About Me

I am the proud mother of 6 children. 5 of our children have autism. We do not feel our world has ended, but just begun. We do not chelate, intervene biochemically, give shots of any kind, practice ABA, etc. We treat them as we treat any humanbeing. We treat them with kindness and respect and expect the same from them. They are exceptional children.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Giving THANKS..

I am so thrilled it is THANKSGIVING this week. I love Thanksgiving. I love having a houseful of people coming in and out all day. I love the smell of fresh sage and turkey roasting in the oven. I love the smell of pumpkin pie.
Our friends, family and neighbors come to our house with their families. Last year, we had 35 people here. It was the most amazing day. We spent time talking about old times, new times, our children, our families....we spent time getting to know all the new friends while intertwining our lives with the old friends.

We have so much to be thankful for this year. We have been blessed in so many ways:
Our children are healthier than they have ever been. They have all astounded us with wonderful grades and amazing behaviors in school.
They have all made new and really sweet friends. They have become more independent and responsible. Thank you God for that.
My husband has remained our biggest fan. He values each of his children and I must say I am so thankful to have found him to marry and be the father of our children.
My friends...old and new...who treat our family as one of theirs. Who value my children for all they are. For letting me vent when I have had a bad day...yes I get them...and letting me tell them joyous things that are happening to us.

See, Thanksgiving is, to me...the best holiday.
No gifts to give, but that of love and food.
Thanksgiving allows me to say a prayer of thanks:
Here it goes...
Thank you Lord for all that you have given us this year. Thank you Lord for the people in my life. Thank you for the patience you have given me when little things get out of control..Thank you for allowing me to see my children for what they are, not what I want them to be. Thank you for bringing wonderful people into our life and continue to do so....
Thank you for allowing me to mother the 6 most amazing children in the world. Thank you for bringing my husband into my life. I do not think I would be the mother I am without him. Thank you for my friends...they get my humor and appreciate it.

I wish everyone out their a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

I hope you too take the time to Give THANKS.....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

If It Is Mercury Poisoning...Then Why Call It AUTISM????

This is the question I wanted answered on the AW Forum. But, instead of anybody answering me, they all busted a gut and gave some sarcastic comments.
My question to parent's who believe their children can be recovered or defeated or cured from Autism is this....Did they have Autism to begin with? If mercury poisoning is real, then the numbers of autism would decrease and make more sense.
There are parent's who truly believe their children were poisoned by the mercury in the vaccinations they received. To me, that child would not have true autism, but autistic tendencies due to mercury poisoning....totally different diagnosis.
I have met parent's who label their children with autism and an array of other disorders....OCD, ADHD, ADD, Bi-polar....
With autism comes many facets. 3 of our children are very OCD, but they are not OCD, they are AUTISTIC. 1 of our sons is extrememly hyperactive, but he does not have ADHD, he is AUTISTIC. These are some of the tendencies that come with the label of Autism.

So if any parent out there wants to remove the sarcasm and debate this with me, I would love it. If not, then I assume you have no answers for me.
It is not really that difficult to get an autism diagnosis these days. Alot of children fit into the spectrum, because they have made the spectrum so broad. If doctors would just get back to the basics of autism, the spectrum would close.
But, as you and I know, there is way too much money to be made from parent's of austistic children wanting to Defeat, Cure or Recover them. How else can they justify having a grocery cart icon on their websites?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Thank God For Caitlin...

I thank God Caitlin was diagnosed with autism 13 years ago. There was not all the hype there is now. We did not have the array of "cures" that parent's now have to deal with.
When Caitlin was diagnosed in August of 1993, all that was around was the Autism Research Institute with Dr. Rimland. We were instructed to give her B6 and Magnesium and DMG. We tried this, because we were told she would speak soon after beginning these supplements.
6 months into it, no words, no behavior changes. We implemented the GFCF diet. Caitlin was miserable. She stopped drinking for fear we added something to her drink. We got her cues and stopped all the addidtives.

Caitlin always did well at school. She had her issues with aggression and doing things her way, but she always had good marks. She has never not wanted to go to school.
Through Caitlin we learned how to get her interests met at her ARD's. We learned how to manage her IEP's through our school district. We learned how to work well with these educator's. We respected them as much as they respected us and Caitlin.

Caitlin has taught us that autism is not sad. She is a happy 15 year old who loves school and football games. She is a very good student who does her homework and gets to classes and therapy on time. She is never late.
She does not obsess over boys and clothes. She does not care about hair, except she likes it long and in a ponytail. She does not gossip or treat anyone in a negative manner. She is a model student and daughter.

Because of Caitlin, all the other children in our home were treated with the same respect. We were prepared for what autism would mean with them. They have their own personalities. They are all well-adjusted and happy kids. I give all the credit to Caitlin for helping us in helping all the children that followed her in our house.

Friday, November 03, 2006

A Girlfriend's Guide To Autism:

This is the guide I would write if a good friend had a child who got the diagnosis of autism and she asked me my opinion....

1. The first thing I would say is...I will answer your questions, but you might not like what I am going to say.
2. Sit back and take a deep breath.
3. Do not look differently at your child. You have the same child you gave birth to, but now you have a reason for why they are like they are.
4. Take a little time to get angry, sad, mad, bitter, whatever....just don't dwell too much on the negative.
5. You can tell people if you want, that is totally up to you.
6. If your child is under the age of 3, call your local March of Dimes or Any Baby Can and request an evaluation. These people came to our home with 5 different children. They work with your child with Speech, ABA, OT, PT. They are the first steps in helping your autistic child.
7. If your child is over 3, contact your local school district to get an evaluation and to set up an education plan for your child. This is where my children have thrived. I am so grateful for our school district.
8. Read anything and everything you can about autism. You must decide what will work for your home and your family. Do not listen to everyone at one time. Look at all of your options. This may take a while...that is okay. You won't do anything you will regret later that way.
9. You may lose some friends and family members. They don't mean to be distant, they just don't know how to behave around you anymore. You don't need any Pity anyways.
10. Especially, do not pity yourself. That is the last thing your child needs.
11. Do not change your routines at home or out in public. Routine is very important for an autistic child. They rely on routine. It keeps them feeling safe and secure. If you have a change in routine, let your autistic child know in advance. I have learned that saves alot of anxiety come the day of change.
12. Keep your doctor and neurologist (or specialist) aware of any treatments you are undergoing that they do not prescribe.
13. If you are married or have a signifigant other, keep a date night or a date afternoon....it really helps with the stresses involved.
14. Do not keep your significant other out of any of the plans or procedures you arrange for your child. This will cause big problems later...believe me.
15. Most important, make sure your children know you love them. Make sure they feel safe and secure every day and every night. Let them know they can trust you and all that you say. Autistic children need to know they are secure and mine love the extra hard squeezes we give with our hugs.

You see, I do not see the big deal with having an autstic child or autistic children. After the initial shock of having Caitlin being diagnosed, all the other diagnosis just fell into place.
We would not love our children any more if they did not have the label of autism.

I do not see the need for all the drama that comes with the diagnosis. I don't see why parent's are feuding because one does biomedical and one doesn't. I do not see why some mother's are so damn mean about it.
I have had the pleasure of dealing with 3 mothers on the AW Forum board who are downright nasty. I would hate to be the child on the other side of that anger.
If these mother's do not think that their negative attitudes about autism do not reflect in how they deal with their children, they are sadly mistaken.
You can look at the pictures of one of these children and see they are not happy with the procedures done to them. How sad to have to cover you own butt at night...afraid your own mother is going to give you a suppository or a shot....

I know, I know.....you are a better mother because you are trying to make your child better....okay, if you buy that......

I am so glad to be married to the man I am married to. He adores his children and loves them more than life. He works so hard for our family and these kids show him how much they love him. He is our hero.....
He has never expected them to be any less than they are...and that is pretty damn good.

I am so happy to have the friends I have... the one's that except my children as they are. And love them no matter what. The friends that know these children are all they can be and will grow to be so much more.
I am thrilled to have met people on the internet that accept their autistic children as much as we do. Women that I have met that I love like a sister...you know who you are. Who know when I am serious and when I am kidding...thank you for that.
I hope you know that I admire you far more than you do me.

Autism is not a death sentence....it is a chance for a parent to look back and reevaluate what you wanted from your child's life. You must take the time to change every expectation you had of your child and just let what ever will happen, happen....

One of my very close friend's called me the other night to ask me about detention. I told her I have never had a child in detention. She did not understand....I told her that my children were not like her child. That detention would devastate them...they could never be bad at school.
I told her that when parent's look at autism as a bad thing, I do not....
I look at it as:
Yeah Autism:
1. Bus delivery at the door.
2. No boy crazy teens
3. Good grades.
4. No wanting name-brand labels on clothing.
5. No teen-age angst.....


Just A Routine Morning...

Every morning, Kiernan is the first to rise around 6 am. I am quick to follow. We come downstairs and he goes immediately to the computer and I start the pot of coffee. I make breakfast for the family and then pack lunches, for those who take their lunches.
We eat, get dressed for school. Deirdre leaves for the bus and Patrick and I drive the others to the school down the street.
This morning, as I was getting Kiernan to the car, a little boy yells out,"Hi, Kiernan"...Kiernan gets very happy and does his rocking and flapping and buzzing. The little boy tells his father, "Kiernan's funny"....
Kiernan is funny. He is inclusioned in this little boy's class room with an amazing Kindergarten teacher. Mrs. Tina Mello has taught 4 out of 6 of my kids Kindergarten. She does not hesitate to take a non-verbal child into her classroom. She teaches the other children that being "different" can be an asset...not a deterrent.
As we arrive at school, Kiernan decides to walk backwards down the hallway. I decide to join him. As we go down the hall, a little girl runs up to Kiernan and gives him a huge hug. She said, "Good Morning, Kiernan"....again the happy Kiernan dance.
We get to Kiernan's PPCD classroom. He enters and Mrs. Kelli Dominguez is waiting for him. She really adores him, and you can see it in her eyes. That feels good.... Mrs. Kelli came to Kiernan at a time when he really needed someone like her. God sends us Angels all the time. It is up to us to realize it. I hope she knows I realize that.
Kiernan sits down and starts his ABCs...yes, he knows them. He may not say them, but believe me, he knows them. This little boy can read and type anything he wants on the computer. Do not ever sell this child short, because he is non-verbal..
I leave Kiernan with a kiss and go check on Meaghan. She is fine and settled in her classroom. Her teacher, Mrs. Nancy Kuhlman has taught 4 of my children. From Caitlin in her worst days to Meaghan now. She has had every spectrum of our autistic family in her classroom. She has loved all of them. What an exceptional teacher...I don't know what we would do without her.
Next is little Patrick. By the time I get to his class, he is sitting down doing his morning work...diligently as usual. I talk to his wonderful teacher, Emily Carden...I explain that he is in blue jeans and sometimes he needs help zipping. He has some OT issues still. She assured me she would help him....and I know she will. She is so pretty. But, better yet, she is beautiful inside too.
Last stop is Erin. She is in the 4th grade commons and that is in a separate building. I peek my head in her classroom and tell her I love her. Her teacher is Mrs. Kristine Armantrout. She sees so much in Erin. That is important. Erin is the child that will work on something until she masters it. Mrs. Armantrout sees that in Erin. Erin does all of her own work. She is so smart and to top it off, she is the sweetest soul I have ever known. Mrs. Armantrout picked that up the first day she had her. That makes her special to me.

I then walk home. That gives me time to get my thoughts and plans for my day. I also have time to thank God for giving me all of my children. I do not know how I would be happy with even one of them not in my life. I thank God for letting us get as far as we have.
Caitlin is home waiting on the bus. I make sure she gets the bus. She waits outside. Sometimes patiently, sometimes she looks in the window for the time. She hates when the bus is late.
Caitlin was a very aggressive and hyperactive child from Early Childhood to about the 4th grade. When she was in the 2nd grade, she had Mrs. Mary Hutka. Mary taught Caitlin alot of social skills and how one is to behave in the classroom. Mary did not let Caitlin get away with ANYTHING. I believe Caitlin taught Mary what Autism really was. They both learned so much from each other. At the end of the school year with Caitlin, I sent Mary Hutka a gift of wine (to her home of course)...I figured after that year, she deserved it.

You see, Autism does not play a role in our morning routine. Our children function and have responsibilities like any other child.
They each have their chores and know what they are. They are great kids. I owe that to the school teachers and the many therapists in their lives. The people who saw so much potential in our children and who never let them fail at anything. The ones who told me with my first child....untie the apron strings Jeanette, let Caitlin go....let her show you what she is capable of. I am so glad I listened. Because Caitlin taught my husband and myself how to parent an autistic child, she has set the path for our other children. We know to expect no less from the others. And so far, they keep amazing us....

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Yes, Pop Pop, that is the first word my non-verbal little Kiernan will have said....the most beautiful two words I have ever heard.
I said, Pop Pop????? Kiernan repeated "Pop pop....".
He then lead me to the pantry.
I unlocked the door and he reached in for Popcorn....of course!!!

I couldn't be more pleased if he had recited the Declaration of Independence....

He may never say it again, he may say it forever....I do not care...
For today I got POP POP.....

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Shame Shame Is Your Name......

I went on the AW forum message board today, I was checking messages on a couple of comments that were made by a member who feels that parent's who do not do the biomedical approach for their autistic children are compared to enablers of alcoholics. I know, it makes no sense to me either.
Anyway, another one of her little cohorts decided on another topic to take the opportunity to berate and belittle a fellow blogger of ours and her son. I left my own comment, but that was deleted, along with the hers, because it had nothing to do with B12 shots, not to mention it was downright distasteful.
I need to write how I feel, because I cannot imagine hating someone so much that you would make a rude comment about their autistic child. Really, how low can someone go?
You can disagree with me, you can call me a BITCH, I do not care. But I will draw the line at any remarks to my children or friends of my children. I will draw the line when someone says I abuse or neglect my children or if someone comments about my friend in such a way.
Just because there are a select few on this AW forum that are bitter and mad at what life has given them, be it their husband's, parent's, friend's, family or children. I find it appalling and downright childish.
Now whatever these people comment on or write will be totally disregarded by me....I will hope they will find happiness in their shallow, little world's that they can stop commenting on other people's lives.

Ladies, look around you.....there must be something you can do or look at to make you happier.....
Better yet, go to one of those blogs that hate autism so much...you know the one...where they are allowed to talk badly about people they don't know...Believe me...you will fit in nicely there....