"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our Winter Unit "Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:7

I have to say, being able to stay home and do "normal" things is so wonderful for me...almost relaxing!  Its nice to feel like a normal stay-at-home mom for once and I'm enjoying every minute of it that's for sure!  My angels are just so cool to watch play.  I found myself giggling at the little toys I found tucked into pockets and bags while cleaning up tonight.  I would definitely have more children with a schedule like this!

This morning we began a Winter Unit using the guidance of "Raising Rock Stars" (see the button on my blog).  Our memory verse is Psalm 51:7.  I tend to recite them over and over using a rhythm and I clap with it.  It keeps them engaged and it seems to help me to remember it too.  By the end of the morning Peanut was reciting most of it on his own.  We printed off the mini book "Snowflakes are Special" from the 1+1+1=1 blog and had the kids color the pages and made our own book.  They were very proud of themselves (Especially Sassy)!  I asked the kids if they had any prayer requests (which I've never done due to their age) and was pleasantly surprised to get an answer from both of them!  Peanut said he wanted to pray for Jesus, and Sassy wanted to pray for Daddy!!  I had to try not to cry!  What a blessing!  We said our prayer and read form the Bible.  We also had a chance to listen to a Veggie Tales worship CD (which I caught Peanut singing along to!).  They also explored our new updated sensory bin.  The rest of the weeks activities are planned.  We are going to make a slushy with the (clean) snow (courtesy of our latest blizzard), go sledding at Nana's house, make a snowman, and various snow/winter related crafts.  I'm taking pictures and I'm hoping to post them soon.  All in all I would call it a successful homeschooling day!  I'm feeling very encouraged and I'm anxious to get more together!  God Bless!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Vacation

Christmas was wonderful, and my little peanut and sassy did great!  This morning was exciting for us because Peanut actually didn't want to leave.  He wanted to stay and play with his new toys!  Most parents would find this annoying but we think its fantastic!  He's interacting with the world, and he's verbalizing to us what he wants!  I'm loving it!  Usually we are running around like crazy people, but not this week.  This week we are on vacation.  We usually have Peanut in an ABA based preschool (until Kindergarten to get as much free therapy as possible) 20 hours/week, home ABA 4 hours/week, Sensory Therapy once a week, and Music Therapy once a week.  Sensory Therapy and Music Therapy are not on for this week and the school is closed until after the new year.  All of Peanuts home ABA therapy is done through his school so they won't be doing that this week either!   What are we going to do?!?!  We can be like a "typical" family! 
We live in New England, and tonight is our first real snowfall (it just so happens that we are having a blizzard...welcome to New England!).  I think in the morning, for the first time, we are all going to bundle up and go play in the snow.  This could be a good thing, or a bad thing....I'm not sure, but willing to give it a shot!  I also want to start a new thing this week with my kids.  On the 1+1=1=1 Blog they have a great preschool idea to introduce God and the Bible to your preschooler.  I want to take the opportunity this week to give it a shot.  (http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.com/RaisingRockStarsPreschool.html)  I LOVE the 1+1+1=1 blog.  Carissa has so many wonderful ideas and it's so helpful to get home school ideas from someone living a Godly life and knows what she's talking about when it comes to teaching children (she used to be a teacher).  I'll try to blog about what we did and how it goes.  I'm new to blogging and I am definitely not the greatest computer person.  I would love to create an awesome blog to share with other people.   If anyone has suggestions, ideas etc, please comment and let me know!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Our Autism Story...part 2

In the ultrasound room my husband and I waited.  We were nervous.  We had sat in a small office and talked with a nurse who specialized in genetics.  She tried her best to put our fears at ease.  Our family history didn't indicated any reason to be concerned about any genetic issues, but I knew that there was something to be concerned about.  I layed on the table waiting anxiously for the results.  The ultrasound tech told us we were having a boy (I already knew that! lol!) and seemed so positive that I thought maybe I was just being a nervous mother.  When she was done, she told us she was going to bring it to the neonatologist to review and she would be back.  My husband and I talked about our excitement of having a boy.  Our peanut now had a name!  We decided to go and register for my baby shower after the appointment.  We were hopeful and we were ready to leave.  The neonatologist entered the room, which we did not expect.  It was then that my sinking feeling returned.  Our peanut had a urinary blockage that was backing urine up into his kidneys.  He was at risk for kidney failure and if the blockage didn't resolve soon I would need intrauterine surgery to place a stent to save his kidneys.  Due tot he blockage he also had a 1% chance of having Downs Syndrome.  Now for most things in life 1% is not allot but when you are talking about the life of your child, 1% is WAY too much!  After that day we did all the followup appointments to check for other health issues such as heart problems and spina bifida.  Everything came back "normal".  The next hurdle was the follow-up ultrasound to determine if we needed surgery.  Two nights before our appointment we went to the Bible Study at our church.  At the end of the study everyone layed hands on me and we all prayed for our little peanut.  We prayed that God would heal him.  I left feeling unsure of anything anymore.  How could this be happening?  I was to work that night (I worked 3rd shift back then) and tried my best to go about business as usual.  It was busy that night in the hospital, which was not uncommon for that time of year.  I left work that morning, exhausted and ready for breakfast and a nice long nap in my warm bed.  As I drove home I began to pray for peanut.  As I prayed I began to feel a peace around me.  I suddenly felt as if things were going to be "okay".  This was the 1st time during the entire pregnancy so far where I actually felt this way!  The following day we went to our follow-up appointment and began with an ultrasound.  This time, we knew more about what we were seeing on the screen.  And this time, it looked MUCH different.  The doctor came in and re-did the ultrasound him self and smiled.  "I don't know what it is you re doing, " He said happily "But keep doing it!  The blockage is completely resolved.  You'd never even know it had been there to begin with!"  The only thing we had done, was prayed.  To this day I KNOW that God healed my little angel. 

The rest of the pregnancy went without much of a hitch.  This was the beginning of a long journey that we had no idea was going to occur. It's a journey of delays and doubt, questioning and no answers.  Its a journey of feeding issues, motor and speech delays, frequent viral and bacterial (ear infections) infections.  It a journey of vaccinations, PE tubes, hospitalization, long car trips, Neurologist appointments, EEG's, MRI's, Early intervention, food allergies and bills.  Its a journey many families can relate to.  Most importantly its a journey of faith.

Fast forward to today.  Our peanut is now a thriving three year old.  He still has delays in all areas (except cognition) but he is making gains daily.  He has health issues related to "Leaky Gut Syndrome" which requires a strict diet and supplements to heal his belly.  We now bring him to a Pediatric Naturopath to treat his health issues.  He has an intention tremor and motor ataxia.  His MRI showed a myelin delay.  His EEG was negative (Praise God!).  We spend our week going to many different therapy's and classes.  The one thing I want to stress about all of this is that no matter all the things we have gone through on our journey so far, I would change a thing.  I KNOW that God has a plan for us.  I have faith in him that the plan he has will be fulfilled.  I KNOW that it is all happening for a reason and I KNOW that its a good reason.  My son is so amazing!  He shows us a side of the world we can't see without him.  He brings us closer to God.  I hope our story blesses whomever reads it.  My hope is that it brings some hope.  God knows what he is doing, but its up to us to have faith and let him do as he has intended to do.  God Bless you all!

Our Autism Story...Part 1

I sit in a small white exam room waiting impatiently for my Primary Physician to come in, do his exam on my sore neck, tell me how to magically fix it so I can be on my way.  I can hear foot steps approaching and I eagerly watch the door, expecting it to open any minute.  The door doesn't open and muffled voices can be heard from the hall.  I hear the door to the room next to mine open and I hear the voice of my doctor.  He went into the other room! Doesn't he know I'm busy!?!  Not only am I in the last stages of nursing school, working 20 hours a week and starting to stress over my nursing board exam, but I'm about to be married in a month!  I have a wedding to plan, I don't have time to sit in this small impersonal and cold room all day!  Footsteps again.  I impulsively watch the door and this time it opens.  "Finally!" I think to myself.  The doctor asks me the usually questions.  No, I didn't injure my neck, yes its painful when I move it this way, no I don't have numbness or tingling, no I can't turn my head any further...On and on it goes.  He asks me how the rest of my life is going.  I tell him my plans.  He congratulates me and I think him.  As he write out my prescription he says, "While you re here, I want you to start taking a multivitamin with Folic Acid.  I tell this to all my female patients that are of childbearing age, just in case.  So make sure you start taking that ok?" "Oh yeah sure, no problem." I say and I'm on my way.
Sitting in another cold, white and impersonal room months latter and his words echo in my ears.  Is this all my fault?  The door opens and in comes my OBGYN with the orders in her hands just as she had promised.  I take them without making much eye contact and she gives me a quick little rub on my shoulder as I walk out the door.  I get to the car, wondering why I haven't cried yet.  I pick up my cell phone and I call Babes, and as I begin to explain to him about the unexpected turn of events at my prenatal visit, the tears begin to pour down my face and I begin to sob.  I knew something was wrong before I even got there, I just had a sinking feeling and unfortunately it wouldn't be the last time this would happen.  I was pregnant and when my bloodwork was done my alpha-fetoprotein was higher than normal.  My baby could have Downs Syndrome or Spina Bifida, and now I sit in my car crying, holding on to the ultrasound orders the doctor had just given me.  Again, my primary doctors words echo in my head. "I want you to start taking a multivitamin with Folic Acid..."  I never did.  I was too busy and stressed and although Babes and I were now married we weren't trying to get pregnant. 
6 months after our wedding I was tired, really tired.  I thought nothing of it because I had just gotten my RN and I had just starting working the overnight shift as a nurse.  Of course I was going to be tired!  Babes was traveling alot and so I only saw him on the weekends.  One weekend we were getting dressed and I couldn't button my jeans.  We laughed about the fact that I had "chunked out" a little and had to lay flat on the bed in order to zip them up.  Latter that day I remember looking at the calender thinking, "When was my last period?"  Again, I thought nothing of it.  I had never had a "regular" period and would at times go 6 or 7 weeks in between them.  After the weekend was over Babes went on to his next business trip and I went to the drug store and bought a pregnancy test.  I had to work that night so when I got home I decided to just take the test and ease my mind for the day so I could nap before my shift.  Every woman knows that we spend a good part of our lives taking pregnancy tests and watching them turn negative, and thats exactly what I expected to happen.  This time, it didn't.  I was pregnant!  Wow!  There was a miracle inside me!  The beginning of my pregnancy was uneventful.  The floor I worked on at the hospital was nice enough to be careful with which patients I was assigned so I didn't expose myself to unnecessary organisms such as MRSA, C-Diff, VRE ect, ect. 
Now my baby has something wrong with him (I say him now, but I said it then too.  Although we hadn't been told the sex of our baby yet, I knew, it was a boy). We scheduled a Level 2 Ultrasound with a local neonatologist and waited...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Autism Resources in NH

Autism Society of NH (This is SUCH a good resource!!!!!)
Medicaid coverage  (AKA: Katie Beckett.  You can apply for this as a secondary insurance, which comes in handy when you have multiple therapies, each with a co-pay!)
Gateways
Nashua Autism Network
Easter Seals NH

Autism Resources

Resources I wish we had known about from the very beginning:

New Diagnosis:

Therapy and Treatment:

Biomedical Information:

ABA:

Social Stories:

Sensory Integration:

Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy:

Speech Therapy:

Other Therapies:

Our favorite books:
Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes you Knew (EVERY parent with a child on the spectrum should read this book.)

Favorite Movies:
Temple Grandin

Special Education/IEP resources:
Special Ed:101 (Courtesy of USC)

Our Favorite Blogs

Adventures in Mommydom 1+1+1=1
totally tots The Homeschool Classrom
Living Montessori Now Mama JennDelightful Learning Weird Unsocialized HomeschoolersFor the Kids FridayPhotobucketToys In The Dryer
The Nourishing Home