Dyer Family Happenings

A.K.A. Mommy needs a place to write!

We made it through Halloween! — November 1, 2014

We made it through Halloween!

I know, I know- it’s fun, it’s full of smiles and spookies and friends and treats. Well it was this year! (so happy about that). The past couple of years have been struggling to keep costumes on, wanting to go into peoples houses and me running after Leo while trying to make his way through  (thank goodness it was just two of our neighbors that adore him). But this year it was different, this year he is 3 and excited and talking and understanding when I tell him that we aren’t going to walk into peoples houses- even though he did ask before ringing doorbells.

We made it to 4 houses on our block this year- past years have been 2. He helped me hand candy out to all of the kids that came to our door with an excited “HAPPY HALLOWEEN- TRICK-OR-TREAT-HI FRIENDS” every time. And then, he met “Spiderman” and was totally mesmerized. He grabbed candy from our bucket, looked up and there he was- in all of his about 10 year old Spiderman glory. Leo’s eyes got big, he stopped dead in his tracks and with an adoring voice said “Hi Spiderman, wow”. As  Spiderman was walking away he proclaimed “Momma- look its Spiderman, Spiderman Momma!” It cracked me up, as well as Spidermans mom.

He got to be around kids and teachers in costumes at morning ABA, and did great. This has totally jazzed me to what this holiday season is going to be for him. Exploring, learning, wanting to see new things and be part of things that he was totally unsure of last year. We started talking about Thanksgiving, and I am hoping it will be a jump off point to tasting new foods. I think we are going to make some fun crafts for our house and Oma and Papas and Great Grammas.

Max, just wants to be like brother. He’s picked up a few new words. He doesn’t seem to use them many times over but a few are coming none the less. So I’m excited for this Holiday season. And that I totally made Leos costume. (He told me 3 days before Halloween his didn’t want to be a hot dog, he wanted to be a Bat. Not Batman, a bat “with the spooky hands and the fly momma, the fly”

So a Bat he was.

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Rollercoaster week — October 25, 2014

Rollercoaster week

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These guys. I have to remember when it’s a rough hour, hours, day, days or week- they are why I do what I do. They are what my life is about. They are my everything and I thank God for putting them in my world.

1413681697113 We had a few rough days with our Leo, but overall it was a great week for him. We had his first monthly meeting with his whole ABA team. Directors, Supervisors, all of his tutors. They all agree that he is totally rocking everything they are throwing at him- with Art and Circle time being the exception. They brainstormed some new ideas of how to tackle those and try some new things. They brought up again wanting to have some cube chairs here for therapy. Those things are crazy expensive- and I can’t just buy one because the wrestling match of the world would end up taking place over said chair. They also mentioned a swing- they look kinda like a deflated bean bag chair. We are on a tight income and it’s hard to come up with $300 dollars for things, I can try but it’s rough. I don’t have to. They have grant money to help us with the tools we need for Leo. I AM FLOORED. I sat in the meeting with the director telling me this with my mouth open and looking and sounding like a total moron. Having this team of amazing people working with Leo to make everything about him stronger is a blessing, having it be totally funded through his insurance is a Huge blessing, having something like this happen is a miracle.

1411664832685And Max. Oh Mr. Max. It’s been a very rough week with Max. Gas pains, hitting, kicking, general tying to beat down anyone he comes into contact with. Oh wait, nope just me. This season with him will either make me the strongest woman or break me into a million pieces. Trying to hard to get words to come out of his mouth is a no go so far. I know he’s frustrated , I watched this same frustration when Leo had a hard time talking, Max is getting more and more aggressive the more he can’t communicate.

I’m hoping to at least calm his heart in the next few weeks, but until then it’s going to be rough.

Now- pumpkin chili time.

Delayed speech, big lil dude and the sweetest 3 1/2 year old on the planet. — October 18, 2014

Delayed speech, big lil dude and the sweetest 3 1/2 year old on the planet.

Max had his well visit, he’s a big boy. Our Peditrician said he’s on the path to being bigger than Leo and Leo is a DUDE. (My thoughts on purchasing a grocery store and a pants store to get us through the teenage years may need to come into reality..) Max measured in at 31lbs and 33″ tall. He is solid, and smiley and only has 2 words. It seemed like he had closer to 5 maybe a month ago, but “wassat” and “momma” are it for right now. So I racked my brain trying to remember where we were with Leo at a year and a half. (I know you can’t compare your kids, but he’s all I’ve got to go on)

Leo never had a problem with words. He had lots, never in sentences but lots of words- labeling words. And then one day or a month went by and there weren’t any new ones. And his Leo jibber jabber was in the forefront of his speech. Max hasn’t ever really had words. Our Peditrician referred him to speech therapy. And I’m worried. He is what he is, and he will be amazing and full of love regardless, but damnit. I don’t want him to struggle with words like Leo still does at times. I don’t want him to go through the frustration of not being able to tell us what he needs.

I started with the PEC book with him today. It’s going to become part of his and my one on one time while Leo is at “school” 3 days a  week. But, I’m worried. A lot.

Leo rocked his first day at the clinic. He has different tutors when he is there. He played with another little gal there, and I guess the ball pit was his favorite. I am really excited for some sensory integration into his therapy. Bouncing, ball pit, finger paint whatever. He licked a baby carrot and some ranch dressing this week- and last night ate a quesadilla with some apple in it.  Made me a super happy momma.

When we were leaving the clinic he stopped, looked up at me and said “momma, I have friends”. It’s a good thing I had my sunglasses on because I cried like a baby. I have been so worried he wouldn’t be able to make friends. It was always so hard for me as a kid to make friends and I don’t want that for him. I want him to run and smile and laugh and play. I want there to be kids at his birthday parties, and I want him to get invitations to different things with his peers. Being accepted. I want him to be accepted.

It’s been a week. I’m happy for a zoo trip tomorrow and some family time Sunday.

One year ago today… — October 9, 2014

One year ago today…

After appointments, assesments, ear tubes, hearing exams and my mommy gut being in over drive, we were told that although unable to officially diagnose Leo, he had “Autstic-like” characteristics and was officially qualified for therapies through the CVRC program.

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It was both the best and worst day I had encountered  since giving birth to Leo 2 1/2 years prior. I was so relieved that my mommy gut knew something wasn’t right. I was so sad that it was autism. Why did it have to be something there is no cure for. If it had to be something, why in the world did it have to be something that is a spectrum, that changes all of the time? How were we going to do this? We have this beautiful toddler with eyes that sparkle, who loves dinosaurs, who wants to play with others, who can’t communicate with me. How?

So I prayed. I asked God to lead us. I asked him to show me what to do for my family. I asked him to grow my heart and patience in HUGE amounts, to open my mind and my heart to everything I needed to learn to help make him better. And to not forget that our Max needed to be loved on at the same time.

And he answered my prayers. I was introduced to an amazing group of women through church that had either been through the process that we were just starting or were starting to go through the same thing. We had the sweetest speech teacher that gave me so much hope. God has placed amazing women in our life that have helped Leo, taught Joel and myself and loved on Max.

And I realized when he was officially diagnosed a few months later that I definately believed. There is no way I could have gotten through this without putting it into Gods hands. I needed to give my worry and my sadness to a higher power, to someone that could guide me, to someone who knows our path as a family. It was a sense of calm for me.  It helped me relax and be open to what professionals needed to tell me.

So one year ago today my life changed in so many ways. Wasn’t sure how to deal with any of them at the moment but in hindsight October 9, 2013 was an amazing day in my life.

One step forward, a fall down a mountain backward. — September 29, 2014

One step forward, a fall down a mountain backward.

Fridays therapy was a little rough, but with me having a little more hands on with Leo he rode his tricycle- using the pedals and steering the handles bars, and he held a marker, the correct way in his left hand and drew a circle!

Saturday he was amazing. We spent  hours at the zoo with my family, played in our backyard, danced, listened to music, read books.

And then today happened. He woke up okay. We had an amazing early morning rainstorm comlpete with thunder and lightening. He twirled in the pouring rain with me. He asked for something to eat- pizza to be exact- I said sure thing and toaster ovened some. When the time came for him to sit and eat, he threw pizza. Then his language started slipping. Sometimes he would use a word but the majorty of today was jibberish and sounds. No using “I” sentences. He was loud, he was all over the place. He’s been potty trained for a month now, today you would’t have known it. He peed his pants 5 times, we had to have a 30 minute “no you’re not getting off the toilet until you poop” stand off. (All the while he’s telling me- it’s okay Momma I poop on the grass. No child, you’re not a puppy) We had some ugly at church tonight. *sigh*

I am frustrated, my heart hurts, I am lost and mad. Days like these crush my hopes, make me wonder if we are actually making progress, make me wonder if I’m doing the right thing for him. And right now it sure as hell doesn’t feel like it. And while I’m griping, I am sick of looks from other moms when Leo is stimming or having a rough time, I am sick of having to say- “he’s autistic”. I am sick of judgement.

I feel like I should wear a tshirt that says “yes, he’s autistic” and then I wouldn’t have to say it. I know that our struggles with Leo have made me much more sensitive to other kids that might be having a rough time. I try to smile at the mom or dad that is wrestling them, or having to pull them aside or nurse a hurt. it’s that look of, if I could hug you and tell you you’re amazing I would.

Child rearing is hard. Everyone has an idea of what is best for your kids. I know deep in my gut (and because I pray every night for God to continue to lead us on the right path for Leo) that we are doing the right thing, I know for every success we are going to have multiple  failures, I know he is amazing and that God has an amazing plan for Leo. But right now I feel like crying.

And Mr. Max, his words are getting to be so many. The way he not only holds a sppon but can actually scoop is amazing. His wiggle walk is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. (He kinda like a bulldog) There are things he does that send my autism feelers on overload. (This is right about when Leo took a jump back/ complete stop in gainsin language and motor skills).

It’s time for bed.I’m on emotional overload. Tomorrow has to be better, I’m going to try my hardest to make it better.