Autism, Birthday, Parenting

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Where have the last three years gone? It seems like just yesterday I was sitting on the couch thinking you were never going to come out. Two weeks over due. That is something no mother should have to deal with.

It’s definitely been a wild ride. Everything about you seemed so typical. Everything came easily. Sitting, crawling, walking, all came right on schedule. You eventually said a few words like mama, dada, and shoes. For some reason you lost those and we didn’t know why. We loved you anyways. We knew what you needed and wanted. We knew your queues. You were happy. I never dreamt you would have to work SO hard to get the words to come back. All of the therapy, and working at home has definitely paid off. You’re doing so well. I know we have a lot more to do but, I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished so far.

So, here we are. The start of a new year. A new plan to help you move forward. Seeing therapists four days a week to help your skills advance. Gym and social groups three days a week to help you interact with other kids. I know all of the work will pay off and you will flourish and be extraordinary. I have no doubt in my mind that you will amaze the world. I love you, sweet boy.

P.S. I hope you made a wish 😘

Autism, Sensory Integration

The Kindness of Strangers

A friend of mine that is a LulaRoe consultant happened to suggest we try leggings out for Seamus as a possible solution to his No Pants Problem. She also has a son with special needs and understands what we’re going through in a very personal way. She offered to ship him a pair to try out free of charge. They showed up and without hesitation Seamus and I ripped open the package and I let him handle them. He played with them for a couple minutes. I rubbed them on his legs and belly. We talked about how soft they were. Here comes the moment of truth. I was going in for the kill. I said “let’s try these pants on!” Sure enough in went the first foot. There was no struggle. Second foot. Pulled them up his legs. He put them on. Not the slightest bit of frustration. He wore them for five consecutive days. I was taking them off and washing them after he fell asleep at night and putting them back on him for the next day.

So, my next predicament. He found something he would wear. The only problem is that these leggings retail for $23 a pair. Ouch. I took to Facebook to look for some discounted pairs. I wasn’t being pick about prints or colors. Just hoping to find a few pairs for as little cash as possible. I posted in a lularoe buy/sell/trade group about our situation and a link to my blog for some additional background. Within a few hours I had several consultants and other parents comment or message offering Seamus leggings for free or very discounted. So far he has accumulated a wonderful collection and I’m surprised he’s still getting mail. He’s gotten everything from leftover Halloween, New release Christmas prints, and he even got a pair that were a motorcycle print.

So, if you are sitting around and worrying about all of the bad in the world, you might miss the random acts of kindness that are happening every second of every day. People are good. Don’t doubt that for a moment.

p.s. if you happen to be a lularoe fan and see any of the monster prints in the first picture let me know! Those are his favorites and I wouldn’t mind getting a back up pair!

Autism, Parenting

Dopey Days

I’m having one of those days where things aren’t easy.  It’s not that anything out of the ordinary is happening either.  Maybe it’s because I’m extra tired.  Seamus woke up a little before 2 am and got into bed with us.  This isn’t out of the ordinary by any means, but it was earlier than he usually comes in.  He sat in bed with us and watched a movie and was still awake at 5 am.  At this point I really was getting frustrated so I movedd into his bedroom and slept in his beanbag chair.  I woke up at 7:26 because Jeremy came in to get clothes for Seamus.  Guess what?  We had an 8am appointment down at the hospital.  I got dressed quickly and let the dogs outside.  Out the door we went.  He had a great session with Hannah today.  We stopped and saw Jeremy at work afterward as a special treat.  We stop often for visits at the office but they don’t mind.  In fact it was reinforced today that it is encouraged.  We got home and had breakfast and a half a pot of coffee for the mombie.

The mail came and the letter on top was from the neurologist.  Dr Joe Barber.  I knew what it was without opening it. It was the evaluation report from his appointment on June 20th.  I’m not sure why, but opening the envelope and reading the report was harder than sitting in his office and hearing him say that our child is on the Autism Spectrum.  He’s not a cookie cutter kid.  He’s a little different and always will be.  It reminded me that this isn’t something we will be dealing with short term.  He will probably have therapies to go to for years if not indefinitely to help him function in a world that doesn’t see things the same way he does.  He’s an amazing little person and I love him just the way he is.  I just hope the rest of the world will grow to accept him as he is.

Maybe it’s the gloomy sky that has me feeling off, news from a friend that her life is changing forever, and a reminder that ours will always be different.  Who knows.  I guess it makes it a perfect day to snuggle up on the couch with the people you love and remind yourself about what is important. Which is of course cold milk, blankie, 2x hippos, and a kindle fire. 


Autism, Bad days, Parenting, Uncategorized

Terrible Tantrums

The good days are absolutely amazing.  The bad days make you want to bury your head in the sand.  Today I was really wishing I was an ostrich.

Today was hard.  It started at 2:30ish this morning when Seamus came into our bedroom ready to party.  Crap.  It’s not time for this yet.  We should still be safe for another three hours… Okay, lets go down and sit on the couch.  I turned on some cartoons and pushed the coffee table against the couch so Seamus wouldn’t accidentally fall off if he fell back to sleep and rolled. I covered my head and hoped to doze back to sleep.  AT about 5:00am I woke up panicked.  He wasn’t laying on my feet like he had been two hours earlier.  Crap.  Where did he go?!?!  If you know me well you know I’m pretty much night blind (thanks, mom) so, I stumble back up the stairs and make it into my bedroom just to find Seamus back in my bed and snuggled in with Jeremy.  That little jerk left me on the couch after a waking me up at 2:30am.  At least he was accounted for.  I stumbled back down the stairs and got to sleep until almost 6:00am before I left for my early morning walking date.

I got home a little after 7:30am and Seamus had an Appointment down at the hospital at 8:00am for Sensory Integration.  He fights getting his shoes and socks on.  Fights coming out of the house.  Fights getting into the car, and again when we got to the hospital at 7:57 and he wanted to play cars in the back seat.  His session went pretty well and his therapist seemed pretty pleased with how he did today.  Time to go, and guess who doesn’t want to hold hand, be carried, or just walk on the sidewalk?  Oh, that would be Seamus.  He wanted to chase a bus down the road.  I catch him and scoop him up in a weird hold I use when he fights.  one arm between his legs and the other by his shoulder.  My hands connect at his belly, his face pointed to the ground and he can’t kick or headbutt me from here.

We got home and did I managed to get a little housework done.  He followed me from room to room dumping out toys and laundry just to make sure it would look like I hadn’t actually done anything today.  We had a quick lunch, just leftovers.  Then I had a few errands to run this afternoon and the first stop was scheduled for 2:30.  I knew it was going to be a struggle so I started ushering Seamus towards the back door at 2:10.  Unfortunately when he’s focused on what he is doing he acts like he can’t hear you.  He wont acknowledge his name or look up.  I set him on the coffee table and strapped on his light-up Velcro sneakers.  He starts screeching.  His feet are often tricky.  He isn’t always welcoming to his shoes and socks.  Crap.  Okay, you can go in just your socks.  Let’s go.  We made our two stops and I thought maybe he could use a trip to the park and get some playground time.  We pulled in at our favorite playground.  I tell him he has to wear his shoes if he wants to go play.  I slide on his fancy footwear and the screeching begins.  Again.  We were drawing attention to ourselves.  People start giving you the look.  The why can’t you control your kid look.  I quickly pull him on and set him on the ground.  I make sure he can see the playground and he immediately stops.  The pleasure of the playground outweighs the irritation of having to wear shoes.  He burned off a lot of energy at the park today.  It was busy and there were kids ranging from about a year into their teens.  Things were going beautifully until they weren’t.  He convinced himself that he needed to get his hands on a big red ball a group of teenage girls were playing with.  Here we go again.  I scooped him up so he couldn’t fight me and we headed back for the car.  He played for a little over an hour and thankfully it was enough so that when we got home he was content to settle in on the couch and relax with a snack.  The magic hour was upon us.  Lets go sit outside and wait for dad to come home.  For some reason when the days are the worst something happens when Jeremy walks in the door after work.  Maybe it’s because he’s not frustrated from the nine hour battle.  The evening has gone smoothly and all I can hope for is that tomorrow will be better.

Autism, Parenting

Life Before A Diagnosis

My son is two.  He is vibrant, happy, and busy.  Very, Very, excruciatingly busy.  He doesn’t like to fall asleep.  He might miss something exciting.  The more exhausted he gets the faster he moves until he can literally fall asleep standing up.  He is very easily frustrated, but I think a lot of that comes from the language delay.  When he gets angry he can’t get any words to come out at all.  He just screams, cries,throws himself on the ground, or charges into walls or doors.  When he is happy he can light up a room and warm your heart.  Unfortunately his mood can turn on a dime with transitions that are simple for other kids to make.  Taking his shoes and socks off is stressful.  Telling him we have to go somewhere is stressful.  Being in public is stressful.  For the love of God do not touch his hippos without an invitation to do so.


Our families version of normal has been anything but normal for the last six months.  This whole process started about six months ago.  Seamus marched into his two year check up appointment with our family doctor.  The usual process of checking height, weight, and the plopped us in an exam room while we waited to be seen.  The nurse set a piece of paper on the counter and asked me to fill it in.  Nothing scary.  Just the usual “Is your child hitting these mile stones” kind of form.  We had done many before today so nothing about this was odd.  His doctor stepped in the room and scanned over the paper. “Is he still not saying anything?”  “No, not yet.  He makes a lot of different sounds, but no real words yet.”

That is when we were first referred to Early Intervention.

A few weeks later he had an evaluation and was found to have delays in communication and social interactions.  So, we started therapy with Christine. Christine is absolutely amazing at what she does.  Seamus is a VERY busy boy and she was able to work with him and get him to start talking.  She did find it troubling that she couldn’t get him to sit down and engage with her.  He had to be moving, jumping, spinning, or hiding in the couch cushions.  She suggested we contact our family doctor and request a referral for Occupational Therapy down at Rehab Works.  The can help little people with Sensory Integration.  The wait to get into these services is lengthy.  Seamus got a call pretty quickly for an evaluation, but we waited almost two months to be offered regularly scheduled appointments with them.  The ladies down at SI quickly recognized Seamus as a sensory seeker.  He just CANNOT get enough movement.  There is no fear in this child.  We’ll come back to this, but he sees them twice a week for therapy down at the hospital.  After a couple months of combining Speech Therapy and Sensory Integration we started to see some small improvements.  Seamus was adding new words to his vocabulary regularly, but something still seemed off about the way he interacts with others.  This is when we got the dreaded suggestion to make the trip to Erie and meet Dr. Joseph Barber and have an Autism Evaluation done.  I about fell over when scheduling the appointment in early March and the absolute soonest they could see us was the end of June.  Almost three months of wondering “what is going on?”, “Why is he so different?” but we waited.

The day came for his Autism Evaluation and I found myself in denial that anything could possibly be anything but ok with my kid.  I mean he’s two!  He should be a bit on the crazy side!  They all are! We talked some on the trip to Erie but I was lost in my own head.  We arrived and I filled out the mountain of paperwork and health history for Seamus starting with my pregnancy. The diagnosis came pretty quickly after a conversation with the doctor and some interaction (or lack of interaction) between Seamus and Dr. Barber.

He has Autism.

He is different.


We will be okay.

It’s not a death sentence so there is no reason to feel sorry for us or him.  The world is just a little bit different through his eyes.