autism

The ?Benefit of Special Needs

There are some benefits to having special needs children but it's not always the benefits that are at the forefront of their parents minds. You have one child with special needs and there can be times of devastation and times of grieving. It's a death of the life that you assumed you would have with your child. But as you move forward, you realize that your child is not any different than what you thought of your child the day before the diagnosis.

Then you debate or maybe some couples don't debate whether to have more children. Could God possibly give you more than one child with special needs? You can be all philosophical and say that all children have special needs in their own way but parents with a special needs child really know what special needs children are really about.

But than your younger child turns out to have special needs too. You justify it by saying that he'll only qualify for one year of funding but than that year comes and goes and than you find out that their are more needs that you weren't even aware of the first year.

In a parent's eyes, you see your child as equal as the rest. No deficiencies. How can your child have special needs? Than you take your child to soccer, the activity your child begged you to play just one year before, and it is such a battle to get him to the playing field. What! That just doesn't make any sense? This child was begging to play soccer. So tell me...what is it about your child's brain that is preventing him from playing soccer? But yet you go to the doctor and the pediatrician attempting to get the preliminary assessments completed to confirm what your heart really knows. The things in your heart that your heart is so desperately trying to dismiss. Everything inside you that is hoping you will be wrong this one time.

The doctor states that medication could confirm a diagnosis but isn't there any kind of systematic way of testing first prior to giving medications. Am I the doctor? Am I the one to diagnose? Who is paid the big bucks here for so many years of schooling? Or is this not their problem? Is it a way of passing the buck to someone else?

What is wrong with this picture?

Respite

It has been absolutely wonderful having the funding for Dave and I to escape the stressors of autism and family. Unfortunately, we have had more funding than help at times but when we have had the support, it has been such a great break.
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Toilet Training here we come again

I'm amazed how different each child is. Zach was toilet trained at four years of age. The toilet training was part of his therapy. We spent over three hours in the bathroom to get Zach to pee. We gave him lots to drink and some short breaks in between sitting on the toilet for long periods of time but he had a bladder of steel.

I ended up going into the bathroom with him and closing the door to show him what we wanted him to do. I asked Dave to show him what to do but Dave didn't have to pee. Are all guys like that? Do guys just go pee when there bladders are completely full? Can guys empty there bladders when they are less than full? Weird!

Anyways, so I went into the bathroom with Zach and I showed him that it was okay to let go of his bladder in the toilet. I've heard of children with autism going the entire day without peeing and then putting the diaper on the child and then they let go. Just imagine the excruciating pain they must go through until they let go? So, after three and a half hours Zach peed on the toilet. Yippee! I think my showing him was what he needed for his little brain to make the connection.

Yes, the brain bladder connection was made so we just had to teach him to act on the feeling, sensation or urge. So we rewarded the successes and moved him further and further from the toilet and applied clothing.

Maddie was two at this stage of toilet training Zach so I was hoping to train Maddie too. But she was having no part in sharing that same plan. So we let Maddie wait until she was ready. I never thought that day was going to come again. Did I miss the window for her?

But it certainly did come and she practically trained herself. She just got it. Felt the urge, understood the urge and acted upon the urge. Yippee!

We certainly had our setbacks with both Zach and Maddie. Pooping is confusing. It's confusing when it's just air or if there is stool.

So last summer already we had Jack peeing on the toilet all the time when he wasn't wearing clothing. Then the nicer weather came and he would pee everywhere else. But, the problem comes when he is wearing clothing. He ignores the urge to go or doesn't recognize it and just uses clothing as a diaper. However last week he found some underwear and so he put it on. To my delight he pulled the underwear down and peed. We have success however he peed outside in a box. I just praised that he pulled down his underwear and ignored that he peed in a box.

I know that he knows that he is going to poop. But he runs away and hides or he conveniently goes outside and comes back in with a load to be changed. I have been trying to curb this behaviour however I have not had any success. And by the time I recognize that he might be hiding somewhere to poop, it is already too late.

So now I have booked three days off work to try and get Jack out of diapers. He is going to be a teenager in diapers! So my plan is limited at this point because I have tried a lot of things already however I am going to try again. It is rare for me to have three days off so I am going to try. My last opportunity was February. My biggest mistake was to listen to the pediatrician who told me not to try at that point with all of the other issues. So that was then and this is now.

I'm planning an awesome potty party in the bathroom. I'm looking for a lot of great ideas in the bathroom to make the bathroom the best place to be. I'm looking for non-edible reinforcements because Jack is addicted to sugar and needs stickers or toys and balloons to get him to go to the bathroom. I'm hoping it goes smoothly so by the third day we can go out and about and have fun together.

Will keep you posted. Should be interested with this strong willed child. Hoping it goes well but not 100% convinced it'll work.