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.

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!