Therapeutic Listening and table work

Let’s see: music therapy, play therapy, vision therapy, dog therapy, therapeutic listening, therapeutic horseback riding, special ed swimming, special Olympics, PECS, ABA, TEACCH, GF/CF diet and of course occupational and speech therapy! If it’s come up as a treatment for autism, we’ve tried it and are still trying it. Someone mentioned hypnotherapy to me but that seems kind of kooky, at the moment at least . . .

Trying to be Super Mom . . . and failing miserably

Therapeutic Listening and table work

When I first started this blog it was to write about my life, our life, dealing and living with autism, to let people know what types of therapies were doing, how we’re functioning and staying happy and sane. It’s tough raising kids, even kids who aren’t on the spectrum. I don’t ever want to say to friends of mine who are raising their typically-developing kids and complaining that so-and-so doesn’t eat or doesn’t listen to them ‘hey, you have it easy because I have wayyyy more difficulties to deal with’. I don’t ever want to say that because I don’t really feel like that. A friend of mine said to me the other day that I have a ‘cross to bear’. I didn’t respond but all week it’s been bugging me. I DO NOT consider my son a burden, I do not consider the half hour or so per day…

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There’s this girl . . .

that melts my heart. That makes me laugh and dance and act silly. That makes me forget my problems. That makes me smile. That gives me life. That gives me joy. Her name is Maria and she’s my daughter.

Maria and Panayioti are my yin and my yang; the two forces in my life.

I’ve been feeling lost lately, and yapping on and on about it to anyone who’ll listen. I’ve decided right here and now that it’s high time I’ve stopped. This too shall pass. I have my girl and I have my boy and these two happy souls will lift me out of my slump. As they always do.Babies 240

What’s the opposite of jolly?

Sometimes, I don’t feel so great. I feel as though I don’t play any role, significant or otherwise, in anyone’s life, even my children’s. I know it’s not true judging by how happy both my children are when they see me and how upset my little M gets when I leave for work. Even P gets upset at times and looks back at me as I wave goodbye.  It’s always summer, I’ve noticed, when I start to feel these ‘blues’. I feel my mind is heavy and that I am carrying way too much on my shoulders. I’m worried about what the new season in September will bring, how school will be for P, what hurdles we’ll be faced with and of course, if he will talk. I worry about all these things and it’s July. Then summer vacation starts mid-August where we all pack our bags and head to the beach house and these feelings partially go away but their memory always sticks with me. And these aren’t your ordinary blues. I’m going to be completely honest with y’all. These are basically suicidal thoughts. You know, your typical how I would go about putting an end to my life, what I would write on my suicide note and so on.

Macabre stuff.

Wonder how many autism parents out there feel the same way . . .

Meet Branca.

We’ve started Dog Therapy. We’re now three sessions in. Athens Therapy Dogs is a relatively new group (began in February of 2016) based here in Athens and works mainly with children and adults on the spectrum, the vision impaired and in general, people with different capabilities. The whole principle is that dogs provide relief and in our case, incentive, to interact – to communicate! You can check out their FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/Athens-Therapy-Dogs-1059270564118272/

It’s strange how this ‘journey’ with the little guy into autism has brought me, personally, and us as a family, around so many different people, from different walks of life. It’s [autism] taught me so many things. My son has taught me so many things. Pictured is Branca and her owner Panos. Right off the bat Branca and the little guy seemed to click. As soon as he saw her yesterday he approached her with excitement, patted her back and gave her a kiss. In fact, he gave her lots of kisses throughout our session. He held on to her leash as tight as he could due to the fact that there are some minor fine motor skills issues and in general was very cooperative. We love our sessions with Branca and I can’t wait to see where this new therapy will take us.

No words – Seriously the fluffiest, tastiest cake ever

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Hello. My name is Georgia. I bake. A lot. This is a life with autism blog but this is also a foodie blog.  And it has been a while since I got this excited about a cake. It’s to die for. No, seriously. It’s so fluffy you’ll be having seconds, and thirds or fourths even – c’mon it’s so light it must be like 20 calories a slice! Make it now!

Italian lemon cream cake – even the name is yummy 😊

2 cups + 1 tbsp. Flour

1 3/4 c. Powdered sugar

4 eggs

2/3 c. Heavy cream

100 g. melted butter

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp. Vanilla

2 tsp. Baking powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

180° C oven, butter up your bundt pan and get started! Eggs and sugar first – beat them a good 3 or 4 minutes. Melt your butter and let it cool. Grate your lemon. Sift your flour and baking powder and salt. Add everything together beating the whole time and voila! Into the pan and in about 40 minutes your house will smell divine and your kiddos will be bouncing up and down for a slice of the best cake ever!

Enjoy😊

*Recipe courtesy of anitalianinmykitchen.com

 

We’re turning 7. Just a tiny bit sad.

What are typical 7 year old boys like? No, seriously. I mean, I know what typical 7 year old girls are like, or I can imagine since little Maria is a typically-developing child, with all her charisma, and her wit and goofiness all laid out before you. And her words, oh boy can this girl talk your ear off! And she even philosophizes, or thinks she does. But, what are typical 7 year old boys like?? P is turning 7 is just a couple of months and lately he’s been both really hyper and aloof, and sometimes moody and just a tiny bit aggressive. And because I like to believe that his world is not all autism all the freaking time, is this due, in a small part, to him turning 7?! I wish I had friends who have boys around his age but I don’t. I would love to just be a fly on their living room wall and observe what their boys do. I have neighbors who have boys in P’s age group but I don’t know how they would feel if I rung their bell one evening and asked if I could stay for dinner. Do their boys eat their food? Do they play with their food? Do they kick the other chairs under the table? Do they run around the house right after dinner? Do they climb the couch and sit on the edge of the hand rest? Do they throw a fit when you tell them it’s time for bed? I just have a feeling that there are definitely typical boys that do some, if not all, of the above, I just know it. And that’s why I’m been sort of relaxed with P lately. Not so much structure, allowing him to yell and make sounds at the top of his lungs, letting him be ‘himself’ in his little world a little longer than usual. He’s growing up. He’ll be 7, and his momma is a little bit sad. At his age, I was a newly-emigrated child in the States and I had keys to our apartment (in a somewhat seedy neighborhood) and let myself in in the afternoons after school, made myself a snack and did my homework . . . BY MYSELF. Not the type of expectations, or responsibilities, parents put on their children nowadays typical-advancing or not.

 

Hubby went to see a basketball game the other day and sent me a text that read somewhere along the lines that he wished P could come along with him, would ‘be able to’. This is the very first time that hubby has expressed something like this and it made me sad. Sad for hubby. There are so many things that ALL of us are missing out on, not to mention the bad hand that ASD kids are dealt with. Ever since little Maria has learned to speak she’s been making up lyrics to songs. Her songs lately are all about her brother; how he doesn’t speak, how he doesn’t play with her, and so on and so on. At first this made me sad as well. Now, I’m sort of like “OK, Maria, get over it”. Don’t know how this fares with child psychiatrists, I know we definitely all need a sit-down one of these days asap.

 

So, we’re turning 7. Yay!!

And then I think how blessed we are

DSC04856I have to say that he’s not always up for being cuddled by Maria. He’s not always in the mood to be kissed and hugged and treated like a baby which Maria loves to always do. She cannot be in the same room with him and not kiss him and give him hugs. Especially when they’re watching TV. Oh, the times I have pried her off him while he’s whaling to be let go of her ‘grip’ and how every time he sits anywhere she’ll go sit by him and put her arm around him. He wants to be left alone most times and she just doesn’t get it. But this morning he woke up happy and really there. And he was fine with Maria leaning on him while their cartoons were on. In fact, he went and sat right next to her on the couch as if to say “look, if you want to hug me today, it’s OK, I’ll allow it”. And I soaked this whole couple of minutes interaction up. I think it will be the image that will help me get through another day.