Mom thoughts

Sensory Processing Disorder – what worked for us.

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Here is our 3 boys playing monopoly. Jr is in red shirt. (2010 Sidney house)

My youngest son has sensory processing disorder and we have tried multiple therapy ideas with him in the past 16 years. The best therapy we found was a swing shaped like a laundry bag with 2 open sides. We hooked it up in our basement at the Sidney house. It was very helpful when he was over stimulated. He’d swing until he was calm. We also used a bumpy seat cushion, a ball seat with legs and sand paper. At school he had gum to chew to keep him from being fidgety. I also got erasers you can disassemble and put back together. They didn’t last long he got bored and was throwing them.

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Looking through pictures I think he’s always wearing blue.

We have learned to pick your battles. The clinking of metal silverware really bothers him. So we go to restaurants that use plastic silverware one where kitchen is further away from seating area. For special occasions we can’t avoid those restaurants. We would tell him a few days in advance and talk again day of meal. With positive reinforcement we have avoided major meltdowns. Advance preparation is the key. No surprises for him. I can only remember one instance that I was not able to avoid a meltdown. I took him to church and they had really loud music. I tried distracting him with paper and crayons. It did not work. He curled up in a ball and hid under the pew. We excuse ourselves and left earlier. Another time before he was 5 the fire alarm went off at the dentist office. Loud screeching noises and flashing lights. My poor child. Fast as a mouse he ran to a corner away from people. He sat down pulled up his knees and covered his ears. It was upsetting. He pretty much was in the fetal position. To this day he hates the dentist. We even changed offices 😦

Products we have found to help during his growing up have been limited. Here is a link to online store where we found awesome products for sensory issues. https://www.southpaw.com We got a swing thru them and it was like night and day. It really helped Brian Jr a lot. Other items we bought from them was Feetballs pictured here. He used it at home when he was using the computer. He could wiggle all he wanted and it never tipped like a regular chair would. We also used a Fitball seating disc. I sent to school so he could use there. It helped him keep attention longer. Tri-grip pencils really helped also. Order a catalog they have tons of items for sensory issues. 

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I’ve been doing some research online to see what has helped other parents. People are very supportive nowadays. When jr was first diagnosed we got a lot of crap. People didn’t understand that he was not choosing to act this way. I kept getting told ways to discipline him the old fashioned way. I chose not to do those ways. Why discipline a child for something he couldn’t control ? That’s like punishing him for having brown hair. Not going to happen by me.

Here are some remarks from my Facebook friend Denise on what has helped for her son. He was diagnosed with Aspergers. She says “They had my son listen to 20 minutes of classical music at school before he was sent to class. It seemed to calm him. He also had three safe places at school. If he ever felt overwhelmed, he was allowed to get up and just walk out and go straight to one of his safe places without asking. This kept him calm. He got to pick his 3 places. One of them was the vice principal’s office. That’s the one he used the most. So they had a little chair over in the corner. And he could just walk in and sit there without anyone saying anything to him. So safe places work. Another good therapy is actual therapy. My son was on Medicaid. So it may depend on the insurance. But Medicaid actually sends therapist around to schools. My son’s therapist would pull him from one of his less important classes (like art or music or P.E.) once a week to talk to him. It was free of charge to me. Sometimes these therapists can offer suggestions on exercises they can do to concentrate more or to stabilize their moods. Another thing that helps is rewards for good behavior. For instance at my son’s school, they purchased a PlayStation for him. And if he was able to go so many hours without having an episode, he was allowed so many minutes on the PlayStation. They had it set up in one of the rooms not used for teaching. Also my school provided my son an adult shadow to sit with him in class. She couldn’t help him with his work. But she was there to kind of guide him. For instance if he would space out, she’d tell him to take out his book and pencil. Stuff like that. They also allowed him to go only half a day once he got into high school. So he would have the special needs bus bring him home at lunch. Because high school can be overwhelming for a regular teen, can you imagine how overwhelming it is for a child with aspergers? Well he’s an adult now. Out in the world. If it wasn’t for his amazing teachers/school staff coming up with all of these great ideas during his IEP meetings, it would’ve been hard. He was sent four hours away when he was 7 to the medical university in Charleston. Because for several years before that, the doctors couldn’t get his diagnosis right. Once he was hospitalized for a week, his aspergers was brought to light and life got easier. There was no more uncertainty. When he turned 18, I finally put in for him to get SSI pay. He was approved in two months. Because of the referral letters submitted from the doctors, therapist and a lady at our local department of disability and special needs center. Everyone has always been so supportive.”

This past June Brian graduated from high school with a regents degree. I remember a man saying “Every kid that he’s seen go into the Boces program ended up in jail by their 18th birthday.” He was CSE chairperson in Sidney and this was over 10 years ago.  Needless to say he was fired. It was a conference call and Jr’s therapist heard it. Guy was a horrible person. He never should have been in a position of authority for special needs kids. So for all the parents out their with a special needs kid “NEVER give up. You can prove negative remarks wrong and do miracles for your kids.” We never gave up fighting and never will. God gave us Brian Jr as a gift. It has been amazing to see how far he has come. he even got his driving permit this week. He was laughing because other teens at DMV took almost 1/2 to do test. It’s 20 questions – 30 minutes really? Makes you wonder type of people we have out there driving on our roads. Jr will climb mountains and fight dragons for the rest of his life. Mom and dad will be right besides him fighting with him. Take 30 minutes out of your week and have a 1 on 1 conversation with a special needs child. You will be surprised how awesome they really are if you take the time with them. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment. We are a community raising these angels and need to support each other. Join me in this fight it’s so worth it.

Till next time hug your hubby really tight. Mine is my first line of defense in this crazy world. Stick tight to those that support you and those that don’t they can “Kiss my britches” hugs to all. Have a great week.

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His diploma arrived from school and dad was proud to present it to him.

Exploring with hubby, Mom thoughts, What was I thinking?

Life was simpler then.

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I’m way out in God’s country taking a peek into how the other side lives. Peace, quiet, vehicles from the years past and cute little baby goats. If you look hard enough at any situation you can find the silver lining.

Presently it’s raining outside. Crappy for some but peaceful comforting music to others. We are way out in the back woods of NY. Last sign we passed, many miles back, said South New Berlin. There was a school, a gas station, a few churches and a bar also. Typical small town country life. Out here you’ll never now what you will find. It’s the country way of life. It’s the way I was raised. Little tiny town called Schenevus NY. Somewhere between Albany and Binghamton. Just follow route 7 and you’ll find it. Many small towns getting smaller while bigger places like Oneonta and Cooperstown are growing.

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The little mom and pop stores are pretty much all gone. A fine memory of times passed. Penny candy and candy cigarettes. How I miss those easy days. Nobody was trying to steal other people’s kids or your retirement investment, out of your back yard. We lived way out on a hill. For awhile I was oldest kid on the school bus, in elementary school. No school shootings or your neighbors kid strung out on heroin. Tad poles in ditch by the road to watch grow. Poor frogs they have no clue what awaits them. Maybe it would be kinder to just squish them now. Don’t make them suffer watching their siblings be run over by grandmas caddy on her way to church. I miss those days. Hell I miss my dad. He passed years ago but I think of him everyday. He’d be so proud of my son Logan. Bringing home another project car and “yes” it’s a Ford. He loved his Fords. Waiting for the idiot my son bought the car from. He knew we were coming a week ago. But still his ass was not here. He said 10 minutes which in country time is 2 hours. No respect for others this younger crowd. I would have “gotten swatted” our parents would say. As for me and my boys it was “Dad ain’t gonna be happy. We’ll have hell to pay”. Or mom’s famous words “The shit is getting deep pick up your feet”. Or my saying “I don’t have a shovel big enough to deal with your shit. Also heard “Go running home to mama you sissy” lol. Simpler days ☹️

 

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Do the kids nowadays even know how to entertain themselves? How about going in the back yard and climbing trees with friends? I remember a picture of my friend Harmony way up in a tree. Happy as a pig in shit I reckon. Simpler days. Hide and go seek in the back yard with flash lights, for hours. No body going home till mom starts to holler. New it was time to go home when street lights came on or out in country the lightening bugs would come out. Just 5 more minutes. Same people nowadays live far away. Different states even. Some of to explore this big world in places like Japan and Thailand. I’ll never go to any of those places. But hubby and I joke about going to Australia, Germany and Ireland. Getting back to our roots. Seeing how our ancestors lived. Battery dying and son took charger. Why would you need phone charger when your outside with no electricity? Like the old commercial “Only time will tell”. Tootsie pop commercial if I’m thinking right. I loved tootsie pops. Getting to the center and biting into that tiny piece of tootsie roll was pure heaven. My favorite was the raspberry ones. Do you remember the wrappers that had Indians on them? Not allowed nowadays might hurt someone’s feelings. To hell with that. “Suck it up buttercup as my hubby would say”. Simpler times.

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Been 20 years this past September for us. I’m ready for many more years. Some would have called it quits years ago. But I’m old school. I strongly believe my wedding vows. Till death do us part. May we never stray far apart. My lover. My best friend. My soulmate. I want to see eternity come with you. No one else I’d rather be with. Wish others had relationship like ours. Up and downs. Knock down, drag out fights. Small times apart. But if I need you your right there next to me. Like when I had surgery and was hurting really bad. You crawled up into that hospital bed. You held me until I fell back to sleep. That’s true love. Sadly many people will never experience that. Like my hs friend Rachel. Dying in a car accident because someone wanted to see “Just how fast this car could go”. Poor Kahlee having to grow up with out her mom. Thinking about it breaks my heart. So glad I found her on Facebook. It’s a modern day friend and family finder. Back when I was growing up everyone knew where everyone was. Life was simpler then.

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I remember when our kids were younger. Dominic got head butted by Jiminy the goat. Over at Gasper and Elaine’s house. Friends of grandpa Fred’s. Out in the country in Worcester. Another one of those quaint little towns of yester years. Elaine is now past like my dad. Not a clue about Gasper. His parents brought him all the way to the “America’s” from Italy. For a better life. It was I’m sure. Elaine was a great woman. She canned her own sauce and had a huge garden. I’ve tried but can’t get pass 5 or more small plants. I grew a 4 foot patch in our backyard in Sidney. The chives were awesome. We loved cutting fresh chives for our potato salad. Kids enjoyed growing a sun flower plant. It got so big it was taller then our front porch roof. I remember decorating for Halloween. Our friend Kathy Walker brought up some blow ups for the front lawn. We got a blow up Frankenstein. Guess he had “too many to drink. We ended up putting a brick in his Butt. Brick was from destroying old porch steps. So unsafe. Did a lot in Sidney house. Many good memories and a few bad. That was back then this is how. So many changes. We got a new house and had unsuccessful first year doing a garden. Maybe next year. Logan wants one to so as long as he helps next year could be good. I hope. Will have to get all our friends together to help us. The whole huge group of 4 or 5.


		
Exploring with hubby, What was I thinking?

Insomnia and more pictures from our trip.

We are still at hotel in Saugus. I have insomnia now I understand how trucker’s feel when away from home. Thankfully our hotel has free coffee. It’s a nice hotel, great people. Location is not great. Road is very busy but can walk to a restaurant and Walmart is a short drive. It’s a cool Walmart it has a parking garage under the store. Escalator was scary as hell but elevator was great.

We are at Red Roof Inn Saugus

Top picture is from hotel lobby where I enjoyed my coffee while letting hubby sleep. Bottom 2 are the Walmart with scary escalator down the road Walmart with escalator . Never going to use one again I almost fell over. Not good idea for anyone with bad balance thankfully hubby was behind me to hold me up. It was a clean store not very busy. We grabbed what we needed then headed out to our prime destination SALEM. I’ll do another post shortly with all the pics and details from our Black Cat Nightly Tour . It was awesome Daniel was a super host. I made it all the way but the last stop. I feel great about it. Here’s a pic.

Hubby is awake so off I go to see what he wants to do today. Hoping for Ihop breakfast. Until next time hug your hubby tight and have a great day wherever you are. Maybe you’ll find Waldo Where is Waldo ?

What was I thinking?

20 th anniversary trip to Massachusetts

He’s a professional driver you think he’d want calm music. NOT my hubby it’s Ac/Dc all the way !!!

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I’m not worried about his driving. Getting into a speed test with a Prius ? Who knew it would be that funny. Mobil speed bumps to a trucker. Too bad we are driving his own truck. But still kinda funny word choices. Gotta love trucker language.

Saw a truck with funny things on back. Hubby says they are there to reduce wind drag. Huh? No clue they just look funny. I got to see lots of trucks on our way to Massachusetts and even a big tow truck for rigs. They are huge !!! My favorite trucker had a cool sign on his rig “childhood dream WHAT was I thinking” Hubby loved it will have to get him one. We are making good time except dealing with complete idiots that don’t know how to drive. He has a choice word for each of them.

I have a lot more respect for truckers now so here’s some cool pics of some we saw.

It’s all a great experience.

Till next time hug your hubby tight and have a goodnight.

What was I thinking?

Vacation. Massachusettes here we come.

It took me an hour to find this list.

I feel this is best list to use to pack for a trip. If, you are the compulsive, over packer type. It says it will all fit in a single, carry-on-sized bag. Try it and let me know how it works, for you. I’m not going to even try. Best of luck to you.

Pack List

This is more my style of packing.

I prefer to use this list. It’s super basic and simple. On my vacation in September 2018, to Massachusetts w my hubby, I am doing very basic. If your going for simplistic this list is for you. No heavy , awkward bags for me. I have the perfect bag. Check post below. You will want to grab one before your next trip.

Basic list.

The BAG !!!

The bag I am using is not just functional, it’s cute. That’s way more important. I got this bag from my friend Kristie. She sells 31 bags and I’m obsessed with them. It’s true. Every room in my house has some type of 31 bag. I even have lots in my closets and attic. I did a party for her last year. She’s super friendly and easy to work with. Get your Christmas list ready. I guarantee 1/2 the presents you need you gan get from 31. Here is link to her site so you can shop your heart out. In my craft area alone I have 3 bags. They are so great for de-cluttering any area of your home.

Grab a cup of coffee and get ready to see some great bags.

Got my bag here.

 

Here’s the one I’m going to be using.

Some final thoughts.

It’s getting late and hubby will be home in about an hour. Off to cook him some quick, yummy food. If you have any ideas for quick, nutritious, yummy meals drop me a note. A friend said check out Pinterest but I haven’t had time. Packing for a trip is exhausting. I’m packing extra $$$ just in case, I forget something. My next post will be Saturday and I have some great news to share with you. We are expanding our family and I’m super excited.

Till next time drive safe, hug your hubby extra tight and enjoy my blog about being a trucker’s wife.

Till next time. Bye Bye. 🙃

Kathy O.