How our dog has changed my Autistic/Aspergers son’s life

We used to have cats. Persian Purebred cats to be exact. My son never really connected to them and in the end we found out he was very allergic to them. But we had made a commitment when we got the two of them so we kept them for their full life time.

Fluffy lived to the age of 19.

fluffy

This is Fluffy

Princess to never be out done by Fluffy of course lived to the age of 21 years and 11 1/2 months.

Princess and fluffy

Princess is the white cat

 

They were awesome companions for my family. When the children were little Fluffy got rides in their play shopping cart, swaddled up in a blankee like a baby and carried every where. Princess was the protector. She parked herself outside their doors at night and watched them. She would when they were babies lay on their blanket and watch them.  We got them both when they were 8 weeks old. After the cats passed our family missed them terribly. They were after all part of the family.

 

Fast forward now to August 2011. We have a child with life threatening allergies, so no idea can be decided without allergy testing. This child also happens to by my oldest, he is on the spectrum. Aspergers is not what defines him. Its just what helps others to be compassionate and try to understand where he is coming from. He is an awesome child.

We started allergy testing in September 2011 to see if we could have a dog in the house. After many tests and tears from blood draws and scratch tests we found out we have to have an hypoallergenic breed. So then we looked at sizes. We decided small is best as my son was scared of large dogs at that point. And we traveled alot in our RV at that point.

We started frequenting the pound/shelter. We decided we wanted a dog as young as possible. And we wanted to rescue one. We decided on a Yorkshire Terrier or a small Poodle. It caused many sad feeling every time we left with empty arms. So I told the kids I would just put us on the interest list and quit visiting the shelter.

January 1 2012 we got the call!! They had a Yorkie/Poo (Yorkshire Terrier/Poodle) The perfect mix! So I cancelled all our plans that day and off we went! She was dropped off at the shelter in November 2011 at a mere 8 weeks old and ounces of weight by a breeder. She was housed in an outside concrete cage for the winter. We were unsure of her. She looked too timid, wouldn’t make eye contact, Wouldn’t let us pick her up. And then the most beautiful thing happened. My son with Aspergers sat on the cold damp concrete and this little bundle of fluff walked out of the back corner of his cage right into his lap and set her head down and looked into his eyes. At that point my son said I think shes like me Mom. It was a done deal!
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Love at first sight
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A boy and his best friend

Now people say We’ve “Rescued” Her. I Beg to differ. I feel she rescued us. She is my sons best friend, confidant, protector, at a mere 9 pounds. She is now 2 years old, full grown. She has allergies just like my son. Some of the same items actually! Corn, food coloring, fish, peanut oil. This dog is a perfect addition to our hectic family.

When my son used to come home from school he would be stressed. I had a rice bin with objects in it to comfort him. It worked! Now he comes home you can see the stress dissappear as his pup jumps up at him to be picked up. He bends over picks her up and she buries her head in his neck. Then the kisses start!
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How could you not melt looking into those eyes he has asked me.

Now mind you this is a child that until we got this wonderful pup wouldn’t let you hug him without pulling back against your hug. If you don’t have an Autistic child you will never feel the heart break of that or the missed kisses, being told I love you Mom. He is not my only child. So I know both sides of the coin so to speak.

Well within 6 months of getting this little fur ball he so lovingly called Waffles due to the way she flattens out on the ground this child was 100% different. At first he’d pull away from her kisses. Now he gets upset if she doesn’t have any for him. She is always on him. He takes her everywhere. We have a trailer for the bikes. He straps her in there and off they go.
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Here is his brother and our dog.

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy!

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Been a long few days

Thursday afternoon I went to Petco and bought puppy new treats. I confirmed with the company and their box nothing that she is allergic to was in them. Or so I thought. 
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They were limited ingredient treats. But evidently she has a problem with them.

The treats were the size of a chocolate chip. I gave her two. She chowed them down. And within minutes was panting, sneezing, rubbing at eyes, scratching, circling, and squeaking.

At bed time she threw up on my bed before I tucked her into her crate for the night. So then we had no top sheet, blanket, and a very scared sick pup.

We sat in bathroom holding her until she stopped shaking and whimpering. She hates throwing up. Finally got her calmed down and off to bed by 1am.

Yesterday (Friday) she threw up once and had potty issues. She was very clingy. And panted alot as she does when tummy hurts. We went to my Moms and the pup just wanted me to hold her. I’d set her down and she’d stand on hind legs and whimper till I picked her back up. My Mom just laughed and said she’s like a child.

Well today (Saturday) she is quite a bit better. Just clingy and fowl gas. LoL It usually takes 4-5 days to get her back to normal after she has a reaction to food products.

Lesson I learned? Just leave well enough alone!

She has a Birthday coming up. I was trying to get her a special treat since I cant find a treat recipe that is safe for her. She will just have her usual treat on her birthday and be perfectly happy and feel great! And I’m going to go buy a new toy from the kids.

Thanks for stopping by..

Some people..

I don’t get it. I’ve been married for nearly two decades now to a man that’s been allergic to fish/ shell fish since he was little.

I have a son who’s been allergic to fish/shell fish since birth. He’s now 16.

And I have a family I’ve had my entire life. That made reservations for dinner at a Place that specializes in FISH.  Now mind you my brother told my son its a burger joint. Name sounded Hawaiian to me so I googled it.

Yup I was right! Yes they have burgers also. Sliders to be exact. That are cooked on same grill as fish. And french fries are cooked in same oil vat as fish. Yes I called restaurant!

I have NO desire to be using my sons Epi-pens on him. I said sorry cant go. Well atleast I got to see my brother for a few minutes. Haven’t seen him in 6 months.

I don’t have anything else nice to say. So I’m reverting to my fathers rules. When I was a kid and shutting up now. :-/

Crafty ideas to get your kids to do what you ask without fights.

We have one son that has Aspergers, and one that has autistic like traits as doctor has said.

This house is run like a fine tuned Instrument. It has to be or nothing gets done.

There are lists and rules for everything.  Want to know if you can watch tv, play a video game, play on the computer? Go look at the daily schedule.

Want to know when your to do your chores, go ride your bike that’s on a schedule also.

Bad words (hurtful words) these Kids don’t cuss.   Bad attitude, talking back,  and you add a quarter to the jar for each offence. (The jar is being used to save for a puppy)

Everything in this house is run on a number. Even or odd. One Child is even other one takes odd numbers. It never changes. They stay either even or odd.

Who gets to sit in the front seat? What date is it? Even or odd. Who gets to pick the tv show? What date is it? Even or odd.Same with shower time. Who’s ever date it is goes first. All the meeee first fights are gone!

And yes I came up with the ideas myself 🙂

Thanks for reading. Blessings!

What a parent would do for their child..

We started a battle with the Insurance company in 2001. They wouldn’t cover anything our Asperger son needed. Such as OT, PT, feeding therapy, psychologist appointments. DENIED. No matter how we worded it all we got from the insurance company was DENIED. Speech services DENIED. The only provide speech if you’ve had a stroke. Screw everyone else that has problems.

Well we had a child that badly needed help and we had to provide it. No more eating out, getting hair done, going on expensive vacations, Buying things we WANTED. We started clipping coupons, cutting corners, shut off cable tv, newspaper, Gardner. Many things were changed. I started selling the kids old toys on ebay to supplement husbands income.

I went to the therapy unit I heard was the best for my son. I asked if we would get a cash discount. They said yes. We paid $125.00 an hour for 4 hours a week. It was a hard time. But i would do it again if i had to. The therapy got a socially shut down, messy eater, with a horrible lisp and sensory problems child  to where he is today.

A fine young man who has friends, is mainstreamed into a High school. Works community service hours because he wants to. Is getting ready to work on his Eagle Scout project in next few months. Has talked about going to a 4 year university. Is taking spanish! and is thriving.

We also signed him up for My gym which was also recommended for physical issues. And again got a cash discount in the beginning. When i showed his chart to the gym owner we only paid half the cost! The discounted for autistic children. Thats how sure they were their class would help the child.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you enjoyed this post..

Can I tell you about my Aspie’s life?

My 15 year old son. My oldest has Aspergers, and a list of other challenges. Such as life threatening food allergies, severe asthma, tibal torsion, severs disease, wolf white Parkinson’s, deficits in attention, language processing, pragmatic language skills, socialization, retrieval of learned information, fine motor skills, visual-motor integration, auditory processing delay, and sensory issues. I’m sure ive missed a few. But you get the idea. This child has many challenges.

He doesn’t learn like others of his age. But let me tell you this is one smart kid! While others are out ripping the sidewalk with their skateboards, my kiddo is reading reference books, or watching historical movies, or the discovery channel. He didn’t have the best of starts.

He was born positive for Group B Beta Strep, the deadly infant killer. He was very ill. He had a high fever, was stiff, coloring was bad, he had breathing problems, and he couldn’t regulate his temperature. He ended up in the NICU for an extended stay. I was told the day I had my first child that he wouldn’t survive the night. I was heart-broken. We had so many dreams for this child. I felt he was a blessing from God from the moment I knew I was pregnant. See I always knew this child would be special. I just didn’t understand how yet.

Our baby wasnt allowed to leave the NICU. So we went there to visit him when they would let us. His days were consumed by tests, feeding tubes, being in an oxygen machine, nurses stretching their hands through openings to check him. He wasnt held unless we were there. Still get’s me teary eyed. But our baby boy was a survivor! A fighter! We knew he was going to make it.

Because of his time at the NICU it took us weeks to get him on a schedule lol. This baby thought we’d stay up all night and play with him. He also had a broken clavicle that we didn’t know about till his 2 week check up with the pediatrician. That explained much of his crying. He loved to be held and cuddled. The closer the better.

When he turned 2 we figured out he wasnt the average 2 year old. His vocab was huge compared to children of his age. But he had just learned how to walk at 18 months, he never crawled, he drug himself. Doctors said he was fine. So in the fall he went off to a 2 hour pre school. Well that was a learning experience for us as well. Those teachers complained about our boy non stop. He doesn’t pay attention, he doesn’t listen, he fidgets, he doesn’t play with others, he doesn’t make eye contact, and he wont quit talking about airplanes. Well that warranted a visit to the doctor. Doctor again said he’s fine.

When he turned 5 we put him into kindergarten. He had a hard year. Always in trouble for “not paying attention” AKA not looking one in the eyes. By first grade we knew we had a problem. They held our boy back. The school tested him and said he was learning disabled. And they wanted to put him in the state-run class with the severely handi capped children. That answer I didn’t like. We went and had him tested. The testing process was long and tiring for us and him. Took 4 months, she saw him 2 times a day for 4 hrs a visit. She also watched him from a far on play dates and what not.

Well when the answer came in, we were relieved to have a name for what had caused our boy so much trouble. It was Autism spectrum Aspergers. At that moment in time I knew why the autism symbol was a puzzle piece. The puzzle had come together. It all made sense. Our boy was going to be ok. We just need to get him some help/therapy.

And with that we started 2 times a week at 2 hours a time for 5 years. All out-of-pocket. None of it, testing included was covered by our insurance. We made many sacrifices at that time to get our child what he needed. And I wouldn’t change a thing!

This child is now 15 years old. A’s and B’s one C. 3.49gpa. In honors classes, has friends, plays with others, can pay attention even though he is not looking at you! And is close to being an Eagle Scout. This child is awesome. He has worked with is challenges, we’ve tought him how to overcome them. No meds for anxiety. We do not agree with medicating him even though we were told to when he was 7. He is just fine. A valued part of society. Produced 25 hours of community service last year because he WANTED to. He’s a good leader, wonderful role model and older brother, and has grown into a wonderful young man. We are truly blessed to have him.

Sorry this post was so long. I just had so much to say.. Thanks for reading it all the way through.

Birth Order Would I Have Changed Anything?

Well my first child, my Aspie was a great pregnancy. I was healthy most of the time except for one bladder infection. And being positive for Group B Beta Strep at time of delivery. Oh how exciting the first pregnancy is! First baby was born 3 weeks before due date a whole 9 pds. Broken clavicle from delivery, and positive for Group B Beta Strep. He was a very sick baby. on oxygen, feeding tube. They didn’t think he’d make it through the night.

Well with the help of God he did!! He spent a while in the hospital till he was healthy and eating. When we brought him home he did nothing but cry. You see we weren’t told about the broken clavicle till his 2 week check-up! So we didn’t know about that. He had what was called a hep lock in his heel to get antibiotics daily for 10 days. Day 5 at home he is orange. Back to hospital with jaundice.

After all the downs with new baby we knew there had to be some ups! He was soooo cute. He watched the train go around the room at 8 weeks old. Didnt roll over till 11 months old. He spoke first word dada at 9 months old. From there it was all talk all the time! He didn’t walk till 19 months old. He has severe asthma, life threatening food allergies.

After a shot of MMR and a horrible reaction to the shot our very chatty baby went quiet. After months of testing the doctors decided he wasnt deaf, didn’t have an ear infection. Just was his personality. I didn’t believe it. But we let it go and loved out baby just the same.

It wasnt till he was in school that anything was caught. In Kinder he had a very hard time learning, got in trouble for not listening. He was hearing you. He wouldn’t look at you. But teachers felt if he was not looking he was not hearing. He also got in trouble for being a distraction to him self. Not others. First grade we held him back. School wanted to label him “learning disabled” we paid out-of-pocket for testing  to find the answer.

At that time we found out he was on the Autism Spectrum. He has Aspergers, sensory problems, auditory processing delay, and a few other things.  At that moment  in time it made perfect sence to me why the autism sign is a puzzle piece. It was like the diagnosis was putting the puzzle together. I was so relieved to know what made my boy different, special. Why he spoke such fancy sentences compared to children of his age. How it was he knew without a doubt which toy was his in a room of like toys.

We signed him up for OT, PT, and speech at a therapy company that specializes in Autism therapy. He went 2 days a week for 4 hours for 5 years. None of which was covered by my health insurance. we paid cash out-of-pocket .We had to change alot to afford his therapy, and I will tell you it was worth every penny!!! He is a fantastic, smart, kind, caring, young man, with friends!

So then we started wondering about baby 2 which was now 3 years old and not speaking much and when he did it was like another language. Many tests by doctors. Determined he could hear just fine. Doctor said he had “Autistic like behaviors” . We enrolled him in an early start class right away. He was in speech therapy for 4 years, and now wont be quiet! He has high grades in school with little to no effort. No autistic like behaviors seen any longer.

Im glad we had our Aspie son first. I had the time to devote to him one on one when he needed it. And it helped us catch his younger brothers problems 2 years before we caught his.

Both boys are growing up into fine young men. Both boys were Cub Scouts for all 5 years Tiger-WebelosII and are now Boy Scouts working to be Eagles sometime in the very near future. The oldest boy my Aspie does have to work at school for the subjects he has little interest in. The subjects he likes LOOK OUT!! He makes friends, enjoys going out to places not to busy or loud. My youngest doesnt struggle with anything in life or school.

Children are a Blessing from God. Always remember God only gives you what he feels you can handle. And I’m grateful he gave me the opportunity to love 2 great kids one being an Aspie.