Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Happy Birthday Jesus

I have been meaning to post this for a while now and time just keeps getting away from me! Back in December our choir at church did a Christmas concert. We packed John-Isaac's "church bag" with all the things that keep him occupied, just in case he didn't want to sit perfectly still and listen to the music! For the first part of the concert he looked through his magazines and was very good, but didn't really pay attention to the choir. Toward the end they sang a song called "Happy Birthday Jesus". It is a beautiful song that always brings a tear to my eye. It features a child soloist singing to Jesus. John-Isaac immediately perked up and started listening with undivided attention. It was so sweet! As the song was coming to an end John-Isaac started clapping. He looked at me and said, "Mom, wasn't that fantastic!" I thought I had just heard the most beautiful words ever in that song, but I was wrong! The most beautiful words of the night came from John-Isaac's mouth!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

What Do Thanksgiving and The Fourth Of July Have In Common??

Autism and holidays can go together like oil and water! There are usually several more people around than normal and a lot of them the child may not know as well. Therefore anxiety and over stimulation can be a problem....We spent Thanksgiving at Brian's family's house. John-Isaac loves to be down there. The morning started off very normal. Breakfast and a little TV. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade came on which John-Isaac was very excited about because he got to see his favorite character Snoopy!! At some point though something snapped in his head and he screamed "Fireworks!". I said, "John-Isaac, this is Thanksgiving, we don't do fireworks on Thanksgiving. Those are for the Fourth of July." Every time he would look at the TV and the parade he would yell, "Fireworks! Fourth of July!" I still don't have a clue what was going through his little head. Maybe he was thinking about our parade that got rained out on the Fourth. Or maybe it had nothing to do with anything and he just wanted to see fireworks. I may never know. Maybe we will start a new tradition of fireworks on Thanksgiving!! Other than this little blip on the radar the rest of our day went wonderfully.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Don't Judge the Monkey!!!

Autism is a funny thing! It affects every child differently. That is one reason it is so hard to diagnose and find treatments that work. Since it is so hard for John-Isaac to communicate he tends to just quietly go and do whatever it is he is thinking about instead of trying to find the words to ask. He also seeks out sensory input such as watching something spinning, bright lights flashing, etc. Hence, we have MONKEY! Monkey has become our best friend when we are out in large crowds! It fits like a backpack and has a long tail that Mommy or Daddy can hold on to. This accomplishes 2 goals. John-Isaac can still walk around independently and look at whatever he wants to look at, but at the same time he cannot wander off and get lost. And what would happen if John-Isaac got lost? Well, for starters he could not tell anyone his personal information. Chances are he would just sit there and look at them blankly. Not a good thing! Monkey is also something of a security item for John-Isaac. He loves him. We have to keep him put up at home or he will wear him all the time! Why am I telling you all of this you might ask? Well, upon occasion we have had many stares and even a few comments about Monkey. The worst being at the zoo. I was sitting on a bench feeding Linley, while Brian had the boys up looking at the polar bears. Two girls with their kids came through and I hear, "Yeah, but he is like 8". I promptly called them down and explained that first he was not 8 he was 6 and that he was autistic. They apologized several times and then left with their tails between their legs. I guess the reason that I am sharing about Monkey is that things are not always what they seem. Next time you see a child kicking and screaming in a business or a child wearing a Monkey in a crowded place don't be so quick to judge! There may be something else going on!


Friday, September 12, 2008

Soy Milk

We have started John-Isaac on chocolate soy milk and he has really taken to it. I have a friend who told me it will make all the difference in the world with him. I am anxious to see. If he does well with this we may try the gluten (wheat) free stuff too. I am going to take it slowly. I will keep everyone posted.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Hey, I am just testing this hyperlink. I want everyone to be able to easily go to the first post on this blog so they can read the history of John-Isaac's Journey. Thanks.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

John-Isaac had a very verbal day today! I love those days. For those of you who read my family blog you know John-Isaac is obsessed with Snoopy. There are 3 different ones that he has near him at any given time along with his silky that he has had since he was born. They were all laying in the floor and I kept tripping over them, so I told him he needed to take them back to his room. He picked up all 3 Snoopy(s) but couldn't find his silky. He looked up and said, "Mom, where is my silky?". We found it and took everything to his room. He looked up at me and said, "Mom, what does a Snoopy Ghost say?". I said that I didn't know and he said, "BOOOOOO". He just laughed and laughed. I was so excited that it was something so spontaneous! It wasn't a learned response, he made that up all by himself!!!!! YEAH!!

Friday, August 08, 2008

John-Isaac's Journey

John-Isaac's journey began on May 1, 2002 as we welcomed our second son into the world. At eight weeks of age our world was shaken with a diagnosis of a heart condition that would require surgery. With the help of our prayer warriors, an Awesome God, and some wonderful doctors the surgery was successful and once again we thought we were on our way to having health and happiness. If only the story ended there. Looking back, this is where the real journey began. A journey of facing the unknown head on. A journey of fear, faith, and above all hope, and fervent prayer. As John-Isaac neared his first birthday we began to notice that there were some things that did not seem quite right. He did not say "Mama" or "Dada", or any words at all. He did not make good eye contact. At first I thought he might be a little bit behind from having his heart surgery. Slowly, however, I came to terms with the fact that this was something more that just being a "little behind". But what were we dealing with?

Everyone seemed to have their opinions, but no one could give us any real answers. We started speech and developmental therapy immediately. We took him to every kind of doctor in town from a neurologist to a child psychologist. Still no answers. This went on until the age of four. At this point we just wanted to know what it was we were dealing with (even though we knew in our hearts) so we could "fix" it. We finally got an appointment with a developmental group in Little Rock. The diagnosis came.....Moderate to severe Autism Spectrum Disorder. This was not a shock to us. We had been pretty sure this was what we were dealing with for about two years. Now that we had a diagnosis, it was time to start the fight for our son. We are still fighting!

We have learned to celebrate the small things as they always lead to bigger accomplishments. John-Isaac did eventually say his first word. He was two years old, I said something to him that he didn't like, and he pointed his finger at me and said, "NO". I never knew the sound of my child telling me "no" could sound so sweet! He is 6 now and has a very good vocabulary though he doesn't talk like most children his age. We have made a lot of progress, but we still have a lot of progress to make.

We do continue to pray every day for God to give us the key that will "unlock" our son. His sweet spirit and zeal for life brightens our world. I know God has a very special plan for John-Isaac's life. How blessed am I that I get to see that plan unfold first hand? Yes, I did say blessed. I do not count his autism as a curse but rather a very special blessing from God Himself. For you see, God thought that I was a good enough mother to entrust me with raising one of His most precious lambs. I keep that thought very close to my heart as there are days when I cannot find much reasoning in the situation. God is God and I am not! And that is a good thing!

Through this blog I hope to chonicle John-Isaac's progress and hopfully give other people a better understanding of autism. Thank you all for your support!