Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Parenting a Child with Autism Brings Unique Stresses...

...says I certainly didn't need to read this article. I live it!
(Do I sound a little stressed right now?)

Families with autistic children have to deal with things such as: behavior issues, education, social support (or lack thereof), respite, time pressure, and health care to name a few.

Pity isn't what we're after; just an understanding that sometimes it takes too much energy to find respite care or get the family ready for church or to go out shopping. Breaking an autistic persons routine is painful and I don't mean just to them! Sometimes I'd rather eat nails than to tell Cody that 'Survivor' isn't on television because the President of the United States is speaking or that due to the holiday the trash guy is picking up the garbage Tuesday instead of Monday. High stress is something we deal with, sometimes on a daily basis. (I have a valid reason for taking Wellbutrin.)

In the near future, I plan on discussing siblings of disabled children. They are remarkable human beings who often have to grow up too fast and/or deal with things their peers have never heard of.

Thank you for letting me vent. I promise to write my next post on a positive note:)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Girl Trip to Disneyland 2010

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OCD or Weird Quirks?

I prefer to eat salad on a plate rather than a bowl (because it reminds me of 'Red Lobster'). And when I drink, I like to have cubed ice for Iced Tea and crushed ice for my diet coke. I don't believe this is OCD as much as just preferred tastes. However, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder does run in families. My mother has OCD; though not at all as dramatic as the people on the television program. I think it's safe to say that most of her disorder is about cleanliness. We had the cleanest house in town while I was growing up and when we went camping, we definitely had the cleanest camp trailer!

I know this can be a very serious problem for some people/families. I don't want to make light of it but it would be fun if you could comment and share some Obsessive Compulsive behaviors or "quirks" that may plague you :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Indecent Exposure

People with disabilities can be quite entertaining and I mean this in the nicest way.

When Cody (my son) was about 8 years old and attending Oregon School for the Blind, he gave his dorm leaders quite a laugh. One morning they were trying to get the students out of bed, dressed and groomed, and to the cafeteria for breakfast. Each student has an I.E.P. with goals unique to the individual. One of Cody's goals was to dress himself. Cody proceeded to undress, but didn't put any clothes on. Because the other students couldn't see his nudity, the dorm leaders decided to see just how far Cody would go without being prompted to dress. They kept asking him, "Cody, did you forget anything?" and he kept replying, "No."! He made it all the way to the door before they stopped him and made him put something on. He would have gone out in the cold weather nude!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Scrap Quilt for Blind Son...

I spent the afternoon with a friend and we were able to get this quilt top together. My plan is to complete it for my son's birthday in July. I think instead of actually quilting or tying it, I'm going to hold the quilt together using different sets of buttons (my friends genius idea). That way, when he is cuddled up in the blanket, he can feel around and match them. Initially we were going to use different textures of fabric, but I think this will be better.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

World of Coke

My husband and I enjoy going to Las Vegas every chance we get. Our favorite place to visit is the World of Coke. You'll find all kinds of Coca-Cola merchandise there. At one time, this location had unlimited fountain drinks on the top floor. It was seriously heaven to us! (We were so disappointed when they discontinued this part of the experience.)

If you love Coke and you're ever in Las Vegas, be sure to check it out. You can't miss it. It's next to the MGM Grand on Las Vegas Boulevard.

Someday I hope to go to Atlanta and tour the World of Coke there. I understand that they still do the all-you-can-drink fountain; pure bliss!  
Search for coca-cola

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Autism and Vitamins

When families have a child with Autism, they want to do everything they can to help them. For this reason, I want to share this particular experience...

I had seen Jenny Mcarthy and Holly Robinson Pete on television and various magazines, talking about their Autistic children. I was impressed with the amount of research they each had done on the disability and I began thinking that maybe I should educate myself more on the subject.

Somewhere along the line, I came across material that talked about people with Autism having vitamin deficiencies. I searched it out and found a pharmacy on the Internet that would custom make vitamins according to a particular ailment or disability. I ordered the vitamins and gave them to my son every morning.

A few weeks later, he had a seizure; then a few weeks later, another. My family and I tried to figure out why this was happening. He hadn't had a seizure for years! All we could think of that he was doing differently was taking the vitamins. Immediately we stopped; then we did some more research. We learned that a particular vitamin in the multi capsule we were giving him would make the drug that he was taking for seizure control ineffective.

I wish to make other parents aware that this could be a problem for them as well. Please seek advice from your child's physician before you give him/her something that sounds even as harmless as a vitamin.

Monday, June 21, 2010

It Pays To Be Nice

My son's birthday is mid July. I decided to order him a pair of shoes online. They arrived today with one small...actually huge problem. They sent two left shoes :)

A good laugh and one phone call to Zappos and "it's all good". I am now a VIP Member and another pair of shoes will arrive in 48 hours!

Multiple Sclerosis

"I have this tingling feeling that goes down my cheek, kind of like a teardrop" my husband told me numerous times. I became concerned. I was thinking "Oh my. What if he has a brain tumor?"
I insisted that he go see our family physician.

The doctor ran some tests, one of which was an MRI. We waited, not too concerned, but it was in the back of our minds. After a short amount of time, the doctor called my husband and told him the MRI showed all the signs of MS and referred him to a neurologist.

Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis; that's what they call my husband's condition. He was told he probably has had MS for years. Starting in his late twenty's when he lost peripheral vision in one eye.

Multiple Sclerosis is a disease in which your body's immune system eats away at the protective sheath that covers your nerves. This interferes with the communication between your brain and the rest of your body. Symptoms vary widely, depending on the amount of damage and which particular nerves are affected.

If you would like more facts about Multiple Sclerosis from professionals, I would suggest starting with

If you would like to talk to me on a personal level, please leave your comments and I will be happy to respond :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I Cannot Survive Without Chapstick!

No kidding. When it goes on sale, I order it from my Avon Representative by the dozen. I apply chapstick multiple times a day. I apply chapstick when I wake up during the night. You can find chapstick in my car, on my night stand, and in my purse and underwear drawer :) I even buy chapstick for my kids and put it in their Christmas Stockings each year. Oh, and lest I forget, if I am out and about without my purse, I can always find chapstick in my husbands pocket!

Am I "addicted"? I don't know. Maybe. But who cares, really? Chapstick helps keep my lips moist and protects them from cracking and splitting. If anything, I certainly have softer lips. What are your thoughts on Chapstick?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Who's Weird - Besides Me?"

....This is what my son with Autism says every time you give him his iPod. It was this same type of repetitive behavior that helped my husband and I figure out that he needed to be tested for Autism. We learned about Autism on the 'Sally Jesse Rafael Show'. Our son was around 10 years old by then. Doctors, teachers, as well as school district "specialist" had never even suggested that this might be one of his disabilities. Had we known sooner, we may have been able to teach him differently. You see, although he functions fairly well, he has certain behaviors that we just can't break. For instance, he won't get out of bed in the morning and go to the bathroom until someone tells him to. My husband or I have to be sure to get him up so he doesn't have any accidents in bed. Do we ever get to sleep in? Rarely.

Bottom line...and I'll probably say this multiple times in my for parents of these children to be aggressive when it comes to your child. You have that "instinct" that other people in your child's life won't. Also, educate yourself about your child's disability. Although the road ahead is never easy, it can be smoother with extra effort on your part. And I have found that the rewards from having my son as part of our family definitely outweigh all the trials that come with him.

Infantile Autism: Concepts Characteristics and Treatment

Friday, June 18, 2010

Born with Disabilites

As mentioned in my post "Blogging With Purpose", I have a child that was born with disabilites. Although being in a wheelchair isn't one of them, I am anxious to share this book, "Rolling Along With Goldilocks and the Three Bears". Not only would this make a great book to have in your home, but it would also be wonderful to have in a grade school classroom.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

5 Things Teen Girls Should Know About Pregnancy

Age sixteen was a pivotal time in my life. During my Junior year of high school I found myself pregnant and my life forever changed. Looking back, I cannot really blame anyone but myself. I had been dating since age fourteen. During my Sophomore year, I began dating steadily. I quickly fell in love (and yes, I can say love. Even though I was young, it was much more than infatuation or mere physical attraction.). Bottom line is, I spent way too much time with him. Soon I found myself in a physical relationship that I didn't know how to get out of, nor did I really want to.

When they found out I was pregnant, my parents sent me to another city to live with my grandparents. My boyfriends parents had him join the National Guard. In the end, I ended up a single mother of a baby born with multiple birth defects.

If I could say anything to teen girls, it would be the following:

1) Don't steady date in high school.

2) Do not, under any circumstances, drink alcohol. It impairs your judgement.

3) Talk to your parents/guardians. No matter how uncomfortable it may be. It is better than ending up pregnant at your age.

4) Remember that you are actually still a child. You do not need another child growing inside your body.

5) Think, think, think before making any decisions. One mistake can affect your entire life!

Hopefully I can help young ladies make better decisions by sharing this shortened version of my personal story.

Blogging With Purpose

My purpose in starting this blog is to share information. I hope that I can help others through my life experiences, past and present. I made a list of the possible topics that I personally know about; raising a child with disabilities, children of alcoholics and divorce, teen pregnancy, self esteem, faith or risk taking, dysfunctional families, and obsessive compulsive disorder to name a few. I certainly don't claim to be professional. I just want to share with my readers and hopefully some of the things I write about will be of help. I encourage you to add your input through comments. I think we all can learn a great deal from each other, and the Internet is a wonderful way to connect!
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