Friday, March 28, 2014

Response to 1 in 68

The CDC has released its latest numbers on autism. Now we know that 1 in 68 children have an autism diagnosis compared to the 1 in 88 of the past.

The report also indicates that boys are 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with autism, but in various reports I've been reading this could be simply because the symptoms in boys are more prominent and also because professionals have been trained to look for it more often in boys than in girls. I believe we will see autism diagnosis equalize between genders as the years go on.

This clip features my friend Kim from NJ with her lovely daughter Ava. Kim was one of my own first supporters when we received the autism diagnosis on Angel and Princess triplets. In fact, without knowing Kim and her story, I don't know if I would have finally pushed to discover the real issues in our own daughters.

The report also indicates that once you know, you can get early intervention. Oh if that were only true for everyone. Certainly, I support early diagnosis. Certainly, I support early intervention. I guess I just want to bring to people's attention that whether or not you get the type of intervention you really need depends on more than just the diagnosis. It depends on your insurance. It depends on your state. It depends on your school district. It depends on your income level. It depends on how adept you are at finding, applying for and being awarded available grants. It depends on how determined you are to work with what's available until you can obtain what's actually needed. It depends on how easily you accept the following answers relative to your child: "No," "Not now," "We don't have those kind of resources available," "Since you're self-pay we can only...," "I'm sorry, but" and the list goes on and on and on and on.

If you have any concerns about your child, I strongly suggest you seek out answers as soon as possible. However, you need to be ready to fight for your child and his/her needs from the beginning. An autism diagnosis is great and in some places, that's all you need to make sure you get the needed services. In most it's really not. Dig, research, talk to parents and never allow yourself to believe that one professional knows all the answers. Don't allow yourself to remain in denial or fear for very long. When you have a child with autism, you may need to be much more than just a parent. Your roles will also include therapist and advocate. Get used to it, that may not change for years.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Warning: Romantic Gushing via Social Media

Today Tripped Up Daddy surprised me by following me on Twitter. My initial reaction? Uh oh... (Where after all will I send out those random passive aggressive tweets he's never supposed to see?)

So I have to tell him I know, via social media, of course. And before you know it, the romantic gushing on social media begins.

Yes, I know, it's cheesy, but it's what you do when you're in love. You gush. And I think I'm proud of it. Almost 8 years of marriage that has definitely been filled with its share of life struggles, and yet, we're still gushing. I think it's good, I think it's fabulous, I think I like it :-) So deal with the gushing already.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Intensive potty-training - Day 1

Today marks the beginning of the New World Order in our house. Angel triplet is learning to go potty. TODAY. It's Midwinter Break so we have 2 days off from school. Tripped Up Daddy is in charge of Princess and Sunshine triplets today. I've hired a babysitter to watch the other two triplets tomorrow and Tuesday so Angel triplet and I can live in the bathroom.

We're following a regimen indicated by her ABA supervisor, and it normally works after about 2 to 3 days.

It's insane. It's programmed potty times with only 10 minute breaks in between. That's 15 minutes of sitting on the potty, then a break, and then back to the potty. We've done 4 cycles already, had one accident, and only a little balking. She can play with anything she wants while she's on the potty, and if she goes two amazing things happen: 1) SHE GETS CANDY! 2) We get to wait 45 minutes until the next scheduled potty time!

So far the best potty time activities are her Barbie B Bright computer toy and My Pal Violet. Oh and Mommy's reading electronic potty books whenever there's a lull in interest.

Tripped Up Daddy and the others went to church leaving me alone in the insanity. Actually, I think I could do this if it were just her and me. Of course, nothing, absolutely nothing else, will be accomplished today.

Wish me luck. If it works we'll be down to just 1 triplet still in pull-ups

It's no secret we're behind on this daily living skill (the girls are 5, after all), but that's not unusual when you're dealing with autism or other developmental delays. If you've followed along with us in the past you're used to reading about the potty training dilemma, if not, you can catch up pretty quickly by looking at the earlier posts (linked in this paragraph).

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Two inches of success

Sometimes it's really hard to do life. I mean, sometimes you realize that every single place you look in your home there is another obvious example of a task left undone or, in my house, more like 10 tasks left undone stacked up on one another. At those moments everything feels overwhelming and it's scary to even try to look at a task list because the priorities are too confusing.

Today is one of those days where the mountains of undone tasks, disorganization, strewn toys, unfolded laundry, dirty dishes, leaking shower, broken van (and I could go on and on) all grew far higher than my normal tolerance level. Overwhelming, paralyzing, hopeless.

Me whining to Tripped Up Daddy: There's isn't even 2" in this house that doesn't remind me of something left undone or some other way that I'm failing.

Sunshine triplet at the very moment I said the word "failing": Mommy, look at my picture I drew! See it's me and you and Daddy. See the pink bubbles and the sun and all the tall grass?

Me to Sunshine triplet: This is awesome, honey. I love it.

Sunshine triplet: I love you Mommy! and she bounces off to her next activity

Tripped Up Daddy to me: I think you just got a whole lot more than 2 inches of proof that nothing you're doing could be called failure.

I don't think the interchange made it any easier to address my lack of organization and mountains of undone tasks, but it did remind me that my success/failure measuring device might need some recalibrating.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Lots about Lotte

If you're a newcomer to the Tripped Up Family you may have the idea that all we talk about is triplets and autism. In fact, I heard that same comment from my teen a few months ago. Can you say OUCH?! After that comment, I've been making a conscious effort to minimize the amount of time my teen hears me talk about autism. It's not like there's not plenty to talk about in her little area of the world too.

New York trip
Top of the Rock
Lotte enters her senior year in high school in the fall. My eldest - my only for 12 years - my first baby girl will be heading off on her own very soon. You can imagine all the plans and busy-ness we have going on right now. She is 1/2 way through her driver's license coming of age process, working a summer job, taking the ACT test, auditioning for theater productions, and starting college applications and planning college visits. She just got back from a drama club trip to NYC over Memorial Day weekend and, of course, had a really hard time coming back home. They saw two Broadway shows, Newsies and Once, participated in two Broadway workshops, and enjoyed Manhattan, Chinatown, and more. For the mom who's never been to NYC, I'm still jealous.

Superhero fun
Central Park
Her recent audition earned her the Soupy Sue role in Urinetown the musical playing at RHS on Aug. 15-17. I've collected some photos of what else is up in her world. She's busy enough that sometimes I think she actually lives at school, not at home. I wouldn't change any of it for the world though. (Please visit Gayla's page to see other photography work.)
March Hare in Alice in Wonderland
Credit Gayla Fox Photography
"You enjoyed our singing!"
Credit Gayla Fox Photography

Sweet 16 - A woodland tea party
Footloose - An adult in midst of church scene
Credit Gayla Fox Photography
Cinderella's Mom in Into the Woods
Credit Gayla Fox Photography

Sleeping Beauty in Into the Woods
Credit Gayla Fox Photography