Monday, July 8, 2013

Chalk drawings!

My daughter LOVES her chalk drawings! LOVES them! Hates getting her hands dirty but loves to draw with chalk. Summer is only on its second week & its only the beginning of that week to boot! I have SERIOUSLY gone through SO many tubs of sidewalk chalk, I swear, I should buy it in bulk, like by the palette! We use FAR too much! Here are just SOME of the drawings we have done this year!
 Her rainbow that's 3D
 My butterfly with her heart around it
 Our 3D hopscotch
 Our Flower. I did the outline, she coloured it in
 We love daddy! 
 Her butterfly
 Our heart, I drew it and coloured 4 sections, she coloured the other 4!
 A message for daddy! 
 Her butterfly
 Her butterfly landed on my flower :)
 Practicing her writing
 Her jelly fish
She copied a picture I had done & did an impressive job in my opinion!

I find chalk is one of the easiest self expressionary art forms for her in summer time! I just wish we had more space to do them all! I have SERIOUSLY been tempted to paint my basement in chalk board paint, not sure my hubby would like that though! But it would be a LOT of fun & would mean even if it rained, we could draw in chalk!

Art Therapy

ANYONE who knows my daughter, KNOWS she LOVES art!!! All kinds of art! She will do canvas work, chalk drawings, colouring pictures, drawing, ANYTHING! She loves it all! Today, we did something we haven't done before. I didn't think THAT was possible!

Today, we painted BIRD HOUSES! We did 4 in total. 2 for our house---one for the gardens she planted in memory of her sisters & one for our vegetable garden. One for her grandparents house & one for G-Mags her "autism grandma"!

It was a fun task, that I was surprised didn't get too messy! We choose our colours, 6 in total if I recall correctly. Put them in a painters plate on the table & got to it! She actually sat for about an hour, working HARD on her bird houses! She did 2 herself & designed 2 for ME to paint! After we were done painting them, we added some glitter (it's not complete in her eyes without glitter)!


The two on the left are the ones she designed for me to make & the two on the right are completely done by her! ALL have glitter on them :) 


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Conquering Sensory Fears

You know those balls you can buy for kids that are squishy & have spikey rubber bits sticking out? You can also get bugs, fat snakes, etc. Well my daughter has had a fear of these forever! She would run screaming & then break down into a fit of insane tears if you even looked at one in her presence. It was that bad of a fear. But it was also a sensory thing. IF you could get her to touch one or you touched her with one, she would FREAK!

Today all that changed. We were in the dollar store and she saw this soccer ball designed ball! It was exactly the type she was scared of. I hoped to rush past that part of the aisle and avoid a meltdown. Instead, she ran for it, picked it up and started playing with it! I was SHOCKED! So, I bought it! Hey, if she was going to overcome a sensory fear, I was going to support that!

Squishing the ball & having fun!!!! A mothers dream moment :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Teachers Lie

You know, it sucks when anyone lies. Plain and simple! It's not a pleasant thing! HOWEVER, its worse, when they have spent 2 years lying to you, dodging you, keeping things from you, pushing your child forward when shes falling further and further behind. It sucks even more because, they were someone you are SUPPOSED to trust your child with! They are your child's teacher!

My piece hasn't always been delayed. In fact, until 20 months, she was so far advanced we were just as lost as we are now! Then overnight, it was ALL gone! We didn't know what to do, say, think. Even when she was SO advanced, I KNEW something was wrong! I knew she was different!

So, my daughter JUST finished Senior Kindergarten last week. Literally 5 days ago. The teacher I knew wasn't being totally honest with me, we had had issues with her all year and she avoided me, lied and deceived! I wasn't blind. How badly though, I wasn't to know, till now!

I work endlessly, day in and day out, with my child, to make her life better, easier, help her cope with her traits, her autism concerns & make her a better person! I do therapy from home, I do extra school work to help her, I work on the areas she really struggles in, I do it ALL!

I knew her reading, writing, math, sight words & all that jazz wasn't up to "par" for a 6 year old ending Senior Kindergarten. But to have it tested and then find out, her level is actually at a 2 year olds level, well THAT just pissed me off! WHERE were the teachers on this one? Why did they constantly ignore me? Okay, I can quickly become a Mama Bear....who can blame me, when my child has been disappointed, physically and mentally hurt at school, forgotten in regards to CRUCIAL health problems, just to name a few!

So, to have my child tested & find out shes at a 2 year old level, well that pissed me off! WHY didn't they work with her at school, why didn't they have concerns? Why didn't they get her HELP? Why did they ignore it? Why did they not test her? Bring in someone to work with her? Why is this so bad after all the hard work I put in?

I don't have all the answers, but I do know this: I refuse to give up on her! Todays one of those days, I admit, Autism is getting the better of me, but I will NEVER give up on her! NEVER!

But this situation just goes to prove to me, that even those who "have my child's best interest at heart" only "have my childs best interest at heart. for their pay cheque"

The people who REALLY care, are the ones, in it for NOTHING but her! The ones, who the money doesn't matter! Who love my daughter, care about her and for her, who help us care for her & don't ask for ANYTHING in turn! Who just want to see her smile, be happy, grow up to be the best person she can be! THOSE are the ONLY people I can trust now! I've learned my lesson! If it involves a pay cheque, chances are, they may not really care about her!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Autism Support Team

Last Wednesday, the day before the last day of school, I was thankful to be able to meet with both of my biggest Autism supports!

I met with Maggie in the early morning. We had a nice visit, had a bit of a chat & as always, she encouraged me to keep being the great mom she thinks I am & not to give up!

That afternoon, I met with Meghan after a LONG time without seeing each other. It was a great time, chatting, catching up & discussing ways to help my piece COPE with all the MAJOR changes that are coming our way. In 2 days the hubby goes back to work! 10 months off, have her SO used to him ALWAYS being here. Then theres big school changes....a new teacher, after 2 years with the same teachers. Going into grade 1 in and of itself is a hard thing for her. There is also the change of Principals in the new year. Daddy going back to work. It just seems that the more we try to regulate things, the MORE upheavel comes and she gets upset & starts to try to pull away and regress!

This summer she will be seeing MANY specialists! I am hoping to get some more answers and HELP!

Meghan, gave me some GREAT ideas on how to work the daily schedules, how to give her some control back without it being overwhelming for her, she gave me suggestions for how to handle the hard times, the meltdowns and the self harming! She also reassured me, I am NOT alone, that other parents have their times, when they WANT to give up!

We are all only human! There is only so much we can do on our own & part of making it through each and every day, each and every problem, is to prepare ourselves to the best we can! Have a support team, have people you can go to when you need help, who you can call when you need to scream, cry or rant....or do ALL 3!

My autism team may be small compared to many peoples, but they are the most AMAZING team I could have EVER hoped for! So to EVERY SINGLE PERSON who supports my family, with love, encouragement, time, energy and kind words! THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART! You are all the reason, we are successful at what we do as parents!

Daddy's Little Girl

I know, that many people feel their daughter is "daddy's little girl". I know I was growing up & I am still very close with my dad & my mom, at the age of 28. I love them both to pieces. I have a connection with my parents that most people NEVER have!

Then there is MY daughter, who has honestly redefined the definition of Daddy's Little Girl in my eyes. When I think of the two of them, it brings tears to my eyes. And this song to my head May be over done by some, but its perfect for my husband and daughter.

My daughter, has been a daddy's girl since before she was born. She was a wild one in my tummy, but the second daddy touched my tummy or started to talk to her, she calmed right down. It was a wild thing to see! Then less then an hour old, when he spoke to her, she had been laying on my chest, she lifted her head on her own, eyes still closed and turned to face him. It was amazing! 6 years later, they're like the best of friends! She loves her daddy more then you could EVER imagine!

When she gets hurt, when she has a problem, when something happens, she needs support, a hug or kiss, whatever the case may be, its DADDY who she NEEDS! When she learns something new, she has to master it before she can show daddy! He is her world! And I love seeing it!

Yesterday, we did the balloon release for our twins we lost last year to still birth. Addisyn & Analeigh. It's been a really tough year, but knowing she had daddy there to support her, has really made the difference in helping her get through this tough first year! Yesterday, she told me something that I will never forget: "Mommy, I know daddy loved them as much as we did, but I am so thankful that he has stood by us through this". She is 6 years old!

Yesterday meant the world to her, because it showed her that she has family that cares!
 The group just as we released the balloons!
 My daughter released the first two by herself, as a special moment for her and her sisters
The balloons all ready to go

Those are some of the shots, that I took at our event yesterday. It was a beautiful day after the rain in the morning & it was a perfect event! 

To me, my daughter is proof to the world, that Autistic children, are special beyond words & they have hearts of gold! They may not communicate in all cases, but they are understanding the HARD parts of life & they all cope in their own ways! She proves to me, that the negative label people have put on her, won't hold her back, because I have instilled in her a great deal of self respect, self love and a love for everyone and everything!

Most importantly though, her father has ALLOWED her to cope in her own ways, hes let her cry, hes let her do what she NEEDED to do to cope! She loves him more then you could even imagine and that makes it even more special! I have NEVER seen a relationship like they have, between ANY two people EVER! He's her rock, her world! He is a large part of who she has become! She is the luckiest girl in the world, in my eyes!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer shaken

2 days left of school. Crunch time, right?! Oh BIG time! So many changes have gone on lately & it's been VERY distressing for my piece! For a while there, I thought I was all set....then a life upheaval happened to all our plans!

Tomorrow, I am SO fortunate, to say, I am meeting with my Autism coach extraordinaire! This lady is AMAZING! Years ago, I met her at Starbucks and we got chatting. Suddenly, I had someone who UNDERSTOOD my struggles with my daughter and who helped me realize I was NOT insane! These things WERE happening & it was NOT my fault! Now this lady is my amazing go to for all things Autism related! And I LOVE her blog! So worth your time! She is AWESOME! You can also find her page on facebook here:

She has been the biggest inspiration to me for years. She is the reason, I know as much as I do & I have come as far as I have with my daughter!

I have mentioned in previous posts as well about Maggie, who is my other AMAZING go to support person for my daughter! Her and my daughter have an amazing connection! My daughter is not big on touching people at all & she will ALWAYS run to Maggie for a hug!

So, with the summer shake up, as I am referring it to, I am looking forward to being able to sit down, discuss some concerns and frrustrations with Meghan as well as get help setting up a game plan for summer! This year, because we have had a lot of big changes, I need to start fresh!

Last summer was a HARD summer for all of us. The end of the school year was rough, my hubby was working overtime, we had just lost the twins, I was trying to cope and my daughter was falling deeper and deeper into a HUGE regressional state. It's been over a year now, and although she has made some good progress, she is still not up to par with other 6 year old kids. Not that we would have expected it. It's hard for ANYONE to adjust to losing 2 siblings, let alone a child who is unable to fully grasp or understand it!

This summer, I know there is a LOT of things she needs to work on. We need to work on adjusting her diet some more, we need to grade 1 prep: reading, writing, sight words, tying shoes, the mile long list goes on forever! Then of course, there is the simple coping with day to day life. We're still trying to get the hang of that one. I have been a sleep deprived mom for 6 years now! 7 if you include my pregnancy! I no longer feel like I can handle these all day/ all night situations!

So with basically 2 days till school is out & 6 days till we figure he goes back to work.....I have my work CUT OUT for me, to prepare for the major upheavel that is our lives this summer!

Wish me luck and stay tuned! I will be writing a post after my visit tomorrow with my AMAZING friend Meghan!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer is coming!!!

I don't know about other Autism parents, but I DREAD summer holidays, long weekends, PD days, winter break or anything like that. My daughter spends so much time, in her school schedule, that THAT is her schedule to her. So when we have time off school, it throws her completely off kilter!

Summer break is fast approaching for my piece! I am working HARD as I can, to prep for summer on the worlds tightest budget of $0!!! Yeah, not an easy task. Excluding today and taking out the TWO PD days this month, my daughter has exactly 14 school days left. YIKES!

This year, I am dreading summer more then ever, because there is a LOT of changes for the school year coming for my daughter, that she is ALREADY stressing over. She is getting a new principal, moving up to grade one so she will have a new teacher as well (for Junior and Senior Kindergarten, she happened to have the same teacher and mostly the same classmates). My daughter has had a VERY rough Senior Kindergarten year, with bully from her teacher, classmates and even being pushed from the monkey bars resulting in face and neck injuries. She has had incidents at school that put her very on edge for her allergies and has had her teacher forget more often then she remembered to give my daughter her puffer.

My daughter fears for her life in school. Yet, she is SO used to her school schedule that changes are HARD!

This summer, I was fortunate enough to be able to get a few "sensory" items for my daughter. They were gifted for her birthday today. They include a bean bag chair, a climb through tube (she loves rolling around in them), foam mats for her yoga & some art supplies to add to our collection, that goes far too quickly!

I am preparing her summer schedule similar to how her & I did her Asthma puffer chart at school. With this then that style charts! She has some set in stone activities, that are the same every year. Soccer x1, Swim Lessons x4. Those are currently set in stone already. Other things we are hoping to have come through are dance and gymnastics. Originally we had plans for those, but due to some glitches, we have had to say no to the plans we had!

Each week we will have outings, planned out events, group gatherings with friends, playground fun, activities, quiet times, reading times, working times, "school" times and more! It's a very precise and planned out summer schedule. Even more so, since I will be more then a full time student this summer.

We are hoping to save up the money to do some special trips! My daughter has made a list of places she REALLY wants to go:

Toronto Zoo
Africian Lion Safari
Royal Ontario Museum
And several more!

We are hoping to give her some awesome days out this summer. We are also hoping to hit up a few other Toronto attractions and stay a weekend there and a weekend in Niagara Falls. Money is always the concern!

So with summer coming far too quickly, this is what we are looking at!!! Wish us luck on another switch in schedules and a successful summer! There will be plenty of updates to come!!!

Another year older

Today, my piece turns 6 years old! How is that possible? Really, I don't know HOW 6 years flew by so fast! Where did the time go?

I look back over the past 6 years and think of the times we have had. The good, the bad, the scary! My piece has progressed SO far! After over 2 years of no speech, and me working day and night to get it back, she talks really well now!

I think of how much things have changed. How hard she has worked to be where she is today. I think of the struggles she went through, without any support or encouragement other then us.

Each year, I look back at the tough times, the struggles and the lessons we learned. Then I smile. Because we learned so much, she had amazing times that we can focus on instead of the bad. THEN I thank God for giving me the blessing that is my daughter!

She may be autistic, she may be hard to deal with a lot of the time, but you know what, she is MY piece of the puzzle and she is the BEST little girl I could truly hope for! I am a blessed Autistic Mama :) I wouldn't have it any other way!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PRINCESS!!! I can't believe you are already 6 years old! The time has flown by SO fast!!! I love you baby girl!!!

Waterloo Walk for Autism Speaks Canada

Happy 6th Birthday to my precious little princess!!! Today is her birthday, I am finding it so hard to believe she is ALREADY 6! How did time go so fast?

Sunday, June 2nd, we drove the 45 or so minutes to Waterloo, to take part in the walk. My daughter was so excited to take part in the walk. She was also excited to see her Autism Grandma, G-Mags! We were part of a group sponsored by Pure Source, called Ebony's ABC's.

G-Mag's has been an AMAZING support for our family since I met her at a conference in our city. That was earlier this year. She has helped us through MANY tough times as well. We can't thank her ENOUGH!

Sunday, we went to the walk. My husband and I were both nervous. Our daughter doesn't travel well, doesn't handle crowds well, just to name a FEW things! So, we were on edge. The drive there went well. Surprisingly well. She asked a few times, if we were there yet, but other then that, it went very smoothly. She even had a bit of breakfast on the way and when we first arrived. A HUGE step for her, she tends to AVOID breakfast.

When we got there, it was still early. Things had just been set up, not a lot of people yet. And of course, the FIRST person she saw when she got out of the car just so happened to be G-Mags! That thrilled her to NO end! And she was even more excited (I didn't think at that time, she could have been lol), when G-Mags gave her a birthday present to keep safe in our car!

We all went up to the field, got settled and ready for the walk. Princess A had to instantly hit up the rides. There was a HUGE blow up CARS slide, a blow up basket ball game, a blow up bouncer and a trampoline, as well as a hockey game! She hit up every activity at least once and then went back to all the bouncy activities a second time, before too many more people arrived, then the lines were just TOO hectic!

She played with G-Mags dogs, that her and her husband brought along to the walk. She stayed calm and well behaved the ENTIRE day! The crowds didn't upset her. She thanked the volunteers and representatives from Autism Speaks Canada, for celebrating her birthday with her.

G-Mags, being the wonderful woman she is, had it arranged, to have them wish Princess A a happy birthday, to the whole crowd. They had a super cute Blue elephant hat for her to wear, so everyone would KNOW she was the birthday girl and they gave her a blue Star balloon, to attach to the wagon, so everyone would know it was her birthday walk! This thrilled A to NO end! She thought it was awesome that everyone wished her a happy birthday!

Her and I had even made chocolate vegan, allergen free cupcakes the day before, with puzzle piece tops and blue icing. She lit it up blue for Autism with her birthday cupcakes! I thought it was a sweet idea, she had, to make cupcakes for everyone to share :)

The walk was sadly cut short due to weather. It POURED from the start of the walk, till we got back. Some people left, but many stuck it out! A little rain, never hurt anyone! We were there for a cause! G-Mags was smart enough to buy rain ponchos for everyone to wear. Princess A thought it was fun. Normally rain puts her in a HUGE meltdown mode. But at the walk, she was enjoying it. She was in the wagon we borrowed, so thankfully she didn't have to WALK in the rain. She had a blast, and was so well behaved.

I had strangers come up to me a few times, asking if she was autistic because she was so calm, quiet and well behaved. They were amazed when I told them she was!

By the time we went to leave, she was exhausted from all her fun. The morning had been fun, but VERY tiring for her! She had a ROUGH drive home, felt sick to her stomach the WHOLE way home. Then had an emergency bathroom situation 3 minutes from home, but she made it through!

She had a great day, met amazing people, had tons of fun and enjoyed the walk in support of Autism! I was so proud of how well she did that day!

I would also like to say a BIG thank you to Autism Speaks Canada, Pure Source, Ebony's ABC's & everyone who was there with us that day!!! It was an amazing day, despite the rain and we loved seeing everyone out there!!! Great job on the fundraising!!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Meltdown central

It seems that more so lately, EVERY single time I have to get my daughter dressed, she has an EXTREME meltdown over what to wear! Seriously, every SINGLE time!

Monday is a great example:

My daughter was an HOUR late for school, all because of her 3 hour long meltdown over wearing a pair of SHORTS! Really?! Yep, she wanted to wear jeggings but doesn't have any that currently fit, she wanted to wear a dress, but I had no little shorts to go underneath and since she's a little girl that LOVES to climb the monkey bars and such, shorts under the dress are a MUST! They're just fitted shorts, similar to ballet training shorts. Then since she lost those two battles, she tried for leggings.....the ones she WANTED to wear had to be worn under something, but she wouldn't wear them under the dress because they wouldn't match and she wouldn't wear them with the shorts either! So from 7-10am, she screamed, cried, threw things around and overall just melted down, over wearing shorts to school.

I will say, that finally, once she calmed down a bit, we managed to get the shorts on her and get her to school, but she was NOT a happy camper. Thankfully yesterday she was too excited to wear her special t-shirt for "Wear Blue In Support of Autism" Day at her school, to realize she was wearing shorts!

Wish me luck today!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My speech

It's done! I did my mini speech on Autism for my daughters school today! I am NOT a public speaker, in fact, I have severe anxiety of people, groups, etc. So, to say the least, I was a nervous wreck! I stammered and messed up. I was a panicky wreck lol!

However, I survived, I did the speech and it was fairly successful. I got complements on both my speech and the tutu that my daughter wore, to represent the rainbow of diversity in the spectrum and on the puzzle piece ribbons that are for Autism Awareness!

So, I thought I would share my speech & a BIG thank you must go out to G-Mags for her help with information & to Meghan for being mentally by my side through out my speech and reminding me to speak from the heart!

Here is my speech:

Hi Everyone! I am here today to speak to you on behalf of Parent council about Autism. Thank you for having me here today, I am honoured to have been asked to speak! Now, many of you, may be too young to truly understand Autism & that's okay. I'll be honest with you, a lot of adults and even parents of children with Autism don't truly understand it.

Autism is a complex brain disorder, that can cause speech, behavioural & sensory issues, to name a few.

Autism comes in all shapes & sizes. Adults and children alike can have it. There is NO look to Autism. Autistic people are unique, just like every one of you are.

*Insert me showing the Autism Awareness giant magnet ribbon*

This ribbon I have here says Autism Awareness. A lot of causes & charities have similar ribbons, to raise awareness for many different topics. Have any of you seen a ribbon like this before?

Now this particular ribbon is covered in puzzle pieces. There is MAJOR significance to Autism in puzzle pieces.

I'm sure nearly, if not all of you, have tried to do at least ONE puzzle in your life, am I right? Did you get frustrated when 2 pieces didn't fit together? Well, that is similar to how the brain of an autistic person works. They can't get 2 parts to work together & they get frustrated. Sometimes they can't form the words or explain themselves & this can cause a major meltdown. They're literally not capable of controlling it. So, you know when you are in the grocery store and want that chocolate bar but mom or dad says no? You know that tantrum you throw? Well, you can control that tantrum. People with Autism have meltdowns which are different, because they can't be in control of their reactions.

Now, you may have noticed the puzzle pieces on this ribbon are diverse in their shapes & colours. Remember how before winter break, you guys learned about different religions celebrations and went from class to class to learn about them and do activities involving them? Well the shapes and colours on this ribbon represent the diversity of Autism. How it doesn't discriminate against any colour, or race, or religion.

You may also have noticed that the ribbon is BRIGHT! That's to signal HOPE!

This ribbon also represents 7 words to people & families affected by Autism. These words are: Educate, Advocate, Accept, Hope, Support, Faith & lastly Love!

Many of those are things you guys have learned throughout the year, when you have your monthly word. Like April as we all know, since its finishing up today, was Honesty. December was Diversity. You've had courage as well. Just to name a few.

Anyone who has Autism is just like you & I. Unique in there OWN special way!

Always Unique Totally Intelligent Sometimes Mysterious

April is Autism Awareness Month and April 2nd is World Autism Day! So, thank you, to each and every one of you, that wore blue today! Seeing that sea of blue out there, like my daughter and I are wearing, is amazing! It shows us, that you guys are accepting and dedicated! You're not discriminating!

Now I would like to bring my daughter to your attention before I finish here. Her outfit today, is in full support of Autism. Her blue shirt, to match you guys and help light your school up blue for Autism this April. Her rainbow tutu here, is to represent the diversity and the puzzle pieces in the ribbon! You will also notice a singular multicoloured puzzle piece on her shirt, it's to represent Autism. She will be wearing her shirt with her father and I, on June 2nd with all of the team from Pure Source, to support Ebony, Angelyn & every single person out there with Autism! In the office, you will see a poster about the walk!

Thank you for taking the time, to have me here on behalf of my family & parent council, to speak to you all about Autism! I hope that you have learned a few things & that if you have further questions you won't hesitate to ask your principal, teachers or go home and ask your family for more information! You guys are a new generation that can help make a huge difference in the future of Autism!!!

So, that was my speech! The kids were really intent and I found so many to be intrigued. They interacted with the questions and later, after it was done, I did have a couple kids ask me questions. They wanted websites they could go to, to learn about it! They want to know more about how to deal with adults with autism. How to help their parents be more willing to open up about it or learn about it! Truly an amazing experience! I am just behind amazed by it! Even kids in Junior Kindergarten and Senior Kindergarten understood the puzzle analogy. It was just an amazing experience!

I feel an amazing rush after doing that speech! I just feel like, I know, I got through to some of those people and they learned something! To me, that's worth more then anything!

Due to school safety rules, I couldn't actually tell people my daughter was Autistic. Both because its "private information" that is not to be distributed to unwarranted personal (it's in her application that until I get her approval for an EA, I am not to disclose any personal information, that may affect teachers, EA's and other professionals involved in her care and education, to know more information then needs to be proved for safety and educational circumstances, because it could cause them to make "other opinions" that could affect her results in getting the care she needs) & because the principal did not want kids, who may not otherwise know, to find out that she is and risk her further being bullied.


Yesterday, was like a break through in our little Autism world! My daughter came into my room, crawled into my bed, and gave me a kiss on the lips. Just a quick, simple, barely touched peck BUT a kiss none the less!!! It was such an exciting moment for me! Kisses are extremely rare!! Very very very few and far between and NEVER on the mouth!

This was a huge deal to me! My daughters just a little over a month away from her 6th birthday and I am SO excited that she made this progress. No clue how many more kisses will come and how far between them, but hey, even if that was the one and only one I were to get, it would be amazing!!! I am one PROUD mama!

Autism Awareness month, as it comes to a close!

Wow! April has been an amazing month! So much has gone on. Autism Awareness month was a great one for my family! We went to our local city hall on April 2nd for the flag raising. It was great! My daughter loved it! She met the Mayor and our local MP, which she was so thrilled about! It was "so cool" in her words!

We registered my daughter for the June 2nd Autism walk. She's excited to be fundraising for that! And she is IN LOVE with her outfit for it! She has a blue shirt that says Ebony's ABCs and has a puzzle piece on it, but it also has a picture of HER on it! She think's its awesome! Then she has a random tut, that I made her, to represent the colours of the puzzle pieces on the awareness ribbons! It's awesome, if I do say so myself!

Today, her school is having a blue shirt day, to raise awareness & I am giving a mini presentation on Autism. I was honoured to be asked to do this. But I admit, I am nervous to speak in front of 200 people!

We've been teaching our daughter a lot more about autism this month. Trying to help her better understand what she goes through. As well as what other people who have Autism or are on the spectrum may experience!

We've talked in length with people about Autism. We have shared our story with our people! It's been a fun, educational and emotional month! But, successful! We've done our best to spread the word & we hope others have done the same!

Just because April has come to a close though, doesn't mean our awareness should stop! AUTISM AWARENESS, IT MATTERS!!! MAKE IT A DAILY EVENT!!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Prioritizing Family Traditions

I've always been pretty into family traditions. But ever since losing my twins 9 months ago today, I have been much more into family traditions. Making memories that will last my daughters life time. She's an only child on  earth, but to all of us, her sisters are up in heaven, watching over all of us.

Family traditions don't have to be a big sh-bang  They can be as simple as a movie in your living room as a family once a week. Or pizza dinner on a certain day of the week. They can be seasonal or monthly or even weekly or daily! Traditions don't just mean least not in my books!

Some examples of family traditions for us include but are certainly NOT limited to:

  • daily bedtime stories of 2 books (sometimes more!)
  • yearly trips to College Royal (it'll be weird going this year though, because this will be the first none stroller year! So it'll be a new adventure!)
  • weekly Wednesday night homemade pizza (this is a newer tradition, that I started about a month or so ago...maybe a bit longer. Thursday is pizza day at my daughters school and since she can't have it, I make homemade pizza for dinner the night before and send some in her lunch the next day. Usually, I also have a couple of her friends over to enjoy a play date and pizza dinner on Wednesday too!)
  • Muffin baking! A couple times a month....usually every 2 weeks, I get in the kitchen and let my daughter bake muffins! I do the unsafe stuff and she does all the rest with some help when need be!
  • Holiday and special occasion baked treats and goody bags for her class! Everyone knows me for this and my "extravagance" with it! I don't go all out in my opinion but many parents think its over the top, but the kids love it and my daughter then gets to feel included and I KNOW she's getting SAFE treats to share with her friends! To me, that's the most important!
  • Family Meals!!!! I think this is by far one of the MOST crucial things, especially for my autistic daughters schedule. She does a LOT better on a schedule, obviously, but a big part of that is family meals. Although we have major struggles with getting her to sit, let alone eat, we still feel its an important part of family life! 
  • Each weekend picking some family activity to do! We are part of an Autism group, that thanks to their potentials program, we get to go out 3x a month to do activities! Monthly movies, swimming and indoor playground! If it weren't for them and their activities, I can honestly say, we wouldn't have those oppurtunities! So that's 3 weekends out of the month....2 Saturdays & 1 Sunday and then that other weekends, we pick something at home to do, or depending on the weather we will go outside for a fun activity! In the summer we spend a LOT of time at the pool in our subdivision! Thankfully it's free with our rent & it's open 6 days of the week! 
  • Family gatherings! At least once a year, we try to get my family together! My parents live close by, but my siblings don't. So once a year, minimum, we try to get together as a whole. Then twice a year, my sister takes my daughter for a weekend and once a year my parents take her camping, usually in my hometown, so she's close to my family & she gets to visit some of the extended family. 
  • Birthday!! My religion doesn't celebrate birthdays or holidays, my husbands an atheist, so he could care less. But our daughter is our miracle baby! I make a big deal out of her birthday, simply because, I feel that celebrating her life is IMPORTANT! She's had some rough journeys! Allergic reactions, repeated bouts of Rotavirus, the risk of not making it into the world, then her battle with autism, just to name a few! Each birthday to me, is another successful year of life! I make a big deal because of that! 
I could go on and on about different traditions, but I am sure you get the idea! I think that traditions are great, but more importantly I think keeping up with these traditions is crucial for autistic kids, making them a priority is, because it keeps things on a schedule and it gives them memories to look forward to! This may not work for all families that deal with Autism, but for my family, they are a big priority! The make a huge difference for us! 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Honouring Autism

I have been given the amazing honour, of not only convincing my daughters school (with her help of course!), to raise awareness for Autism during the month of April, wear blue shirts the day of April 3rd (I know April 2nd is World Autism Day, but that's the day that we come back from an Easter long weekend, so as a whole, parent council agreed to do it the day after, so that everyone can be given a reminder!), BUT I was honourably asked to give a speech on Autism to the whole school! And my daughter has been asked to make announcements in the week leading up to April about Autism and facts and anything she feels that people should know!

I feel so honoured that they asked me! I truly do! It's such a priviledge, to be able to do a short but hopefully informative presentation on Autism for the whole school & I am honestly hoping that many parents will come out to the assembly! The sad reality of it is, that in a school of LESS THEN 170 kids, 10 have diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder. And my daughter is going through the diagnoses process again....this time with a doctor who realizes shes not "fine"! So, 11 kids out of less then 170! That's a large number!

My daughter is going to write some announcements to make, with a few simple little facts and some words she would like to say! My daughter will also be coming up in front of the school, while I do my presentation! She will be honouring Autism in a custom made autism outfit, that I will be making for her! I can't wait :)

I feel so honoured and so humbled to be able to do this. To not only have convinced the school to do it, but to be asked to take such a huge part! We're making history with our little school and for that I am so very grateful.

When I have done my presentation and speech, I will share it with all of you on the blog! I can't wait!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Regression due to loss...our experience

As many of you know, June 11th, 2012 was a day from hell for me. I gave birth, in the ER, to my still born twin girls. That day will NEVER leave me. It breaks my heart, every time I think about it. EVERY SINGLE TIME!

That date, also has another BIG significance to it. It's the day my daughter had her BIGGEST regression of her life. We thought it was bad when at 20 months she went from having a huge vocabulary of an ADULT, to not speaking at all, literally over night. But June 11th, put that day down as a nothing.

I remember it all too clearly. I birthed my twins at 12:02 & 12:04 am. My husband picked me up from the hospital sometime around 4-5 am, with our daughter. He had stayed home with her that night, so she could sleep. I had gone to the ER via ambulance around 8 pm. We didn't know what was wrong.

Around 11pm, my daughter had woken up, went in to lay with my husband and he knew, she sensed something was wrong. My husband was suppose to leave for work at 4:30 am, so the simple fact that he was still awake, alarmed her. As did the fact, that I wasn't there. I do ALL the night wakings when my husbands asleep.....I wake a LOT easier then he does. Anyways, she sensed something was wrong, my husband laid with her, trying to cuddle her and get her back to sleep. She wouldn't sleep. She KNEW something was wrong and she was very tense, very agitated and very upset. Nothing would calm her down. My husband assumed it was my absence  Only later would we figure out that it was due to the fact that she knew something bad was happening. She laid awake all night, in my husbands arms, till I called him to come pick me up from the hospital.

When he got there, my daughter was in her car seat, wide awake with a look of shock in her eyes. It was evident, that I had been crying. She uttered one simple word, that would be the word to change our worlds. "Babies?"

She knew, they were no longer in my uterus. But she didn't understand why, if I had them, they weren't coming home with me. To this day, nearly 9 months later, she still doesn't understand why they aren't here. We remember them, we treat them like family. They're in our minds, our hearts and nothing can change that. Last summer, my daughter wanted to hold a balloon release ceremony for her sisters. We did it the day after their scheduled c-section date. This year, we will be doing 3. One on the day they were born, one on their c-section date and one on their due date. May seem excessive, but for my daughter, its like buying a toy to give to her sister. Each baby gets her own balloon and my daughter writes or tells us, as best she can, what she wants it to say. To me, that means the world!

I know my daughter would have been an amazing big sister. She would have been a huge helper for mama too! But alas, she will never had that chance. With Autism, the worlds a different place. A lot of people have autism dogs, we have an autism cat. When I say that, what I mean, is that what autism dogs do for MANY people, is what this cat wound up doing for our daughter. D, is what we will call the cat for now. She's got a special name thats significant to my family and my daughter, but on here she will be D. Her birthday date, was actually the day I was schedule to have my c-section for the twins. Our daughter had always wanted a girl cat. We had two boys. She wanted a cat that was HERS. She could name it, she would be in charge of feeding it and giving it water, playing with it, all that (minus the litter box!) When I found these cats, it was perfect timing, they had just been weaned from their mother, they were 12 weeks old and after a horrible experience with our local humane society, that truly CRUSHED my daughter, we found these kittens online. Farm cats. Ready for forever homes. We showed our daughter a picture and it was the end. She fell in love with a specific one and the next day my husband and I went to get a kitten. Our daughter didn't know and she was at school. We drove over an hour out of town, into the country to FIND this farm. Praying that the kitten my daughter had chosen from the photo was still available as other people were picking up that day as well. When we got their, we got to meet the kittens, and the first one to come to us, just happened to be the one in the picture my daughter wanted. It was a sweet kitten, very cuddly, nice, and it struck us as the PERFECT cat!

It was fate, that D came into our lives. She's been a huge help for my daughter. She has helped greatly with slowing the regression, albeit, the regression is still there....she's not getting better, but at least she's leveled off, thanks to the kitten!

It's been a long hard nearly 9 months....I have worked my butt off, to get her back on the track she was one. Now I have made some amazing new contacts and I am working on getting the HELP she needs! As parents, we want to solve all of our kids problems and situations, but the reality is, when you have an autistic child, that's not possible! You need help! You need doctors, specialists, therapists, and more! You also need to NOT be afraid to ask for that help!

So far, this is a bit of behind the scenes of our experience with Regression due to loss!

Monday, February 25, 2013

When speech comes and goes

My daughter, she's considered "non-verbal". Some days, she's got words spilling out of her with no way to stop them! Other days, you can't get a word out of her! It's a much frustrating process, I will admit that, but its a rewarding process. When you hear a full sentence, out of the realize, shes been listening, she IS paying attention, even when she won't make a second of eye contact with you, won't reply, acts like you are NOT there!

As a mother though, the most REWARDING times of them ALL is when she pops out this huge word, that you have no clue how she got it in her vocabulary, let alone knows how to use it correctly. For instance, we had my dad's truck off and on these last couple months. In the back seat is the dogs cage, its easier to just keep it in the truck then move it out every time we need to take the truck, because its all secured in their to keep the doggy safe, when she's riding with them! Anyways, the point is this: My daughter's car seat sits in the middle of the back seat. It's my rule, if she can't be in the middle then shes behind the driver, I never put her behind the passenger seat, its the most dangerous place. Not the point though, I know!

Anyways, so my daughters seats in the middle, the dogs cage is secured in behind the drivers seat. Simply because thats the seat that goes down on its own. The other two seats have to go down together and then you can only have 3 people in the truck instead of 4 when the dogs in there. So, she was sitting in her seat next to the dogs cage and out of the blue stated: "Barbie's dog cage smells HORRENDOUS!" REALLY?! Both my husband and I were shocked into silence, we asked her to repeat herself and she did, much quieter this time and with a look of fear, but when we smiled at her, she smiled, like she was proud of herself or proud of the fact that WE were proud of her!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Journey like no other

The journey through life, with an ASD child, is like no other journey, you will ever encounter. It has its ups, its downs, its frustrations, angers, times where you literally just want to scream at the top of your lungs. Their is good and bad in ASD, just as their is anywhere in life. With ASD though, that sometimes just means its amplified a LOT!

My daughter is going through repeated specialists to figure out exactly where she is on the spectrum and why. We have referrals currently to 7 different people. Talk about frustrating! And NONE of them are in our town....all are about an hour or longer drive away.

My daughter has severe anxiety. Does NOT travel well. Get's motion sickness. Get's sick to her stomach due to her anxiety. Has a major fear of doctors from some previous bad experiences. She's got a mile long list of allergies, that effect a lot of aspects of life. She's too underweight, so therefore is still in a 5 point harness car seat (which is an issue for her because of the areas that the harness touch & her VERY severe sensory issues). I could keep going on, but I am sure you get the point.

A is 5. She's had a SHORT life with a LOT of problems! A lot of struggles for someone SO young! ASD is just one of a multitude of things!

Some days are great, some days are horrible. Some days are filled with smiles and "new" things! Some days are filled with tears (from both child and parents) & screaming! Some days are filled with cuddles and some days your pushed away because she can't stand to be touched. Some days she will eat and some days you fight to get ONE SINGLE BITE IN!

But, putting all that aside, one thing is for sure every day: the journey through that day will be NOTHING like anything you have experienced'll be so completely different then the day before or even the next day!

The journey with ASD is a journey like NO OTHER! Join us as we continue you our journey and make the changes we NEED, to make a better life for A! Welcome aboard the ASD train in our house!

Blessed, encouraged, supported!

Yesterday, I had the extreme honour of attending to the Autism conference. It was an all day conference. Registration and exhibits started at 8am & the conference ran till 5pm. It was AMAZING! I got some incredible information, great sources and I met some of the most awesome people ever!

****PLEASE NOTE: I was not asked to review this conference, I will not give our names of people or share their stories. I will not be posting information from that conference, I will just be sharing MY personal journey and experience during that conference and now that day following! The things I learned and how I feel NOW after learning all this about being my daughters advocate! Please be respectful of the fact that I am being respectful of everyone there's privacy. Thank you!****

The world of Autism, despite being in our lives since our daughter was born, is something really new to us still. We had years and years of a pediatrician stating to us, "oh that's normal", "shes fine", "you're over reacting", "you watch too much tv", "you read to much books or information on the internet, you can't always believe what you read!". The list goes on and on and on. 5 years of that. Being told I was "over-reacting". I was a "over protective mom". That I had "no clue" what I was talking about.

Not just as a mother, but as a human being, I strongly believe that the saying "Mother knows best" is correct, 99% of the time. For those of you that don't agree, think of it this way (it could also be said that father knows best depending on the circumstances but I am referring to my personal experiences! No intent to exclude anyone or make anyone feel bad), if I as a mother am home 24/7 with my child. I see their reactions to food, clothes, the environment, any changes to her schedule, problems at school (this ones still relatively new as shes only in senior kindergarten), her reactions to people (daddy being gone, people visiting, etc), her actions, her reactions to noise, her habits, and all those other things that happen during a you not think that I as a parent, know better then a doctor who sees her when shes sick or her once a year check up? Who see's her for less then 5 minutes and then is out the door? Sorry, but darn it I KNOW BETTER THEN THE DOCTOR!

Yesterday, for me, was the experience of a lifetime! The talks, were incredible. The vendors were awesome, informative and generously helpful with their stories and information. The people I met, well they were another story. I have never ever met such an incredibly inspiring group of encouraging people! Honestly, it was just breath taking, the whole day. And not just because I got a full day out of the house, by myself!

I left that conference, with a new found attitude, a new found spirit! I felt like a new person! I will forever be thankful that I got a sponsored registration, because I would not have been able to attend without it.

The speakers: WOW! They brought light to things I had NEVER even THOUGHT could be related to autism. Could be part of the cause. One woman shared her story, she had me in tears! Another one talked about the products that we're using to "keep us healthy" and keep our homes cleaning, could be making matters worse. (After that talk I will be making some HUGE changes in my household!!!!) I met some amazing people who are HUGE supporters of Autism, fundraising, advocating and more!

Today, I woke up, after a rough night sleep. (More so then usual). I was up off and on all night thinking about the overwhelming amount of information I took in yesterday! About the amazing people, the encouragement.

As a mother, I felt guilty ALL day being away from my daughter, don't get me wrong, I know I can't be there for her ALL the time, but it was hard to be apart from her and I felt VERY guilty! That being said, I think I learned a great deal about HOW I can be a MUCH better advocate for her, take better care of her by watching what she uses, what we clean with and more!

So, I bet you're all wondering what instant things I am going to be doing? Well, yesterday was so information packed, that its HARD to do it all at once, HOWEVER, some things I can change right away are: laundry detergent----I got a bag of soap nuts, which is enough for 300-400 loads of laundry....thats about a year and a half worth of laundry for the average family! I got a brain game that I plan to use for the whole family---its got 4 levels so we can ALL take part in it! I got some awareness pins, clips, necklace/bracelet pieces, magnets, etc. And I got some great new books, so I will be looking into those asap! Oh and I got some allergen free cake and waffle mixes, that I plan to try! I normally make everything from scratch but I am going to give these a shot! Those are my starting points!

I came home from that conference, bursting with happiness. With new found knowledge! It was incredible and I feel so blessed to have attended! I plan to take a lot of what I learned there into affect in my home and my community. Join me on this journey! I will be posting more as I gradually make these changes!

Thanks for reading and please, if anyone was at that event yesterday, I hope you are not offended by my post. I wanted to keep everyones personal information private. This post is just what I learned and am going to do, to help my family! Thanks!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Surviving the first week of school AGAIN!

So, in less then a week the kiddo goes BACK to school! We are all excited, especially her! She misses her friends, she misses her teachers and she just wants things back to normal.

Most parents don't have much adjustments to make for back to school other then sleep schedules. They maybe take a couple days to get their kids back on schedule, if that. For us, the second school lets out the the second it starts whether for Summer vacation, March break or Winter break, or even a long weekend, we are prepping for the return. Adjusting her to any new changes. Reminding her of the rules. Working on the sleep schedule (we always loss with that one, even WITH a weighted blanket, she still doesn't sleep much and shes up for the day any time between 2-5 am.....usually closer to 2am!

Well many kids have been enjoying their winter vacation. Playing outside with friends, playing with all their new toys, etc, my daughter has been preparing for back to school. Trying to adjust to her schedules, trying to remember the school rules, trying to work on sitting still, trying to keep calm.....all the things that most kids don't struggle with. She's been worried about the noises, the amount of people she will be around and all that.

Well most people have enjoyed the time off with their kids, my family has struggled with reassuring our daughter it WILL be fine when she goes back to school....that she's going to be okay....that she can escape to the reading corner or behind the teachers corner if she needs to calm down and relax..........................

Vacations for our autistic daughter, are never fun. They are a constant mental battle for her and for us! That's OUR world with Autism!

Enjoy the rest of the holiday with your kids, please! Some kids mentally can't handle that and do NOT enjoy their holidays. My daughter is one of them!


Each year, for us, is a battle against Autism. It's a battle of time, effort, patience, sanity and pressures!

2013, will be different. 2013 is US against AUTISM!

I am sick of people saying my daughter is fine, saying they can't help her, saying it's a mental health problem that can't be helped, saying she will be fine once she adjusts to the loss of her sisters & the continual BS list of excuses I hear.

This year, I am continuing to be her BIGGEST advocate BUT I am going about it a different way. I am not taking no for an answer. I am working on her problems MYSELF. I am making all the calls, forcing the referrals, demanding the help, demanding the accommodations & more!

For those who personally know me, you know thats nothing different then what I do now. Except, now I have a better understanding of ALL of it, so I can go at with more force and knowledge!

2013 will be a year for me to help my daughter progress PAST the line of being told shes never going to be normal! This year we are taking on Autism and we will win!

I KNOW that you can't HEAL autism, you can't "fix" an autistic child, but what you can do, is make their lives easier by learning to work with them, understand them, communicate their way and make the world work FOR them NOT against them! So, here we go 2013! Autism watch out, I am determined to help my daughter the best I can!

Autism doesn't define her, it doesn't stop her, it doesn't break her, it doesn't change her! It just means she is UNIQUE, SPECIAL, SMART & most importantly MINE :)

Princess I love you and this year we will take on Autism together! No one can stop us!