Friday, October 6, 2017

Hello spontaneous task initiation!

The way I look at Dominic is that its my job to create a functional, independent human being.  Most days I honestly wonder if I'll be able to do that - between safety issues, communication issues and a seemingly never ending repetition of the basics, most days I try not to think about his future. I stay firmly in now.

Backstory #1:  These ducks... while Its Dominic's job to let them out and put them to bed... I haven't been able to get him to give them feed/brewers yeast (ducks have a high niacin requirement, go figure), so I do that.

Backstory #2: I do very few processed foods in this house and Dominic eats gluten free oatmeal every morning, usually with honey and raisins.  He's pretty rigid about this and after getting the cutest little oatmeals in cups from the Autism Hope Alliance at conferences, i decided to order something similar from amazon in an effort to expand his palate.  You pour boiling water over them and let them sit for a bit.  I do this every morning, along with 3 fried eggs, for his breakfast

I am moving slower than usual today because I'm not feeling good and by the time I got outside, Dominic said to me "Mommy, Ducks, Breakfast" and pointed.  He'd gotten them food and given them their brewers yeast on top.  It wasn't quite enough so I had him add some more.
No. Big. Deal.


Then we come inside and for the first time, Dominic picks out his preferred flavor of oatmeal.  I set it on the counter, next to the kettle thats almost hot, and go to the bathroom.   I come out and Dominic's already added water to his oatmeal.

(again... ?!?!?!?!)

We've got some serious initiative and independent activity happening in the ADL (activities for daily living) world...  And I attribute that to the combination of the IonCleanse by AMD footbath, and PrimeMyBody hemp, plus genetically appropriate supplementation. 

(of course, we're balancing that with the never ending sassiness that comes from 12.  Puberty may kill me)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Month 4, hemp oil

I totally forgot to write a monthly post for August, month 3, so this will have to suffice for both...

We made it through YMCA camp, and it was Dominic's last year.  we're currently brainstorming ideas for next year as he's aged out of the day camp.  Top of the list is the idea of a nanny/companion for 4-5 hours a day while both Mom and Dad are working to do things like hiking, swimming, the zoo, etc.  Someone to keep him safe and help him have fun / be active instead of him sitting on the ipad all summer.

The transition to school was rough. It was a combination of the teacher actually expecting him to do academic work and the solar eclipse which threw him into an inexplicable funk. If I hadn't seen every other child I know of on the spectrum equally thrown off I wouldn't have believed it.   We have finally gotten into a groove where the comments coming home from school are positive.

His sense of self awareness is sky rocketing, and i'm sure thats partially that puberty has arrived.   He has spontaneously started plucking his eyebrows (just the unabrow part)... he has started using pimple treatment at night... 

His OT and ST sessions have resumed and every single session OT tells me what an astonishing thing Dominic has done.  He's going to be starting social group there very soon (unofficially, they will be able to pull out and do one on one as needed)

the ducks are very much his.  Here he is with new boots just for taking care of the ducks.  He looks so, teenager, here. 

And just to remind us all that he's still cognitively very much NOT a teenager, here he is doing a MIGHTY EAGLE from the movie Angry birds...

This is Dominics little friend Dexter.  I'm teaching Dexters mother how to cook, so they are over once a week on Wednesdays and Dominic and Dexter chase each other. Dominic is astonishingly tender with Dexter, and very much wants to take care of him.

PMB Hemp oil in addition to our IonCleanse by AMD footbaths has catapulted us to a completely different trajectory. I don't know what that is just yet, but I do know that Dominic is doing little things, rather consistently, that have us going "What just happened".

Friday, September 22, 2017

duck hurt

Another one for the #whatjusthappened files...

As you all know, one of Dominic's jobs is to put the ducks to bed at night, and take them out of bed in the morning. It is his special job and he's been doing it since the ducks have had their house. Tonight I sent him out to put them to bed as per usual, and when he came back and he was very concerned and he kept repeatedly telling me, "duck hurt, Duck hurt".

I blew it off as just repetitive speech, until I saw that he actually had blood spots on his arms. I had him wash his hands and arms, and then I had him show me what happened. We went out to the duck pen, I opened up the door and I said "Dominic, go get me the duck that's hurt."

First he pulled one out, looked at her, put her back. Then he pulled another one out, looked at her, and brought her to me. And yes in fact she was hurt. She had a broken blood feather in her wing, and was bleeding.

From our experience in raising parakeets and cockatiels many years ago, I already knew that when you have a broken blood feather you either pull it, or you put flour on it to stop the bleeding.  I didn't really want to deal with pulling a blood feather tonight so we put flour on it. The duck Is fine, Dominic is fine, and everybody worked together.

I cannot emphasize to you enough how remarkable it is that number one, Dominic realized that the duck was hurt. And even bigger he was able to communicate it to me!

This is the kind of thing that would never have happened even one year ago.  

And now - he is repetitively telling me "duck feel better now"

Thursday, September 21, 2017

immediate generalization, wow

Tonight at OT, when we walked in a little boy looked at Dominic and said "Whats up, Dude".  To which Dominic replied with his own "whats up".  It was a glimpse into teenagerhood.


Jonny and Dominic are working on turn taking in a play setting.  So there's another kiddo/therapist pair that they do this with and tonight they focused on Dominic telling the other kid it was his turn.   Jonny had to verbal prompt at the beginning and by the end Dominic was doing it spontaneously.

Then we rushed home for Speech.

Sarah said to me  "he did the strangest thing, he had me repeat what he told me"

Nice to see the carryover, and wow.  The little things that i've celebrated for so long are now coming so hard and fast...

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Mommy, blanket....

History lesson:  Last winter we had a horrible wind storm that knocked power out for close to 30 hours.  in JANUARY.  This meant we got all the blankets out and cuddled, took sink baths, and stocked up on lanterns.

Its September.  I ran the AC most of the day today because it was Warm.

Dominic was in the shower, and I was putting things away in the laundry room, when the power flickered and then went all the way out.   It didn't come back right away, so i grabbed the lantern (we keep them in convenient locations thanks to last January....) and told him to shower in the lantern light.  He had zero issues doing it.

He got out, got dressed, brushed his teeth, and then came in to me and said, enthusiastically "Mommy, Blanket?".  I said Okay and followed him out to the living room where he proceeded to take the sofa blankets off the couch and to his room.  And put them on his bed.

He remembered that we got extra blankets and put them on the beds last time this happened.    and he used his words to make sure he got his blankets again.  He's going to be all sweaty tomorrow....

(and power came back roughly half an hour after it went out. Our entire neighborhood was dark)


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

He totally lied...

Back Story - we have a roommate right now and our upstairs shower is somehow leaking and so said roommate is showering downstairs until we can get to leak hunting. Roommate's name is Tim, and Dominic calls him Timmy.  Tim usually showers right after Dominic because he works a very early shift and has to leave the house at 5am.

Last night, Dominic had speech therapy late in the evening and so I fed him dinner first.  He knew he got to put the ducks to bed after speech and then he was going to go take a shower. 
With his speech therapist still here,  I told Dominic it was time to put the ducks to bed and take a shower.  He said "Timmy shower" Which i took to mean that Tim was in the shower and Dominic had to wait a bit.

Until Tim stuck his head out of the kitchen and said "Nope, i'm not in the shower"

And all three adults in the room realized that Dominic had totally just lied in an attempt to delay bedtime. Verbally.  With his words.

Only in the non-verbal world of super literal autism does this sort of thing excite a parent.  I absolutely attribute this to the combination of Ioncleanse by AMD footbaths and PrimeMyBody hemp.  The combination seems to be pretty critical.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

GMO's, eating organic, and CSA to the RESCUE!

One of the things we learned this summer from Dr McGowin's genetic interprations of Dominic's 23andMe is that his entire PON1 pathway has multiple mutations.  Thats the pathway that is responsible for detoxifying out pesticides from the body.  Well - that just explained why the IonCleanse by AMD was our first gamechanger.  He can't detox without it.  I've been saying for years that the Autism Epidemic is a case where genes load the gun and the environment pulls the trigger.  Food is one of the biggest ways we get exposed to toxins (its right up there with Air and Water).

What it means is that we do our LEVEL best to buy as much organic as we can grocery wise.  With a 12 year old who out eats both of us on a regular basis, this is a financial challenge and my mama friends assure me my grocery bill will actually double in the next few years as he hits the teenage years harder.  FABULOUS. 

There's more and more research out there indicating that genetically modified food is very bad for us, and that the toxins in conventional food is making us sick.  So...Enter Grant Family Farms CSA.  We've been members a little over a year now and its wonderful.  They are non-gmo and organic.  During the summer its 100% local fruits, vegetables, meat, coffee, eggs, tofu/tempeh, and cheeses (and you can select your choice of those, you don't have to order them all).  The CSA has pulled together farmers from across Colorado and southern Wyoming and is a partnership of sorts - each farmer specializes in something and everyone reaps the bonus (I type this as I am eating the most amazingly juicy organic palisade peaches...).  They drop off to multiple locations along the front range (even into Wyoming) and it takes less time than going to the grocery store.  During the winter they reach out to farmers in southern states (never out of the US) and bring in fresh from the farm organic non gmo'd goodies that way as well as greens and potatoes and the like that are local.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Back from USAAA

What a great conference!! I joined with a few other moms and represented Ioncleanse by AMD this weekend in Portland, Oregon to share the progress our kids have made with the footbaths. Its been a few months since the last one of these I did and I really have to say that USAAA is rapidly becoming my favorite conference to attend.

The reason is simple - its in a different city each year so there are almost no repeat attendees.  There are no cliques, no mean girl clubs, no leaving anyone out of anything - and everyone is truely there to learn. It was wonderful.

I came back  both absolutely exhausted (multiple 11+ hour days) and reenergized to share our story. My most powerful tool is the story of Dominic recovering, and I was reminded of that again this weekend.  There's something indescribable about sharing the experience of autism recovery with a mom who has no hope and giving that hope to her.

 I did actually end up telling our story to multiple non-conference peoplle - from the Uber driver who ran me to Target to get more paper towels because we didn't bring enough (he has 2 on the spectrum) to the Lady sitting next to nme on the plane.  Everyone is affected by autism these days. If you aren't sure who affects you, look again - I guarnatee there's someone.

So I'm back, I'm energized and life is good. :)

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Slinky,mommy, slinky.

History lesson:

YEARS ago - we cant' remember how many, but he was little enough to be sitting in the cart at Lowes, we took Dominic to Lowes and while we were there he fixated on those little plastic spiral bracelets that look somewhat like slinkies.  He got a couple that night.   He has not mentioned or played with them since.

We are currently fixing up our laundry room - there's been a perpetual leak in the foundation so we've taken everything out (the garage is now brimming), stripped it down to the foundation and will be laying tar tonight.  As such we've had some Lowes purchases of late.

Today we went to Lowes for the miscellaneous stuff for this project after we went out for dinner.  When we mentioned on the way to dinner that we were going to Lowes, Dominic started asking for a slinky.  Huh. okay.

We had dinner at our favorite sushi joint, and then went over to Lowes. Dominic was still talking about slinkies and I looked at Rod and said "you don't think he means those bracelets, do you"  Rod didn't think so.

We get our stuff, go to checkout, pay and the next thing i know, Dominic has handed this to the cashier.

This child has a phenomenal memory and as the neurological connections are coming back, amazing things are happening.  go #primemybodyHEMP and #ioncleansebyamd - amazing combination. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Someone is ready for school to start

Today is Tuesday. School starts Friday. This morning, Dominic got up, got dressed, brushed his teeth, helped me take care of the ducks and then he got his school identification lanyard out of his coat pocket from last spring (seriously??? he not only remembered he put it in a pocket and went back to get it, but he knew he needed it for school?), put it and his angel sense on, put on his new Dr Who backpack that I set up yesterday and informed me it was time to go to school.

He then insisted I reprogram the dining room clock to 7:04 instead of 8:04 which was very odd. He was quite agitated about it. I have no idea what that was about but he was insistent. 

He's currently off getting a haircut with Daddy because the whole "Time to go" "Wheres the bus" was getting a bit old.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Vivint gives back....

We have had a security system in our home since about the 4th day we moved in, 20 years ago.  I've joked that it was $50/mo for peace of mind.

So when our doorbell rang a few weeks ago and it was someone selling a home security system, its a minor miracle i didn't slam the door in his face. I dislike solicitors. For whatever reason (and truly I don't know why), I let him spiel me. 

He talked about how much technology had changed since our old system  - now its all cellular, no more landline (and since ours did actually get cut once at the phone box, just the line for the security, this was an issue); there's better sensors (no more wiring a million things thru the house, they're all wireless; and we could have, among other things, a doorbell camera and a voice activated Alexa from amazon and a NEST thermostat all linked together.

I did what I always do and told him we would sleep on it. Any product that cannot withstand 12 hours of consideration, isn't one I want.  And I posted on facebook, asking if any of my friends had a Vivint.  And they did.  One posted something to the effect of "Did you know that Vivint sponsors NAA and you can get a reduced rate through the Vivint Gives back program".  I didn't.  Because my sales guy didn't tell me.   so I got connected with the right person for that program, made arrangements and scheduled an install.  When the door to door guy (DTDG) came back the next day, the conversation went something like this

Me - I was planning on telling you yes...
DTDG -  face falls
Me = and then i found out about the vivint gives back program, here's a paper with how much it costs
DTDG - HOLY CRAP do you know what kind of savings this is???  This is better than an employee discount!!! WOW!!!!
Me - If you had told me about this last night, I wouldn't have needed to think about it.
DTDG - I didn't know about it.
Me  - you do now.

I did make sure that DTDG got the commission since I made him sit in my dining room answering questions for an hour.

And I did tell the Vivint Gives back coordinator I'd write a blog to hopefully further get the world out in the Autism Community that this company recognizes how big an issue that wandering is for our kids and is helping.

If you are interested in learning more, join this facebook group:

Sunday, August 13, 2017


We went to a wedding as a family last night.

Let that statement settle in.


this is something that even a year ago we would not have even attempted to bring Dominic along for.  The wedding was for our friends Katie and Audree and i knew that they would be absolutely cool if there were any .... issues.   We also planned to leave pretty early - it started at 7:30pm which is actually heading into bedtime for Dominic so we figured he'd crash and burn pretty early.

Not only were there not any issues, it was 10 before we left.

We went to dinner at a fun little irish tavern on our way.

Dinner time selfie

Dipping BBQ wings into Curry sauce.  I don't get it either, but lets call it a Palate Expanding WIN.

Beautiful Brides

It was after the wedding itself, however, that we got to the part that was truely astonishing. I knew that Dominic was bored during cocktail hour, and so I was over the moon ecstatic when he spent nearly the entire reception dancing, playing chase, and generally having a wonderful time. 

Dominic and Amelia (Melly)

He's like  SMILE and She's like "Dude, stop"

This morning - all he could talk about was the cake. 

the changes we've been seeing are absolutely amazing. Every person at the wedding last night who has known us for a while had their socks knocked off at the undeniable progress. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

7th grade, here we come!!

Today, I went over to the middle school and registered Dominic for 7th grade.  while I was there, I had a minor melt down and nearly made the "attendent" behind the health area cry because I yelled at her for bullying parents with this sign:

Here's how it went down
Me - "You realize you're lying to parents and bullying them, with that sign, right"
Me, Louder so the people behind me can hear - "State law in Colorado says you can and will accept signed religious,philosophical, and medical exemptions"
Her, trying to hush me  - we do accept exemptions
Me - then you need to change your flier to include "OR approved exemption"
Her -  the nurse made these
Me - Guess I'll be calling her.

then I followed up by speaking with the admin who we've known from Dominic's entrance to Kindergarten because she also moved to the middle school who told me it was likely a district thing and to email the principal.  Guess who I'm emailing today....

Update: after I drafted an email and sent it to the principal, I did a little bit further digging in the state law. State law in Colorado actually says that on all paperwork regarding immunizations the school is legally required to advise parents of their exemption rights. So I printed that off, drove myself back to the school and handed it to the principal. I advised him that my expectation was they would be emailing every parent of every child in the school to clarify their vaccine policy. I also ensured that they removed all copies of the flyer that did not follow the law. I told the principal in person that if this was a district directed flyer, to give me the name of the person at the district to take it up with and I will happily do so.

After I registered Dominic, I popped in to say hello to his teacher and happened upon the speech therapist that we've had in and out of his school career for all of it... She's happily back with us. I yapped with her for a solid hour.

When I showed her the Laundry video from a little while ago, as an example of how much progress Dominic has made this year, she literally wept while repeating "he is answering questions, he is answering questions" with her hands over her mouth.  Absolutely blew her away. I told her, and i know she gets it because we've know her for 7 years, that for the first time in a long time, I'm allowing myself to have a glimmer of hope...