As a mother, I will never give up on my child. As a mother of a child who has autism, I will never give up hope.
I look into his eyes and I see all the potential that he has to offer to this beautiful world and I just know that one day the world can see what I see.

Follow my blog as I share my life and my experiences as a person who loves someone with autism.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Picky Eaters

We asked our Facebook friends: Have a picky eater? We want to hear your stories, what worked for you, what you have tried, and any suggestions on how to get a child to eat!

Here’s their advice.

“I’ve been told my son is a picky eater, I offer what I know what he wants. I often serve him the same 20ish foods over and over, different combinations. Sometimes I lament that I wish he’d eat mixed foods (stews/sauces/soups/casseroles)... but then I stop and remind myself I’m lucky/we’re lucky he chooses to eat the healthy foods he does. We still try variety, but as long as he continues eating healthy, not asking for unhealthy, and I’m able to provide him supplements to cover areas he might need help with (Omega 3/Vitamin C/Vitamin D/Calcium) I can also add fruit pulp to muffins/pancakes/loafs... powered vitamins too! I say all this, cause sometimes OTHER people tell us our kids that they need to eat more/eat better/eat different... but do they?”

“We took our son to the pediatrician last week about this as he barley eats anything half the time. The pediatrician said as long as weight loss isn’t happening then just leave them... he says ALL children crave attention, good or bad and they know they can manipulate you into giving it to them. We stopped bugging our son and just leave it at no drinks or dessert until he’s done eating (other then a glass of water with his meal.) He is eating more now then before.”

“My daughter is very fussy. She will drink anything but it is the textures of foods she struggles with. Weetobix, custard, Cadburys flakes are her favourite and she licks a lot of foods but won’t actually eat. We are on the list for support from school for her diet, but she is the size she should be and nobody seems concerned, this is one area we are really struggling with.”

“Yep got a very picky eater. Eats most fruits, no veggies but fries. Eats a lot of cereal. Likes pizza. Peanut butter. Snacks yep. Eats chicken nuggets sometimes only if microwave’d! He is tall for his age and 50 lbs. Not skinny but not overly fat. Built like a linebacker!! Worries me no veggies but seems healthy...”

“My youngest is fussy... but I watched a program on this topic and they said it takes on average 25 times to introduce a child to a new food... so I stopped stressing, stopped fussing and forcing... but kept putting small amounts on his plate... Yes, it might take a year, maybe two, but gradually curiosity took hold. Even if he just tries it now and then I‘m pleased. Over the years (9 now) he is gradually accepting more and more different foods that before he’d throw off the plate. His bigger brother ‘dared’ him to eat veggies... and always up for a challenge, he did and that was the start of him eating veggies. Other little tricks that have worked is putting things in egg cups but on the plate, because it’s ‘special’... that draws interest (that introduced gravy/sauces etc.). And once he was a bit older encouraging him to help pick the best vegetables/fruit with me in the shops (also stops him running off in shops on me!), and having little ‘baking sessions’ together now and then, he has slowly developed more of an interest in food in general. There are still some things he won’t try ‘yet’... but his bigger brother loves his food, and as he watches us two tuck in and enjoy all different foods at the table... it’s only a matter of time when he wants to join in and see what all the fuss is about :) Fussing, forcing or bribing only makes him dig his heals in... I still put things on his plate, but if he leaves it today it’s no bid deal and I keep tight lipped, say nothing... tomorrow is another day.

I learnt with my first son (with Aspergers) that getting anxious over what they do and don’t eat, and how they use a knife and fork, only made dinner times a stressful event, and put us all off our eating - as soon as I calmed down and just turned a blind eye, and used the dinner time to talk about nice things of the day instead, his appetite grew very quickly, hence he slept better and could focus better. I know every child is different.. and what works for one may not work for another... but I hope my experience might aid just somebody out there. Good luck, stay strong, stay positive, and many blessings everybody :)”

“We always let our kids eat what they like. They’re all healthy. My youngest is 14 and almost 6 feet tall. Also, autistic kids are oversensitive to things that most people don't notice. It’s not only the taste, but the texture, smell, the way bag may crinkle, the way something looks, etc. His middle school teacher insisted that he try new foods. We warned her and told her not to do it. She learned her lesson when he threw up one day.”

Special thanks to our Facebook friends for sharing their advice. Have some advice you’d like to share? Please leave it as a comment.

Monday, January 24, 2011

We’re still smiling

Just wanted to write a quick little blog and let you all know we’re still here, and we’re still smiling.

So what’s new since our last blog about my meltdown?

Well, Bryce got a hair cut, which looks pretty sharp. Oh, and he is still wearing his orange and brown shirt everyday. And despite the cold weather and occausional snow falls we’ve been getting, he is still blowing bubbles.

Bryce is also becoming more of a picky eater. He’d refuse everything we made unless it was hotdogs (which seems to be his phase of the week or month). We’ve resorted to a reward system, offering him a sip-worth of almond chocolate milk (which is excellent by the way) with his dinner for every bite he has. Surprisingly, this is working out really well and he’s actually finishing his plate.

In other news, he still continues to scream when he doesn’t get his way, gets frustrated, or just can’t find the words. And like I’ve mentioned before, this is rather new behaviour. I have a feeling it’s related to puberty, but Daniel says he’s too young for that. I don’t know. I’ve read all sorts of horror stories from families having a child with autism and what it’s like when that child goes through puberty. The hormone levels just go through the roof and it usually ends up with an aggressive child. This would explain a lot of Bryce’s recent behaviour. I haven’t done much research in this area yet to know much about it to discuss, mainly because that means my little baby is becoming a little boy, and that in itself scares me. He will be turning 10 in the beginning of July.

One way we’ve been ‘dealing’ (and I use that term lightly) with this screaming behaviour is taking away Bryce’s privileges. Like if he screams (for no explained reason) he loses his magna doodle, or Nintendo DS, or Wii, or even television. Depends on what he’s doing and what would be more of an ‘end of the world’ item not to have. This was something that Daniel came up with, and again, surprisingly, it seems to be helping. Right after Bryce screams he is given a warning, and we let him know right away that if he screams again that he will lose whatever it is that we decide at that time. For the most part he doesn’t scream again, but he has had a completely empty room on a couple of occausions. ‘Be good, and get it’ Bryce will say, and after a couple hours, or even until the end of the day, he will get it back. It depends on his behaviour.

That being said, we’re not just taking things away the second he screams. Everything Bryce does and the way he acts has a reason or meaning behind it, and we usually try to figure everything out before we discipline him. Sometimes we blame the behaviour on autism, but we never excuse the behaviour.

Anyways, that’s what’s really new with us. We keep on living, keep on smiling, and we’re still here.

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to stay connected!

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It’s not always rainbows

I cannot even begin to explain how much it emotionally destroys me as a person, as a mother, to not be able to fully communicate and understand my very own son. It makes my heart hurt.

I cried for an hour today. I mean, I’ve cried before, who hasn’t, right? But this was a new type of cry for me, where it starts out feeling that all is lost, and ends by lifting your head up high enough, wiping your tears, and telling yourself to not give up. You could say that it was a good cry.

Now let me start off by saying that being Bryce’s parent, well, it’s not always rainbows. Don’t get me wrong, he is my little angel with a broken halo, but he has his not so angelic moments. As a result, there are the not so common times where I am just so fed up that I just break down. It’s being beyond, way-way beyond, frustrated and that quickly turns into anger, which ends up becoming sadness, and then the tears come, and you just feel so alone, so very alone. Ok, a little dramatic, I know, but you get what I mean, right?

I’m not going to go into the details, cause it’s irrelevant, but today Bryce was very vocally upset and frustrated, and I just couldn’t help him. I couldn’t do what mom’s are supposed to be able to do. I couldn’t make it better.

I started to get upset and frustrated that he couldn’t tell me what was wrong.

“What’s wrong?”

“Why are you screaming?”

“Use your words.”

“Stop screaming!”

“Stop repeating me and use your own words!”

“Tell me what’s wrong!”

All I wanted was an answer. I just wanted him to stop his continuous and constant parroting autism behaviour for just one minute and just say, ‘Mom, this is what’s wrong, and this is how you can fix it.’

Sunday, January 2, 2011

First sunset of the New Year

It wasn’t a double rainbow, but it definitely meant something to me.

It was our first sunset of the New Year. I’ve never seen a sunset like this before, and to me, it was like it was whispering that everything was going to be ok this year. Like a fresh start.

Bring on 2011!

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year, New Beginnings

We took a week off of writing blogs to enjoy the holidays, and now we’re back!

Come the new year comes new beginnings and something new from us is how often we will be writing blogs. It won’t always be daily, but we will definitely continue to share our lives and experiences as people who love someone with autism.

We hope you will continue to follow us (even if it’s not daily) and keep in touch with us on Twitter or Facebook.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!


Daniel, Tanaya, and Bryce