Saturday, April 28, 2012

Just a little...

Oh, my sweet boy. The witty things you do and say, simply because you are you.  

Yesterday was my mom's birthday. We celebrated by going to her favorite restaurant, Joe's BBQ (amazing!), and then to her house for the party.  There was a line mix-up and, summed up, we ended up not waiting for my grandparents/aunt&uncle to get food since our food would be super cold. ((Rude.. I know... but it wasn't just a simple wait. If that makes sense...))
(BTW, those aviators that my grandpa is rockin' is the pair he wore in the Vietnam War as a pilot... sweet, right!?)

Well, Caydon was VERY concerned because my grandpa (his great) was still waiting on his food and was sitting at the table with us. He offered (sharing! wahoo!) some of his mac & cheese, applesauce... finally, his pickles. Anyone who knows Caydon, knows one of his primary food groups would be pickles. The boy LOVES pickles. And who wouldn't, right!? Caydon doesn't understand differences like this...

The conversation went down like so:
Cay- "You don't like pickles? Caydon loves pickles!"  
Grandpa- "Just a little"
Cay- "Oh, ok!"

Of course... Cay proceeded to tear off the littlest piece he could for his "Double-G". Such a sweet boy he is. Literal, yes. Autistic, yes. Loving, without a doubt. Not only did I chuckle at his unique offer, I beamed because I really can't put into words how proud he makes me.

The rest of the night was swell. The cake I baked wasn't burnt (!) and actually tasted yummy, the dress I bought my mom fit and she liked it... in addition to the picture of Cay (but that was a given for her to like), and instead of doing dishes, we used paper plates from Target that I've had my eye on and needed an excuse to use... so I surprised my parents by buying them and we were able to enjoy each other's company in a game of Apples to Apples instead of doing dishes. Score! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Not Again...

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my position at the school I've been teaching at is no longer. At first, I wasn't quite sure what the deal was. This caused me a TON of stress, naturally, because I took it quite personally. I am, by far, my worst critic. I was heartbroken because I felt like I had failed at my job, and, thus, failed my students. Well, I've come to find out that it wasn't a personal thing... It also wasn't technically a RIF (at least, I don't think it was). It has actually been happening to most new teachers that I work or went to school with. While I feel bad for the other teachers, I have to admit that I selfishly have a sigh of relief, as well. I definitely don't want others to go through this, but knowing that I'm not alone reassures me that I couldn't have done anything differently.

So.. the scoop. I was hired as an Exclusionary (sp?) Teacher. Basically, since I wasn't highly qualified in English but was taking a position teaching it, I was only a one year contracted teacher. I believe this would also have been the case since I am a first year. (Or, so it seems with a lot of the other teachers I've heard this happening to.)  Since there are a few junior highs closing in the district, the teachers from the closing schools have dibbs on the jobs around the district. Then the teachers that are RIFd and elect to transfer within the district get placed. Finally, it's our turn as Exclusionary Teachers. Summed up, the chance of me going back to the school I've been at (being that the junior high teachers will probably jump on the chance to teach high school if they are qualified) is slim to none. Hence, my applying everywhere. Again. I thought I just went through this? Since I graduated last spring, I have moved homes 3 times, and am going on my 2nd time with my classrooms.

Saying that I'm sad about my classroom going from this:

 to this:
is quite the understatement.

I wish I could show off my amazing students, but can't. You'll just have to take my word for it that these kids rock my socks and are out of this world amazing.

Is utterly depressing. As are the questions from my students. I've been told by a fellow teacher that the expectation is that I turn the key in on the last day of school. Soo... I've been packing up slowly but surely whenever I have down time find a moment. (What teacher.... let alone sped teacher... has down time?!)

I have yet to tell my students, but I'm not sure how much I can keep them assuming that I am transferring classrooms. They have the assumption that I am trading rooms with another teacher because mine is itty-bitty and the maxed out class sizes barely fit. I actually wouldn't have a place to sit another student should I get more in certain hours. Crazy!   Anyways, I've been planning on telling them how it is a logistics thing (so they don't feel I'm abandoning them, they don't get mad at the district, and it's all still truthful) the last week. I really don't want them to start giving up in the classes I teach or for them to get distracted by it/walk all over it. Time will tell when it happens. Please be praying for my students and I in this transition! I'm really worried about the students I've developed a close rapport with and that come to me for mentoring throughout the day. I'm also worried about where I'll end up, but I know God provides.

Let's keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps His word. -Hebrews 10:23

Monday, April 23, 2012

Loving Like Jesus Did

I read a post that I thought was so inspiring, I just had to share it with my readers. It was about a Christian group who showed up to a Gay Pride Parade and Apologized.  I'm telling you, it's beautiful stuff. In a world where religion seems to forget Jesus' love and purpose, it was refreshing. Refreshing enough to share.

So let's be honest. I'm not perfect. Are you? Even though my past and present isn't all roses, I still struggle to not judge other's thorns. As I try hard to continue strengthening my faith, I seem to separate myself from my friends who aren't encouraging. Not even on purpose... but because this is how I am inclined as a human. It's almost as if I put myself on a different level, even though I don't want to be. I know I'm not the only Christian who does this. I know Jesus didn't hang out with the righteous and the religious; He hung out with the prostitutes, and the tax collectors. He died for the sinner.  What a reality check in a world where people spit hateful words at the homosexual or the young girl having an abortion. God says it's not our place to judge but to love. It's our job to love others and to show God's love by doing so. Nathan, the group's leader, is a great reminder as to how Christians are called to embrace others and show what unconditional love is.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Confessions Over Coffee

`1Since this is an end of the weekend post, and I absolutely loved my frequently-lurk-worthy blog writer, Emily @ The Anderson Family Crew's post about what a conversation over coffee would be like with her... 

I just couldn't help but copy.  

if i were to have you over for a cup of coffee,
i'd probably try to convince you
to drink some chai instead.
i am on a chai kick. 
with nonfat milk. 
then again,
i hardly make it to the store for milk lately...
so maybe,
i'll try to convince you to drink coffee.
black coffee.
you can guarantee that I don't have creamer right now. 
i'm a horrible housewife right now.
don't look at my floor.
or my tables. 
or my walls.
or our laundry pile.
maybe i'm kidding about the walls being too honest. :)

better yet, 
let's get down to business
and crack open a bottle of 2 buck chuck.
it's 5 o'clock somewhere,
OR you can have some of my not so delish brita water.
the juice is on reserve for Cay's meds.
i did warn you i'm not a very good housewife lately.
I'm not even a wife. 
booooo ya. 
no expectations to live up to. 

moving on.

while we drink our
chai tea,
black coffee,
gross brita water,

i would tell you...

i would tell you scratch that. 
you'd notice.
i'm a brunette again.
i couldn't handle my roots 

i would tell you
that my boy is amazing.
i'd have a momentary brag sesh.
i am so amazed at that boy's strength.
he amazes me every day.
he is learning so much.
and progressing so quickly.
and getting such a personality.
i also finally realized that Caydon's name has a meaning.
it didn't even phase me when i was choosing his name. 
i looked it up and it means: 
yes, that's him being "tough" :)
his name really couldn't be better.
he is such a fireball, 
and has overcome so much in his 5 years.
i also think anyone who wants to judge him is nuts.
take him for a day.
experience autism.
experience love. joy. laughter. 
experience everything wonderful that boy encompasses.

i'd tell you that
i really do love my house. 
did you notice the pine trees and grass everywhere?
want to go see my tree and garden in my back yard?
doesn't feel like Phoenix,
does it?
now you know why i love it so much.
i just wish i owned it. 

i'd tell you that
i'm finally feeling content.
that the patience that i've been praying for is finally here.
that i'm alright
with being a single mom.
even though i pray often
for my future husband.
.. for Cay's future daddy.
... for my future babies.
but i'm at peace 
with not having them in our life right now.
it's amazing what crying out to God can do.
i'm not really alone in any of this.

i'd tell you that i just found out 
that i have to look for another teaching job.
and i'm nervous.
terrified, actually.
 i cry anytime i think of 
how abandoned my students may feel.
apparently a numbers/budget/first year teacher thing.
this verse:
they do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.  -psalm 112:7
on repeat.

i'd tell you that while i don't have a paying job, 
i am being led to taking on
a servants ministry supervisor position.
it's for our church (obviously)
it's a special needs ministry
no questions if that is my thing or not.
i spent the morning there today 
i already fell in love with the kids.
most have downs.
have i told you how much i adore kids with downs?
so much that i want to adopt a sea of these babies?
that much.
my future husband better be prepared :)
so, this is my downs fix in the meantime.
God knows my soul.

i'd ask you to pray for Caydon.
he's at a rough patch in his life.
he is making soo much progress.
thank you, Jesus.
but he's totally in our reality world.
trying to make sense of it.
today i heard him telling a friend (!) at church
how he doesn't have a daddy
and he doesn't have any brothers or sisters
or a dog
or a big car 
(why is a car significant?!)
it broke my heart 
to hear his list
of what he doesn't have.
of what he desires to have.
of what he should have.
(besides the car...?)
i also have no idea what to do
about his kinder placement.
high functioning autism period isn't a walk in the park.
there is no perfect fit
for him to learn.
he doesn't deserve anything less
than perfection.
and i'm fighting like h-e-double toothpicks for him to get it.

i'd tell you
thank you.

thank you 
for your support.
for being our friend.
even when we're too busy 
to be much of one in return.
thank you for believing
for praying
and for taking time to read this.
you have no idea how how much it all means.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Never Once Did I

Never Once Did I

Never once did I think I'd face the choice of an abortion.
Never once did I think single parenthood would take life's place.
Never once did I think I'd overcome more than one stereotype.
Never once did I think strength would make me win our race.

Never once did I think I'd struggle to give my child mac and milk.
Never once did I think instead of vacation we'd have a hospital stay.
Never once did I think medical bills would come before fashion.
Never once did I think financial struggles would limit our day.

Never once did I think my child's obsessions were a red flag.
Never once did I think my toddler's delay was a rational fear.
Never once did I think his delays would soon regress.
Never once did I think an autism diagnosis would reach my ear.

Never once did I think I'd hear "social & emotionally disabled".
Never once did I think he wouldn't know my smile or my tears.
Never once did I think his childhood would be therapy, not play.
Never once did I think his education would differ from his peers.

Never once did I think I'd know so much about disabilities.
Never once did I think I'd choose a job based off of the giving.
Never once did I think patience and empathy would be my qualities.
Never once did I think I would teach special education for a living.

Never once did I think my kids would be more than 5 years apart.
Never once did I think it'd be hard to find love for my child and me.
Never once did I think a requirement is a disability loving heart.
Never once did I think such a realistic romantic I'd have to be.

Never once did I think God would be my best friend.
Never once did I think I'd cry out for Him so often each day.
Never once did I think I'd wait to hear what He will say,
Never once did I think I'd crave His promises in every simple way.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

'Twas the Night Before...

'Twas the night before an IEP centered meeting (technically, we're reviewing his 12 different assessments to see his current level and start talking about placement,) and this mommy is sweating some major bullets.
Why is is that I can handle IEPs like it's no big deal... it IS my job, after all, to go through data, monitor progress, write IEPs, and provide services.. but my own child's meeting gets me every time? I've always been one of those students with really bad test anxiety... and this feels like I'm taking the AEPA (teacher certification in Arizona) all over again, but instead of just pulling out the knowledge, I have to deal with my emotions, too.

Tomorrow basically pinpoints whether or not our interventions have been enough. They'll tell me whether he is ready to go to a Gen-ed Kinder with, or without, a One-on-One Paraprofessional. A one-on-one is my ideal scenario, but I know that it's a lot harder to come by than it should be. I'll also find out whether or not he has a cognitive impairment (mental retardation) IQ level, or if he has emotional disabilities. OR, I'll find out if he qualifies for the Autism program... but it's most likely not happening, because the district only has one level of the autism program for Kinder. Why, when we just recently found out that the prevalence is 1 in 88 kids now?? Obviously, Caydon's not the only one at his level in our school district.
His assessments, also with some from his ASU Autism Study (like the urine sample)

This reminds me of the time that I told Caydon's pediatrician that Caydon's eyes were dilating really weird, and that he started headbanging. We were going to monthly appointments because Caydon's speech regressed and he started stemming in addition to a bunch of other symptoms (possible celiac, and his asthma and allergies were out of control). This was before we had officially entered into the world of autism. Our amazing pediatrician sent us off to a nearby hospital for stat blood work, a stat CT Scan, a stat EEG, and an immediate appointment following with the neurologist to discuss the results.... all of which she arranged in front of me via the phone. Let me tell you, that a scary moment. That's the moment when you lace your fingers together in front of you because you need to hold someone's hand, and if holding your own is the only option you have, you'll take it. Tell me I'm not the only single mom out there who does this in moments I need someone to lean on but don't have that other half, so I find it in myself??  What was even more nerve wrecking was when the neurologist sent us for a stat MRI because they found "concerning grey area" in his brain and "wanted to ensure whether or not it was tumorous" (or whatever his original doctor spiel was. I'm the annoying mom who tells the doctor to lay it out in words I can comprehend). We were literally sleeping on a bench at the hospital for nearly a week. Charming? You tell me...
Leaving the hospital after our sudden dose of giving blood vials, so we could grab our stuff and stay up all night for an EEG. We were supposed to go to the zoo that day...
His first, but not last, EEG
We looked like bums wandering around the hospital...way cute.

Confession time for this teacher. When Caydon's preschool told me at our last meeting that they think he is cognitively impaired, I went into a "don't cry" mode and literally tuned out everything they said to me. I wanted so badly to be strong and not cry... I teach kids with mild mental retardation (cognitive impairments to be PC) so it's not like it's foreign to me... but I literally couldn't acknowledge anything they were saying past this point. All I could think about was leaving and resuming everything at the next meeting, so that I could get alone and have my cry sesh. I mean, really, what kind of teacher does that? I still feel like a hypocrite saying that, but I know that I'm certainly not the only one in the world who is overprotective of their kiddo, and doesn't want to acknowledge the worst, right? Right!?

Anyways, I need to do more research and prep some more for tomorrow's meeting. I am sweating bullets, and I need to drop it. The anxiety is killlling, though. This would be a good time for some xanax (but I'm not a pill-popper), or a good time for a run. I literally almost went on a run.. but by the time I had my two ponytail holders in, three sports bras because of my fear of more sag on, my feel-like-clouds running shoes, and my running shorts set, little man was passed out on the floor. So anxiety and stress it is for me, tonight.

Please be sure to say a prayer tonight and tomorrow. I will update once I know what is going on I'm recovered from a much needed (either way) happy hour. Please pray I don't break down crying like a heartbroken mom, or show too much excitement like a selfish mom, or tune out in fear like the overwhelmed mom, but that I can remain professional and strong for Cay. Thanks!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Day for Me

Hi, I'm Caydon.

 Today is World Autism Awareness Day, also known as "Light It Up Blue" for Autism Speaks.

Blue so happens to be my favorite color. Did you know that? Did you know that I'm also obsessed with dinosaurs, Mario Cart, Star Wars, and love making new friends? Maybe you did, and maybe you didn't. Lots of people seem to have a hard time acknowledging that I'm a little boy, just like their kids, or like they were a few decades ago. Just because I have autism, doesn't mean I am autism. Because of this, I'd like to share a few things with you.

For starters, I love having a routine. I'm very specific as to what I want, and when I want it. Luckily, my mom knows what I expect and when, and can sometimes help me prepare for when things don't go as I plan. Some things, I just need to adjust to. Like naptime. I hate naptime, but I'm not the only 5 year old in the world who despises nap time. So, this is an area that doesn't make me unique. Mom and I thought that maybe you'd like to see what an average day looks like for me, since it is, after all, the biggest day of the year for autism:

6:15 AM- Mom starts waking me up while in the process of getting herself ready. Yes, I take a long time waking up. I'm kind of like a teenager stuck in a 5 year old's body. Struggle to fall asleep, never want to get up. What can I say? I'm smart and figured it out early.

6:45 AM- Mom starts making my medicine smoothy. Every morning, I get a 1/2 tablespoon of a vitamin formulated just for kids with autism, and a huge Omega that is bigger than my pinky finger. Mom makes this into a yummy fruit smoothy so it goes down easy.

6:50 AM- Mom comes in and helps me get ready for school. Part of my autism makes it hard for me to take care of myself. I don't really care how I look, what I wear, or how I smell. I'm perfectly OK wearing my bedtime pullup all day, having dirt all over my body, and having long nails. Actually, I hate getting my hair and nails cut. It freaks me out. So, my norm is usually at the "could use a cut anytime" length. However, mom insists on making me look decent. Whatever. As long as I can wear a shirt with a dinosaur, and that I don't have to wear socks. The strings inside the socks freak me out. Also, the only pairs of shoes I will wear has dinosaurs on them and, of course, no laces. I hate laces or velcro straps. Sometimes I will wear flip flops, but not for very long.

7:00 AM- We get into the car to leave, which is when mom has to give me the plans for the day. What schools am I going to? What are we doing after school? Who am I seeing today? If it's a different day, mom let's me know earlier than this. She'll have to repeat it a few times before we leave. If it is a normal day, I still want to hear the plans at least once. This is also the time that I start whining about going to school. I don't like it because they used to make me take naps. I recently moved into the integrated preschool since I'm doing really well. I'm still adjusting to the routine change. I really start getting nervous the closer our car gets to school. On a good note, we don't have to go on a freeway on-ramp, which sometimes scares me.

7:15 AM- I kiss my mom goodbye and get dropped off at daycare. Transitioning from my mom to the day is hard for me, and I used to be kind of mean to the other kids. Now I just tell them that I want alone time. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. If they don't leave me alone, I get overwhelmed and often end up in trouble. It's not that I don't want friends; it's just that the transition is hard for me.

7:30 AM- I get a whole 'nother breakfast, but I have to be social at it. I really like it when we can talk about dinosaurs. If we don't talk about dinosaurs, I'm not interested in talking. What can I say? I know what I like. Besides, I'm still warming up to the day.

7:45 AM- After breakfast, I play with the dinosaurs that the daycare ladies bought just for me. They noticed that I didn't like the other toys there, and thought this would help me learn to share. Sometimes I do share. Actually, I like playing with other kids and I'm getting pretty good at it. I have a hard time saying more than "hi," "my name is Caydon," "want to play?" and "I want to be alone right now". Beyond that, I need someone to help me. This difficulty is called Pragmatics. Mom is always helping me with this area, and fighting the school district to give me Speech Services to help me in this area. They don't think I need it because I have my sounds right when I try hard. They ignore the fact that, when I get overwhelmed, I mumble and stutter, and I can't maintain a conversation with kids my own age. It's frustrating, and when I get frustrated, I often get into trouble.

11:00- I eat lunch now by myself because I have to get ready for school. I have to take another dose of my nasty autism vitamin, but I'm happy if it's mixed with juice and I can chase it with something. I try to be tough. Mom is pretty sure it's because I remember B12 shots in my butt. No, thank you.

11:30- My school bus comes to pick me up and drive me to my special preschool. I really like going there, and have a new friend named James. He likes dinosaurs, too. Sometimes, we even make dinosaurs out of legos. My day there consists of integrated speech, physical, and occupational therapy, as well as learning things to get me ready for Kindergarten. They work with me a lot on how to handle situations if they don't go as I planned, just like mom does at home. They also try to help me make friends. My favorite subject is art. I also like writing letters, but I only copy what I see and don't copy what I hear. I've worked on writing my name for a year now, and get it correct most days. I am known to mix it up, which has mom worried about Dyslexia. Did I mention that mom is a special education teacher, and worries too much about me? I did tell you that it's just autism that I have, right? My developmental behavioral pediatrician says I also have ADHD and ODD, but mom says those are things that fall into autism. My neurologist says I have really abnormal brain waves and grey brain areas, but mom says this also falls into the autism category. Mom thinks one diagnosis for me is enough, and is fighting my preschool really hard regarding me not having a cognitive delay. They think I do because I have a hard time learning. Truth is, I am so smart, I'd probably blow you away. Sometimes I'll ramble to mom about the different time periods and types of dinosaurs. I use really big words. I also have an amazing memory, like the time I didn't go to Disneyland for 6 months but remembered the Haunted House, that I only went on once, has a scary hand. Or like the time mom didn't remember the flavor of Trader Joe's squeezers (yogurt sticks) that we had in our freezer at home (we had the red box, I wanted the green because it was strawberry). See? I told you I'm really smart! I just don't find learning certain things exciting. I'm glad mom knows this, and is fighting the school district on it.

2:00 PM- I ride the bus back to my daycare, where I like to watch TV until mom picks me up. We don't have cable at home (mom says money doesn't grow on trees, but I don't understand what she's talking about. I take things literally, and already knew money doesn't grow on trees. But I do remember her telling me money is made out of paper, and paper comes from trees. So, technically, it DOES come from trees.) so I enjoy watching TV by myself until my mom gets there. Sometimes, I'll have dinosaurs join me. On really good days, I'll play hide and go seek with some of the other kids.

4:00 PM- Mom gets me from school. We always sing on the way home. I know all of the cool songs and am a really good dancer. We always stop by the mailbox on the way home, and I'll be sure to let mom know if we don't.

4:30 PM- Mom and I start my homeschooling. We are working on teaching me my letters (actually, I call it learning how to read, because it IS), how to write, and we do music and more occupational therapy. I learn the best through music therapy, and we actually have fun. Mom gives me my joint compressions and uses a clear brush to comb me all over my body. It is really relaxing. I also love to jump, so I have a trampoline. If I had a really hard day, mom will give me ice to chew on. This is by far one of the best ways to help me calm down. Some days, we'll skip music and academics, and go to the grocery store where I work on social skills, or we'll go to my counseling/ABA class. I used to have a really hard time going to grocery stores because it's so busy. There are some really nice ladies at Trader Joe's who know mom and I, and help keep me calm. When I was younger and really struggled, they would stay with me the whole time mom shopped. They also did a lot of research to help mom with me. They even give my mom hugs, but I don't let them touch me because I'm not sure of them. I do, however, let them give me cookies and I get to choose something from the treasure box. Other kids are supposed to find an iguana, but everyone there says I can get a treasure if I make good choices and don't get overwhelmed. I always choose one candy and one toy. I always eat the candy while waiting with my mom. On the days that they run out of treasures, I freak out. Once, I broke a pot on a wall. I didn't mean to, but it was already busy and stressful, and then my routine changed. Mom had to restrain me and give me deep pressure in the parking lot. The girls that worked there loaded up the car for mom so that she could work with me. Mom cried on the way home, and I still don't know why. Mom cries a lot when I melt down, and I don't know why she would do that when I'm the one overstimulated. I also hear her talk a lot to God whenever she cries because of me. She talks to him like He's a friend of hers that is helping her do something hard. I still don't understand it, but it happens every time like clockwork. At least it's something I can expect.

5:30 PM- Mom lets me choose whether or not I help her cook dinner, or go outside to play with my dinosaurs. Mom got a house just for me with a backyard, and I love it out there. Sometimes, I'll pick oranges to help mom with dinner. Mom always knows I'm ok because I grunt a lot while I'm playing. It makes me feel better after a long day. It's funny, too, because if I start playing quietly, she always runs out and checks on me right away. I think she likes hearing me.

6:00 PM- Mom and I eat dinner. I have to, again, take my autism vitamin and Omega. It's so gross! She always tries to talk to me about my day, and sometimes she'll tell me how her day was. Sometimes I can tell she wishes I would ask her questions, but I don't even know what to say. I know she asks my teachers about how my day was because she'll use what she hears to ask questions. "Who did you play dinosaurs with inside?" she'll say. It's like she is trying to see if I can remember, rather than as if she's actually asking a question she doesn't know the answer to. She's funny; she's always looking for ways to get me to talk to her. Most of the time, we just end up talking about dinosaurs. I teach her a lot because I remember everything she reads to me, but she says her brain doesn't work like that.

6:20 PM- Mom and I start cleaning up the house. We always turn on our music really loudly and have a dance party. My job is to put the dishes in the sink, put my toys away, and vacuum an area. She always starts scrubbing stuff down and doing the dishes. We almost always stop the dance party once I start stemming. I'll either rock, spin in circles (which isn't how I dance unless I'm holding mom's hands), or bonk my head into the wall. Sometimes I'll start biting myself because I need the pressure. This often tells mom that I've had enough chores and music, so she gives me ice to chew on and then we move into quiet time.

6:45 PM- This is up there on my favorite part of the day. Mom and I either go on a bike ride together, she'll go on a run and I'll ride my bike, or we'll do a workout game on the wii. I think yoga is hilarious!

7:15 PM-  Mom always lets me play Mario Cart while she takes a shower, and then she gives me a bath after. I used to hate taking baths, but now that mom has taught me how to wash my own hair, I'm OK with it.

7:45 PM- Quiet time is when mom gets some of her grading or reading done, and I read books. When I'm bored with books, I play more Mario Cart on the TV. It really depends on how much grading she has to do. On rare occasions, she won't have any more work to do, and she'll be able to sit down and watch a movie with me. I really like this, because we get to cuddle. A lot of kids with autism can't stand cuddling, but I love it. Mom says it's because she lets me sleep in her bed, and because she nursed me for 17 months. I don't know why I love cuddling, but I do. I really love it when mom rubs my back or squeezes my shoulders.

8:15 PM- We brush my teeth, put me in a pull-up, pray, and read a book to go to bed. I sleep in mom's bed because I have a really hard time at night. I get very scared, have night-terrors, and have a lot more abnormal activity in my brain. I normally finally fall asleep to reading around 10. Sometimes, mom will even fall asleep before me. She tries really hard not to, but I know she's always tired after her day so I don't make her stay up. Besides, I'm bound to wake her up at least a few times throughout the night.

So, there you have it. My day. What does your day with, or without, autism look like? 

Now, that was kind of long... so mom and I will save what else you may want to learn about me for later this month. April is Autism Awareness month. So stay tuned!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Scary, but True

Cay and I were kind of going through a rough patch. It seemed like ever since I was baptized, Satan was attacking us in every which way. Why is it that being baptized makes us turn into prey for the devil? God warns us that the closer we are to Him, the more Satan will want to pull us away. The key point, though is that we have to let him. As my friend Adrian told me during a much needed mommy break, Satan is like a gnat in comparison to God, unless we let him become more. Such an important thing to remember!

With this in mind, I have been really blessed by God with the friends, people, and promises through His word that He puts into my life to help me remain a spiritual leader of our 2 person family, even when times get rough. Between Adrian's reminder, Jessica coming home with me to pray for like an hour (longest prayer I think I've ever said... but definitely not the last!), other friends being amazing, and my pastor at church knowing exactly what to say and when to say it... it's nothing short of God giving me a great bear hug. Today we had a sermon on this very issue, that I'd like to share with you. It's a dark, nitty-gritty passage, but it is SO important to recognize and understand.

Satan, Demons, and Other Nasty Subjects from Central Christian on Vimeo.

Amazing, right!? I adore my church family!

 I'm so thankful that when I cry out to Jesus, He listens to me. I always tell myself that God will either answer a prayer with a "yes, but let's be patient first," "no, because I have better in store for you," or a "let's do it!". I'm so thankful that He hears my cries and sees my battles, and knows exactly what I need.

Well, there is my short update on God's work in my life. Hopefully this experience of mine can help you realize that crying out to God and asking Him for what you need, now, is something that He hears. I'm so new to this crying out when I'm feeling down ordeal... I used to just keep it in... but knowing that God listens to me regardless is an amazing feeling. Knowing that God is powerful enough to protect Caydon and I from Satan when we are too weak to do it ourselves is just a small reminder of how much our Heavenly Father loves us. I hope you all have a blessed week, and remember that through Christ, all things are possible.