Saturday, September 29, 2018

Rowan's First Field Trip

Rowan started at a preschool that caters to youngsters with autism earlier this month. He's been on the waiting list for this school since he was 18 months old. It's a great program that in addition to regular preschool activities they offer; ABA, feeding therapy, assistance with potty training, pretty much you name it, they've got it. Furthermore, it's consistent, the school goes 9:00-2:00 every weekday. 

Since it is a great (free of charge) program with quite the waiting list they require a few things;
-Parents need to attend classes held once a month.
-Parents volunteer 1-3 hours per week.
-Parents need to come to field trips (held once a month). 
-Children need to have at least 80% attendance.
Well, this week was the first field trip of the year. We went to a duck pond to feed the ducks and play at the park. Sometimes it can be hard to take autistic children out and about. These field trips also allow the parents to get to know each other (it can be very isolating at times). 
It was super cute and all planned out. The teachers brought a lunch sack filled with duck feed for each child.  Rowan had so much fun tossing food to the ducks. Some children couldn't stand the rough texture of the food and just dumped it on the ground. When Rowan ran out of his feed he went to the piles of food, scooped it up and put it into his bag. Then he'd resume feeding the duckies. 
After the food was all gone, the ducks swam away. Most children went off to find the playground. Rowan stayed put. You see, he had found a long, slim stick and began "fishing" in the pond. He'd wade a little into the pond, with his "fish pole" in the water for a minute looking for smaller sticks. Rowan would grab the sticks, come ashore and proudly declare "Mom! I got a fish! Fishing?" I would tell him he could go back to fishing. This little game kept him occupied for 15 or so minutes. 
Finally, we went in search of the playground where he had a ton of fun playing with his friends. He also found acorns and crabapples and gathered them up. Right now he's on my lap saying "Mom. Mom. Rowan swing and, and apple tree! It SO fun!" I think it's safe to say he enjoyed himself. 

I can't wait for the next field trip! It's on Halloween to a pumpkin patch. 

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Heidi Anne's First of Many Suicide Awareness Walk

I haven't written in a while and it's for a good reason; CHAOS. Our lives have been like walking blindly on a tightrope without a net nor any direction.
Today was the first time we walked in a Suicide Awareness 5k. I predict many more awareness walks are in our future.  Heidi got a tee shirt and everyone got some snacks for the walk. It was very insightful for Heidi Anne. She saw at least 4,000 people hurt by someone's suicide or their attempts. I just want Heidi to know we support her and love her, come what may. 
Back in May, the unthinkable happened. Heidi Anne attempted to take her life. Charlie was able to stop her and rushed her to the ER. Even in the patient rooms, she was begging people to just let her die or to kill her. That warranted a week's stay at the Pediatric Mental Health unit. (Basically, she was committed). 

It was rough having her gone. On top of that, we were only allowed to visit her for just ONE hour at a predetermined time in the evening. Well, I couldn't visit often. Charlie was able to take lunches early and he would visit her. Her Grandparents even came up to see her.  

She's been in day treatment pretty much since her discharge from the hospital. Our day treatment is for youth (aged 5-11) it's basically a hospital. They have it set up like a school.  They have classes in the mornings and throughout the day there are individual and group therapy. I love her therapist (all of them are pretty neat).  While it's done wonders for her, however, funding is a major issue. We may end up pulling Heidi even if she hasn't completed the program. The thought makes me sick. But such is life.