Tag Archives: Kids

An Autism Moms Worst Nightmare

Our entire lives changed this week. We have reached what I’m not even really sure to call. Is it a next level? Phase? I feel faced with a terrifying reality sooner than I thought I would.

When our children are born and we start to notice the delays and differences and start the journey of the diagnosis its devastating. We think it’s the worst moment of our lives. Time passes we transition into having Autistic toddlers and it’s hard but we are usually holding on to that optimism and love while we are overwhelmed with appointments. We are surviving this and learning all we can.

Before we know it school starts. Things get harder. There are confusing emotional meetings. We are sitting in conference rooms designing plans with an entire group of people we didn’t even realize existed in schools. This was never our plan for our children and we are very vulnerable agreeing and signing off on IEP’s or 504’s and trusting of these professionals who seem to know how things go.

As time passes problems arise. We start to educate ourselves and we are able to play a bigger role in making these plans. A few years in our kids are 2nd/3rd grade and we are in our routines, making progress, and really facing what our lives are being Autism/Special Needs moms.

Here we go we are at the end of Elementary School. We are terrified knowing middle school is coming. Our children are becoming pre teens. They are now not only struggling with their disabilities and challenges but now we have puberty. Just like that the game changes. We have the talks, we work hard to guide them through, and we face it life is harder.

At this time we have what we think to be good IEP and 504 plans in place. We have been part of this team we have built for years. By 5th grade some of our kids have been in the school system for 7, 8, 9yrs now as we started them at 3. There may have been a year or even two that our children have been held back due to their disabilities, their grades, or even their lack of social skills.

We are now used to the phone calls, the rushing to the school because our child is sick, had an emotional outburst, or just couldn’t make it through the day. It’s never easy we are never really resting assured. We have put plans into place, designated people we can trust as back up emergency pick up people and this becomes our now normal. Our lives are not the same as the other parents but we are keeping up. Our kids might even be excelling with their grades, trying harder to help us help them. We by now might even have some friendship building. We have some hope.

Then it happens. The phone rings you see before you answer it’s the school. There is a familiar voice on the other end. At this point we are pretty much on a first name basis with everyone at the school. We are there more than we want to be. We have even become friendly with the staff. You aren’t gut wrenching panicked by the calls home by now.

This phone call is different. When you hear the words coming from the other end you feel terror. You hear the words “your child has hit another child” You struggle to not let the phone hit the floor. You take fight for a breath and you listen to them tell you what they know to have happened. Your mind starts to race, your gut feels like there is a basketball in it, you fight harder to respond to the person on the phone. Their voice is calm, maybe even soothing you fight for your focus. They make it seem like they have it under control. You know it’s not ok. You just know. They have a plan, they tell you they have it under control. They say “the child didn’t need to see the nurse, she’s ok, we are just going to have him stay in school detention for the rest of the day” They are so calm and their voice is soothing and you agree. You hang up the phone and you know it’s not ok.

You think about the other parent. Another piece of your heart rips apart. You feel that parents terror as they receive the call that a boy at school just hit their daughter. You feel their rage. You feel their heartbreak. It’s not ok. Your emotions pour out and your mind races trying to think of who the child is. By now you know so many of the kids at the school and many of the parents. You can’t place this child. You realize you don’t know the parent. That doesn’t change the fact that you are devastated for them. You realize that you can’t reach out and that they aren’t one of the parents that has come to know your child.

Up until this moment your child has never hit another child. You don’t understand why this has happened. This isn’t supposed to happen. Your child has a team of professionals, a great plan, fantastic accommodations, your child has an aide that spends the entire day shadowing and guiding them. It’s not ok. No matter how calm the school was, no matter how soothing their voice was, no matter how much they assured you that they have this under control it’s not ok.

Your child comes home from school. He takes the bus because he has always taken the bus that’s his routine. He can’t handle the chaos of exiting the school with all the other kids. As he walks through that door you are ready to hear his version, but the tears roll out of your eyes because you are thinking about that little girl who is now telling her mom that your son hit her. This is not ok.

You sit down with your child and you see he is still on edge. He’s not ok. He is still in an Autistic crisis. You let him tell you his version. As he finishes you think about the little girl again. You think about her parents. This is not ok. You talk to your child and you tell him nobody should ever be hit. You talk about the reasons that you have always used punishments. You tell him I have never hit him because he has Autism and you knew since he was a toddler that you never wanted to give him the impression it was ok for anyone to be hit. He’s never seen anyone hit you. He’s never seen any type of physical violence in life. Actions have consequences and although he has Autism he still requires punishment. He agitates during the conversation and as his mom you know you have to decompress him. You have him take a nice warm bath, you use your calming oils, you pull out his comfortable pajamas, you pull out his sensory blanket, you feed him, and you sit back down to talk to him. It’s not ok.

He’s calmer now. He understands the punishments you are implementing. Now you talk more about him hitting someone. You tell him his disability is never an excuse. You’ve always told him that about everything in his life. The talk gets deep, it’s emotional, and now he understands how the little girl felt when he hit her. Now he has regret. Now you talk about changes. In these hours you know that it’s time to revise plans.

You talk with members of his team from school again and you find out more details. You want to know why his plans have failed. You find share back and forth and you find out that as your child started to spin this could have been prevented. It should have been prevented. As one of the team members and as his parent you realize he has been failed. He’s still just a child and children make mistakes. Nothing at all justifies the fact that he hit another child. You can not place the blame for that on anyone but him. You can however start to discuss the fact that his plan failed, his team failed, the aide (that was a substitute) failed, I as his parent failed. My child started to display an outburst and nobody intervened. Nobody used his plan. He was in a gym, bright lights, loud noises, movement everywhere, and participating in game with balls, rolling, pins falling, and some screwing off was happening, children were being children in gym class. Gym class is optional for my child. It’s in his plan. It’s left up to him, his aide, his mood, his desire to interact, and his Autism whether or not he goes to and stays in gym class. On this particular day he was tossed into an extremely stimulating environment for a child with Autism and nobody paid attention to the signs of his outburst beginning. Nobody intervened. The for the most part ‘stranger’ failed to notice his agitation. They failed to notice the progression of the agitation and so did my child. He wasn’t self aware. Nobody cued him. His entire school life he has been cued in these situations but this day was different. Those are the questions that I’m not getting answers to. It’s not ok.

It’s been brought to my attention that the other parent would like to press charges against my son. This is the nightmare. My child has Autism. The plan so carefully designed failed. This whole inclusion with normal children thing failed. Every person on his team failed. My Autistic child could go to jail. His actions were in no way ok. Him going to jail is not ok. Another parent wanting my child to go to jail is not ok. The fact that school, his team, his aide (substitute) and his plan, myself, and himself failed is not ok. He’s still a child. A little boy who is trying so hard to find where he fits in and learn to control all, these things in life that trigger his Autism. It’s not ok. I’m terrified more than ever before for my child.

There is more to this. There is another chapter. This is a blog post so that chapter will be written next. I can’t do it now I’m emotionally drained from this chapter. It’s not ok and it gets worse.

I Cringed When I Walked in My Child’s Classroom

This week I did some volunteer time in my daughter’s classroom. Naturally I was about 3 minutes late. When I walked in the door of the classroom I saw that our topic was politics. I cringed. My daughter is an innocent 8yr old who I kept this election from. As an adult I often felt as if even I should not have witnessed the things I did during this election and now I am expected to help with this lesson. Why oh why are we doing this? Millions of things raced through my mind. I wanted to grab my daughter by the hand and run.

Then it happened and I saw that none of the ugliness was going to be a part of this lesson and we were actually using this opportunity to show them what an election should be. Each child was asked to ‘run for President’ and build a platform. Now I was impressed.

There was no talk of why any other child should not be the President it was all about why individually they should ‘get your vote’ Now being that I was in a classroom full of 8 and 9 year olds I did not see some of their answers coming.

Our children are better people than we are. The answers coming from all these little people really did something for my soul.

I would protect our planet all of the Earth and the water. I would teach everyone how to garden so that no one would ever go without food. I would tell Americans that we all just need to be kind and care about each other. I would tell my fellow voters to vote for me so we can work together and build better communities.

These are just some of the answers our 3rd grade children were giving.

As they worked on the craft part of this project I got a chance to whisper chat with the teacher. I had been a bit worried about how we were going to make this transition with our children. Our kids have seen a lot more than we think they have over this last year and they for the most part know that we should be doing better. Well it looks like that’s where the focus will be. For now we just need to teach them to do better.

Obviously our children need to learn about Government, Constitution, Laws, etc. So now I will wait it out with the rest of our Country and see what the next POTUS and FLOTUS have to offer to our schools.  I will also be waiting and looking forward to the year that those 3rd graders are old enough to run for President.

Being an Autism Mom and Caregiver

By now everyone knows I’m an Autism mom. I don’t think everyone connects the full time caregiver with it.

My days start at 5:30 am. I open my eyes and wonder what I will find as I step out of bed. My awake hours are 5:30am-12:30am. So during the 4-5 hrs I may have slept I often find that my son had woken during the night. On some nights he wakes me up, some he doesn’t. Some nights he falls right back to sleep, but that’s often not the case. I can find my kitchen destroyed, full gallons of milk left on the counter, or his bed covered in whatever container of snack foods he has grabbed and taken into his room. His bedding needs pretty much a daily washing along with the full cleaning of his bedroom.

At 6:00 am it’s time to start waking him up. This is usually a 30 min process. I never know how it’s going to work out. Most mornings it’s like poking an angry bear. I schedule in a 30 min waking period for him. Then from 6:30-7:00am it’s a process of getting him in a functional mood. At 7:00 am it’s time for breakfast which is usually a nightmare due to his sensory issues. One morning crunchy cereal can be perfect and the next he can’t handle the way it feels in his mouth. So at least 4 mornings a week I’m scrambling to find something healthy that fits his sensory needs.

Now at 7:30am it’s time to start the process of dressing for school. Once again due to sensory issues there are no tags on any clothing, no buttons or zippers on his pants, and the pants have to be loose enough that they don’t restrict the positions he feels the need to sit or lay in. Some materials are to scratchy. For instance finding a winter coat for him this year was a horrible experience. Some mornings I may even have to change his socks up to 3 times just to find what feels right to him. Mind you through all of this I am also getting a second child ready at the same time. This process can take up to 40mins.

Now I have to have his mood in a good place before the bus arrives. Some mornings this is the biggest challenge of all.

So by 8:30 am most mornings I’m so heartbroken by the challenges and lots of cruel things that have been said by him during his outbursts and his tearful remorse because he didn’t mean the things he said that I may need a good cry or an hour to lay there in complete silence thinking about how maybe tomorrow will go differently. I’m basically doing an hour of therapy in my head so I can get my day started.

I now have about 5 hrs before he returns home. This may sound like a lot of time, but as I mentioned above my ‘to do’ list has already been started and at any moment the school may call and summon me there.

Now is when I can pull out whatever he requested for dinner. Most days he asks for a specific dinner and by the time he gets home his sensory needs have changed and he may not be able to tolerate either the smell, taste, or feeling of it. Then I’m scrambling to come up with something quickly to replace his meal.

I start off with his bedroom because stripping a bed, washing all the bedding, and putting it back on daily is frankly a pain in the ass. I multi task so once I start there I have a million other things going on at the same time. My breaks are when I can actually check my email, bank, pay bills, plan budgets, file paperwork.  (the amount of Autism paperwork is incredible)

By now  I have about 3 hrs left before his return. I may need to run out for groceries or meds and in that case I have o have someone in my home in case the school calls. Most days I do not even wnt to leave the house as its such a hassle.

Now its 3:45 and his bus arrives bringing him home. He is usually starving as I didn’t even mention above that I have to supply a vast array of food to meet his sensory needs at school.  So now we start the dinner ritual. I’m lucky if I get to sit down and eat with the kids. I usually don’t.

After dinner its time to start homework. I have to split the kids up to do this so they can stay focused and I can endure the mental toture that goes along with it.

Now its bathtime and I haven’t even showered myself yet because I might  as well just take a bath myself before I get to go to bed.

We can now try to do something together or their father steps in at this point to give me a much needed break. If I take that break then I am losing quality time with the kids and I mentally beat myself up for that.

My wardrobe is casual, comfortable, and usually bleach stained somewhere.  So basically if I’m wearing sweats and a T-shirt without a stain then I’m probably leaving the house for something.

Now its about 7pm and we start our bedtime process which usually takes about 3hrs before both children are actually asleep. Once they are finally sleeping I myself can take a bath, put on clean pajamas, and fill out any school forms, check the calendar for the following day, etc.

Now it’s anywhere from 9-11pm so I can actually wach something off the DVR. This is a must have in my house or I would never get to watch tv. I’m usually about 5 episodes behind on anything I really enjoy watching.

Now it’s 12:30am and I am so exhausted, my body hurts, I remember that I either skipped lunch or dinner and that’s why my stomach is rumbling but I’m just to tired to even get back up.

The reason I am even writing this post is because I get really tired of trying to explain why I can’t join something, do something, or its not even worth buying something because I am last on my priority list. No matter what anyone tells me “I should do” I know what it is that I have to do. I live for the weekends and breaks from school. Although it doesn’t change our schedule we can skip a few of the things required of us during the week. So the next time you decide to judge an Autism mom/full time caregiver maybe you should rehink that because that mom probably had one hell of a day!



I Trick My Kids Into Drinking Veggies

My son won’t eat anything green. I’m also not the mom who forces my kids to eat anything. However I still manage to get them to have a healthy amount of fruits and vegetables daily by just making them what they call a treat and I call Mom’s Secret Weapon Smoothie.


I keep the Fruit frozen and find that its less likely to go bad and that I don’t need to add any ice. I start off with the frozen fruit on the bottom and start to layer up to the veggies. I give the carrots, apples, cucumbers (anything crunchy) a chop before I toss them in. I put my leafy greens such as Kale and Spinach on the top. I use a vast array of different liquid such as OJ one day and the following day I might use a Coconut Water. After the initial blending I can add more fruit to add a sweeter taste or a little more color.


I put it in a cup with a lid and straw for the kids. Then try to pair it off with some Cheez its, Pretzels, or Popcorn. So at dinner or lunch if they don’t finish their plates or don’t have an adequate appetite for the day I don’t stress about them not getting the proper nutrition they need because they drank it at some point during their day.


Even I enjoy them

Family Meetings

Does your family have family meetings? We started doing it a few years ago and the kids really enjoy them. Our favorite meetings are usually held on my bed and anyone is allowed to call one at any given time. Everyone is allowed to speak freely during the meeting and we encourage that the children say exactly how they are feeling. It’s very important not to judge or discipline someone for something they may say during the meeting because it really is a great chance to hear and understand just how each family member is feeling on a regular basis. Use what is said to improve the dynamics of your family and how it works. Remind each other during the meetings that you are all on the same team and the goal is to reach a happy and healthy living environment. Parents prepare yourselves as you may be surprised by some of the things your child has to say. They have become so natural in our home that we look forward to someone shouting “Family Meeting” and we all quickly gather to see what’s going on. WE recently had one just a few nights ago as moving into our new home and all the holiday chaos that was going on I wanted to remind my kids that these meetings and there input are still an important part of our family. I was able to stress the fact that school would be starting back very soon and that I was expecting a better performance behaviorally from both of them. My son expressed that he is not so keen to hear me use a profanity on occasion and I myself will have to work on that. My daughter had us laughing as she took her turn. Her response to my question “What do you think I can do to be a better mom?” was “Well you are doing a really good job and I think that if you could let us celebrate Hanukkah that would make you a much better mom.” I proceeded to inform her about Hanukkah and let her know that we weren’t Jewish and it wouldn’t be right to celebrate a holiday that’s not actually ours. My guess was she was totally down for the daily gifts that would have been received. She is 6 and responded with “well my cousin is Jewish” I then had to explain that it still didn’t make us Jewish.
So think of a few questions and call a family meeting. These meetings should never only be focused on the things that others are doing wrong and I often start them with a few compliments of what improvements that each family member has made to set the tone as relaxed and then we ease into anything that may be bothering us about each other. Now obviously there are a few things that you may want to talk about privately with your spouse/significant other privately away from the children in order to keep your relationship on track. Remember to start off with a few things you enjoy about each other and ease into the things that might be bothering you or causing stress and ill will in your relationships.
At the end of the day we all need to be reminded that we are on the same team and relationships need constant work. If you forget to water your plants on a regular basis they die. Don’t kill your relationships with lack of communication.

Time For More Change

I’m the girl who makes New Year’s Resolutions and actually keeps them. I started this only 7yrs ago. Trust me I wasn’t always ‘that girl’
This year I have made several resolutions. I am going to be focusing my energies in different places this upcoming year. I have wasted an awful lot of time and energy in places it just didn’t belong.
My first resolution is to stop feeling so obligated to people who just don’t appreciate it. Along with that I am not going to allow myself to be upset that they get upset over it.
Next I have great family members that I have neglected for way to many years. Its time to get them back where they belong in my life. I finally feel like I’m someone they could be proud to call family.
We all know that I am probably one of the most honest people around. This year that honesty will reach a new level. I am tired of being uncomfortable in some of my life situations by not addressing issues that are ‘white elephants’ in the room.
I’m going to be a lot more frugal this year and am looking forward to teaching others to do the same. So all of you that tell me that you want to learn how to coupon here is your chance. Follow my blog. It will give you an email update to new posts and although I post it to Facebook and Twitter you just might be overlooking it or not have time at that moment to read it.
I’m quite organized but really want to take that to a new level and some of my fellow blogger friends I am watching and admiring your skills and will be taking lessons from you.
My tiny family will be my main focus as always and I will no longer feel beat up by those that think Autism is an excuse in my life. Its not an excuse its a lifestyle that I live in the best interest of my young children.
I’m very much looking forward to this year as I know it holds many Blessings for me and mine but I know these Blessings are things I have to work for. I don’t get to sit around and have them tossed down upon me.
Happy New Year I’m really hoping to share this year with so many of you and I wish nothing but the best for everyone. Now lets get it started!
My word and hashtag of 2015 is #Winning its about time I win this game of life and catch up to so many of you!

DIY Kids Containers

My daughter is a big mess maker. Some days it seems as if she is happiest surrounded by clutter. It drives me crazy. I have tried endless solutions to try to get her to contain her messes.

One of my biggest pet peeves is her homework, coloring, and after school mess.
My house could be spotless and two minutes after she arrives home from school she has pens, pencils, colored pencils, and markers everywhere.

I came up with the idea to try to make something cute that would appeal to her and help contain her mess.
As I went to toss out an empty Coffee Container it hit me. I could transform this at a very small cost.


So I cleaned out the Coffee Container. Grabbed some Clorox wipes and wiped it down. Then grabbed some of my summer spruce up go to Spray Paint and got busy.

After it dried I located a few cute Disney Stickers I had laying around and added them to the container.


The end result was very attractive to her eye. It matches the colors of her bedroom scheme and at the same time holds all her crafting clutter.

I will be saving more containers in the future as they become empty and making one for my son and using them for other clutter messes that get acquired in our household.

Mummy Candle Holders

Being that my kids are 6 and 8 they are very interested in crafting. I try to find crafts that are quick, easy, and budget friendly then incorporate them throughout the week. Lately I seem to find a lot of fun and useful crafts with my Ball Glass Jars . These adorable Mummy candle holders cost under $4.00 to make and are really useful in our Halloween decorations.


Pint Size Ball Glass Jars
Glue Stick
Bag of Assorted Adhesive Wiggly Eyes
Tealight Candles (optional)

We simply glued the end of our gauze to the Ball Glass Jar and wrapped them up nice and tight. You could tuck the gauze under at the end or glue it. Once we finished that they kids picked out the eyes they wanted to use and glued them in place.

I chose to put a tealight candle inside and light them up so they glow through the gauze. If you are concerned about safety they also look adorable without the candles.


It took less than 10 mins per child as they both needed a little help. I’m going to write each kids name and the date we made them on the bottom of each jar and will be pulling them out with the Halloween stuff for many years to come.

Fall Favorite

With the change of season comes all the yummy treats. This fall I am all about quick, easy, and tasty. Whether its after school or a weekend night around the fire pit hot chocolate is always a big hit with my kids. I found a simple way to jazz up their drinks and slightly cool them off as hot chocolate just cant be to hot for the little ones. I put a sheet of wax paper on a platter and created whip cream spirals and froze them. After an overnight in the freezer they were easy to remove from the wax paper and I store them in an air tight container in my freezer. The first day I made them they couldn’t get enough cups of cocoa. When I made another batch I added some sprinkles and some crystal covered sugar to make them look even more enticing.


I will be keeping these on hand for the duration of the fall and winter. The biggest plus is every time I make them a cup of hot chocolate they tell me how I am the best mommy ever.