Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's that time again...

It's that time again to go ahead and plan 2012.  Entering information into my new Siberian Huskies Master calendar will be bitter sweet.  Time to say good-bye to the old and welcome in the new.  It's the new times that bring me anxiety.  What will this year bring?  Will there be progress or has he peaked?  No time for negative thinking. 

Time to go over last year...I see we are on our 3rd BSC since last January.  Forgot about that one.  The transition from one to the other isn't exactly a smooth process.  Hopefully we have our current one for this year.  She is pretty smart, with a key word being pretty, thinking that's why he really likes her. 

February brought a few snow days, delays and changes in therapy sessions.  Not so easy telling your child, "No Miss Christina today."  He liked her so that always resulted in a fit.  He enjoys leaving the house, not staying in.

In April my daughter decided she wanted to take up karate.  No big deal back then because she took lessons when he was in his socialization program.  Now, he has to go with us 3x a week and wait in a yellow, loud waiting room.  A very difficult process that we are still working on.  What are the other parents thinking when he runs up and down, verbal stims and has a backpack filled with stuffed animals with him, throwing them all around?  I can only imagine.

I flip to June now.  Do parents of 'typical' children plan so far in advance?  I have my children 'booked' until June and went ahead yesterday to start planning some swim lessons for this summer.  Do they understand the added stress of an ASD child staying home all summer long?  Programs are limited and book up by February.  I learned that the hard way.  The summer when he was 4 was extremely trying for us.  This picture was from one of our many outings to the 'forest'. 

September brought him so much anxiety back in school it was heart breaking.  Not to mention the on-going battle with the school to make sure he isn't pushed through.  My son is smart.  He can and will learn how to read and write.  We will make sure of that and aren't afraid of the school district.  We fought to get our BSC and TSS into school to see what was going on.  Inclusion?  As of now he's in 34% of the day.  We're working on more.  We'll see how that goes. 

So, my calender is now at December 2012.  How will this year be?  Only time will tell.  I'm hoping for a year filled with progress.  Actually, I'm positive this year will be filled with progress.  Farewell 2011 and welcome 2012.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What is Grape Jelly on Pizza?

What is Grape Jelly on Pizza you ask?  A couple of things actually.  First and foremost it is how my son likes to eat his pizza.  One night he went into the refrigerator and brought the grape jelly to the table then proceeded to cover his slice of pizza with it.  Gross.  Perhaps, but he ate it.  Why is that so amazing?  My son has autism.  Most children have a problem eating foods...not my son.  He is a human trash compactor. 

Back to the autism part.  He was officially diagnosed when he was four.  Late diagnosis compared to other children but we can't go back in time to change that.  When he started the IU21 he was three and that April there was an autism walk...Walk Now for Autism Speaks.  We joined but still weren't totally embracing the whole 'autism' thing.  I was so choked up the entire time.  This was the first time I was exposed to so many different children with autism.  Very touching.  This was my son.  He really did have autism.  It was time to get to work.

The following year we decided as a family to start our own walk team.  What name would we pick?  So many choices.  I wanted something that would stand out.  My husband came up with Jelly on Pizza but it didn't click.  I added the Grape and that was it!  Grape Jelly on Pizza was created. 

Since 2010 the name has taken on a whole new meaning for me.  I wanted to help others understand what autism was.  I had never heard of it until my son had it.  The fan page on Facebook was created to get the word out.  It now has 675 fans and I work to get the name out there and to help with awareness. 

So, there you have it, the creation of Grape Jelly on Pizza.  The name to me means Support-Compassion-Awareness. 

Have you tried Grape Jelly on Pizza? 

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