A Modern Day Fairy Tale: April 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

Autism Has Taught Me: Count Your Blessings!

As April (Autism Awareness Month) comes to an end, I cannot help but sit and reflect on how much I have learned since my son's diagnosis. As I mentioned in previous posts, I had planned on writing much more on the topic this month, but since we have been visiting family all month, I haven't found the time, but really I think we need to be aware every day, not just through the month of April, so today I give you the first of potentially several posts on what Autism has taught me. The first, and perhaps one of the most important: count your blessings.

Oftentimes, I find myself watching my little man with his trains, or spelling words, etc and I can't help but wonder how I was so lucky to be blessed with such an amazing child. Perhaps that sounds strange to some...a child with autism a blessing? Of course, no parent ever wants to hear those words. "Your child has Autism." But looking back, it is amazing he is even here. With the health issues I was going through at his conception, many would think it would never happen. I have shared several times I am sure, that when I found out that baby Shaun was on the way, in the same breath, the doctor told us they were fairly sure it was an ectopic pregnancy and he would not be born. We mourned for him before we even knew him. I thank God that he proved those doctors wrong. Just a little over halfway through my pregnancy, I started having preterm labor symptoms, that continued through the end...but he made his appearance at 38 weeks, full term. He gave us many scares before he even made his arrival, to say the least. But he is here, and he is healthy. How can I not consider myself blessed?

I get to hear Shaun call me mommy daily. It was a learning process to get there, he was probably at least 2.5 years old, but he got it and it is the most wonderful sound. I am sure many reading this don't see this as such a big deal, it's something many take for granted. But there are still many out there that might never hear their child call them mommy, or say 'I love you' or even just speak in general. Oh yes, I am extremely blessed.

He has such an amazing mind and is truly soooo smart. I am in awe of how his little mind works. He has his struggles and of course is behind his peers in many ways, but in so many ways, he is my little genius. I could sit here and dwell on his shortcomings, but that would accomplish nothing. Instead I choose to work on them in the best ways we can, but also celebrate his triumphs, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. As I have stated many times before, he is an amazing boy and I know that God has an amazing plan for him and I could not be more blessed to have been chosen to be his mommy.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Above All



Above all powers

Above all kings

Above all nature

And all created things

Above all wisdom

And all the ways of man

You were here

Before the world began



Above all kingdoms

Above all thrones


Above all wonders


The world has ever known


Above all wealth


And treasures of the earth


There's no way to measure


What You're worth




Crucified


Laid behind a stone


You lived to die


Rejected and alone


Like a rose


Trampled on the ground


You took the fall


And thought of me


Above all



Above all powers


Above all kings


Above all nature


And all created things


Above all wisdom


And all the ways of man


You were here


Before the world began



Above all kingdoms

Above all thrones


Above all wonders


The world has ever known


Above all wealth


And treasures of the earth


There's no way to measure


What You're worth



Crucified


Laid behind a stone


You lived to die


Rejected and alone


Like a rose


Trampled on the ground


You took the fall


And thought of me


Above all



Crucified


Laid behind a stone


You lived to die


Rejected and alone


Like a rose


Trampled on the ground


You took the fall


And thought of me


Above all



Like a rose


Trampled on the ground


You took the fall


And thought of me


Above all




I hope everyone is having a safe and happy Easter and despite anything negative that may be going on, I hope we can all remember to celebrate on this truly amazing day.


John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Autism Awareness Crafts!

Sooo...I had planned on posting many more autism related posts this month for Autism Awareness but I've been so busy spending time with my husband and our families...I haven't had the time to do much blogging. (I'm loving every moment of this time together, so I can't complain!) But I thought I would share a few craft projects I did awhile back- some autism awareness frames and chalkboard! I came up with this simple project awhile back (and thought it was quite original until looking through an oriental trading catalog a few months later and seeing a similar project there- though not intended specifically to be for Autism Awareness.)



Anyway, these were so easy. I found some old puzzle at a yard sale cheap, painted the pieces, painted the frames (simple unfinished frames from the craft store) and glued the pieces on. I gave a lot of these as Christmas gifts (the chalkboard was for my son's teacher) but we have a few in the playroom as well- one holding a photo of 'Team Shauny: The Little Team That Could' from the Autism Speaks walk and one a certificate of authentication for an autographed baseball Shaun won through TACA (Talk About Curing Autism).


This post will be linked up here:

Join  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap<br /> up           party!

Lovely Crafty Home


Thirty Hand Made Days

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Autism Facts

Before I start with my 10 on Tuesday, first I want to say that we arrived safe and sound from our train trip yesterday morning! It was a long ride, with a cranky Shaun, but we survived! And most importantly, we will see my husband tomorrow for the first time since August! So exciting! Obviously, I will write more about his R&R (and our trip I'm sure) later, but for now onto 10 on Tuesday!

As many of you may know, this month is Autism Awareness month. I write fairly frequently about autism as it is, but in honor of this month, I will be trying to post a bit more on the topic! So for today's topic: 10 Facts about Autism!



1. The numbers. 1 in 110 children are affected by autism. 1 in 70 boys. 1 in 88 military children. These are some of the more conservative numbers, others stats say 1 in 91. Regardless of the correct statistics, the numbers are growing. Chances are if you do not yet know someone affected, you will in your lifetime. More children will be diagnosed with Autism that AIDS, cancer and diabetes COMBINED, yet receives less funding for research.

2. All races, religion, social classes, etc are affected.

3. There is no known cause for autism and no cure. Amazing progress can be made through early intervention and various therapies, but it never goes away. Some have also made amazing progress with the GFCF diet and other biomedical treatments.

4. There is no 'look' about autism. I have actually had people say that my son 'looks normal'. A person with autism does not have an extra head, no distinguishing features, etc that set them apart from the crowd. I will never understand this statement. Shaun is in a class made up entirely of kiddos on the spectrum, if you were to look at their class photo, the only thing setting them apart from every other preschool class is that they are the cutest group of kids I've ever seen! (I was told that was a requirement!)

5. No two children on the spectrum are the same! There is a saying that if you know one autistic child, you know one autistic child. There are three key areas that make up the diagnosis of autism- communication, social and repetitive behaviors- but each person is affected differently and has their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, my son (now) has a lot of speech but does not always use this language to communicate properly and he still has a harder time with receptive (what he understands), but someone might have less speech but might understand more and even be able to communicate better.

6. Autism does NOT mean dumb! Sadly, I know there are many who avoid testing, etc because they see a diagnosis of autism as meaning their child is dumb. And many still have the ignorant idea as well. I hate that my child might be written off before being given a chance, because he has the most amazing mind! I know all parents say that, but I truly believe he is brilliant. Having autism just means that his mind works differently. He may have trouble communicating and may not always understand things, but he has an amazing memory and a knack for words and numbers and singing songs. He amazes me. Besides that, many of history's greatest minds are now thought to have been autistic- Einstein, Mozart, Emily Dickinson, and so many others! Dumb? I don't think so!!

7. A child with autism is not necessarily antisocial. I think when many people think of autism, they think of someone completely inside their own head, but this is obviously not always the case. At one point we had a doctor tell us he would never be diagnosed with autism because of how social he was. This was before he regressed, BUT even then there were signs (he did not respond to his name, etc), but even now he is still pretty social. He just doesn't always know how to act appropriately in social situations.

8. Some signs of autism: lack of eye contact (or difficulty getting and keeping eye contact), no babbling by 12 months, no words by 16 months, lack of gesturing (pointing, etc) by 12 months, loss of language at any age, not responding to name, hand flapping, spinning, self injurious behaviors, and many more. I will not go on about this because there are so many great resources, but I will attach a few links at the end of this post.

9. Early intervention makes an amazing difference. I cannot even begin to say how thankful I am to the amazing therapists that Shaun has had and how they have helped him. He was diagnosed about a year and a half ago and in that time has made such amazing progress!

10. The following are some great sites for more information:
Autism Speaks
TACA
HollyRod Foundation

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