January 29, 2009

BP's Body Art - Poop Style

I know that most of us as parents with Autistic children have dealt with bathroom issues far more than we ever imagined. Average Parents who have babies or toddlers, talk about "poop," but it ceases in a couple of years when they are potty trained or otherwise. They ain't seen nothin' as the saying goes.

Lately when BP has been using the potty, (he is fully potty trained as of last year at 6) and when he needs to go number two, he becomes very quiet. I used to step away out of the bathroom, and return to check on him a few moments later. Well NOT anymore. When he becomes silent, I know that he has become the artist (artist's have to concentrate on their work you know) and the medium he uses is "the yucky-smelling brown stuff." Yesterday I stepped out of the bathroom to start preparing dinner and I returned to BP in the bathroom. "The body Artist" took his poop and smeared it all over his entire stomach and the upper half of his legs. "Wonderful Art!" Of course immediately he goes into the bath and he is done with his art project of the day.

Anybody else have body artists with poop as the medium? I have heard of the "wanna-be monkey's who fling their poop. Sorry I don't think the art galleries would find it amusing, but as a Mom, it's just one day out of 365!

January 26, 2009

A Big Thank You

I just want to thank all the friends I have met through blogging. I received my first award for one of my other blogs today from a friend, rainbowmummy. She has been with me through the thick and thin. My support when I didn't really know what to say. I have been helping her when the cookies are down, when actually she has been helping me! My intention at the other blog is to help other parents through all the icky stuff with raising special needs children and be the positive one.

But I just wanted to say "thanks" for being there and when I am at my wits end, your blogs are where I turn to.

January 23, 2009

Refreshing Fridays and the Rain

Well it's Friday and I look forward to Fridays. It's not like I have something big to look forward to for the weekend, but I know that Saturday is coming, it's refreshing and it is also rainy and wet outside. Not a heavy rain, but a very light shower. The smell of the rain hits the air it is such a nice feeling.

Brendan had a good week. Staying on the positive end of the spectrum. Maybe because the rain finally came today. The forecasters have been predicting it for a few days now. I believe someone in the Autism world stated that there might be this odd connection between rain and Autism. Brendan is a lover of the rain, the cloudy sky that comes with it and most of all tornadoes. Yep, tornadoes. He's the family meteorologist. Every time there is a cloud in the sky that resembles something of a funnel cloud. Brendan will burst with excitement and claim "Mommy, look it's a tornado!" In far clear language then he speaks most of the time. We reside in Southern California and we do not receive much rain here. The closest thing that resembles a tornado is their bedroom. Imagine though if we lived in the mid-west, our life would be taken straight from "Twister." The majority of us would be running for our lives towards the nearest shelter and Brendan would want to stay outside and "watch" the tornado approach whatever building it seeks to destroy in its path.

On that note, Brendan is very happy and excited when it rains and seems content to stand outside for hours if he could in the rain and watch the sky. Welcome Friday and the rain. What a happy feeling it is for all. :)

January 21, 2009

Awesome Days

Ever since the return to school, everyday for Brendan has been more than positive. He seems to be learning by leaps and bounds! As I wait for Brendan outside his classroom (I don't feel it necessary to walk inside the classroom and become a distraction for him) and he comes bounding out yelling "Mommy, mommy", with his arms open wide, I never know what kind of day he had. For the past two weeks his Aid has said, "He had an awesome day today!" He seems to be willing to do his work, no meltdowns, (we did have a little instance where someone in his class was too close for comfort and he decided to throw a pencil at them.) With Autism you never seem to know what kind of a day your child will have. But at this moment things seem to be moving along nicely. We are even getting the concept of telling time. He may not be able to write an appropriate looking hour/minute hand but he understands the concept rather well. For awhile there I thought nothing was working, he simply refused to do much of anything for me or at school. The homework battle has become much better. He is understanding now that if he does his homework he will be able to play on the computer, play his DS or Wii.

Such awesome days at school make awesome days at home.

January 15, 2009

My place in life is maybe my shortcoming. "A blessing in disguise."

Have been reading posts today of other Autism blogs and it got me to thinking..., I did look up information on "Traditional Irish Soda Bread" and we are doing it all wrong. But that's another post.

My story is actually pretty ironic. About seven years ago I had this inclination to work in the schools to grab experience for my eventual teaching credential, that I have yet to obtain. So I decided to become a Substitute teacher and I found it to be quite overwhelming. At this time my first Son C was about 2 or 3 years of age. But I didn't stop there, I decided to become a substitute Special Education Aid and see what it might be like and it was more consistent. I did enjoy it and eventually after months of working as a sub I had an interview and ended up in a Kindergarten through First Grade classroom full of Children with Autism. My eyes were wide open and I learned something new everyday. Half of the children were not potty-trained, we had one student who would have frequent melt-downs, throw chairs cross the classroom, knock down water coolers and kick teachers. Everyday was a surprisingly unique experience. I learned about all the therapies and their histories, helped them in ways that were very odd to me at the time. Six to eight months later I became pregnant with BP and I was not allowed to be in that environment due to safety issues. So I worked in the summer school program at the Special Ed preschool next door. Later on when the new school year began I to work one-on-one with a second grade boy with Autism Spectrum everyday. December rolled around and it came time for me to leave because BP was arriving soon.

Years later BP was diagnosed with Autism/Autism Spectrum. The reason I decided to write this story is because life can hand you some surprises. Who knew that when I worked in the classroom with Autistic children that I would have one of my own. I see BP and he being my own child I can't seem to place why he reacts to certain things and I can't fix them. It may be that I see my son differently than I would other children that I worked with.

It could be the teacher/mother thing. I don't claim to be an expert and I never will. Most of you who have children with special needs do a wonderful job and I actually learn from most of you. :)
Sometimes I don't feel I teach him enough and I certainly don't use much of what I learned in the classroom. There again that may be my high expectations of my parenting skills.

My childhood background is kind of related. My mother was born was cerebral palsy and from an early age I had to help my mom on a daily basis. I was an only child and I watched her fall daily because her coordination and balance were off. I had to constantly be apologetic and repeat the story of why she falls to everyone who witnessed it. She also was extremely hard of hearing and I had to deal with those issues as well.

So maybe it's my place in life. I never intended to be involved in Special Ed and because I never gave it a second thought I simply pushed it aside. This may be path in life that I have been given and who ever knew when I stepped foot into that classroom. I think BP's Autism has been a blessing in disguise.

Thanks for letting me share.

January 13, 2009

Just the little stuff

The week has began well with no major road blocks. Yesterday was a good first day back for BP and my other son, C. 90% of time BP was on task according to his aide and did everything he needed to. In the morning he was a little grumpy, but aren't we all.

I mentioned before that I was going to give you the Lava Lamp report. Nothing happened and no substantial changes in the way BP falls asleep. I have to remind myself to put it on at least an hour before the kids hit the bed. It takes that long for it to actually start moving! BP is still on his same sleep patterns. I normally don't rise until 6 or so, but he was awake at 5:30 shouting from his room that he needed to go "potty!" After that there is no sense in even trying to get him back to sleep. Both my boys share a room, sleep in a bunk bed and BP takes the top bunk because he's lighter weight and the older one sleeps on the bottom. We have done something a little different in that we moved the bottom bed flat on the floor and moved BP's top bed down to a lower loft level. That way he can climb without any assistance. Seems to work well for him.

Did have one meltdown yesterday because he would not stop playing on his Nintendo DS when I asked him to. (I timed him for 30 minutes) But it was short lived (thank God). Also homework for him is an issue. After being at school 6 hours straight, over stimulation is a problem. It's quite a feat to require him to do homework, right when we arrive home.

One side note: Dental stuff; BP has lost his two front teeth. That actually happened just before Christmas! I apologize for not having any pictures, I am behind a couple of decades with photography and I don't own a digital camera. (Would love one.) I have a old SLR camera and that's about it.

Gosh, you would think that I would have more interesting tidbits. I guess some days are more adventurous than others.

Until tomorrow...

January 9, 2009


I am so glad it's Friday. BP's birthday was a success! He was showered with gifts from Star Wars figurines to more Nintendo Wii and DS games. I think we have a full library now. The family ended up not eating out and decided to just order in and go pick up the food. Easier on BP. Restaurants aren't the best environments for him at times. Some of the larger chain restaurants have really good menus. For his birthday dessert he devoured a serving of chocolate cake stuck with 7 seven candles and drizzled with Caramel and chocolate syrup, with a side of vanilla ice cream. Making anyone hungry?

I don't want to delve to deeply about the interview, because I honestly don't want to dwell on it. I didn't feel I did that well. I've have worked for this district before doing the exact same job that I interviewed for and I felt I had a loss for words. I am woman who is very hard on herself anyway and easily become discouraged if something isn't just right. Sometimes I wonder if I am not ASD in some form myself. I was so focused on inquiring about the full-time positions, that it appeared to them that I wouldn't take a part-time if offered. I just feel like I have missed my chance to actually get my foot in the door. We will see. I will know in about two weeks whether or not they are interested in offering me a position. Wish me luck.

Meanwhile I will focus on other things: The weekend, the wonderful warm weather (I like to garden), and getting the kids ready to head back to school.

January 6, 2009


In the process of trying to get both boys back to the regular schedule before school begins on Monday. They have been getting to bed and sleeping in late. I think it's been havoc on BP because yesterday he had a major meltdown that I had not seen from him in a very long time. Both of us are recovered to today, but those tire both BP and I out. When his schedule is out of wack, BP is out of wack. Plain and simple.

Not much going on today, just trying to prepare myself mentally for this interview tomorrow. I am also thinking about BP's birthday, it's tomorrow as well. He will be turning seven. We are not planning a huge party. We never have and frankly it's never bothered him and I doubt he will even know the difference. Celebrating will be just limited to immediate family. No other family members are close by and he really doesn't have any "friends", just kids he knows from his class." As you well know, it's difficult for kids with Autism to truly establish social relationships.

Took him out today and let him choose a movie to buy from the store for his birthday. He loves monsters, aliens and the like. He likes "I am Legend." I know that some Mom's wouldn't approve because of the age, but I have always monitered what he watches. And to be honest he has seen worse. But he is varied and enjoys everything from 101 Dalmations to Godzilla.

Until tomorrow...

January 5, 2009

Monday Afternoon and Food Obsession

Well, I am still in my bathrobe. Now with a bowl of cereal (Special K) trying to consume more healthy foods. I bring this topic up because lately I have noticed that BP has had this veracious appetite for food. To the point of almost obsessive. I am not sure if it has to do with oral sensory issues, but he wants 2-3 bowls of cinnamon toast crunch for breakfast. Last week I made his favorite meal for dinner: Spaghetti and he packed away three helpings. I am concerned. He has favorite foods of course and it's limited to:

  • Chicken McNuggets
  • Mac n' Cheese
  • Spaghetti
  • Fish crackers

The chicken thing seems to be popular amongst the Autism population. I remember when I was working in the classroom of K-1st Autistic kids, the staple of their lunch was McNuggets!

I just recently heard a story at my local Supercuts. The stylist told me that they had a boy with Autism come in to get his haircut. She was guessing he was of Middle School age. The child was very overweight. In order to boy to calm down during the process of getting his haircut his Mom would keeping feeding him burritos. The entire time that child consumed a total of five burritos while cutting his hair.

I truly don't want to feed my son in order to change his behavior, but I am not sure why the sudden obsession of food. Anyone come across this in your children?

Monday Morning...

And I am still in my bathrobe with a cuppa coffee. I assume most of you are up, dressed and ready to face the world. I think I am recovering from the holidays. It's actually somewhat quiet here today with the exception of moans and babbles from BP's stimming.

The children are not back in school yet and this their final week of vacation. I have an interview this Wednesday for a Special Education Aide position. I have been out of work since May of 2008 but I haven't regretted one moment. I truly enjoy being home with the kids. I am still trying to study for my credential exams. That is one hill I must conquer is trying to pass these exams. I feel pretty confident I will do well, it's the lack of what they might not be able to offer me that bothers me, but I am ready to take on the world.

I am trying to start another blog The Single Mom's Jungle Suggestions? It's geared to Single Parenting help and special needs children. I might have to put it on the back burner for a trial. Not sure if I can take on two blogs but I have seen all the other Moms do it, so what's keeping me?!

More coming soon.

January 3, 2009

A Clean Start

I know that is probably how the majority of people will begin their blogs and I feel it's an appropriate opening to the new year. What's your clean start? Reorganization of your closets, more time for yourself (which I might add is a feat when you have children, period), or decrease your poundage? I have always said that resolutions shouldn't be only for the new year. They should be a constant effort throughout your life.

Well, Christmas and the holidays are over. Both my the children did well this year with loot. My oldest son C who is 11 this year, found out about Santa and was disappointed in his parents for telling him. BP actually doesn't really know the difference yet and maybe he never will but I am honestly not concerned.

They received the "big" gift this year of a Wii, complete with the controllers, the Mario wheel, light sabers, and about fifteen games to boot. I suggested to their Dad through a link actually through AutismVox. It mentioned that Wii was supposed to be beneficial for learning and eye-hand coordination and the classroom. It's been interesting to watch BP play. His behavior goes from being a frustrated boy with no attention span to someone who is thoroughly enjoying it. We have a wide variety of games and the one that seems to be a hit is bowling!!! It is so awesome to see him get truly excited about something so simple! He also wants to try the more complicated games that require more concentration on his part, this is when BP can't control his behavior.

I also was a bit disappointed in MY choice of gifts for him. I purchased toys I thought would help motor and sensory skills. I tried doing my research as to what were the good toys for him. We did get a bean bag thinking that it would calm him down. I guess to some extent but only on "BP's time." I did also try some of those textured therapy balls. Did purchase a Lava Lamp to place in his bedroom to see if it can calm him down when he hits the pillow. My boys share a room. I will let you know if it actually calms him down in a few weeks or so.

My boys have three weeks off for Winter Break and they don't return to school until January 12th, so it gives me plenty of time for Doctor and Dental visits. The boys had their annual six-month dental exam last Monday. Boy was I nervous. Outings like this really give my nerves a run for their money. Last time BP had a dental visit we ended up putting him under at Children's Hospital to clean and do what work that was necessary on his teeth, 10k later...

As expected, BP flatly refused to sit in the dental chair after we tried various ideas to get him to sit down so they could at least see if he had any cavities. After several attempts the doctor suggested that I would try having him sit with me in the chair while they take a quick look inside. Wasn't easy, I had to sit with my legs facing outward, while BP would sit facing me with his legs wrapped around me and I would have to restrain (dislike that word) his arms while the dentist would give a 10 second scan. Needlessly to say, both boys have no cavities and were given a clean bill of health until the next six months!

Since we all would like a clean start, how about a recipe for you. It's a recipe with less than a gram of fat. How's that for a great start to the new year? Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins. They are very good tasting and simple to make. Low in sugar, fat, and they are great for those of you that have your kids eating Gluten-free. I can't simply say enough about them, my kids love em'! Here's the recipe:

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

1 cup old fashion rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup nonfat milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. sugar
raisins or nuts (optional)

Nutritional Info,
Fat: 0.5g
Carbs: 20.5g
Calories: 93.5
Protein: 2.9g

Soaks the oats in the milk about one hour. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray. Combine the oat mixture with the applesauce and egg whites, and mix until combined. In a separate bowl measure and whisk the dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. Add raisins or nuts if desired. Do not over mix the batter of the muffin will be tough. Spoon muffin mixture into muffin pan. Combine the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle each muffim with some of the mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from pan, cool and enjoy.

These can be frozen and reheated in the microwave for a quick breakfast.

Yield one dozen

Enjoy the new start to the new year with this recipe.