I am an autism parent

I saw this image online just now and wanted to share it because it is exactly how I feel! Through the good days and the rough days, I am SO PROUD of our Chipmunk! As adults we sometimes forget how big this world is to our little ones. Every day we want them to learn new things, behave, sit still in class, be kind to others, and it’s a lot for their little minds to take in. Children are the bravest people we will ever know because everyday they have to face this scary world that is all so new to them. They don’t have the years of experience we, as adults, do.

On the way home from school he asked me if I’m his friend and I said “No, I am something so much more than that… I am your Mother. I wanted to be your Mother my whole life and you are the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am someone you can always confide in, someone that will always be there for you, someone you can snuggle with (no matter how big you get)! I am also the person that has to do the hard things like grounding you when you don’t do what’s expected, it is my job to take you to the doctor, hold you when you get a shot or when you’re sick, and it is my job to not always give you what ut ou want. Maybe someday when you are grown up, we will be friends, but I will always be your Proud Mother!” He said “Oh that’s a big job, do you like your job? ” To which I replied “I love this job, the boss can be kind of a pain, but he sure is adorable!” He looked at me and giggled and said “thanks, you’re pretty cute yourself!”

I Love My Chipmunk!

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I’m Not In The Mood Today

At least he took his medicine for his Dad and then climbed in bed with me to snuggle until it was time to get up. The alarm went off at 7am and he refused to get up. I spent the next 20 mins arguing about getting out of bed to get dressed. I finally got him into his room and picked our his clothes he wanted to wear today. I told him I expect him to be dressed when I get back from changing. I return and he is standing his socks and underwear. Ugh….I just left and went downstairs to give myself a timeout. He finds all this so amusing and I’m trying so hard not to blow up at him. I can’t figure out how to get through to him. It’s like there’s some secret code I need to crack in order to have a breakthrough with him. I feel completely unqualified for this job, yet I have not choice but to push through every single day! I’ve made charts (per his personal request) and it doesn’t work.

I’m on 3 different medications for my depression and anxiety that keep me going. I literally have to medicate myself to function without losing my mind.

Now we’re fighting over his vitamins again. I wish I could just say screw it, but he needs them to have a productive day and we’re running late. Why is there not a course for parents to take when they have a child on the spectrum? Someone please tell me how to make this easier!!!

Rough Moments

I know a lot of parents (on spectrum or not) know what it’s like to fight through bath time, but my son screams and doesn’t want the water on him. It took 20 minutes just to get him undressed, then it felt like I was wrestling with a wet snake to get his washed up. Normally, Daddy handles showers, but I did it tonight because I know he tries to get away with things with him that he knows I don’t put up with. So I took Daddy out of the equation tonight and told him next time he will get ready when he’s asked to and he can do his shower with Daddy.

It’s so draining having my child screaming in my face and trying to hold my sh*t together. I know it’s because he’s tired and he should’ve been in the shower a lot earlier. I know he doesn’t mean the things he says to get under my skin. I know I’m the adult and I should ignore those mean words, but I’m also human and can only take so much. I’ve broken down into tears, to the point of an emotional breakdown, several times over the last few years because I just didn’t know what else to do or how else to handle him in those meltdown moments and had him laugh at me for crying. Empathy is not usually a strong skill with Autistic children, but it will push you over edge to have someone laughing at you in your most raw moments. The Autism journey is a very hard one to walk through. I am lucky to have the support system we have, but sometimes I still feel so alone in this.

Good Morning

My little Chipmunk surprised me by climbing into my bed to snuggle for a bit before getting up for school. He already had taken his medicine and we let him lay down for a bit to give the meds time to work, so I can keep him on task to get ready. He did pretty well this morning after our snuggle time was over. I love those sweet close moments with him. One day he’ll grow out of this and I will miss it so much!

He ate his breakfast but gave me a hard time taking his vitamins. Omega 3 is an important part of his diet because it helps with the ADHD behaviors and also helps him focus. I finally got him to take Tate and his probiotic just as we pulled up at school for drop off. Thank goodness! Once he was off on his way to class I headed straight for two of my favorite things…Starbucks and Target! I’m a sucker for a venti Salted Caramel Mocha frappuccino!!! I love walking through the store with my drink in hand and looking at whatever I want!!!

I’m finished shopping and I actually remembered what I came there for and now it’s time to get some laundry done and relax a bit before school let’s out in 3 hrs!!! I just want to sleep, though! I am fighting to keep my eyes open! Maybe I should just listen to my body and take a nap. Nap it iS! I can’t wait to climb in bed! Hope everyone has a blessed day!

Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino

Time to Fix Me

All Moms know that we take of everyone and usually put ourselves on the back burner. The reason I started this blog is because I needed a release. So much weighs on my heart and weighs me down, some from my past but mostly just the day in day out of life. I know that I have never gotten over (and I never will) losing my babies. It’s a pain that is hard to describe other than maybe that I walk around this life with 2 holes in my heart. They will never be filled, but I believe I’ve come to terms with the loss. I can’t get my babies back, but they are in my heart always. Thankfully, God gave me my sweet little Chipmunk and I couldn’t love him more.

My son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder when he was three. He is very picky about fabrics, hates loud noises and crowded areas, does not like certain food textures, likes pools and bathes but hates wet surfaces (rain on door handles, condensation on a cups, etc.). At age 5 he started a private preschool and they said they were equipped to handle Mason’s needs. As a mother, I wanted to come across the table and smack that director, but I knew he deserved a better environment so we started the assessment process with the city and he was approved to attend pre-K in the public school system. I had now entered the world of IEPs (I’d rather go to the dentist) and assessments for services. He was already in therapy privately and the public school system didn’t feel his need was severe enough for most services. His teacher and I had a great relationship and we got him through the year. He was also diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the end of the school year.

When he entered Kindergarten more and more behavioral issues began appearing. It was exhausting and I was trying to learn as much as I can and educate my family on his diagnosis so that those closest to him could understand and be there for him. We had meeting after meeting for his IEP all year. He also got a new SPED Teacher (she is a godsend for me) and our son quickly developed a close bond with her. She was like a Mom away from Mom. I was so grateful for her and her input. She remained in close contact with me almost daily which helped me immensely. In January of his Kindergarten school year he developed strep and was so sick. We thought we got rid of it and 3 weeks later he tested positive again. He soon started being afraid of rain and thunderstorms, which had never phased him before. Infact, he loved jumping in puddles and splashing in the rain. Then he was terrified of bugs (no matter how big or small). He stopped going outside and we would literally have to carry him out of the house. He would get mad and hit me, say he hated me and that he wished he didn’t have a mother (that one stung quite a bit). I would break down in tears and my own depression and anxiety was getting worse by the day. He made it through Kindergarten and over the summer we spend a lot of time in doors and going to therapy.

Welcome to 1st grade! He was having so many problems in school and never getting “green days.” His anxiety was getting worse and all my focus and energy was put into finding out what was going on with my little guy. I stumbled across a Facebook post on an Autism page that mention their child being diagnosed with PANDAS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcus). It all started making sense. Everything started getting out of control after he had gotten strep in January of last year. I contacted a well know physician who specializes in patients with Autism and by the grace of God (literally a hurricane came and a patient cancelled her appointment with him so he contacted me and got us in to see him) he became our primary physician and also officially diagnosed my son with PANDAS. We started treatment right away and it made a huge difference. This syndrome cause inflammation of the brain, so once that was under control he became calmer and the aggressive behavior practically stopped. He was still restless and disruptive in class so I finally conceded to them putting him on medication and now every day is a green day at school! I’ve now got the IEPs down to a science and the board giggles when I walk into the meetings with my binder and the printed handouts for everyone on what I want accomplished in each meeting! I’m a Mama Bear and I don’t play around with my child’s education.

So in all this going on the past few years, I neglected to take care of myself. I worried so much about taking care of everything else, except for myself! I realize that I eat when I’m stressed and have gained so much weight. I had back surgery last year and neck surgery a little over 3 months ago. I am on 3 different medications for my anxiety and depression and a few others for the nerve pain that remained permanent after the lower back surgery. I also have heel spurs that hurt so bad to walk on and the cortisone shot the podiatrist gave me were off in under 2 weeks. I’m not whining or feeling sorry for myself. I did this to my body by not taking care of it. I guess part of me felt selfish to ever put my needs ahead of anyone else’s. I’m learning it’s time to start taking care of me so I can be a much happier person that can be there for others still, just not to the point that I forget myself! I feel confident in the new doctor that I’m seeing and the direction I’m taking with my life now. It’s going to take time, I know, but I also know that I am capable of doing better for myself. To set a good example for my child, as well!

The things mothers do for their children

It’s a cold rainy day. The kind of day I want to stay in my comfy bed in my jammies and watch the 50 Shades Trilogy all morning, then maybe read a book. Today also happens to be some sort of special Pokemon Go event and my son just has to go. I CAN NOT STAND THIS GAME. Daddy is usually the one that takes him out for hours on the weekend and they have a great father and son bonding time. Daddy had been out of town all week and I know how much this means to my little guy, so I got up, got dressed and we are currently into the midst of a battle and he is so excited, that it makes it worth it. Well and I have my venti salted caramel mocha frappuccino, so that makes me happy😁. Did I mention I hate this game? Lol

We moms just want to see our kids happy, plus this gets him out of the house. For the longest time his anxiety wouldn’t let him even go outside, but now he is more out going and I owe that to this game. He isn’t as shy as he once was and he’s no longer afraid to leave the house. That’s huge for my little guy who spent almost a year scared to even go outside and play. So I guess spending a few hours doing what he loves isn’t really all that bad!

On to the next battle!

Friday Night

I can remember a time (long before becoming a mother) that I couldn’t wait for Friday night. I’d usually have dinner, maybe run to the mall for a new cute outfit, run back home by 8 or 9pm and get ready for a night out with friends at the bar until they called last call and then we’d usually grab something to eat after the bar closed (Taco Bell was the usual spot to hit up on the way home). I smoked and drank all night and woke up with the worst hangovers the next day.

Fast forward a few years later to becoming a mom and I’m buzzing from maybe 2 glasses of wine and still waking up with a hangover, only now I had a little guy to take care of no matter how I feel. I quit smoking 2 years before I even got pregnant and I pretty much don’t drink at all since having our son. I’m always scared something could happen and I don’t want to be a drunk mom in the ER trying to explain myself. So I’ve traded my smokey drunken bar nights for staying home binge watching Wallykazam with my sweet boy eating pizza rolls for dinner! I had fun back in the day, but I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world!

My house isn’t perfect (I did vacuum and straighten up earlier 😉), but my kid is having fun with me and that’s all that matters to me. I’ll clean tomorrow…tonight I’m being present with my sweet Chipmunk🐿 and I love nights like this👩‍👦💗!