Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The wonder of Technology

As I may have mentioned my son is autistic and at 4 years old has never said a word. I believe that he has a wonderful visual memory because it took him no time at all to learn the paradigm behind PECS and he really does not care what symbol we choose for something as long as we are consistant.

Monday we brought home a test Assistive Communication Device, it is an ipod in a bombproof case with speakers and Proloquo loaded. He absolutely loved it, and has already figured out how to use it. The only problem is that he is trying to talk .... he makes sounds and points at his mouth when he wants something. So his inherant laziness is forcing him to talk rather than go get the device.

Either way we are better off than we were at this time last year.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Best Day Ever

Jesse had what had to be the best day in the last couple of years. We went to a local festival with one of the traveling carnivals. He was finally tall enough to ride some of the rides, all of which he loved. Our efforts at teaching him to wait really paid off as he did a great job being patient for the rides. After all that we went to the Ventura County Autism Society swim party. The whole day he did not cry.

Of course on Sunday he spent the whole day in a fragile mood, we had to pay for the great day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Things they never tell you pt II

If I am ever in the position to fund a foundation for those with autism I know what my foundation would do. Provide the materials that every family needs but that no one ever thinks about.

1. A high quality laminator and an expense account at an office store for laminate. With all the visual schedules, pecs, and other pictures that are recommended and having to laminate them all this tool is invaluable. If you know someone whose child just got a diagnosis of autism and it seems fairly severe this is the one gift that will make a real difference.

2. Some sort of carpet cleaner .... he knows how to take off his own clothes, he enjoys nudity and really who doesn't? Even at 4 he is not potty trained, enough said.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Things they never tell you

Boredom. Yes having a child with autism is a lot of work and we have all heard it all before. But what no one will tell you is that it comes with a metric ton of boredom. Pushing the kiddo in a swing for 10 minutes = happy bonding time ... pushing him for 45 minutes = boring. Taking the same walk for the 800th time = boring. Spending all weekend, every weekend trying to get him through the day vice going out to festivals etc. boring.

I often hear that parents of children with autism have developed patience to bacon like levels of awesome. Most people think that comes from the direct interactions with your kid. I think it comes from learning to tolerate or find the good things in the boredom.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Son is an animal

We have often been told how photogenic our son is, enough so that I don't think it is the normal "what a cute kid" background noise. I have looked at the pictures and come to realize that the reason he photographs so well is that his expressions are real.

Much like an animal, Jesse has no artifice to his expression. What you see is what you get. He has no concept of faking a smile because thats what we have asked for. There are alot of challenges with autism but I really like that I know exactly what he is feeling just by looking.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

First things First

So there I am having just been mobbed by a child covered in his own feces wondering: who exactly thought it was a good idea to teach him to take off his clothes before we got him potty trained. Lucky for me it was the garage, but he tried to clean up by wiping his hands on all available surfaces. It took 20 minutes to clean the damage caused in less than 5. Good news part of the story is that he appears to notice when he is dirty which is a huge difference from 6 months ago.

Lesson learned: First potty trained then clothes off.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Family First

I take Kenpo Karate and it has been great, nothing makes you forget the stress of dealing with an autistic son better than knowing that if you lose focus you could get hit. My wonderful wife and I have worked it out so that I can attend Kenpo for 4 hours a week. This places a significant burden on the wife as she has already had Jesse for the entire day, she is exhausted.

Yesterday I learned that I may not be able to continue:

Sifu #1: Jimmy when are you going to be able to stay an extra hour for Combat class?
Me: (Explains briefly that I am blessed to get the time I do)
Sifu #2: Sounds like a pussy excuse not to do combat.
Me (Walks away)

Sorry that the compromises I have to make don't meet your expectations.