October 2009


Dear autism,

I really wish someone had DRAGGED me to one of the Vanderbilt University workshops sooner.  It will definitely be in my guide for the newly diagnosed parents.  The strategies were right on point and the fact that the professionals were there to answer questions was AMAZING.  The networking alone was worth the time and energy.  Did I mention the FREE items they provided?  Food, PECS, small toys, OH MY!  By the way, there are FREE childcare services for both typical and spectrum kids, admission is FREE and everyone reading this should FREELY click this link: http://kc.vanderbilt.edu/triad/training/.  People drove in from up to 3 hours away and were NOT at all sorry they did.  Maybe other great schools around the nation have similar programs?  Road trip!!!!!

uh-oh...we're busted

uh-oh...we're busted

Dear autism,

Savi and his little big sister Sariyah are unstoppable!  While he is almost 2 years older, she is quite convinced that she IS the boss of him.  It’s great to see them playing together.  We were about 6 months into the diagnosis when she was born and he pretty much ignored her for the first 3 months except for a curious glance across the room every now and then.  Every attempt I made at showing him how to “play” with the baby or hold her were staunchly and firmly rejected.  I’ll admit it made me very sad.  But then one day out of the blue he climbed up in the rocker with me while I was nursing her and gently tried to detach her.  He then shrieked loudly startling both of us which prompted Sariyah to bop him for the first time.  (many more bops and absolute wallops have followed)  He climbed down quite unperturbed and went back to running circles around us.  But he knew she was there to stay.   They often terrorize the entire house chasing each other and throwing toys down the hallway; shrieking loudly all the while .   And you know what?  She doesn’t even care that you’re always with him…SO THERE!

1st day home

1st day home

Dear autism,
I was thinking back over the last three years today.  This picture is of Savi’s 1st day home from the hospital.  Who would have thought we’d be where we are today?  Back then I didn’t even know what autism was.  I just knew that I had another perfect little baby and big bright dreams for his future.  Today those dreams have changed a little, and that’s ok; we are flexible.  But they aren’t any less big and bright.  I can’t wait for him to say his first words, drive a car, go off to college, get married, and give me grandchildren.  Now his life may not play itself out this way, but heck his typically developing sibs may not either!  Today I’m grateful for my boy JUST THE WAY HE IS…and you can never take that away from me.

Melatonin Madness

Melatonin Madness

Dear autism,

Melatonin used to be our best friend.  In the weeks right after diagnosis, that 1 mg wonderpill used to make the screaming and spinning go away…after waiting the prescribed 20-30 minutes of course.  I looked forward to that part of the routine.  Nowadays, we’ve gotten up to 3mg and well, let’s just say melatonin had us up til 2am last night (correction THIS morning).  I don’t appreciate you turning our friend against us like this.  You have YET AGAIN ruined a beautiful friendship.  SIGH.  We’re going back to the drawing board…Our doc says that melatonin might be lonely and wants to introduce us to his new friend magnesium…we’re still gonna beat you by the way.  Just FYI.

Dear autism,

I’ve been thinking about starting this blog for a year now.  I let my fear of you paralyze this dream, but no longer!   It is my hope that many other families with members on the spectrum find great info, get great laughs, and develop great relationships on and off line.  I recognize that each family’s experience will be different, but I am also confident that by bonding together we can have a stronger voice toward our common goal: The best possible life for everyone on the spectrum.  Happy reading!