Well–it is official!

Starting on Wednesday, you’ll be able to regularly read my ramblings on the Dallas Moms Blog via the Dallas Morning News website. My posts will pertain to parenting a child with special needs; especially mothering a certain charming little boy with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Please tune in when you’re able and leave a comment when you feel so moved! Posts will go live every Wednesday at noon, but you can take a look and comment whenever you have a few moments throughout the week. You can even follow the Dallas Moms on Facebook and Twitter.

I had the pleasure of meeting many of the other Dallas Moms and the gracious and talented Editor of the Blog–Nancy Churnin, last night; what an amazing goup of women! I feel truly honored to be among such great company. I’m looking forward to learning a great deal and hope you’ll come along for the ride!

Cheers!

Posted by Leigh, filed under Asperger's Syndrome, Family. Date: January 23, 2010, 11:17 pm | 2 Comments »

19  Jan
Literally

As with many people living with Asperger’s Syndrome, Ethan often takes phrases and comments from other very literally. Frequently it gives us a good laugh and always gives us an opportunity to help Ethan understand that we may not always mean what we say…

This weekend, my phone rang and a friend left a message while I was drying my hair. When I came into the kitchen, Greg said, “Your boyfriend called.” As I walked over to pick up my phone and check my voice mail, Ethan frankly stated, “Mommy, I didn’t know you had a boyfriend.”

So innocent. So honest. So sweet.

Needless to say, we had a discussion about Daddy being silly and how married people don’t have boyfriends and girlfriends anymore. So many lessons in life!

Posted by Leigh, filed under Asperger's Syndrome. Date: January 19, 2010, 12:38 am | No Comments »

15  Jan
Can you Duet?

There have been numerous times over the past few years that Ethan has requested that Greg or I be silent in the car while he joyfully sings along to our music selection, whether it be Jack Johnson, The Eagles or James Taylor. Usually we allow him to assert some control, but help him ask in a mannerful way.  However there are other times we make Ethan endure our singing along with his and the musician’s to help teach him that he cannot control every situation and always manipulate circumstances to his personal preferences. Just a few days ago I was wondering to myself if Ethan would ever get to the point that he would WANT someone else to sing with him. Today he unexpectedly requested that I sing a duet with him in the car!

Ever seen the Disney movie Bolt? The two main characters are voiced by Miley Cyrus and John Travolta and the theme song, “I Thought I Lost You,”  is pretty catchy. There are only two songs with lyrics on the soundtrack; all the others are instrumentals which Ethan likes because he can visualize exactly with which part of the movie the music correlates. Ethan has been absolutely stuck on “I Thought I Lost You” for about 2 weeks now…singing or humming it constantly. The humming and singing is common for him, but he usually switches up the songs. This afternoon I was very surprised and encouraged when he asked me to sing Miley’s lines and he belted out John’s; especially since I was thinking to myself not that long ago that it was something “we” would have to work on. Smart little guy–he worked it out himself! 

It may not seem like much to anyone looking in from outside, but I consider this self-initiated growth and progress such a gift.

Hooray Ethan!

Posted by Leigh, filed under Asperger's Syndrome, Family. Date: January 15, 2010, 2:22 am | No Comments »

Dear Readers,

A piece I wrote about Ethan, Asperger’s Syndrome, Family and Finances just went live today on the “Dallas Moms Blog” at the Dallas Morning News website! Check it out here.

As always, thanks for reading.

Posted by Leigh, filed under Asperger's Syndrome, Family. Date: January 13, 2010, 2:31 pm | No Comments »

It truly doesn’t seem possible that 2009 can already be a thing of the past and that 2010 is here, four days into it, nonetheless! Does it?

Over the years, I’ve made New Year resolutions; some I’ve kept and some I haven’t…this year I hope to really give each one the attention it deserves. I figure if I post my resolutions here, for all to see–all of my friends, family, colleagues and other readers can help hold me accountable! Are you in? (Feel free to post your resolutions in the comments if you are so inclined; I’ll help hold you accountable, too!)

Resolution #1: This resolution involves keeping a strict food journal for Ethan to try to detect food intolerances (via health and behavior trends) we may have missed over the past 3 years on our journey with Asperger’s Syndrome; Ethan had a tough fall at school (100% included in 1st grade) and I want to make sure we are doing everything we possibly can to help him on the home front! We’re also doing some blood testing through Dr. Rao to pinpoint any pesky food culprits (results due late this month), but keeping this journal is one sure-fire way I can feel in control and know that I really am doing all that I can to feed Ethan well according to what his body needs and does not. (For past blog posts regarding Ethan’s biomedical treatments, check my old posts!)

Resolution #2: I’m also going to rework our family diet to include more healthful, healing foods. (This really goes hand-in-hand with the resolution above, but will benefit Greg and myself, as much as Ethan!) Ever heard of Cooking to Heal? I saw Julie Matthews (Certified Nutrition Consultant) and and Suesson Ross Vess (Chef & Food Coach) present at the DAN!Conference in Dallas in October 2009. They were extremely inspiring and motovational. My mom and dad ordered the Cooking to Heal DVD and workbook for me as one of my Christmas gifts! What a true gift it will be for all of us (when it arrives, hopefully this week!) I already own Julie Matthew’s Nourishing Hope for Autism and Suesson Vess’ Special Eats: Simple Delicious Solutions for Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Cookingand plan to put all of them (plus the aresenal of other great cookbooks and guides I have to GF and GF/CF cooking) to good use in 2010.  So Dear Readers, If you’re interested in hearing how our dietary adventures go (think “Julie and Juliastyle) let me know!

Resolution #3: Put the oxygen mask on! Our wonderful Dr. Rao reminded me in December that if I don’t take care of myself, I won’t be able to take care of Ethan the way I wish to care for him…Dr. Rao said that when he first heard that air passengers seated next to small children should put their oxygen masks on first in the event of an emergency, he thought it was selfish. But after considering the consequences, he understood the need for adults to place masks on first so that they can stay conscious long enough to meet the needs of the children seated next to them. So, with this analogy in mind, I plan to give my dietary and supplement regimen more attention and refocus on my fitness and health. I’m really pretty great at meeting Ethan’s needs when it comes to supplements/medications/exercise, but I don’t focus on myself and my health has paid a costly price. Time to refocus!

Resolution #4: Write more, espcially material for kids. In the past several years, I have been blessed with a growing freelance business and I am truly grateful and thankful for each opportunity and all that I have learned. While I hope to continue to build my editing/freelance writing business, I also want to dedicate a larger portion of my writing time to pursuing my Children’s writing. I’m sure this will involve continued involvement in my wonderful local SCBWI chapter, but I also know that I need to take a step back from leadership roles this year to allow myself to fully benefit from all of the opportunities NC/NE Texas SCBWI has to offer in 2010.

Here’s to bringing in the New Year with a healthful, prosperous focus.

Welcome 2010!

Posted by Leigh, filed under Asperger's Syndrome, Children's Writing, Family. Date: January 4, 2010, 12:24 pm | 6 Comments »