Sunday, April 29, 2012

Join Team "Nathan's Voice" In Promoting #Autism Awareness, Understanding and Acceptance In Our Communities and Online


     This coming Saturday, May 5, 2012 is the third Annual Piece Walk organized by AutismOklahoma.org and our Family and Friends Autism Team "Nathan's Voice" will be walking in support of everyone affected by autism. The Piece Walk and 5K is the largest single autism event in the state of Oklahoma. Attended by an average of 5,000 people every May, the annual Piece Walk and 5K generates monies back into the community in the form of grants or special projects and also provides operating funds for AutismOklahoma.org. Our Family and Friends Autism Team "Nathan's Voice" is very excited to be a part of such an AWESOME opportunity to "pay it forward" in the autism community!!  
     Nathan, our almost nine year old son was diagnosed with Autism four years ago. Please consider supporting our Family and Friends Autism Team"Nathan's Voice" by either walking with us this coming Saturday, May 5, 2012 and/or making a donation towards the 2012 Autism Oklahoma Piece Walk, through our team's participation. You are welcome to follow our autism team on twitter @NathansVoice for updates on the upcoming walk.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Life Story of Nathan's Voice



     I have been blessed with one beautiful daughter, three handsome sons, a energetic grandson and a precious granddaughter. My husband and I have been together for almost thirteen years and getting ready to celebrate eleven years of marriage. We dated for almost a year and a half before getting married. This is mostly due to the previous relationships that each of us had experienced. If I was going to commit to a relationship, it was important that this person accept my daughter, my son and I as a package deal. I quickly realized that this wonderful man was put in my life for a reason. My daughter and son were afraid that my new husband would try to replace their father, instead he offered them additional support and treated them like they were his children.  

     Vincent was born a little over ten years ago. When I returned to work after having him, we thought that we had found a good home day care. I dropped him off one morning on my way to work and there was a child with green snot caked on his nose standing just inside the playroom. The woman whom I trusted to care for my infant promised that he was just waiting for his parents to come pick him back up. I made the mistake in believing her because the next morning I was taking my son to the hospital because he was running a fever and was having difficulty breathing. My infant son was only two and a half months old and he was being given breathing treatments every four hours. He had been exposed to an upper respiratory infection by one of the children at the home day care. When my husband and I were able to take him home, we decided that I should become a stay at home mom, or most times referred to as SAHM.

     It was almost six years later, we found out that Vincent has had only one kidney since birth. This means that skateboards, trampolinesfootball, joining the military like his older brother, race car driving and motorcycle racing are things that our son should not dream of. My sister, who is a RN and works in dialysis, has already explained to him that if his one kidney is damaged, he would have to do dialysis for the rest of his life. Even if he doesn't fully understand the consequences, we did. 

     Just four months later, our youngest son, Nathan, was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, one of the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). I was sitting in the office of the Special Education Department at our local School Board. Nathan was playing with toys behind me, oblivious to what was happening around him. The school psychologist had just brought Nathan back into the room where I was while he was being evaluated. She sat down across the table from me and said "Your child has Autism". I felt like I had been knocked off my feet! The recent development was not exactly what we imagined for either of our sons but, our family believes in Philippians 4:13 where it says that "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me". God has always taken care of us, even though we may not agree with His designs. 

     During the next few months, I spent a lot of time searching for answers on the internet. I became more familiar with my son's diagnosis and more comfortable with being his voice to the outside world. In the course of my search, I found that there was a Autism Speaks walk that was scheduled to happen in our area. I immediately registered and started our Family and Friends Team "Nathan's Voice" making myself the Team Captain. The four of us walked in support of Nathan the first year. Several of our family and church members joined us over the next three (3) years. That type of support was important to us as a family. 

     Nathan was going to start kindergarten in about five months and I started working with him on communication and interaction with others. This was critical because he had difficulty doing anything that was not of interest to him. If it didn't intrigue him and hold his focus, it wasn't worth his time. This is where the red CVS pharmacy savings card became more than a discount card. He was so taken with it that he kept snatching it from my purse. No matter how much effort I put into hiding it, he always found it! So his Kindergarten teacher and I came up with rules for Nathan to be able to have access to the ever so popular red savings card. When Nathan got to class each morning, he would hand it to his teacher for the day. If Nathan listened to his teacher, followed her directions and made good behavior choices then the red card would stay in one of her pockets indicating he would get it back at the end of the day. But, if Nathan didn't respond appropriately when he was asked to make the right decision, his beloved red savings card was moved to another pocket. This meant that it would stay at school, in his teacher's possession, until the next day when he would start with a clean slate. That only happened a few times. It upset him so much that I asked the store for another one and let him "visit" it for thirty minutes after we talked about why he couldn't keep it. This was a major adaptation in Nathan learning positive behavior.

     When Nathan started first grade, it was quite a transition because kindergarten had only been half a day. I spent most days volunteering at his elementary school, unless I was assisting in his classroom. With his teacher's permission, I read to his class once a week and brought a small reward for listening to the story. I went on class field trips, helped with class parties and made myself available for anytime Nathan's teacher needed my assistance with Nathan. I started noticing that I spent more time at school than I did at home but, it was worth it in the big picture scheme of things.

     By the time that Nathan had started second grade, I thought that I would be able to juggle a part time job as a substitute teacher and still help at the school when needed. I couldn't have been more wrong...it complicated things for everyone, especially Nathan! Even though I had made sure to tell Nathan's elementary school that I was available as a substitute teacher, the only jobs that I was receiving were from the middle school in the special education department. The problem was that their classes started and ended almost an hour later than the elementary where my boys attended. My dear husband was willing to help pick them up in the afternoon, at first. After a while, he complained that he wasn't able to finish what he needed to do before he had to drop everything to come get the boys. I knew that I needed to do a better job of managing my family to get things back on track.

     Nathan had begun to have problems in school and it was probably due to my not being as available as I needed to be during the day. His second grade teacher, who seemed so understanding at the beginning of the year, had evidently been optimistic when it came to working with Nathan. She was becoming irritated with everything that he did and it was affecting him to the point that he didn't want to go to school. I tried talking to her about what I could do to help her, Nathan and the rest of the class while we figured out how to get the situation resolved. His teacher kept telling me she had it under control but, all I saw was her taking out her frustrations on Nathan by taking his recess away when something didn't go as she had planned. There weren't any positive reinforcements being used in her classroom and it seemed as if she had given up on him. I was fortunate that his special education teacher and case manager had asked me to cover a month of her classes while she was on maternity leave. This was my foot in the door at the elementary school to show the other teachers that I was available to handle their classes, when and if they needed me to.

     Nathan made it through the rest of the school year with a few minor incidents. His class was having P.E. outside on day and when the teacher blew her whistle for the students to line up but, he decided that he wasn't quite ready to stop playing. He ignored her, which was wrong but, how she and her assistant reacted made the situation worse. Nathan was in "play mode" and when the P.E. teachers approached him, thinking that they wanted to play "tag", he ran away from them! This made them mad and he was suspended for one day as a result of the situation they created. I explained to them that his disorder made him process everything different than what another child would. If that type of situation presented itself in the future, to stand completely still while using a stern voice asking him to line up. This would prevent the possibility of Nathan misunderstanding what they are trying to communicate to him. Nothing like that has ever happened again.

     Over the summer break, I began to get frustrated over how the school year had gone and how misunderstood my child was. I didn't know what I wanted to do. I was on twitter and someone asked why I wasn't blogging about our experiences. It started me thinking that this might be the way to document Nathan's diagnosis and progress for him to look back on as he got older. I would be able to keep friends and family up to date on what was going on with Nathan, Vincent, Paul, Candace, my husband and I in the form of a blog. If what I shared helped other families, then that would be a bonus!

     Since I started my blog, Nathan's Voice, I have met so many wonderful parents with children on the autism spectrum. I am happy that I made the decision to start blogging when I did. It has been quite therapeutic, helped me record Nathan's progress, keep track of everything that we have been through, what worked in helping Nathan and what aggravated him! The little blog that I started almost a year ago now offers a variety of resources besides the details of our own experiences with Nathan's autism spectrum disorder. We welcome anyone that wants to check out our autism blog!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nathan's Glow in the Dark Dinosaur

     On Monday, Nathan and other students from his elementary school were rewarded with a field trip to the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in Norman, OK. Nathan and the other students had met the Accelerated Reader (AR) Goal and earned a partial day away from the school, the chance to tour a great museum, enjoy a picnic lunch and play at a park! Don't forget about getting a round trip ride on the legendary yellow school bus that all of the kids enjoy. I was able to be a part of the excitement by accompanying Nathan, leading him and three other great students plus take some pictures of the outing. This picture below has Nathan's older brother already asking us to take the whole family! And he wants to be able to get something cool like the glow in the dark dinosaur like his brother, Nathan!!


     It has been four years since Nathan was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, one of the Autism Spectrum Disorders. This field trip wouldn't have been a success for Nathan if he had not received special education services through his school for the last four years. He used to not be able to go out in public without hitting himself and screaming at the top of his lungs. Now, Nathan can go anywhere, walk around like any other child and talk to most anyone without them knowing that he has Autism. We are so proud of what Nathan has been able to accomplish which is why I want to draw your attention to this important petition that I recently signed. The proposed changes to the DSM-V stand to rob autistic children of the therapies and services that they already receive. Please read, sign and share to advocate!


"Petition against changes to Autism Spectrum Diagnostic Criteria"
This petition is against the proposed changes to the DSM-V, which would eliminate high functioning ASD patients (PDD-NOS, Aspberger's and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder) from the Autism Spectrum. More than 3/4 of high-functioning autistics would no longer be considered autistic, placing their access to social and school services in jeopardy. Changing the name of their diagnosis from ASD to another name does not make them any less autistic. Basic formative differences exist in all autistic children's brains - including enlarged white matter growth in the first year of life leading to a large cranial size in infancy; reduced brain stem size and function, and confused neural connections, which lead to sensory and social difficulties. These formative differences exist in patients with PDD-NOS and Aspberger's as well. Changing a name will merely shift the tide, rather than stopping the epidemic, and it shifts focus from the real problem - and that is the root cause of autism, which must be addressed.





UNTIL SUCH TIME AS CAUSALITY AND DIAGNOSTICS CAN BE MORE PRECISE, WE 
THE SIGNEES ASK YOU TO HOLD OFF ON MAKING CHANGES TO THE DSM-V. WHEN DIAGNOSTICS ARE MORE PRECISE, AND YOU CAN DEFINITIVELY DIAGNOSE AUTISM
AND RELATED DISORDERS, WE ASK FOR A GRACE PERIOD ON GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS AND INSURANCE POLICY OF NO LESS THAN 5 YEARS THAT WOULD 
ALLOW ASD PATIENTS TO CONTINUE GETTING THE THERAPIES THAT THEY NEED.


I really think this is an important cause, and I'd like to encourage you to add your signature, too. It's free and takes just a few seconds of your time. Please sign the petition below and be sure to share with everyone you know! 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

How Would You Grade Me on the "30 Days of #Autism" Challenge?!?

     I have not been able to write every single day like I would have liked to and I am not trying to make excuses. We all have to re-prioritize from time to time. I just wish that I could have had a perfect posting for the "30 Days of #Autism" Challenge! So, I would appreciate it you would leave me a comment on how you would "grade" me for the "30 Days of #Autism" Challenge. Thank you for your input. It will give me an idea what I need to work on while raising Autism Awareness, Understanding and Acceptance.

     I want to take another opportunity to share with you the names of the blogs, that I know of, who are participating in the "30 Days of #Autism" Challenge.

  • 30 Days of Autism | Leah Kelley
  • 7 Yuckmouths and Autism
  • Aspergers Rules
  • C Gregory Run
  • Caden's Tale
  • Just Bring the Chocolate
  • Kat's Cafe
  • Life is a Puzzle
  • Lost and Tired
  • Making Time for Mom
  • Special Happens
  • Stuart Duncan's
  • Stuck on Shelby


  • Here is an updated list of participants in:
       

    Wednesday, April 18, 2012

    Could My Grandson Have #Autism?

         My daughter has her own children, now. I keep having to remind myself that I am a "Nana" to a very energetic two and a half year old grandson and a beautiful two month old granddaughter. My daughter and her brother that is off in Army Basic Training have grown up but, my new husband and I still have our two sons living at home, an almost nine year old and a ten year old. Our almost nine year old son, Nathan, was diagnosed with autism just a little more than four years ago. The following is a message that I received from my daughter after reading my most recent guest article Autism "How To" Guide For Parents on Our Mom Spot:

    Mom, 
    Your article has opened my eyes to what I have been missing. I'm definitely going to take Devon in for an evaluation. Almost everything you mentioned in this article points to him. I love that you are such a supporting and caring person, and I am glad to be in your life, and have you in mine. Would you accompany me to his doctors to help me know what to do? 
    Love, Candace



    OMGoodness! In the past few months, she has expressed her concerns with his garbled speech but, this caught me off guard. She said that he gets frustrated while trying to communicate with her, sometimes even grabbing her face with a hand on each side to look at her square in the eye. Because my grandson is under three years of age, he would qualify to be evaluated under the Early Intervention Program . My daughter is going to let me know when they are able to schedule an appointment for us to take him in for an evaluation. 
         My grandson's father has voiced his disbelief in his son needing any kind of educational assistance, leaving my precious daughter with little to no emotional support while she works at getting her son the help he needs. I pray that he will eventually be able to accept that his son will benefit from being evaluated now versus later. It may turn out that he might only need speech therapy. We will just have to wait to find out.  

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    Join Us For An #AutismAwareness Twitter Party!

    YOU Are Invited
    to a


    Tomorrow Night!
    Wednesday April 18, 2012
    8-9pm EST
    at

    Co-sponsored by

    Please share this information with EVERYONE you know in the Autism Community!

    Psst! I forgot to mention that there are PRIZES!!

    To get more details and to RSVP for 
    the #AutismAwareness Twitter Party
    click HERE!

    Monday, April 16, 2012

    Hanging Out With Friends Over At "Lost and Tired"


         I was invited by my friend, Rob Gorski, over at Lost and Tired to share the story behind "Nathan's Voice" in support of April being Autism Awareness Month. I had to put my thinking cap on to get the basic story down for everyone but, it was something that I was thrilled to do. I hope you enjoy my guest article "The Life Story Of Nathan's Voice" and that you take the time to browse the site of Lost and Tired. Please consider following them on twitter @Lost_and_Tired and be sure to check out Lost and Tired's Community Autism Support

                                                                                                           Lorrie


    *Interested in reading guest blog posts by "Lost and Tired" featured on Nathan's Voice?
     These are the posts we have been privileged to have Rob share with us!

    Sunday, April 15, 2012

    It's NOT 2 Late 2 Support the March of Dimes!


         If YOU are in the greater Oklahoma City area, please come join our 2nd SPRING Consignment Sale to benefit the March of Dimes Friday April 20-Sunday April 22, 2012 in the Chisholm shopping center on Garth Brooks Blvd. in Yukon, OK. The hours will be as follows: Friday 10-7, Saturday 9-6, and Sunday 10-3. Drop off date will be Thursday, April 19th from 1-7pm. Anyone can consign items for the sale so tell everyone you know about it. We will accept anything baby/kids, which includes but is not limited to clothes, shoes, blankets, baby items, toys, etc. We will also be including maternity items and large items such as strollers, highchairs, car seats, beds, etc. (Pretty much anything you need for a child) Adult clothing and shoes will also be accepted. Also, we will be doing furniture and household items again this year. Just keep in mind that we want good quality gently used items, so please nothing stained or with holes. You will price your own items at whatever price you see fit and then when the item sells you will get back 60% of the sale price (to use however you want) and the remaining 40% will go to the March of Dimes. If you would please be kind enough to say that Lorrie Servati of March for Babies Team "Savin' the Babies" referred you, we will receive the 40% credit when your items are sold! If you would be able to work as a volunteer for a few hours to help during the sale, it is for a good cause and you could have a chance to find something special! ♥ 
         Thank you...Please email Jennifer Fuller (Consignment Sale Coordinator) at lilliesmom@cox.net or just leave me a comment below so that I can have everything emailed to you!! 

    Saturday, April 14, 2012

    Blogs, Causes, Friendship and Giveaways

         I have had the pleasure of making a new friend in Mandy Krzywonski over at My Life as Mandy...with Epilepsy. She'll be celebrating her 19th birthday next Saturday, April 21st & she is holding a contest where she's giving away a FREE 21oz. tub of Cake Beauty's 'It's a Slice' Smoothing Brown Sugar Scrub - Creamy Orange and Vanilla Scent ($32.00 - $34.00 store value, open to all residents of U.S. and Canada). 


              Good evening ladies! (And gentlemen too!) As some of you may or may not know, it's a special girl's BIRTHDAY this upcoming April 21st! Mandy Krzywonski, AKA EpilepsyBlogger, will be 19 years old!!! Since she has a lot of fans, she wants to share her birthday with everyone somehow... So she's decided to hold a contest with quite a pun! She's giving away a FREE 21 oz. tub of Cake Beauty's 'It's a Slice' Smoothing Brown Sugar Scrub - Creamy Orange and Vanilla Scent!

             Her Review: 
    "I've loved this stuff since I tried it for the first time. It is by far the best scrub I have ever used, and really leaves your skin feeling silky to the point where you only need to use it once a week (if that). It also moisturizes your skin, so there's no need for lotion after use if you're in a rush. I prefer to use it before shaving to get a more smooth shave, but it's great on elbows and feet! Made from turbinado sugar, cocoa butter, sunflower seed oil, olive oil (yes, yes, yes!) and coconut oil (oh, just kill me now!).

              No, I am NOT advertising for the company. I just decided to buy a product that I already love, and one that I figured a lot of YOU would love as well. I didn't have to think too hard because I talk about this stuff all the time. Plus, it's definitely on the expensive side ($32.00 - $34.00 store value) so I wanted to save all of you some $$$ and give you something special. Plus, who doesn't love CREAMY ORANGE AND VANILLA?"



    • NO Parabens
    • NO Sodium
    • NO Chloride
    • NO Phthalates
    • NO GMO's
    • NO Mineral Oils
    • NO Petrolatium
    • NO Gluten
    • NO Triclosan
    a Rafflecopter giveaway  
    RULES:
    - Complete the mandatory tasks to unlock even more chances to win!
    - Tasks must, Must, MUST be successfully completed. Failure to complete tasks results in deleting entries.
    - Entries are checked daily, so I know who is phony and who isn't!
    - Winners will be chosen on my birthday! April 21st, 2012 at 11:59pm!
     - U.S. and Canada participants ONLY! Sorry, already spent $34.00 and shipping will be too expensive to ship elsewhere.
    - Shipping is paid for by myself.
    - Allow 4-7 days for shipping after April 21st.


         She and I are teaming up to promote each others blogs and giveaways. To welcome Mandy, I have added two (2) items into my rafflecopter to include her facebook page and twitter account worth five (5) additional entries each totaling ten (10) extra entries available to everyone who enters my Beautiful Autism Pendant giveaway

    Thursday, April 12, 2012

    Come See Me At Our Parenting Spot!

         At the beginning of the month, I invited everyone to visit Our Parenting Spot and read my Featured Guest ArticleOur Parenting Spot is an outstanding online parenting community that offers advice, support and friendship to everyone. Please visit Our Parenting Spot, read Autism "How-To" Guide for Parents and share it with someone you know. YOU never know if they have just had their child recently diagnosed with Autism, or that person might know someone else who thinks their child needs to be evaluated! Thank you for your support and I hope you enjoy the article. I always look forward to hearing from anyone who takes the time to leave a comment below or on the Our Parenting Spot community where my Guest Article is featured!


                                                                                                          Lorrie

    Could I Get You A Glass With That Whine?

         This is a little saying I use in fun with my husband when one or both of our boys have been testing our patience after a long day. My dear husband works outside year round servicing and maintaining swimming pools. His boss is a real slave driver, especially around this time of year when everyone wants their pool open and ready for the Memorial Day holiday. My man is of Italian decent and loves a nice glass of red wine with his pasta. 


         I am always using words that sound the same but, don't mean the same, in order to help Nathan learn the difference between them. He is doing better at distinguishing the various meaning of certain words such as lean, current, patient, trial and others like waist/waste, stair/stare and boy/buoy. Once he learns something, he is like a walking, talking dictionary. He will use what he learned, in a sentence at a moment when you least expect it, knowing it will bring a smile to your face.


         Nathan is also making progress when it comes to being able to tell if something is figurative or literal. The extreme rigidness he used to have was replaced with a small amount of flexibility and a slight sense of humor. We used to walk around on egg shells with the old Nathan. Now a days, I can joke with him and he knows that I'm just "pulling his leg". He will let out the cutest little laugh and proceed to tell me that I almost had him. 


         So, when I ask my husband which one of our sons should I pinch to fill his whine glass, they both start chuckling. My husband will smile and tell me "it doesn't matter" or asks me "which one had the last privilege?" I hope this hasn't offended anyone. It is only meant to show, that even with autism, you can have fun!
         


    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

    Would YOU Consider Me Blog Worthy?

         


         I was recently nominated for the Top 10 Autism Bloggers at Skinny Scoop! It caught me by surprise mostly because I consider myself to be an amateur. I created my blog, Nathan's Voice, around 
    the middle of last June. I started up blogging to document our son's progress as accurately as possible. As I shared about our family's experiences with autism, I began adding the various local & online autism resources that we have come across since our son, Nathan,
    was diagnosed. Raising autism awareness and helping everyone understand and accept my son has been most important to me. If 
    what I have to share offers a sense of humor to other parents while they manage their own day to day experiences then I am honored to have been of assistance!

         So, I ask, would YOU consider me "blog worthy" and eligible to 
    be one of the Top 10 Autism Bloggers? If so, please VOTE for 
    me, in support of Nathan's Voice, at Skinny Scoop after reading this!

    Monday, April 9, 2012

    Listen, Call and Win an #Autism Book!

     
         Bobbi Sheahan, who is the author of What I Wish I'd Known About Raising a Child With Autism, previous Featured Guest Blogger on Nathan's Voice and a good friend, hosts "Autism As They Grow" by Special Needs Talk Radio on BlogTalkRadio* Wednesday evenings at 9:30 ET/6:30 p.m. Pacific. Her guest this week is Elaine Hall who is giving away FREE copies of her smash hit books "Now I See the Moon" AND "Seven Keys to Unlock Autism" to three (3) lucky callers during the live show! Just click on the link below, it will take you right to the show where you can listen to it live. You can also set a reminder for the show, in advance. If you miss the show, you will be able to access it through the archives at a later date.
    Please listen and call in this Wednesday evening ... YOU could #WIN just by calling in during the thirty (30) minute show!! The call-in number is (818)688-6643. First three (3) callers on the air will receive a FREE Elaine Hall book!! Please share this with everyone you know in the Autism community, local and online!

    Sunday, April 8, 2012

    What More Could I Ask For?

    I was given a wonderful opportunity to join a wonderful group of bloggers for the 30 Days of Autism Challenge and I'm playing catch up! I am new at this sort of thing but, I'm really enjoying the challenge! After you finish reading my post, please visit each of these great parents' blogs as we raise Autism Awareness throughout the month of April!! 
                                                                                                                                         Lorrie

          This morning, Nathan and his brother were excited about it being Easter. They couldn't wait to see what the Easter Bunny had brought them. Nathan was up at seven o'clock and when I sweetly asked him if he could lay quietly until everyone else woke up, he agreed. He's very particular how everyone speaks to him. I have learned that the tone of someone's voice means everything to my child. If he is irritated, feels threatened by or misunderstands anything said to him, you had better be ready for a meltdown! My child is a prime example of the saying "for every action, there is a re-action". 



         A little while later, after they had shouted all of their "oh, how cool!", "look what I got!" and "can we open and play with it now?" it was time for breakfast. We asked for them to help pick everything up and that was when the tensions escalated. They weren't quite ready to stop playing with their new possessions but, we had a schedule to keep. Our goal was to be able to have Easter lunch at Grandma's with family and friends. Everything else before that was an established part of our regular routine. Eventually, the tension, that had been so thick earlier, soon disappeared. 


         Nathan impressed our family today by listening to the sermon while he drew on the blank paper attached to the clipboard he carries with him to church.The new Pastor at our church has made a few changes and one of them is that he wants everyone in the santuary during the service. That includes all children, except those that are nursery age. Some parents are not very happy with this decision but, since Nathan and his brother have proven that they can handle about half an hour, we like having the entire family together during the service. 


         We had an enjoyable Easter lunch at my husband's parents with family and friends. It was when Nathan couldn't eat everything on his plate that he started having problems. He has a hard time accepting that he can't always complete the task he is given. I have explained to him that he should always do his best, no matter what. It took him a short while to understand that he wasn't in trouble for not being able to eat all of his food. About an hour later, Nathan and his brother had a disagreement while playing outside. We separated them at first but, then decided to take everyone home to relax. Overall, we had a decent day, especially for the time we spent away from the house.


         Join us as we celebrate Autism Awareness Month the rest of April! Please help Nathan's Voice in their effort to raise Autism Awareness, Understanding and Acceptance in our communities, local and online.  

    Nathan's Voice would like to introduce the following bloggers:


  • 30 Days of Autism | Leah Kelley
  • 7 Yuckmouths and Autism
  • Aspergers Rules
  • C Gregory Run
  • Caden's Tale
  • Just Bring the Chocolate
  • Kat's Cafe
  • Life is a Puzzle
  • Lost and Tired
  • Making Time for Mom
  • Special Happens
  • Stuart Duncan's
  • Stuck on Shelby


  • Saturday, April 7, 2012

    What Does An Indoor Voice Sound Like?

         I want to apologize for not posting yesterday in support of Autism Awareness. I was exhausted after substitute teaching first grade yesterday, guiding Nathan and his fourth grade brother towards the car, socializing with their friends after we arrived home & then making dinner for the guys. I'm not as young as I once was and I am learning my limitations. This post was inspired by something that affects our household daily. I hope you enjoy this tiny morsel that I have to share.

         There was a time that it always seemed too quiet in the house. Without a doubt, that was before Nathan! My daughter used to play with her Barbies and other dolls for hours in her room without making a noise. Her brother came along almost three and a half years later & he was a quiet child, also. They argued, fought and screamed at each other like any siblings would but, the volume of their voices changed appropriately. Even though he is quite a bit younger than his siblings, my middle son has a voice and isn't afraid to use it when he needs to. It is Nathan, our youngest son, that has never had an indoor voice. The volume control on his internal remote is stuck on "boom" which makes it hard to hear anyone or anything else. If he says something to you and you don't answer right away, he only gets louder by the minute! I constantly find myself using hand signals to remind him to "turn" it "down" and talk more quietly. Controlling the volume of his voice is difficult for him. 
         
         We are not exactly sure why he talks so loud but, it could be connected to the frequent ear infections that Nathan used to have. Fluid would build up in the air pockets behind each of his eardrums because it wouldn't drain like it should & unfortunately lead to ear infections. He would barely finish his ten days of antibiotics before another infection would set in on the opposite ear. He has had four sets of ear tubes and when we went to the doctor the other day we were told that the tube in his right ear has moved out of place. This would explain why his ear isn't draining like it should. Unfortunately, Nathan has inherited my seasonal allergies and just can't catch a break! 

         While your enjoying lunch tomorrow with your family, please keep us in your prayers. Our family will be celebrating Easter at church tomorrow morning, during lunch at Nathan's Grandmas and afterwards. With all of the excitement that goes with family gatherings, lurks meltdowns and wanderings which always try to catch us unawares. We hope you have a SAFE and AWEsome Easter weekend!! I will be returning soon and working towards ... more tidbits and efforts of raising Autism Awareness!