Monday, June 30, 2008

Very Scary

We have been swimming alot these days. It's just about the only fun thing to do in Arizona because of the extreme heat. It has been 113 and 111 and tomorrow 110. Too hot for us! We never get used to it even after living here for years.

I have been taking the boys swimming after 8:30 p.m. because we want to avoid questions and stares. I have gotten so many, "what's wrong with your" and "Why isn't he saying anything?" I am tired of explaining and hearing kids laugh at K.C. and Adam when they are excited and flapping or humming. It hurts to hear someone laughing at them and Big Brother feels awfully sad when people do that too. What surprises me the most is that the kids parents just sit there reading a book or talking on their cell phones.

We live on Private Property and it's always been safe for years until last night. The pool is a 7 minute walk for us but having so many pool toys and three boys to keep up with (If Adam runs I know I won't catch him) we always drive the van. We left at about 8:40 p/m/ thinking no one would be at the pool. We were right, some folks were just leaving as we unlocked the pool gate. The boys have alot of fun splashing around freely without any worries. After about 30 minutes I noticed a car pull next to my van. Big Brother watched intently hoping it "wasn't people coming to swim." No body ever came to the pool but I could hear them talking. I walked over to the pool gate quietly to see who it was because I had a nervous gut feeling. I saw four black guys, one guy was leaning against my van and the other guy was staring into my van. I didn't recognize these people and knew they didn't live here because I have been here for years and would have seen them at some point. I knew they were going to steal the van. I was so scared, so very scared. I didn't know if I should just pack up with the boys and walk out the gate. I was scared to do that because if they were trying to steal the van and knew they were caught doing it they might hurt us. So I called 911 and told the operator. I can't even begin to tell you how scared I was having the boys with me. The only thing the reassured me was that we had a key to the pool and they didn't. The operator stayed on the phone with me the whole time, I told her I was scared, I had three boys with me and two were Autistic. She said the officer was only two minutes away. It seemed like forever. I let the boys play but Big Brother was scared because he kept saying, "we won't have a way to go anywhere what are we going to do!!" While I was on the phone with the operator I heard a glass break. I told the operator and she said the officer was coming down the street and I could see his headlights and lights flashing, he caught them before they took the van!! Thank God!! Big Brother ran over to the gate and watched, I called him back over to us and got the boys out of the pool and let another officer in to talk to him. He said the window was broken but that they were caught! I am so grateful that they caught these guys. Can you imagine being without a car/van and having three boys? We are in the van more than home it feels like on therapy days. I got the window to the van fixed today. I still can't believe it. Why do people have to be like that? I just don't get it. The guys who were trying to steal the van looked to be about 20 years old. I told the officer I wanted to leave to get the boys home, they were getting antsy and as we headed out of the gate I heard an officer say, "your name is Levi?" He was talking to the guy who tried to take the van. The guy looked at us as we walked out. I had to say something. I did say something. I said, "thanks alot for breaking our window and trying to steal our van, did you know this van is used to take my Autistic kids to therapies?" He said nothing. I am praying that he thinks about it and changes.

We are all safe and when we got home Big Brother was visibly upset. He gets so hurt when he knows someone "is real bad" or "makes fun of his brother or Adam." I worry about Big Brother alot because he takes things very hard and dwells on them. We will keep talking everyday and I'll give him lots of hugs, he'll start to feel better :) What a world.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Happy Birthday To K.C.

Happy Birthday to you little buddy! K.C., Adam and Big Brother celebrated today with cake, (just wanted it to be the four of us) special ice cream K.C. could eat if he tried and 2 Amy's frozen pizzas that Big Brother and I put into the oven. Even though K.C. won't touch cake or ice cream (he screams bloody murder) he likes to see the candles flickering. I have learned something or should say I have figured out something that K.C. had been trying to tell me. He covers his ears quite a bit, I used to think it was noise or something I couldn't hear that bothered him. Today as I brought the cake to the table he covered his ears alot. I have figured out that it means, "no cake." Or it just means he doesn't like something.

I bought him three new outfits to wear from Target. As Big Brother "helped" blow out K.C.'s candles we handed him his gifts. His Daddy couldn't be here this birthday :( K.C.'s daddy got him savings bonds and a magna doodle. Big Brother handed him the outfits I had bought him and he opened them very slowly then tried to up and leave but I was able to get him back to the table without him getting too angry. When he touched the clothes he IMMEDIATELY began looking for any tags on the shirts. There were tags of course and he totally lost it when he seen the tags. I hurried upstairs to get the scissors (I keep them hidden just in case) and came back down and cut the tags out of the clothes. He was just too angry and it was the kind of angry that I call, "too late he's not going to come back from this one" kind of a anger or frustration. I brought him into the living room away from Adam and Big Brother. Big Brother kept calling, "Mom I am going to cut the cake for us." I let him cut the cake but told him not to annihilate the cake and to use a butter knife. He cut a piece for Adam but he didn't touch it. Adam is pretty much skin and bones:( He just wants waffles all the time. K.C. was still angry but he was crying now and not screaming, a good sign.

I did manage to leave him in the living room and put waffles into the toaster for Adam. When K.C. is in the no turning back mood I don't leave him alone because he will beat himself in the head or hit his head on the floor. It never came to that today and he did pull himself together. I was so proud of Adam because he STAYED at the table with Big Brother the whole time (even through K.C.'s screaming)! Big Hugs for Adam and K.C. :) Even though it may have seemed kind of disaster it really wasn't. Both boys did a wonderful job of keeping it together and I am still so surprised at Adam as I sit here. He surprises me alot. I have found that K.C. and Adam are helping each other in many ways but don't realize it. Like the way K.C. is helping himself more, like the way Adam stayed at the table while I stayed with K.C. Somehow I really feel they totally relate to when they see each other having a very hard time. For them to see that there are other kids that are experiencing the same sort of things that they experience themselves really helps if that makes any sense.

K.C. did sit back down at the table to eat pizza and drink a mango fruit drink. Big Brother and I kept quiet for awhile because we know that when K.C. is pulling it together any words during the pulling it together period will set him off. We talked after about 10 minutes quietly.

I thought to myself I wonder if I should have just put the candles in the pizza? Now I have all this cake left over. I will have to take it to my sister and give some to Linh Linh. I would have invited Linh to K.C.'s party but she has always been a little afraid of K.C. I asked her about him and she said she was scared of him.
It was a good day all in all. I can see changes in the boys and it's real positive :)

Tomorrow is Saturday and I will be going to pick my Dad up and take him to synagogue. Miss Tacey will stay with the boys for a couple hours. My little reporter (Big Brother) is always watching to be sure nobody is mean to Adam or K.C.

It has been triple digits here so most of the time we try to stay out of the hot sun.
It will not cool off here until December :(

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Getting Away...

Twice a year my little brother Adam would go to Carlsbad CA. with my Mom and Dad to visit the ocean. My Parents have had a timeshare there for a few years. My brother has always loved walking on the beach and my Mom would look forward to the 6 hour drive to Carlsbad and mostly the gorgeous weather.

My Father as I mentioned before is living in assisted living. He reminded us that it "was our turn" for the timeshare. It was very hard to think of getting away without my Mom with us. My Dad didn't want to go but really wanted us to go because Adam loves the beach so much. I thought about it. Thought alot about it and decided to go. Maybe this is just what the boys need, to get away from everything and clear their minds.

So it would be me, Adam, K.C., Big Brother, College Boy and our helper, Miss Tacey. We planned to stay for 4 days so I had alot of packing to do for the boys. We have worked out a pretty good system of doing things since Miss Tacey has moved in to help us. She has been wonderful. She knows so much about Autism and I can truly see that she cares about the boys in her eyes. "My little reporter" has only said positive things about her and my gut feeling is good. Miss Tacey helps with K.C. and Big Brother. I am always with Adam because I don't want anyone getting pinched or scratched no matter how much experience he or she has with Autism. I love Adam dearly and understand why he pinches. He has been doing wonderfully and hasn't been pinching very much these days. K.C. has really made some huge changes since Adam has joined the family. Having a teen with Autism is tough but having a teen without Autism is tough too. K.C. seems to have more confidence and has learned to do more for himself. I have seen K.C. watching Adam out of the corners of his eyes and I really believe that he loves Adam.

It took 6 1/2 hours to get to Carlsbad and the boys Daddy met up with us there. Daddy has been staying mostly in San Francisco because of his job. We all met up and began unpacking our stuff into the room. K.C. did have a big smile on his face when he saw his Daddy waiting for us, Big Brother was thrilled so much because I kept it secret from him. He had no idea that his Daddy would be meeting us there so he was a happy kiddo! Adam looked anxious when he saw the boys Daddy. I guess that next time I really need to show him a photo of the boys Daddy so that he knows what to expect when we arrive. I just thought it would be a nice surprise for Big Brother and K.C.
We all planned to eat at an outdoors Mexican restaurant. We really wanted to be outdoors because of the boys, "just in case." The weather was so nice so sitting outside was a real treat. When we left home it was 113 degrees, 6 hours later it was only 72 degrees when we got to Cali. K.C. ate flour tortillas with nothing on them, just heated and crispy. Big Brother ate Carne Asada and Adam ate a cheese crisp (made very crispy for Adam and only cheese) K.C. eyeballed Adam's cheese crisp and snatched at it twice. K.C. can't have real cheese because of allergies. The boys did a super duper job eating and were such young gentlemen. We only got a few stares because of the noises that Adam and K.C. make. The two of them together generate alot of hums and screeches, "my little orchestra."

When we were all finished eating we walked to the beach. The ocean was just so awesome and immediately I could see how at peace Adam was with the water. He watched the water roll in and out and was mesmerized by it just as K.C. was. Big Brother ran all around the beach collecting shells and anything unusual looking. He did find a really beautiful shell his daddy put a small hole in and made a necklace out of it for him.

It was a really nice trip and I only wish we lived near the ocean for the boys sake. It was wonderful seeing all the boys love the ocean equally and they all were doing pretty much the same things and loving every minute of it.

We got up early everyday around 7 a.m. and walked down to the beach to watch the surfers surf. It was quite foggy on the beach in the mornings.
I feel I have really connected with Adam. I am understanding him more and more each and everyday and couldn't imagine him living anywhere else ever. I can get some smiles out of him and it's such a great feeling.

I just want all the boys to be happy.

Every day I think of my Mother, I miss her so much. I see Adam's eyes and think of my Mom. It's hard being without my Mother, I still keep thinking, "oh I can't wait to tell Mom about...." then I realise that I can't.

Each day is hard but at the same time it's getting a tiny bit easier with each day that goes by. It's hard to explain.

My Mom had always asked that I never put any photos of Adam up on the Internet. She didn't like me putting photos up of Big Brother or K.C. for that matter. She was always very nervous about having any photos of the kids on the Internet so I will always remember how she felt and will never post photos of Adam.

Things are always very busy here, I am just so grateful that I have found such nice people to help with the boys. I am so grateful that College Boy helps us so much.
Monday K.C.'s support coordinator is coming for his ISP visit. There will be some big changes coming up in August in regards to his school and therapies.

In July K.C. and Adam both will be participating in a study of Fluoxetine (Prozac). It is suppose to help with repetitive behaviors. There will be nine visits and it is about 14 weeks long. They will have to get an EKG and blood work done. I am hoping it helps the boys.

Some photos from the trip and a video of K.C.