Follow by Email

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hurting for Hayden

The past 48 hours have been a challenge and a true testament to the dedication I have for my son.  We removed fruit from his diet 48 hours ago and he has been craving it big time.  He screams and tantrums the way a drug addict craves drugs.  The craving he has for fruit (mainly the sugar that is in fruit) has taken him over.  Hayden has become pale and has dark circles under his eyes.  His belly is bloated and he is emotional.  He is sensory seeking more than I have seen him do in the past year.

I feel like my heart has been kicked and that someone is sitting on my chest.  I absolutely hurt for him.  I know that I am doing what is best for him.   I made a statement to God tonight "Has he not suffered enough."  I know many people might think he just has autism....he is not suffering.

Hayden has been hospitalized 2 times in the pediatric intensive care for his asthma, once to the pediatric floor.  He has had stitches, staples, and been glued on three separate occasions.  He has had numerous blood draws that usually require 3 plus sticks to get his blood drawn.  He has had oral surgery to remove two teeth and fill 15 surfaces on his feet.  Hayden has horrible gut issues that just don't want to stop despite my best efforts.  Hayden is unable to eat any kind of grain, dairy, fruit, and refined sugar.  He has to consume an all organic diet to reduce his toxic load.  Hayden had horrible eczema until we figured out what was causing it.  Haircuts are physically painful as well as teeth brushing, loud sounds, lots of things moving, smells, and bright lights.

In all that Hayden has been through I am still thankful and incredibly blessed.  I am thankful that he does not have a life threatening disease.  I am beyond grateful that he has the ability to communicate with me his wants or needs, to give me a kiss, a hug, and say I love you.  There are parents out there that NEVER get any of those things from their children.  Heck their are people out there that are not even able to have children.  Their are parents out there that hold their dyeing children in their arms.  There are mothers out there that give birth to babies that are not living.

My challenge to you is to really look at your children and celebrate them.  Celebrate the fact that they are able to tell you NO, celebrate the fact that they are able to spill their drink on the floor, celebrate the fact that they are able to kick and scream and have a full blown temper tantrum.  What an incredible blessing and NONE of it, I mean NONE of it should be taken for granted!!!

While I type this blog my mind is thinking of all the parents I have watched hold their children while they take their last breath.  For you I am grateful to have that experience with you.  By being present in one of the hardest days of your lives you taught me to be a better parent.  I don't take one day for granted and truly take the time to be present with my children.  My heart and prayers are with you all.

I often look at Ruby and can't help to think about how super amazing she is.  I love the fact that she can tell me exactly what she is thinking........sassy or not.  I appreciate that she can tell me NO or STOP IT. It is my job as her parent to teach her and model her how to be respectful and loving.  If I choose to have a tantrum or yell at her for telling me NO what does that teach her.........yelling gets you what you want.  I prefer to get down on her level and explain to her why we don't talk to Mommy like that.  No, I am not perfect and yes, I have yelled at her.  I do my best.

I am sitting by my sweet Hayden watching him sleep.  It is amazing to me how peaceful his body looks while he is sleeping tonight.  I know in a few more days the worst of the fruit and honey withdrawals will be behind us and the healing will begin once again.

My heart is still heavy for Hayden tonight and I am okay with that.  A nice soak in the bath, with a few chocolates, and a nice book sound like a nice way to end my day and refocus on what my purpose is.

Goodbye FRUIT and HONEY

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming................

This scene from Finding Nemo Plays over and over in my mind this morning as I am taking several deep breaths.  Hayden had one 45 minute screaming tantrum and one 25 minute screaming tantrum because he wants fruit.  Mainly he wants the half of banana that he usually gets in the morning.  I am proud of myself in one aspect and of the tantrum and want to do better in another aspect with the tantrum.

The aspect that I am proud of is that I remained super neutral and told Hayden that when he is screaming I can not understand him and he can just tell me in a normal voice.  Hayden then told me in a very calm voice, "I want a big banana in the garage." (we keep the bananas in the garage because Hayden is super limited on the amount of fruit he can have) I then explained why he can have the banana.  "Hayden, my sweet love we can no longer have fruit because it hurst your belly and I want to help you be as healthy as possible," I said.  This led to more screaming and I let him know that he can choose to be happy about not having fruit and that the screaming will not change anything.


The aspect that I want to do better at is owning and being okay with the fact that Hayden can not have fruit right now because the sugar in the fruit feeds the yeast in his sick digestive system.  A part of me feels bad for my little man and a part of me is PISSED off that my child can not eat half a banana a day with out humping the crap out everything in site.  Yes, a half a banana makes my child hump things.  It amazes my just how sensitive Hayden is.  When I examine my beliefs about Hayden eating fruit I ask myself does having the belief that I feel bad and pissed off for him help Hayden or myself?  Is this belief serving me in anyway?  The belief that I am sad for Hayden not eating fruit is only causing myself and Hayden discomfort.  Hayden is super sensitive and feeds off our feelings and emotions.  I can choose a new belief about our fruitless and honeyless situation.  I am going to believe that by taking fruit and honey out of Hayden's diet that I am DOING the best I can do for him to become healthy.  I can believe that I LOVE him so much that I am going to removes things from his diet and environment that are harming him.  I am also going to remind myself that this is only temporary and the harder I work now the more likely it is that Hayden will be able to eat a well rounded diet in the fruit that includes some grains and fruit.

So here I am doing my best to help my child heal and grow to his best potential.  I would love for you to send good vibes our way and to one other person in your life that is dealing with a difficult situation.

Happy Wednesday Everyone :)

XOXO,
Brandi

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pieces of Us: November Update...choosing to drop the judgements!...

Pieces of Us: November Update...choosing to drop the judgements!...: Where has November went???  Where ever November went it is coming to an end quickly!!!  November 2012 has been a fun, fast paced, life chang...

November Update...choosing to drop the judgements!!!

Where has November went???  Where ever November went it is coming to an end quickly!!!  November 2012 has been a fun, fast paced, life changing month for us.  I traveled to The Autism Treatment Center of America for the final training class in the Son-Rise Program.

The class I attended was New Frontiers and it was as equally amazing as the other two that I have attended.  Every class / training I attend I dig a little deeper inside myself. My big work continues to be to drop my judgements of myself and others and LOVING big.  I am making some great progress with being nonjudgmental and loving big.  When I realize that I am judging myself or judging others I stop myself, take a deep breath, and asking myself..."by judging this situation how is it serving me?"  I really pause and digest that question.  In all honestly I am doing my best and that is all that maters.  I use to think that when I was judging myself (or beating myself up over something) that I was motivating myself to do better.  The truth is I can choose to be happy and accept that I am doing my best and do it again.  I model this concept for my sweet little Hayden in the playroom all the time.

Hayden use to get super upset when his legos did not do what he wanted.  Our team and myself have modeled several times how fun it is that we get to keep trying and choose to be happy.  Hayden has made some real progress with things not going his way.  He rarely tantrums anymore and has fun trying.

Here is a great book to read if you want to understand and put this concept into your life:  

http://www.amazon.com/Happiness-Choice-Barry-Neil-Kaufman/dp/0449907996

I am no means perfect and yes there are times that I choose unhappiness and discomfort.  Those times have come to a minimum.  When you think deep down about it what does being unhappy or angry do for you.  Does it changes the situation?  Does it make you feel good?

Hayden continues to make great progress daily :)  Hayden's Son-Rise Team has been working hard the last month at deepening Hayden's connection to us.  We have done this by backing off on the requests we make from him.  He is coming to us now way more and is super invested in the games we do together.  By backing away from requesting we have given Hayden back full control of the playroom.  Super proud of Hayden and our team!!!  It was a bit challenging to back away from our requests but we did it!!!

Hayden also made significant progress with tantruming and whining this past month.  As a team we stopped accepting language that is screamed, whined, and shouted at us.  Instead we tell Hayden we don't understand and tell him that he can just speak in a normal voice.  WOW!!  This technique has worked like a charm :)  It amazes me how much Hayden understands and responds to what we are saying to him.  It's like a flick of the switch....Hayden is screaming, we tell him we don't understand and he can just ask in a nice voice, and he totally tells us using a sweet voice with that amazing little grin he has on his face.   Thank you intensive team for bringing this issue to my attention!!!  We have ran with it :)

We had a fabulous Hayden's Son-Rise Team meeting last week!!!  Here are the notes from our team meeting with all of the activity ideas for the next month:


Meeting Notes:

Pausing: give Hayden at least 8 seconds or longer to respond.  This will allow Hayden time to process his thoughts and say / or do what he wants and does not want.

Windows:  A new boundary with keeping the windows closed has been established.  Let Hayden know that we want to keep him healthy and safe.  When we have the windows open it can cause him to get sick.  Ask that Hayden close the windows himself.  Give him two chances.

Celebrating: Continue to celebrate, celebrate, celebrate every single word, every eye contact, every look, and any acknowledgement (looking at what you are playing with, taking what you are playing with).

Training: Maximum Impact is April 21st-26th.  I would LOVE for each of you to go.  If you are interested let me know ASAP.


GOALS:

Motivate Hayden to Look at Others to Start or Continue an Interaction
-Become Santa using voice or sing Christmas Songs
-Reindeer and Rudolph--red nose
-Christmas Decorations (tree and stockings)
-Christmas Songs--add movement
-Christmas Tree--ornaments
-Jingle Bells
-Christmas Finger Puppets
-Slapstick Humor
-Christmas Songs--change voices
-Have a big dice that has colored paper with pictures of motivations on each side.
-Bee Puppet stings you and Hayden.  Have big exaggerated slapstick humor with the stings....use lots of big    movements.
-Make a Cars Photo Album or Collage

Encourage Hayden to Use Greetings (hello, goodbye, see you soon, etc)
-Model Greetings exaggerated
-Say “Hi” using animals
-Cars and Puppets using greeting to one another
-Excitement and Exaggeration over greetings when changing workers in the  room
-Putting Figures on Popsicle sticks (cars, etc) to model greetings
-Use a cereal box to make a house with door to use puppets, figures, cars, etc  going in and out using greetings.
-Use Puppets to model greetings to one another
-Have Cars drive around and meet people.  Have pictures of familiar faces around playroom and greet everyone.  Place the same colored squares on the floor and move to the color that was rolled on.  Have a prize for the end of the game
-Have Hayden run a race (around slide) and greet people
-Build a carwash out of a big box and use greeting to the workers...have Hayden dress up as a car and you as a worker
-Make a big doorway out of boxes and have different people, cars, or puppets answer the door.  Model greetings and give tickles.
-Have 4 places set up in room with people to meet and give tickles after each greeting
Support Hayden to Increase Interactions to 4 Times or More an Hour

-Build by bringing new item instead
-Create Places and roads to places (houses, visit doctor)
-Make Lorax
-Building on Books and Songs he Enjoys
-Hats and Glasses
-Walk in as a Character
-Make Big Tree and Put on Wall
-Paper Chains
-Feather Duster that tickles him
-Hayden’s House of Motivation...on a poster board put 6 houses that have motivating characters behind the doors.  On each house have instructions on how to get the cars or characters out of the house.  Or have keys hidden around the playroom hidden around the playroom
-Make big pictures of us and different hairstyles out of construction paper and yarn.  Have fun giving haircuts.  Hayden allows us to cut his hair but does not enjoy it.  So super model how cool it is to get a haircut
-Feeling Box....place objects of interest and non-interest in box and have Hayden stick his hand in a hole to feel for the object
-Use a kiddie pool and place foam squares in it.  Place pictures of interest in the bottom of the pool and have Hayden swim to find the pictures.

Motivate Hayden to Allow Peripheral Variations in His Rigid and Repetitious Behaviors

-Fireman and Policeman Dress-Up
-Hopscotch out of Tape
-Songs
-Running Around Building, bridge, town
-Use Hats Puppets, Scarves, mustaches
-Build on his pattern of play by incorporating different things with the cars (car  wash, go to the movies, take a bath, go to Grammie’s
-Make up song that has dress up clothes incorporated in it
-Cars go to Santa’s workshop and help Santa prepare for Christmas
-Family and Friends Mix Up....take pictures of family and friends and cut them in half.  Have fun being silly and putting the family parts on different family members.

Motivate Hayden to Eat a Larger Variety of Foods and Stay Hydrated
-Bring a drink and express thirst
-Model and Celebrate when he does drink or eat
-Plant a garden with lots of fun foods and have the puppets, cars, and ourselves eat them



Ideas on How to Build Running Around Slide

March around Slide
Puppets run around slide
take train ride around slide
walk, jog backwards, crawl, scootering
pull around on scooter board
going on bear hunt song around slide
create running safe zone with tape
instruments and singing while walking
pretend to skate and skip

Ideas on How to Build on Playing and Looking at Pixar Cars

-Cars save someone....women with broken ankle in middle of street
-Ship cars somewhere to be repaired
-Paint job---tape, glue, color, add accessories
change the cars tire
-fill up with gas and pay for gas at gas station...great time to model greetings
-cars get thirsty and need to get a drink....great time for Hayden to get a drink
-fill up with the wrong gas and cars get sick to stomach..great eye contact game
-Tune up cars between two friends modeling relationships
-Bring Cars Rug in Playroom
-Make the Cars have gas and need to toilet (make toilet to take in playroom)
-have the cars talk in different voices
-Give the Cars mustaches and hats to wear
Activities Using Ping Pong Balls

-Make Character Faces on Ping Pong Balls (cars, friends, puppets, lorax)
-Make a wind chime with the balls out of tape
-Have Puppets eat the ping pong balls and poop them out
-Place the ping pong balls on a scarf and throw them in the air
-Tape ping pong balls to myself and pretend they are tumors that need to be removed

We have had a great month of November and are super excited for Christmas.  Hayden has been talking about Santa and Frosty quite a bit the last couple of weeks.  Santa is delivering and Elf on The Shelf this week and I am going to have some great fun with that :)


Hayden is exhibiting signs of yeast overgrowth again.   I am going to take fruit and honey back out of his diet, start daily hbot, and give him grapfruit seed extract.  Yeast has been an ugly battle for us.  I am upping our game ;)


Big LOVE to all of You :)

Brandi

Monday, November 5, 2012

Red Flags

I have been thinking about our "early" years with Hayden recently.  I have a friend that has a two year old son that has sensory processing disorder.  I have been listening to what she is going through and helping her help her son.  The things she talks about brings back so many memories for me.  At 18 months Hayden was "diagnosed" with Sensory Processing Disorder.  I say "diagnosed" because we didn't seek out official diagnosis, this is what the early intervention team felt he had (which I completely agreed with them).  I had to fight with our pediatrician at the time because she felt nothing was wrong with Hayden and we should just wait it out and see.  I pushed forward and requested that early intervention evaluate him.

Tonight I decided to look through old pictures of our sweet little Hayden.  This quickly put me in tears. All of the red flags and warning signs were there.  I thought I had dealt with my past decisions for Hayden but I as I looked through the pictures I did a fabulous job of beating myself up.  "Why didn't I see this as a problem / abnormal," I thought to myself as I looked deeply at the pictures through my tears.  "Why did I listen and trust his/mine physicians......Why did I feed him CRAP food?"  "Why did I expose him to so many unnecessary toxins?"

I know that I was doing my best at the time but I still beat myself up.  I still deep down blame myself for Hayden being autistic.  All of this could have been prevented.  Wow.....I really thought I had deep down accepted and dealt with my feelings of being responsible for Hayden being autistic.  Guess I have some work to do :)

I do my best to raise awareness about autism and give people hope for their children.  Autism is completely preventable and curable. I am going to share a list of red flags that I observed in Hayden early on.

1) Would not walk barefoot outside of the house and would cry hysterically if put in grass.  It was not a typical cry it was this is painful cry.

2) Could not handle any adjustment to his routine.  If we were not home for nap time there would be hell to pay the next several days.

3) Spit up and vomited on a daily basis.........this is NOT normal and it is NOT genetic!!

4) Eczema.........again NOT normal and NOT genetic!!

5) Constant runny nose.............don't be okay with this......find out what your child is allergic too

6) Dark circles under eyes.........indicates a child in poor health and is NOT okay

7) Pooping every other day...........everyone should have formed, sinking poops 1-2 times a day.

8) Crying and melting down over everything

9) Playing independently the majority of the time

10) Prefers to be in a room by themselves

11) Can not stand to be messy.....cries in a way that you think they are in pain

12) Does not want or seek out cuddling

13) constantly in motion seeking out crashing into things

14) Fear of nothing

15) High pain tolerance

16) Lining up of objects

17) Not playing with toys appropriately.......watching wheels on cars spin vs.  driving cars around

18) Instant meltdowns in unfamiliar surroundings full of people

19) Covers ears constantly and seems to be sensitive to loud noises

20) When you walk into a room and your child does not notice you

21) Flapping of the hands

22) Tip toe walking

23) Super limited diet

24) Does not respond to name

25) Does not speak or communicate

26) Does not gesture

27) No or limited eye contact

28) Does not appeared interested in people only interested in objects

29) Flat facial expressions, rarely smiles

30) Has a "drunk" laugh or appears to laugh for no reason

31) Wakes up in the middle of the night screaming hysterically and is very "un-reachable"  This was absolutely horrible.  I thought he was having seizures of some kind

32) Tantruming 90% of the day.

33) Sleeping less than 10 hours a night


Yes, even with this long list of red flags our pediatrician did not think there was anything wrong with Hayden and we should wait it out.

THANK YOU GOD I did NOT wait it out and I did NOT follow her advice at all!!!!  The earlier you intervene the easier the recovery is going to be.  The longer you wait the more toxins and damage is being done in your child's body.  Yes, you can still recover a older child from autism.  It just takes more work to reverse all the damage.

Hayden is doing amazing, in fact I feel we are all doing amazing :)  He no longer has any sensory issues, in fact he only still has one of the red flags on that list and it is very mild almost a non-issue.  Hayden is healthy, thriving, and absolutely glowing.