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.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

JUST THE FACTS......

I have decided to take a few minutes, out of a very busy day, to set some facts straight about me, my family and my life. What you are about to read is the TRUTH....not the blatant LIES that are thrown out all over the internet about me.

I am the mother of 6 children. 5 of them are on the autism spectrum. My oldest will be 16 tomorrow (OMG) and the youngest will be 6 next month. They are labeled with classic autism. They both fit this label and will remain Autistic the rest of their lives. Caitlin was exactly like Kiernan at his age. She tore clothes out of dresser drawers, like him....she smeared her feces, like him....she did not talk, like him. Caitlin now completely is self-sufficient, yet she needs constant supervision (for safety reasons). She does not smear feces, destroy drawers and she talks. She will answer any question and will tell you what it is like to be autistic. She is an amazing artist and a truly AMAZING person. Kiernan has his moments, but I would not trade him for the world.
Erin, 10 and Patrick, 7 are in the PDD-NOS part of the spectrum. At one time, they were severely autistic. Through maturation and perseverance on their part, the school's part and yes my Husband and myself's part, they got better. NO biomedical, chelation, or B12 shots required. Also, these 2 are now fully inclusioned and are indistinguishable from their same-aged peers (and better behaved, I might add). These 2 used to smear feces, toothpaste, mud, etc. Erin and Patrick would scream for hours. They outgrew this behavior.
Deirdre, 12, was diagnosed with Asperger's when she was 9. This diagnosis was a surprise to us. It did not change who Deirdre was, just explained her quirkiness and her amazing way to describe things in the most accurate detail. She is the smartest person I know. She has social issues and has struggled with this for years. I am happy to say, she has found a lovely group of friends that adore her.....along with her adoring family, what more could a girl need?
Meaghan is our only NT (so to speak). She is far more challenging to me than any of the autistic children. She has all the angst that a little 9 year old girl should have and the attitude to go with it. She has more friends than I can count and they all love her.

Please note, that there is not one of these children I would not have wanted to give birth to. We adore each and every one of these children. When questioned why I had so many children when we had a child with autism, I first say, None of your business....then I explain that I was pregnant with Meaghan (#4) when we found out Erin was autistic. I had Patrick 2 years later, while using a low-dose birth control (the only birth control I could use, because I was still breast feeding a 13 month old Meaghan. ). Patrick was 6 months old when I became pregnant with Kiernan....same birth control.
My children are all wanted and loved.....don't ever question that again.....

Now, there is another story being spewed across the internet. This is that I curse out parent's who do biomedical, chelation, B12 etc. That is a LIE.....show me where I EVER cursed out any person on the internet.
I have never called anyone "trashy", a lazy bugger, psychotic, etc....Sound familiar to any of you out there? If you need your memory refreshed, just ask me, I will let you know who you are.
I have only written that I believe it is very sad that a child of such a young age should be subjected to these kind of procedures. Call them what you want, but it is barbaric to ME....
You can use whatever excuse you want to make you happy for doing this, but I cannot see being a well-adjusted child while undergoing these procedures. My opinion.
See, I did not call names...just stated my opinion.
You guys might want to try this.

There is also someone out there, in lala land, who is writing that my husband has anger-management issues with me. How funny is that? My husband is by far the most patient man I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He is not as out-spoken as his adoring wife, but he has not one abusive bone in his 6'5" frame. I hope you all have someone in your lives that love you as much as my husband loves me and his children.

Now, about our new house. I cannot mention the interior until the show airs. But, I was not given a GAG ORDER not to blog or go onto message boards. I took that upon myself, because I read some things written by 2 women in particular. I did not need to give them any fodder.
I hope when the show is aired, they watch with an open mind and truly see the beauty, intelligence and stregnth in our children. I hope they look past the fact that we were in financial difficulty and our home was not in stellar condition.
I hope they see how our whole community rallied together to give us this amazing gift and also see the gift that was given to the community in return.

Also, we did not nominate ourselves for this show. Our neighbor, Stan, nominated us. He is like family to us and saw we were in a situation we needed help with. Thank God for him. He is the person I will go to if I ever decide to run for office (just kidding, of course).

I do not have time for any more of the nonsense written about me from people who obviously do not know me. I have plenty of time for the loved ones in my life. The people that I have chosen to surround me and my family. I do not keep negatives in my life. That is bad for my children. I do not HATE anybody or anything. I just know who to keep out of our lives and who to let in.

And on one more note, while I am stating the FACTS, I find it interesting that people who write such negatively things about me on the blogger that Hates Autism so much ( you know the one), finds it necessary to hide behind the ANONYMOUS label. All I can say to that is how ridiculous it is that people believe what is written by someone who is not even brave enough to write their real names. If you want to accuse me of something, have the chutzpah to let me respond to a real person. There are very feeble-minded people out their that really believe the CRAP you write about me and my family. Get some back-bone or leave me out of your comments.

I hope this helps to understand my family better.
We are a "normal" family. My children are not defined by their autism. They are defined as the following:
Beautiful
Smart
Caring
Well-behaved
Quirky
Funny
Huggable
Loud
Respectful
ADORED by all

What more could a Mother and Father ask for?

17 comments:

Sharon said...

Hi Mom26

I was delighted to see some posts from you appear on my blog reader today. What great news about your new home. I'd love to be able to see the programme but I don't know if it's ever shown in the UK or Ireland.
My deepest sympathy to you for the loss of your dear friend. It sounds like you have had a lot to deal with lately.
It's awful that people are bad mouthing you. I can't believe that some are rude enough to criticise your family size.
Thanks for the snapshot of your great kids. I would have thought many people worrying about their difficult autistic 3 and 4 yo would be filled with hope to read about the benefits of acceptance (NOT resignation),maturation and a loving education.

Oh and a very happy birthday to the sweet 16 Caitlin!

Mom26children said...

Hi Sharon,
I believe it airs at a later date in the UK. Here it airs on Feb 18.
I do miss Jane, every day. I just sprinkled some of her ashes in her favorite tree, in my yard. That was hard.
People who criticize are not happy with their lives, I really believe that. Nothing I can do about that. But, I must set the record straight about all the LIES written about my family.
Yes and 16 years old. I am in shock by that. She has matured into quite a lovely young woman.
If you do not get the show, I will gladly send you a DVD....I promise.
Jeanette

GG said...

Sharon, one thing you need to know about Jeanette, she keeps her promises!

Jeanette-
Thanks for setting the record straight!! It needed to be done.

Melanie said...

I grew up with an autistic sibling, and a friend through grade school with Asperger's.

I volunteered at the house late last year. Two days into working, I found out about your family and the reason for the project, and became that much more excited and passionate.

I had the pleasure of working on your house from the first day to the last - working an 8 hour day, napping, shuttling to Austin and working there 8 hours, napping again, then starting over. But oh so worth it. You are right, the house is so beautiful, and we will all be in for an amazing treat from EMHM tonight, as always.

I have been so bubbly inside with stories and snapshots that I've had to keep to myself until this evening. I'd love to share with you the photos I do have. Especially one that Ty posed for in Kiernan's room.

You likely wouldn't remember because of all the buzz going on, but I was one of the few left working the day after yall got back. I met a few of your kids at one point when they found their way to the tornado of a garage and realized that was all their stuff, hehe. Your husband came out and oh-so-patiently re-directed them. He poked outside for a moment later and thanked the three of us. For anyone to claim he is a man of anger or frustration is bothersome.

I hate (yes, using the proper word there) those who have what we sometimes jokingly refer to as 'diarrhea of the mouth'. But that's just what this person who speaks of your family is. So many perceptions and assumptions of autistic children, how they behave at home and in public, how their parents must raise them. I just don't get it.

Do we as a culture derive some sense of pride out of feeling we have the social or emotional upper hand on others?

Mom26children said...

Hi Melanie,
If I did not thank you that day, I wish to thank you now. I am so glad you got to meet the kids, after all, that is what this was about.
Today has been very hectic, and tonight will be an experience. Thank you for your kind words and again, for the help in building our kids this amazing home.
P.S.
I would love to see the pictures.
Jeanette

Life in Fitzville said...

Hi, I saw the EMHE show tonight, and then found your blog. Good for you for standing up for your family! Your kids are beautiful, and waht great parents you both seem like. I was a SPED teacher, who spent my early years working with Autistic kids, and also have a few very close friends with Autistic kids, so I know first hand what incredible people they can be.

And by the way, I have 7 kids of my own, from 15 down to 4, and I am very jealous of your new washer and dryer!

Another Autism Mom said...

I've just watched the show, and I was in tears at the end... I wish the best to you and your beautiful family.

I agree with Sharon, this show gives us hope about the future of our autistic toddlers, and it's unbelievable how mean people can be without even knowing who or what they are talking about.

Steph said...

I watched the show last night and was crying because of how happy I was that your beautiful family received such a blessing. I am the mom of a 7 year old 'aspie', a 4 yr old NT (so far- though I am seeing some stims with him and can't figure out if he's mimicking his brother or what), and due with a baby girl in May. I can't see how anyone could think that a parent with special needs kids shouldn't want any of them, for whatever reason. You and your husband seem to be amazing parents and I am thrilled for your family!

S.L. said...

Jeanette,
The show was awesome! You have a beautiful family--it was great to put faces to all the names!! I was crying a few minutes into it--when Meghynn (sp?) reacted to the crew arriving--I could so relate to your relationship with her and the struggles she goes through, I see it with my older daughter as well. It really moved me--your entire family did. What amazing kids, all of them. I've always loved your blog & to see you & your family in action, priceless. It was also nice to know that millions of people were going to be watching an inspiring & positive piece on autism. You & your husband, your whole family, give the rest of us something to look up to & to strive for.

Oh...and for the record--anyone who wants to spread lies & speak ill about you or your husband, they can just go you know where! They need to get a life.

I love the new house & am so happy the makeover happened for y'all--couldn't think of a better family for it. ENJOY IT!!! Take care.

Clay said...

Hi, I saw the show last night, and it was great! So glad you got the help you needed, and in the nick of time, too.

Don't worry about the "autism hater", he'll never know the love that your family has, mired in hate and ignorance as he is.

Kim Ann said...

Saw the show, read some of your blog. So glad that your family got the new home, you all deserve it!!!!! I have 5 children- 1 with autism (our oldest)and also 1 with cystic fibrosis. I wish you all happiness and the best in the years to come for your family! You gave me such hope and encouragement seeing you with your children. Thank you!
Kim Ann

Anonymous said...

A quote in answer to your post:

Great minds discuss ideas.
Average minds discuss events.
Small minds discuss people.

These people are merely small-minded. Your opinion is yours - theirs is theirs. I love that you know that!

I too saw the EMHE show last night, and I fell in love with each of your children instantly. The love you all have is SO heartwarming. You've done well by them! Keep it up - and congratulations.

Mom to a beautiful 10 y/o son with Autism

DJ said...

Congratulations on the new house and happy birthday to Caitlin!

I am a 31 year old adult on the spectrum and I just wanted to say "Thank you" for accepting your kids as they are and having the courage to face the backlash. It's interesting to see how such a simple concept is anaethema to so many people.

Good on you and I hope all of your kids are happy and successful in the ways that they imagine!

DJ

Dadof6Autistickids said...

We just started our own blog Autism Bites and the first comment we got referred your blog as being of possible interest to us.

BOY IS IT!

First I'll relate our story we tell people (an edited version geared to you, since your family is mentioned):

START OF STORY

We are the parents of six children diagnosed with the Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Each day is a challenge, something happens EVERY day. It was recommended that my wife be evaluated also. The Dr. said she is borderline clinically depressed and had generalized anxiety disorder (we weren't too surprised about that). She is taking Zoloft to help her through each day.

When we married we wanted a larger than average family. When each baby came we felt there was still one more little child waiting in Heaven to be a part of our family. After the sixth, that feeling was gone and we felt complete as a family. We didn't suspect something was going on, with the children, until the last baby was almost one year old. Also, we did not have an official diagnosis for all the children until November of 2006.

In February 2007 we watched YOUR episode of “Extreme Makeover Home Edition”, we enjoy it as a family to see if the family's story is as tough as our own. The show said that the family, they helped build a new home for, had the most documented Autistic children (5) for one family in the United States. My wife and I looked at each other, we have SIX documented Autistic children. It looks like WE have the most in the country, who knows maybe the world (isn't THAT special?!).

The 3 youngest are still in diapers and the 3 and 5 year old are completely non-verbal, they are also our biters (chomp!). We have to put them in backward one piece outfits to keep them from stripping and smearing their poop everywhere. Our 3 year old climbs on, breaks and rips EVERYTHING. His nickname we've given him is “The Destroyer” (like Conan the Destroyer).

We're trying hard to be the best parents our children need. Unfortunately our lack of space at home and our finances make it very difficult. I as the Father wish for a situation where I can stay home to help my wife cope, but I have to work of course. We came up with the idea of a website, with Autism Awareness t-shirts, where we hope earn a small income. The progress is slow. But by the grace of God we are hanging in there and hope that our example can help other Autistic parents.

END OF STORY

After your “Home Makeover” we've been trying to find a way to get ahold of the people at ABC to get a copy of the program and what they did for you. The talking computer could be great, we hope, for our 3 and 5 yr old. Who makes it? I saw another post that you may have access to DVD copies of your “Home Makeover”? If so what would be the cost to get one? We'd also like to talk with you and your husband to get ideas on dealing with many Autistic children. It looks like you've blazed the trail and, if we can, we'd like to learn from your experiences. Thanks!

nanny2013 said...

I nanny for a 9 year old autistic girl... I need help... I don't know what to do for when she gets into her tantrums... she will throw things and hit me and stuff... I how do I get her out of the tantrum and she screams for hours on end... please help what are some strategies I can use...

Mom26children said...

Nanny,
You can email me off of the comments post if you wish...
mom26children@aol.com.

Jeanette

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