Monday, March 31, 2008

My Feelings - Autism The Musical

On March 29Th (Saturday) we took K.C., Big Brother and my niece Linh Linh to an Autism Picnic. We go every year, it's a very nice event for the children, there are volunteers from Easter Seals, Guthrie and Valley Of The Sun helping the kiddos with Autism have fun.

Last year at the picnic K.C. watched his brother have fun. This year K.C. bounced in the inflated bouncers with his Big Brother! When K.C. first tried to get into the bouncer he couldn't stand. There were too many children in the bouncer and he was getting knocked around. I must have had an extreme look of worry on my face because the girls who were helping the kids in the bouncer shouted to the children, "two more minutes and everyone out." Then the girl turned to me and said, "when the children get out of the bouncer we will let him bounce alone for 2 minutes." I couldn't believe it. I almost cried knowing someone wanted to give K.C. a chance to have fun - alone!

My dear friend Lora at, sent me a link to watch an Autism Musical online. Here is the link to the musical if you want to watch it,
When I watched the musical it gave me alot of mixed emotions. I thought about the musical for a few days after, then yesterday, it hit me like a ton of bricks. In one scene in the musical there are a group of Parents sitting in a room talking about their children. One Mommy said that she felt that her daughter wasn't valued as a human being because of her Autism. The Mommy was very sad, crying knowing that in this world there are people she felt didn't value her daughter because of the Autism. Another scene in the movie was of a beautiful teenage girl typing on the computer. Her Mommy asked her, "what is Autism?" The girl typed, "damaging." The girl looked sad, very sad. You really have to watch the film to know what I am talking about.

I thought about K.C. I have thought alot these past three days. Does K.C. feel he's damaged? I wonder if he's happy? Does he know he's Autistic? Does he feel people don't value him because of his Autism? I thought alot about these things. I cried and cried. I prayed I have never done anything to make K.C. feel "damaged" or "not valued." I have never seen him this way ever. As a matter of fact if someone said he was "damaged" there would be some serious words coming out of my mouth at the person.

I talked to the boys Daddy and he said, "maybe that's they way the little girl felt." "It isn't how everyone feels." Still, I am doing everything I can each and every day so that K.C. feels loved, valued and happy with the way he is. It breaks me heart to think if K.C. was feeling sad. That is the parts of the musical I didn't like at all. I know that they were just the was the folks felt at the time but still, it hurts.

I watched the rest of the musical and thought the director did an amazing job with the children. I was very happy that the musical included non verbal kiddos as well. The children looked very proud of their accomplishments at the end of the musical. The Parents were thrilled and very proud for the kiddos. It was a good musical, I guess that it was a sort of awakening for me.

While we were at the picnic, K.C. did something I thought was amazing. When we have been taking him out, in public, he usually has his hands in his mouth, flaps and finger flicks. We have been working on having him hold his own hands together. In the video you can see K.C. waiting for his Big Brother to get off the train. He gets antsy but has his hands together! Just look at the beginning of the video! He does a great job, it's a first that we have seen him trying to keep it together with what we have been teaching him. His ABA teacher was thrilled for K.C. when I played the video. I am so proud of him too. Sorry the video is so grainy, I didn't have the usual camera that day :(

Friday, March 21, 2008


I have been taking Big Brother to the skatepark since last Summer. He has learned so quickly, the last time we went there was a kiddo standing at the edge of the ramp trying to find the courage to go down. It's steep and kinda scary. This little boy was 10 years old, (Big Brother asked.) Big Brother wanted to help this kiddo, he encouraged him so much.

Out of all the children in the skatepark almost NONE wore helmets.

K.C. has also been going to the skatepark since last year, just watching his brother. Well today was different! I always bring 2 skateboards just in case Big Brothers busts one. K.C. took one out of my hands and tried to make it up a mini ramp. We helped him up and he sat on the skateboard and went down on his butt! He loved it totally! Now, I have to get this little boy a helmet! Looks like we are going to have two skater boys in the family!

(The t shirt that K.C. is wearing is College Boys. I don't let him wear shirts like that usually. What happened was as I was getting him dressed the shrit was inside out, I went to get another and he had a major fit, so I let him wear it, gotta pick your battles I guess :)

The shirt says, "stop bitching and start a revolution." The kids at the skatepark liked the shirt in fact, 4 kids came up to K.C. and said, "hey little dude I like your shirt."

The first video is Big Brother skating. The second is my little K.C. doing his own version of skating! Go K.C.!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Big Changes

As many of you may already know, I have been waiting for the day when K.C. will give Mommy a kiss. I am happy to say, I got that kiss! He did it! We were taking pictures (Big Brother the photographer) and I leaned in and said, "give me kiss." I have said it a million times to K.C. and didn't expect him to give me one but he did. He leaned in and put his puckered lips on my forehead! Big Brother just stood there in amazement and immediately said, "give me a kiss K.C., give brother a kiss!" Well K.C. didn't, probably because of the commotion his kiss did cause, lots of hugs and lots of praising him. Can you guys believe it? I felt such a strong connection, he really does love his Mommy, it was amazing, lots of happy tears.

I have seen some very big changes since taking K.C. out of school. He seems so much more relaxed, happier and not anxious. No headbanging at all! I never thought I'd say that, no headbanging!

The best part about homeschooling K.C. is that I get to spend time with him. I don't have to constantly worry about him being at that school. I wish I could have kept him there, I wanted to keep him in school, but it just didn't work out in the end.

Some things that K.C. has learned in this short time at home are, he can match colors into groups, (still doesn't understand, "give me yellow" but if you sign the colors he seems to get it better. He successfully matched 4 times last week with signing the colors along with saying the color. He also can sort objects (any objects) by sizes into groups, he is really good at it.
We have been working with learning to use scissors as well. He doesn't like me holding his hands but I really think he's going to pick this skill up soon.

We got a "Service Plan" through the district. It means that even though K.C. isn't in school the district is still going to pay for some services. I could pick, Speech, OT, etc. but the thing is I could pick only 1 service. I picked help from a Tutor. So a Tutor comes out to our house to work with K.C. I asked the tutor to work with him with holding a pencil hand over hand to write his name. The reason I asked for help in this area is because this is the area that K.C. gets frustrated with the most. He does get frustrated but the good thing is we can stop for a bit, call him back to the table and work some more. Taking breaks has helped tremendously. He is always willing to come back to the table. I am happy that we can give him a break, let him play a bit and then have him come back. I remember his teacher saying, "I only have so many hours in the day." I think this is why he got so frustrated, he could sense it from her, now that it's gone, he's doing better. If he's stimming I don't stop him, it has helped to calm him and get him through. I just have to be careful not to let stim too long.

I have been working extra hard with potty training too. I have figured out when he is most likely to be wet during the day by writing down what times I change diapers. It is always just about the same, around 8:30 a.m., 11:00, 1:00 p.m., 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. At night he's definitely in diapers. He's been going pee most of the time I take him to the bathroom. We have had lots of accidents but they are becoming less and less. I am so proud of him! When he does have an accident it's really important to not let K.C. know that it upsets you in any way. Using a calm voice is working wonders.

Three days a week I have been taking him to parks, we see mostly toddlers there with the their parents but he's still getting to be around other kids. He still won't play with them or even look their way. I want to take him to the library soon, we are going to take it slow.

Big Brother is in school :) Actually it's Spring Break, here all this week and he's at home. Tomorrow we are going to go to the skate park.

Passover is just around the corner, this year will be different. I really think K.C. may sit just a little longer. We are surely going to try and if it doesn't work out I will let Big Brother stay with my Parents and I will take K.C. home.

I want to thank Melinda from Dear Noah, She has helped us with starting homeschooling, provided us with super good links and wonderful ideas to help K.C. Thank you so much Melinda and Noah. Thanks to everyone for your support, it means so much to us.

We hope you are all well and the kiddos are well too :)