Wednesday, August 31, 2011


We survived Irene.  Didn't get near the damage that was expected. At the worst we lost power for the night but considering some just south of us lost it for days and some people are still without power we can't complain.
kids all went in one room with every toy that had light that night.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What Porkchop Teaches His Sibilings

Sometimes it is the baby that teaches the older kids rather than the other way around.  For years Lucy never did the imaginary play, her idea of playing was carrying her doll around with her.  Porkchop changed that, he's always playing with his cars and making them interact with each other. She started by trying to copy him but now she plays with him.
He has taught all three older kids if you don't put your stuff away he will do it for you and it will never be found.  He is also one of the big motivators to get Roger to ride a bike. Roger never showed interest until his little brother was about to pass him up and he was going to ride the bike first.
I have been told that all this is to be expected. Since Porkchop does not have any DD he may pass his siblings but as he learns to do stuff so will they, that he will be the one not some therapist that will teach them. Not to say that the older ones do not teach him.

There's a Bear in the House

Crossing a Street

Playing Camping

Their Pretend Campfire

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


It's a bad time of year for us.  Today is the 9 year anniversary of my cousins death.  He died at 24 in a mountain climbing accident.  The other details are not important.  The only one of my kids he meet was Roger and he was a big part of Rogers life for his first three years.  He kind of stepped in as a father figure when Rogers dad was not around.
Roger recently saw pictures of him and being that he was only three at the time I didn't think he would remember who he was based on a picture but he did.  He saw the pictures and said that's Jason, he hurt his head and can't come back. True. He used to take me to play real golf. True He took me to the zoo. Also True. He protects me now. True
Roger and Jason
 He still says I talk to Jason all the time. This has freaked some of his teachers out.  A preschooler off in a corner having a full conversation with someone who is not there, once they know it's not an imaginary friend and hes talking to a dead person. Freaks them out more today now that he is 12.  I've gone in his room and seen the same.  Though over the years it has become less frequent for him but I have noticed when he is really stressed out that is when this happens.When we were in a car accident last summer, he said Jason was there he kept me in my seat.
Do I think my child is talking to ghosts maybe, Whatever it is he gets comfort from it.  He has a friend that he knows he can say anything to and it will never be repeated.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The OT Dictionary

We received Rogers OT (occupational therapy) results yesterday and man do they use big words. After I got it I decided I would write a blog post just on what these words mean. These are just a few of what we heard not a complete list. That would have to be a book not a blog post. :)

Sensory Processing Disorder: "is a condition that exists when sensory signals don't get organized into appropriate responses. Pioneering occupational therapist and neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, PhD, likened SPD to a neurological "traffic jam" that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly. A person with SPD finds it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, which creates challenges in performing countless everyday tasks. Motor clumsiness, behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, school failure, and other impacts may result if the disorder is not treated effectively.

One study (Ahn, Miller, Milberger, McIntosh, 2004) shows that at least 1 in 20 children’s daily lives is affected by SPD. Another research study by the Sensory Processing Disorder Scientific Work Group (Ben-Sasson, Carter, Briggs-Gowen, 2009) suggests that 1 in every 6 children experiences sensory symptoms that may be significant enough to affect aspects of everyday life functions. Symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder, like those of most disorders, occur within a broad spectrum of severity. While most of us have occasional difficulties processing sensory information, for children and adults with SPD, these difficulties are chronic, and they disrupt everyday life." (

Auditory Processing Disorder: "Auditory processing disorder (APD), also known as central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), is a complex problem affecting about 5% of school-aged children. These kids can't process the information they hear in the same way as others because their ears and brain don't fully coordinate. Something adversely affects the way the brain recognizes and interprets sounds, most notably the sounds composing speech.

Kids with APD often do not recognize subtle differences between sounds in words, even when the sounds are loud and clear enough to be heard. These kinds of problems usually occur in background noise, which is a natural listening environment. So kids with APD have the basic difficulty of understanding any speech signal presented under less than optimal conditions." (

Visual-motor integration: Eye hand coordination

Manual Coordination: Control and coordination of arms and hands

Fine Motor Control: coordination of distal muscles in hands.

Sensory Processing related to endurance/tone: Muscle tone

Modulation Related to body position and Movement: do they turn head to look at you or full body.

Vestibular processing: The vestibular system detects movement and gravitational pull, and it provides information regarding the position of our head in space and acceleration and deceleration of movement. It is the first sensory system to fully develop in utero and is located in the inner ear. The vestibular system has strong neurological connections in the brain and is a major organizer of varied sensory input. This system is considered the most influential sensory system and has tremendous impact on one’s ability to function daily. Directly or indirectly, the vestibular system influences nearly everything we do. It is the unifying system in our brain that modifies and coordinates information received from other systems, and it functions like a traffic cop, telling each sensation where and when it should go or stop. ( Basically this is why he moves all the time ie rocking.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Parents Best Blog

I have been nominated for Parents Magazine Best Blog Award under special needs. Take a minute and vote for me. thanks everyone.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

IEP's By Dr. Seuss

IEPs by Dr. Seuss

Do you like these IEPs?

I do not like these IEPs
I do not like them, Jeeze Louise
We test, we check
We plan, we meet
But nothing ever seems complete.

Would you, could you
Like the form?

I do not like the form I see
Not page 1, not 2, or 3
Another change
A brand new box
I think we all
Have lost our rocks.

Could you all meet here or there?

We could not all meet here or there.
We cannot all fit anywhere.
Not in a room
Not in the hall
There seems to be no space at all.

Would you, could you meet again?

I cannot meet again next week
No lunch, no prep
Please hear me speak.
No, not at dusk. No, not at dawn
at 5 pm I should be gone.

Could you hear while all speak out?
Would you write the words they spout?

I could not hear, I would not write
This does not need to be a fight.
Sign here, date there,
Mark this, check that
Beware the students ad-vo-cat(e).

You do not like them
So you say
Try again! Try again!
And you may.

If you will let me be,
I will try again
You will see.


I almost like these IEPs
I think I'll write 6003.
And I will practice day and night
Until they say
"You've got it right!"


The Lindsay Foundation

 While many of us may never need assistance such as they provide, we can still help those who do with just a click. Take a second and  VOTE. Visit them on Facebook and check them out. They have already done some amazing things. Just read about them

The following is directly off the Lindsay Foundation Facebook page:

Why I KEEP Asking!!!
by Laurie McMillan Hammond on Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 11:17am

I don't normally do this, but then I realized how many new friends I have and how many may not know what The Lindsay Foundation is. So, just a brief explanation follows.

I am Lindsay's Mom!! I am the Founder of The Lindsay Foundation. And, I am passionate about it! I will cry; I will beg; I will do whatever it takes to see this succeed. I might even lose friends. But, I've been down that road, too. I lost some friends because I was no longer in a "normal situation" after my daughter was born.

Lindsay was my life...just as your children are your lives. I loved her, clothed her, fed her and provided for her for fifteen years. And then, God decided that He needed another angel...and My Lindsay was chosen. She was the sweetest, most loving child, a joy to have in my life!! And then, there were the doctors, the therapists, the therapy equipment. the walkers, the wheelchairs, the surgeries, the meds, the feeding pump, the home i.v. antibiotics, etc. You get the idea.

So you see....I am the Mom of a child with special needs. I've battled and fought and cried and felt the frustration of the difficulty of providing for my daughter. Now, I battle and fight and cry, oh and don't forget, beg over the Foundation that keeps her memory alive.

We don't pay for research. (Don't get me wrong; I do know how important that is.) The goal with The Lindsay Foundation was to provide a better quality of life for the children having to live with these disorders, while they're waiting on the cure. I know first-hand how difficult it can be to provide EVERYTHING that is needed. We cover all children; it doesn't matter what their diagnosis is, as long as it is considered long-term, catastrophic medical. We have provided wheelchairs, medical strollers, special seating systems, wheelchair lifts, supplies, such as catheters, syringes and therapies. We cover, physical, speech, aquatic and hippo therapies.

So, though it does get annoying sometime, please try to understand, that to me, this is very personal. I have actually lived the life of the parents that we are desperately trying to help. I know how difficult a road it is to travel. So, please, understand that these families live with these special circumstances for years. And bear with us for just another three weeks. And, if you feel led to join us, please vote daily to help us stay in 2nd. I would appreciate it and all the families that will be helped, will appreciate you. Please vote here:

Remember: YOU COULD BE THE WINNING VOTE!!!! Thank you...God bless and I BELIEVE!!!!!

Laurie McMillan-Hammond
Lindsay's Mom

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Autism and Life Skills

Many things that Autistic people struggle with NT people take for granted.  Something such as ordering your food at a restaurant or correcting a cashier in a store while for most NT people is nothing for someone with autism they may struggle with this. Here are just a few things that take longer for some to learn. There are many many more than this these are just the four we have been working on lately and I can tell you what has worked for us.

  •  Ordering food: yes it is easier for us to do it for all of our kids but now I have them do it.  Roger can take some coaching or reminders to slow down his speech but he is getting better
Me: What do you want to eat? (while still in line)
Roger: Chicken fries and a shake
as soon as we reach the counter
Me: Order your own food.

  • Correcting a Cashier: OK so this one can be hard for anyone but in our case Roger showed yesterday that he can do this. He was buying candy at the grocery store yesterday the sign said buy 2 get 2 free so he was getting 4.  When they rang up he was charged for all 4 rather than the buy 2 get 2 deal. The first thing he did was ask me if I had swiped my club card (he knew you had to have the card to get the deal) I had.  Then he told the cashier that's suppossed to be buy 2 get 2. At first she tried to say no but he said the sign say she said the signs are for the item above not below. Here comes the coaching 
Me: Where was the candy?
Roger: Bottom shelf
Me: Where was the sign above or below?
Roger: Below
Me: did you read the sign?
Roger: Yes
Me: What did it say?
Roger: Airheads and thats what this is.
Yes it would have been easier to say hey lady the items over there and look at the sign but this made him think through what was going on . Cashier ended up giving him the deal because he was right. 

  • Crossing the Street: This just comes down to safety. Everyone needs to know you have to look not just run into the street. We finally got this one down but there are slip ups at times.  There was once last year I was driving someone else car and Roger was not expecting me to pick him up from the bus stop. The bus came and he started walking down the street and when I called him the bus had just pulled away and the cars were stopped. He went to cross and this jerk in a white BMW (who did not even live in the neighborhood just yet another person using our street as a cut through to avoid construction) hit his gas because after you see a bus letting kids off you should always drive like your in a NASCAR race. Anyways he saw Roger and cracked his window and yelled what are you retarded you don't run in the street. All I said was his mother is right here so shut it. He then proceeded to say to me we don't need your kind around here. I'm still trying to figure out what my kind is. Then he sped off. I talked to Roger and told him he has to pay attention because the people in the cars are not! He has not just run into the street since 

  • Answering the Phone: I don't know about you but when you have some problems holding a conversation the phone is a dreadful thing. Roger does have his own cell phone but when people call he will just pick it up and say nothing. It took us a while to get him to even say hello after he answered the phone. Now he rarely receives or makes a call, for the most part it is used for texting. As to the reasons for getting a phone that's a whole other post.

These are just a few things and we must remember not everyone will have the same struggles. I read on Hearts that Know and Feel that we are the best therapists for our children.  It's true you do not need to pay someone hundreds of dollars to teach your kid to order food. Take them out in the world, let them experience it and if it bugs someone else oh well they will get over it. Very rarely have I had anyone say anything to me when they see me working with him to do some of these things.  Most people are not going to yes it makes their wait a minute or two longer but most wont care and if they do they will get in another line.