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Friday, June 28, 2013

I got my Mojo back and I am totally in it until the end.........

What an amazing week Team Hayden and I had :)  We had the fabulously amazing Julie Sando from Autistically Inclined ( in our home for 3 days to work with all of us.

I was a little nervous about her coming this week as Monday was a super full moon, Sunday night I gave Hayden his GcMAF, and Hayden had not had much therapy the past three weeks.  A wise friend reminded me that what ever I am meant to get this week I will get no matter what is going on :)  Boy was she right!!!

Prior to Julie coming I had been having some issues come up in Hayden's therapy program that I was unsuccessful at solving.  Hayden had become more autistic in his therapy room than out of it.  There were several theories as to why Hayden had become more exclusive in the therapy room.  One was that we were not exciting enough (I tossed that one out pretty much right away.....if anyone has seen me in the playroom or our team you know that is NOT the answer).  The next was that he was using that time to take care of himself so he could be more *present* in the real world.  The final one was my own theory........Hayden knows that in his therapy room he does not have to work hardly at all for us to be with him and doing what he wants.  I was getting to the point of not wanting to do therapy anymore.  I was run down, exhausted, out of ideas, and plan old burnt out.

This is where Julie comes in :)  I had scheduled her to come and work with us back in March when I began to be challenged by what Hayden was doing in the therapy room vs. outside the therapy room.  I had spoke with a few other families that had used Julie and Natural Play therapy and how she did things differently from our current program.  I was not completely sold until after I talked with Julie and started trying out some of her techniques.  That's when it felt *right* and I booked our outreach :)

I have NEVER felt so at ease with someone that I hardly knew in my home.  Julie was like a friend that  you had not seen in a few years but you pick up right where you left off.  It was never weird or awkward and I didn't feel pressured to stay on a schedule and doing some thing every minute she was here.  It was natural, it was real, and it fit our family.

The first day Julie was here she came to story time at the library with us.  I wanted her input on how I could really maximize this time.  There are also time that I feel really awkward and not sure if I am assisting too much or too little.  What came of the library is that it really is time that I start giving Hayden more space and supporting him into finding his space.  It was a bit of a challenge for me to just sit at the back of the room and Hayden really did great with it.  Julie also brought it to my attention that Hayden was really like all the other kids with the exception of one time.  The one time was when the librarian was giving instructions all the other kids turned and looked her.  Hayden continued doing his work with out acknowledging her.  I also wanted Julie's opinion if Hayden seemed to be stressed in any way in this environment.  The answer was no :) She thought that it was a really good program for us to attend and that Hayden seemed as comfortable as the other children.  Story time is for 3-6 year olds.  Julie wanted to see what Hayden would do with an older group of kids.  We choose a school aged program to attend later in the week.  It was later in the day but over all Hayden was successful and happy to be there.  Hayden really studied and watched the other children at this program.

That is one thing that I have really seen an increase out of Hayden this week.  I don't know if it is because of Julie, if I am more aware, or that Hayden is changing but he really watched others more this week.  Particularly older children :)  Julie really reminded me and educated me that children learn from watching others.....what is modeled for them.  That is how all children learn!  This is where one big change has come into our program this week.

When Hayden is independently playing (Hayden no longer does repetitious behaviors with his toys, he really is just playing) with his toys we no longer try to do exactly what he is doing with a similar toy in easy eye contact range.  Instead we take this time to recharge and deepen.  Hayden can choose to do independent play when he wants.  We are now going to take this time to play a game or do an activity of our choice on our own.  We are going to use this time to model things we want to teach Hayden or share things we like with him.  How EXCITING!!!  This technique has been a big hit so far!!!!

Julie also aided me in developing new goals for Hayden. This was really an amazing, awesome, freeing experience.  I picked goals for Hayden that are important to me.  One of them being Hayden become more self sufficient....putting shoes away with out prompting, picking up his laundry, and watering the dog twice a day.  Then the big change came.....our team will each have their own individual goals for Hayden.  This concept is really exciting to me!  Hayden's team was equally excited about choosing their own goals.

We had a team meeting while Julie was here to present the new ideas, educate, and answer questions.  Julie helped each team member pick new goals, choose activities that they want to teach Hayden, and ideas on how to go about sharing them with him.  I really feel that each team member is super excited to share what they love with Hayden in such a bigger way.

The next big change in our program is that I will no longer be giving the team members feedback at the end of their session.  What I will be doing is checking in and talking about what they thought of the session and learning from them.  I no longer feel that I have to have such a strong role in talking about the session and look for points that should be changed or improved on.

There were so many incredible moments this week!!  I am sure that I have left out several :)

The final one that I want to share has really nothing to do with my family directly but my community.  I asked Julie a couple of months ago if she would give a free inservice to my community about what she does and give them techniques they can take home and use.  Julie said yes in such a big exciting way.  There was about 15 people at the in-service.  The majority of the people that came were early intervention people.  I also want to give a shout out to Hayden's future teacher and assistant teacher for coming (so excited you were there).  The in-service went way, way, way better than I ever imagined!!! Julie rocked it, the people rocked it.....pure love, genuine, excitement, and energy to help the autism community.  I have never experienced such uplifting vibes in one room (besides at Son-Rise) that took place in that room.  Really mind blowing!!!  I had a hard time going to sleep that night from all the exciting energy :)

For the first time in 7 months I am really excited and pumped about my son's therapy program.  What we are doing feels so pure, real, and it fits us.  If it ever does not fit us I can change it :)  I can't help to feel like the end is so, so close for us!!

Love you Julie Sando!!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Loving our Bubble...

I live in a bubble................There I said it!!!  I feel that admitting you have something you want to change is the first step to changing.  So here I am ready to break out of the bubble I have built for my family since Hayden was diagnosed with severe autism in February of 2010.

I am sure you are wondering what the heck I mean by a bubble.  Well, hold your horse's and I will tell you.  My bubble was built by me and has grown bigger and bigger over the years.  When I think of our bubble I think of it as a safe, loving, non-judgemental environment where we are free to be who we want.  It is where I don't have to deal with others giving us strange looks or judging me on my parenting or non-traditional treatments for my son.  I don't have to explain anything to anyone.  I don't have to listen to people whine about the weather or that they have to do laundry and run errands for the day.  I have created an environment where we pretty much go with the flow and make the best out of what we have.  It is also an environment that my children are celebrated and cherished (well most days.....somedays I want to lock them in the closet inside our happy bubble).

It amazes me how much I have withdrawn from society and checked out of life while aiding in Hayden's recovery.  I have choose to stay away from negative people.  I have choose to not watch the news as I allow it to depress me.  I have choose to not initiate play dates and activities in fear of being judged or have people look at my son strangely.  I stay in my bubble because I don't want people to see that I am really not as strong as I make myself out to be.  I only want people to see my good days.  I only want people to see Hayden's good days.  I also stay in my bubble because I feel like I have nothing in common with anyone. I have a hard time relating to people these days.  I can not stand talking to someone and they complain about doing laundry or that their kid has a cold.  I seriously want to tell them to shut the fuck up and walk away.  Instead I find myself withdrawing and not connecting with people.  I also do not want sympathy and people feeling sorry for me and my children.

What does all that I said above have in common?????  It is all my beliefs and judgements!!  The amazing thing about all of that about being in my bubble is that it is MY beliefs and judgements and I have the power to change those beliefs :)

The truth is everyone can have an opinion but it is up to me what I do with their opinion.  I know that I am doing my best.  I really, really, really know that I am doing my best every single day.  I know that the day may not go as planned but it still a day that I get to choose if I want to love and make the best of it.  It's my choice.  I have a choice in what I want every single day.  I have the choice to change my beliefs if I feel they are not serving me.

So how does being in my bubble aka staying home and not connecting with people I do not choose to invite into my bubble serve me?  Wow, I am impressed that I am asking myself that question!!  Well, I think I use it to protect myself but when I really think about it what am I protecting myself?  Am I protecting myself from judgements??  Honestly why do I care or is that person looking at me strangely even judging my??  I am living my life for myself, no one else but myself.

So I am ready to break free from my bubble and the judgements that come with it.  I honestly have been working on it.  We have been going to story time at the local library since January and I have been working hard at engaging in conversation with the other families.  I signed both kids up for swim lessons this next term and choose not to say that Hayden has / had autism.  I choose not to say anything because his autism doesn't really effect him anymore and I want to stop hiding behind the autism.  The kids are both going to school in the fall.  I have been trying to set up play dates although it seems all my old friends are gone and have moved on.  Which I am not calling anyone out with this.  It is what it is and I feel that I have been missing for the last several years so I don't blame you one bit.

If anyone wants to get together let me know!  I have popped my bubble and from this day forward I want to be an active part in society :)

An update on Hayden:  He is doing amazing :)  I am little nervous for the super full moon that is coming on June 23rd but I know we will be fine.  Hayden continues to make gains every day and surprises me every day.  This morning as I was getting ready to leave for work Hayden sat in my lap for a couple minutes.  I asked him what he did at Grammie's yesterday and he said, "I had snacks."  I asked, "What kind of snack did you have?"  Hayden answered, " I had a strawberry."  I then said, "Did you have anything else?"  Hayden said, "Ummm........(while taping his finger on lips) a blueberry."  It was seriously the cutest thing ever!!  Tapping his little finger on his lips while he was thinking :)  He then went on to tell me that he swam for a really long time.  LOVE him!!!