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.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

THE FACE OF 8.....

Our oldest son turns 8 today...HAPPY BIRTHDAY PATRICK....
Patrick has come so far in his 8 young years. At the age of 18 months, he was
diagnosed with Autism. By the time he was 6 years old, he was indistinguishable
from his peers.
No, we did not use any magic "potions"
Patrick was born 2 days past his due date...he was induced because he was getting
so big. He was 9 lbs 4 oz. at birth.
I was so proud to give birth to my first born son.
As he started reaching his milestones, I noticed that there were things he could not
do. He cried alot, from birth. He played with objects, not toys.
Being that Patrick was our 5th born and we had already had 2 other children
diagnosed with Autism, we felt we were on the "road to Autism" yet again.
I was already pregnant with Kiernan by this time...
We immediately brought in an Early Intervention team of Physical, Occupational, Play and Speech Therapists. So, from the young age of 12 months to 3 years...school age....Patrick
had intensive therapies. He was seen daily by these wonderful therapists. 4 hours each
By the time Patrick was 2, I enrolled him in the local churches Mom's Day Out..He attended
with an aide. Patrick needed the peer interactions and was thriving around kids his own age.
At 3 years old, he began the Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities at our local
elementary school. Since then, Patrick has become inundated with the finest teacher's at
that school.
He has been loved and nurtured. He has been treated as an equal, if not as a role model.
You see, this young man has never, ever had any behavioral problems at school. He is the
epitamy of what a "good" student should be.
His teacher now is Mrs. Mary Hutka....she adores him and we adore her.
Mary Hutka is what every teacher should be...attentive, loving, and firm
when these little buggers need it.
Patrick is one of her "star" students....never a card change....NEVER.
Little Patrick was once labeled "the worse case of Autism they have ever seen" to
being the "indistinguishable from his peers".
If you are around Patrick for a small amount of time, you will begin to notice
some of his "autistic" tendencies.....his inability to tolerate anything wet and cold
on him..that is a problem with fingerpainting.
His shower issues...not water on his head...that is a problem with hairwashing.
The way he says his s, sh, th, f and p sounds....he is doing great in speech, but has
a long way to go.
Patrick DOES NOT have the Autism label at school. He never needed the label.
He does have the label with the neurologist, pediatricians and outside therapies.
At school, Patrick is just another student.....
At home, he is the best son a mother and father could ask for.
WE love you Patrick and HAPPY BIRTHDAY.....


Linda said...

Happy Birthday to a sweet boy. My 5-year old autistic son Patrick had a good year this year too (got potty-trained,yay) and is starting to say a few words. He also loves school and is a sweetheart.
My 3-year old non-autistic son's birthday is on 12/22, so I know it is a little harder having a birthday around the holidays.
But happy happy birthday to your beautiful son. Your blog gives me hope and makes me happy (seeing your great kids).
May 2008 bring more happiness and success to us all.
Best Wishes,
(Patrick and Ryan's Mom)

Marla said...

Happy Birthday! My daughter's was on Dec. 23rd. Lots and lots of December birthdays around here! This is my first visit to your blog!

Mom26children said...

Hi Marla,

Rachel said...

Happy birthday to your boy. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeanette,
I don't usually post on blogs, since I too, have come under the attack of "flamers". I have strong opinions myself, but I recognize that my opinions are just that--opinions, and I welcome respectful discussions with others whose opinions differ from mine.
Anyway, my reason for posting is because like many others, I first saw your family on Extreme Home Makeover and thought your family was incredible and so deserving of a better home. I also remember noticing the vast improvement in Patrick's speech from your audition tape to when he was interviewed during the taping of the show and thought, "Wow, only a child who works really hard and is determined could improve so much so quickly." I have only seen your son on an hour-long TV show, but I can see that he is a very gifted and talented young man who will do great things. (And what a handsome young man--you will be fighting the girls away in a few years haha!) Anyway, God bless you, your husband, and your amazing children.

Anonymous said...

I am impressed with your attitude. It seems most ASD parents treat AU like a horrible thing, worse than death. I'm an autistic adult. I like me, I'm quite successful, even famous in my milieu (my perseveration, I made a career of it). I don't want to be "normal". Not to say I don't have issues. The being wet and cold thing really resonates. I'm 46 years old but I want to cry, melt down if I'm wet and cold. And I still don't like showers and getting my head wet. Patrick probably won't grow out of it either. Sorry. :)