take longer to learn; things take longer to do; maybe we need more help than most people need. But if we can just explain to the everyday people who have grown up with cultural prejudice that isn't even their fault--if we can induce them to challenge the idea that disability is naturally, obviously tragic--then we'll have won a great Victory"

Wow... How true it is that we are so selfish to think that any disability reduces someone's value... Yes I know that everyone will say "I don't think that" but even having pity for someone with a disability(any disability)bc their life isn't like yours, or thinking of all the "normal/typical" things that he/she might not experience is the same to me. Yes, life will be different for anyone with a disability & different for the family too but it doesn't mean it's worse.
I'm not saying I'm perfect & that I've never thought - "once we get passed this, then we can_____"... But maybe I need to be more focussed on living life like Ty wants to live it...yes I am going to continue his treatments & therapy but maybe my goals should focus more on what he would want instead of what I want or what's "normal" I mean let's face it - I'm not normal ;)
who said that God's plan for Ty is limited to a "recovery" from autism...maybe God's plan for Ty is exactly that - to experience this world in a way most of us can't - full of life, love, easy to forgive & no regrets...fearless! To soak up every aspect of everything we take for granted...Ty likes to put rocks in his mouth - he never eats them but just gets his tongue on it and then puts it down - I just assume that a rock isn't for eating, but Ty will test each one to make sure...maybe he's on to something...maybe we should admire the details of this world...right down to the taste of a rock?!

Thanks for reading....if you get a chance to read that other blog it's really good & has changed my view on things...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New places ...

Well I can't express how excited I am at this moment! Ty has been accepted to The Children's Center at The University of Southern Mississippi! This is a place that I did not know existed until this year and I put Ty on the waiting list and it seems like in just moments he was in (it took a month or two - and I know that is really fast but it seemed like it would never come... but now that we are here it seems like the time just flew by).
I kept in touch with one of the therapists at the Children's Center via email and she was very sweet and willing to answer all of my questions - not only about their center but also about Ty's therapy in general and she gave me insight and advice on different things and I was just yearning for the day that he could have a chance to work with this amazing group of people. People who genuinely care about my child and his well-being without even meeting him?! People who are willing to communicate with you about therapy for a child that they were not treating - really shows me that they are in this business for the right reasons.

So when I got the call that they wanted to evaluate Ty and she asked "when would be a good day & time" all I could say was "anyday, anytime, anywhere" (for those football fans you get this) but this really was my exact response :) So last friday Ty and I made a trip to USM; after & during his eval the coordinator came in to let me know how things worked, asked if I was ok with everything & that he would be starting Tuesday (which was yesterday) and I could barely sit in my seat, I wanted to jump up and hug the lady but I didn't want her to think I was crazy so I just said "ok great" as if I knew what was going on... but the truth is I didnt. I was under the impression that it was just an eval and then we would go from there... and part of me wanted to think it would be that easy but there was still a little doubt in the back of my mind, and I thought there was still a chance that they would have wait to place him. Come to find out - they created a group for Ty and another child.  Did they already have this in the works? Bc after their summer evals I was told that he would remain on the waiting list (which I was fine with) and then I started to wonder if my connections made an impression and thats why he got in... or maybe they fell in love with Ty from the picture I showed them? maybe they decided that since they were already emailing me then why not work with my son??? whatever the reason I will never know ... but the bible says "i know the plans i have for you says the Lord..." - yes Lord you do - and I see that now ... but i sure haven't always seen that.... and some days I still wonder.... but on that day... there was no doubt that I knew God had a plan!

So now what - well he had his first day of therapy yesterday, and that was fun! well it was fun for me and Ty is still learning who these people are and what they expect from him - but it was fun to watch him test his new therapists. They dont know what all he can do so as I am watching therapy behind a 2way mirror(which I love, bc the other therapy places I just sat in the hall at school and waited for him to come out) I laugh alot bc at first they were helping him sign "more" bc they didnt know he could say and sign more - I wish I had a camera, bc his face was priceless! the therapists asks him "more?" and grabs his little hands and helps him sign... and he just had this evil grin as if he is thinking "oh you dont know i know how to do this?!"
It's hard to sit behind a glass and watch someone require something of your son and him fuss and scream but still know that it is good for him. And to let Ty and his therapists get use to each other... I know they know what to do and how to handle him but part of me wants to be in there... but i'm sure the best thing is that they do it their way. right?
So when therapy was over- he was worn slap out, but in a good way - oh and he also got to go outside! which was awesome! And I told his teacher everything I knew to tell her and she did the same .... I am real excited to see where this takes us... I know he will soar like an EAGLE!

Friday, August 12, 2011

two year old therapist and an iPad

Well I am not completely surprised but my little Tripp has turned himself into a therapist :). I am amazed at how quick kids can learn! In the past week Tripp has been re-enforcing any requests that I give Ty - for example; when we are swinging in the living room and I ask Ty to tell me "ma ma more" and I will push him higher; Tripp looks at Ty and does the 'sign' for 'more' and then says "ma ma moore Ty Ty" and grins real big waiting for his reply?! Ty looked at Tripp and then said and signed "more" and then Tripp clapped and Ty clapped and we all laughed and gave him lots of tickles and praise!

the iPad
So I purchased an iPad for Ty. I'm sure you are thinking "riiiiight Mandy" but really the iPad's main goal is to assist Ty in his therapy and language development and secondly it is a tool to calm and relax Ty because there are so many apps that meet his sensory needs which in turn calms him and balances his little world. Thirdly it belongs to Tripp and boy has he learned alot in the last couple of days! There is an app where a baby shows you sign language and this is Tripp's favorite app - he walked in the kitchen the other day and said & signed "stop momma" then giggled and ran back in the other room ... so of course I laughed not because of what he said but because most of the apps and videos the boys watch have British accents(bc we watch lots of claymation and apparently thats a British specialty) which means that Tripp mimics the accent on certain things and that was one of them - So if you can just imagine my little Mississippi boy in his rubber boots with his mis-matched shorts and shirt that he put on himself, camouflaged baseball cap and sunglasses (he wasnt going anywhere he just likes to dress himself and to be fully dressed at home???) running in the kitchen and signing&saying "stop momma" with a British/country twang.... ahhhh it still cracks me up!? ok back on track...
Well I walked back into the room after he comes to tell me that and he was assisting Ty on the iPad. He would get right next to Ty and put his little hands right on top of Ty's and help him tap the picture or choose words... he would maneuver through the different apps that they both liked and then once the app started playing he would show Ty what to do and then he would help him do it?! I'm standing there thinking "ok first of all Tripp has used the iPad twice and knows how to get where he wants to go and second Wow ... I mean Wow, my two year old knows how to help his brother"
 Now I dont want to mislead anyone, they are not always so willing to work and play together! And Tripp didnt sit with Ty for an hour and show him flash cards or work puzzles. The little bit of time that they both played and tapped on the screen could have been 5 or 10 minutes, but it felt like our little world just stopped and we marinated in that moment! Thats probably not an accurate description but its the best I can come up with :)  There are lots of programs that I am still looking into for Ty with the iPad but I am so excited about where this will take him! And I couldnt have done it without the help of our parents - they are all so good to us!

new friends
I met a new family this week who also has a 3 year old son that is very similar to Ty. The mom is so sweet and the little boy reminds me so much of Ty and he is sooo handsome! It amazes me how God puts people in your life when you need them - I didnt know that I needed to talk to someone that is on this same road that we are on but it felt so good to talk to her and to know that she understood everything we were doing! She also has a trampoline in their house too (they are actually on their second one) and she said she was going home to tell her husband to find a stud to hang a swing from indoors lol! There was so much we talked about in such a short period of time and I could have gone on all night comparing stories. We are both curious about the same things and looking into new therapies to see if it is something that will benefit our kids.
I knew that other people were going through similar if not worse situations ...but to meet someone face to face and discuss things was just amazing...
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. - Galations 6:2

i think i've rambled on enough ...
thanks for reading

Thursday, August 4, 2011

some people make me angry!

ok I normally don't post twice in one day... I usually don't post twice in one month ... but this really ticked me off ... I guess my blog has also become my soap box at times ....
I read an article about the autism project through USM's gulf coast campus and this was a comment from an anonymous writer
"having a "special" child in a mainstream classroom diminishes the quality of education received by the other students. 
The teacher is forced to spend a disproportionate amount of time with the "special" student. Classroom disturbances caused by the "special" student interfere with the learning process and disrupt the educational process for the other students. 
If my kid is "normal" and I also pay school taxes, what right do you have to diminish the quality of my child's education, just so your "special" child can be in a regular classroom like "everyone else?"

where does it end? Do you really have to fight every person to explain to them that your child's quality of life is just as important as theirs? Now I have two kids and one who, for a better lack of words, we will call "normal" but that doesn't mean I am going to teach him to distance himself from his brother or any other child with a special need? Just like any child in school the parents should be involved in their education and not leave it completely up to the teachers anyway... but if you really want to fight for something then fight for more teachers with better pay so that they will be willing and able to assist the kids that are in their classroom and so that they will be happy doing it! Don't take it out on the kids!

compassion people...

A week of ABA therapy

My little Ty man had a solid week of ABA (applied behavioral annalysis) therapy! He is more talkative and purposefully vocal! He asks for ball "ba ba ba", more drink by signing "more" and then "drink" and he also says "ma mo ma" while tapping his mouth for a drink, he has asked for purple p "pa pa pa" and he somewhat independently eats with a spoon!!! He still needs some help with the feeding but he is getting there! Now he doesnt always make his sounds in 3's sometimes its more than that and sometimes its just once; but you get the idea.
Kamrie has learned a whole lot and is really becoming a wonderful therapist! Maria taught us so much in the week she was with us; what to do/what not to do ... things we need to expect instead of just letting him get by with the minimum - now its not easy but I have seen the benefits! So as hard as it is for me to expect Ty to ask me for things instead of me just giving him what I know he wants, and he knows that and he challenges me with his little grin and smerk or his stubborn streak (he gets that honest I know!), I just have to suck it up and do it.
If I dont expect great things out of him then who will. We are here to teach our children how to function in this world and it might take more time and be more challenging for some but isnt that why God gave them to us?!
Now my little Tripp man has been amazing. He has laughed with Ty, clapped for Ty, and even sat quietly while Ty was in therapy sessions! He really loves his brother and I hope and pray that that never changes! I pray daily that he will be his protector and always include him in everything he does! Now I know kids will be kids, but I hope that deep down they will have a bond stronger than any other siblings bc of their unique ability to understand and play together so smoothly. Tripp was playing with the laundry baskets Sunday morning, just pushing them around the kitchen. So Ty jumped in them with a huge grinn... so tripp started pushing him around the kitchen in the baskets! Those are the moments I love, there was no whining or fit throwing bc Ty got in the basket, he just decided to make it into a game! thats pretty amazing for my little 2 year old...
Now I'm not saying that everything is that easy, they do whine and fuss over things that are "mine" ... but its just so awesome that there are times that they both just play...Ty even sat in my lap while tripp rolled a car to him and then he would roll it back (typically, Ty would take the car and run with it bc he loves to be chased); so it was really amazing to see him sit and play with it on Tripp's terms! So i think Ty is beginning to understand that in order to play sometimes you have to do what the other person wants...

awesome stuff in our little world! thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

people are crazy

OK, I'm a little ticked! I just read an article that says people are banning kids from public places.  Now before you stop reading; I'm not saying that everyone needs to have children bc some people dont. And there are times when it's nice to get out without the munchkins - but the reason for the ban is bc they dont want any ill-behaved kids lurking in their stores, movie theatres, restaurants, etc .... bc it annoys people ...

So where do they draw line? right now at age six and under... so what does that mean for kids with a disability who arent exactly able to control themselves? I mean do we really start picking what annoys us and eliminate it from our sight? (sorry but wasnt that what the holocaust was about? didnt everyone think that was insane and wrong) so what next? People who are overweight wont be allowed in public? what about people who dont have good higene will they not be allowed in public? What if they have a misformed face or body and that disturbs someone? will they not be allowed in certain stores or places of business?

what happened to love? what happened to people caring about more than just themselves and their happiness? wake up people! if children annoy you then you need to quit taking yourself so seriously... stop and think if that child looks like a "bad" kid, maybe he's not ... maybe he screams bc thats the only sound he can hear and the only way he knows how to communicate, maybe he drools bc he cant control the muscles in his mouth, mabye he runs bc it makes him feel free, maybe he throws a temper tantrum bc he has autism, or some other learning disability... so the next time a kid annoys you ... maybe its bc they are in pain and dont know how else to express that other than cry or whine bc they are babies, and children and everyone has gone through the stages of life so what makes you better just bc your an adult? you didnt just come into this world at age 21 ... im pretty sure everyone came in kicking and screaming - so be a grown up and stop whining and learn to love!

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
(Matthew 18:2-6 ESV)

Monday, July 18, 2011

July update

Well, we have a lot going on for my little Ty man.  We found a student who is looking into OT as a career and she is currently learning the ABA style of therapy from a friend of mine and doing weekly sessions with Ty.  This has been great! I have watched and done therapy with Ty many times; but it is hard for me. Mainly bc i like to give him the benefit of the doubt and he knows this, for example; if I say "Ty say pa pa purple p" and he opens his mouth without making a sound but his lips touched together ... then i would try a few more times but eventually I would be satisfied and think that he tried but the words just wouldn't form. (side note: as long as he says "pa" that is what we are going for but we say the whole word or phrase so that he learns from repetition ... and in case you are wondering "purple p" is a chew toy) ... but the proper thing to do is to wait, no matter how long it takes until he makes the sound "pa". sometimes it is instant and then there is cheering and laughing. But other times he is stubborn and makes every noise and signs every sign he knows except the one you want him to do?! another example of this is stacking blocks; Ty knows how to stack blocks and I have seen him do it. But for whatever reason one day when he was asked to stack a block during a session he refused, he screamed and fussed and then just sat there... maria would ask him to stack the block and then help him stack the block... and ty would pick up the block, hover it above the others and then lay it flat on the table right next to the others in a row... he would even just pick it up and put it down but refused to stack it on top of the others ... after a while he finally did it! it seemed like an eternity, but then there was laughing and tickeling and lots of hugs for the little Ty man... Now I know some of you are probably thinking that I am torturing my child ... but I assure you that I am not. It takes a little more strategy and patience to get Ty to communicate and once he makes a noise like "pa" then we find as many words to go with that as we can so that more noises will form. And it takes a lot of work... and more work than I am able to do (not bc i give up, but bc i am more willing to give in to him but my 2 awesome therapists are rock solid) ... Maria and Kamrie push Ty bc they know he can do it and bc they know how to not let him get away with "almost" ... ( i am sooo greatful for these two!)
And to show you the benefits of this therapy - Ty has been more vocal in the last two months than he has been in a long time and not just making random noises but in purposeful talking! He has said "papaw" more "momma" "pa pa pabby" and just "pa" when he wants his pabby or purple p. He is responding to questions or statements like " time to get a bath" - he will then run to the bathroom giggling and jumping with excitement! "time to go" - runs to the door determined to out smart that spinning child safe door lock that is even hard for sam and I to open! If i ask him if he's thirsty - he will run to the fridge, and when i ask if he is hungry - he will go to his high chair... and there are many more!

He has also been eating alot better - depending on the type of food, he either has trouble getting started (pulling the food out after each bite or he has trouble halfway through the meal pulling his food out) ... but all in all there has been less food on the floor and more in his tummy!

I am very excited to see where he goes from here, with all the extra therapy time I know his language will begin to form and stick with him!

We are also looking into getting him into the Childrens Center at USM, so if you are a praying person then pray that this works out and that he will benefit from all they have to offer. Lord willing!

and a side note on my little tripp, Sam said he read the word "helicopter" when they were watching TV - according to him the word popped up on the TV, Tripp looked at sam and said Helicopter! ... and then a helicopter came up after that?! crazy yes i know .... but true :)

thanks for reading and for your prayers!
love you all!

Monday, May 23, 2011

May update...

Random words
Ty has done alot this month! We were leaving church one wednesday night and as we are pulling out of the parking lot I hear Ty say "ba...ba... bye" of course I stop and praise him until he giggles and then Tripp says "bye bye momma"  waiting for my acknowledgement so I praise him too until he giggles and then we head home. Then we were leaving "Granna's house" and Tripp was crying bc he wanted to go back to Granna's house and I heard Ty say "naa  naa" which I assumed to mean Granna! And last weekend at my parents house Dad said that Ty said "papaw"(he has been using his p's alot here lately, he will just run around the house making the "p" noise)! That is a lot of purposeful talking for my not so verbal child :)  and one happy momma!

new places
I have just switched the boys to a new daycare and Ty's therapy schedule is changing for the summer time so there is a lot of adjusting going on in our little world. This is not always an easy task, Ty typically handles new things well (which is not typical autism) but arranging mine and Sam's schedules around the new times is a challange and teaching new people how to help Ty function in a daily routine is definately not easy. I dont want to come across as overbearing but sometimes I feel like I should go to the daycare/therapy or whatever for a day and show them how we function. (yes i know that sounds silly) but really, I can tell someone(teacher, babysitter, daycare worker, etc) how to take care of Ty until I am blue in the face, I can give them all my little tips and tricks on what works at home... But until they watch us play, feed, encourage, rock to sleep, change a diaper, etc.... I dont think they really understand what I am talking about. I will almost always get a nod and smile, and then they will say "we'll call you if we need anything and he will be fine" ... so then I start to wonder/worry about how they are doing today. I'm sure Tripp has adjusted fine and will have them eating out of his hand by the end of the day - and I imagine Ty throwing his food on the floor, loving running outside but screaming when they had to come in, stealing crayons and toys from his class mates, climbing on the tables and chairs, slamming any cabinet he can find, crying everytime a door opens and he cant play with it and fighting whoever it is that tried to make him take a nap and I see him doing alot of crys with a but bounce (bc thats what he does when he gets mad)... so I kinda dread going in the afternoon to get them (not bc I dont want to pick up my kids but bc i dont want them to have that "pitty" face; the face that says "oh what have we gotten ourselves into" or the one that says "you poor thing")
What I want to do is have a Ty day.... where they can see him in his happy place and watch me redirect him from potential "fit" starters into fun play times and how to get him to eat properly and how to keep him happy for most of the day. Granted you cant please all the kids in a daycare, this I know, but I feel like I try to give extra knowledge about my awesome son and its rejected as if this is something that they already know? So when I call to check on him and he didnt eat well and they tell me he is fine but just got mad when they had to come inside...then i start to worry again, bc maybe he isnt adjusting like I thought he would? are they telling me everything? do i need to leave work and go check on him? But I cant just sit around and worry all day, and i cant just leave work every hour to make sure they're ok, I do have a job to do and besides that the bible tells us not to worry right!? doesnt mean its easy....

verse for the month
James 1:2
consider it pure joy my brothers when you face trials of any kind

this has always been a favorite verse of mine, and i was having a really bad day when i heard this verse on the radio... and then i thought - "pure joy" really? how is that possible? i started thinking about all the people who have been through storms and tragedies recently. How can you have pure joy during trials? But i guess if you really think about it Joy is different from happy go lucky - I think Joy is a deeper emotion that is kind of like Hope ... it gets you through bc you know what is waiting on the other side.... its not necessarily a smile or laugh its much more than that...

well i think i've rambled on enough - thanks for reading and feel free to comment :)

Friday, April 29, 2011


I've always loved holiday get together with the family. Lots of laughs, love and fun. As a kid it was always fun and exciting to get together with my cousins! We spent most of our Easter holidays with Dad's side of the family. We played in the woods a lot during our annual Easter get together, we rode 4-wheelers (and wrecked 4-wheelers), played in a giant fort that had a draw bridge (which was a 2x6 connected to a rope and strung through a pulley) that was typically controlled by the boys (very safe lol), and most importantly we hunted Easter eggs!

As my boys are getting older I am debating on which traditions to teach them; I feel like we teach our kids to want and "need" more than what is necessary. Most of the time it’s because I don’t want them to feel left out, I mean after all little johnny got an Easter basket so why would I go through the process of explaining to them that the Easter bunny is fake and bla bla bla... just spend the $10 and get the basket!? Right? Well that’s where I’m stuck.

We hunted Easter eggs this year and Tripp had a blast! He ran past every egg in the field until he realized he should start collecting them in his bucket?! lol It was fun to watch them run around and shake the eggs to see which one they wanted to keep, and to hear my niece sweetly tell Tripp "hey Tripp, put them in my bucket" lol!

As we got ready for the hunt; I asked Sam to keep an eye on Ty so I could take pictures (we tag team like this often). I gave him Ty's basket hoping that Ty would see the eggs and run to them (bc he loves to put things in buckets and then dump them out). As the madness ensued of chasing and collecting eggs I saw Ty – he found one egg and decided to go back and play in the rocks. I haven’t figured out if it’s the sound, texture or taste of the rocks that he loves so much, but he loves rocks! As I was watching Sam chase Ty around the yard and redirect his attention ; sometimes Ty would fuss and throw himself on the ground, but other times he would grin real big and run away waiting for Sam to follow; and that’s when I was reminded that it’s ok … who cares if he hunts Easter eggs? Look at how much fun he is having, searching for doors, jumping off the porch, climbing on the picnic table, running up and down the rock path in front of lolly’s house and dumping out the eggs once everyone else collected them!? That’s when I started to ask myself that question – should I even teach them about the Easter bunny? I know I’ll have to explain why there’s a grown man/women dressed up like a rabbit… but should I teach them about the magic bunny that comes and leaves them a basket? After all Easter is about Jesus and not a rabbit?

Ty said “pabby”!!!

I don’t remember what night it was but one night this week Ty said “my pabby”(aka. Bink, pacifier). We were playing in the bed with the boys (they like to be chased and then climb on the bed and jump off onto a pile of pillows; and of course tickled) and Sam took ty’s pabby and making him come get it from him. That’s when Ty said in a whisper “my papab” … Sam looked at me “he just said my pabby!?” And of course Ty got extra praise and tickles and just went about his business. Which makes me wonder how many things he can say but just won’t? Or how many things he tries to say but the words just won’t form? It was an awesome moment nonetheless!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

my first post

the reason i decided to start a blog was because of a note i wrote on facebook - the response was overwhelming and i had a request to start documenting this journey in a blog .... i probably wont post weekly or even monthly but i will try to keep those that follow up-to-date on ty and his journey with autism (and some stories of tripp too) ... also i have discovered, that it does me good to share these thoughts that are in my head
as you can probably tell already i am not a grammar person, so i will just go ahead and appologize to those of you who are reading this and wishing i would capitalize and punctuate properly :) maybe i will get better as i go...
i wasnt sure how to start this blog so i will begin with the post i shared on facebook:
if you dont already know, my 3 year old son ty has been diagnosed with autism (or pddnos, which is on the autism spectrum)
before you read this, i want you to know that i am not trying to say that my life is more difficult than yours or am i saying that this is some life threatening illness, there are so many childhood diseases or handicaps that are much worse... just sharing my thoughts on our life....
the puzzle piece is a symbol for autism awareness. many people say that this represents a puzzling condition or handicap that has captured their child and that it also represents how they(autistic kids/adults) dont "fit in" .... but recently i have decided to disagree with this statement. i know that it is obvious that life by itself is challenging; that life with autism(or any developmental disorder) is different and hard to understand or grasp for everyone involved. but over the last year and a half i have researched, read lots of articles and even a few books(yes i read books) about autism and sensory disorders... but this week i think ive discovered that maybe i am looking at this wrong. maybe its not that Ty is missing something (like a lost puzzle piece) ... maybe he is the puzzle piece that was missing from our lives. as a parent you do your best to provide everything you can for your child; argue with the insurance company, health care providers, and try your best to read the therapists working with your son; so that you leave no stone unturned - you do your best to put all the pieces together and try to find whats missing. you ask yourself questions; why cant i get him to eat properly, talk, listen, obey, and just enjoy life. then you search for answers. but what if he is the answer... what if nothings missing....
john 9:1-3 1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
i would insert autism for blindness in this case....
Ty is autistic so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
as hard as that is for me to accept; it is true.
i have learned extreme patients (tho not always displayed)
i am willing to give up more than i ever thought i could
and i have to rely on God to get me through the day

now i know that this is no life threatening condition and i almost feel silly for even feeling this way.but life is never what you planned... and when you pray for God to do something good with your life. it will come in ways that you dont expect.
now i dont always feel like God is on my side, and i have questioned many times "why" ... why does ty have to be challenged by this, why does he have to be frustrated by the inability to communicate, when there are so many kids out there that dont. and at first i was mad, and at times i still get mad. and i worry about what i will do when they get older and start to really get involved in different groups and have their own opinions - what will i do when someone makes fun of him, or looks at him or me with a strange look bc he threw a fit that i cant always stop.. and most will just assume i have an out of control child that is not diciplined, or that needs to be kept at home.... i imagine that i will loose my temper and end up on the headlines of the local newspaper.... but i pray that that time never comes... i pray that parents educate their children to love and be loved... to be understanding and compassionate to everyone they meet ....

because of these thougths and because i like to keep things simple ... we stay home alot ... and only go on very quick trips in and out of the store for diapers or milk....and ty is very happy and content at home...our home is our safe haven, everything is locked and put away so that ty can just have the run of the house. tripp will challenge his authority on that at times :) but when we are home, there arent as many worries, we play, laugh, jump, and swing like most families.... and tripp has been a huge help with ty; bc they are so close in age - ty is able to learn from tripp, he can see how tripp communicates and gets what he asks for and it challenges ty to do the same. and they love each other, ty is a very social child bc of tripp - he still likes to be by himself at times and doesnt always play well with others, but he attempts to play in his own way - ty likes to be chased so he typically will take tripp's toy and run with it, looking over his shoulder to see if tripp is coming... and even though tripp does not understand this we encourage him to chase ty and give him hugs when he catches him.... now im not encouraging ty to steel but who ever said that you had to play with a "truck by rolling it on the ground" maybe in his mind it is like a team flag that he has captured and is waiting to be caught ??? who knows what he is really thinking ... but i seem to think these kind of things encourage him to interact with us and others so thats what we do.ty has overcome alot in the last year and is slowly but surely learning new things and hopefully on his way to communicating with us!i know that God has given me two very unique and amazing little boys and they are both beautiful in my eyes - Ty has taught me more in the last year than i could have learned in a lifetime and i know that there is still more to learn .... and tripp is going to be an amazing brother and friend bc of his ability to know, love and communicate with ty in a way that sam and i cant. i debated for a while before posting this on facebook, but i finally did ... and i hope it gives you a little insight on life and kids like ty...