Monday, March 22, 2010


He posts them all over the house.
They seem to tell you a lot about him and his interests.
What's his favorite day of the week?Which animals does he think are "extinct"?
Where do animals live that is REALLY cold?
What time is it?What's your favorite movie?
Can Rhiannon play in your room?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Being Fair?

The boy has been breezing through this year with high marks in all areas ... with the occasional lapse in good judgement when it comes to "hand placement". As in "not keeping them to himself".
My official stance on it has to kind of just take it easy in that area. I mean, I've seen the other boys in his class, we've gone to a party where all the boys in his class attended. Brogan was by far NOT the worst behaved. Infact, he gives them PLENTY of opportunities to back off before his hands start flying.

One of the E.A.'s in his class commented that I'd hope it'd be fair when it came to punishment and wasn't it a shame that it's not?

All I could do was snort and tell her since the day I discovered Brogan is Autistic all thoughts of "Fair" have been far from my mind.

I'm realistic. I know people look at "special needs" kids differently.

I could easily have been blamed for such things myself.

They recently tested all the kindergartners in their math skills.

The results made me cringe.

The "test" had 18 questions on it.

He scored 6/18.

ONE MORE than he needed in order to get tutored.

Great. Just great.

They're all concerned because he doesn't understand the meaning and placement of words such as "more" and "equal to".

Word concepts elude him

Give him a simple number equation and he'll get the numbers right every time.

But he needs to do more than grasp the concept of numbers.

He needs to know how WORDS work with it.


Yet ... they won't actually DO anything to help me.

Just bring the problem to me and say, "Fix it, or he'll fall behind."

Well, scr*w you.

They have the resources. They have the experts.

But I have a whole lot more determination than you do.We're going to make you all look like a bunch of baffoons.

Just see that he doesn't.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

'Bout Time

The other day my dad called me for an update on Brogan.

I know if he's calling for an update it's been a LONG time since I updated his blog.

First of all: Thank you.

Thank you Mom, Pat, Kari, Tina, Dawn, Jenie, Dad, Sarah and Curtis for donating to out cause. You all rock. With your donations we met and exceeded my goal by almost 100%. Next year I'll remember to up my goal.

We didn't actually walk in the walk as the amount of people absolutely pushed Brogan past his endurance point. He started chanting, "We've gotta go. We gotta get outta here." Over and over again as we were milling through the people waiting for the walk to start. Then started struggling to get away from me when I tried to calm him down. So instead of doing the walk we wandered through the exhibits. It was actually a really good way to do things. We still got to participate, meet new people and find more resources ... but didn't have to deal with the crush of people.In accordance with my desire to get more involved and more proactive, I also agreed to allow Brogan to get involved with a sleep study the Texas Children's Hospital in Houston is conducting.

In order to do this I had to take Brogan off his liquid Melatonin for two months for a "complete wash out" to give them true readings. I only did it because I hope with the results of these studies other parents will have questions answered sooner than mine were and get "good" sleep a whole lot earlier than I did.

We went down for a full evaluation of Brogan in late November. They obviously don't want children who are not Autistic participating in the study, so they have to screen the children for "real" candidates.

We met with a child physcologist who specializes in Autism. She put him through a battery of tests that were trying for me and a bit frustrating for Brogan. Not harmful in anyway, just hard for me to sit back and not help him out.

I guess you'd say he "passed the test" as he was admitted into the study. Woohoo (?)

The study itself went ... well. We were put into a dark (the only light being a tv) hospital room for 25 hours and his Melatonin levels were monitored through his saliva and urine. I think it can safely be said that HIS melatonin levels are zip while MINE are working just fine.
We played games, drew pictures, read books, watched tv, ate ... I have never been more thoroughly bored in my entire life.

Brogan put up with it way better than I did.

I was stir crazy by the time they released us.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I Never Do This

This year I decided our family (at least the kids and I) are going to get more involved in the Autism community and awareness.
I've been sitting in the wings for a little too long.
Admiring and advocating the work that is done.
But not putting any real effort in myself.

Our first endeavor is going to be the Walk Now for Autism event being held on November 14th.

I am not one who easily asks for help.

If at all possible, I will get something accomplished by myself simply because ... I guess I hate the humility that comes with admitting that you just can't do it alone.

I also hate the possibility of rejection.

That I think hurts more than getting to the point of being able to ask for help.

For Brogan. For The Cause, I've swallowed my pride and bucked up against the possibility of having no financial support and sent out hundreds of emails.


If I know you, if I can find your email ...

I've sent you an email asking for your support.

Cause this is something I believe in.

I don't believe so much that there is a "cure", but I surely believe there is a world of help out there that can be given if enough attention is brought to our cause.

So come on, people - let's make some money and make a difference!

Brogan's counting on you! (haha, just had to throw out the "tugging on the heart strings" line)

Monday, October 19, 2009


This word sums up how I am feeling about what is happening with Brogan's school year thus far.
I am so tired of hearing from his teacher about how she "just doesn't know" what to do with him.
Are you, or are you not suppose to be the professional in this situation?
Do you or do you not have all the resources you could possibly need at your finger tips (internet) or just down the hall (the districts Autism specialist)?
Are you too lazy to put in a little bit of work?
Last time I checked you were the special education teacher.
This is your frickin job.
WHY oh WHY am I the one doing YOUR JOB?!?!

Now that I have vented somewhat, I'll give you the back story.
I have expected Brogan to get a little bit more rowdy as he gets comfortable in his routine, with the teachers and with his peers.
This is just Brogan.
He's a little bit excitable and high spirited.
Not a bad thing, when you direct it towards creative endeavors.
Can be slightly frustrating if you let it get out of hand and have to deal with it over and over and over again.

His teacher who seems to be a very sweet lady has begun to have continual complaints about Brogan:

"We're getting so tired of having to tell him to stop hitting we're going to just make up signs and point to them when he gets out of hand."
"We tell him all the rules before he goes out to recess, but then he picks something else that we didn't cover and starts doing that."
"He doesn't respond to the color code, he starts laughing when we change his color!"

Ooooooh k.

Last week it escalated out of control.

He started choking kids.
Throwing things at them - hard.
Sucker punched a kid. On purpose.

After two days of him "going to red" (the third color down on the "behaviour" chart) he woke up and informed me that he wasn't feeling good and he was staying home from school.
I asked him if his head hurt? No. Stomach feel bad? No. Checked him for a fever. Negative.
My son who prior to this year loved school. I had to make him stay home when he actually WAS sick. Any bells going off in anyone else's head?
I sat down with his teacher and she told me about the times he was acting out ... and still I wasn't making the connections. I felt very frustrated and panicked. I didn't know how to help my son. If they were following the same guide lines his teacher had set up for him last year - what had changed so much that THIS was who my son is now?
What was going on that he didn't know how to handle it and was lashing out?
Who was falling down on the job?
Was it me?
What could be done!?!

I contacted our dear, much loved Kimberly and told her about what was going on. Expressed my frustration and fears.

Her answers were simple.

Is he being over stimulated?
Does he know he can take a time out?
Are they reminding him of the rules before he goes into high activity areas?
Are the other kids aware that Brogan needs his space?
How much supervision is really being provided?

It's not that I forget that Brogan is Autistic ... I just take it for granted that people in positions of authority and education in his life are also VERY aware of this and take that into consideration when placing him in situations.

So I stopped "doing" so much around the school and started "watching".


I don't even know where to start.

They are essentially treating him like any other student, who misbehaves. No visuals. No breaks. No breathers. Extra supervision only in the classroom - where he doesn't need it anyway!

His A.R.D. (Admission, Review, and Dismissal) was (legally) to be tomorrow, but the school diagnostician ... oh, at this point WHO KNOWS?!?! All I know is I have a legal pad full of notes that I will be taking into this meeting.

Heads will begin to roll.

Things will change or I am going to be one pissy mom.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


So the little man turned six.
This year he had an opinion on everything.
The location (which changed day to day).His presents (McDonald's Play Food).The people he wanted to come (Just the Edwards girls. NO BOYS!).What kind of cake he wanted.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I Did.

Today when I picked Brogan up from school I noticed he was playing with a new car. I asked him where he'd got it. Being the literal being he is, he answered, "School."
Me (thinking, duh, Krista - ask BETTER questions!) "Who gave you the car Brogan?"
Brogan (totally distracted with car), "I got it at school."
Me, "I know you got it at school, that's where you got it. The place. Who is the person you got it from... Who gave you the car, bud?"
Brogan, "I did.
Me *sighing* "I know you have the car ... but who gave it to you at school."
Brogan, "I did."
Me (a little exasperated, feeling like I was doing the Who's on Third schpeel), "You gave you the car?"
Brogan, "Uh huh"
Dropping the topic, I asked him about other things that happened today.

When I got home, I shot off an email to his teachers asking if either of them knew where he'd got the car and who I needed to send it back to.

I got an email back explaining that Brogan earned the car through good behaviour. So he literally DID gave it to ... him.

Silly mom.

Web Whiz

Before I get into the actual purpose of this post I'll do an update on school ....
Brogan started school three weeks ago and has taken to his new school and teachers like nothing is new. He misses his Ms. Kimberly and asks about her frequently (whom we give him his fix of through In Home Training and "pool parties" at her house) but there was relatively little transition or adjustment needed.
He tests high in several areas, which surprises no one but his teachers. I guess they expected him to be smart - just not this smart.
His biggest struggle is still interacting with other children in an "appropriate manner". However, he doesn't lash out nearly as much as he has has in the past. So we take what we can when it's offered and keep working on the "goal".

Back to him being smart. The kid is ridiculous. You have to be careful what you do around him cause he's ALWAYS stinking well WATCHING.

The other day he asked me to find a specific video for him to watch. I went to Google, typed in what we were looking for, scrolled through the options and picked the one that seemed most appropriate.

My mistake.

Or triumph.

Today I came into the living room and found him on a site that I have not book marked or previously visited. I looked in the top right corner and saw written in the "Google Search" box a description of what he was looking at. I called out to Jerry and asked him if he'd done the search for Brogan. Answer came back negative.

Brogan had done that himself?


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Honesty, Best Policy?

Yesterday we were swimming at a beautiful little hole in N.M.It really was great.
The water was not too cold, but not warm either.
There was a great sandy beach.
Not too many people, as it was a weekday.

It doesn't take many people to evoke honest observations from the boy, though.

There was a very large white man, wearing light gray shorts, who was spending his time floating face down as he observed the lakes bottom through goggles. As Brogan scooted around him once he said, "Excuse me, Manatee, Excuse me."

I chocked a little, then had to turn my face away and pretend I didn't hear what he said so I didn't start laughing out loud.

Problem being, for the rest of the day every time I saw the man that's all I could think!

Brogan pegged him really well.

Really Well.

Monday, June 15, 2009


It's a fact that the boy loves to go on rides.
After driving for three days straight to Canada, he's ALWAYS willing to go for another ride the next day.
It slays me.

However, he has a new addiction.
Not being driven.

My mother's husband somewhat recently purchased a Ranger for random hauling of ... stuff around their place.

If I thought he couldn't get enough of being driven around, the need to drive is nearly an obsession.Don't let him near the gas pedal though, he's a maniac!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Then He Slept

A couple of months ago I took the plunge and started giving Brogan Melatonin. Seriously the best decision I've ever made. Ever. Well, okay. Maybe not the best best. But it's WAY up there.
In any case, I alternate how much I give him, how often I give it to him and on what days I give it to him so his body doesn't build up an immunity or dependency. I would have thought this was a good idea. Till the other day as he flung himself restlessly around on his bed on one of the nights I didn't give it to him and finally sat up and called out, "Vitamins please mama!" It's funny that even though I have never said to him, "These little vitamins help you sleep better, buddy, don't you LOVE them?" He has KNOWN. He has known the source of his restfulness and now yearns to find it every night.
I can understand why. Imagine being Brogan. He has never slept a full night through. Ever. And this time when I say ever, I mean ever. Can you imagine how that messes you up, how you feel inside, what your brain must be thinking? Then your mother starts giving you little magic vitamins an hour before bed and Wa-Bam! You are experiencing a restful nights sleep. For the first time in almost 6 years. Your entire life. Poor little man.
I now give him Melatonin every week night, the "break" is the weekend. I'm not sure how we'll handle summer vacation. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ain't He Sweet

And a little "survey" B-man filled out for Mother's day:

My Mother likes to Draw (no, not really. That's all you, baby.)

My Mother is 29 years old. (So so close. 30)

My Mother's favorite food is Fried Chicken Milk (..... what is THAT?)

My Mother's favorite sport is Blow Bubbles (hahhaha, oh, okay)

My Mother's favorite color is Gray (I have no idea where he got that)

My Mother's name is Krista

I love it when my Mother drives (you don't say?)

My Mother is Mom (nicely put, son)

My Mother is good at Reading

My Mother and I like to drive (do I sense a trend?)

My Mother like it when I eat apple pie (he's clearly delusional)

My Mother is great because I'm Happy (can't argue with that logic)

My Mom and I play at home

My Mom and I play link and logs (Lincoln Logs)

My Mom and I eat donuts (he's so subtle)

My mom and I go to Sea World (ummm ... once, last year)

My mom and I read books

My mom and I watch moveys (movies)

My mom and I like to drive in the truck (okay, okay! I get it!)

Leaps and Bounds

The boy is growing so fast.
He's learning so much.
He's getting so smart.
It's hard to keep up.

He's reading, or at least attempting to read everything he can get his hands on.
Which is some situations isn't so helpful.
The Chuck E. Cheese up the road has been under renovation for a few months now as they expand. They've remained open, just had patrons using a different entrance. However, since the front of the building and the parking lot is all torn up ... I've told a slight lie as we've driven past and he's shouted with glee,
"Go to Chuck E. Cheese!"
My reply has been,
"Sorry bud, look, it's closed."
Being a child of kind of sound reasoning, he's believed me.
His mother.
The fudger.
However, (darn you, CEC!) they recently hung up a banner across the front declaring,
"OPEN! Door on Side!"
He can read any and all four letter words.

He's also become more aware of others.
If he sees me laying in bed without covers on (in my case, it's usually on purpose ... but I'm not going to point that out to the boy) he'll rush in, pull covers up all around me. Pat them down and exclaim,
"There you go!"
"Thanks buddy."
"You're welcome."

He loves telling people "You're welcome." I think he feels it's a public service because he certain gets a lot of joy out of it.

When he gets himself a drink, he will more than likely pour his sister a drink also. Some days I'm not too sure this isn't out of
so he doesn't have to share. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt though.

He's less terrified of birds ...
at a distance.
We went to the Fort Worth Zoo the other day and he sat for a good 20 minutes just watching the swans. They've built up a nest and laid an egg or two and he finds himself enthralled with their nest protecting, waddling and squawking at each other.
He loves being out. Going places. Doing things. Which is a joy to me, since neither his sister or father
want to go

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Oh Sure

I may be the one to drive him there, but I am surely not the one he wants to spend his summer with ... (he drew the picture, I wrote in the names as he told me who they were)(click on it to enlarge it)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

He does not lack imagination, that's for sure!


I have never really been one of those mother's that mourn the passing of my kids baby years. The older they get, the more I like them. The older they get, the more fun it is to be with them.
As they get older, they also get more independent, which in my books is fabulous.
This week, the boy took his independence to another level. When he's hungry for a snack, he usually hits the pantry or fridge, hunts around and finds crackers, popcorn, fruit snacks, pickles, apples ... whatever it is he's got a hankering for. The other day, I guess those options just weren't going to cover what he was craving. So as I watched he grabbed the bread, peanut butter and a butter knife and placed it all on the island. Then he found his step stool and pulled it up to the counter. He then proceeded to make himself a very thick peanut butter sandwich, all of which he ate.
Next step?
*If you'll click on the picture, you can see the picture he drew on the white board ... "Brogan made a sandwich!"*

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Let Me Make Myself Clear

I have NEVER claimed Brogan was subtle. Not even once did I even hint at it.
He's been telling me lately that he wants to go to the zoo.
Most days are just not a good day simply because he has school.
However, that does not deter him from asking time and time and time and ... again.
I think he believes I have a communication problem because when ever he asks for something more than once and I've said "no" or "not right now, buddy"
he will go

Like, "Obviously you just don't understand me
or else I'd be getting what I want right now.
Let me draw you a picture to make my demands
a little clearer."
This is his response to not going to the zoo in the last month.And here's what he gave Jerry while I was gone.
You'll notice no pictures accompany this one.
Just his demands.
Straight out.

Friday, February 6, 2009


My sister in law Jenie has a very specific way of doing laundry that her mother taught her. This summer while I was at her house for six weeks I tried to keep up with her way of doing it, as I was at her house and wanted to respect her housekeeping methods. I began to really enjoy it, I liked the order of it, knowing what colors to wash with which colors, ect. When I got home from Canada I decided to implement her method in my own laundry room - with a twist. I want my kids to feel as responsible for their own stuff as possible, so I decided to have them start sorting out their own laundry into the right bins and then put away their own stuff. To help them remember which colors went in which bins I cut out strips of construction paper, laminated them, then taped them behind the respective bins. Some of this desire comes from my own dislike for house work, laundry especially - but any way you cut it, I got the kids involved.
The kids, especially Brogan, really enjoy sorting laundry. He loves deciding what color is the predominant color in the clothes, tossing them in and seeing the basket fill as he does his "job".
It may be too early to be worrying about the life skills they'll need when they move out, but I figure you can never be too prepared.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Some days the boy is WAY too sweet.
It almost brings me to tears.
Alright it DOES bring me to tears.
What's it to ya?
The other day as I was talking on my cell phone I had to plug it in while in mid-discussion and the best place was beside my bed. So I grabbed a pillow and made myself comfortable on the floor as I continued talking to my mom. Brogan, being my constant shadow, sees me laying on the floor. Looks me up and down and quickly runs into the living room and brings back a blanket to cover me up with.
I smile at him and say, "You're a sweet boy, Brogan."
He smiles back and proclaims, "YOU'RE a sweet girl, mom."

This morning as we was sitting at the table working on his letters (keeping them ON the line) he looked over at me with his dark eyes just a twinkling and softly said, "I love you SO much."

Gosh darn, that kid.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


In general, I don't think about how smart the boy is.
But there are moments that give me flashes of insight that leave me a bit stunned ... then murmuring to him as I stroke his soft blond hair, "You're such a smart boy, Brogan?"
To which he laughs and shouts, "Yep!"
Yesterday Brogan was doing whatever it is that Brogan does when he's entertaining himself when his head popped up and he asked,
"Auntie Jenie Hamon, mom?"
"No, Brogan. Her name is Auntie Jenie Jones."
Then, "Auntie Jenie Jones, Lincoln Jones, Hanna Jones, Emma Jones, Li-ly Jones, Oh-livia Jones ... Uncle Michael .... JONES!"
Pauses, tongue between teeth as he draws another master piece.
"Auntie Dawn Hamon, Uncle Gary Hamon, Al-ain-a Hamon, Rhys Hamon, Terina Hamon, Ter-e-vor Hamon."
I love how he figured out who belonged to who, how all the kids that belonged to that parent had that name. Not OUR name, but the parents name.
I know, I'm biased.
But seriously.
Totally impressive.

P for Penis

Wow! What's with the title, Krista? Seriously, tone it down!

One of Brogan's favorite time wasters is going through the alphabet with us alternating letters and what starts with it,
A is for Albatross
B is for Baritone
C is for Cougar
You get the idea.
He's a smart kid. If you give him a word, he can almost always tell you what it starts with if not how to spell the whole word if it spells the way it sounds.
Lately I have taken to flat out telling him to
"Stop playing with your penis, Brogan."
It makes Jerry cringe, but seriously - what am I SUPPOSED to call it? A wee wee? A pee pee? It just seems rather ridiculous to soften it for him when I give it to Rhiannon factually.
Soooo ...
Today we're doing the ABC's
O is for Orangutan
P is for Penis
A small smile pulls at his lips and I see him darting looks at me out of the corner of his eye.
Q is for queen
Top that PUNK.

Riding Lessons

This week I started the kids on riding lessons after hearing time and time again at the Autism conference that hippo and aqua therapies are the most effective.
To be cliche, Rhiannon is in 7th heaven. She's actually quite natural with the horses and tacking and what not.
Brogan. Well ... hmmmm. What to say about him. He likes the idea of horses but he certainly doesn't want to be within a 10 foot range of them.Christian (riding instructor), "Brogan, do you want to help me put the hackamore on Star?"
Brogan, "Nooooo" shuffling even further back into the tack room
Christian, "Brogan, can you help me carry this saddle to Star?"
Brogan, all but under all of the saddles, "Noooooo"
Then ...
Christian takes the lead on Rhiannon's horse, I take the lead on Brogans horse.
We start walking around the arena with Christian giving Rhiannon soft instructions, encouragement and praise from time to time.
We stop for a minute to give Rhiannon the feeling of accomplishment when she's able to get her ride to stop on command ... and Brogan's leg is swung over the horse and half way to the ground.
"Done mom. Stop now."
*sigh* Settles the boy back on top of the horse, "No, Brogan. We are NOT done. Keep your bum seated in your saddle.
Few minutes of silence, "juh-go-potty, mom?"
Wiley little devil.
Soooo ... is it okay for me to just let him drop trou at a public arena? Probably a bad habit to encourage with this particular kid.
He is absolutely stiff, uncomfortable and is not having a good time doing this. He'd love it a whole lot more if I just let him shuffle around in the dirt parking lot or arena ... After two lessons I am already wondering if it's worth it. I had hoped once I got him on the horse he'd enjoy himself. Last summer he rode around with me for hours. But maybe that was just because I was on there with him.
The lessons are somewhat costly and I don't want to spend the money on him if he's hating it every minute.
I am considering looking into swimming lessons.
They'd be less expensive and I KNOW he loves water. Infact, last summer there was tears every day when he didn't get to go to swim lessons with Rhiannon.
I just hate letting him skip out of something. Makes me worry that he'll start thinking if he puts up enough of a fuss I won't make him do anything.
NEVER a good position to put yourself into with a smart kid.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

We were sure we were being geniuses. Or at least Jerry thought he was a genius. I think he just wanted to bowl from home ... I bet you want to hear something that leads me to stating these things.
So here's the thing.
I ran all over the metroplex for way too long looking for a Wii because that is what Jerry had decided the kids would really like from "Santa". Forget the fact that they had no idea what it was and hadn't mentioned it once. After a lot of frantic searching and finally buying it out of the back seat of a shady characters car (alright, alright, he couldn't have been THAT shady, he owned a 'Vette) at 10:30pm on Christmas eve, the kids had a Wii for Christmas.
Rhiannon has got hours of enjoyment, frustration, elation, "nah nah nah nah" moments, crushing defeats ... Brogan on the other hand ... plays about 4 minutes of whatever game Rhiannon is playing and is done. Except boxing. The kid is a MEAN boxer. Got some sorta nutty right hook.
He however, love love loves this game A $5 game I got as a stocking stuffer ... for Rhiannon (oh, I mean Santa gave her. Whatever.) He asks me time after time after time "Play Don't Break the Ice mom, pleeeeeease?" So I patiently build it all back together again, he carefully places the skater in her "precarious" position and we start tap tap tapping away.
Moral of my story? Expensive electronic games don't phase my son. Infact, I am pretty sure he is as disinterested as you could get in it. Hands on, action games that he gets a reaction from - can't get enough of the silly stuff.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another Opprotunity to Teach

Yesterday before we went to the library Brogan drew a picture of the library, then a picture of a little girl frowning. I asked him what each picture was and he explained,
"It's the library and a sad little girl."
"Why is the little girl sad?" I asked.
"Because I kicked her."
My nervous response "Do you like the little girl to be sad?"
Relieved, I then discussed with him how hitting/pushing/kicking/biting would make a little girl or boy he wanted to play with very sad and NOT want to play with him.
To further the point I went on to physically show him how little girls/boys like to be touched and what he could say to someone he wanted to play with instead of the abuse.
He then took his picture of the little girl, erased the frown and drew in a smile.
I asked him why she was smiling and he replied, "I'm a nice boy."
Wanting to implement the words of advice as soon as possible, we headed over to the library and into the kids area. Brogan immediately picks out the smallest child there, crouches down, strokes her arm gently and asks,
"Do you want to play, little girl?"
*heart swells, a little bit of foggy-eye*
I can't say the lesson will stick. Or if we'll have to talk about this a dozen more times before he really gets it. But for that one moment in time, it was absolutely precious.

Dry Erase Boards

What do you MEAN I shouldn't draw on my face?!?!
Don't be mistaken, I'm a genius (even as I spell that word wrong) - but sometimes it takes me a little bit of time and a little bit of money to catch on.
As displayed, Brogan loves to draw and write. It's possibly his favorite thing to do other than go on long car rides. To indulge this love of his we were going through around a ream of paper every other week to keep up with his demand. He wasn't being wasteful either - he'd use up the whole paper, both sides - then put the papers he didn't want me to display in the recycling bin.
When Kimberly was over for one of her In Home Training sessions a couple weeks ago she brought out one of her "personal size" dry erase boards and had him do some of his lesson on that.
Lights went on in my head - of course! What a cost effective way to allow Brogan the freedom to draw to his hearts content, but save us some money, some mess and at least half a forest of trees.
Don't get me wrong, if Brogan is ever in the proximity of paper he's scrambling to find a pen/pencil and going at it like mad. But he's also very content with the dry erase boards.
Once again, without knowing it, Kimberly saves the day.

They're Missing

Brogan brought these pictures to show me this morning, thought I'd share the laugh:
SantaMissing SantaMissing Ms. Kimberly

Monday, December 8, 2008

Making Decisions

I think making decisions is a pretty important life skill, so I almost always give Brogan at least two options to choose from in as many situations as possible. The other day he decided to use that method (to a great extent) with me to get what he wanted.
"Mommy - go to the library or play Lincoln Logs?"(pointing to each picture as he asks) I really didn't want to do either, I wanted to finish the laundry... but knowing this was him employing a method I have been using with him I couldn't turn him down.
Lincoln Logs have been a great teaching tool with him. After helping me build which ever structure he has decided on, he will grab which ever animals and people he wants us to act out in that moment and then we play out scenarios, ie: The alligator wants to play with the dog and mom but he keeps biting them, so the mommy will say,
"Do you want to play with us, Flossy (he came up with the name, I have no idea where it came from)?" Asks the mom.
"Yes, I want to play!" replies the alligator.
"We want to play with you too, but we don't like it when you hurt us. That makes us sad. You can play with us if you don't hit, bite or push us, okay?"
Alligator pauses for longer than I had anticipated, then, "Okay."
Then play continues - with the alligator not attempting to eat the other characters again.

I'm a little crazy about this kid

Monday, November 24, 2008

You LOST Her?!?!

Whether he looking for a toy, his shoes, his favorite pillow, his "pink princess gloves" or a person if Brogan cannot almost immediately find it he comes to me, asks me where it is and if I reply "I don't know."
He'll respond, "You lost it?"
Which, irrationally, makes me rather annoyed. I know he's not actually accusing me of losing it, it's just how he phrases sentences and questions. "You" replaces I, we, me, us, she, he. So in reality he's more than likely telling me he can't find whatever it is because he lost it. But, because I am a hormonal mother I take it personally and throw back "I didn't lose anything but maybe you did." Then go help him find whatever it is he feels is lost.
The other evening I was in the laundry room attending to the sea of clothes when I heard this exchange:
Brogan, "Where's mommy?"
Jerry, "I'm not sure."
Brogan (accusingly), "You lost HER?!?!"
Jerry (slightly defensively) "I didn't lose her I just don't know where she is."
It amused me to hear someone else in that situation and to hear they react pretty much the same way I do. Is that wrong?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I would so love to blame ANYONE else for this. Kimberly, want to take one for the team? Pretend like you're the one to introduce these kinds of things to my son? No? Oh. Alright, so it was ME. In my defense, Rhiannon has become more and more interested in the differences between girls and boys. Not wanting to make a big deal of it, I told her the names of various body parts expressed my desire for her to not be QUITE as "blessed" in certain areas as myself and moved on. Hoping it was all done in a non-chalant "it's just the way things are" kind of way.
The boy, apparently, was paying close attention.
"Who is this?"
"It's Brogan!"
"And what are these...?"
"Breasts, Belly Button, Peni"
... Errrr ... Beg your pardon?
"Uhhh ... Actually Brogan boys don't have breasts. You have nipples." (Three to be exact....)
I showed the picture to Jerry and he asked, "What is that, a tail?" Errr ... not exactly.


I love the creations Brogan makes at school, they always make me smile a little bit when I look them over. He brought home these pictures today ... (click on them to enlarge)

I'll Fix That for You

Yesterday Brogan brought in the repair manual for my truck. He's odd about where things belong, so I thought maybe he just figured it didn't belong in my truck, but in the book cupboard. However, this morning I walked into his room and found him sprawled out on his bed studying these pages: I wonder if he'll fix them for me when they go out ...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Rhiannon's been milking a head ache this afternoon and Brogan has been "babying" her more than I have.
First he brought Rhiannon her favorite stuffed animal. Made sure she and her stuffed animal were tucked in "just right" on the couch. Then he sat next to her and stroked her head murmuring to her "k Rhiannon? 's okay."
To top it off, when he went to get himself a drink he got her one too.

Be Good!

We're in the midst of "weaning" Brogan off well, me. Not in THAT way! He's five for heaven sake.
He, however, has a painful attachment to me that borders on unhealthy. It may even cross the border. As his mother however, I'm trying to be positive.
Back to the weaning. After I put the kids to bed, Jerry has started being the one to respond to Brogan when he calls down the hall or requests anything. This practice in and of itself is totally fine with me. That is until he starts panicking because I am not the one to answer his summons.
What he wails out absolutely breaks my heart, "Be good, go see mommy?!?!" This question gets called out louder and louder till he's all but hyperventilating. I hate that he thinks that his dad being the one to deal with him says, "You've done something wrong, now you have to see your dad."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Recognizing Issues

In several Autism books they state that one of the issues Autistic people have is they do not understand facial expressions. Therefore they miss out on a great deal of conversation because so much is "spoken" silently.
I do not believe Brogan has this problem. If he's in the middle of doing something bad, I can shoot him a look and he knows immediately what I want him to do. No words needed. But that may also be because he KNOWS when he's doing something wrong ...
Another thing that was suggested is that because of certain brain function delays some Autistic people may not be able to hear voices at a certain level. Therefore they are not ignoring you when you talk loudly or yell, they are just unable to process what is being said. What they basically hear is, "Blah blah blah" or maybe a better description is thinking back on the Charlie Brown teacher and all the viewer could hear was "waa waa waa waa waa ..." that's how it distorts in thier brain. That's something to think about. Maybe will help me keep my calm better, thinking that if I starting talking loudly when I'm agitated it's not helping anyone because he can't understand me anyway ...

That's New

"Count with me, mommy! 1"
(and so and and so forth till 50)
"Excuse me, mom. No more counting."
Ohhh... ahhh ... sorry? I didn't know there was a number limit. My mistake.
Or, while he's playing with his "boy toys" ...
"No, sir! We do not do that. No, sir!"
Just to be clear I have never said "No, sir."
That comes from school where I think it may be easier to say "sir" than to think of a particular child's name in the midst of chaos.

Monday, November 3, 2008

But Mom!

I hear him call down the hall, "Go potty mom?"
I call back, "Yes you may, but you must go back to bed afterward."
I hear the bathroom door shut and lock. I wait two minutes. Then go investigate.
Using the "key" I open the door and find him ... scrubbing the floor with the toilet wand. *pukes a little in mouth*
Calmly, "Okay Brogan, back to bed."
"But mom! I'm CLEANING!"
"I appreciate that, but right now it's time to lay in bed quietly not clean."
"I'm clean-ing"
"No, it's bed time. Daddy can show you how to clean the bathrooms tomorrow." HAHAHA the last part is only a joke because I am not sure if Jerry knows how to clean a bathroom.
Seriously. When I come back to Texas after our 6 week "tour Canada" trip I am always surprised to find out he knows how to do laundry. I'm pretty sure he just does that because he hates clothes shopping more than laundry.

Take it to the table!

One of my most strict rules is that food/drink (unless in a sippy cup) MUST stay at the table. Even if I give the kids food/drink at the island, they know they are to walk it over to the table and eat it there. If they don't finish it, it stays on the table till they do. It's just the way I roll.
This evening as I was getting Rhiannon's lunch ready for tomorrow Brogan brought in a plate of his play food piled high and proudly announced, "For you mom!" I thanked him for the offering and started pretending to eat the food. "Stop mom!" he shouted. Thinking I wasn't meant to eat the food after all, I paused waiting for his next move. "Take it to the table. Sit on your bum." I apologized for being rude and went and sat down, then started in on the food. I peeked up at Brogan, who was still standing in the kitchen and he had this HUGE smile on his face. When I caught his eye he started laughing like the funniest thing in the world just happened.
What a punk.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch

Class field trip ... most taken AFTER the rest of his class had left.

Friday, October 31, 2008

What are you TEACHING him?

This is the temple according to Brogan. On it's less grand days, it's church. I tried to explain to him that it's actually where the President lives. That it's some ones house. He made that noise in his throat that he makes when he's annoyed with me and repeated, "church".
After days of talking about it, he finally came around. He now will tell you it's someones white house in Washington DC. The president, however, is still a non-person to him. Poor Bush.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I dream of the house I want some day. I dream of the car I want some day. I dream of the vacations I want to go on some day. I dream of the career I may want some day.
One thing I never dream of? Brogan being anything but what he is.
Jerry asked me about that the other day. Asked me why I had such big dreams in every other area of my life, but don't ever talk about what Brogan would be if he weren't Autistic.
I explained to him that I simply cannot. It's not that I don't hope that he will become independent, successfully employed, maybe even in a relationship.... I do. I sincerely with all my heart hope that my son will achieve these things.
However ... if I never see my dream home built, if I never drive my dream car, if I never fly off to a far off destination, if I never become independently wealthy ... I could easily live without these things. They are just things, places, long shots.
But if I were to build up a vision of what he may be, of what he could achieve, where he could go, what he could accomplish and then he stalls my heart would break.
Not for me. I can live with the idea of having Brogan being dependent.
However, for him. It would kill me. It would kill me to think of my son having so much potential. So much intelligence. So much humor.
And never living fully to know it.
So I live cautiously. I live with goals. Not dreams.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I (heart) Kimberly

After much internal debate over why I was/am so stressed about next year and Brogan leaving PPCD at ACFT (too many acronyms for ya?) I dug deep and discovered my greatest fear isn't the down grade in Brogan's schooling, the lack of specialization they have over at WCE, not knowing the teachers, being unsure of how he would react to being in a bigger classroom setting. Yes, all of these thing gnawed at me. The only rational fear in there is not knowing on a personal first name basis his teacher. So what, I asked myself, is my real fear?
*gulps ... presses back tears*
It's losing Brogan's teacher Kimberly Moll. I am completely sincere when I say I have no idea what I would do without her.
I finally got past my complete aversion/reverence/nervousness/intimidation of her role as Brogan's teacher a few months into his attendance at ACFT and her coming to our home for his in home training bi-weekly. It was a huge hurdle.
Now I find her to be one of the easiest people I know to talk to in person on a regular basis. I love having her come over to teach Brogan, talk to me about what's going on, go way off topic and talk about ex-boyfriends and road trips, discuss Autism forums, debate what's best and what's not really working.
Beyond her being a fabulous sounding board and willing to help me find answers to elusive topics I just sincerely like her.
Oh ... and Brogan really likes her too.
She's going to be really hard to move on from next year ...
Maybe I'll figure out how to become her friend.
Is that awkward?
I've never willfully set out to be any ones friend before.
Kimberly, are you reading this?
Wanna be friends?
I'll clean your pool if you take care of my imaginary chocolate lab in the summers ...