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.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Tolerance is a tricky thing. Depending on what erks us or sends us wishing for our happy place revolves a lot around what we can or should I say what we are willing to tolerate.
Last week was a pretty rough week for my little Ty man. He has issues with tolerance and we have been doing our best to curb his behavior when he is put in a situation that apparently sends him over the deep end. Ty hurt one of the kids in his class during PE last week. He did something he has never done and I do mean NEVER DONE. (He didn't leave any marks on the other student but still it was just unacceptable).This broke my heart into pieces. First of all for the other child, then the parents of that child and then the teachers. This is not like Ty at all - its just not him. The situation was handled very well in my opinion and since then we have talked with his teacher and racked our brains on what to do in the future to prevent this behavior, etc. and so far we haven't had another incident?! I'm going to keep praying that we won't. But the more I think about what happened the more I think about "how can we teach Ty tolerance" now I'm not talking, let everyone run over you and just follow the crowd and keep your mouth shut. I'm talking actual tolerance, knowing that something bothers you but handling it in a way that is socially acceptable or just morally right because lets just be honest, socially acceptable is borderline nuts these days anyway. So how do we teach Ty to chose morals over impulse? It's human nature to get mad and get even and to just express our opinion, even when its not warrented or just let words fly out of our mouths because we are mad about anything and everything. For example, I read an article today about Kaley Couco (Penny, from the Big Bang Theory TV show) and how so many "fans" of the show took to social media to express their dislike of her new hair cut - it apparently ruined some people's day and they felt the need to express that through insults and social media "bazingas". How crazy are we to think that we have a right to tell someone how they should or shouldn't wear their hair just because we may or may not like it? That's just nuts!
So where do we start with Ty, when the world around him is screaming "do what makes you feel good" "if someone makes you mad get even" "they irritate you so it's ok to hurt them" "he started it, you finish it" "how else can you get your point across since words are a challenge" "you have a learning disability so it's ok to act out" "we will ignore it this time because we feel sorry for you" "this behavior is typical for SPED classes" and the list could go on and on! Some people would say a few of these comments are being tolerant of those who can't control themselves due to special needs and I know a lot of people that would be very mad because of the ignorance in some of these comments and the manner in which they would most likely be said. But these so called tolerant comments cripple those that need more structure and more direction than the "typical" kids. Now I am not saying this is the way his school handled this situation - let me be clear - they handled it very well and I am very pleased with our  ability to communicate and work together to solve any issues that come up and the punishment that is given because of that situation. However, when people hear about situations like this, things that happen in a special needs class or with special needs students - most reactions are like the ones above...and sometimes given with a "well that's expected" kind of tone and expression (just to clarify-not everyone thinks these things! And I am blessed to be surrounded by so many people that have the same values and goals that we have, I'm just saying that society as a whole and especially on social media has this "well what do you expect" kind of attitude towards special needs individuals) and it just frustrates me because I expect and demand more from my boys. I expect them to  respect others and to love. So when they are mean, rude, hateful or hurtful to someone, even if it is unintentional - I want to correct it and replace it with a behavior that is acceptable and loving because my ultimate goal is to teach my boys how to intentionally love others in the name of Jesus.

So I guess I'm just saying I wish people were more intentional with their words and actions - and in a good way.  I am number one on the list to learn to be more loving and intentional with my words and actions towards others so please understand I am preaching to myself and just sharing my thoughts.

I mean honestly - of all those people who saw the big bang theory last night and decided to rant about "penny's new do" who would really say something ugly to her face? And why does it even matter if you don't like her hair? I'm sure she likes it and I'm sure she doesn't have time to search social media for people she doesn't even know personally just to comment about how she dislikes what they have done with their hair? How silly is that??? Why am I harping on this? I don't know - I guess it just showed me how messed up we really are and how we all need to chill out and focus on the people in front of us and choose our words wisely, to build each other up and encourage one another so that the love of Christ is shown to each and every person we meet.

And I will say again, I am definitely the one in need of this lesson to be intentional and loving to everyone  ;)

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Hello first grade!
So I'm a little behind on writing a new post. We have had a crazy summer and it seems like months pass by before I know it. So here we are in September and my boys are in 1st grade and k-5!? Is that even possible? Time literally flies by! I had a friend tell me once, that the days get longer and the years get shorter - how true that is!  Sam and I were talking about life last night and it seems like before we know it these sweet little boys will be grown!? It scares me a bit, ok a lot, to think about them getting older. Not because I want them to stay little but because I want them to be men of God and to love and care for everyone they come in contact with so that they will point others to Jesus! I know they will make mistakes and crazy decisions but my prayer is, that when they do mess up, they will rely on Him. My mind swarms with what that means for Ty and for his amazing little brother. How will all of this pan out? Tripp already loves his brother and is his biggest cheerleader! (They have their brotherly fights - but it turns to laughter just as quick as it did a fight). They know, more than anyone else, how to push each other's buttons AND how to arrange an incident that mom & dad can't decide who should get the punishment for, so they go down together in a no man left behind kind of fashion. Well I say they go down together - Ty is always trying to tell me something - I'm not quite sure if he's tattling or standing up to take the blame?! Lol it makes for an eventful discussion. One that Tripp usually tries to interpret  "mom Ty is saying he's sorry, look he's hugging me, he's trying to tell you he's thirsty and that's why he poured water on the bed, and the carpet, and the kitchen floor and all over the counter and.." I'll interrupt with "Tripp I heard you laughing and telling Ty 'here's your cup-get more' and you were right there with him making this mess" and they look at each other in such a mischievous way, eyes wide open with a slight smirk as they attempt to change the outcome of the soon to be wrath of mom or dad - and it almost makes my heart smile - because they are partners in crime - minor crimes of course. But non the less only a bond that two brothers would have and one that communication barriers can't break! Which also worries me a bit! What happens when Ty starts using real words and they still have this silent code?! I guess we will find out...
The older Ty gets, the more I look back on how far he has come! Or should I say how far we have come in understanding his world! We are currently off of medication and he seems to be doing really well. He is very attentive during activities at church and school. He has had a few behavior issues with hitting and kind of being a bully which I am not ok with. But we do our best to address this in a way he will understand and learn the right way to get someones attention or ask someone nicely to play with a toy, etc. Its still a work in progress but the melt downs haven't been too bad and he really is listening and trying his best to communicate what it is that has him so frustrated, upset or mad. He's also responded very well to "time-out"! This is huge for us! It's a big deal because it actually works. He will stand in a corner and hang his head when he knows he's done something wrong. Once he comes out of time out he rarely goes back to doing what got him there in the first place and if he does, he will even put himself back in timeout? I know that seems kind of crazy to be excited about this, but it shows us how much he understands what is going on around him. And for a child who can't tell you that he not only understands but that he also has an opinion on what's going on - it's a big deal ;) The day he starts to communicate in the "typical" way of using words - I'm sure we will all be amazed at what he's soaked up in that head of his! Until then we will continue to play charades, 20 questions and pictionary!!!

I've kind of just rambled on a bit about everything ... So I think I'll end on that. Thanks for reading!