Blessed Easter Weekend

Have a beautiful Good Friday and a Very Blessed Easter Weekend! There is nothing more beautiful than Unconditional Love! Let’s vow to spread Love to Everyone!

Que Sera Sera

Mark and I recently got rid of direct TV and got xfinity… one of main reasons I wanted to switch to xfinity is their classic TV channels. I love Classic TV shows. There are only a few things that make me happier than laying in bed relaxing and watching classic TV shows and movies. Last Sunday we had it installed, I was super excited! I couldn’t wait to watch METV & Antenna TV. I had it all planned how I was going to watch Hazel, My Three Sons, Donna Reed, Andy Griffith and more! As we explored the channels Mark came across one I hadn’t heard of, Decades TV. We looked at the guide and saw all the awesome classic shows! I was beside myself happy! I am going to have 3 channels I exclaimed! Last weekend they were having a Mary Tyler Moore  marathon. Then I saw an ad for what this weekends marathon was…. DORIS DAY!! I was beyond happy. I have always loved Doris Day. She is beautiful, classy, feminine but strong. She had her own identity and kept to it. In my opinion that is true strength! She to me is the definition what a strong woman truly is. I loved how she dressed, I even “mimicked” her style. Her love of animals showed me her passion to help others. The thought of 24 hours straight of Doris Day show  had me ecstatic. I was in the same room as her once, but didn’t have the ability to meet her. I’m still sad about that. 

There are so many things that come to mind when you think about Doris Day, but one of the most popular is the song Que Sera Sera! It’s the theme song of her show, as well as in the Hitchcock movie.. “Man who knew too much”.I love that song… The lyrics are very fitting to my life these days. When I was younger I had so many ideas where and how my life was headed. Even after I had my older three kids, I still had a “plan”. Once I had Peyton that changed. My plans were no longer important. What became important to me was Peyton and how I was and am going to do whatever I can to make his life the best it can be. I learned that plans aren’t what Peyton needs.. he needs flexibility, goals, love, Understanding and support. Each day can be a different challenge, and how we deal with those challenges also is important. While it’s true Peyton needs a certain amount of consistency and stability, he also needs me to stress less and stay calm. Mark always tells me stressing over what I can’t control does no one any good, least of all Peyton. I know he’s right and I’m working on it. I love Peyton with every fiber of my being and just want what’s best for him. I know in my head that a calm and destressed me is much better for him, than a worrier.

As I lay in my bed, this overcast Sunday, watching Doris Day and writing this blog… I’m making a promise to myself that the next time I get so stressed, I’m going to sing to myself “Que Sera Sera” because even though it’s just a song.. there is so much truth in “what will be, will be” thank you  Doris Day for once again showing me what a strong woman is!

Rainy days and Mondays

 

The last few weeks we have been having a lot rain and stormy weather. I have a love/hate relationship with rain! When I have a ton of work to do that requires concentration, I love rainy days. It forces me to hunker down and get things done. If it’s beautiful out, I think of a million reasons why I can’t sit and take care of what I need. I also love rainy days when I don’t feel well. It’s as if I can justify sleeping all day, watching classic tv and cuddling under the covers. On the opposite side, I hate, fear storms. I’ve always been afraid of storms, as a kid I was totally petrified of them. Now I’m more just slightly stressed by bad storms. Mark, on the other hand really loves storms. He opens all the blinds and watches them. I know that being in the house, there isn’t really a serious danger, but I still worry. I’m sure you’re asking yourself what does that have to do with autism? Just like everything else in our lives… this has a lot of parallels to autism.. at least with Peyton.

He now loves weather, he watches the weather channel, checks it on phone etc. He doesn’t mind rain, now that he’s older, and has learned to deal with storms, as well. When he was younger rain scared him, storms totally petrified him. When he was young we lived in Florida and he lived through several hurricanes. He fed off of my fears and decided they were horrible. If he even thought a hurricane or bad storm was coming he would get so upset and go into a full meltdown. Nothing we did would help him. We tried explaining storms to him, showing him online positive sides to storms etc, he still would get so stressed. I wasn’t sure he was ever going to outgrow his fear. This worried me because I didn’t want him as a teen or adult to be somewhere and a storm come. Say he was at a grocery store and a storm happened, if he had a full meltdown who knows what could happen. I remember people telling me.. “he’ll outgrow it” but I knew because he is autistic, he may not.

I’m not exactly sure how and when Peyton overcame his fear of storms, but he has. He now not only enjoys rain, he sees benefits to it, and he is fine during storms. He dealt with the Houston Flooding much better than I thought he would. In fact he was better than many others! Having Peyton resolve his fears of rain and storms has also helped me. I used to get tense when I knew a rainstorm was coming. His meltdowns weren’t always easy to deal with. I hate seeing him get that upset, especially since there is nothing I could do to change it. We’ve now settled into rain and storms come and go. We don’t feel the need to sing.. rainy days and Mondays always get me down… instead we can sing… our song 🎵🎶 “Turning Autism into Awesomism” 🎶🎵

He did it himself

We are honored to have a guest blogger this week. Jon Rubin, He is a husband, 4th grade teacher and a dad of 3. Jon’s son Sawyer is autistic, his blog will inspire you and touch your heart. Please follow him on twitter @autismdad603  as well as his website https://autismdadinthe603.com/

💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙

7:25 in the morning is a target. If letter A through Z goes remotely smooth than bullseye. If not, than the household can crumble like a game of Jenga.
This is the Autism that scares me. The unpredictability that can start off our day with an increased heart rate. Whether it be the non verbal looks I get from my wife, Kellie who looks at me from a distance as I watch Sawyer bang his hand on the ground because he can’t get his shoe on. Or the clock that just turned 7:10 and Sawyer hasn’t gotten dressed yet. Every second counts.
I’ll admit. I’m selfish here. I was up at a little bit before 4am. I have made it to the gym. I have already taken the dog out. I have already showered. If you’re noticing the trend of l’s here, than you are onto something.
The bulk of Sawyer getting ready falls on my wife. I tend to walk in as everyone is waking up. When everything seems calm, it is because I’m arriving at intermission.
I missed out on the screams at 6:30 when Sawyer wanted to find his own clothes. I wasn’t around to watch the refusal to put his pants on right side out. I also didn’t see the battle to help tie his shoes.
I only see the Sawyer at 6:50 who is eating his eggs at the kitchen table who is perfectly content.
Now this is what my wife and I have agreed to and what works for our family. However, it doesn’t make things easier. It doesn’t erase the target of 7:25.
Autism can mean a lot of things. In the morning I tend to think of it as a timeline. A timeline that if one doesn’t follow it the way Sawyer interrupts it than you may be in for a lot of hiccups.
The goal still exists regardless of the morning though. When the clock hits 7:20, we all know that for all of us to make it to our destinations on time is for Sawyer to be ready.
It doesn’t matter that we realize that the driveway is a sheet of ice at 7:23. It doesn’t matter the suggestions that we walk him out at 7:24. Sawyer wants to do this himself.
So we watch him fall on the ice. We watch him get back up. He will look back at us when his bus arrives. Target reached. In the waves that crashed inside the house, he made it himself. He did It himself. That’s Autism. That’s Sawyer.

Love, Understanding & Laughter 💙


They say “Laughter is the best medicine” and in some cases I think this is true. I know I have had a bad headache and really laughed and it helped my headache. I tend to laugh a lot, One of the things I Love most about Mark is he makes me really laugh. My older three kids also laugh a lot, especially my daughter. She and I have been known to laugh at basically nothing and keep laughing, even though we aren’t sure why. Some of my favorite memories are when my kids were really laughing together and “being kids”.  We all love to see our kids be happy and enjoying what life has to offer. This isn’t always so easy with autism. This isn’t to say they don’t smile or laugh, as some laugh uncontrollably and this as well can alarm parents.

Peyton does smile and he also laughs, however he doesn’t laugh at the frequency or level,most kids his age do. He is somewhat shy, as is my third child, but even when he is truly happy he doesn’t “express it” like my older kids do. This really hit me a couple of Sunday’s ago. Peyton’s brother Preston made him an awesome computer. I knew he really loved it because he talked about it a lot to me. He thanked Preston several times and uses it all the time. Preston asked me if Peyton really liked it, I told how much he uses it. Preston was very happy to hear that. He said to me he thought he did, but Peyton didn’t say a lot to him. My older kids understand and accept that Peyton doesn’t always express himself. I can’t tell you how much that means to me that they understand and accept Peyton as he is! I know they love him unconditionally and will do anything for him. I also know that Peyton isn’t going to be understood or accepted by everyone. This isn’t to say we are all liked by everyone, because we aren’t. My point is though that Peyton has had situations where people are mean to him because he “acts different”  this hurts my heart, and it also angers me. Part of why I became an autism activist was to help others understand Peyton and other autistic kids and adults.

I am a firm believer that love, understanding and acceptance of Peyton is by far the best “medicine” for him. When he feels comfortable around people he talks more, is relaxed and yes, even laughs! My hope is that those who aren’t around autistic kids and adults, will educate themselves on how to interact with them. I always appreciate it when people reach out to me and ask questions, it shows they care and want to understand. Many autistic adults have enough stress in their daily lives, so every little thing that can lower that stress is awesome! My hope is that others take the time to understand Autism. I also hope those close to autistic kids and adults, shower them with unconditional love. I know with Peyton when these things happen, I see him enjoying life more! Nothing warms my heart more than hearing Peyton laugh!