I have another fun-to-read quote from Ethan to share . . . we have Pongo & Perdita (and Roger & Anita) to thank for this one, I believe. 101 Dalmatians has been Ethan’s most recent fascination, since he got the updated DVD movie as an Easter gift from mom and dad.

Out of the blue, as we’re preparing to leave for swimming lessons earlier this evening, Ethan says, “Sometimes when you fall in love, you have to make silly faces; I can’t wait!

Love it! Especially coming from my Aspie kid who has trouble negotiating what facial expressions mean/show on a daily basis. I love that he’s focusing in on faces and I love that he can’t wait to fall in love!

Posted by Leigh, filed under Asperger's Syndrome, Family. Date: March 26, 2008, 9:40 pm | 9 Comments »

Today, on our way to McKinney Trade Days, Ethan looked out the window at a green field (no houses, few cars, etc.) and declared, “God is so creative!”

Out of the mouth of our babe . . .

Later at Trade Days he was kind enough to tell two wood crafts people–at seperate booths–“you’re very talented.” He meant it.

God is creative, nature is beautiful and many people are talented in our world. Ethan is a miracle and I love his unique, fresh and welcome perspective in my life. I am thankful for it everyday.

Posted by Leigh, filed under Asperger's Syndrome, Family. Date: March 16, 2008, 5:51 pm | 10 Comments »

12  Mar
Scandalous!

Excellent reading on the topic of vaccinations & autism AND the arguments which link the two:  http://www.vaccinationnews.com/Scandals/2008/Mar_11_08/Scandal88.htm. (The link to this article is being shared with you thanks to permission from the author, Sandy Gottstein.) 

Now, I’ll reiterate: I DO think that vaccinations partially contributed to Ethan’s Asperger’s Syndrome. I DON’T think that they were the only thing that led to Ethan’s AS. In addition to a FULL CDC-recommended schedule of vax, I also blame the 8 amalgam fillings (silver fillings which have a high percentage of mercury) that I had throughout my pregnancy w/Ethan. (All 8 have since been removed.) I also credit us breathing the toxic air we had living right near the intersection of Highways 183 & 360 which just happens to be directly south of DFW airport! That’s a lot of nasty vehicle exhaust when you think about it! 

So, while I’m not one of the parents out there who blames vaccines for every aspect of their child’s autism, I am a proponent of further research taking place AND a huge proponent of parents taking it slow with their children’s vaccination schedule. Be safe–not sorry.  Ethan is doing VERY well, but we spend tons of money every week to supply him with Occupational & Physical Therapy, Social Skills Group Therapy, extra-curricular activities which are shown to help children with Sensory Processing Disorders (highly correlated with Autism Spectrum Disorders,) and keeping him on a biomedical protocol with many expensive supplements. My point? . . . Autism is expen$$$$$ive and exhausting! 

Here’s to staying informed,

~Leigh 

Proud Mom to Ethan, 5 years old living with Asperger’s Syndrome & Sensory Processing Disorder  

Posted by Leigh, filed under Asperger's Syndrome. Date: March 12, 2008, 1:56 pm | 1 Comment »

Gotta’ love patient, understanding family and friends when it comes to living with Asperger’s Syndrome! Tonight, while waiting for a table in the oh-so-crowded and even noisier Texas Roadhouse peanut shell-laden waiting hall, Ethan cracked me up with a very Aspergian comment.

 

Ethan was sitting on Grandpa’s lap (after a few grouchy episodes, a kicking experience with Grandpa on the receiving end, and one meltdown over the “no more peanuts” verdict.) The two of them were cuddling while passing time with eyes alternately on the B-ball game on the TV and the colorful video games. When a commercial came on and Grandpa said, “Ooh, look at that deer!” Ethan simply replied in a slightly know-it-all manner, “Actually, that’s a gazelle.” Whether it was or not, I honestly don’t know because my eyes were on Ethan. But—most likely—Ethan was right. His memory for facts is tremendous and blows us all away on various occasions!

Grandpa is hard of hearing so he didn’t hear the comment, but even if he had, he’s the kind of family member who finds Ethan’s social faux pas (like this one,) amusing and endearing. I’m thankful for that attitude and for the times when these little learning experiences make me laugh—rather than cringe.

Posted by Leigh, filed under Asperger's Syndrome, Family. Date: March 7, 2008, 10:30 pm | No Comments »

02  Mar
Temple Grandin!

Thursday night, I made a road trip down to Huntsville to attend Sam Houston’s 5th Annual Student Council for Exception Children Conference: Meeting the Needs of All Learners, which was held on Friday, Feb. 29th–Leap Day. Simply getting to hear Dr. Temple Grandin [arguably the *most* well-known and outspoken Aspie alive] speak, combined with the reasonable cost of the event, I just could not pass up this opportunity.

The conference was well done and Dr. Grandin was a great keynote speaker. I was thoroughly impressed. She made a point of stating that we as ASD parents and educators need to draw the line between simply rude behaviors (think laughing at a fat person in the grocery store) and those truly caused by issues with AS (think sensory issues which drive a child over-the-top.) It was empowering and helped me to know that we are on the right path with our precious boy. While we don’t let Ethan get away with being a rude little $#!^, we also understand when he cannot handle certain things and do all that we can to help him cope. It is a delicate balance, but we’re constantly learning and currently maintaining.

I now have two titles, written and personally inscribed by Dr. Grandin, in my ever-growing ASD library!

A bonus: The wonderful Sam Houston SCEC chapter President and Conference Co-Director, James Williams–a young man living with AS himself, kindly offered me the opportunity to donate a couple copies of ALL BETTER which were used as door prizes. I received good feedback from a few attendees about the book and felt honored to support this conference!

Thank you James and the SCEC for such a fantastic opportunity and for hosting such a great conference.

Posted by Leigh, filed under ALL BETTER, Asperger's Syndrome. Date: March 2, 2008, 11:23 pm | No Comments »

Ethan had a comprehensive eye exam on Thursday and we walked away with good news!

While he is a bit far-sighted, Ethan doesn’t need lenses and our new doctor, Dr. Shidlofsky, said that there are certain activities Ethan’s Occupational Therapist can do to help with the other visual weaknesses found during our visit. He also shared that Ethan’s eye contact is very good for a child with Asperger’s Syndrome. I was thrilled! Not only do I NOT have to schedule a new therapy (and pay for it,) but Dr. S. is actually willing to simply e-mail our OT to give her his findings and suggestions! Teamwork–what a novel concept!

Dr. S. also shared that he has found that kids with Sensory Processing Disorder do well with ice skating (check–we’re doing it,) swimming (check–weekly lessons,) Tae Kwon Do (plans to enroll this summer,) and gymnastics (have been doing off and on for the past couple of years!)

And, as a side note, Ethan managed very well in the exam room on Thursday. He even made Dr. S.’s assistant laugh on several occasions. He really can be such a charmer! Once during the letter readings, when it was obvious that Ethan was growing impatient with all of the expectations, he rattled off a string of about 15 random letters (much like an eye chart looks) but it was obvious that he was doing it just to “finish.” He did soldier through the rest, even having his eyes dilated, with the promise of some sugar-free gum and a new Caterpillar bulldozer.

I’m proud of the little guy and I was happy to give him some fruit-flavored Spry Gum and a new construction toy for lasting through our most recent appointment. We’ll be headed back in for a follow-up in six months to reassess and see if there have been any changes or improvements; trust me, I’ll have some sugar-free gum, and maybe a mini-fork lift, in tote.

Posted by Leigh, filed under Asperger's Syndrome. Date: March 2, 2008, 10:52 pm | No Comments »