Just another Minnesota Mom blog.

Support, not Silence.

Posted: April 5th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Autism | Tags: Autism, Autism, Autism Awareness Month, Early Evaluation, Support Groups | 13 Comments »

Twitter november 2011

1 in 88.

1 in 54.

1 in 50.

These are the numbers that have swirled around the Autism community for the past year or so.  That 1 in 54 is important to me because it most closely represents us- 1 in 54 boys will be diagnosed with Autism.  At least that is the finding from a study of 8-year-olds in 2008.

That 1 in 50?  That is from the most recent study.

1 in 50 kids has autism, according to a 2012 study.  Of course, this study, along with all of the other studies, has it’s detractors.  But really, 1 in 50 doesn’t seem too out of the ballpark to me.

So, what can you do?

Well, for one, if you have an infant or a toddler, and you have a nagging feeling that something is up- even if it’s “just” a speech delay…do me a favor and call Early Intervention.

If you have a friend who is worried about their child- let’s say he isn’t acquiring language at the same rate of his peers. (I’m using language because it’s usually the thing that triggers and evaluation, yet most people blow it off.)
Please, do NOT say any of these things:

– Boys talk later than girls
– He has an older sibling/ twin who communicates for him, it’s OK
– You always meet his needs for him, he doesn’t *need* to talk
– He was premature, he will talk later
– My cousin’s uncle didn’t talk until he was 4 and now he’s a lawyer…

Instead, LISTEN.  I have a son who was a late talker and I have twins who lost language and became non-verbal.  The gut feeling was completely different.  The fear and worry was different.  I knew pretty quickly that something was not right with the twins, and I didn’t worry at all with my youngest.  It’s different.

If you have been in this place of worry, if you have ever called Early Intervention, if you have ever had a child diagnosed with Autism or another special need- please, SHARE your resources.  Support a mom or dad when they have worries, do not blow them off.  You should be their first shoulder to lean on, you have been in their shoes!

It is a really isolating place to be when the mothers around you abandon you in your greatest time of need.  Telling someone not to worry is the equivalent of telling a mom to sit down and shut up.  Sometimes things are not OK.  Sometimes things warrant a professional opinion.

Why are we so quick to tell moms that everything is fine?  Is it because we are afraid we are missing something with our own kids?  Is it because their fear is also our fear and we desperately don’t want to peek behind the curtain and deal with what might be waiting for us?

Don’t wait.  Don’t tell others to wait.  Resources are available and completely irreplaceable.  You do not want to “wait it out”- waiting is just wasting time.  The only thing we have in this fight is early intervention, the key word being EARLY.

And one more thing- if there is a mom you know who is taking steps to figure out what is going on with her child, don’t tell her that she should stop looking.  Don’t tell her that she can instead fix her child with oils (or herbs, diet, a warm bath before bedtime and spinning around 6 times upon waking up in the morning)- it only serves to prolong the inevitable, which in some cases takes away free and affordable supports.

This isn’t going away.


Playroom Revamp: Phase 1

Posted: April 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Reviews and Giveaways | Tags: Autism, Autism Awareness Month, Playroom Revamp | 3 Comments »

When we moved into our house we were really excited about the bonus room in the basement.  It was perfect for a playroom.  It was big, it had carpet, it had a nook under the stairs to hang out in during storms (which we got well acquainted with on the day after we moved in).  We were really excited to finally have a place to put all the boys stuff and get more organized.

And then it rained.  And flooded.  And rained and flooded and rained and flooded and even after we had new gutters put in and the basement was dry, we were skeptical that this room was going to be anything more than a dumping ground for our stuff that didn’t have a place.

But we needed a place for the boys to go.  They were going stir crazy upstairs and I was going even crazier as they were able to get through every single child proofing mechanism imaginable.  I was stressed.  They were wound up.  The house looked like a bomb went off 24/7.

Something had to give.

Read the rest of this entry »

Could it Work?

Posted: February 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Misc. | Tags: Autism | 6 Comments »

One thing that is always in the back of our mind is what are we going to do when the boys grow up? Where will they live? Will the be able to function as typical adults? Will they have jobs? Will they just live with us forever? (I’m kind of OK with that!)

One of the things that occurred to us was that when we buy a house, it might be smart to look into buying a duplex. Not for building a property portfolio or anything- but to renovate and live in. When the boys are older, they could “move out” into their own space and still be right there.

Is that a crazy thought? It kind of tickles me to think of that kind of a set-up. Always having them close so I could keep an eye on them, make sure no one is taking advantage of them. Make sure they come home at night. You know, the typical parental concerns when you have special needs kids.

I suppose if we bought it while they were still young, we could rent it out for a few years to pay down the mortgage and then renovate as they get older. Make it just exactly how we want it. If it ever stops working for us we could use the property as a future investment- build up the retirement fund and whatever funds we’ll need to sustain the boys into old and maybe we can even get a home care service as Partners for Home to take care of everything for us.

Of course, we might be just preparing for the worst here- people love to remind us that they might be geniuses who will collect a pile of degrees and stun us all.Has anyone ever done this? I can’t possibly be the first person this has occurred to.

That is a nice thought too. For now I’ll think about the perfectly awesome (and totally huge) duplex that sits on the corner of our block and imagine life living there, with my boys, for the rest of my life.