Saturday, 19 May 2012

Urgently Needing To Contact Informant!!!!

Someone Facebook messaged me about staff talking inappropriately about my son and I at Dayton's school, and I just read the message this morning. I'm fuming and need to find you for more information. I definitely need to deal with this, not just for my son, but for the sake of all children attending this school, so please contact me!!!!  If what you've mentioned is true in your messages to me, the school is gonna get the full wrath of Lou.

The messages in question were dated on Feb 13 and Mar 5th.  I didn't receive them until yesterday as I didn't realize there are TWO places for messages on facebook.

As always, consider yourselves hugged,


Thursday, 17 May 2012

A New Member For Team Dayton!

So, my respite worker quit.  She was great, but needed more hours, and I can appreciate that.

So, I went to the Autism Winnipeg Facebook page to see if anyone knew of anyone that would be interested in helping me out for some extra cash.  And lo and behold... an angel heard my prayer.

Lisa responded to my post within minutes.  I saw her green hair and thought 'wow, spunky little thing isn't she?'  This is exactly the kind of person I need for Dayton, someone with spunk and not shy.  Dayton eats shy for breakfast, and is never quite full, kind of like chinese food.  Within an hour, he's hungry again, and I pity the shy one working with him.

The day before our interview, Lisa text messages me explaining that her hair is now blue, and that she is willing to change her hair color if I think Dayton would freak out.  Awwww...  what a sweetie!  My immediate response was NO WAY!  Dayton's wanted to die his hair blue, but because he's still in elementary school, I won't do it.  The kid's got enough problems with his teachers, let's not add more fuel to the fire.  But summer is coming, and I'll let him so what he wants with his hair.  Maybe Lisa can help me with that.  I have no idea how to get the bright shade of blue her hair is now, and to be honest, while I may be conservative, it kind of looks cool!

The best part about this new respite worker is...  wait for it...  drum roll please...  Lisa has Asperger's.  How blessed am I?  My babe is going to have someone looking after him that understands the way he thinks, that could affectively help him with some coping strategies,  someone who truly 'gets him.'

I've been thinking about PACE, and how to make it encompass more for our kids.  One of my thoughts on the morning of meeting Lisa for the first time was to find successful young adults on the autism spectrum to mentor our young ones.  Lisa totally fits this criteria.  She works at Canadian Tire, and writes THREE blogs: and  Just writing one blog can be tiring, I can't imagine having three!!!

Take a look at her reference letter:


I have not officially been "employed" to care for a person with autism, however my sister was diagnosed at a young age.  I have lived my life assisting with her upbringing and continue to care for her when it comes to the self injurious behaviour and melt downs that she has exhibited from a very young age.  She also processes feelings differently, such as temperature or pain.  I am quite familiar with several people on the autism spectrum, and have great insight when it comes to the way that the autistic mind works.  Needless to say, no two people with autism perceive the world in an identical way - for the most part, however, I have found that the key is simple logic, and explanations which are delivered in such a way that the connotation of the words cannot be mistaken.  It is often I who am called upon to deal with a particular customer at the place in which I work, who has no conception of monetary value, and whom people believe acts "strangely."  When I noticed him initially, I could tell that he was distressed when attempting to communicate with the cashier.  After the cashier too became distressed - after attempting to explain to him that he could not afford his item, and him not quite understanding what she was trying to convey - I approached him and explained the situation to him, in a way that he promptly understood.  I later explained to her and the other cashiers the reason for his atypical movements and speech patterns, as well how to deal with him in a more effective manner if he were to come through their till.  I have since served him many times, and we get along notoriously.  

Although I am uncertain as to the relevance of this fact, it may also interest you to know that I have been diagnosed with Aspergers.  Throughout the past six or seven years, however, I have developed a familiarity, if not understanding, of social conventions and behaviours.  I have been told that it is very difficult at times to tell that I have Aspergers at all, which is wonderful to hear as I have worked very hard to appear - as society generally views it - "normal."  But I digress - I believe that this gives me a unique awareness when it comes to working with those with autism - that, as well as my intensive research into autism spectrum disorders and the implications.

I have also read through the entirety of your blog twice in an attempt to familiarise myself with Dayton and yourself before our meeting.  He seems like a wonderful child!  I would like to add that I am quite familiar with echolalia (and stubborness) as well, and it has never bothered me in the slightest.  I have an abundance of patience.  It may also interest you to know that I am a devoted Christian as well.

I derive great joy from working with children in general, and sincerely hope that you will find me sufficient when it comes to caring for Dayton."

I didn't bother calling her reference.  I think she's more than qualified.

Lisa, if you're reading this, I am thrilled to have you be a part of our lives.  I pray you remain in our lives for a very, very long time.

I'm really feeling good about this.

Consider yourselves hugged,


Friday, 11 May 2012

A Day And A Bit In His Shoes

Five children, three of which are on the autism spectrum.  I only had to watch the two little ones, they're four years old, and they're the ones NOT on the spectrum.  And of course Dayton.  I had the help of the eldest daughter, 17, with Asperger's, a high functioning type of autism.

I survived.  I done good, the house didn't burn down and the kids were safe.  I lost my keys a few times, Dayton found my cell phone for me every time it rang as I continually "misplaced" it, I downed a lot of cough syrup, tried to help out with chores around the house and somehow managed to get the little ones to take their naps without passing out myself.  I changed a dirty diaper without vomiting even a little bit (dry heaving doesn't count, right?), and managed to feed the kids all at the same time.  By the time SuperDad came home, I wondered how on earth he could manage five kids on his own...  I only had three and his oldest, OK, so really, I had four, but still!  I only had them for the afternoon...  and I was calling Mayday!

How does he keep the laundry straight?  How does he know which piece of clothing belongs to whom?  I had a hard time figuring that one out, so when he got home, he had some sorting to do.  So much for trying to help.  Pants I figured were the boy's were actually his middle daughters.  As a woman, you'd think I'd know the difference between girl's and boy's clothing, right?  Ummm, how about no...  Never mind the boy is four and the daughter in question is eleven...

There's one bathroom in the house and he's potty training two toddlers.  They both had to go at the same time.  How does he determine which one is the urgent one?  They both looked real uncomfortable to me.

Both need to be bathed at the same time too, and neither one wants to go first.  How does he handle that?  And God forbid one goes to bed before the other.  How is he able to be in both bedrooms at the same time?

I don't think I've ever been as happy to see a man walk through the door as I was to see SuperDad come home to the rescue with a bag of KFC in his arms.  He was like a knight in shining armor.  I don't care much for KFC, especially now that I'm trying to keep my girlish figure, but I wasn't gonna complain, nope, not I.

But at the end of the day, even when off duty due to my rescue, I couldn't stop.  I hand fed the little girl, even though I really shouldn't have.  She's old enough to eat on her own, and I know she totally took advantage of me and had me wrapped around her little finger.  I tidied up her bed before tucking her in for the night.  She wrapped her little arms around me and bid me good night.  The little guy may not have shown me much affection at bed time, but made sure to strut his stuff for me after his bath.

Worn out and tired, wondering how I was going to drive myself home, I didn't want to leave.  Those kids are awesome.  Thank goodness I was taking one of them home with me.  My babe.  Dayton.  He took his job of helping me watch the kids very seriously, and had my back the whole time.  And SuperDad...  He's pretty awesome too.  I mean, he's SuperDad!

So, I've cracked SuperDad's super human power.  I figured out how he handles five kids all on his own.  I no longer have to wonder how he's able to manage.  It's called unconditional love.  I've heard of this strange phenomenon, and have that with my son, and now I've seen it between a father and his kids.  And I got a little of that magical stuff myself from these awesome kids.  But I must warn you.  Don't try this at home alone.  It is highly addicting, and very confusing.  One minute they love you, love you, love you, and the next, well, let's just say I thought I was growing horns and could have sworn I had a tail.  Even so, I know they care about me.  They may say no, but their little arms wrapped around me and the screams for 'Lou' tell me another thing all together.

SuperDad's life is super busy with the five kids and exhausting by the end of the day, but what I'd give to have all that love...  I no longer feel 'sorry' for him.  I envy him.  He is wealthy beyond our wildest dreams.  And once a week, I get to be selfish and share a few moments of this wonderful phenomenon.  God is good.

Wishing I could do a better job of verbally expressing these hugs to all of you,


Friday, 4 May 2012

In My Dreams

I remember a time, before Dayton's birth when I dreamt of what "family" for me would look like.  I envisioned a football team of children in my home, a doting husband and father, proud of his clan, a big dog who would teach my little ones how to walk and there was the white picket fence too... and a garden, and, and, and I didn't lose my figure after pumping out that football team...  Silly, naive girl...

I honestly thought marriage would make a lady out of me, my husband, well...  He would be a true gentleman, opening doors for me and showering me with his undying love and attention.  He would be my knight in shining armour and protect me from any nightmare.  I thought having children would complete us, and we would be ever so happy.

Turns out the knight in shining armour is just a man wrapped in tin foil, and children, while lovely, can cause arguments in a marriage.  Some arguments can not be patched up.  Especially when one parent is continually (all right, obsessively) learning about autism, trying to help their child in whatever means they can, coming to his defence even when not necessary, while the other one sits in denial.  Perhaps not in denial, but definitely not on board of education about autism.

I never once thought about the possibility of autism entering my life.  Rain Man's main character Raymond Babbitt, played by Dustin Hoffman, represented autism, and all autistic people.  A spectrum?  I figured people were talking about the colours of the rainbow, or Centrum Vitamins.

So here I am, wondering how on earth I got here.  How did my life fall so far away from the dream I had envisioned?

I blame television.  That and Walt Disney.  Snow White.  Cinderella.  The person who T-boned me less then a month ago.  Anyone but myself.  Because let's face it.  I bear no responsibility, do I?

In today's world, we all blame others for things gone wrong in our lives, yet not once do we look at where the fault may lie within ourselves.  I was young, foolish, and naive.  I believed life was a fairy tale.  I thought the world was beautiful.

Then I grew up.

Believe it or not, we have a choice in how we live our lives.  It's our responsibility.  We can sit there and blame autism for our unhappiness or we can use autism as our strength.  I've chosen to look at it as a strength a long time ago, but there are still others out there who feel sorry for themselves...  What a pity.

I look at my son, and think how different my life is.  How full it is of love, compassion and did I mention love?

I love my babe.  He's everything to me.

And I love my friends.  They are my family.  But there's one friend in particular I couldn't live without, and that is my...

Maybe I'll just keep you guessing.  I know, how frustrating.

Consider yourselves hugged, and loved,