Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Medication decisions...

My son (my 10yo) has an attention span of  ZERO. A BIG goose egg. He has ADHD along with his autism diagnosis.
He is very bright, loves to read and wants to learn but he just cant focus on anything at all or sit still, and it's really creating problems for him at school. He gets very frustrated with himself when he can't focus and pay attention. He will state I just can't, I just can't focus.
We have tried a few medications so far and they have either made him really spaced out, or lost his appetite,can't sleep or made him just totally frustrated.
So we are trying one last medication and tonight after his first dose he was really darn cranky. It will take a little while longer to know if it's the med or he was just having an off day.
He is very stressed about going back to school, he has told me several times that "I just can't focus and it really stresses me out!" We did some social stories and talked about it and I let him know that he had some new medicine that he was going to start this week.
He just looked at me and said "Well what are we going to do if this doesn't work". I feel for the little guy he knows darn well that the other meds he was on were for focusing and they didn't work for him.
 I am listening and I can feel his frustration with his focusing issues. I just hope that this time we have found the right thing to give him a helping hand along with the other things that we have done with him and have put in place.
Poor little guy is already stressing about school. We are doing lots of prep work to prepare him but I so wish that the start of school was as exciting for him as it is for other kids.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Going with the flow...

Boy this month has been a whirlwind!
Going with the flow so I don't go nuts!
I was up with my hubby and kids in a whole different world of the north then home again. Since I got back it's been a bit more than insane!
Ali started school last week and is trying to get settled in.
I have been shopping up a storm getting everything my daughter needs for college and paying deposits and helping her figure out all the paper work.
We also had little man's 10th birthday last weekend!!
Today we were down in the city all day so she could have her psych tests redone for her learning disabilities to see what if any accommodations she will need for college.
We are taking her up the end of this week for a 5 day special program for orientation for those students with special needs and learning disabilities. We have to have all her stuff ready to go. The woman who runs the dorm is going to allow her to move into her room and set everything up before the pressure of school starts.
This is great news! She can hopefully get all her books and everything she needs.
Of course her 19th birthday is the first week of school during frosh week. ummm *cringe* *LOL*. She is a good kid, very mature and very responsible so I am just going with the flow.
Next weekend I pick her up and get her back home and then drive up again a day later (This is an 8+ hr drive one way) to pick my hubby up from the airport for his vacation! WOOT!
Of course with all this going on I didn't need to discover that I couldn't postpone doing the roof, it needs to be done now!! I really was hoping to postpone it until after I got all the kids back to school.
So now it's full steam ahead on the roof and the breaks are put on the mini getaway I had planned with my hubby. Oh well a roof over our heads that doesn't leak is far more important. But I have to admit I am more than a bit whiny about it *L*
Just going with the flow

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

A taco incident...

Oh boy my daughter and her poor boyfriend.
All I could do was sit there and laugh hysterically, I couldn't even breath. (yes I am mean in that way)
I took the kids (well they aren't kids, but kids to me :)) to the mall and I offered them lunch, I was only there as Mom taxi to drop them off.
Tacos was the lunch decision.
My daughter ordered a taco meal and couldn't finish it all so she offered the 2nd soft shelled taco to her boyfriend.
That was Innocent enough. She had already unwrapped it when she decided she couldn't eat it.
She slid the taco across the table and didn't notice that there was a cut out in the table between where she was sitting and where her boyfriend was seated.
The taco fell off the table and was dumped right in her boyfriends lap. It was everywhere.
I probably shouldn't have laughed but it was so in character for my daughter. *L*
She was pretty upset but he joked around with her and tried to make her feel better all the time while cleaning up taco guts.
Now we need to get the grease from the taco meat out of his pants!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Keeping it simple...

This past weekend my youngest son had his 10th birthday.  This year I kept it simple.
We didn't go anywhere,and we didn't have a ton of people and noise.
  It was our immediate family only. My parents were great about this and just sent over his card for him (we split on a new computer for him since his was worn out)
What a difference, he had an amazing day. We spread out his presents throughout the day and didn't go nuts with wrapping paper and ribbons. We kept things fun but not over stimulating.
He asked for cupcakes instead of a cake and picked KFC for his birthday dinner and talked to his Daddy on the phone. (Daddy is home the end of the month for vacation!)
His oldest sister bought him some Chaotic cards that he asked for. He asked his brother to play but Braed said that he needed to go buy cards first. Colton then gave Braeden one of his new packs of cards and said "lets go upstairs and play together now". It was amazing. If he had been in meltdown and over stimulated he wouldn't have been able to do this. It was really cute :) (this was something new inviting someone to play and then making it happen. It was rather exciting!)
That night he crawled into my lap and said "This was the best birthday ever."
There were no meltdowns, he wasn't over stimulated and was happy all day.
The next morning at sunrise, bright and early he crawled into my bed and said "Mommy thank you for all my presents, I had the best birthday."
I was so glad that he had a "best birthday ever".
 Bigger, louder and brighter and busy, isn't always better. :)

Monday, 25 July 2011

Childrens laughter...

Just thought I would write a quick post on something that happened up north this week that brought tears to my eyes.

Across from the nursing station a few days ago they started construction on something that this northern community didn't have. Something that evey community down south has more than one of. Something that we take for granted, a playground.
Yes a playground!
When the construction was started, the kids were standing around watching the construction in awe and talking workers ears off. No matter when I looked out there were tons of kids anxiously waiting. The poor workers could not work fast enough. When the playground was nearly done the workers caved and let the kids at it while they were doing the finishing touches.
Every day since the playground has been full of laughing children. The sound of the children playing and laughing is amazing and uplifting.
Something so simple has made the wonderful children of this community so happy.

(took awhile to find a time when the playground is nearly empty so I could take a picture, 98% of the time it is jammed full *L*. Behind the playground you can see the ambulances and part of the nursing station)

Monday, 18 July 2011

A picnic ...

Two weekends ago we took the kids out on a picnic. We went outside of the community to a property owned by one of the community members who works in the clinic. The property is often used to hold the community sweat lodge.
It was a fun ride out there on the bumpy road (well if you want to call it a road) beautiful country and fresh air.  Colton loves riding in the truck he laughed all the way there.
While hubby got the fire started for the hot dogs the kids decided to have a game of Frisbee...

Well OK TRIED to have a game of Frisbee! Mostly it was total chaos!

Then the kids helped dad getting the fire going....

Then it was on to the hot dogs! Of course having a whole gang with ADD's roasting hot dogs they inevitably got each others hot dogs covered in ash.

We had such a beautiful view of the Albany River!!

Of course Colton wore his favourite T-shirt! ...

Then check out what we found on the way home!!......

The kids had a great time, we made sure we didn't stay too long so the boys wouldn't be overloaded.
We made some great summer memories!

Thursday, 14 July 2011


Laundry in my house is ever growing and growing.
 Large family = Lots of laundry!
Just when you think AH HA I am finished! There is more.
I usually refer to it as Mt Laundry. It's not just one mound however' it's more like a mountainous range. I am the one however that often feels like erupting.
I HATE laundry, well ok, I don't mind putting it in the washer I just hate trying to figure out what belongs to who and where the heck it goes now that some of the kids wear similar sizes!
 Heaven forbid if you put something in the wrong drawer and the daughter to whom it actually belongs finds one of her sisters wearing it.... ACK! DUCK! "Well it was in my drawer" ..."well it's mine get it off"...and so on.
Don't get me started about socks and laundry, you can read back to a previous blog posting about that one!
One difficult thing about laundry in my house is getting a favourite, comfortable item of clothing off one of the boys to actually wash it and get them to wear something else. uggggg
Sometimes I worry that the school thinks that this particular child only has one pair of pants and one or two shirts. No he has other cloths but only a few things feel comfortable to him. *sigh*
I am starting to see hope on the horizon however, the older kids are now pretty much doing their own laundry, guess they got tired of things not being done when they wanted it and me mixing up their stuff!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Sooo tired of studies...

Of course I am talking about the causes of autism studies.
You know the ones, you live near a highway, you took antidepressants...you drank coffee at three in the morning while eating a bran muffin.
No matter what the study, I start frantically thinking back, did I do any of those things? It makes me crazy that some of these studies come down to something that maybe I did.
I love my kids and feel such guilt that life is so tough for them and would do anything to make it easier on them. I have enough mommy guilt thank you very much without some study telling me that I did something to my kids. I have even more guilt when I get frustrated with them because I am over tired after a rough day, life is so much harder for them than for me. I live a life of feeling guilty!
With my boys, looking back, they were not the same as the others when they were newborn fresh home from the hospital. They needed to be swaddled up really tight and secure and be put in a sling all of the time where as my girls loved to kick and have their feet free and hated to be wrapped. One of my sons still likes to be wrapped up tight and held securely when having a bad day. They always hated a lot of noises right from the get go. These are only a few examples.
I fully believe it is genetics in our case.
 I bet that these studies are making new pregnant mothers insane!
My boys are who they are and I accept that, but please stop making me feel guiltier and crazier with each new fly by night study.
 I give them every ounce of energy and more, so help me with more money, services and proper education to help them thrive and survive in our crazy world.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The north...

At the moment I am north of Moosonee off the coast of James Bay.
Life is so different here. The air is clean and fresh nowhere to really go other than the snack shop or the grocery store. It is a great place for walking and hiking, the scenery along the river is amazing. The sunsets beautiful!
 Oh yes, and the blackfllies and mosquitos are BIG!
The other day we saw an eagle, a wolf and a black bear while out away from the community!
Of course groceries are so expensive it is boardering on insane! Milk is just over $10.00 a bag. Naturally things are more expensive since they have to be flown in. I cringe every time I go to the store. My gang eats a ton!!
The one thing that did surprise me the very first time I visited here was that there were so many mini vans and trucks. I expected the number of ATV's but not the other vehicles. I guess this was because you can't drive to get here here most of the year. There is an ice road that is open for a short time over the winter which is how big delieveries make their way here. I was lucky enough this past winter to go to Moosonee on the ice road! Very cool.
In the summer a barge brings up the big things as long as the river to the communiy is high enough.
Why am I up here you ask??
Well I am up here with four of my kids, staying  up here where my husband works, for a month of the summer. He works here full time and so I come with the kids, when I can, so we can have more family time. He does get vacation but usually only two weeks at a time 3-4 times a year. I call this my cottage!
Our youngest loves it here. Not just because daddy is here but he is so less sensory here. Things are not as overwhealming life is slower and I homeschool when here. He would live here if possible. You never know may happen some day but it's not the right time for the other kids yet :).
Why my husband took a job in such a far off location is a whole different post! However, because he took this job we have gotten to experience a part of the country that many never get to see. The kids have gotten learn about a new culture.
Ali has been working with the kids at a day camp this summer and last spring she got to take a few Cree language classes. She also submitted a short animated movie for a festival that was going on in the community.
While here I do a ton of cooking, cleaning, laundry and of course keeping up with the kids! The work never ends so much for any rest!
When I get home I am going to need some wine, rest, relaxation and a vacation!! YA RIGHT!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Colton the Exterminator....

My boy Colton like all little boys has his dreams for the future.
At this moment in time it's Colton the Exterminator.
Colton informed me this morning that he was going to be "Colton the exterminator, super sidekick to Billy the Exterminator saving Louisiana from pests!" Ummm...
Well we don't live in Louisiana *LOL* but he wants to go there and find a hotel with a bee problem so we can call on Billy so he can help him exterminate them. :)
According to him he just "Loves Louisiana".
My son has both Billy the Exterminator seasons on DVD and of course his Billy T shirt! He knows all the names of  Billy's family on the show introduction and will watch any Billy marathon that is on TV.
He also researches on the internet the creatures that Billy deals with on the show. Colton can tell you more than you want to know about mahogany wasps.
I should also let you know that Colton told his teacher that he had fire ants in his ear. She took this to mean that he had an earache and she sent him home. Ummm no ants and no earache but he was proud of himself for getting the afternoon off school!
 The giggle for me is that this is the little boy who sees a fly at a picnic and goes running off screaming in terror that the "bee" is going to get him. So much for any type of exterminating.
However dreams are deams and who am I to say that he won't grow up to be a world famous exterminator like Billy some day! 
Billy is his hero, who knows maybe I will get to take him to Louisiana some day!

Friday, 3 June 2011

I have autism...

For any of my kids it could be any of the following or combinations...
I have autism...
I have aspergers...
I have a learning disability...
I have ADD...
I have ADHD...
and various others...

I have always taught them that it ok to speak up for themselves when they need help, especially to my kids in high school or college. Just saying the words, I have a learning disability, to a teacher who does not know them well or has not read their IEP can make a difference.
With my daughters it has been a benefit for them to be able to talk about their learning disabilities with their teachers.
It is so much more complicated to teach the boys about their needs, they just don't communicate or process information very well.
My youngest boy has learned to say I have autism. I didn't teach him, he just takes it as a matter of fact.  He has had varying results however some rather funny and some not so much.
We were in a restaurant up north after a long day in the car. The poor boy could not sit still at all.
He was rather bouncy and I guess the waitress was looking at him and he just looked right back at her and said " I have autism" "I just can't focus".  I just looked up at the waitress and said ya that's true *LOL* and we both laughed. Colton said that is funny, I made you laugh. Yes buddy you always make me laugh :). It was so darn cute!

Whether it is us advocating for our kids or the kids trying to advocate for themselves, schools and others around them and those working with them need to listen and tune into their needs.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011


Yes that is right SOCKS! Socks can derail a perfectly going morning.
 Why you ask?
They hide! They are like magic and disappear!
I have bought more darn socks. I would hate to add up just how much money I have spent on socks!
Oh sure I have bought a ton of socks but do the kids have any socks? NO!
Come to think of it I don't even have any socks... my daughters steal them...then POOF... gone! (To be fair I have also been known to steal their socks in an emergency)
In the morning they are nowhere to to be found, especially when someone is late for the bus!
Oh sure I wash socks, lots of them (6 kids=lots of socks!). There are tons of socks in Mt. Laundry. Socks make it into the washing machine no problem.
The problem is that socks aren't individuals they only work in pairs!
 Ahhhh the pairs...
There is a huge bin of lonely socks looking for their soul mate but alas they are still lonely and single.
I have even gotten the kids to play match maker and have had mass sock sorting parties. The kids competing to see who can find the most pairs! (announcing a sock sorting party illicits loud groans just to warn you.)
But sigh...there are still lonely socks waiting and waiting for a match.
I even threw out a bin of lonely socks and started over fresh and bought all new pairs of socks...but guess what..
yep you guessed it..the lonely socks are back and the kids have none.
So today I am going on a sock hunt and hoping the wandering socks find their way back to their mate...
If not I am buying everyone sandals and forgetting about the socks until fall!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

A whole person...

This particular post is being written because I am a raving lunatic and mad at the moment. This said I am not sure how much sense I am going to make!
My kids arn't just Learning disabled, ADD, ADHD, auditory processing disorder, autistic, aspergers, dyslexic, discalculate, dysgraphic, language delayed, sensory, have a visual spacial disorder and quite a few others I can't even remember right now. They are Kaitlyn, Kelsey, Daniel, Alexandra (also known as Ali), Braeden and of course Colton.
Colton often says things like it is, no filter just straight out with it. Sometimes it comes across as being rude but it usually isn't it's just Colton stating it how it is. Well sometimes this gets him in trouble, so this mom gets a phone call to discuss his behaviour...
 The next most frequent discussion is he can't focus, well I know it and hell even he knows it! He will say straight out, I can't focus, I just can't do it.
One day he wasn't focusing and he told who he was working with that he just couldn't do it, he just can't focus. I guess they made the mistake and asked him why. Well my boy told them... he just looked right at her and just stated plain as day "Because I have autism!". I got a phone call but I was a bad parent and I laughed. Well he does have autism, it wasn't news to me. My oldest daughter laughed also, and said "well now they know" *L*.  I guess it sounded like he was making excuses for not doing what he was supposed to be doing. He wasn't making an excuse he was asked why he couldn't focus and he told them *LOL*
However today he told me that focusing is hard and he just can't do it because his focusing chip is broken..Mmmmm guess he is a robot now!
I just don't want phone calls or notes about the bad things. I know I need to be aware of them but I want to and need to hear about the CAN do's and the great things!
My kids are whole being not just what ever disability they have.
 Never underestimate perseverance and hard work no matter the road blocks, or diagnosis. My kids have proven this over and over again, I am so proud.
Look always at the whole, and you will see a remarkable human being who will surprise you and bring you joy and much love, no matter how rough the road. :)

Ali's drawing of the gang... Daniel, Braeden, Colton, Ali, Kaitlyn and Kelsey. :)

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Dance like no one is watching...

Dance like no one is watching and they will stop and look. My crazy daughters Ali 15 and Kelsey 18 figured it out.
When I say crazy they are. My two girls decided they wanted to wait in the car while I ran into Best Buy to pick up a movie. Now you would think that leaving a 15 year old and an 18 year old out side for a few minutes would be ok. Well apparently it's not...
I was in the store for a few minutes bought the movie and came out to a bopping, bouncing, blaring Jeep.
There Ali was in the front, Kelsey in the back, the front windows down and blaring out of the Jeep was Mika, Big Girls you are Beautiful. (apparently before that Lollypop and Grace Kelly was eminating from the vehicle).
From where I was standing, with my jaw dropping to the ground, you could see Ali whipping her head around, waving her arms frantically back and forth and bouncing up and down in her seat (bouncing and flailing enough to make the Jeep rock violently).
People were actually stopping and starring. Ali was either oblivious or having a hoot that people were stopping, jaws dropping and staring. She was having a blast and definately doing it on purpose!
In Kelsey's defence the back windows were rolled up and you couldn't really see her back there, she is 5 ft 5 but Ali was out there bobbing as if there was no one else in the world (and quite visible, she is 6ft 2!)
When I got to the car there was Kelsey howing and laughing so hard in the back she couldn't breath or talk and there was Ali still rocking out having the time of her life.
By this time people were now staring at me and of course I was howling by this time at the sight of my daughters. Ali told me, on the drive home after I asked her what the hell they were doing, that the more people stared and the more extreme the reaction (some guy couldn't even get in his car because he was staring at her with a very strange look on his face) the harder she danced and flailed in her seat. I should have known! *L*
My girls are totally awesome, definately entertaining and know how to give me a laugh when I most need one!! They sure know how to have a good time!

A couple of pictures of two of my crazy ladies from a family trip to Niagara (Colton is also in the bottom shot, loving his sisters being silly!)

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Today my heart melted...

My heart melted when I saw the picture that my daughter Ali drew. She drew a picture of her and Colton and posted it to facebook with the caption " For my youngest brother Colton, I love you with all my heart".
She so gets him, it's an amazing relationship that they share. It melts my heart.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Another birthday has come and gone...

Well now I am old, well only by another year but still old.  Well ok, old to my kids that is.
I had a great birthday, my oldest and I went out for dinner and a show (We saw the Trans-Siberian Orchestra) a drink, and a full nights sleep in a hotel.
 When I say full nights sleep I mean actual sleeping without one ear open. At home I sleep perpetually with one ear open listening for Colton going down stairs in the middle of the night or going in the fridge or just generally getting into things. At 9 you wouldn't think this would be an issue but it is.
I just love it when I can go away to sleep and wake up feeling like I actually slept! However, it would probably take years of full night sleeps to get even close to catching up! Then of course I come home and my stess level goes through the roof and all that relaxing goes right out the window *LOL*.
This past year has been crazy dealing with... School issues, sensory issues, autism issues, Ali's ankle injury,  going back and forth to up where my husband is, one finishing college, getting the paper work done to get another one started and just plain getting stuff done and keeping the house from caving in has been insane.
Looking back has been great but I am now looking ahead at all the crazy stuff to come...
Unless the world ends tomorrow... and it that case it will have all been awesome. 

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The last nerve...

Usually I am the one telling the kids that they are all on my last nerve and jumping all over it. 
What also happens with three kids on the spectrum, all under one roof, is that quite often they are on each others last nerve (and their sisters of course).
The boys each have their own sensory issues and thesholds as to what they find annoying. Quite often what is a huge part of one boys personality is just the thing to make one of the others cringe and be annoyed.
It can be a huge challenge some days to figure out just what is annoying one of them and getting the other one to stop. The problem is, the one who is doing the annoying at the time can't stop because it is apart who they are. This is frustrating for the one who isn't being annoying on purpose and to the one who is now also over stimulated and can't handle it. (Can we say melt down?)
When all is said and done they are all constantly learning to relate, understand and hang out with each other in appropriate ways, and that is never a bad thing.
As for me, my last nerve is shot and very worn out and jumped all over on a daily basis. That said, I wouldn't change a day of my life, it's interesting and always a challenge.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Literal translations...

The world I live in, meaning my abode with my 6 offspring and my sometimes home hubby, is a life of interpretation.
 Quite often the interpretations are not correct, meaning that one person has said something and the other has taken them literealy. This is quite often not a good thing but it often is quite hilarious.
One incident involved my daughter Kelsey. She had finished doing her laundry and folded it quite nicely in a pile. Her mistake was asking her brother to take it up stairs for her and "throw it in her room".
I am sure that those with a child with autism in the house can see where this is going.  So my son went up and well...threw them into her room.
 My daughter was freaking out and my son was like, why?
I was not making the situation any better because I was howling with laughter. It took me awhile before I could speak and ask my daughter to repeat what she asked her brother to do. She said... "All I said was to take my cloths up and..." she stopped and laughed and went up to clean up her cloths.  Her poor brother did exactly what she asked. He not only speaks literally he interprets that way too.
Lesson learned think before you speak or you may have a "cloths incident!"
Life is crazy around here!