lynnlovesdonuts

@lynnlovesdonuts
Mighty Leader
My son Owen has autism and I write daily about our journey.
Community Voices

Round Sunday. Send up the flares Owen slept through the night. He woke a little before six and was very calm. He was even relatively quiet while my brain fought to catch up. He’s still planning for his week ahead and it feels good. He was ready to go to church but he was not ready to get dressed. He has started a new thing where he puts one leg in his pants but he will either walk around like this or pull them completely back off. It will take him five or six times to get to the point he keeps them on. His concern for what I was wearing and what he was wearing started about an hour before we were even getting ready. I am trying to get him to understand that we shouldn’t care about what someone is wearing but instead care about the person. I want him to think about his actions and reactions. I told him that we have to give our attention to someone’s heart, not to their clothing. I’m hoping that he will make the connection. I explained that I love him because he is amazing not because he is wearing certain clothes, trying to teach him that clothes do not make the person. I don’t have the answers but I pray that my words will at least impact him to try to refocus his blue pants energy. Before we left for church he had the rest of his juice and he dropped some on his shirt. I wiped it off with a wet rag. He was concerned that his shirt was wet. He ran to the bathroom and rubbed his towel near his shirt. He wasn’t close to the spot but it made him feel better that he was trying to dry it. I pushed forward. I told him it would dry with the air. Countless times this has kept us from leaving the house, having to change him before we could go. I told him we would be late if we didn’t go. I was trying to think of anything to get him out the door. When we got to church I showed Owen his shirt had dried. He was no longer concerned with it and didn’t even acknowledge my words or look down because he was focused on getting to his class. A calm washed over me sitting in church. I am only in control of my own actions and reactions. I have to remember this. The calm becomes chaotic as I let all the things, all the things come back into my vision but I know we can change like how his shirt dried. He has talked about going to the pool tomorrow with our friends. “I wear swimming suit,” he said. I said no one would be wearing blue pants. I went over this numerous times. As the day wore on he said multiple times he would wear his swimming suit. He wanted me to watch him play a video game so he told me “sit right here” motioning for me to sit on the chair near him. I love when he wants to do things with me. I was fixing his dinner and he said, “cut a string toenail.” This means his toenail is rough and he needs it filed or cut. I went to him and he was chewing on something. His dinner was not made yet. Let’s just say I still filed his toenail. He was watching a video and he said, “she has blue pants but we no talking bout blue pants we talking bout blue pants wear pedal pushers swimming suit” so I can tell he was thinking about it. His words and actions teach me how my words are interrupted by him. It is a learning process for me as much as it is for him. I’m thankful for everything he has taught me and what that has done for me. I am a better version of myself because of him. Embrace your own destiny and be the change you want to see in the world around you. Smiles to all and donut daze!

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Community Voices

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Community Voices

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Community Voices

Prize Tuesday. The party train left the depot before two in the morning. There was no convincing Owen that he needed to go back to bed and I certainly wasn’t telling him he was going to a therapy session today because that would have made it even harder. I sent him back to his room multiple times after he wouldn’t get in bed with me but that still didn’t work so at some point I gave up and we were up for the day. The coffeepot couldn’t churn out the coffee quick enough for me. I wonder how many pots of coffee are too many pots of coffee. I suppose when you measure in pots instead of cups that might be the answer. When I told him that he was going to his therapy today he was beyond thrilled. He also wanted to go to the elevators. I told him we could go after his appointment if he didn’t mention “blue pants” to everyone he saw. I’m trying every motivation and encouragement I can think of to get him to move forward. If he didn’t yell at people and tell them they have to go home it would be a whole different story but he has to come to terms with the fact that everyone is not going to wear blue pants and sometimes it rains and those blue pants get wet. The rules are overwhelming. We left for his appointment but we got there a little early so I drove to the park that he used to love to go to. He hasn’t wanted to go anywhere lately so I thought I would see what he said. The pool is right behind the park. As soon as he saw the pool he was ready to go. He was trying to take his shoes off in the car so he could get in it. This is the first time he has ever asked about this pool as many times as we’ve been to the park and showed this much excitement. I’m going to try to take him soon but he has no fear of water so I will need to make sure I have lots of support when we go. As soon as we sat down in the waiting room he immediately told a lady “blue pants you gotta leave wear blue pants tomorrow.” I told him that he needed to say hello instead. He kept going. When she left the waiting room I told him we wouldn’t be able to go to the elevators but he said he still wanted to go. I told him if he didn’t mention them again we could. I’m trying to make him aware but I also know this is a huge struggle for him. And I don’t want to not take him places now that he wants to go places. He didn’t make it past the hallway as we were walking down to the room but he did pretty well with the therapist. Then we had to see the doctor and I told him to keep his head up because he always looks at people’s pants instead of their faces so he took his hands and put them to his head pushing it up. My words are literal directions to him. He made it past the doctor but he didn’t for the receptionist trying to pull me behind the desk so he could see what she was wearing. He knew we were going home as soon as we got to the car. I told him we could try again tomorrow, with all the emotions swirling around in my head. We walked up to our front door and he turned around on the steps, looking at me. He said, “hi hippo” saying the words he hadn’t said in quite some time but knowing these were the words I said when he was a toddler. He never forgets a thing. “You read it to me,” he said, coming to me with his tablet, reading the caption under the video he was watching. I looked at what he had said from the video caption and it was spot on. I told him he read it to me already. The best part of my day was when he was watching a video about an owl flying. I had just whispered I love you in his ear which always makes him smile and giggle. Then I stood up and made my arms like bird wings, moving them around. I made the bird noise and he laughed some more. I then had him stand up and do it with me. At first, he wanted to hold hands with me because he really doesn’t understand the action of how his arms move, often watching his hands whenever they do something. Then I said you do it and he started moving his arms and jumping up and down in a chaotic beautiful way. I made the bird noise again and he joined me. I said, “do you know your name and owl start with the same letter?” He said, “yes both with O for Owen and owl.”He said something about the elevators tomorrow and I said, “we can go but what has to happen” and he said, “no talking about the blue pants.” I am trying to stick with it about him saying blue pants but we will see. I think it is a way to at least focus him. I hope. I tell him all the time he has a choice and is so smart so he can refocus his energy on something else he just needs to breathe. I think that also makes it harder on him because he is so smart but can’t get all his words and emotions on the same page. He walked to his bed telling me to “order a robot in Russian please” and with that his day was done. Even through our struggles today I felt like he made a lot of progress. I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring but hopefully more sleep and a trip to ride the elevators. The highlight of my day was dancing with him in the kitchen. There’s joy in my heart from the smile that he shared. Every moment there is a chance for change and that change might be the spark you need. Let tomorrow be open to the wonders of possibilities. Smiles to all and donut daze!

Community Voices

Grand Monday. My eyes opened and Owen was standing next to me. I had two things going for me, his eyes looked more tired than mine and he needed help with his tablet. I blinked and looked at the clock. It wasn’t even two o’clock in the morning. I told him that it was bedtime and he could either go back to his bed or get in mine. I took his tablet without any screams from him and he climbed into my bed. It seems like within seconds we were both out again. I woke off and on as the night wore on but he slept until almost seven. Then I told him it was August. This was not a wise move and started the first meltdown of the day. He cannot process that he will see his teacher again and August is when I keep telling him he will see her. As soon as I said it was August the screams started. His hands went to his ears and he yelled “no no no” over and over again. My heart aches for these moments. How do I prepare him when I can’t even talk to him about the month ahead? I breathe. I have to stay ahead of my own emotions, my own sorrows. It’s hard watching my baby have turmoil over it being a new month. So many emotions run through my veins when his screams echo through our walls because I said what month it is. How can I do more, what should I do to help him, why can’t I figure out any solutions? My mind races trying to keep him calm and continuing to move forward. I was sitting on my bed drinking my coffee when he came into my room to make sure I was sitting on my bed in a dress drinking my coffee. He looked at my feet and started picking my toenail. It bothered him because it has nail polish on it. He wouldn’t leave it alone. This was the second meltdown. I truly never know what will upset him. He was happy in about twenty minutes after I kept my feet in my slippers. The rollercoaster ride was going to continue today because I had phone calls to make and we had workers coming to our house. I told him that they were coming but he still wanted me in my nightgown because those are home clothes but I told him I needed to wear regular clothes for when the workers got here. I didn’t wear blue pants. I had black pants on. As soon as I opened the door Owen immediately started telling them I had black pants on, clearly anxious from it all. They had been here before so they completely understood and talked to him. I answered a few questions and they went to work on our air conditioner. They left but because they were working on the outside portion didn’t tell us goodbye. This sent him into another meltdown. I thought he had calmed down but then he started thinking about them again and he went to open the door. I recently put additional locks on the door, we now have a camera, and a gate across our porch because he opened the door early in the morning one day looking for someone that came to our house months before. He couldn’t get past the additional locks I have on the door but I also feel secure knowing he would have to go through our glass door, the camera, and the gate before he could even get off the porch. I never childproofed my house when he was a baby because he never opened drawers or cabinets or doors or anything. A tear runs down my cheek because now is the time that I have to secure everything. He had a pretty good afternoon. He ate constantly it seems and we played some games together. He wanted to watch people play guitar and sing Old MacDonald and when I asked him if he wanted to play along with them he said, “I do think so” but he went to where his instruments were. His words were very repetitive, talking to me about his therapist’s pants, everything that has broken in the last few years, all the places he didn’t want to go and he did want to go, and the words sometimes came in other languages. He’s talking about all the things he can talk about now that he is making more of those connections. This is when the repetitive behaviors happen but I’m not sure why some of them are more intense. We finished off the day with a bath to rival all other baths. I’m not sure why bathrooms are not waterproof but here we are. He got out of the bath. He then looked at himself in the mirror and wiped off his face not truly drying it, while saying all the steps you do for taking a bath, drying yourself off, and hanging your towel. He still doesn’t know how to dry his body off but he hung his towel up and off he ran. Bedtime was hard for him but he wanted me to “sit right here” in his bed and he fell asleep in my arms. I’m thankful for his belly gut laughs, the songs he sang to me, and the memories we made. Every day we have a choice to keep holding on to the past or we can embrace our future. Let go, let God, and let love win. Smiles to all and donut daze!

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Community Voices

Opening Friday. He hugged me. I thought Owen was up earlier but it was almost six when he walked into my room, without his tablet, and he hugged me. I woke before five, thinking I heard him with his tablet but I must have been dreaming. I was happy when he hugged me. Very few mornings does he come to me first now. I have to say that I am happier he isn’t coming to me at two in the morning as much anymore and we are both sleeping better. I’m hoping this continues. I told him we were going to read in a few minutes and he didn’t reply. Sometimes he doesn’t know he is supposed to reply or that I need a reply so he won’t say anything, other times he doesn’t know what to say. I said, “are you ready to read” and he didn’t say anything so I said, “you say yes ma’am.” He immediately said, “no ma’am” clearly understanding the opposite words and actions this time that he often struggles with. This is where it can quickly change for him because he didn’t want to read but he was emotional about it. Some days I push it because he needs to work with me and we need to work on his skills but other days it would not be beneficial to push him because he would not be able to handle it. The fine line is not always distinguishable and I don’t always pick up or understand all the cues he has given me. I had a meeting to go to today so he was going to see his grandma. I hadn’t told him yet because I didn’t want it affecting his sleep. In a whirlwind of a few minutes, the roofers came to fix a spot on my roof and I told Owen about his day to distract him. I knew it would only take a couple of minutes for them to fix the roof but I also needed him to remain calm. He heard the noise and said, “it’s the blender.” I’m not sure how the roof noise became a blender sound but he then says, “no smoothie today.” I told him that he would be going to grandma’s house at this point hoping he would not keep thinking about the noise. He knew today was Friday and he generally goes to see grandma on Saturdays. As soon as I told him he was going to see his grandma he said, “uncle wichard.” I burst into tears. He doesn’t forget a thing and the last time we were with her on a Friday was when we drove to North Carolina to work on my brother’s estate. My heart aches that Owen won’t get to see his uncle anymore. My heart aches for all of us. He did pretty good about getting ready to go to grandma’s house but it still took him a while to go through all the motions. He had a great time with grandma. He said he wanted to go ride the elevators but when we got in the car he wanted to go home. I told him we could go in the morning before he went to grandma’s house. Sometimes we have to do things in a very specific order and I didn’t want to push it today. He was very interactive with me and we played several games. He wanted to wear his Spider-Man costume and he played his ukulele. He was singing in a new language today I didn’t recognize so it will cool to figure it out. Bath time and bedtime went smoothly and I hope tonight he sleeps well. I like this trend. I’m thankful once again for the progress he’s made. Never give up on the hope for tomorrow. Smiles to all and donut daze!