This blog is about a family of two loving parents, two sister schnauzers, a persian, and a very loved young man who faces severe autism daily, sometimes better than others. We will relive the lows, laughs, and joys of our "normal" life. Always under the hand of God.

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The Bear Overlooking Our Home

Bear and chairWhen we bought our house in Simpsonville, one of the characteristics that made us fall in love with the house is its cathedral ceilings. They make the front area look much bigger and more open. It, also, allows us to have ledges in the living room and hallway. On them we can store and display some of our cool items: stuffed schnauzers, crocks, milk churns, books, dust and spider webs, and other treasures. (Not the easiest place to clean, okay?)
We, also, have a red, child’s, rocking chair with a stuffed teddy bear sitting in it, looking over our living area.
Saturday, we needed to go to the store and mail some stuff. We wanted to get Madison out for a while. We gathered the things he wanted: Teletubbies (of course), his I-pad, blue (This is an empty I-pad cover that has become important to him), “two book” (I will explain in another post, someday), and “red book, blue book” (two books that I am reading that he likes to have with him). Now do you see why we take a basket? And we are going to the store, what, thirty minutes, if that.
We start out the door and Madison looks toward the ceiling and says, “Red chair.” We are running late. I know, a surprise, isn’t it? So Vickie gets the ladder and gets the chair and bear down. Madison wants to put them in the car, too. Good thing we have a hatchback.
But he got in the car without out any more drama. We just have to figure out what he needs. He laughed and sang and all was right with the world.
The chair and the bear are special to my family. The chair is from when I was a little kid just a few weeks ago. I think my brother and sister used it, too. It has been through a lot. The best things usually are those you touch and use. Madison has sat in it off and on and it’s funny to see him sit in it now with his long legs. They don’t quite fit. Thankfully it’s a sturdy chair.Madison and Chair
The bear is also special. My grandmother, Sunie, made a quilt for my mom many years ago. Grandma Sunie passed away in 1985 and so did her banana pudding. My sister-in-law took the quilt and made us kids each a bear. Makes it a very special keepsake.
For the last few days, Madison has wanted the chair in the room where he is. The chair and bear sat on our bed with his Teletubbies. All in a group around him, like a school room. Seems like he wants her to be part of his circle.



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Sometimes It is Too Quiet

We have had the toughest time with Madison lately. I wanted to blog when the situation ended, but sometimes you don’t know when, or if, that will be. This has gone on for several months, starting before Christmas.

Madison was having difficulties with his throat. It was like he couldn’t swallow, or was mimicking a crane. We have seen several doctors and they all went, Hmmm. Not real helpful. So recently, Vickie read that this may be caused by yeast in his system. We have had issues with that before so we got him Candida to combat the yeast.

The swallowing got better but he lost his words. Just lost them. He can make sounds but it’s like he has lost all memory of how to use them. He was not singing and looked confused when you ask him what he wants to eat. He didn’t even repeat the words we said. They say this is part of the yeast leaving the body process. With the swallowing, he has spent more time with us in the front room. It is like he knows something is up and he wants to be with us. That’s okay, that is what parents are for.

In the last few days, Madison has started speaking and singing again. It is so good to hear and I think he likes hearing himself sing, too. He just laughs and smiles. Some of the talking can get quite loud. Oh well, it is still an answer to our prayers.

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Facing Your Fears (The Haircut)

As parents of a special needs child, or any child for that matter, it is easy to let your decisions be affected by fears; some real, most not. And fear seems to grow bigger with time. It is like it bulks up on our What if’s.

We faced this recently when we were thinking about taking Madison to get a haircut. It has been a while and we just knew that we would not be able to get him in, he would not sit down, he would holler, he would turn into a tornado and destroy the place, he would go ninja on the people…you get the idea.

Vickie has been cutting his hair and hates to do it. In the mean time, he started looking like a red-headed Ringo Starr.

Madison and I rode with Vickie to do her errands. We stopped at Chic-Fil-A for lunch. Madison looked like a big boy walking in, sitting with his I-pads, and eating his chicken. I hope the people around us appreciated the concert from Newsong.

When we left, Madison and I went to Countryboys. It is a nursery and gardening center. I like to walk around and see their greenhouse in the back.

The last time we went they had a Christmas store attached with trees and ornaments. He and I walked in once and he became mesmerized with the trees and lights. He sat down in the middle of the floor and called for “Black.” He wanted the lights out. (He is kind of bossy. I don’t know where he gets that from.) He had a point; it would have been cool to see the decorations in the dark. But we couldn’t turn off the lights.

I sat down beside him and talked to him about the lights and the colors. I can’t imagine what the clerk was thinking but I am sure she was watching us very carefully.

When we went in this time, the decorations were gone. Well, it is February.

This time we walked all through the store and he stayed right with me. He did great. So I thought, let’s try a haircut.

When I got my haircut last week, I spoke to Christian about coming to our house to do Madison’s. She said she could but why don’t we try to bring him on a day that they are not so busy. She said that we are customers and they would work with us and don’t be worried about causing a scene. Now, she has not seen a Madison scene. But I thought okay.

I always want Madison to succeed and have fun so he will want to go back. We will just try it and if he doesn’t go in, we will know.

When you work with someone with autism, it is important to get them out. They will quickly get into their own world and routine. And as parents, it is easy to get into that habit. And fall prey to those fears we build.

With Madison, I try to keep doing different things. Find new ways to go home. Take him to new places. Now, he will be wearing a blue T-shirt. And carrying one or two I-pads. And probably have Tinky-Winky as his entourage. And that is okay. As long as I don’t have to buy Tinky-Winky a ticket.

We got to Great Clips and there was no waiting. Madison walked right in, sat down and got up when he was called. He went straight to the chair and sat down. I was a little concern that the stylist came to my shoulder, but she went right to work. He didn’t squirm. Vickie and I looked at each other in shock, then relief.

No tornadoes, just a boy getting a haircut.

You never know. You have to be on your guard, but don’t give up.

Madison ended up with a great haircut. Now he looks like a red-headed grown-up Brad from Home Improvement.

On the way out, Madison wanted to check out the bathroom––a normal thing for kids, right? But then he wanted to turn off the lights, “Black!”

So, we still aren’t there. We never will be there. But we will make a point to enjoy the victories, big and small. And we will never quit the battle against our fears.

If you know someone who could use reading this, please share. And please let us know you are reading by liking or commenting. Thank you.