A sassy, crafty mama bird from Los Angeles
raising a very sweet little girl with Autism
and a new baby boy in the Midwest... and other stuff, too.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

So, what do YOU do?

Sometimes when people ask me "what do you do?" I usually answer, "I stay at home with my daughter." But, on more than one occasion I've actually found myself answering "Oh, I'm just a mom." And then I giggle to myself, because I'm not the kind of mom who has time to meet for coffee with the girls, get mani/pedis, shop, etc. I am a different kind of mom. Sometimes I think the reason I'll tell them "just a mom" is to answer and then move on- because I couldn't possibly answer that question honestly without yielding jaw-dropping results. Although, I did tell you a little bit about A DAY IN THE LIFE once before. But that wasn't really a typical day. A lot of people wonder what types of interventions we implement to help Little Bird make progress with regards to her PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder- not otherwise specified) which is an ASD (autism spectrum disorder). It's a lot to explain and I'm certain I'll leave something out, but this is pretty much how it goes.... We get up each morning and I mix her morning cocktail of watered-down apple juice laced with a mixture of creatine, acetyl-L carnitine, and vitamin D. We make her a breakfast that is Gluten Free and Casein Free: usually special pancakes and a touch of maple syrup (she ends up smelling sweet for the whole morning!); sometimes oatmeal with ground flax seed mixed in. We hurry off to school. This year, she is in a great inclusion program which means that she's in a classroom with typical children. She is the one kid in the class with special needs and she has an amazing shadow/advocate/paraprofessional working with her. I pick her up at 12 and we literally rush home for lunch. It's very difficult to eat out with a kid on a special diet. Lunch is usually shoved down her throat because there's not much time. The lunch menu usually changes, but often includes a soy-based yogurt (I know, I know... soy is NOT great, but I can't find anything else that she'll eat with the same consistency and the strawberry taste). It's gotta be strawberry yogurt because I mix in a strawberry flavored DHA/fish oil supplement. I also hide a probiotic in her applesauce. Next we run to an hour of Occupational Therapy (OT) OR two hours of PLAY therapy - depending on the day. If it's a Tues or a Thurs, we do OT and then we have about an hour between the end of OT and the beginning of another hour of Speech Therapy; although I just added an additional half hour of another speech therapy that's kind of Applied Verbal Behavior (AVB) based. She sees yet a third speech therapist in combination with an amazing psychologist in town on another day. You'd think she would be exhausted, but she still does jazz/tap dancing one day a week in the evenings at Friendship Circle!! Dinner is always pretty busy. I make 2 dinners: one for us and one for her. I usually serve her dinner with a cup of "lemonade", which is a magnesium supplement called Natural Calm. She gets one more round of the creatine and carnitine before bed. It's a lot, right? I probably forgot something. Oh yeah, every third day I give her an injection of Methyl B12. So, what do I do? Well, "curing" Autism is my full time job. I have the word curing in quotation marks because I know her ASD will never really be cured, but I do think that all the interventions we have in place will surely continue to make a difference. My kid is nothing like she was a year ago. That's actually one of my favorite things about keeping these notes, this blog; I get to look back at old posts and put things into perspective a bit. After all, everyone needs a little perspective, no?

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