Tuesday, December 31, 2013

No Need For A New Me!

I must say that this is first time in a long time where I can honestly look back and see how the good outweighed the bad.

This was not an easy year, and there were many times where I thought that things wouldn't get better. I felt and still feel completely overwhelmed at times, but with being a mom of three with a full time job, that is to be expected.  

Now looking back at this year ending and all that happened; I can honestly say it was an amazing year!  This year I have learned so much about myself through my own life experiences, but most of all through experiences of others.  This year has brought some amazing people in my life.  I am forever grateful to all those that have touched my life and shared theirs with me.  

The path I was following shifted and brought me to another.  I welcome the change and I am truly thankful.  I have a new job, and my dreams are slowly coming true.  I am starting my own Baseball league for children on the spectrum and beginning to tighten the reigns.  Planning and preparing to take control, so that the overwhelming moments won't be as difficult to deal with.  

I have grown spiritually, developmental and most of all mentally.  I am a very emotional person.  My heart and emotions usually affect my decisions and how I react, but I am learning to control my impulses.  My faith in God is stronger than ever before and I am continuing to absorb more knowledge.  Knowledge is key.  The more I know the more I'll grow!  Cheesy I know! But I believe it completely.  

I cherish all the moments of 2013 and I am thankful for them all.  I am grateful to those in my life that have my back and those that believe in me.  I thank you for loving me, accepting who I am.  For caring for me and my family. But most of all for seeing my Donomite through my eyes.  

So the only resolution I have this year is to continue doing what I'm doing and embracing what is in store for me.  It is a New Year, but I am fine with who I am!  No need for a new me! 

May you all have a Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year!  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

To Clone or Not To Clone, That is the Question!!

a cell, cell product, or organism that is genetically identical to the unit or individual from which it was derived. b.

I think back to when I was a little girl and I couldn't wait to be an adult.  I fantasizes about being married and having a family. It all seemed simple then!  LOL, and now as an adult I reflect back on my youth, and wish that It could be as simple as It was then.  When homework and test were one of my biggest worries.  

When I was a child, my parents tried to attend as many functions as they could, but with work, they weren't always able too. Each event I would hope they'd be someone there for me.    I made a promise to myself that when I had children, I'd make sure id be there.  Easier said then done.

Lately I've been feeling quite overwhelmed.  Between work, doctor appointments, IEPs meetings, holiday shows, class parties, and HOMEWORK!!! (And I thought I was done when I graduated!) I feel like I'm stretching myself thin.  

Monday was Dustin's holiday show, Wednesday was Donovan's holiday show, Dustin's open class, Donovan's neurologist appointment, Devynn's Fans4kids workshop, and Friday I have a meeting to discuss Donovan's Functional Behavior Analysis.  My Boss is very understanding, but he also has a company to run and if I'm not in the office, things won't get done.  

Having children is a lot of work, and requires more hours than a day allows.  Adding special needs to the mix, makes things twice as hard.  At Devynn's IEP meeting, both her teachers mentioned more than once that I should spend more one on one time with Devynn.  I was a little offended.  My response was, "I wish I could split myself in 3, this way I could have one on one time with each of them."

 I am a working mother of 3 children, two with special needs and a 4 year old.  I juggle and try to do all that I can and be at all events.  I can't always make this happen.  Human cloning is sounding pretty tempting!!!! But not possible, so That is why I'm grateful to have the support that I have from family and friends. 

My mom volunteered to attend Dustin's open class.  And I'm so thankful!  My heartached at the thought of him making a gingerbread house all by himself.  

It made both their days!  He was so happy to see grandma in his classroom! 

I felt better knowing he had someone there for him! 
And he was definitely happy!!!! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Is Your Son Okay?

"Is your son Okay?"  A mother asked me today, after I introduced myself and told them a bit about my journey in the world of Autism.

I knew what she meant, but I answered her with a question.   With a very playful smile, I asked her what she meant by okay. I knew exactly what she meant. It's what many parents of children with special needs mean. She was hoping that I had "The Answer".  It was that question dripping with hope.  That the answer will somehow help them confirm that their child will "fit in", be able to become independent and ease their fear of the unknown.  

Like most parents of children with a disability, until you can accept your child's diagnosis, you will constantly seek "The Answer". It's like those searching for the best get rich quick idea.  You want to get rich so bad, that you would do anything to get rich!  Most parents experience this.  I know I did when I was told my Donomite had autism.  I prayed for "The Answer".   I read books, searching for "The Answer".  I researched online, talked to anyone I could, asked any question that came to me.  I searched everywhere for "The Answer". I was willing to do whatever it took to make sure my son was okay.  Until "The Answer" came to me. My Donovan was always okay.  It was me that wasn't.  I was the one that was scared, and feared the unknown.

Once I realized that I was the one that wasn't okay, I was able to  begin working on me.  By doing this I was able to focus on what HE needed.  

So my answer is, "Yes, my son is okay, and so is your child!"  

Different not Less! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Santa Land at Macys!!

What a better way to end the Thanksgiving weekend and kick off the holidays then with a visit to Santa Land at Macy's!!! Macy's Santa Land is truly an amazing experience that everyone who Believes in Santa or doesn't, should experience at least once in their lives.  Which is why I am so thankful that Macy's and Autism Speaks allowed us to experience it.  

See my son Donovan my Donomite is Autistic, he was diagnosed when he was just about 2 years old.  

Because of his sensory issues, Going out or attending certain events and activities can be very overwhelming for him. He tends to have a meltdown and demand to go home when places are too crowded, or too noisy. 

 Then there are the occasional stares and looks of judgement or disgust when Donovan squeals, flaps his arm or hits himself. Especially when he is having a meltdown. This opportunity to meet Santa before the store opened was perfect.  

We prepped Donovan the night before and let him know that we would be visiting Santa, and his face lit up and he said "yay, were gonna see Santa!" He rushed to let his siblings know.  

That morning Donovan woke up right away and was ready to go.  Dressing him was much easier than regular days!  He kept asking "Are we gonna see Santa will he have Presents?" Hearing him say this, even if he was repeating it over and over, was music to my ears! He was talking in context and it was full sentences! 

Donovan loves trains, so we chose to take the subway downtown.

 I loved watching how focused and excited he was! Looking out the train car window absorbing it all!  He even sat a while and let his big sister rest on him.  

When we arrived at Macy's we were welcomed right away.  No crowds, it was quiet and Donovan seemed at ease.  We were quickly escorted by an elf helper, who was super sweet and understanding!  It was comforting knowing that those around us understood, and instead of stares, there were welcoming smiles.  Instead of looks of disgusts, there were welcoming looks. 

Our elf escort, took us through Santa Land.  She was a great tour guide.  It was great to watch Donovan walk the along side our elf escort to lead the way.


Donovan fell in love with all the train sets in Santa Land, and asked if he could take them home!  

We were able to take our time and take as many pictures as we wanted!

When we finally made it to Santa's room Donovan went right in, and walked right up to Santa. He seemed very comfortable.  This made me very happy.  I was fearful he may say "can we go home now" but instead he sat by Santa and even answered when Santa asked "what would you like for Christmas?" My Donomite responded with "TRAINS".  It was all set up perfectly and Santa was great!  

He was welcoming and friendly. He gave each child attention and allowed us to take a family picture as well!  But best of all, I knew Dono was okay, because he was all smiles and he wasn't holding onto his ears.  We got a beautiful family photo which is rare thing.  

Usually there is always one of us missing or we end up with photos like this.  

After we met with Santa we were escorted out and each child was given a little gift.  I was filled with so much joy and happiness.  I had a permanent smile on my face.  I think some of Santa's jolly rubbed off on me!  As soon as we got home, I pulled out my Holiday decorations and began to decorate!  

Thanks again to Autism Speaks and Macy's for allowing our family and the many other families to feel comfortable and make some amazing memories that will always stay with us in our thoughts and in our pics!  

Happy Holidays from all of is to all of you!