Friday, August 22, 2008

The Butcher

I have learned/figured out something about K.C. today that I couldn't figure out before. K.C. has been going to the supermarket with me more and more these days. He does a great job of waiting and seems at ease when we are in the front of the store. When we head toward the back of the store he always, ALWAYS gets anxious and walks with his fingers stuck in his ears. I could never figure it out before, I thought that maybe he was tired of shopping and wanted to go home. Today I am so happy to say that the butcher and I have solved why K.C. gets so uncomfortable at the back of the store.

As we were approaching the whole frozen chickens it started. As we walked closer to the meat he cried, covered his ears and tried to walk the other way. The butcher who was putting meat out watched K.C. as I tried to get him to stay with me as I looked at the chicken/meat. The butcher walked over to us and said, "hi mam, hi young man, are your ears hurting today?"

It hit me like a bolt of lightening, something in the meat/chicken section was killing his ears even standing 10 feet from the meat section. I walked K.C. away from the meat section and slowly his hands came off his ears. I listened as we got closer. I heard nothing but K.C. heard something. The butcher was watching us out of the corner of his eye. I walked over to the butcher and said, "yep, you are right, his ears hurt today especially when we walk toward this section. The butcher then said, "it buzzes." I said nothing because I didn't know what the heck he was talking about and he said, "the freezers make a very low buzzing." That was it. I looked down at K.C. and said, "that noise coming from the meat freezer is hurting your ears, I understand now, lets get away from the noise."

He was fine, he listened to me talk and I could see his eyes darting around so I know he was listening.

To all the Mom's and Dad's out there who have Autistic children. Sometimes what seems to be the smallest noise to us is the biggest explosion to an Autistic child's ears. I have learned that I need to be constantly alert to my environment so that I can pinpoint what is causing K.C.'s ears to hurt. It's sometimes tough to figure out but we try and do the best we can so that our children aren't hurting.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Under Control, Somewhat.

July and August have been the toughest months by far. K.C. has had so many self injurious behaviors we are just now getting them under control. This little boy has made a dramatic change in two months time. "Can his Autism become worse I asked his Doctor?" The Doctor said that sometimes when children with Autism reach third grade or when they are about to become teenagers there is a huge hormonal change and he believes this is why K.C. has changed so much. Interesting. I don't know if that is what is really happening with K.C. but we have done things like increasing his Occupational Therapy and doing lots of sensory projects at home. K.C. really loves shaving cream and could play in it for the longest time. When his Big Brother tries to join him he leaves pretty quick. Big Brother has gotten so used to his brother up and leaving him he doesn't say a word about it anymore. I have been taking Big Brother to my sisters house on the weekends to swim with his little cousin Lynn Lynn. Adam and K.C. stay with me and we have even made a few trips inside McDonald's to eat lunch. We usually sit as far away from people as we can. I want to take the boys out and enjoy life without being stared at so we sit away from folks. I have no doubt that Adam and K.C. understand what is going on and know when people stare/talk about them. I used to not be sure of how much K.C. could understand but watching Adam and talking with my Dad he promises me that K.C. knows even though it appears he is not listening. When Adam came to stay with us after my Mom passed away he couldn't even put his own shoes on his feet. He put his pants on backwards. Adam has been doing sessions of ABA and guess what? This teenager is putting his own shoes on and almost, almost his own clothes. The thing is he can put them on but sometimes they are backwards or inside out. Going into ABA the first time with a teenager I was skeptical. I knew that ABA worked for young children but teenagers? It does work! Last night we made a trip to McDonald's and as I was putting K.C.'s shoes on, I asked Adam to, "put shoes on feet." I asked him to do it once and he hesitated but I was persistent and he did it! I think he was proud of himself because he was so calm in McDonald's. Being calm but persistent in what I ask of the boys is really working wonders. Sometimes you just have to let them do it themselves even if the task seems to big and watching them struggle to do something hurts. After all we are Mom's and we want to do anything we can to help our kids. Adam's ABA teacher said that I am helping by not helping. He was right.

The boys are in school finally! It seemed like the longest Summer but to be honest I sure do miss all three during the day. I feel lost without them and sometimes I wander this house picking up a favorite toy of theirs and just thinking and hoping they are all o.k. at school. So far the boys are adjusting well to school. Big Brother goes to private school and Adam and K.C. go to a private Autism school. We have gotten a routine down and the boys know what to expect each morning. During the morning time our helper Tacey makes breakfast for all three and packs their lunches. I help them get prepared for school. Adam is still eating Eggo Waffles and is as thin as a rail. He likes them toasted extra crunchy and will drink a tall glass of orange juice. K.C. has been eating Life cereal, just plain life cereal minus the milk (he's allergic). He'll drink Apple Juice. Big Brother will eat just about anything you place in front of him. Packing two Autistic kids lunches has to be the hardest part. Their teachers have refrigerators in the classroom thankfully and a microwave. I literally have to think and think of what the heck to have Tacey pack for them. K.C. eats a whole lot but it has to be the same things everyday. Adam eats very little.
I did manage to do something for myself! I went to the mall and ate by myself and then I walked through the mall to Sears and bought a new bra and socks. I am going to buy some new clothes soon because I have been losing alot of weight the past three months. I haven't been dieting but I have been busy and stressed at times so maybe that did it. I can now fit into a size 10 sometimes and a 12. While I was at them mall I walked past a store called, "Hot Topic." It's a store that is definitely for teenagers. I started thinking about Adam, he's a teenager, why can't he wear these clothes? He may be Autistic but that is no reason he can't look "cool" as Big Brother would say. I bought him three pairs of pants, two pairs of shorts and the "coolest" shoes. He got alot of nice comments in his notebook from school. He looks like a totally different kiddo. He's such a handsome young fella. I know my Mom wouldn't agree with what Adam is wearing but she was a bit old fashioned, I am not saying that is a bad thing but thinking of Adam and how he is a teen I thought he would feel more comfortable wearing a pair of Vans and dressing different. One thing for sure. Both K.C. and Adam like the same kind of socks. Both boys want to wear the "no show socks." Maybe they cannot tolerate the regular socks on their legs? When I came home from the mall and Big Brother had seen what I had bought for Adam he immediately said, "Mom why can't K.C. and I have those clothes too, pleaseeee!" So the next day I made another trip to the mall and got two more pairs of Vans, four pairs of shorts, socks and four shirts. The grand total of this shopping trip was $532.00 and I can tell you I will not be buying anymore clothes for a long time.

Hope you all are well and thank you to everyone who stops by to visit "The Boys."

Thank you to Sir Nik's Mommy at, I received the sign language videos and the boys love them. Thank you so much, you are sweethearts.