Autism in Love Screening

  
Calling all Washington State residents! There will be a free screening for Matt Fuller’s Autism in Love (2015) at KCLS’s Bothell location. More info. on this event can be found below:

Bothell Library

Saturday, December 05, 2015

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Four adults at different places on the autism spectrum open up their personal lives as they navigate dating and romantic relationships. Eye-opening, first-person portrayals show that despite many challenges faced by those with autism, love can find a way. A discussion will follow the film.

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Pop Quiz

Oliver’s new favorite pastime is being quizzed on sign language. Here are the signs he has down, as of today:

Eat – Drink – Cracker – Water – Cereal – Milk – Banana – Juice – Finished – Mom – Diaper – Potty – More – Bird – Fish – Cat – Dog – Horse – Where – Baby – Time – Wash Hands – Nice – Apple – Car

Signing allows communication and is making life so much easier. He is learning more every day and couldn’t be more proud of himself (neither could I)! 

How are YOU?

Dear parents of children and adults on the autism spectrum, how are you? I feel like my blog has been focused on my son and autism, in general, which hasn’t left much room for our thoughts and experiences, as parents. I feel grateful for every “How is Oliver doing?” that I get, but after noticing the absence of the “How are you?”, I wanted to ask it of all of you, from the bottom of my heart. I want you to feel heard, supported, and related to. 

Power Outage

Living in an area heavily populated by trees can make one more prone to power outages. High winds, heavy rain, flooding rivers, a closed highway, and a lack of electricity is what we have been enduring for the past 3 days. Luckily (usually an unlucky trait), Oliver has sensory sensitivities when it comes to light. Having only fire and candle light in the evening has him distraction free and ultra engaged. In these past 80+ hours, he has learned several new signs and has started doing the actions (and at one part singing along) to one of the songs they act out in his CUBS class. We are really enjoying this time together. 

2015’s Featured Story

I just got a phone call from Oliver’s early intervention center. They told me that at every year’s end, they choose a child’s story for their end-of-the-year donor letter. She informed me that they wanted the 2015 child to be Oliver because of our struggle to find a center that will accept us, our long drive, and his immense progress. So proud of him!

Reiki for Autism

I have been certified to practice Reiki 1 & 2 for around 4 years and it’s one of my greatest loves in life; I feel very confident in my energy reading and healing skills. I’ve recently been reading that reiki has been extremely beneficial to many people on the autism spectrum, so I’ve begun putting more time into working on Oliver. For those who are unfamiliar with this practice, reiki is “a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy,” (www.reiki.org). I only give Oliver reiki treatments when he is sleeping or when he is sitting down calmly, so that I can concentrate on certain areas with adequate focus. I begin by sitting down next to him and thinking about how much I love him and how greatly I want to help him. I rub my hands together, then slowly (about 2-3 inches away from his body) begin slowly “scanning” his body. By going slowly, you can feel tense energy in certain areas over others; this feeling, to me, has a similar feeling to that of when you attempt to put the wrong sides of magnets together. After performing the scan, I focus on the tense areas by holding my hands above said areas and just thinking of him thriving and feeling good. I do this for a few minutes then move on to the next spot. During this morning’s reiki treatment, I felt tension on Oliver’s head and, after finishing up, he turned to me with immense eye contact and put both of his hands on his head and smiled. He really felt it!

A few articles I have come across:

Reiki Mom Helps Kids: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/ART02746

Reiki and Autism: http://www.sallykobrien.com/reiki/reikiandautism.php

Reiki Practice Helps Son with Autism: http://reikiinmedicine.org/reiki-stories/reiki-healing-aspergers/

Reiki for Special Needs Children: http://www.wildiris.ca/pages/Reiki%20and%20Special%20Needs%20Kids.htm

1 in 45

Today is a big day for autism in the news. The statistics have, again, been updated and have risen from 1 in 68 (2013) to 1 in 45. The articles shows that 55.4% of those being diagnosed are between the ages of 3 and 10, 75% are male, 59.9% are caucasian, and 68% coming from a two parent household with 67.6% of those parents having post-secondary educations. It has broken my heart to read all of the articles published throughout the day. We have to get to the bottom of this!

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Read the Washington Post article here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/rweb/politics/report-1-in-45-children-have-autism/2015/11/13/4dde04521051ba7c5f22b9a409feab0a_story.html

CUBS (So Far)!

On the 1st day of Oliver’s CUBS class (ABA, SLP, OT autism class), I stayed in the room from start to finish, to ensure that he was comfortable. However, he had such a great time, that he didn’t check in with me once. On his 2nd day, I stayed in the classroom for 30 minutes before saying goodbye, with no issues. On the 3rd day, I stayed in for 10 minutes, and on the 4th and 5th days we have successfully said our goodbyes at the door. I am so proud of him! I’m so happy that he feels comfortable with his amazing team and in his classroom. I couldn’t be more impressed with this facility and it’s staff. I am now able to have 4 hours a week where I can simply observe him and I think that is much needed. I get to revel in his accomplishments, as well as have the opportunity to take a step back to notice the areas that he’s still struggling in, so I can work on them at home. There is a 20 minute period during each class where they are in the motor room, which doesn’t have a one sided mirror, so the parents have to stay in the waiting room. Today I brought a book and actually got to read without distractions– boy did that feel weird! I have loved getting to know the other parents, what red flags they saw, how long they’ve been in the program, and what other services they’re in. They are all so understanding and really tough. I say that they’re ‘tough’ because they have to work extra, extra hard to take care of their children and I have noticed a sense of strength, unconditional love, dedication, and perseverance that I truly feel the word “tough” can accurately define. All in all, I am happy to report that we are in a good place.

This week’s classes:

Monday:
Oliver was in such a funny mood on Monday. At one point, he took his long sleeve shirt off, but only off of his head, and then managed to wear the sleeves only in a backpack/shirt-hybrid sort of way. He then proceeded by dancing to no music, jumped really high while screaming “JUMP!” as loud as his lungs would allow, and continuously threw his “clean up” rag behind him while saying “uh oh”. One great thing about Monday was that the lovely lady who has been Oliver’s one and only therapist for the past 3 months started as a CUBS teacher in addition to our still-standing weekly visits. He was so excited to see her! She was just as thrilled to have him 3 days a week, rather than 1.

Wednesday:
Today Oliver had a laughter filled snack time with his one on one aide for the day. He pretended to feed her, after he took a bite, and then laughed until he couldn’t breathe. I love nothing more than see him thoroughly enjoying the company of another person. Speaking of today’s snack time, he had his first cookie (gluten and dairy free, but still) in honor of his friend’s graduation from the class, as the boy’s third birthday is around the corner and he will be too old for services.
He also sat still long enough to roll a ball back and forth with one of the adults he was working with– 5 consecutive times! It was another successful day in Oliver’s CUBS class.