Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Kids are so strange!

Hayleigh was walking down the hall - alone. My husband and I are sitting in the living room. All of sudden, we hear Hayliegh say, "My dog ate my homework!" Huh?! First of all, No, she didn't. Second of all, it's Christmas break - you have no homework! We just laughed.

When we left the library yesterday, Deklan took a bookmark. He read it to me: Make the rule (it looked like a ruler), don't do drugs. He says, "You should make that your rule." I said, "Yeah, I only do the prescription drugs the doctor tells me to take. It's ok to take the drugs that the doctor tells you to take." He said, "yes, but we won't do other drugs." "I said that's right, we won't do drugs like marijuana, heroine, or cocaine." He said, "Yes, we won't do the cola drugs." Oops - too late! I'm already addicted to Coke!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Poem

Autism Night Before Christmas
by Cindy Waeltermann

Twas the Night Before Christmas
And all through the house
The creatures were stirring
Yes, even the mouse

We tried melatonin
And gave a hot bath
But the holiday jitters
They always distract

The children were finally
All nestled in bed
When nightmares of terror
Ran through my OWN head

Did I get the right gift
The right color
And style
Would there be a tantrum
Or even, maybe, a smile?

Our relatives come
But they don't understand
The pleasure he gets
Just from flapping his hands.

"He needs discipline," they say
"Just a well-needed smack,
You must learn to parent..."
And on goes the attack

We smile and nod
Because we know deep inside
The argument is moot
Let them all take a side

We know what it's like
To live with the spectrum
The struggles and triumphs
Achievements, regressions...

But what they don't know
And what they don't see
Is the joy that we feel
Over simplicity

He said "hello"
He ate something green!
He told his first lie!
He did not cause a scene!

He peed on the potty
Who cares if he's ten,
He stopped saying the same thing
Again and again!

Others don't realize
Just how we can cope
How we bravely hang on
At the end of our rope

But what they don't see
Is the joy we can't hide
When our children with autism
Make the tiniest stride

We may look at others
Without the problems we face
With jealousy, hatred
Or even distaste,

But what they don't know
Nor sometimes do we
Is that children with autism
Bring simplicity.

We don't get excited
Over expensive things
We jump for joy
With the progress work brings

Children with autism
Try hard every day
That they make us proud
More than words can say.

They work even harder
Than you or I
To achieve something small
To reach a star in the sky

So to those who don't get it
Or can't get a clue
Take a walk in my shoes
And I'll assure you

That even 10 minutes
Into the walk
You'll look at me
With respect, even shock.

You will realize
What it is I go through
And the next time you judge
I can assure you

That you won't say a thing
You'll be quiet and learn,
Like the years that I did
When the tables were turned.......

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More birthday blues!

Again - not my birthday but I can still be blue. It's my middle child's birthday. She's 10 today! Oh my, I'm beginning to feel old. Does anyone else cry every time one of their children have a birthday? I do every time!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The NEW Christmas Carol

This is to the tune of 'O Christmas Tree' - not a carol for everyone, but I liked it.

'Oh Tom the Toad, Oh Tom the Toad
Why are you lying in the road?
Oh Tom the Toad, Oh Tom the Toad
Why are you lying in the road?
You did not see that car ahead
And you were flattened by the tread.
Oh Tom the Toad, Oh Tom the Toad
Why are you lying in the road?

Oh Kitty Cat, Oh Kitty Cat
Why does your tongue hang out like that?
Oh Kitty Cat, Oh Kitty Cat
Why does your tongue hang out like that?
You running from the mutts,
Then that truck spread out your guts.
Oh Kitty Cat, Oh Kitty Cat
Why does your tongue hang out like that?

Oh Fred the Fish, Oh Fred the Fish,
Why are you lying on the dish?
Oh Fred the Fish, Oh Fred the Fish,
Why are you lying on the dish?
You did not see the hook ahead,
And now your head is stuffed with bread.
Oh Fred the Fish, Oh Fred the Fish,
Why are you lying on the dish?

Oh Sue the Skunk, Oh Sue the Skunk,
Why do you make my tires go thunk?
Oh Sue the Skunk, Oh Sue the Skunk,
Why do you make my tires go thunk?
You did not look from East to West
Now on the road there's such a mess.
Oh Sue the Skunk, Oh Sue the Skunk,
Why do you make my tires go thunk?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Really good meeting

Friday was great! We had a meeting with a psychologist from the WSU psychology clinic. Her name is Shani and she is great. She just observed Deklan while she and I talked. She completely understood. She knows what we need and how to get it. She knows that the case worker has resources that she's not sharing with me. Shani knows because she works with the organization that my case worker is referred from. Shani is one of those that does the evaluations of the children to see if they are eligible for services through the organization. She did not do Deklan's evaluation because we went through KU Medical Center in Kansas City. Anyway, she's going to get some things together, contact some people and see what she can get going for us. She says we need in-home resources. For example, I have a hard time getting Deklan to follow through with the hygiene stuff. He refuses to brush his teeth, comb his hair, and taking a bath is like pulling teeth. After awhile I get overwhelmed and exhausted just trying to get him to do these. So that's one thing that she wants to work on. Another thing is getting Deklan completely potty trained. She apparantly knows how we can work on this. There are several other things that she saw a need for and she knows how to get the resources for them! I think I'm babbling but I'm really happy.

Onto a different matter. While we were at the meeting Deklan brought up the subject of his playground. Apparantly there are a lot of trees/woods behind his playground. There is a fence to keep the students in the yard. Deklan is convinced that they are haunted. He's "seen" things. He went into complete detail with Shani - things I'd never heard him talk about. I knew he thought they were haunted; he's "seen" a stick move and no one around; he believes no animals live in the tree area. However, while talking on Friday he went into way more detail than that. Including a Demon Hunt club that he and a couple of others have formed. He's seen a black and white shadow floating through the trees. He's seen writing on the board in the classroom when the teacher hasn't been there. There were other things but I don't remember everything - I was just so blown away. Later, he looked up and said, "When I look at people I see demon faces." Shani asked if he saw a demon face when he looked at her. He said, "Well I don't always see them." I'm not sure what to do with him. I do have a plan of taking him back to the school and into the trees so he can see what's really back there. I just have wait for it to get warmer. We were too busy on Saturday and it was way too cold yesterday. Today it's only supposed to get to 20 degrees and it was 4 degrees when the kids went to school.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Can you hear me now?

I said, "Deklan come here."
He said, "I'm sorry, you're breaking up."
I said, "Deklan come here."
He said, "I'm sorry, you're breaking up again."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Getting Help

I have a friend who is graduating this weekend with a master's in psychology. She's already been working and teaching in the field at WSU. After Monday's experience I thought I seriously needed help with Deklan. I emailed M yesterday morning telling her about the incident on Monday and asked her if she knew of anyone that would be willing to take Deklan on as a patient, preferring someone with autism experience. She called me yesterday afternoon and had me talk with one of her colleagues. I've actually met this person (we'll call her S) before and I really like her. She does have experience with autism. M thinks Deklan is just the cutest thing so S already knew about him and was very interested in meeting Deklan. Our meeting is tomorrow morning. I'm very excited about this - I think it's what we both need. Thanks for your concern (I was concerned too) and I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Birthday blues...

Not mine - my oldest daughter turned 12 today! I just can't believe it. It doesn't seem possible. Actually, I'm not really blue, I'm happy that she's happy. I even baked cupcakes and took them to school for lunch. She's in 6th grade now so she doesn't have a class that I can crash with goodies. And can you believe she was actually excited that I was there - in front of all her friends? I figure I've only got about 6 more months of that and she'll be trying to get rid of me when her friends are around. For the most part though, I really like her friends. Especially the girls in her GS troop. Since I'm the co-leader that's probably a good thing.

Next week - 8 days to be exact - is my youngest daughter's birthday. She turns 10. We haven't had a party for the girls in several years. This year I decided to have a party for them. We don't have a lot of money, and that's usually what keeps me from having one for them. But I found out that we could rent the community building for $20 plus a $50 refundable deposit. So, that's what I did. Their party is going to be after Christmas on the 27th. At first I wasn't too keen on that idea but then I thought... you know what it's right in the middle of Christmas break and the kids would love to see their friends during that time. Besides some of the parents might be ready to get rid of their children for a few hours after having them out of school for a week already. Anyway, that's what we're doing. Oldest is into skulls - I don't know why. So, this is the picture that I'm going to try to have put on her cake...

I also used this picture on her invitations. I bought some black and white designed 4x6 paper, fed those into the printer for the party information, printed out a sheet of skulls, cut and pasted them to the front of the invitations. The paper had different designs on them but here's her favorite.

A question...

Here's a new question for the group. Is Deklan playing me? He's an intelligent child and he basically knows right from wrong. So when he decides he wants something and he knows that I will say no - is his meltdown on purpose? Does he act out and kick and scream just to get what he wants or does he really not understand? He's very complicated.

I take my daughters to a therapist who has helped a great deal with the girls' tempers and understanding why they get so angry at times. Mostly they get mad at me for taking Deklan's side. Which I do not always do, but they don't understand that. Anyway, when we were in her office yesterday, Deklan wouldn't listen - he wanted to play with her toys and she wanted him to sit and listen to what she was telling the girls. He was so defiant. She used a restraint procedure on him. Basically she wrestled him to the floor, held his hands behind his back, and restrained his legs. It didn't hurt him at all - even though it was extremely tough to watch. In order to get up, he just had to comply with her rules. He didn't. We ended up, literally, carrying him to the car while he was kicking and screaming. She went back to session with the girls while I kept him in the car. I've never gone to the extreme she did with the restraint, but I do have to hold his hands and brace his feet to keep him from hitting and kicking me. I did this yesterday in the car too. The fit lasted the whole session - she walked the girls out to car when it was over and Deklan was still kicking and screaming. She felt the fit had nothing to do with autism. If that's the case then he's just being a brat and I have to figure out how to take care of it. If it's not the case and this is part of the autism then what do I do? The therapist (I think she's actually a psychologist) says he'll end up in trouble with the law if he keeps that up. So, again, here's my question... Is he playing me?
This is the post I started on the Monday after we got back. I decided it sounded a little mean and bitter so I stopped. I changed my mind and thought I'd post it anyway.

Well, we're back from our Thanksgiving trip. We went to Mom's for the holiday - she lives in Oklahoma. We also have Christmas with Mom on Thanksgiving because we can't get back there for it. We went on Tuesday; my brother and his wife came on Wednesday evening. Then my brother and his wife left on Saturday; we left on Sunday. Here's the thing... my brother is a bully. I know that sounds harsh, but it's true. He thinks he's a house-repair, car-fixing, macho guy. In other words, he's a male chauvinist pig. I really wish I were exaggerating - unfortunately I'm not. Don't get me wrong... I do love my brother and, when I need him, I can normally count on him. He and his wife have bought the kids school clothes for at least the last 4 years. They always give the kids good presents at Christmas and birthdays (probably too many presents). They paid for Oldest to go to camp last summer. So, at least when it comes to affording things, he’s not a bad guy. On the other hand... he always has to be right, he doesn't like the way my girls dress (refers to them as hookers if they wear tight or short clothes), he complains about everything, and these are probably his good qualities. Here are some examples from the past week. 1. My mother makes wonderful homemade sour dough rolls. The dough rose overnight on Wednesday and cooked on Thursday morning for dinner. On Friday Mom heated the leftover rolls for lunch. She put them in the oven to re-heat which made them a little harder than putting them in the microwave. No big deal to everyone except Brother. He made sure to point out that the rolls were a little hard, calling them a rock and hoping he didn't break his tooth. Everyone else was trying to be polite and they were still good, so why bother making a comment. 2. Brother gave my mom a BB gun for Christmas. Yes, that's what she wanted. She lives way out in the country and needed it to keep strays out of the trash. It's not really as bad as it sounds and it doesn't hurt that much. I should know... my brother shot me with it! I was talking to Mom in the living room and ping - he shot my arm. It left a little round bruise but it was ok. I just told him to please not do that again. He was like "Waah! It didn't even hurt you." Whatever, Brother. 3. My mother had an old Pepsi machine. It was the kind that you have to open the door and pull the handle to get the pop out of. She gave that to my brother and he was trying to load it into his truck. His wife said something to him and he just went off on her. "Just go away! I'll do this myself. I wasn't even talking to you... it wasn't even your business. I'm serious, just get out of here!" I felt really bad for Sis-in-law. 4. Here's my biggest complaint against my brother. Deklan was acting out. "He just needs a good spanking. If he were my kid he wouldn't act like that. You always give him what he wants... you don't treat the girls like that. When we were kids you know Dad wouldn't have put up with any of that. Autism or not, you just baby him too much."

When Deklan said he felt different and not happy, I actually believe that he got that emotion right. My brother doesn't give him any attention - except negative. He does give the girls attention. Especially Oldest, who is his favorite and everyone knows it.

Overall, our Thanksgiving went well and we came home on Sunday after. It was so cold. Oldest had rolled the window down part way on the way to Oklahoma. It stuck! Then when I was trying to fix it, I rolled it down more and then couldn’t get it fixed! We put plastic and duct tape over the window. The plastic was too thin and ripped before we got to town (did I mention Mom lives out in the country – 12 miles outside of town?). We stopped 3 times before I finally got to a small town with a dollar store. I bought one of those clear plastic paint drop cloths and more duct tape. We had the whole door wrapped and taped! Needless to say, it was kind of a loud (from the wind on plastic) and cold trip home to Kansas.