Cuttin’ up

Cuttin’ up

There are quite a few things I am not able to experience in the world like other parents with “normal” kids.

Getting Hayden’s hair cut is an obstacle that I wish on no person. It’s cardio and a part time job all in one and to top it off, I get charged more because of it. When I say more I mean instead of being charged $10, like every other child was charged for a hair cut, you get a surprise total of $30-$40 because of his special needs.

I am not tripping am I??

*Whew*

He has to be held down while he is getting his hair cut or it will be bad. How do I hold him down you ask? I have him sit on my lap and have my arms wrapped around his torso (including his arms) and my legs wrapped around his. Did I mention he was four years old when all of this happened?

Like I said earlier, a cardio workout, but that should still be no reason to charge almost $50 for a haircut for a child when I am doing the hard part!

So I ask again, am I tripping?

I will say, one of the places we went to was considerate of Hayden’s needs. The owner made sure that there was limited people in the shop. He also made sure to have the lights dim and all music low, just in case there was a sensory overload. That, I appreciated.

However, after being referred to this particular location we experienced very unprofessional-like behavior from one of the other employees there. Not only did this person get a kick out of Hayden fighting because of the sound and vibration of the clippers, but they were laughing pretty loudly. Although the owner apologized for their actions, it was still unacceptable.

Needless to say, we never went there again and I have spread the word to other autism parents in the area about how unprofessional and inconsiderate some of the workers were at this particular location. The owner was nice, but he should have done a better job educating his staff on what autism was. It completely destroyed the image I had for him and that place.

To avoid the unnecessary price spikes and snickering from ignorant bystanders, I decided to start cutting his hair on my own. It saved me a lot of money for months and Hayden was more comfortable around me. Yes, he did try and fight me off or run a away (because of his sensory processing disorder), but I was still able to get the job done.

Ask me if I am able to cut his hair still….

Hayden is the strongest little person I have ever met in my life and the crazy thing about it is he doesn’t realize he has that type of strength. I have had teachers and other professionals tell me he is extremely strong, so when he unleashes his “super power” because the sound of the clippers hurts him, I stopped.

He is only seven years old and he is only going to get stronger. We will have to figure something out about his type 4C hair because cutting, unfortunately, is no longer an option for both of our safety. Maybe when he gets older he will be more accepting of the clippers, but right now it is a no-go.

So for now, we are embarking on a new journey and it is called, ‘Mastering the Crown.’ His little afro will be fun to explore.

Say, what?

Say, what?

I have decided that there is no better way to feel like I am not going crazy than to talk to myself aloud. Sounds crazy, right? Haha.

We all do it, but being a parent with TWO special needs children, it has become a part time hobby for me. So, instead of looking crazy, I decided to take my “special talents” to another level.

I’ve started the Autistic Talks Podcast. It’s a place where I will be able to speak on concerns and other relatable challenges that I face as a parent of autism. It’s a safe space and I know I am not the only parent, with or without autism, that experiences challenges with following the standards of what and how our children are supposed to be in today’s society.

It’s a place to vent and gain a sense of support knowing that there are other parents, friends, or family members that experience the fantastic challenges of raising or being linked to an individual with autism.

So, if you need someone to talk to that understands what it’s like to raise a child with autism or you know someone that can be a positive voice for the listeners that tune in, I want to hear from you!

All you have to do is fill out this form and I will get back to within 24 hours!

It’s always good to have someone to talk to. šŸ™‚

Don’t forget about the gear!

Tackling the Toilet

Tackling the Toilet

Okay, toilet training has always been an obstacle for toddlers but trying to toilet train a child with special needs is on a whole different level!!

With Hayden about to be seven years old, his bowel movements are more so on the adult level and lets just say they are not pleasant to smell or change.

Working with him on his potty training has been a challenge for many reasons.

One, there are videos on YouTube with children (an their parents) flushing random items down the toilet. He saw this and has taken a huge interest in not just flushing anything down the toilet, but flushing the toilet in general. It’s the before and after effect that stimulates him and I can’t stand. Let’s just say there is no more YouTube on any mobile device that he can access.

Secondly, he is very stubborn. He knows when he has to go, yet he will sit there and hold it in until his adult pull-up is back on him. He’s very smart as you can see.

Lastly, he is comfortable wearing the pull-up. It’s what he knows. It is his comfort zone and when people are comfortable it is difficult for them to accept change.

-STORY TIME-

For the last week or so, Hayden has been sitting on the toilet around the same time every night. He needs to be familiar with relieving himself there and not in his pull-up. He has also been very constipated for the last week and when has to go number two, he does like this crazy dance so I know when it is time for him to go.

We were successful one time this week. He went both number one and two in the toilet after sitting for about 30 minutes. That is PROGRESS! Even though it was just a drop, I know he is still very much so constipated. So, I decided to give him a little Miralax to help it flow better. To be honest, it seems as if the Miralax was lacking because it did absolutely nothing for him or was it his stubbornness and he was just holding it in? You would think the Miralax would have done the job, but nope!

Ugh….

On a positive note, Hayden did stand in front of the toilet to let me know that he did indeed have to use the restroom. However, after having him sit for almost an hour with my phone he held it in. This just lets me know that he does know when he has to go and he does feel comfortable sitting on the toilet.

Now, all I need for him to do now is use it. . . . . . .

Pss…..

Don’t forget to check out the gear!

Home Schooling

Home Schooling

I am not sure where most of you are located, but I am in Virginia. The Governor has decided it would be best to close all of the schools, in the state, to ensure everyone’s safety and to further follow the guidelines of practicing ‘social distancing’.

Not going to lie, but when I heard the announcement my heart dropped. Not to say that I was not expecting for the Governor’s decisions to be that, but I wasn’t really mentally prepared for it.

Think about it, it’s March and school was to let out in June. Then, there is summer break, which lasts until September. Let’s add all of this up, shall we? That is six months with them out of school! My mind is all over the place, but at the same time I understand why the decision was made.

Little kids are dirty little creatures (and I say this with a smile on my face.) They cough and sneeze without putting their hands over their mouths and washing their hands is occasional to them. When you think about, adults do this too which is sad, but kids are young and they are still learning how to practice safe and healthy habits. Adults, what is your excuse???

So in the mean time, I had to go from “mommy mode” to “teacher mode” and determine which sites and applications would provide enriching material for both kiddos. Considering I have a pre-schooler and a kindergartner, I had my work cut out for me, but I was able to compile a list of sites and apps that provided both on-line and printable activities for the kids and parents.

Apps: (Please know that some of these apps do cost)

  • Verbal Me
  • Autism DDT Letters
  • See.Touch.Learn
  • Autism iHelp
  • Sight Words
  • Words on Wheels
  • ABC Mouse

Sites:

PARENTS: please use this time to continue where the teachers left off. Even if it is for a 30 minutes a day. You don’t want your child starting school the next school year and they are behind. That not only sets the teacher back, but also the other students. Now is the time for everyone to work together.

I understand that time may be limited for some parents, so do what you can.

Until next time, keep your head up and stay safe!

Funny moment

Funny moment

Not everything will be serious on this blog. You have to laugh a little, right?

Story Time

Hayden is very inquisitive. From the moment you open a bag of chips, to the moment you twist the cap off a bottle of water. You may not think he heard you, but he did.

For some reason, he enjoys watching me hand mix things in the kitchen. For sensory purposes, the hand held mixer does not get used around him.

Anyway, pancake batter……..

He loves watching me mix and pour it on the skillet, yet he wont eat it! (After eating it a year for breakfast lunch and dinner, I wouldn’t eat it either.)

So during this particular time, he was watching as I poured the batter on the skillet. I turned my back to it for just a second to put something in the sink. When I turned back around, there was a hole in one of the pancakes on the skillet and a trail of pancake batter leading outside of the kitchen.

I follow the soggy trail through the dining room, living room and lastly to the staircase (which by the way is carpet). Now, my living room furniture is black leather. There were two battered up finger prints on my sofa. *sighs*

I continue the trail up the stairs until I get to the top where I see two smeared hand prints. I am going to take a wild guess and say that is where he wiped his hands.

I go to his room and he is hiding under his bed. I can’t be mad because I know he probably burned his little nubs from being nosy, so that was his punishment.

Moral of this story, don’t turn your back on inquisitive kids!

Kids vs Shopping..

Kids vs Shopping..

One word: NOPE!

Once you have kids, you no longer have the ability to browse. That new ability turns into anxiety, which turns into a panic attack.

Let’s reminisce on the past for a second. Remember when you could spend half the day walking through a store, reading books, and smelling each fragrance of a candle available? Do you remember that? Can you still do that when you’re shopping with kids? How about kids with special needs? How are my trips different than any other parent with kids?

Before we get into that, do you know the difference between a meltdown and a tantrum? Check this out before you continue.

-Story Time-

Imagine pulling into the parking lot of your favorite grocery store, thinking the day couldn’t get any better. The entrance you normally go in doesn’t have parking spaces with feasible walking distance with kids. You find a close enough park, to where you don’t have to walk too far with the kids, at a different entrance.

Let me remind you that this is a wonderful day….

You get the kids out of the car and begin to walk towards the door. As you become closer, you notice the attitude of one of your kids is shifting in the wrong direction. You start to walk slower to the door, but not to slow.

When you finally get to the entrance, one of your kiddos is having a full blown meltdown/tantrum-at the entrance. The doors can no longer close because your kid is lying on the ground at the entrance and people are starting to stare.

Not only is he lying on the ground in the fetal position, but he is screaming at the top of his lungs. This behavior only triggers your second kid to begin to cry. Now, you have two crying kids at the entrance of this grocery store. Clearly, one is feeding off of the other…..

What do you do? Why is this happening? How do you keep others from staring and whispering about how you needing to have better control of your kids? (Clearly it’s not a whisper if you can hear them saying this.) How do you keep control over YOURSELF from crying or punching someone in the throat for making a comment on something they don’t know anything about?

Individuals with autism do not like change. Once they experience something in a certain way, they expect it to be that way every time they encounter it and going to the grocery store was no different.

Hayden was used to going through a certain entrance of that grocery store and when we were unable to, he panicked. The entrances may be the same to us, but to him it was a different experience that messed with his overall senses. With him having a sensory processing disorder, I can see how he would react as such.

So, how did I get him up? Eventually, employees came to see what was going on and after explaining to them about autism they understood and kind of steered traffic until Hayden got himself together, which wasn’t too long afterwards. I was always told to have snacks with me when we go out, which I did but neither kid wanted them at that time. Go figure…

How do I keep my emotions together? I take deep breaths, laugh it off or look as mean as possible until I get home and then I cry. This is one of the many experiences that many cannot possible understand unless you are physically in my shoes. . .

Want to work from home?

Want to work from home?

I have found that it has been extremely difficult trying to maintain a regular 9-5 commuting schedule with two special needs children. So, I decided to go another route and seek employment from home.

There are plenty of companies that allow their employers to work remotely, but it comes with a few mandatory rules to ensure that work will get done. You should have a:

  • quiet and distraction free work environment
  • high speed internet (no WiFi depending on the certain company rules)

The benefits of working from home are endless. I am not sure where you are located, but when it snows I am very thankful that I do not have to drive in it! Other benefits include:

  • wear what you want
  • save a TON of money on fast food and gas
  • be better at working independently
  • avoid office distractions
  • did I mention you don’t have to commute??????

Here are a few companies that are hiring for remote workers at this time:

Amazon

Broad-path

Concentrix

Kelly Services

ModSquad

Support.com

Uhaul

Whoop

Most employers do provide you with equipment, but if they do not they will let you know what you need to have in order to proceed.

I feel that being able to work from home has lifted a big weight off of my shoulders. I hope this helps for you as well!