Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Basically, it's getting Boog to understand more, follow commands with less prompting, and hopefully keep progressing in many areas (including speech). He LOVES his therapist. It helps that she's a very very super cute young female. Boog loves pretty girls :) It wouldn't surprise me if I found out he was doing so well just BECAUSE she's super cute. That's my boy!
I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to have him at this new therapy and so excited for the next school year :)
Always appreciate those people who help you help someone you love. Without a few family members, the school staff, and a small number of friends we couldn't have made the progress we have. I will never forget the people that try and make the difficult times better...not the ones that just appear when everything is peachy :)
Friday, June 14, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Friday, May 3, 2013
For whatever reason, I have had very vivid dreams for as long as I can remember. The good ones were cool, but the bad ones often had me walking in the dark across the house and saying "Momma...bad dream...move over"...up until I moved out :)
After that, the husband quickly learned the deal. I nudge, say "bad dream", he mumbles something about "it's not real", snuggle, repeat. Works like a charm.
However, I have been having a recurring dream that I can't shake. No hug or snuggle helps either, because I can't tell you if this is a good dream or a bad dream. I keep dreaming that Boog is talking.
During the dream I feel intense joy and relief. He is talking and there's always someone there I get to rejoice with: Boog's Daddy, Nana, Papa, a teacher or therapists from the school.
Last night's dream had Boog speaking in full sentences. I remember the dream, Boog was playing on this ENORMOUS playground set. It was seriously as big as a house. It was like a playground and a treehouse had a very exciting baby. Now why I would let Boog on this thing without me? No idea, it's a dream. Anyway, the thing collapses and I rush over to find Boog. He's fine and we walk away... That's when he begins to talk. Apparently the fall resulted in speech. I immediately take him to see my mom and watch them have a conversation. I told you they were vivid dreams.
Then I wake up. And again deal with the fact that the dream wasn't real, and my Boog can't say a word, much less full sentences. It's a happy dream, so you can't call it a nightmare... So what is it?
I also sort of don't want them to go away. Despite the pain of realizing the dream isn't true, the joy of hearing his voice is amazing. See my dilemma?
But Boog is doing very very well in school. He is saying "Ma" more now and I'm really starting to allow myself to think he really means me when he says it and it's not just a sound. Moms like me have to be very guarded when it comes to our kids progress. Unless something happens 50 times, is on video, and more than 10 people have seen it occur, we tend to think it's just a coincidence. It keeps us from getting let down if it isn't real, know what I mean?
So, we will keep pushing. Keep moving forward until those words come and I finally have dreams that my very talkative son is quiet :)
Monday, April 22, 2013
I was bruised and had a concussion. I don't know how with a concussion, but somehow I managed to tell the kind strangers helping us get out Boog's name, he has Autism, and he is non-verbal. That stuff you hear about moms doing things they shouldn't be able to because of the love for the child? Yeah, it's totally true. My mom was pretty beaten up with two small bone breaks in her back (fractured discs that will eventually heal on their own). The even more amazing part is Boog. We were upside down when the vehicle stopped. Lucas was still buckled in his car seat. Other than him being terrified, he somehow only suffered one scratch on the top of his head. It didn't even need stitches.
I cannot tell you how lucky we are. I honestly don't let my mind think about what could have happened that day because it's too terrifying. What I can tell you are the reasons I believe we were able to walk away from such a horrible accident.
First of all, we would not have been so fortunate had it not been for God. He and His angels protected me, my mom, and Boog that day. When my husband saw the scene he initially thought we were all dead. It was that bad. I could not be more grateful that the Lord above protected my little family. I have thanked Him many times and will continue to do so.
Thank you, Lord!
Second, the vehicle I was driving. I did a lot of research on vehicles when I was pregnant with Boog. At that time I drove a 2 door car and knew it wouldn't be convenient or safe enough for my precious cargo on the way. I ended up choosing the Nissan Rogue. It wasn't too big (I'm short), was a good price when you compared other SUVs costs, and the safety features were really good. The salesman told me about the reinforced steel in the backseat, the "Latch" system that anchors the carseat to the vehicle frame, and the five star side impact crash rating. Side impact crashes are the most dangerous type of car crash for children. I was sold.
My 2009 Nissan Rogue right after we bought her. Sigh.
That car did exactly what it was supposed to during the crash. Every airbag deployed, the car seat remained stable, the inside held up to prevent us from being crushed. I honestly cried a little bit when I had to get the rest of our stuff out of it at the tow yard. I put my hand on the dented front end and said "thank you". Man, I miss that car. The Rogue made such an impression on me that it influenced what type of rental vehicle I chose. They had several medium to large sized American-brand SUVs and one smaller Nissan Sentra. Guess who's driving the Sentra? :)
My final reason of thanks is the type of car seat I had. My parents purchased a very nice car seat for their only grandchild and after the crash it still looked brand new. FYI: always dispose of your carseat after a crash. The damage done may not be visible to the naked eye and the security features may be compromised. Needless to say, I went to Babies-R-Us and purchased the exact same carseat for the rental. Safety first!!
BTW, I wasn't paid or given anything for these recommendations (I wish!!). I just know that sometimes word of mouth means more than a commercial on TV, ya know?
So pass this on to anyone you know looking for a car, carseat, or an example of love from the man above :)
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
This post is about a word that makes me cringe every time I hear it. It's been used in a derogatory fashion so many times that it is no longer a used medical term.
The word you've probably already guessed is "retard" or "retarded".
I've heard countless people say "that is SO retarded!" since Boog was diagnosed with Autism. Autism is not a form of retardation, but all of us "special people" like to stick together. Safety in numbers and all. I'm sure you can see why.
About a year ago I was at a craft store and two women were loudly shopping near me. Grown women, probably in their mid-thirties. I had already found their loud tone to be irritating (maybe Boog isn't the only one with sensory issues). I decided to go to another isle. I found what I was looking for and got in line to check out. Guess who got behind me? Yep. Them. Still loud and giggling. Please remember these are adult, nicely dressed women. They were buying craft projects for their children.
While waiting for my turn to check out, I heard one of them say very loudly, "I forgot glue! I am so RETARDED!" and her friend started laughing.
Mama-Bear had finally had enough.
I turned around and in a very calm a voice told the woman that using that word is not only offensive, but hurtful. Her rebuttal was that she was speaking about herself, not making fun of someone. I tried to explain by using the word in that way, it shows that you believe a disability is something bad, wrong, derogatory, and funny.
SIDENOTE: Thanks a lot to the Black Eyed Peas for releasing a song titled "Let's Get Retarded". Oh, you didn't know that was the original lyric? It was changed to "It Started" so it could be played on the radio. Because the word is too OFFENSIVE to be played on national radio. Thanks a lot, Fergie. I'm kinda glad you peed your pants on stage that time (oops...sorry).
Anyway, the only thing that really happened at the craft store was embarrassing a woman initially. In the long run I really hoped I would make her think the next time she started to use the word, and maybe her friend too.
Look, I know slip ups happen. Do you know how many times I almost use a very improper colorful word in front of Boog? Way more than I care to admit!
I'm just asking you to think about it. What the word "retarded" really means to you. Does it mean defective? Silly? Odd? Okay, then next time use that word instead :)
Trust me, everyone that is connected to a special needs persons of any kind really appreciates it.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Boog is saying "Ma-Ma" and "Buh-Buh" on purpose. He says "Buh" and waves his hand when he is counting. This is huge for us. It's the first time he has vocalized on command and on purpose in this way. He has cried or made noises when he wanted something or needed me before, but this is different. He's concentrating SO hard to make his mouth/brain/vocal chords all do what he wants at the same time. What's crazy is that he sounds different when he does these new vocalizations. It's Boog's voice. His real voice. He is 3 years and 4 months old and I am finally hearing his voice. So GOOD.
The easiest way for me to describe Autism is this way: My son is always down a tunnel. Some days the tunnel gets shorter and he sees me very well. Some days it's longer and I have to try very hard to reach him. The tunnel is getting shorter lately.
We have had this farm magnet toy for at least two years. Boog never did much other than take the magnets off the fridge.
I sat down with him about a week ago and used "hand-over-hand" to show him that if you match correctly, it would play a song and I would sing and dance. He loved it. His increased focus and fine motor skills have let him master this in less than a week. He can now match all 5 animals perfectly. He matches the face with the body, puts it in the correct position, and presses it again to hear the song. The reward for getting it correct is Mommy singing the song in her terrible singing voice. So GOOD.
There are literally 100 things I could tell you that I'm excited about. Some people who know special needs children would understand. Some people who know me or Boog would understand. Some people would be puzzled that he's just now doing these things. Some would be puzzled that I noticed something so small. All I can tell you is that a very wise person told me "Little steps make big steps" and it's true. If you get excited about the little steps, it makes life a lot easier to handle. The little steps are steps in the right direction. Moving forward is great. We are at our own pace, but we are on the road together. Every little step Boog takes, he's not alone. His Mommy, Daddy, Nana and Papa are there. His school family is there. And God is there. I don't blog about religion, but to see your son progress and know that you have made the right choices for him is an answered prayer.
I told someone a while back that when Boog made progress, "It's like someone takes one brick off of my soul. There's still a huge pile there, but I can feel one brick was removed".
And so thankful.
Thank you, God.
Friday, February 15, 2013
He was totally right and I'm so glad he stopped to really read it. "No Gluten Added" just means that they didn't pour in some more gluten in food that already had it in there. They do this a lot with sweets by saying "No Sugar Added". Yeah... Non "added", but it still has a boat load in there... Pretty shady, huh?
Food manufacturers will do anything to sell more and I would hate for someone to get sick from ingesting gluten just because of a tricky label.
I've put an example of the label at the end, but it could look different.
When in doubt, read the entire ingredient list if you're not sure. I also like to visit http://www.celiaccess.com/. They have a pretty good database of safe and unsafe food.
Spread the word and spread the love while you're at it :)
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
What I DO know, is how to raise a special needs child and the effort it takes to get them a good education. How expensive that education can be is REALLY my expertise.
Imagine my shock and HORROR when I was informed that Mississippi Superintendents are fighting a bill that would HELP disabled children! Are you kidding me????
I have NO background in law, so let me break it down for you into an easy way to understand. Like southerners often say, "let me put it in English for ya":
The state allocates a per pupil a specific dollar amount in funding for the school district. This money does not automatically go to the school the child attends. The money is given to the district for the Superintendent to budget how HE wants to. So if you have a disabled child, a child with autism, etc. THEIR funding goes to the district... Why is this wrong? Because if another district contains a school that is better equipped to provide what your child needs, the funding STILL goes to the other district.
Now do you get why they want this bill to fail? Common greed.
If this bill passes the funding will stay WITH THE CHILD. Meaning:
-Parents will actually be able to apply the child's funding to tuition if they attend a school out of their district
-With their RIGHTFUL funding for their own child, MANY more parents with disabled children would be able to get the special education that the children need desperately
Okay, got it? Well, if you're like me you may need an example. My brain is a bit foggy after having a child.
I am Boog's mom. Boog has autism. He requires an IEP (individual education plan) because he's different. He gets this amazing education at a school that happens to be in "District X", but we live in "District A".
"District A" gets the funding that is supposed to benefit MY child. The school in "District X" doesn't see a penny of it. Neither does Boog.
The Superintendents are not parents of disabled children. They have no right to stop these kids from getting what they need just so their buddies in certain districts get more and more each year no matter if they child is educated there or not.
This funding would go to speech therapy, occupational therapy and other types. Therapy for children with autism, brain injury, hearing impairments including the deaf, sight impairments including the blind, dyslexia, language delay, and so on. They want to deny these children.
Ya feel me?
So PLEASE take a minute and write or call to make your voice heard. Do this because you know me and know how hard I work for my son. Do it because you want disabled children to have access to the education they need. Do if for that mom you saw at the grocery store, putting back the items that weren't on sale this week. She knows she has to save every penny to give her son what he needs...what he DESERVES.
My son can't speak. Will you speak for him?
Contact information for those who oppose the bill:
DeSoto County School District
Mr. Milton Kuykendal
5 East South Street
Hernando, MS 38632
Nancy Loome, Executive Director for the MS Parents Campaign
222 North President Street, Suite 102
Jackson, Mississippi 39201
The Mississippi Board of Superintendents
555 Tombigbee St. Suite 107, Jackson, MS 39201
Telephone: +1 601 352 8868
FAX: +1 601 487 6491
Also, check out this link for more info: