Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Santa... Scary?

In the eyes of a child with Autism, this world can be a scary place to navigate in. It doesn't help that for them trying to feel, see and hear this world is piled on top of also trying to be social and see people for people. That being said, I am going to talk about Santa. And how my Little Miss thinks he is Satan. She and the Church Lady from SNL would get along well. Santa has become a bane of my existence.Why? Well I have one child who loves to go visit him at the malls, writes him letters and generally thinks he is a great guy. While the other one, thinks he horrible, will literally run screaming in the opposite direction from the Mall Santa, and the look of terror on her face at the sheer mention of his name. We can't even walk in the corner of the mall where Santa is taking picture with screaming babies. We avoid him like he was the carrier of the Black Plague. Which sucks for the kid who like him.  For a child that takes everything on the literal sense, the idea of a strange man, keeping tabs on you all year round, coming into your house in the dead of night, eating your cookies and drinking your milk can be a terrifying thought.

For years no one understood why this child would have a epic meltdown at Christmas time. All the Santa craft ideas were a no go. All the decorations with Santa on them weren't put on the tree. There was a point where you couldn't even show her a picture of the Jolly old Fellow without tears. Now we have gotten better. But if you ask her if she wants to go see Santa, you will get the "Oh, Hell NO!!!"look on her face. Now I know I am never going to get that picture of her with Santa. They all look awkward anyways.   Even with these "Sensitive Santa" time slots Malls now have for the Special Needs children, you will not see us standing in line.. Interestingly enough, the youngest hates the Easter Bunny just as much.. Holidays are fun, aren't they? ~L~

Monday, November 26, 2012

Neuropsychology....That sounds exciting...

Ok so this is a combo.. rant/thought. And maybe a bit of a pity party for yours truly. I am going to get this out of the way.. WHY CAN'T THE UNIVERSE CUT ME SOME SLACK?!?!*shakes an angry fist at the sky*  Ok I feel a little better. Just need to get that out. Ok so you are probably wondering why I want the universe to cut me some slack... Well as you all know I already have two kids on the spectrum. So my hope for my eldest was that he won't have to go through the same fight my other two are currently going through. It turns out that I failed the roll and don't get a chance to re roll..

So rewind to the beginning of last week. While everyone was getting ready for Thanksgiving, I had parent teacher interviews and an IEP meeting. Interestingly enough, my daughter's IEP meeting went great! My son's parent/teacher interview did not. Apparently, he is having issues pay attention in class and staying focused on individual tasks that are asked of him. And here I thought, ok typical 8 year old boy with an attention span of a goldfish. Yeah no. Sadly looking at his awful handwriting ,his inability to put a sentence together and him forgetting about the story he just read, his teachers are concerned. Ok. Great. So we are looking at the possibility of him having ADD and a learning disability. Not the end of the World, I know. But it adds on to the day to day that I have with the other two. Now my eldest is smart, in that cunning evil genius kinda way. The boy could out argue God(he would make a great Lawyer), can remember promises you said six months ago and can hatch a plan to get out of anything quicker Houdini himself. So I am not worried about this child's future. I guess I am just frustrated in that I just want things to be simple. And this just adds to the chaos that is already our lives. He will get his testing and assessments done and what transpires out of those, we will deal.. But I do have to ask myself, " What dice did I roll, and can I please have a re roll on the 20 sider?"

31 degrees is the perfect weather for Sandals...

It is one degree above freezing. Yes Daughter that is perfect for Sandals. I love the fact that you found where I packed up all the summer clothing and got out a pair of shorts and tank top to wear to school. Thinking this was going to be ok. If I had sent you to school dressed like that, I would have gotten a phone call from the school. Now I know you got some Canadian blood running through your veins, but Even this Canadian has to say, "Damn, Girl! Its too cold for shorts and a tank top." But you didn't stop there. After you got dressed in clothes that would keep you warm, you still had to ask if you could wear your sandals to school. Unless you want your toes to be numb and then turn blue, sure. Again I would be seen as bad parent. So no. Put socks and shoes on, before someone calls CPS.

Sadly this is not the first time I have had to argue with this child about putting clothes on. The kid doesn't like wearing hats or gloves either. It was a struggle the first year we lived here in MD and the kids had to  experience snow for the first time or what it was like to be cold. See We had lived in tropical paradises before MD.Hawaii and California.. So the sense of being cold was foreign to her. My eldest got it. If anything he would wearing three layers of clothes just to keep warm, while Little Miss was running round in just her drawers. Now my youngest, Little Man and his SPD, loves being hot.

Both kids Autistic, but yet completely different.. puzzle pieces.. to the same puzzle but different shapes...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

This Wonderful, but yet Frustrating thing called Autism...

Autism... um.. yeah..I knew what it was. I didn't want to believe that it was now connected to my Little Miss.  At the time, I was looking at this almost 3 year old little girl in front of me, who was banging two blocks together, speaking in her gibberish tongue. I was thinking to myself.. how did this happen and what did I do for this to happen. The Momma Guilt. Yup. It was how did I mess my child up. I had it.That is a feeling that I think every parent has when they see their child struggling or needs extra help. So with that diagnosis, what were we supposed to do with it. How are we as parents going to try and help this child grow, move forward and prosper? We had entered into world we didn't understand or know about. Its like moving to a place where you don't understand the customs or language. You might have just put me in the middle of China. With terminology like ABA, High and Low functioning, SPD, we walked out of the Doctor's office confused and befuddled. So where was the first place I went? The internet! And then when I got even more confused, I vented.. on the now unpopular Myspace. Let me tell you this.. the Beatles were right about one thing.. Having a little help from Friends, ROCKS! There were people within my friend circle that were dealing with same thing I was. Or they had already gone through it. Being Military, you rely heavily on your friends to get you through the day to day sometimes. So that is why we when we make friends, we choose wisely but we make life long friends. Anyways, I can't tell you how many questions I asked, where I thought I was sounding stupid. But as my mother always said, "A, There is no such thing as a stupid question.." I had one friend, that listened to my rants, answered my questions and supported me in my quest to understand my daughter. She got me. Why? Because she has a son who was going through the same thing as my daughter. And even though she was far away, she was still there. So Friends Rock...

Back to the Autism.. so being assessed by the Military Medical in Hawaii( that is where we were stationed at the time), was a challenge. As there wasn't support out there. Trying to get services the Doctors wanted for Little Miss was like asking a 3 year old to share a toy. It was a fight. We finally got ABA services for her and she started preschool. There we fought again with the Hawaiian school system for speech and OT. There is a recurring theme here.. We had to fight for services and programs for this child. And no one would work with us. School didn't want to deal with ABA,Doctors didn't want to deal with the school... no one wanted to be on the same page in regards to this child's education and development.So on top all of that, We are still dealing with all the "wonderful" quirks Autism presents. The meltdowns, the over stimulation, the flapping. We didn't know what triggered those things. We found out that the kid hated loud noises and crowed places. So no Air shows for us. Which sucked because at the time we lived pretty much next door to Hickam AFB. So the daily jet exercises would start the almost two hour long meltdowns on a daily. It wasn't until we got here to Maryland, when things settled. We still get Flappy when we are happy. We still need to have pepperoni with everything and we still need to bring our earphones to movies. We have had to accept Autism as our way of life. So when my youngest, Little Man was diagnosised, it was a shock, but I had the understanding of what needed to be done.. And Little man is.. well he is my little ping pong ball.. and a new blog post...

Muster! Introductions of sorts

So here we go.. an Introduction of sorts. I will be the first one to admit, that I hate writing about myself.Why? You have to dig deep down and explore who and what makes you, you. Now this will probably read like a very generic intro, but I don't care. :)

I will start off by telling you why I have started this blog. And why it is named the way it is. Spouse, Kids, Special Needs and the mention of a Seabag. Well with those things, you could guess that I am a spouse, that I have kids who are special needs and I have some association to a Nautical way of life.If you guessed that I am married to the Navy and have kids that acquire a little extra time than most. You are correct! Also you might have picked up on the fact that I like humor. Humor helps get through the chaotic day to day. And laughing can actually make you feel better :) True Story. Anyway, back to why I started this blog. I wanted to way to put my thoughts down in front of me. If that is the case, why not a journal? Well, I have the worst handwriting on the planet and when it comes time to reread what I have written, no one, not even I would be able to read it. You would think that I had come up with a secret language. So thus the blog is born. So with out further ado.. I, present.. well ME!

I am Canadian. Yes, from the Land of the Great White North. That is where I hail from. Now, I do have a very sexy and awesome accent, minus the eh? I don't really say that.. But my husband says that the Canadian accent is more pronounced when I am angry. If anyone should know that, its him.Anyway, I have been married to my sailor for almost 11 years now. Have done the short deployments, sort of short deployments and the very long deployments.While my husband gets to see exotic places like Iraq and Afghanistan, I am home wrangling the three cherubs we call our children,Mr Man (8), Little Miss(7) and Little Man(3). We have two that are on the Autism Spectrum, the younger two, because lets face it, life wanted to keep things interesting and keep us on our toes. We also have two wiener dogs, that decided to come along for the fantastic voyage that is our life. That is pretty much my life and family in a nut shell.

This blog, I am hoping will make people laugh, maybe cry(not a lot of that, but happy tears maybe), and support. I will rant from time to time. I will warn you that with the great combo of marrying a sailor and being a Hockey loving Canadian, I do curse. But not all the time.. mostly when I am driving.. or when the Navy has angered me or sometimes that is both. I like sarcasm. I think its great. So if you want to join me on my journey, Welcome. Please comment, share stories, funnies, rants and ideas or whatever random thought comes to you.

Enjoy! And thanks for listening :)