Sunday, November 3, 2013

Progress, Milestones, Changes :)

It's been a while since I have posted... For those who are new to following: Thank You!  Life got pretty busy (seems likethat's my excuse every single time I fall off the blogging world). I have started a new after 4+ years of being a stay at home mommy...I am now a working mom again! Logan is adjusting well. Much better than I expected. :)

His favorite things right now are: Legos, dinosaurs, documentaries (all things ocean, animals, planets, and cooking), playing/doing obstacle courses with our dog, and school recess. He likes most foods, however, he is becoming more picky as he grows older. He loves deep pressure and massage - he actually asks for it now. The weighted blanket has been a lifesaver. Recently he has become a little "teacher." He enjoys explaining how things work, why things happen, cause and effect, etc. It is so awesome to listen to him tell me the reason things happen. He listens to everything and soaks it in like a sponge.

In the last few months we have made significant progress. Logan is slowly learning to understand joking (not with everyone, but with Neil and I). The other night he helped me cook desert. I wasn't going to have any so I placed 4 plates on the table...but I put his plate where my spot is. He looked at me and smiled and said "Mommy, I know you are joking because you have a smile on your face. I can laugh now." For him to recognize that is HUGE. We have worked so hard to get to this point!

Another big thing he did was introduce himself to another child. If you aren't familiar with Autism, doing something like this is another HUGE gain. Social skills do not come easy. We were down at Riley in the waiting room at Dr. Walsh's office. I was verifying all the info was up to date and getting ready to pay our co-pay when I completely froze. I heard him say "My name is Logan, what's your name?" to a little boy sitting at the computer. The registration ladies celebrated in the joy when I exclaimed "Did you just hear him?! He just introduced himself! Do you know how long I have waited to hear that?!" It was the best ever. Logan and the little boy sat at the computer and just played to their hearts content.

He is taking baths - and not screaming. This is another big step. We have gotten to the point where he will actually put his head back in the water and let me wash his hair. He's learning to trust that I will do it carefully and slowly (as not to get water on his face). 

He's learning to ask for help! I feel that a lot of his meltdowns come from frustration, lack of confidence, and fear of failure. He doesn't want to try if he is afraid he won't be successful. This can be buttoning his pants, putting together a lego set, puzzles, learning to ride his bike, etc...things that require fine/gross motor skills. Last night we had a half an hour meltdown because his car "broke." When I tried to help him put it back together, he lost it. He wanted to do it himself, but after his first failed attempt, he threw himself on the floor and sobbed for a good 20 mins. I gave him his space, then had him hold my hands while I did it... then I held his hands and helped him to do the end of the night he had mastered how to put the top of the car back on. I think it's about helping him to be patient and building his self confidence.

Last month, Logan was diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome in addition to his ASD. I am still in denial a little over it. We have had 3 specialists confirm the diagnosis, but I still have a hard time accepting this. I don't know what the deal is...maybe a little embarrassment over the stereotypical stigma attached to Tourette's...and then again a part of me really believes he doesn't have it. So I won't really elaborate much there. Maybe some other time.

I am so thankful for the progress we have witnessed in the last few months. It always seems like a rollercoaster. He will regress, progress, and plateau. I am completely enjoying the progress at the moment! :) Thank you for catching up. I've missed this place! ;)



Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Back To School Blur!

So you are probably wondering "What's New?"

This Summer went by FAST. We took a trip to Mexico without the kiddos (gasp!) and I survived! It was a fabulous time away and a much needed break from daily life. I enjoyed the sun, sand, a few cocktails, and the peace and quiet. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids to death, but it was so nice to be able to make last minute decisions like what to eat, waking up and deciding to head into Cozumel, Playa Del Carmen, going to the little Mexican bars, walking on the beach, swimming without having to count 3 heads over and get the drift! ;)  Being able to do all of these things without planning ahead was just peaceful and liberating!

We are on our 3rd full week of school. It has gone much better this year than last. A *huge* plus is that we got a new female principal who is awesome! This makes the anxiety level drop a little bit. She has been very, very supportive and understanding. She even makes recommendations that I agree with and we just "click." She has given input at the meetings, stood up when we have had a concern to the "others", and even is so in tune that she will pull me aside and say "What's bugging you?"

My biggest complaint was that the meetings seem so rushed...and that we skip around the IEP like crazy. No rhyme or reason...only because so and so needs to leave at this time so this has to be covered, lets look at this, lets go back to this part, etc. I need things to be organized and go in order...if they don't I just can't take it! Mrs. P (for principal) let me express all of this and she even cried with me because she is going through the exact same thing with her own son in another school district, and although she is a "big wig", she has no clout in another district, she is simply a mom trying to advocate for her son. She get's it and understands. We laugh, joke, and cry...and it's just fabulous to have this after the disaster of last year.

Logan gets more time with aides in the classroom, they have been trained in his specific area of disability (Autism/Asperger's/PDD-NOS), and they have worked so well with him thus far. I am very thankful for this!

Mrs. P even invited me to a "child specific training" where all of the aides, spec ed teacher, gen ed teacher, autism consultant, school psychologist (VtheB), counselor, and principal were present. The special education teacher went through and explained all of Logan's accommodation's and her experiences with Logan. Afterwards, I was given the opportunity to present a Power Point that I had made specific to Logan. I called it "Learning Logan." It was a presentation that included how I believe he best learns, what his strengths are, how things he does can be interpreted, etc. It was a joyous day to be able to share all of the things I wanted them to know so badly...and I was praised by the whole entire team (except for VtheB) for what an exceptional job I did presenting and how informative it was. I even took a second to stand up and pat myself on the back - Okay, NOT REALLY, but it would have been funny! ;)

We have another meeting next week to correct some things in the IEP - which shouldn't be an issue - because the principal is completely backing us on the things we have concerns with. Can you believe it? It seems like a dream!

The things that are coming up: Psych appoint next week to discuss some new things: Logan has developed some "tics." These are rapid blinking, shoulder shrugging, and this trembling/shaking thing...all involuntary. We also have an appointment with the pediatric neurologist in Oct. This is to hopefully find out about his muscle weakness/pain that continues to get progressively worse... The geneticist is very concerned about it...and to be honest, so am I.

My "End of the Year Resolutions" are as follows:

1.) Blog more - it not only relieves my stress, but keeps those that do care informed.
2.) Get back to the gym... (I did run a mile today and thought I might die)
3.) Connect with other moms that are facing the same challenges we are

Hope you all have a great week!


(p.s. not spell checking or re-reading will have to just forgive any mistakes :)


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Understanding, Acceptance, and LOVE

I haven't updated in a LONG time. This Summer has kept us busy - specifically me - with the therapy appointments, family nights, full-time job of keeping the house in working order, and doctors appointments... All of the things that go with being a stay at home mom / special needs mom.

In December 2012 Logan was diagnosed with Asperger's. You can read about it here. Last school year was a complete headache. Phone calls from the teacher every single night, visits to the principal (who we could write an entire book on), it was nearly impossible to get the services he needed, but we prodded on and we got the IEP. We were super excited, only to learn his IEP was pretty much a skeleton. It had zero accommodation's, mainly behavioral, but nothing to *help* him. They shot down our diagnosis and said he didn't qualify for services pertaining to his Asperger's because the testing that they had done didn't show that he "educationally" qualified under that dx.

Over this Summer we decided to have the formal ADOS testing - this is a specific testing for Autism. It was a 4 hour long battery of tests for Logan while being observed by a clinical psychiatrist specifically trained in autism. We also had to fill out questionnaires. The tests included an IQ test, evaluating speech, reading, writing, fine motor, gross motor, monitoring mannerisms associated with autism, computer testing, etc. It was in depth. It is the "gold standard" for diagnosing. They will NOT give you a diagnosis of autism unless all evidence gathered through this testing is conclusive. To be honest after leaving the day of testing I wasn't sure that he would receive the diagnosis. I knew it in my heart, but that day he was having a "perfect" day...and a small part of me thought maybe, just maybe, they would tell me that the initial diagnosis was wrong...that he was just a neurotypical child and I was crazy.

Yesterday, we were given the clinical 100% sure diagnosis of Autism. After meeting with the neuro psychiatrist we were informed of so many things we had never known. We learned his IQ. We learned that the testing the school had done was extremely elevated - that in the speech eval, OT eval, and his kindergarten teachers evals that he was in the "handicapped range." The neuro kept saying - "I just don't understand why they didn't diagnose him." "It seems like they had an agenda." "All numbers gathered and evaluations done pointed to autism at that time." He went over everything and confirmed what we had suspected and had been given a diagnosis of a year and a half ago. Now with all testing, done it became clinically concrete.

Logan will now qualify for a yearly grant to cover ABA therapy - which our private insurance doesn't cover. We will have this evidence to take to school to show them we followed through with what they recommended and got a second opinion - from a doctor that they respect - and hopefully this will change the way some things are handled.

Of course, I have already gone through the "grieving" process of accepting that I have a child with special needs, but it still is hard to take it in. It is once again confirmed. It just makes me want to be the best advocate I can possibly be for Logan. I never want to fail him. I will do everything humanly possible to make sure his education is top notch and he is treated fairly. I will be his voice. My job is to help them get to know Logan as I know Logan. The Logan they "knew" was a child that disrupted class, got out of his seat without permission, couldn't keep his hands to himself, upset the teacher, upset other kids, and had temper tantrums. The child that they were constantly telling to "go sit," "stop interrupting," and "I already gave you the instruction's." I am going to be the mom that provides them with the education and understanding - I will explain through my words, with books, and articles what sensory seeking, over stimulation, meltdowns, and distractions really are. I want them to be fully aware of what a child with autism goes through and how their brains work. Maybe, just maybe, if they take it to heart and really listen...they will fall in love. That is my hope. That is my goal: Understanding, Acceptance, and LOVE.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Unspoken

I have always been honest on this blog - and will continue to do so. I believe that by sharing some of our families struggles, it may help someone else, or at the very least make them feel less "alone." There are often times in my parent's of special needs groups that that is a common thing - a lot of parents feel alone in the journey... Parents of children with special needs have quite the challenge - and then you add those challenges to a marriage - and it doesn't make it easy.

Neil and I have always been a great team, we've come a long way in our marriage, but recently our marriage isn't up to the proper standards. This year has been especially hard - with the challenges we have had with Logan's school, Logan's different struggles, his latest back pain issues, etc. I am a stay at home mom - Neil works - and he just recently added a second job to the mix. To say that our marriage is solid right now would be a lie. It's rocky.

I spend most of my time taking care of the kiddos - and primarily making sure all of the needs of Logan and the girls are met. I am the mediator between Logan and his sisters. I am the schools primary contact. I am the taxi to and from therapy. I am all of the cliché things that a stay at home mom is known for. I am fully absorbed in our children.

Neil spends his time between the hospital - 12 hour shifts as a paramedic - and the rest of the time in the garage working on his own business. He does this to provide for our family - and I know it is a heavy load to carry.

Lately, we have been at complete odds with each other. I am grouchy because all he does is work, comes home from work to work and ignores me (hello, I have ZERO adult conversation because I am with kiddos ALL day), we disagree on the most petty things, etc. He gets grouchy because I constantly ask for his time and he is tired and feels the need to work non-stop, I want to get out of the house/He wants to stay at home, etc. It has NOT been pleasant.

I know all marriages are hard, they are not a walk in the park. There are struggles every married couple will face. The question is how much is too much?! We agree that we won't give up - you won't fail if you try - and we made a promise to love each other forever. We do love each other. It's just one of the "Seasons" of marriage where the grass looks greener on the other side. You look at other couples with envy. You wonder "why" and "how much longer" this season will last before you can move on to the next. We are ready for the next season.

I am more at fault for holding grudges, not being forgiving when I should be, etc. Neil is at fault for poor time management balancing work and family. Maybe our vacation to Mexico will help us reconnect. "This too shall pass." We will not be part of the 80% (divorced parents of special needs kiddos). We won't give up. It just takes time and a readjustment in priorities on both parts. Sooooo...if you pray...pray for our wisdom, forgiveness, and future.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Love you all! Xoxo.

Sunday, June 2, 2013


In the past 8 months (at least) we have avoided going to church - left our church - and have been searching for a church that fits us. This has been a major internal struggle. Don't get me wrong - we LOVED our church home - that we had attended for 9 years - but as time went on - Logan was born, he grew, became a challenging child, and was much harder to control. Church became a challenge. Our "home" church didn't offer children's church - and nursery was only for kiddos 5 and under. Logan turned 6...and we attempted to take him in to the sanctuary with us. There were many Sundays we had to carry him out screaming, crying, and it was quite embarrassing. It wasn't comfortable for him or us. It felt that we were looked down upon because not everyone knew Logan's story, or how he handles certain things, etc. His tantrums, meltdowns, and outbursts were distracting to those around us and made it hard for us to hear the sermon - so all in all, we weren't really getting what we needed.

Today - for the first time - we tried yet another "new" church. Where the ironic part comes in, is that a certain person whom I have disliked since school started (she is on the IEP/Case Conference Committee, did the evaluations that I strongly disagree with, we have butted heads, we snapped at each other in the last meeting, etc.) was the one who was working the children's church check-in station. I am sure when I looked up and my brain registered who she was - the look on my face was priceless. Why would God put me in these case conferences with this lady...and THEN put me FACE-TO-FACE with her OUTSIDE of school!!! He is a humorous God, that I do know. He loves to challenge my comfort zone, my ability to be forgiving, my ability to be kind and humble. He knows his plan...and I am just along for the ride. Oh what a ride this is! :)

Something we did learn is that they have children's church, the people that run the 1st grade class will be there through the Summer (consistency is KEY with Logan), the teacher was a previous first grade teacher and her husband  is her assistant (having a male figure is a plus)...and it just seemed to "click." Logan was happy, well behaved, and the teacher just seemed to understand him and what worked for him.

The other SUPER-DUPER cool thing is that they have a ministry that is designed for children with special needs, and if Logan were to get too comfortable or overwhelmed, the program actually designates an adult buddy for him - and will attend all church services with him - and build a relationship with him and has training in understanding the special needs realm.

The sermon spoke directly to my heart. Sounds completely mushy - but it was all about children. It discussed our goals for our children, what we may "want" for our children, what God wants for our children, how we should teach our children to their learning ability vs. expecting all children to learn the same way, etc. One of the things the pastor mentioned is that children don't come with manuals - manuals are geared to a certain make and model - and there are far too many "makes and models." I cried most of the sermon. I am not great at replicating the message - but it was awesome. God knew exactly what I needed to hear.

However, tomorrow I have a meeting with this lady that I have had my differences with, to view her raw data of the testing she completed for Logan and to discuss the parts that I disagree with. Go figure! Funny how things work! :/

This next week will be full of challenges for us - the data meeting, the second half of our case conference (the WORST part where we go over the FBA,BIP, IEP, etc.), therapy appointments, and trying to wrap things up for vacation.

Thanks for stopping by and checking in! Hope you all have a great week. :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


With all that has been going on, I have kind of neglected the blogging world. Some things I just didn't feel like sharing - I didn't want you guys to see how grouchy all of the stress with Logan's school caused me. I was not a happy person and to be honest, I probably couldn't have typed an entire sentence with out at least one curse word. :)

I will try to give you a run down in a "nut shell."

We disagreed with the consequences that were given to Logan at school. He hit a child at recess because the child had told Logan he was going to play with him...and then didn't. Not okay to hit for any reason - I agree. However, he was given an entire week of eating alone and missing recess - he had to walk the perimeter for all to see. I went to kindly discuss my concerns with the principal in hopes he would lessen the severity of the consequences and he flat out said no. I then asked him if this was any other child, neurotypical or not, would they have gotten the same consequence. That must have hit a nerve because he totally lost his cool. It pretty much got ugly on both of our parts - he wanted to bet his house and salary that Logan doesn't have autism because he can talk and make eye contact (yes, this is literally how ignorant this man is), said that Logan is a liar, and will grow up to be a criminal. Even typing these words - in a shortened version - makes me sad and oh so grouchy! Logan has never lied - except for when he was asked if he hit the child - and he said no - and was then asked to tell the truth - and Logan admitted. This guy is scary and intimidating - I know Logan was too scared to tell him right off the bat that he hit. However, he told the truth after his initial reaction (which I think most children would have denied considering the overall meanness of this man).

We took it to the Special Ed Director and the Assistant Superintendent...along with an advocate...that is known for being the BEST in Fort Wayne. They refer to her as the "Pitbull with Lipstick." She did an awesome job of advocating for us and the best interest of Logan.

We have another meeting tomorrow. Redoing the IEP - to include specifics - and to fix all of the things that weren't done properly in the first place. It will probably be long and stressful, but well worth it.

On another note Logan has been having ongoing issues with his muscles - and having pain in his legs, arms, neck, etc. We spent Saturday evening in the ER to have some x-rays done. His spine looks good! No unusual curvatures or anything like that. Tomorrow we have an appointment with an orthopedic specialist to see if he can't find the underlying cause. :)

Today we got Logan's genetic results back - I was so flippin nervous because she and her assistant both came in to the results meeting. We did find out that Logan has a deletion of the HLA-DRB1 gene (one of those gene things in your body that make up who you are). She informed us that there is an association with autism spectrum disorder. I will most definitely be taking that to our meeting with the school just to show them that we have some more concrete evidence....not like it will matter to these crazy "professionals" anyhow, but make me feel better! Ha!

Needless to say, I have been driving myself crazy with researching things to include in Logan's IEP. I don't want to leave anything out!

The countdown to Mexico is on! Can't wait! I will definitely be enjoying a cocktail (or three) on the beach, listening to the waves, and pretending I don't have a worry in the world...even though you KNOW I will be missing my babies like crazy, wondering what they're doing, if they are sleeping well, and missing me (ha!).

Hope you guys had a great Memorial Day weekend! Thanks for stopping by and catching up on our crazy life!

Much Love,
Autumn :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day! I am celebrating the amazing gifts God has blessed me with; My sweet girl Emily, my outgoing Hailey Grace, and my love-bug Logan! Each with their own personalities, interests, and passions. If I had been able to pick the perfect child - before I had children - I don't know what qualities I would have chosen. However, I am sure that God gave me just what I needed! They are all three so different, yet so amazing! I don't know that I deserve a day just for me - yet a day to celebrate the joys these sweet children have given me. I am lucky, undeserving, and so, so, so thankful these sweethearts call me "Mommy!"


I am also thankful for my own mom and mother-in-law! I have been blessed with two amazing, beautiful, supportive, encouraging, and loving women! :)
Wishing all of my mommy followers and amazing day filled with LOTS of love, hugs, and happiness! Cherish the moments!

Love, Autumn! 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

My "100th" Blog with Big News!

I find it hard to believe I have written 100 blogs about my sweet boy! When I started this blog I would never have guessed we would be where we are today, but I love that I can look back and see how far we've come and all of the events that have taken place since I started!

I am pleased to inform you all that Logan was approved for an IEP!!! This is HUGE!!! This is what we have been trying for since the beginning of the school year and after many, many, many meetings and teacher phone calls. I have to give TONS of credit to the special education teacher as she was on Logan's side from the beginning, but we had to have the administrators, school psychometrist, psychologist, etc on board as well...and had to get all of the people on the same page. After those lovely people (who don't know/work with Logan) were able to observe and assess him themselves (and with mention we had been in contact with a lawyer), they seemed to change their tune.

Logan's 504 was put into place at the end of November of 2012. His behavior intervention plan was set. This included using visual prompts, a ticket reward for recognition of good behavior, and getting to pick a prize/positive note with school counselor twice a day (before lunch and at the end of the day) if he remained on green or yellow. While discussing our results of the observations - the school counselor was asked by the school psychometrist how the system had been working and the school counselor shocked us! Her answer was that they had tried it for a couple of weeks and didn't notice it helping him at all and she didn't really "have time" to do this on a daily basis. I think every.single.person in the meetings jaw dropped a little, and ours dropped a lot! I saw the school psychometrist write on her pad of paper "meet with counselor after meeting." The special education teacher also told her that she disagreed with that due to the fact that you cannot change behavior in a matter of two weeks. They were NOT happy with her!!! So not only was his reward system followed for just 2 weeks, she and Logan's teacher never informed any of us that this happened and never set up an alternative positive reinforcement. That made me super GROUCHY! In the "notes" after the meeting where literally everything is documented that is discussed - she conveniently left out that ENTIRE discussion. I kindly spoke up and asked that she add in the notes that she failed to comply with the behavioral support plan that we had all agreed upon. What a crock! Hence the reason we NEVER wanted the 504 to begin with because it is just recommendations. The 504 doesn't have to be followed by law. I am sure she was in quite the awkward position and got in some trouble after the she should have!!!

After that nonsense we were told that they had found Logan eligible for services and an IEP would be put into place. We continued on and set up the IEP. The accommodations that will be provided are as follows:

  • A timer (to help Logan stay focused on the task and to visually see he is making progress)
  • Visual Aides (the special ed teacher will take pictures of Logan and insert them into a program called "boardmaker." This will allow Logan to visually see what comes "next". There will be a series of pictures with Logan reading, writing, doing gym, music, computer, etc. and after each of these things he will flip the card over and know what activity comes next.)
  • An iPod with soothing music and headphones for his independent work time
  • Small group testing to provide frequent feedback and to keep Logan on task without distractions
  • Logan will be in close proximity to an adult during transitions and carpool
  • STAR technique will be used to help Logan when he is getting anxious/upset "Stop, Take a deep breath, And Relax"
  • "Body Awareness" prompts will be given "find your quiet place" (this technique is used when he is sensory seeking, hyper, etc. Logan places his hands on his belly, closes his eyes, and takes deep breaths allowing him to tune into his body and physically feel himself relax. His PT taught us this and it has worked AWESOME!).
  • We will be notified by email or phone anytime Logan has an incident that requires him to go to the office.
  • An assistant will be provided daily for the 90 min reading block, 40 min math block, and recess.
I am very happy with what was put into the IEP. Even though it has taken SO LONG, I am thankful that we have finally gotten to this point. They also recommended that we go ahead with the Full Autism Evaluation - because after working with Logan they feel this is appropriate. We have wanted that, but needed the IEP more, so that came secondary. It will be completed within 50 school days - which means it might not happen until next school year. I am okay with this because he is still getting his help through a private OT, PT, and SLP. We are also going back to his neuropsych that we saw a few years ago to get his take on things.

I hope/pray this makes a difference in his schooling - he deserves the BEST!!! :) Thank you for catching up on our latest journey!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Life Happens :)

Hope you all had a Happy Easter! Thanks for stopping by and catching up. Life has been super busy - so I haven't gotten to update in over a month!

Our last meeting with the school went okay - We learned that they didn't feel Logan qualified for an educational diagnosis of Autism to receive services. We are still going forth with the IEP in hopes to at least get him OHI...even though you would think a medical diagnosis should be MORE than enough. So frustrating! I did speak with the special ed teacher and she did whisper to us that she is sure he will qualify. Just LOVE that almost his entire Kindergarten year is over with and he is SO far behind. Boo!

Logan was a super-duper-trooper with his nasal surgery last week. We learned that the recovery process would take about 3-4 weeks and were a little concerned. To our surprise he went back to surgery without tears and came out of surgery the same way! The nurses and doctor couldn't even believe it! He never experienced any pain. He never once cried or complained. I discussed this with the Dr and this is probably due to Logan's pain receptors being under active, which we already knew he experiences. With the sensory processing disorder he actually likes the feel of pain - unlike the rest of us.

This week is Spring Break! We were excited to take the kiddos to the Children's Museum on Monday, however after about 15 mins, he had a meltdown and we had to leave. It was super crowded and he was extremely overstimulated. I discussed this with his OT today and she actually volunteered to go with us next time. We have been extremely blessed with awesome therapists who love Logan just as much as we do!

He is doing extra sensory-seeking this week - that has been the only real challenge lately. Lots of jumping, crashing, falling, clapping, slapping, snapping, etc. Loves the feeling of the pressure and gets quite carried away. The high pitched squealing and yelling has increased. I am sure this is all due to change in routine between his surgery and being on Spring Break. We are trying to keep things as even keel as possible for him. 

We are taking it easy for the time being - Logan's sister Hailey has been sick off and on since Friday. We thought she was over it after the weekend, only for her to get sick again last night and this morning.

I am happy to announce that Logan is starting to take showers - HUGE accomplishment! We only have about a 5-10 minute discussion now versus a 45 minute meltdown. I'll take it! :) He is also doing well with the kinesio taping. Toe walking is still there, but decreasing.

I think that is it for now!



Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pictures and Updates

Logan and his cousin.

Logan doing some physical therapy with the compression vest.
 A little Valentine's Day treat with Mommy.
 More physical therapy - and learning some body awareness.
 It's more fun to practice reading when you have your cousin to read to! :)

All squeaky clean after his bath! 
The last few weeks have been extremely challenging and sometimes I find myself super-duper grouchy with less patience. It's not fun. I head to bed and find myself thinking of all of the things I should have, could have done differently to avoid the meltdowns, arguments, etc. I am not perfect. It's just that roller coaster of emotions that decide to show up whenever, wherever! I have cried at least 3 times this week (and I am not a crier). I think it is just one of those moments where I wonder "why?" Not having a timeline as to when these behaviors will disappear (if ever) is stressful. I hate it that Logan has been so upset lately with little I can do to soothe him. He is now 67 pounds and to pick him up and carry him is out of the question. This is extremely difficult when we are out in public and something triggers his tantrum/meltdown. Not only is he held hostage by "the monster", I am also stuck in the grocery with a crying, screaming, sprawled out on the floor child whom I can't lift to get the heck out of there. Instead we endure the looks of those around until it passes. I wish they could just understand. I knew the day that I would no longer be able to carry him would come, but dang it, it came sooner than I expected!
The good thing is...we are hanging in there and taking one day at a time. "This too shall pass" is something we remind ourselves of daily.
Thank you for stopping by! Hope you have a fabulous weekend! The kiddos are excited that we will have Daddy home ALL weekend!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

"The Meeting"

 What was supposed to be a 45 min meeting turned into a 2 hour meeting. Our behavior meeting turned into starting the "official" steps towards the IEP evaluation. The tension was high, and so was my anxiety. We held our own and were advocates for our special boy. It was challenging, it was emotional, it was exhausting!

I will start by saying that I am the non-confrontational personality, Neil on the other hand has a strong personality and will tell it like it is. We really do balance each other out. The longer our relationship grows, the more we can just read each other without speaking a word. It's amazing to have such a relationship. Going into this we had our little "pep talk" about how this is our job, we are Logan's voice, and that this is his future. A strong educational foundation is a must to advance. Establishing a working relationship with the school is also a must.

The meeting started out completely crappy. The first things spoken were that they feel Logan is trying to "gain attention and escape non-preferred tasks." It was like this: He "wants" one-on-one attention, he will hide in the bathroom if he doesn't want to do the task at hand, he has a hard time staying in his seat, and he has an "attention span of less than 3 mins." Neil and I both disagreed stating that the behaviors were caused by the Aspergers, not Logan intentionally trying to tick them off or trying to manipulate the situation. We expressed our concerns that Logan is being misunderstood.

It was awful - the psychometrist argued Logan's diagnosis with us for AT LEAST 5 mins. I finally told her that we provided the recent diagnosis IN WRITING on Dec 11, 2012. We did that specifically so that she could be prepared for this meeting and it wouldn't be a surprise. She kept holding his OLD papers and shaking them saying "RIGHT HERE IT SAYS IMPULSE CONTROL AND ADHD - ASPERGERS IS NOWHERE LISTED." "You're right lady, we just dreamed up a label to slap on our son" is what I felt like saying. We tried giving her our copy to look at to no avail. Just as I was zoning out and daydreaming of getting up and banging my head repeatedly against the concrete wall - she happened to find them. No apology, of course! She was on a serious power trip and even the other staff looked embarrassed by her mannerisms. It was quite the headache.

We did let the school know that we had contacted an attorney as instructed by Logan's psychiatrist. She feels that we have been fighting a losing battle and that it is time to stop the nonsense and get the show on the road. She said usually if you even mention getting an attorney they will quit messing around, however, we really did contact one because we are fed up.

We have another meeting this coming Wednesday to start the IEP evaluation process. I am not even sure what this is going to consist of...but I am sure it's more paperwork!

After the meeting the principal did personally call my husband and apologize for all of the miscommunication (think it was because of the attorney?). He could tell we were upset. He asked Neil what it would take to fix this. Neil told him all we are asking for is help for our son and that we (including Logan's pediatrician and psychiatrist) feel that an IEP is going to be necessary to help Logan become a successful student and be protected. Neil also expressed our frustration with the school psychometrist. It seems as though every time we tried to express our opinion she would try to quickly cut us off and change the subject. The principal did apologize for her behavior and said that we would soon be dealing with the main psychologist (not psychometrist) and she has a son with Asperger's/Autism Spectrum Disorder. It will be nice if when we are past the struggle to get him services.

I must say it feels good to stand up for what I believe in. Before this journey there is no way I could have voiced my opinion to 8 other people that might not have agreed with me. Gradually I am becoming stronger and it feels fabulous. We are Logan's voice, we are his advocates, and we only want the best for him. We know how smart he is and what he is capable of. It is time that we work to teach him the way he learns vs. teaching the traditional black and white method. Our job is to find what works for him and build upon that.

I think that is it for now - even just thinking about the meeting exhausts me! Ha!

Thank you all for being our support, we couldn't do it without all of the love and prayers. Xoxo.


Monday, January 28, 2013


We are making strides...and unexpected ones at that! Isn't that the way it goes...unexpectedly?! Just when you feel as if you have run out of ideas and options, you realize there is yet another corner to turn! There IS progress to be made...and know that the ONLY way you will progress is if you make it happen! Giving up isn't an option.

These past few weeks I have been REALLY DOWN about Logan being so far behind all of his classmates. It is impossible not to compare him to other kids. It is impossible to look past the developmental delays that I witness. I try not to stress myself too much, but it does make me sad. I know Logan is smart. I just sometimes put so much stress on myself thinking that I have to figure out a way to keep him on track. I don't want him falling too far behind. My biggest fear at the moment is for him to have to repeat Kindergarten. We waited an extra year to send Logan, so he is already a 6 1/2 year old Kindergartner. I am going to try everything in my power to get him through this year successfully. I want him to be with kids his own age - I don't want him singled out.

He has been struggling with his sight words. These are the words that he should be able to look at and recognize them immediately without having to sound them out. His current sight words are: Red, Purple, Pink, Black, Brown, Blue, Gray, Yellow, Orange, and White. We have had these words to practice since October. Honestly up until this past weekend - he only recognized red and white. My mother-in-law came over Saturday night and we were discussing ways we could get him to learn/practice them. We decided to take them off of the ring, lay them word side down, and have Logan pick one, flip it over, and try reading the word. The first few times he would see a "B" at the beginning and just guess. We worked on covering up part of the word so that he could see that black started with "bl" and blue also started with "bl." Then we had him uncover the next letter. After only about 20 mins - something clicked - and he was recognizing ALL 10 of his sight words! We jumbled them up and kept going and every time he would get them right on.

It's times like this I wonder why in the heck I didn't think to take the words off of the key ring provided and try this sooner. Honestly, I know why - we were instructed to flip through the words on the key ring - because that is the way they do it at school. I wanted to keep things as repetitive and consistent at home as they are at school. I didn't want to throw him off. Lesson learned. I will adjust my teaching/instructing to fit him.

After this MAJOR celebration - We decided to really hit his numbers with him. It gave me hope that we could conquer yet another one of his challenges. Make it a game, reward him with a treat, etc. He mastered counting by tens Sunday morning. This was the key to him counting to 100. He didn't know the transitions - from 39 to 40, from 49 to 50, etc. He practiced that with Grandma for probably a half an hour and had it. He was so proud of himself. You could just see his face beaming with self confidence!

I can't tell you why all of a sudden these things "clicked" for him. I can't even tell you if when he comes home from school today he will still have retained all of it. However, I do know that he is capable of it and he did accomplish it this weekend and that makes me one super happy momma!

Logan did have a play date with his friend Saturday, too. I wasn't sure how he was going to do because that morning when he woke up he was grouchy with his sisters. I decided to give it a go anyway because I feel like he really needs one-on-one interaction with a boy of his own age. At school there is just too much stimulation and he gets carried away. I was a little worried that he would be grouchy with his friend or unable to keep his hands to himself...but he surprised me yet again! The boys played perfectly. Logan kept his hands to himself, communicated with his words, and kept himself under control. It was fabulous to supervise the way they were interacting and make-believing. I think that this may have encouraged Logan to want to learn his words and numbers. The boys were practicing counting and writing on the chalkboard. It was so sweet. Sometimes all we need is encouragement from a friend.  :)

I almost forgot to tell you one last important thing - Logan finally lost his top tooth that has been loose since October! Daddy helped him to loosen it on Saturday night and Logan pulled it himself! He had a huge meltdown when he saw all of the blood. He definitely didn't get his dads genes when it comes to that kind of thing. Guessing he will not be following in my husbands- the paramedic -footsteps. Ha!

Today Logan will be restarting his occupational therapy. Tomorrow he restarts his speech therapy. Wednesday we have another appointment with the pediatric ear, nose, and throat specialist. Then on Friday we have the Iridology reading for him. Busy week ahead.

Thanks for stopping by and catching up! Have a great week!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Checking In

Being silly after bath - discussing that it wasn't that bad having to wash hair!!!
Again, water drives this little man crazy! He was stressing out that his pants were wet from the melting snow!
Home in his own bed after a LONG weekend away with Grandma (much harder for mom than it was for him)!

Home - By Phillip Phillips This is a link to my most favorite song at the moment. When it comes on the radio I make sure to tell the kiddos this is my song to them. :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Rollercoaster...

Most days I am positive and happy - I always (always) remind myself there is something good in just have to see it. I make myself see it. I am always telling myself that there are worse situations, and I have not had to endure near what some have endured. On the days that it is a constant argument I remind myself that my children are able to argue - some children are non-verbal and their parents will never hear their voice... On days that Logan is being physical I remind myself that (even though it is rough) he is able to move about - some children don't have that. However, there are some days (like today) that I just feel soooo completely overwhelmed. I try so hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it is hard. I try and remind myself that even if I cannot see the light at the is there. I become sensitive to comments, jokes, and expressions that I normally wouldn't. I want to shut the world out. I wonder if everything I have done will make a difference.....

These are the days that I despise. These type of days can make 3 good days in a row seem so small and insignificant. They are not small and insignificant, I know. It has been a while since we have had an honest "good day." I have received a phone call from the teacher every day this week. Logan is having trouble keeping his hands and feet to himself. He cannot keep his hands off of others. He is refusing to do his writing exercises in school. Meltdowns are frequent... and yesterday he even took a trip to the principals office.

I spent the day before yesterday in the ER. This past week I have been in a lot of pain (thanks to a kidney stone). It did finally pass, but it really messed up my rhythm. I feel out of sync - I feel somewhat responsible for Logan's behavior. Logan thrives on structure and needless to say when I got hit with my kidney issues I couldn't function like I normally do. This resulted in him acting out... I think part of it is him being worried about me and not knowing how to express it, the other part is just having his routine thrown off. He always goes to bed around 7:30-8:00 at the latest, and the last two nights he has been up until 10 p.m. I finally gave in (out of guilt) and let him lay with me both nights and he fell asleep in my arms.

Last night Neil transferred him to his own bed. At 1 a.m. I woke up to a giant "thud." He had fallen out of his bed. This is the first time that that had ever happened. At 3 a.m. I heard another loud "thud" and he had fallen out of bed AGAIN! He was at the foot of his bed crawling around on the floor and confused. Just crazy! I scooped him up, woke him up a little, kissed him goodnight, and tucked him back in.

Oh, I also missed his ENT appointment that we had been waiting on since the beginning of December. It was scheduled for the day after I got out of the hospital. I am telling you, this is NOT me! I am usually right on with the appointments and what-not. It's awful!

Anyway - Here's to a better rest of the week - more positives than negatives - and I will NOT keep this pity-party going! Gonna head to my kidney doctor, go for a run, and try and re-start this whole thing we thrive on: OUR ROUTINE!

I try to be honest and share the good, the bad, and the ugly! Hope each of you have a great's got to go up from here! Xoxo!