Tag Archive: Special needs parenting


You know I’ve mentioned briefly, that this house of mine was a God send 2 years ago when we got in it. We were in a desperate “we’re going to be homeless in a few weeks if we can’t find a house SOON” type situation. My wife went online and found this house…and we were able to get it with Owner-Financing which was great because my credit was REALLY low at the time…the house ad read that it was “recently renovated”…HA! What a FREAKING LIE!!!

The kitchen cabinets are the original kitchen cabinets from the 1970’s when this house was built. They are the ugliest, flimsiest things I’ve ever seen…and in such disrepair that I recently had to pull one off the wall because it was quite literally falling apart…the carpets which were supposed to be “new” were simply shampooed, re-stretched and re-cut. And they left gaps in the corners of each room. In the dining room, they actually left the carpet un-tucked instead of finishing it by the sliding doors to the back deck. And the back deck is pitched on an angle and the cement is all cracked up. The house was recently re-sided right before we got it…and when they did it, they covered up all the outdoor electrical outlets. And the back door threshold is broken and when it rains, our laundry room gets flooded which runs into our kitchen! And oh yeah they advertised that the roof was recently redone as well.  Well I recently switched insurance carriers and when I had the roof re-inspected, the roofer said that roof is about 10 years old minimum.

Today, after an early morning rush to get to the final game of Monkey Boy’s baseball season, we had to come home to get ready for my mother’s 72nd birthday party…nothing big…(since we don’t socialize with anyone, just my sister, her girlfriend, her daughter, the monster in law and my kids)…AFTER I ran Monkey Boy to Game Stop to get a game, and my wife ran Aspie Teen over a friends house to buy Yu-Gi-Oh cards for his collection…we were home finally and my sister etc. had left, it started raining…REALLY raining…so of course the rain came in under through the broken threshold in the laundry room…here’s the hitch…we installed laminate flooring in the kitchen!!!

So we literally piled all the towels we could find on the floor in the laundry room to stop the water from leaking under the laminate…this is going to smell LOVELY tomorrow…and since my wife has SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) and can smell EVERYTHING….well you get the picture….

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I swear…I HATE this house…if I knew that it needed all this work when I bought it, I could say well we knew what we were getting into…but the person who sold it to us told us it was in good condition cause he just put a bunch of work into it…I shudder to think what his idea of a lot of work is…because on top of the issues mentioned before, the stairs are falling apart in the house, the a/c doesn’t blow  upstairs and I just had a new unit and compressor put in when I moved in…almost none of the light switches in the house actually WORK and we have to walk over to the light/ceiling fan and pull the cord in almost every room…and light bulbs constantly blow out quickly which tells me there’s a short somewhere…and the garbage disposal under the sink CRACKED and leaks anytime you run water on that side of the sink so we can’t use one side of the sink OR use our dishwasher until I get that fixed. I have four kids, three of which are autistic…there is no “free time” to do things ourselves (we’ve been laying laminate for 4 months already!) or “extra money” to hire someone to do it for us…(the last handyman I hired did such shoddy work I can’t even go into it now)…I’m scared to death something is going to happen to one of the kids because something broke…poor Aspie Teen and Monkey Boy have to go upstairs with no a/c in the summer (which is now), and bake up there during the day…I’m scared that when they come down the stairs, they’ll finally finish breaking and they’ll fall right through them…

I am so NOT a handyman either…

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My wife and I have done some major things in this house…like laying down laminate flooring…remodeling the master bath and the upstairs bath…repainting the ugly ass cabinets and putting tiles down and grouting them on the counters…but I swear I need Jonathan & Drew Scott from the Property Brothers

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or Nicole Curtis from The Rehab Addict

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or Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri from Cousins Undercover

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or Tarek and Christina El Moussa from Flip or Flop

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to come do this house for me…for free would be great since I have NO savings for a rainy day to fall back on…if you’ve never seen these shows, you should Tivo them on HGTV…they are fantastic! I stand in awe of these creative geniuses who manage to do what they do. They are a lost and dying breed…those who create…instead of destroy…restore instead of abandon and see value in what others see as lost causes. The world needs more people like this…people with vision…and the willingness to make a change…and do some good…instead of just saying well that’s not my problem…but I digress…

I’m putting in for promotions in different states and if I get one of them my job’s relocation company will buy the house from me, but if I can’t get it fixed up I’m going to be stuck with it, or else take a beating on what they’ll buy it from me for! (which would just be my luck wouldn’t it?)

Anyway…that’s my rant for the night…thanks for listening…

 

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Experimentation in the Tot

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The Tot with Maddy

My wife had the brilliant idea to bring the monster in law’s dog over to see how he would interact with a dog since we’re desperately trying to get him a service dog.  Apparently it was a huge success!

He wouldn’t let it move from his side all day.  He gave it a bath,  and it sat by his side in front of the t.v. watching Paw Patrol (his most recent fascination), all day.  He even made us keep it overnight.  He wouldn’t let go of the leash all day and had a jealous for when Monkey Boy took it out for a walk without him.

So we have high hopes for if/when we can get him a service dog of his own.

After a miserable day yesterday that left his mother in tears by the end of it,  the Tot seemed determined make up for it today,  because he’s been so well behaved that I’m wondering what they put in his sippy cup at school today and where can I get a hold of some of that stuff myself!

He’s been happy,  he’s asked for help,  he’s listened,  he took a bath AND he went potty all by himself with no prompting for the very first time today!!!

He’s been walking around without a pamper/pull up all evening,  (which made me very nervous I’m not ashamed to say), and then he just gets up and walks to the bathroom,  climbs up on the porcelain throne,  and lets go!

Some of you may be like what’s the big deal,  but some of you know what a VERY big deal it is when your special needs kid does something like this because you never thought you’d see the day come when they did it!

Most nights, he climbs into my bed and holds my wife hostage for 4-6 hours before he passes out. Tonight, he let me bring him to bed and lay down next to me and passed out in 45 minutes.

I don’t know what the change is but I pray to God to please let it last at least a few days!

 

Tot at the playground-he looked so happy I thought it would be the perfect pic to go with this post.

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Today was a long day for all of us starting with a 10:30 a.m. baseball game for Monkey Boy, then going to stores with Monkey Boy, Tantrum Tot and the Chunky Monkey in tow….woo hoo…THAT was FUN…

Anyway we go home after the stores and continue our floor project. We have the foyer, living room and dining room done (except for the trim and baseboards, and half the kitchen. Well today was the first day for the pool in our subdivision to open and Mr. I’m a fish Monkey Boy has been pestering us for the past 2 weeks to go when it opens. We let Aspie Teen take Monkey Boy to the pool, as he’s had a LOT of practice in that area from all the trips we’ve taken to hotels with pools, and lazy rivers…Aspie Teen does a really good job and Monkey Boy is a VERY strong swimmer. Also the pool  is literally a straight shot to our house and if you sprint it’s less than a minute away.

Well apparently Aspie Teen’s friends two brothers came by and went to the pool with them. A few hours later Monkey Boy and the Teen come in no problem, go change and life goes on…

Well when Monkey Boy was trying to fall asleep, he said “What’s the use I’m probably just going to have nightmares anyway.” Now I know Monkey Boy has had Night Terrors before so I ask him how long has he been having nightmares, and he was very evasive. My wife comes in from dropping the Monster In Law off at her house and he told us that Aspie’s Teen friend’s brother who was at the pool with them almost drowned in the deep end and Monkey Boy jumped in and SAVED HIM!!!!

Monkey Boy saved a human life…no thought, no doubts…saw the situation at hand jumped in and handled it!!! Words cannot describe how AMAZED AND PROUD OF THIS KID I AM!! And just when you thought you couldn’t feel any better about your kid, he goes on to say that he just keeps worrying about what would have happened if he wasn’t there…that the boy could’ve drowned…he’s feeling bad because he couldn’t stop it from happening so the other boy wouldn’t have had to experience what he did and probably have nightmares himself.

I have the MOST AMAZING ten year old in the world!!! Not only did he SAVE A LIFE at ten years old, but he gave me a perfectly good reason to do a cyber flip-off to all the idiots in the world who insist on thinking that people/kids on the spectrum are LESS or that they cannot do as well as NT’s in any given area…well guess what? My kid saved a life without hesitation or discussion…what did yours do? NAH NAH NAH NAH NAH NAH NAH!!! (I’m sorry, that was a little immature wasn’t it?)

Three cheers for Monkey Boy! The greatest 10 year old on the planet!

Monkey Boy plays baseball now.  He’s on a team sponsored by a local church.  He loves being active and social.  This is NOT the kid I’m worried about having social hang ups… (at least not yet anyway).

I usually take him and the Tot,  and sometimes Chunky Monkey to his practices during the week in order to give their mom a much needed break from the insanity which governs her life.

Well his games are every Saturday,  usually at 9 a.m. ( sadistic bastards making us get up that early on a Saturday) and like everything else in our lives,  these games create their fair share of chaos.

The stress of getting ready for these events,  and getting the clan out the door is usually enough to create strong desires for vats of wine in my wife and incredibly strong urges to break things in me accompanied by the overwhelming urge to eat (I comfort eat,  sue me).

When we actually get to the game,  I usually don’t see much of it due to the need to take the Tot for walks or over to the playground to keep him calm and happy.

Today after going through hell to get everyone out of the house,  (which apparently is my fault for taking too much time for myself this morning before walking everyone up to get ready), we got to the game and the Tot was doing so well!!! He was happy, and he was even standing at the fence next to the dug out and cheering for his brother! The Chunky Monkey was loving being outside in the sun and was sitting straight up in his stroller taking in all the sights…

 

Chunky Monkey at the game

Chunky Monkey at the game

 

Chunky Monkey was passed out when I got back from the playground!

Chunky Monkey was passed out when I got back from the playground!

Well one of the mother’s in the stands behind him had a REALLY penetrating sort of voice and every time she rooted for one of the kids, both my wife and the Tot physically jumped. After a few times of this happening, the Tot started flapping his hands and leaning from side to side. My wife spotted the signs in time and I was  able to take him to the playground before the meltdown started. The poor kid was doing so good too…I’m starting to wonder if he might have SPD and we haven’t caught it yet…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And poor Monkey Boy, struck out every time he was at bat today which is really weird cause usually he hits like a rock star…but by the end of the game, after having struck out and their team lost the game, he was in a bad mood which means he had to be separated from Tantrum Tot for a while till he worked his way through it, since he came off the field like “Great! Now my dreams are ruined!” Cause he was hoping that his team went undefeated through the season…he looked like a little storm cloud stalking off the field!

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Just a typical day for the Aspie Family!20140517_091752-1

 

MB turned 10 today!  I made him toast with jelly for breakfast,  and I told him Happy Birthday bud,  and he goes Double digits baby,  I’m a man!  To which I replied,  Great! Now go get a job!  To which he replied,  A job? ! Ppph! Yeah like that’s going to happen! !!!
LMAO!

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Happy birthday kiddo!

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The Tot just found the five minute hourglass timer from the  Pictionary game! 

He’s shaking it and saying “I want it to come DOWN!”

Dear GOD,  this is just a meltdown in the making!  Time for a redirect quickly!

Which just happened to be in the form of Team Umi Zoomy on Amazon Video on the Kindle Fire!

Disaster avoided Captain!  Beam me up Scotty!

Next mission: get Chunky Monkey and Monkey Boy to sleep!

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I know I’ve been silent and I apologize. Truth to tell I wasn’t sure if I was going to blog again. I lost a lot of umph after my brother died. I haven’t gotten it back yet either. And we’ve been very busy trying to remodel bathrooms, go through years of collective hoarding and clean things out, and trying to survive the madness which is living with 3 ASD kids, an ASD adult an NT adult, and an as yet undetermined infant.

A lot has happened, some I wanted to blog on, but a. I just couldn’t find the time or a free computer, and b. I just didn’t have the emotional or mental energy to spare to do it. The only reason I’m writing this now, is that I am being held captive by Tantrum Tot while he plays Wii U in the room he and Monkey Boy share. We’ll see how long it lasts.

As for the subject of this post, well this is part of the ongoing, never ending madness which is our daily lives. In case you’re new here (thanks for following BTW), my 9 year old who is referred to as Monkey Boy, is very, very social. He WANTS friends. The only issue is that he wants them ALL the time. His friends come over everyday. Apparently the row of townhouses where we moved is the only row with kids and they all happen to be in his age range. He gets PLENTY of play time with them. But the second they leave or they can’t come over, he goes into a dark funk where he gets depressed, moody, irritable, answers back flippantly and any little thing irritates him.

Tantrum Tot, the reigning tyrant in our house, LOVES Monkey Boy’s friends. Whenever they come over, he runs up the stairs after them. Though this may sound nifty, you may be thinking, look they can help play with him or he’s going to grow up with a good friend/support base with these kids around him….well think again. Tantrum Tot, whenever he goes upstairs, DOMINATES them, their activities, even where they sit. They can’t play his Wii U, no one can touch his PS4,  they have to play the game HE wants to play, only no one else can actually play, they just have to sit there and watch him. Any deviation from this causes INSTANT scream of death followed VERY quickly by tantrum followed almost immediately by meltdown!

And not just Monkey Boy’s friends! Aspie Teen has made a friend! And the kid is over here EVERY DAY. He eats here and EVERY weekend he sleeps here. (He is 18 years old and I’m pretty sure that he is a special needs kid, but I have no one to ask as I haven’t met his mother yet, since she works odd hours in a nursing home, and our schedules never coincide).So when he’s here and he and Aspie Teen are trying to play games upstairs Tantrum Tot is up there in a flash commandeering the room, the game, the controllers, everything.

So of course Monkey Boy’s solution is simple (for him). He gathers his friends up and leaves. and WHOA BABY does this not work for Tot’s mother and I!!!! Because they way it goes down is that Monkey Boy and his friends will be upstairs, and finally Tantrum Tot gets wind of it, after his mother and I spend hours of time and energy keeping him busy downstairs, keeping the TV on loud so he can’t hear them playing upstairs. (which is such a JOY to do when you have an infant and a wife with SPD issues!), whatever we have to do so that Monkey Boy and Aspie Teen can have some time with their friends alone. Then the Tot will run upstairs in SUCH a good mood, cause he’s SO HAPPY that his friends are here to play!!! Only Monkey Boy almost instantly will lead them downstairs the second Tantrum Tot becomes involved In his game. And before you know it, the kids are outside, and the Tot is now SCREAMING bloody murder, and if we don’t intervene quick, things are going flying and family members are being assaulted.

it’s like mercury getting pushed along a desk top…one tap and whoosh! Off it goes….and his mother and I have to run to intercept, to calm down to reassure to stabilize….and when we accomplish that, in comes Monkey Boy again…either with his friends in tow or flying solo, and here it starts again….

His mother and I try to intercept, we do our best to divert, to distract to do whatever we need to do…but it’s impossible. And when we finally manage to divert him, to distract him, to peel him away from the collective bunch of kids that are running around our house, that is EXACTLY WHEN Monkey Boy decides to come down stairs and leave with all his friends….or walk in from outside with all of them. And then Tantrum Tot is immediately wanting to go with them.

Of course Monkey Boy has NO clue what it is he’s doing wrong, and he cannot grasp why mom and dad get so upset so often when he walks in. So the process starts again unless his mother and I can keep him otherwise occupied. Which means dinner is delayed, house cleaning is STOPPED indefinitely, weekend projects now become monthly projects, and the Monkey starts chasing the weasel again! 

We can’t stop Monkey Boy from having his friends over because it wouldn’t be fair to him (his mother convinced me of this), and we can’t let Tantrum Tot continue dominating things the way he currently is. Tantrum Tot cannot grasp that he’s wrong for wanting to dominate and making everyone play his way, Monkey Boy can’t understand that when he does that to his brother he is not helping at all, and we can’t MAKE them understand either! We’re trying believe me but it’s a very slow, very frustrating process. Monkey Boy and Aspie Teen used to have more time for themselves when Tot was in day care and he stayed there till 6 every day, but now that he and his brother are going to the same school and ride the same bus home, it’s impossible.

My wife is losing her mind because she’s not getting much sleep, and has almost no time to do school work or keep up with her blogging. We’re supposed to be writing her next book together but she can’t even get her schoolwork done during the day. I am 30 days from an extremely important audit at my job and I’m supposed to be working late to get ready for it, but I can’t and I can’t bring my work home with me and if I did, I wouldn’t have time to do it anyway.

The Monkey and the weasel….the story of our lives….

My Aspie Life

Living with a house FULL of Aspie’s can be many things,  ranging from frustrating to angering,  but it’s never dull and sometimes it’s very humorous. 

Today, I took Tantrum Tot and Chunky Monkey to Barnes & Nobles so Tot could play with the Thomas the Train table while mom went and got her nails done. 

Tot behaved perfectly I might add,  which is keeping with his MUCH improved behavioral change which has occurred lately.

Anyway, when we got home I was so hungry, I could have eaten cardboard.  But Chunky Monkey was letting me know in no uncertain terms that he had to eat NOW.

I had already pulled a can of tuna out opened it and cut it up. .. so I asked Aspie Teen to finish it up for me while I fed the Chunky one. 

Now knowing who it was i was speaking to,  I gave very specific instructions like,  use the sandwich rolls,  use mayonnaise on the bread,  add a slice of cheese. . I was very proud of the fact that I remembered to be so specific.

And then of course Aspie Teen did the most Aspie Teen thing he could do. He put the entire can of tuna on the sandwich bread! !! His reasoning, “Well what else was I going to do with the rest of the tuna? ” So apparently it was the most logical conclusion in the world to him.  Below is the monster tuna sandwich he brought to me. 

And shamefully I had to admit,  I was so hungry I ate the entire thing!

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Success at Last!!!

Today wifey and I went to a very successful IEP meeting! After the debacle of an IEP meeting at Monkey Boys school 2 weeks ago where the principal insulted my son, my wife and Aspie’s everywhere, (and almost got an award winning book thrown at her head), my wife and I met with the District Autism coordinator, (whose eyes were bugging out of her head at that meeting), who encouraged us to come take a tour of another school in our city that actually had an Autism program and is fully staffed with Autism specialist teachers and aides and occupational and speech therapists.  AND it had a 3K program for kids on the spectrum as well!

We agreed though we had our misgivings at first. We were very impressed with the school. The entire time we were there we saw aides walking kids down the hallways. The kids were very laid back. There were kids in wheelchairs and kids with physical handicaps and everyone was very laid back and all the other kids didn’t give them a second glance. They were accepted as normal and included. The kids were allowed to talk quietly while they walked in the hallways. (In case I’ve not mentioned it, in his current school Monkey Boy had his recess taken away because he was humming to himself in the hallways!), the kids were allowed to talk while in the cafeteria (Monkey Boy’s current school has Silent Lunch for students although the hypocritical teachers are allowed to make as much noise as they like), AND Monkey Boy LOVED the library!!! When we left Monkey Boy was like “So when do I start?” And since he went on the tour, every day after school, “Am I starting the new school yet???”

Anyway, we had an IEP meeting scheduled for Tantrum Tot, because he qualified for services…and since he qualified under PDD-NOS, they had to go ahead and place his qualifying factor under ASD…so Tantrum Tot has his official diagnosis!! So now Aspie Teen has been officially diagnosed, Monkey Boy has been officially diagnosed, and Tantrum Tot has been officially diagnosed!!! The BEST part…is that they are now actually going to receive the help they need!!!! 

We are still working out services for Aspie Teen but the District coordinator said that even though he’s in online school, he still qualifies for services in this district. So we’re starting the process for him as well. FINALLY  a ray of hope in the storm that is our lives!!!

The next step? My wife and I have to decide whether or not to pursue legal action against the school principal for her actions and the actions of her staff who adamantly refused to consider or discuss the accommodations we brought forth in our initial IEP meeting as well as the insulting, condescending and bullying behavior of the principal herself.

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