Tag Archives: autism parents

A Busy Year It Has Been


It has been a year since I had made my last blog post and what a busy year it has been. The last few semesters of college was quite tough, rough, and stressful, but I had survived them, receiving my Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology. I had also moved my work status from intern to full-time Assistant Curator at one of the museums located in Little Rock.

This past November my grandmother was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, to which she had succumbed from this past August. Those several months was hard to endure, not only watching her suffer through this disease and the chemo treatments, but the family drama I had to suffer through during this time was really rough.

My daughter and I had also moved and I was quite happy that her transition to her new school was not as bad as it was when she transitioned from Pre-K to Kindergarten. Not only did we move into a new house, but she moved into a whole new school; this one being much, much smaller than her previous school, so that helped. There were a few rough days, and I know there are more rough days for her in the future, but all-in-all, she is doing well and has quite a support team to help her along the way.

During all that, I had finished up the last rough draft, the last edits of my young adult fantasy fiction and hope to have it published within the next month or so. I have found an awesome illustrator to work on the cover, to which I have seen and even though it isn’t entirely finished, I love the work she has done. (I plan on post a picture of the cover art once it is completed)

I had also written a few short stories and a novella, some of them were published and some of them are in the works of being published. All of my work can be found on this website: www.twistedcrowpress.com

To keep posted on when my young adult fantasy fiction novel will be published, or to keep posted on all future works, go to my Facebook page and click ‘like’:    www.facebook.com/AuthorJenniferNAdams

There were some few road blocks, but I had managed through each one and am starting to get everything back on track.

~JA~

Advertisements

Reblog: ‘Calming a Meltdown…’


Meltdowns are something Autism Parents are quite used to. They’re much different than a normal tantrum, though we autism parents would prefer a tantrum versus having to handle a meltdown, especially in the store. Honestly, I don’t mind a meltdown at home, as I can readily handle them. But I cannot handle one as easily in the store. What’s worse is all the stares and rude comments from all the those lurking around when my daughter has a meltdown.

Anything can start one and it’s mostly from her not being able to handle a situation.

firealarm

For instance, when her school first started practicing fire drills, any time my daughter would see a red fire alarm, anywhere, she would panic. It would lead to screaming and crying, fire, fire, get out, get out. I try to calm her by telling her that the fire alarms aren’t working, rarely does that help, but it’s worth trying. I try to hold her, hug her, use soothing words to try and calm her, all the while moving to another aisle so that the fire alarm is out of sight. Then, point out all the cool things around us, like a neat toy she may like. Distraction works best, most of the time.

Meanwhile, people begin to swarm in, pointing, talking amongst themselves, staring at us. The best way for strangers to handle this situation is to move on. It doesn’t help that parent at all to point and stare. It adds stress to the already embarrassing situation that parent is having to endure at that moment.

I was in the check out lane one day, when my daughter started to heave a meltdown. The checker didn’t hand her a toy fast enough, plus it was in a sack. The checker looked at me awkwardly as I said, “it’s okay, she’s just having a moment, it’s just something children with autism do.” Her reply made me frown, “I thought all kids do that.” Yes, and no. What’s worse, an older gentleman behind me began to giggle at my daughter’s outburst. I did my best to ignore him and held my tongue. When we got outside my daughter’s meltdown grew worse as she started to toss things out of the buggy. I can only pray that we get to the car without being hit by someone speeding through the parking lot….it does happen, even right outside the doors of the store.

At home, her kicking and screaming turns into her jumping up and landing on her knees, to banging her head on the floor or anything that she can hit her head on. Usually I let her kick and scream, but when she starts banging her head, I’ll scoop her up and rock her in the rocking chair. Her meltdown may last from a few minutes, to hours, but I’ve noticed that the rocking does help.

Here’s a blog post from ‘The Autism Site (dot) com’ on ‘Calming A Meltdown Can Be Frustratingly Difficult’

Sleepless in…well, here


I’ve been a light sleeper since 2000 when I joined the US Navy. I was a hard sleeper before I joined, that I could sleep right through my alarm. A few days of boot camp cured me of that. After I got out, four years later, I became a restless sleeper, with some insomnia issues; the insomnia slowly dissipated over the next few years, but I have never gotten over being a light sleeper, especially when my daughter was born in December, 2009.

Image

My daughter, curled up in my bed, ready to go to sleep.

Lately, my daughter has been sleeping in bed with me. I already knew that once I became a mom, I would never have a peaceful nights sleep for the rest of my life. I somewhat knew that my child would have to end up sleeping with me at some point. It started two years ago when I had her sleep with me for a few nights so I could monitor her. She had been really sick with a high fever and throwing up and I thought it would be best for the both of us if she stayed with me so that I can be there for her. I actually ended up taking her to the ER around 5AM that morning because I couldn’t get her fever to go down no matter what I did.

Within a few nights after that she went back to sleeping in her own bed with no problems. Every once in awhile she would sleep with me, but only when she was really sick. Now she’s four and she sleeps with me more now, than she does in her own bed. She usually wakes in the middle of the night from a night terror, I would get up and hold her, then carry her to my bed. Lately, she just gets into my bed, skips the whole routine of her starting in her bed and ending up in mine.

I’ve stopped drinking Red Bull’s completely, to which was my ‘must have’ can of energy every morning. I actually traded them in for coffee. I found that it is cheaper, plus coffee isn’t as bad for you as Red Bull. Most morning I feel like I may need an ivy drip, though with coffee in it instead of saline.

Image

Found on google images

There is a perception of what you think it would be like when your child sleeps next to you, but the reality of it ends up with the child having a peaceful nights sleep, while the parent looks like a zombie in the morning. That’s due to the child tossing and turning all night. Not to mention limbs flying all over the place. There were a few times where I would finally fall asleep and my daughter would roll over and an arm would come flying at me with a fist punching me in the nose or eye. I’ve been kicked, slapped, elbowed, punched, kneed, I looked like I went a few rounds in the boxing ring. When that occurs, I calmly carry her back to her bed.

Image

found on google images

 

Now I’m out of ideas on how to get her to start going back to sleep in her own bed, starting from when I say “It’s bedtime”. I used to tell her that bid girls sleep in their own bed, but that stopped working months ago. I’ve even rewarded her with stickers, nope that stopped working too.

 

I enjoy reading other blogs written by parents with toddlers and I found this one blog cute, yet humorous, only because I know how the parents feel, especially when the toddler takes over the bed, leaving the parents a small portion to sleep on. Click here to read their blog.

The day I brought home a giraffe


One day I went to pick my daughter up from daycare. I walked into the room, searching for my little girl, but I didn’t see her smiling face anywhere. One of her teachers pointed towards one of the tables and said, “She’s right there.” But I didn’t see her, nor her recognizable blonde hair. Instead I saw a fuzzy creature with its back towards me, playing with toy animals.

Image

I walked up to where her teacher pointed, to get a better view. When I came face to face with the fuzzy thing, I smiled and began to laugh. There stood my daughter, wearing a giraffe costume, smiling so big and bright at me. “Mommy!” she cries out with excitement.

“Aren’t you just the cutest giraffe I’ve ever seen, ” I say back. “May I take you home with me?”

“Yes,” she says. Though she wasn’t going to take the costume off, she wanted to wear it home. I was told it okay that I let her continue to wear it, and I promised that I would wash it and return it on Monday.

When we walked into the door at home, I called for Grams to come look at what I brought home. Grams comes into the living room and smiles at my little girl, then says, “You’re so cute, what are you supposed to be?”

“I’m a giraffe,” my little girl says proudly.

The day continued to go on as normal, but the giraffe costume had no chances in coming off. I continued to watch a giraffe eat dinner at the kitchen table, then walk around the house, then watch cartoons with me in the living room. Then it was time to go to bed. With a little sweet talk and a promise she could where the costume tomorrow, she finally took the costume off before she crawled into bed.

Image

The next day, after her bath and breakfast, I turned to see the giraffe standing in the kitchen. I smiled and laughed. She’s just too cute, I thought to myself. She then asked for some milk. “Do giraffe’s drink milk?” I asked her curiously.

“Yes,” she says smiling. Why wouldn’t they?

“Ok, if you’re sure.” I gave her one of her small cups, poured milk in it, and put one of her bendy straws in it and watched the little giraffe drink every drop. “I guess giraffe’s do drink milk.”

She hands me her empty cup, then takes off to her room to play. I watch her run in a galloping way that makes me think of how a giraffe runs. She takes being a giraffe seriously.

She continued to wear the giraffe costume all weekend, but took it off each night, before bedtime. Sunday night I had it washed and ready to return, as promised, to the daycare the following day. It was a fun an interesting weekend, when I brought home a giraffe.

Image