Tears of Frustration: Party of 2

While a majority of my days with Oliver reflect growth and happiness, today was one of the  off days. I always try my best to keep my cool; I aim to be persistent, understanding, and encouraging for him.

He is still drinking from bottles, despite working on it in his autism class (and his occupational therapist and at home with me). When he isn’t biting off the tips of the nipples, he is shaking and/or pressing it into the floor to make it all spill out. After yet another puddle this morning, I took it away and gave him a sippy cup and figured if he got thirsty enough he would drink from it. This was not the case.

He is also still having issues with feeding. He’s allergic to a lot of different foods (see my post on “Allergy Test” to read about his allergies) and also happens to be extremely picky. In addition to feeling the need to give him his sippy cup, I also decided that he was going to attempt GFCF waffles, carrots, rice crisps, and almond cheese this morning. I know that one food needs to be introduced at a time, but I have been attempting to introduce foods slowly for so long now with little to no success (aside from the single occasion where he took a bite out of a carrot a few weeks ago). I woke up feeling determined, so I went with it and hoped for the best. He ate all of the cheese and rice crisps (yay!) and then cried when I tried to feed him the waffles. After two attempted bites of waffle, I tried the carrot out and he just kept trying to throw it on the floor.

After cleaning up and washing dishes, he signed that he wanted a bottle. I sat him down and told him that he would need to drink from his sippy cup if he was thirsty. He proceeded by throwing it on the floor. As time passed, I attempted more non-fruit/carb foods and then eventually caved and gave him his beloved toast, fruit, and cereal. Throughout the next couple of hours, he cried between hitting me, hitting himself, throwing himself onto the ground, flipping his table over, knocking the baby gate over, and breaking his nana’s crystal window hanging — all because he wanted his bottle. I knew that if he was truly thirsty and not just wanting a bottle nipple to bite off, then he would drink, so I stayed consistent with my word. The cries and hits began wearing on me before I caved yet again and fell into tears. I haven’t felt quite that frustrated in a while, so it was rather overwhelming. I want to stick with it so that he will learn that I mean business, but it becomes so stressful that all I can think about is how badly I want to end his meltdown by giving in. I know that cutting him off cold turkey probably isn’t the answer, but I have been trying for nearly one year and felt suddenly fed up with the lack of change in this area.

I took a deep breath and cuddled him, feeling like somewhat of a failure. I plan to touch base with his early intervention team on Monday, but for now, I wanted to share a tough excerpt from our day with all of you since I often forget to do so.

Have any of you dealt with this or something like this? I’d love to hear suggestions.

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Today is Oliver’s 2nd Birthday!

2 whole years ago at 11:02 a.m, Oliver was born… WOW! I can’t believe how quickly time has passed and how much excitement, surprise, and love has filled every passing moment. Oliver has been blessed with a caring and compassionate community and, for that, I couldn’t be more grateful. He is a sweet, funny, musical, cuddly, dancing, clumsy, spirited, deep thinker of a little boy and I am so fortunate to watch him grow each and every day. He has come so far in such a short time– I can’t wait to see what this upcoming year will bring for us! Also, it should be noted that we went to the aquarium yesterday with zero meltdowns and endless amounts of fun. To end the day, we ate at a restaurant (for the first time in a year and a half) and he did amazing. He blew me away!

Wish my sweet boy a ‘Happy Birthday’ in the comments, if you so desire.

** CALLING ALL AUTISM PARENTS **

I have just launched a page on my website where I will be featuring your child’s story! This will help parents with concerns and the parents of newly diagnosed children. I believe that being aware of the early signs is key! Help me spread the word by sharing your story.

Please email me your stories in the following format:

To: letsgethealing@gmail.com
Subject: My Story
Message (Please include the following in your story):
-Your name (can be a pseudonym or left anonymous)
-Your child’s name (can be a pseudonym or left anonymous)
-Where you’re from (optional- this is used to meet new, local people who are in the same boat)
-When your first concerns were and what they were
-What services or lifestyle changes, if any, that you have pursued since diagnosis

*If you have a blog or website of your own, please include that so I can put that in your story.

Benefits of Weighted Blankets for Kids with Special Needs

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Read more: http://www.jadelouisedesigns.com/weighted-blanket/

Oliver’s weighted blanket seems to be the only thing that will send him to sleep. I don’t know how naps existed prior to our purchasing of one. I love supporting small businesses (and paying less money is a plus, too), so we got ours from the Etsy shop Weighted Creations. This one to be exact: https://www.etsy.com/listing/182119049/weighted-blanket?ref=shop_home_active_15

Do your children use weighted blankets? How do they like them?

Changes!

I have updated the following pages:
‘Our Story’, ‘What is Autism?’, and ‘Resources’

Feel free to look them over and offer your thoughts and feedback!

I also just started a new page that is titled ‘Other Parents’ Stories’. Visit this page to read more. I’d love to feature your story on this page!

Oliver Approved & Allergy Free Bread Recipe

Allergy Free Bread

I was so fortunate to have a friend with a child on the autism spectrum point out to me that the Udi’s bread that Oliver was eating held ingredients that he was allergic to in it, which I somehow missed when ingredient glancing at the grocery store. She makes her son’s bread and gave me this delicious recipe that even my picky little eater enjoys.

Ingredients:
1.5 cup sorghum flour
1 cup tapioca starch/flour or potato starch (not flour)
.5 cup teff flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp Egg Replacer
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
4 TBSP olive oil
1.25 cup warm water (110%)
2 tsp yeast or 1 packet
2 tsp sugar

Directions:
1. Mix yeast & sugar in bowl, add warm water, let proof 10 minutes or so.
2. Mix dry ingredients.
3. Add vinegar & oil.
4. Add proofed yeast and thoroughly mix in mixer or by hand (no kneading).
5. Spoon into a loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap, set aside to rise for 1 hour.
6. Preheat oven to 350.
7. Bake for 53 minutes, let cool a few minutes before removing from pan to a wire wrack.
8. After cooled, store in plastic bag. One day on counter is OK, then refrigerate.

** Comment to let everyone know how your bread turns out!

Diagnostic Evaluation Part 4: The Diagnosis

Today, at our final appointment at the autism center, Oliver received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Today marked our first major step towards healing and, while I hold a heavy heart and am experiencing some fear in what our future will look like, I am trying my best to channel all of my negative thoughts into a place of love and hopefulness.